Bachmann: 'Little difference' between Pawlenty, Obama

Rep. Michele BachmannMichele BachmannTrump says 2016 is the GOP's last chance to win Bachmann: Clinton will prosecute churches and nonprofits The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (R-Minn.) on Sunday attacked former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) for having "very little difference" between his policy views and those of President Obama, in a sign that she is taking his presidential campaign more seriously and is tired of letting his attacks go unanswered.

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Pawlenty, realizing he needs a strong showing in the Ames Straw Poll in Iowa early next month, has gone on the attack against Bachmann in recent weeks, calling her record "nonexistent" and saying he thought her migraines were a legitimate issue for discussion on the campaign trail. In campaign stops on Sunday, Bachmann fired back.

"There is very little difference between Gov. Pawlenty's past positions and Barack ObamaBarack ObamaGreen Party nominee escorted off debate premises Obama defends work on tribal issues Charlotte requires race discussion Hillary, Democrats refuse to have MORE's positions on several critical issues facing Americans," Bachmann said. "On issues such as unconstitutional healthcare mandates, climate change regulations and Wall Street bailouts, there's very little daylight, indeed, between Gov. Pawlenty's record and the Obama administration's policies."

Bachmann has surged in the polls in the last month while Pawlenty continues to sit in the low single digits. But she has not spent the months cultivating a ground game and getting to know voters that Pawlenty has. Both need a strong showing in the Iowa caucuses next winter if they hope to win the Republican presidential nomination. A top finish in the Ames Straw Poll on Aug. 13 could help reinvigorate Pawlenty's campaign — and make it harder for Bachmann to win the state.