Michele Bachmann, facing a dive in the GOP presidential polls, urged a crowd of social conservatives on Friday evening to not settle when choosing a nominee next year.
And not surprisingly, the Minnesota congresswoman tried to sell herself as that true believer that conservatives could send to the Oval Office, telling the Values Voter Summit that President Obama’s policies had already consigned him to one-term status.
“I can tell you first-hand: The cake is already baked,” Bachmann said in a speech that went well over her 25-minute allotted time. “The people have said no to Barack Obama. They’re ready to say yes to someone who will clearly stand apart, someone who will stand up to the ever-growing power of this bureaucracy.”
Speaking just hours after the surging businessman Herman Cain electrified the Values Voter crowd, Bachmann at times also brought the room to their feet, railing against everything from the healthcare overhaul to the Department of Education.
While she mainly tried to talk up her own conservative bona fides, Bachmann, who won the Ames Straw Poll in August, also tried to make a subtle distinction between herself and Republican poll leaders like Cain, Gov. Rick Perry of Texas and former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts.
Without mentioning any names, the Minnesota congresswoman said there were no video clips of her backing abortion rights, as Romney once did, and that she would never hesitate to stand up against gay marriage. The National Organization for Marriage, an organization that lobbies against gay marriage, has criticized Cain for not signing its pledge.
Bachmann, who has polled at between 4 percent and 7 percent in recent national GOP presidential polls, also made a reference to crony capitalism, after previously suggesting that Perry’s ties to the pharmaceutical giant Merck may have influenced his decision to requite the HPV vaccine for girls in Texas schools.
With Cain speeding to near the top of the polls and also exciting conservatives, Bachmann also tried to play up her appeal to both social conservatives and Tea Party types.
“This united movement will deliver the victory in 2012,” Bachmann said.
For instance, Bachmann termed herself a leader in the fight against raising the debt ceiling this summer, and also talked up new legislation she has introduced in the House that would mandate pregnant women being shown ultrasound pictures before having an abortion.
While Bachmann also touched on energy production and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law, some of her loudest cheers were for proposing to scrap the Department of Education and the Environmental Protection Agency.
“It may be a long day, but there’s a few others that are also going to get their lights off,” Bachmann said. “Trust me – it will be done.”