Michele Bachmann fires up Republican base at DC conservative conference

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) on Friday fired up a gathering of conservative activists in Washington as she prepares to announce whether she'll run for president.

Bachmann, a Tea Party favorite, tossed plenty of red meat to the crowd at the Faith and Freedom Conference, pledging that Republicans will defeat President Obama in 2012 and that his healthcare law will be repealed.

"If we have anything to say about it, Barack Obama will be a one-term president," she said to a rousing ovation.

Perhaps the loudest applause came when she railed against Obama's healthcare law.

"I am committed: I will not rest until we repeal ObamaCare. America will not rest until we repeal ObamaCare," she said. "Take it to the bank, cash the check, it will be done."

Bachmann used her speech to fine-tune her message to the conservative base, as many anticipate she will announce a run for president soon.

She was the first of many GOP presidential contenders to speak at the Faith and Freedom Conference, which was organized by Christian activist Ralph Reed.

Later this month, Bachmann plans to travel to Waterloo, Iowa, to make her presidential intentions public. She also will participate in the June 13 presidential debate in New Hampshire.

In her speech, Bachmann touched on issues that resonate with evangelical voters, such as traditional marriage and abortion.

She called for the defunding of Planned Parenthood, accusing the organization of "committing crimes" and turning a blind eye to the "trafficking of underage girls."

But Bachmann sought to keep the focus on defeating Obama instead of commenting on other GOP candidates' records.

On Thursday, she appeared to take a swipe at former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty for expressing openness to the individual healthcare mandate during his governorship. But she didn't take the bait to elaborate on her remarks when reporters asked her about the issue following her speech.

Asked if support for the mandate, a key component of Obama's healthcare law, is a disqualifier for a Republican candidate, Bachmann said, "The voters will make that decision.

"Someone will win the GOP primary; the main opponent is Barack Obama," she added. "Clearly, the American people are rejecting the individual mandate, and that's my position."

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