Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.) used Sen. Jim DeMint’s (R-S.C.) Labor Day forum for GOP presidential candidates to launch a strong attack on the Obama administration and re-connect with Tea Party affiliated voters.
Bachmann, speaking at the American Principles Project Palmetto Freedom Forum in Columbia, S.C. , said President Obama had “failed to demonstrate an understanding” of the constitution. Bachmann pointed to the president’s healthcare reform law, his “appointment of czars,” and his failure to defend DOMA and “current deportation laws” as examples. “These are areas where we see unconstitutionality,” she alleged.
The Labor Day forum was a major showcase for Republican candidates eager to gain the support of South Carolina voters and the backing of DeMint, an influential conservative.
Five candidates took part in the event, Bachmann, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R), Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and businessman Herman Cain.
Bachmann won the Ames Iowa straw poll but lost momentum to Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a late entrant to the race. Her comments during the forum suggested an effort to reconnect with Tea Party-affiliated voters who were enthusiastic about her candidacy but may be moving towards Perry.
Perry who was scheduled to attend the event was forced to back out and return to Texas to deal with the wildfires which are affecting the state. Numerous polls show Perry as the GOP's new frontrunner.
Bachmann also took aim at the Department of Education, claiming that it “eviscerated the constitutional understanding that the role of education lies with the parents.”
The congresswoman also repeated her calls for a “zero repatriation” tax on corporate profits held overseas and called for a “private-directed solution” and not the “government solutions” she predicted Obama would propose to jump start the economy.
She added that a “moratorium on the implementation of Obamacare” would also calm business uncertainty.