By Alicia M. Cohn - 11/28/11 10:15 AM EST
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), who continues to trail in polls as a Republican presidential candidate, is not falling quietly behind the rest of the field.
Bachmann kept busy immediately following a brief break for a family Thanksgiving, scheduling a book signing at Minnesota's Mall of America on Friday and eight stops in three days in Iowa over the weekend. She has also lined up a slew of eight radio interviews on Monday to start off the week.
Bachmann also pushed back hard on recent dust-ups with NBC and fellow Republican candidate Newt Gingrich.
She has faced plenty of criticism generated by what she calls the "entertainment elites" in Hollywood, most recently in what seemed to be the deliberate use of a questionable song during her introduction last week on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon." Fallon's house band, "The Roots," played the song “Lyin’ Ass B----" when Bachmann walked on stage. Bachmann said she did not immediately identify the song but later asked for an apology.
She told Fox News last week that the incident demonstrated sexism and bias.
Host Fallon, the band and NBC's senior vice president, Doug Vaughan, all apologized over the incident. Fallon tweeted that he was "so sorry about the intro mess," and Vaughan said the band had been "severely reprimanded."
If the show had insulted first lady Michelle Obama, someone would have been fired, Bachmann maintained. She also told KLIF that the apology should have come from NBC's president.
"It comes down to the fact that if a [radio host] Don Imus or someone does something that’s questionable, they’re thrown off the air. But when something is done to a conservative, it’s just passed off and forgotten. And I think that that’s really the difference," she said. "Of course, I accept the apology, but my guess is it would have been the president of NBC that would have been apologizing [to Obama], not a senior vice president of programming."
Bachmann has fought to stand her ground in the campaign, where she is the only woman on stage, often standing out in her white or red dress suits. She has fought to hold her ground in Iowa, as well, since winning the Iowa Straw Poll last summer.
She crisscrossed the state once again over the weekend.
Despite her best efforts, Bachmann continues to trail both nationally and in Iowa polls. In Iowa, where she announced her candidacy and has focused much of her campaign, she has fallen behind even Mitt Romney, who has not emphasized the Hawkeye state in his campaign and did not participate in the important Iowa straw poll.
But Bachmann is not giving up.
“I guarantee you, with everything within my being, I have the backbone,” Bachmann told The Associated Press last week. “I’ll put my backbone up against any other candidate in the race.”
Her new book, Core of Conviction: My Story, doubles down on the "titanium spine" Bachmann is fond of claiming to possess. Touring for book-signing events has refreshed Bachmann's chances to attract attention from the public.
She criticized CBS News for what she said was unfair treatment on stage in a debate co-sponsored with National Journal. Her campaign accused the news outlet of intentional bias against her, releasing inter-network emails where CBS News's new political director said Bachmann wouldn't be getting many questions in the debate.
And Bachmann worked to cause another stir when she fired upon newly-minted front-runner Gingrich over his immigration stance.
Gingrich, who opposes blanket amnesty, argued against deporting illegal immigrants who have been in the U.S. for decades in the most recent CNN-sponsored GOP debate focused on national security.
“If you've been here 25 years and you got three kids and two grandkids, you've been paying taxes and obeying the law, you belong to a local church, I don't think we're going to separate you from your family, uproot you forcefully and kick you out," he said.
Bachmann, who takes a strong stance against illegal immigration, pounced on Gingrich over his comments, grading him in a PBS interview with a "D minus" on immigration.
This weekend, Bachmann released a letter signed by Gingrich in 2004 that she said proves he has a history of supporting amnesty.
Bachmann, who has long been a favorite with the conservative Tea Party movement, has been outspoken in urging conservative voters not to "settle" for a pragmatic, more "electable" presidential candidate in 2012.
And Bachmann, for one, has not held back in her support of Tea Party positions.
“On Jan. 3, bring everyone you possibly can out,” she told attendees at a West Des Moines book signing over weekend, according to The Des Moines Register. “It’s our chance to send a candidate we believe in to the White House.”