Bachmann to deliver her own response to State of the Union

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) will deliver her own response to President Obama’s State of the Union address on Tuesday, even though the GOP selected one of her House colleagues to give an official rebuttal.

The Tea Party Express will host Bachmann’s response to Obama’s speech to Congress on its website “shortly after” his speech and the official Republican response concludes, according to a release from the group.

“We’re doing this broadcast to demonstrate that the hardworking citizens of this country have a powerful voice in Washington, even if they still aren’t being heard in the White House,” Bachmann said in the release.

{mosads}The move could highlight the burgeoning divide between Tea Party activists and conservative GOP lawmakers and party leaders over spending following one of the most-watched political events of the year. 

Democrats sought to play up the split.

“A man who wants to eliminate Social Security and Medicare. A woman who called the president ‘anti-American.’ Extreme ideas and extreme rhetoric,” Jon Summers, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.),
said. “That tells you all you need to know about the current state of the Republican Party.”

Conservative members have pressured leaders to stick to their campaign pledge to immediately cut $100 billion in non-defense discretionary spending. Their were bolstered by 73 newly elected freshmen who joined the Republican Study Committee, a large bloc of House conservatives.

The man selected to give the official GOP response, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), has targeted about $60 billion in cuts.

Bachmann’s decision to give her own rebuttal could also fuel ongoing speculation about her desire to mount a presidential bid. The Tea Party favorite visited Iowa Friday, where she met with top state GOP officials and Tea Party activists and plans to deliver remarks to a political action committee.

The Minnesota Republican ran for the position of House GOP conference chairman after last year’s midterm elections, but later bowed out of the race. She has since been mum about her aspirations for higher office, but has not ruled out a run for president. 

— This post was updated at 4:45 p.m. and at 4:54 p.m.

Tags Harry Reid Michele Bachmann Paul Ryan

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