Rep. Michele Bachmann’s hometown newspaper plans to provide a live feed when she and Texas Gov. Rick Perry have their meeting at Waterloo with fresh ammo in their first appearance as Republican presidential rivals this evening.
The Minnesota congresswoman comes to the Black Hawk County GOP's Annual Lincoln Day Dinner armed with her Iowa Straw Poll victory in Ames Saturday, while Perry is loaded with his long-awaited announcement Saturday that he was joining the race for the Republican nomination for president.
Also on the dais will be former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum. But expect him to be reduced to the third wheel in the first showdown between two tea party favorites in a Republican contest that was shaken up further when former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty quit the race today.
The Waterloo Courier plans a live feed of the event
, beginning at 5:30 p.m. Eastern time. The dinner is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m., with the program and speakers beginning at 6:30 p.m.
Bachmann originally had not intended to speak at the dinner but changed her plans when Perry officially entered the mix, the Courier reported. The founder of the House Tea Party Caucus wasn’t about to let the head of the National Republican Governors Association address a GOP audience in the town where she was born, and the leadoff caucus state, without having her own say.
Bachmann says she isn’t concerned about Perry’s entry into the race, although most observers say his candidacy alters the landscape considerably.
"I welcome anyone who's coming into the race, and I think it will be good competition for everyone," Bachmann said. "He'll run his campaign, we'll run ours, but we really look forward to that."
She expressed confidence in being able to overcome Perry "because I have a demonstrated, proven record that I will fight for what people care about."
Other speakers on the program include U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz, and Iowa Republican Party Chairman Matt Strawn.
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