While other GOP presidential candidates are treading carefully around the debt ceiling debate, Michele Bachmann is embracing it like a dear friend. The Minnesota congresswoman has positioned herself as the champion of tea party opposition and even made the issue the key to her first television commercial running in Iowa.
The commercial closes with Bachmann stating emphatically: “I will not vote to increase the debt ceiling.” Politico
notes that Bachmann is “shrewdly using the platform her perch in Congress gives her to advocate on the negotiations, capitalizing on a moment when multiple polls have put her in the lead in Iowa and gaining nationally.”
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Bachmann also has used her congressional clout to take the battle directly to President Barack Obama in a move that breaks her out of the GOP pack.
“He’s trying to scare people . . . into thinking that if we don’t raise the debt ceiling by two and a half trillion dollars that we’ll default on our debt. That’s absolutely not true,” Bachmann said in a television appearance. “We have more revenue coming in all the time, and we can simply pay off the interest on our debt. There is no need to default.”
On another show, she said, “It’s more fashionable for the president to scare people and say, ‘The sky is about to fall. We’re going to lose our credit rating.’ No, we won’t! We have plenty of money to pay it. Just pay it, take that issue off the table. And then we — here’s the big issue. The president doesn’t want to have to be confronted with priorities in spending because he has a lot of chutzpah.”
Other GOP candidates have shied away from the issue. Mitt Romney, while expressing support for the Republican Study Committee’s “cut, cap, balance” pledge, has declined to get into the specifics of the talks and Jon Huntsman has offered the vague hope that “cooler heads will prevail and by our deadline,” Politico reported.
Mark Meckler, co-founder of Tea Party Patriots, said 98 percent of his group’s members are with Bachmann on the issue. “The Patriots are watching and noticing everything,” he told Politico. “And they support politicians and candidates who are willing to make a stand.”
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