ST. PAUL, Minn. — Michele Bachmann's rise in Republican presidential race polls is making the founder of the House Tea Party Caucus an enticing target for rival campaigns.
But the Minnesota congresswoman's opponents so far — all men — are treading lightly. They're sensitive to gender concerns and mindful of angering the tea party voters they hope to court themselves.
Since entering the 2012 race last month, the three-term lawmaker has seen her standing in polls rise. Several surveys in the lead-off caucus state of Iowa show her challenging the front-runner, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, for the lead.
That's not to say that candidates aren't willing to criticize her.
Just a few days ago, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty said Bachmann had a "nonexistent record of accomplishment" in Congress.
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