Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann said on Fox News Wednesday that she is nearing the “finish line” in the process of deciding whether to enter the 2012 presidential race, raising more money than any other candidate in the first quarter, and receiving growing encouragement to run.
“We’re deep in the process — we’re right at the very end, I think toward the finish line,” she told Fox News’ Sean Hannity. “I’ve spent months on this, Sean. Everything I’ve done, I’ve put a lot of thought into. And I’ve been very deliberate about this.
“I’ve been consulting with my advisers who have been putting our resources together. I raised more money than any other candidate in the first quarter, including Mitt Romney,” Bachmann said. “And so, we’ve done very well, I’ve been in South Carolina numerous times — New Hampshire and Iowa both this weekend. We’ve had a lot of support and encouragement to run. And so, we'll let you know very shortly. In fact, we'll send you an invitation to come with us if you would like to.”
Hannity asked who Bachmann sees as her strongest competitor. Bachmann repeated that she still thinks her biggest problem is President Barack Obama.
“Well, I think the strongest competitor right now is Barack Obama. That's the only competitor that I'm looking at right now. And I think, I've come up very favorably. I have a strong background, I started a successful company and ran that together with my husband,” she said. “We created jobs — we’ve been very successful. And I'm a former federal tax litigation attorney. I understand the tax code. We created a charter school, we started it — it has been very successful.
"We raised 23 foster children. I have a wide berth of experience," Bachmann said. "And I think what I want to focus on is making things in America again — and American job creation. So, I think I have a very favorable comparison with Barack Obama.”
Hannity asked about former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s bus tour and how her possible candidacy would impact Bachmann. The Minnesota congresswoman reiterated that there is room for both of them in the race for the GOP nod.
“You know, my decision is completely independent of what Governor Palin chooses to do or not too — I want to say that we are friends — and I consider her a good friend,” Bachmann said. “And I think that she is making wonderful contributions to our country — and I'm thankful that she is doing the tour. She is bringing attention to our nation's heritage, and that is all positive. I welcome all candidates in this race. I know that the Republicans will field excellent candidates for 2012. Barack Obama has to be a one-term president. And it will be up to the voters to decide who they believe will be best in taking on this president.”
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