Michele Bachmann to Kick Off Campaign in Iowa

Michele Bachmann
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Her website says, "It all Begins in Iowa," and Rep. Michele Bachmann is set to start campaigning for the United States presidency Monday in Waterloo, Iowa, where she was born.

Bachmann, R-Minn., informally announced her bid two weeks ago at the first Republican debate in New Hampshire.

"I filed today my paperwork to seek the office of the presidency of the United States," she said.

But Tuesday's stop is where she is expected to make her candidacy more formal, to start campaigning, and to tie in her Iowa roots and her faith, issues that could resonate with voters in Hawkeye State.

Because it traditionally holds nation's first caucuses of presidential primary seasons, Iowa has been viewed as critical for primary candidates -- though the eventual 2008 Republican presidential nominee, John McCain, made few visits to the state during his primary campaign.

For Bachmann, a candidate with strong Tea Party support, showering Iowans with attention could prove more worthwhile. Tea Party groups claim to be strong in areas such as Des Moines, Dubuque, the Quad Cities, Cedar Falls, southern Iowa and Spencer.

Today, Bachmann, a self-professed religious conservative, told CBS' "Face the Nation" that she, "got the sense from God to run for office."

On "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace asked Bachmann, "Are you a flake?" She responded, "I think that would be insulting to say something like that, because I'm a serious person."

Asked if the campaign believed Wallace's question was sexist, or if the same line of inquiry would be put to one of the male candidate's, Bachmann spokeswoman Alice Stewart told ABC News "It was an insulting question all around."

Bachmann's campaign kickoff will come days after a new Des Moines Register Iowa poll placed her a close second among Republican candidates to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, 23 percent to 22 percent, well within the margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.

The Iowa Poll's results are based on telephone interviews with 400 likely Republican Iowa caucus-goers from June 19 to 22. Nearly half of the poll respondents, 46 percent, identified as born-again or fundamentalist Christian, the Des Moines Register reported.

"Michele Bachmann has always looked like a fit for Iowa on paper, and the debate likely helped solidify her standing," pollster J. Ann Seltzer told the Register. "This poll confirms she has potential to do very well here."

Bachmann's fundraising is in line with her Republican primary opponents. She broke records when she was able to raise a surprising $13.5 million for her 2010 House race, an amount more than any other House member.

Bachmann portrays herself as a fiscal conservative, but an examination conducted by The Los Angeles Times reported Sunday, "a counseling clinic run by her husband received $30,000 from the state of Minnesota in the last five years, with part of the money coming from the federal government."

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