'This Week' Transcript: Ron Paul and Michele Bachmann

TAPPER: In the last week, your campaign has gotten involved in a big kerfuffle about one of your top supporters, your chairman in Iowa defecting and going to the Ron Paul campaign. I don't want to get into the weeds on that debate. There was a back-and-forth about whether or not he was paid off. He denied that you accused him of doing that. But this is not the first time you've made a charge like this. You've also said this about other supporters with Newt Gingrich in Georgia, with Rick Santorum.

Don't you risk -- making these charges, doesn't that risk voters seeing you as making a final gasp of desperation?

BACHMANN: Oh, for Heaven's sake. Of course not. What this shows is the tremendous momentum that we have out of the last debate. From person after person, they said that I won the last debate in Sioux City, Iowa. And the reason why is because, when Ron Paul made his very dangerous statements, which is he was just fine with Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon, or with Newt Gingrich taking $1.6 million from Freddie Mac and he was unable to defend that, I -- I took it to them.

And what people saw during the last debate is that I have the ability, of all of the candidates on the stage, I have the best ability to take it to Barack Obama in the debate and hold him accountable. We had tremendous momentum coming out of the last debate, and we saw it in county after county in our 99-county tour, where people were just appalled by Ron Paul's position. They thought it was dangerous.

That's why we saw literally thousands of people switching their decision on the spot, and that's what you saw, was this crush of momentum. And so we saw some different actions coming out of the Ron Paul campaign. And I think that people will be very surprised at the results on Tuesday night, because I think people will see a lot of defections away from Ron Paul because they see -- especially with the aggressive nature of the actions on the part of Iran in the Straits of Hormuz, people are seeing how important it is that we have a commander-in-chief who is conversant, prepared, knowledgeable, and has good judgment on foreign affairs. And of all of the candidates in the race, I'm best suited for that -- that portion of being commander-in- chief.

TAPPER: Congresswoman, we only have a little bit of time left, so last question. In the interests of candor and being based in reality, positing that you feel that you're going to have a very good night on Tuesday and that all the polls are wrong and you're going to do well, but assuming that the polls are right, isn't that, practically speaking, the end of your campaign if you come in last on Tuesday?

BACHMANN: Well, we've bought tickets to head off to South Carolina. And we are looking forward to the debates. January is a very full month. We're here for the -- for the long -- for the long race. This is a 50-state race. And we intend to participate not only in New Hampshire, South Carolina, Florida, but to go all the way, because I intend to be the Republican nominee and defeat Barack Obama in 2012, because America needs a candidate that will be in the legacy of a Ronald Reagan and of a Margaret Thatcher. That's what I intend to do, is to be America's iron lady.

TAPPER: All right. Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, good luck on Tuesday. And hope you have a wonderful 2012.

BACHMANN: Thank you. Same to you and your listeners.

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