TAPPER: Governor Perry jumped into the race yesterday. And like you, he's a hero to the Tea Party and to social conservatives, but he's also the nation's longest-serving governor with a record of creating jobs. He's leading you in some national polls. He has great support among your base. He has the executive experience you do not have. Why should a Republican voter pick you over Governor Perry?
BACHMANN: Well, I've been in Washington fighting the fights for the last four or five years. And I've been at the tip of the spear on these fights, for instance, raising the debt ceiling. I was the leader for the last two months saying, "Let's not raise the debt ceiling." I had a plan for not going into default and not raising the debt ceiling. The president had no plan. I was the first member of Congress to introduce the full repeal of Obamacare and of the Dodd-Frank law. And I fought against the Obamacare bill and brought literally tens of thousands of Americans to fight it.
I think that's what I've demonstrated, is that I have a core set of principles that I believe in. I'll fight for them. That's what we need in a president of the United States, because a president is more than just a manager. What they really bring is leadership to bear. They appoint good people, and they bring leadership. And that's what we need, is someone who we can believe in and trust in, who's going to stick to what they say.
TAPPER: Don't you think Perry is now your chief competitor, in terms of you -- you guys are going after the same voters. You have a lot of the same themes. Why would someone pick you over him?
BACHMANN: Well, I think because I have a demonstrated, proven record that I will fight for what people care about. I am bringing that message, of when it comes...
TAPPER: And he hasn't been fighting for what they care about?
BACHMANN: Well, you know, he'll run his own race, and he has his own message. I have mine. And I think of it, again, on the -- on the national stage, I've been involved in all of these issues and will continue to be.
TAPPER: Governor Pawlenty wondered if you even met the minimum requirement to be president because you lacked executive experience and results.
BACHMANN: Well, you know, there is no requirement in the Constitution that one be a governor in order to go into public service. Ronald Reagan was a governor, but what made Ronald Reagan great wasn't his governing experience as a governor. It was his core set of principles. Jimmy Carter was also a governor, but I don't think anyone would argue that America prospered and flourished under Jimmy Carter's presidency. So being a governor and having governor-level experience isn't the number-one requirement. It's really, who is the person? What is their character? That's what the Federalist Papers talked about. What's their character? Who are they? What have they done?
In Minnesota, I led a movement and put my voice behind changing education. That's really how I cut my teeth in politics, was on education reform. And we're not a conservative state. We're far more of a liberal state. But I brought Democrats and independents and apolitical people together. We actually changed our entire education system in Minnesota, because I brought people together, and we had reform. That's what I'll do as president of the United States.