Michele Bachmann Says She’s Had a ‘Calling’ to Run

May 27, 2011 5:46pm

ABC News' Russell Goldman reports: Rep. Michele Bachman says she is close to announcing a presidential run, and described her decision to seek the Republican nomination as a “calling.”

“I've had that calling and that tugging on my heart that this is the right thing to do,” the Minnesota congresswoman said on Iowa Public Television’s “Iowa Press.”

Part of that interview will air tonight on “World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer.”

On Thursday, Bachmann said she would make a formal announcement about her decision to run next month in Waterloo, Iowa, the town where she was born and raised.

Bachmann said her decision to run would not be influenced by that of any other candidate, particularly former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. Some observers have wondered there’s room enough in the field for Bachmann if Palin, another woman with a base in the Tea Party and the GOP’s religious right, decides to run.

“I have great respect for governor Palin and I like governor Palin a lot,” she said. “And I don't see myself as a competitor to governor Palin or to Mitt Romney.  I see my competitor, Barack Obama.”

“My decision in running is completely unique and independent of any other candidate,” she said.

Bachmann canceled a trip to Iowa Thursday night to vote on the Patriot Act. She arrived in the state early this morning. After taping the interview, she headlined a private luncheon in Davenport, Iowa.

Bachmann said she had already hired staff in the early primary states and was particularly excited to campaign in Iowa.

"I think that is the great gold standard to be a native Iowan," Bachmann said. "I think it's a distinct advantage because I have that sensibility. I often tell people that everything I need to know I learned in Iowa."

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