ABC News’ Michael Falcone (@michaelpfalcone) reports:
Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann declined to directly address reports that the Christian counseling clinic she owns with her husband, Marcus, has tried to help gay people become straight through prayer.
“I’m extremely proud of my husband. I have tremendous respect and admiration for him,” she told an audience in Washington, D.C., Thursday. “I am running for the presidency of the United States. My husband is not running for the presidency, neither are my children, neither is our business, neither is our foster children. And I am more than happy to stand for questions on running for presidency of the United States."
Bachmann’s remarks came during a question-and-answer session after a speech at the National Press Club. Bachmann’s husband and two of the couple’s children, Sophie and Elisa, were in the audience Thursday.
Though she declined to respond to the question about her husband's counseling centers, Bachmann acknowledged that running for president often brings intense, and sometimes unwanted, scrutiny.
“I have no doubt that every jot and tittle of my life will be fully looked at and inspected,” she said.
Bachmann’s Thursday appearance in Washington was wedged in between visits to Iowa, where she has been campaigning in advance of the Ames Straw Poll next month. She campaigned there earlier in the week and will return for more events over the weekend.
The Minnesota Republican offered more candid responses about other personal issues, including her faith, telling the audience that if elected she “will pray every day.”
“I will be praying for every one of you too,” she said.
And as the clock ticks down toward the Aug. 2 deadline for default on the national debt, Bachmann said there was no changing her mind about voting “no” on House Speaker John Boehner’s debt-limit plan, which is expected to come up for a vote later on Thursday.
“We have to stop making raising the debt limit routine,” she told the audience. “The American people have made it abundantly clear they don’t want us to raise the debt limit, whether it’s a short-term raise or a long-term raise.”
She added, “I couldn’t go down that road, and so I couldn’t give John Boehner that vote."
As she has before, she accused President Obama of failing to lead on the issue, saying that “the lack of a clear plan from our president to substantially reduce our debt is what’s scaring the market.”
“He has passed the baton of leadership to Congress,” she said.
Bachmann also took issue with the government’s Aug. 2 deadline for default, saying that it “might not be accurate.”
“We considered what would be involved, and we knew this would be a momentous journey and it would take every bit of our stamina,” she said of her decision to run for president, “and we knew that it would be tough.”
As she campaigns for the Republican nomination, Bachmann said she follows the news in the papers, magazines and on her Apple iPad – “thank God for iPads, I love them."
She also said that she often starts by reading and watching reports from “liberal” news organizations, citing MSNBC, the Huffington Post and the Daily Beast.
In response to a question, she told the audience that her favorite Republican president is Abraham Lincoln, her favorite Democrat is Harry Truman and her “all-time favorite” president is George Washington.
“He was the reluctant president that didn’t choose the job,” she said.