ABC News’ Michael Falcone reports:
The lessons of repetition have not been lost on Michele Bachmann.
With the highpoint of her presidential campaign — her win at this summer’s Iowa Straw Poll — far behind her, Bachmann appears to have settled on a new message for her bid for the Republican nomination, and it’s all about not settling.
In her remarks Friday night at the Values Voter Summit in Washington D.C., Bachmann stretched out her allotted 25 minutes of speaking time to more than 45 minutes, telling the crowd not once, not twice but more than a dozen times: “This is the year when we conservatives don’t have to settle.”
“This is not the election to choose a moderate or a compromise candidate,” the Minnesota congresswoman told the social conservative audience, repeating a theme she has been using on the campaign trail — especially in Iowa — a state that Bachmann’s campaign aides have said is a must-win.
Though the only rival Bachmann mentioned by name Friday night was President Obama, it was clear her case against settling was as much a case against him as it was against several of her GOP opponents.
“You won’t find YouTube clips of me speaking in support of Roe versus Wade,” Bachmann said, in a reference to a video montage showing Mitt Romney’s changing position on abortion. “You won’t find me equivocating or hemming or hawing when I’m asked to define marriage as between one man and one woman. And you won’t find me tagged as a crony capitalist, paying off big political donors with big political favors,” a likely swipe at Rick Perry.
“Don’t listen to these people who every four years tell you we have to select a moderate from our party and we have to settle for the sake of winning,” Bachmann said. “I am here to tell you, we are going to win, not — this year we don’t settle.”
She used the word in making the case against abortion rights — a line that drew cheers and applause from the audience.
“As president, I’ll put our government out of the abortion industry once and for all,” Bachmann said, “because, you see, we don’t have to settle for a moderate.”
She repeated it again while speaking about her personal religious beliefs.
“The most important issue that I made and the most important stand that I made in life was not to settle for religious practice,” Bachmann said. “When I was 16 years of age, I chose to select a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and I stand with him.”
And she said it again just after she urged the crowd to cast a vote for her in this weekend’s Values Voter straw poll, the results of which will be announced Saturday afternoon.
“You have a chance to take your voice as part of an all-encompassing movement which I believe has the potential to embrace even 70 percent of the American people to do more than just settle for someone in the other team, wearing the other jersey, because that won’t cut it this time in this election, because choosing to settle, you see, is actually quite hard,” she said.
In the grand finale of her speech, Bachmann talked about virtue of refusing to settle five more times.
“And as your president, I want you to know I have no plans to settle. I won’t settle for an America that’s anything less than the world’s economic leader. I won’t settle for anything less than standing up for the family, for our faith, for the issue of life. I won’t stand up for anything less than the cause of liberty, the very birthright that the founders put everything on the line to give to us. I won’t settle,” she said. “And tonight I’m calling on all of you as well. Don’t settle.”