COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann said she can’t wait to take on President Barack Obama, calling him Wall Street’s best friend at a tea party tax day rally at the Statehouse.

Bachmann is courting support in South Carolina, a key early GOP primary state as she mulls whether to make a bid for the White House in 2012. The candidate in waiting met with South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley for about a half hour before walking with her to the Statehouse steps for a rally that drew nearly 300 people — a fraction of the more than 2,000 organizers had expected.

The crowd cheered as Bachmann described Obama in biblical terms while crediting him with the Wall Street bailout his predecessor championed.

“People recognize that Barack Obama has been weighed in the balance and he’s found wanting,” Bachmann said. “We’ve seen what he has to offer. When he came in as the president of the United States, he decided we had to have this $700 billion bailout of Wall Street. He’s the best friend that Wall Street has ever had.”

Afterward, Bachmann told reporters she’s eager to take on Obama.

“I can’t wait to go up against President Obama. I really can’t,” Bachmann said.

That’s “not a statement of candidacy, officially,” Bachmann told The Associated Press in an interview. “But I think that it would be a pleasure to debate the issues with President Obama because he has a lot to answer for.”

She’s more than a month away from making that formal move — likely in June. And she’s not sure she’ll make the it onto the stage at the first GOP presidential debate on May 5 — an event that now requires at least forming an exploratory committee. She says “those technical things” may be worked out.

And she’s not done with the preliminaries other candidate have completed, such as writing a book scanning her biography and politics.

“I have to tell you, I’ve had at least a dozen requests to write a book,” Bachmann said. “And right now we’re in the early talking stages. But something like that takes a considerable amount of time and we’re involved now, you know, in so many other endeavors trying to get the footings laid, if you will, on this campaign. There may be a book — there may be — but we have to prioritize our time and see where we want to spend the time.”

Haley is a good example that South Carolina voters want something different, Bachmann said. A year ago, Haley was trailing established white men for the GOP nomination for governor. Now she’s the state’s first woman governor and writing her own memoir.

“People that they thought never would have had a chance before to win actually can win,” Bachmann said. “They aren’t looking necessarily for an establishment player. They want somebody new and different who’s a proven fighter. They’ve gotten that in Governor Haley and that’s what I have been.”

In the near term, Bachmann said, the priority is fighting efforts to raise the nation’s debt limit. She told the crowd that fiscal havoc concerns are overblown about nixing the increase. The crowd here shouted “No!” when Bachmann asked if it should be raised.

“The government won’t shut down” and the nation will continue to pay its debts and interest, she said.

Bachman, a tea party leader in Congress, hasn’t had a place at the GOP’s leadership table in those discussions or budget compromises during the past two weeks, but clearly wants one.

“Now, maybe that would have been welcome, maybe it wouldn’t have been welcome. But I would have brought that fight there,” Bachmann said. “I think that would have been very helpful to have that voice at the table.”

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (48)
  1. Todd says:

    Yeah Michelle, but you appose raising taxes on the rich, having any kind of oversight of Wall Street, etc, etc. Once again being the hypocrite she is.

  2. Tim says:

    Michelle has it right and Obama has it wrong, raising taxes on the rich is really raising taxes on the middle class business owners. Reducing their net profit reduces hiring in this country.

    1. Jim says:

      That seems logical but hasn’t been supported by the facts. Corporations in this country have been raking in record profits the last year or so, but employment has not picked up. I’m not sure what the answer is. (I agree it’s probably not more taxes on corporations.)

    2. The Watcher says:

      LOL!!! The rich…how do you define that? They had how much of record setting profits 2008 – 2010? they have how much sitting in the bank? They don’t hire b/c they’re concerned about they’re 5 houses, 10 cars and snotty lil kid thats going thru college for 100K a year and they’re paying for the dog care….Joke! raise they’re taxes and sign they’re kids up for the Marines…experience the American dream for real!!!

      1. Really? says:

        @watcher – Yeah! so all the welfare hungry lazy people can sit home and collect “the riches” hard earned tax dollars while talking on their cell phones, smoking cigarettes at $5+ a pack, and having a beer. Great plan!!! The unemployment is made up of mostly people who don’t want to work, why should they when the government is willing to pay them to stay home!!?? You can argue it both ways – I think they call that politics – I call it a bad system of divisive, unproductive, propaganda!

        1. Jim says:

          “The unemployment is made up of mostly people who don’t want to work”

          I don’t believe this is true. Where did you get this information? (An honest question, I’d really like to know.)

          1. Dirk says:

            @Really the unemployed are lazy people. Tell that to those who were laid off from Hutchinson Technology or Polaris.

      2. Really? says:

        @Watcher – and since when is being shot at by a bunch of towel heads in the desert the American dream????

        1. Jim says:

          Really, you’re an idiot.

  3. Kim says:

    Funny = copyright notice “may not be … redistributed” just above [Print] [Share] [Fb Recommend]

    1. Nate says:

      lol Kim that’s awesome. Some monday humor =)

  4. Me says:

    Michele Bachmann likes to butter her bread on both sides. He can’t be a “jobs killer” and a friend of Wall Street. MB-all tak but nothing said.

  5. Canny says:

    Isn’t there some type of work she is suppose to be doing for the sixth district in MINNESOTA?

  6. Steve P says:

    As usual, Ms. Bachmann is wrong.

    Wall Street’s best friend(s) are the Republican senators and legislators who continue to provide huge tax breaks and “incentives” to them every single budget cycle.

  7. Jason says:

    Wasn’t it Shelly who opinioned, after the Wall Street failure, that the industry was over-regulated? Sounds like she is already Wall Street’s BFF.

  8. idiothater says:

    Anyone that supports Michele Bachmann is an outright bigger idiot than she and Pawlenty combined

    1. Xong says:

      Kinda like you, all talk and nothing to back up that statement?

    2. Rusty Shackelford says:

      “idiothater” You are as petty as they come.Quit being envious of happy people with a life. Go back to your POS studio apt., lock up your bycicle, and go to bed. Adults are talking.

  9. BachmannHater says:

    I’m glad judging from the comments, people are not as stupid as Michele Bachmann, it’s nice to see like minded individuals such as myself that see through this BS. She campaign against taxing the rich and screamed Wall Street is over regulated, now she’s an enemy of Wall Street and supports the working people GTFOH Michele WE DONT BELIEVE YOU!

  10. Jack says:

    Isn’t it good to be wall streets friend? Isn’t wall street where the “rich” make their money so they can pay taxes to offset the bottom half from not paying any federal income tax? Michelle Bachmann is crazy, but so is Keith Ellison in her neighboring district. Maybe the real problem is Minneapolis and suburbs?

    1. MARK says:

      One day Bachmann rips on the president for wanting more regulation of Wall Street firms, the next day she rips on the president for being Wall Street’s best friend. Her message is all over the place.

      Not sure what Keith Ellison has to do with this story, but I guess you couldn’t resist? (He’s not actually mentioned in the story, you know.)

    2. Kevin says:

      Stillwater and St. Cloud are hardly suburbs of Minneapolis

  11. MountainPeak says:

    There goes the airhead Michelle Bachmann from MN again. Remind me again who were the people that gave $850Billion in tax cuts during the lame duck session while seniors on Social Security could not get a measly cost of living allowance. Aren’t these the same people who gave the drug companies the very lucrative prescription drug bill, voted to spend billions on two wars we did not need (remember WMD) embraced the massive bailout for Sec. Paulson and his Wall street buddies so that they can maintain their standard of living. All this was done with their credit card in hand and no way to pay for it. Now they (TEA Party) are talking about fiscal responsibility. Michelle Bachmann and the righties can’t fool all the people all the time. Our memory is not that short. Get your facts right Michelle and figure out which camera you need to look at next time.

    1. Lamer says:

      Isn’t the COLA for seniors tied to inflation? And there wasn’t any inflation. Barack got our hands into Libya and has failed to get us out of Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo after promising to do so. MB may be crazy, but she needs to balance out people like harry ried, nancy p and BO.

      1. Nigel says:

        @Lamar Increased Medicare costs will take as much out as the cola increases social security so a senior would feel like there is no increase.. Unfortunately for the wars just pulling out would destabilize the area. Would you be ripping the President for that if that was the path taken?

  12. Mountain Peak says:

    include (to the rich) after tax cuts.

  13. Murph says:

    Not exacly the truth from Bachmann.The high gas prices only exist because of relaxed rules that he did not have any part in, allow unlimited buying for infinitesimal cash investments.In truth the Obama administration has been enforcing what rule of law exists.Plus is trying to get the party of NO to help make tougher rules on those greed merchants.The oil reserve is and has been full for some time now! There is no shortage of oil,and no shortage of gasoline either.SO… why the high prices? Who has always slept with big oil,while you paid the motel bill? Try a real news network,not the old vaudeville one at FOX!

  14. Me says:

    Wow Michele Bachmann, you can’t even spell your own name correctly. And as much as I dislike you, it gives me little joy in reporting this comment that is sure to be removwed by ‘CCO.

  15. Minnesota Voter says:

    I thought Michele the nutjob was supposed to be representing Minnesota’s Sixth district like she stated over and over in the election. Anyone seen her in MN lately?

    1. Kim says:

      I would love to email her and ask her that same question!!I don’t think she works for mn any more, just MB!!!!

  16. Swamp Rat says:

    When is Bachmann going to offer anything intelligent and practical? It seems like she is after her 15 minutes of fame and then some. At least she is proving a major political point to me and others; she is an airhead and political ignoramus of the highest political order. And, she wants my vote for President in ’12? An old political ‘goody-two-shoes’ neutral candidate will get my vote. His name is Michael Rodent, aka Mickey Mouse! At least his platform of a chicken in every Sunday Dinner pot sounds palatable.

    Enough said, I feel sorry for those good folks in the MN US 6th Congressional District. It’s too bad many don’t see the true Bachmann political motives.

  17. Amanda says:

    Sure, Obama is wall street best friend… I do recall that MIchelle was the one that said out loud, that we, the consumers, should pay for BP oil spill, but the company ( big corporation) was not at fault…. I am sure… she claims because we consume it, we need to pay for their mistakes, wrong, we play the price for consuming the oil products, companies are in charge of paying their own mistakes…
    But according to the lunatic Bachman, Obama is wall street Best Friend…

  18. Phil Mcrackin says:

    It’s very apparent that Michelle Bachmann has been on the receiving end of a good tea bagging many times judging by the marks on her forehead.

  19. less is Morris says:

    one thing the rich have going for them: the first thing everybody else does is divide and fight. that’s why the rich are rich and everyone else is not. the rich manipulators unite and plan; the poor divide and fight. that’s all the rich are asking: that you divide and argue while they plan and collect interest from everybody else.

  20. she's a suckling piglet says:

    Yoooooo all —- she’s working on the booky thingy now

    Gotta be proud of the gal – proof postive that she’s in it for the $$$$$

    1. Rusty Shackelford says:

      It’s a witch hunt. And all of you liberals should be shown to the public and be held accountable for your terroristic and socialist approach and views on America and the European culture.

      1. John says:

        Rusty you ought to be ashamed for taking a day off of work to get your thoughts together.Then after all of that thinking that is all you’ve got. I am glad you have someone to look up too.Unfortunately your standards are so low that the only person you could see was Shelley,At least you didn’t scream in your comment .That was a plus.

    2. Rusty Shackelford says:

      Racist comment of the day.

      1. Rusty Shackelford says:

        By “she’s a suckling piglet”

  21. Chris says:

    Bachmann was was of the ONLY politicians in the entire country that opposed the bailouts of the banks and corporations and politicians that got us into our current economic mess. She is right to hold to account Obama for his support of the bailouts which only helped those who got us into this mess.

  22. Gary Fales says:

    she does not know what she is talking about.

  23. John says:

    Shelley wants to debate Obama?She has trouble with facts or places she is visiting.Does Shelley not know that George Bush started the Wall Street bailout?What world does this woman come from?Are the residents of Woodbury and Stillwater this dense to keep re-electing this fool?Just what are her accomplishments as a Congresswoman?She is a leader of what,the Tea Party that she pushed in the door to be a LEADER of?Is Stan Hubbard behind her rise?Maybe Channel 5 should do an investigation of their founder to see the extent of his involvement.Then perhaps their newscast would be interesting.

  24. Bob says:

    Doesn’t this woman spend any time in her home district? She spends most of her time running around the country bashing Obama. She is entitled but hey Michelle get back to your home district and meet with the voters that put you in office.

    P.S. Michelle why don’t you just stay in SC?

  25. Bob says:

    Only 300 people showed up, with an expectation of 2,000 was to show. This was the same thing happened a few weeks ago when she was speaking at a Tea Bagg rally in DC. Only 250 people showed up. Doesn’t this say something about Michelle’s draw.

  26. Steve says:

    Wcco why don’t you do a story about Miichelle actually doing some good for her district and not just spewing out her same ole baloney.

    She is like a broken record, same ole BS.

  27. Lisa in Stillwater says:

    Explain to me so my simple mind gets it – why does this web site give her so much face time and print when she is not remotely close to creating the buzz , by the factual numbers who show up everytime to her rant sessions?
    She’s just not worth the time, effort and bandwidth you keep giving to her.
    Are you so desperate for news filler ?
    If so I’m sure we can locate you hundreds more every day WCCO — that is something you can bank on. Ask us

  28. Bachman too much truth says:

    A decent person would side with MB. If you don’t your either on the gov dole, in the 50% of non tax paying citizens or possibly super wealthy. When you read this, you’ll have that twinge of dole or 50% but will quickly forget that and disparage MB. It isn’t too much different than the people I know who are successful but forgot the nepitism that got them there. They never admit it either. 95% of liberals I know, are the have-nots in society, and so have no choice but to be progressive. Maybe they are artsy, or have simply make bad choice after bad choice leaving them in a hole with 3 kids they can’t afford or maybe they just arent that bright which is fine. It is strange to me that so many of the producers of the world aren’t progressive. The people who actually do something with their lives and in society aren’t progressive…go figure. Even the poorest people want to be rich and not backed into the progressive corner.

  29. WHAT????? says:

    Bachman too much truth
    Get off your soap box and stop labeling people the way that you are. You do not have anyone “pegged” with what you wrote there. That is more of the useless dribble that is not needed on any blog. Is that all you have to go by is that “the people I know”? Sad state of affairs if the rest of the world, or even the state is supposed to go by “the people I know”. Who are you and what makes you think you “know” anything more than any of the rest of us? Maybe give some sort of facts to back up anything you state. Any reference points that you would like to give?
    By the way, 50% of all statistics are made up 84% of the time and everyone knows you are spewing BS 92.6% of the time 100% of the time. Not hard to do is it?

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