Reporting Esme Murphy
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) – Republican presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann returned to Minnesota Thursday, speaking to the national convention of the American Legion at the Minneapolis Convention Center.
Bachmann repeatedly criticized President Barack Obama’s foreign and domestic policy at the hall, which was about a third full.
“As President, I will assure that those who serve today as well and in the past will have the highest access to the best care both in health, mental health and rehabilitative care that the world has to offer. And that begins, I believe, by repealing Obamacare,” said Bachmann.
Bachmann offered strong praise for former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, suggesting she would provide the same type of leadership as President.
She harkened back to hard-willed efforts by former President Ronald Reagan to confront the Soviet Union and communism, and pointed to the strong campaign Thatcher headed to regain control of the Falkland Islands.
“It took two very strong leaders on the world stage, one a woman and one a man, to reverse the course of their respective countries,” Bachmann said. “We should heed the lessons that they hold for those who seek to wreak havoc on peace and on democracy across the world today.”
Throughout the campaign, Bachmann’s staffers have tried to limit reporters access to the candidate. That was the case again Thursday as there was a shoving match when reporters tried to ask the candidate questions.
In a video captured by WCCO-TV, a reporter can be heard saying, “can you please keep your hands off us,” after being shoved by Bachmann aides. The Bachmann campaign insists they limit access to the candidate to protect her safety.
As Bachmann left, WCCO-TV did catch up her. While she has slipped in the polls with Texas Gov. Rick Perry in the race, she says the campaign is going well.
“We’ve just been delighted,” she said. “Just wonderful responses across the country, so we’re thrilled.”
The latest CNN polls shows Perry is leading with 24 percent support of likely voters, compared to 18 percent for Mitt Romney and 10 percent for Michele Bachmann.
(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)