WASHINGTON — Michele Bachmann will form an exploratory committee to run for president by June, and possibly earlier if she needs to in order to participate in presidential debates, according to a report out this morning from CNN.
“She’s been telling everyone early summer,” the source told CNN regarding Bachmann’s planned June filing and announcement. But the source said that nothing is static.
“If you [debate sponsors] come to us and say, ‘To be in our debates, you have to have an exploratory committee,’ then we’ll say, ‘Okay, fine…I’ll go file the forms.'”
Bachmann staffers did not immediately confirm or deny the report. In a statement response to MinnPost, spokesman Doug Sachtleben said “the Congresswoman is grateful for all the encouragement she’s received. She will make a decision about 2012 this summer. There is a natural timeline to these events and they will run their course.”
Bachmann has been seriously considering a run for president for months now. As early as the first week of January, her staff was making contingency plans for who would travel with her to early primary and caucus states, and who would remain in the congressional offices. Not coincidentally, Bachmann in the midst of a five-day swing through Iowa at the moment.
Iowa State Sen. Kent Sorenson, a rising star in the Tea Party movement there, will be her Iowa state director, and Bachmann’s Chief of Staff Andy Parrish told CNN he hopes to have state directors hired in New Hampshire and South Carolina “within a week.” Sorenson is the first elected lawmaker from an early state to back Bachmann’s nascent presidential bid.
Bachmann is a native Iowan (born in Waterloo), and it’s there that her presidential aspirations have the most legs. She is in the state on a five-day swing that runs through Saturday to headline a handful of rallies, but most of her schedule is blocked off for private meetings and discussions with lawmakers and key officials. Wednesday, for example, she met with lawmakers on the state House floor. Today, she’s meeting with state senators.
Bachmann’s next public event is a Facebook town hall, scheduled for 5 p.m. Perhaps some intrepid participant will ask her about this morning’s report.
Update (10:47 a.m.): The Des Moines Register’s Kathie Obradovich caught up with Bachmann and asked her that question exactly. Bachmann’s response:
“Well, we’ll be making a decision by this summer if we will or not. We haven’t made a decision that we actually will. But our national timeline that we’re following will be this summer because I believe it’s important to be part of the Iowa Straw Poll going forward, so I think a decision would have to be made by then.”
Essentially, if she does get in, the immediate “focal point” would be on having a good showing at the straw poll in Ames on August 13. Obradovich’s full post is here.