ORLANDO, Fla. — Michele Bachmann delivered a fairly standard stump speech during her address to the Florida Conservative Political Action Committee conference today. She carried no notes, opened it up with her “make Barack Obama a one-term president” rallying cry, and praised the Tea Party, and the crowd loved it.
“Wow,” the MC said after her speech, which drew standing a standing ovation. “That’s better than coffee.”
Bachmann said she’d be a pro-military, anti-debt, socially-conservative president whose first priority would be to repeal Obamacare. She’d do that by helping elect 13 Republicans to the U.S. Senate to attain a filibuster-proof majority, both regular promises of hers.
She also previewed the fundamental debate about the size and role of government that will be at the heart of the 2012 general election.
“There are two visions of our Constitution; one is the real version of the Constitution, which is a limited government with enumerated powers. The other one is an expansive view,” she said, quoting President Franklin D. Roosevelt: “The United States Constitution is the most marvelously elastic compilation of rules of government ever written.”
“Is that what our constitution is?” she asked the crowd, to jeers. “Not at all.”
Beyond Obama, Bachmann took some not-so-veiled shots at Rick Perry, the Texas governor whose entrance into the presidential race coincided with Bachmann’s dip in the polls.
Bachmann said she would “build a fence on our southern borders against illegal immigration” and “will not have taxpayer-subsidized benefits for illegal immigrants or their children,” two positions that directly oppose Perry’s immigration policies that became such an issue in last night’s presidential debate.
Immediately after that, Bachmann accused Obama of “crony capitalism” with regard to the Solyndra case. That’s the same term she uses when discussing Perry’s HPV vaccination mandate, so in positioning Solyndra right after her immigration critique, she’s subtly tying Perry to Obama.
Bachmann insisted that since “Barack Obama will be a one-term president,” this is the best possible time for Republicans to choose a strong conservative presidential nominee rather than a more moderate Republican.
“If there is any election where we don’t have to settle, it’s this election,” she said. “We can have it all.”
The speech was presumably Bachmann’s last event during her Florida visit. The Florida Republican Party’s Presidency V event and straw poll are tomorrow, but Bachmann’s spokeswoman said Thursday night that Bachmann would not participate.
Devin Henry can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.