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Through the primary, Michele Bachmann may be able to lie low while Clark and Reed campaigns exchange volleys

For the next few weeks, U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann can spend as much time doing national tours and television shows as she wants.

State Sen. Tarryl Clark
State Sen. Tarryl Clark

For the next few weeks, U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann can spend as much time doing national tours and television shows as she wants.

It’s clear that at least until the primary is over, two DFLers — Tarryl Clark, the endorsed candidate for the 6th District seat, and her primary foe, Dr. Maureen Reed — are going to be firing at least as much at each other as at Bachmann.

After she filed for office this morning, Reed said she is the only contestant who has a chance of defeating Bachmann.

“The people in the 6th are saying that we do not need another lawyer/legislator (Clark and Bachmann are both) inside Congress. We, as Democrats, will not defeat an insider like Bachmann with another insider like Tarryl Clark.”

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It was pointed out to Reed that Clark had proven she can win in St. Cloud, that Clark has DFL endorsement and that Clark has the endorsement of unions.

“Those are the very things that make it impossible for her to beat Bachmann,” Reed responded.

Bachmann, Reed said, will effectively paint Clark as “a tax-and-spend liberal.”

That’s a label she can’t pin to her, Reed said.

“I can’t wait for her to pull that on me,” Reed said. “I’ll say, ‘Hold the phone, sister. I’m the person who has run businesses.’’

Dr. Maureen Reed
Dr. Maureen Reed

Over and over again, Reed said she is the moderate in the field and that only a true moderate has a chance of taking out Bachmann.

Shortly after Reed’s meeting with the media and filing in St. Paul this morning, Zach Rodvold, Clark’s campaign manager, fired off a statement.

“A primary challenger has not defeated the DFL-endorsed candidate for Congress in recent memory and this year will be no exception,” Rodvold said in the statement. “Instead of working to make the case against Michele Bachmann, Maureen Reed’s only contribution to the race so far has been more of the same recycled negative attacks.

“While Reed runs as an outsider, her lack of elected experience is only a result of her inability to win votes,” he continued. “After losing the 2006 election for Lieutenant Governor — when she couldn’t win independent votes even when she was an independent, receiving an even lower percentage of votes in the 6th District than she did statewide — Reed may be back on the ballot, but it won’t change the results.”