U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann as seen on a video monitor at a Tea Party Patriots event in Washington, DC on Feb. 27. 2014. Brett Neely/MPR News

WASHINGTON – Michele Bachmann is trying to tamp down the boomlet of speculation that she might run again for President in 2016.

In an interview yesterday with Real Clear Politics, the 6th District Republican congresswoman was quoted as expressing interest in once again seeking the Republican nomination after her first attempt in 2012 ended in a sixth place finish after the Iowa caucuses.

“The only thing that the media has speculated on is that it’s going to be various men that are running,” she replied. “They haven’t speculated, for instance, that I’m going to run. What if I decide to run? And there’s a chance I could run.” 

Bachmann, who’s leaving Congress at the end of this term after narrowly winning re-election in her staunchly Republican district in 2012, went on to enumerate her advantages as a candidate, including her fundraising prowess and the lessons she learned from her first bid.

But less than 24 hours later, Bachmann says the reporter misconstrued her remarks. In a post on her Facebook page, Bachmann explained she was challenging the premise of the reporter’s story:

The reporter’s underlying premise was that no woman would run for President on the Republican ticket in 2016, and if that would hurt the Republican Party. I disagreed with that premise.

My main point in the interview was that the media has failed to consider that there are a number of strong, accomplished, intelligent Republican women who could be in the mix for 2016.

Still, Bachmann left the door a tiny bit open for a comeback campaign.

I asked why the media assumes no Republican woman would run for President in 2016, including potentially someone like me? At this time I have indicated no intention to once again run for the top spot in 2016. Right now my focus remains on serving out the remainder of my term representing Minnesota’s Sixth Congressional District.

Good morning!

Minnesota

Gov. Mark Dayton now says he supports releasing new MNsure rates before the November election. (MPR News)

Former Gov. Jesse Ventura’s defamation claim is now in the hands of a federal jury. (AP via MPR News)

A peptic ulcer led to Republican endorsed gubernatorial candidate Jeff Johnson’s stomach surgery. (Star Tribune)

A Republican PAC will help defend state Rep. Jennifer Loon from a primary challenger. (MPR News)

A U.S. Senate panel looked at the tax and budget implications of “corporate inversions” — what Medtronic is currently trying to use to merge with the Irish firm, Covidien. (MPR News)

Minnesota’s Attorney General is suing for-profit Globe University for deceptive marketing practices. (Pioneer Press)

DFL U.S. Sen. Al Franken’s campaign has declined an MPR News invitation to debate his Republican and Independence Party opponents at the Minnesota State Fair. (MPR News)

Michele Bachmann, who came in 6th in the 2012 Iowa Caucus, says she may run for President again when she leaves Congress at the end of this term. (Real Clear Politics)

National Politics

Two federal appellate courts handed down contradictory rulings Tuesday on the legality of a central part of the Affordable Care Act that provides insurance subsidies to millions of Americans in three dozen states. (Washington Post)

The world of big-spending political donors is dominated by men. Why don’t women give more? (Politico)

Speaking of big money in politics, President Obama is headed to the West Coast to raise campaign cash for Congressional Democrats. (New York Times)

Democrats are using conservative talk of impeaching Obama to rev up their supporters and raise money. (Washington Post)

House Republican Jenifer Loon of Eden Prairie will be getting a boost from a GOP-backed political fund.

Freedom Minnesota PAC says it will raise and spend money on behalf of Loon, who is facing a primary challenge from Sheila Kihne.

Kihne’s primary criticism of Loon is that she voted to legalize same-sex marriage – a criticism that has earned her the backing of Minnesota Family Council, a group that opposes same-sex marriage.

Freedom Minnesota PAC treasurer and long-time GOP operative Brian McClung said Loon has a solidly conservative record.

“She’s voted against every tax increase, fought against Obamacare’s implementation in Minnesota and voted against the DFL’s $90 million office building for politicians,” McClung wrote in an email. “Rep. Loon is a common sense conservative leader – she has a 100% record with the Minnesota Chamber, an ‘A’ rating from the National Rifle Association, a 100% voting record with Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, and a 92% rating from the Taxpayers League of Minnesota.”

So far, there’s no word on how much money the group has raised.

Freedom Minnesota PAC lists Republican businessman Wheelock Whitney as its chair. Whitney was a high-profile advocate for legalizing same-sex marriage in 2013 and opposing a constitutional amendment to ban the practice in 2012.

Loon is one of two House GOP lawmakers who faced a primary challenge over their views on same-sex marriage. In House district 30B, Rep. David FitzSimmons conceded the GOP endorsement to Eric Lucero in February after Lucero made FitzSimmons’ vote for same-sex marriage a key issue in his campaign for the endorsement.

The primary is Aug. 12.