WASHINGTON — Likely presidential contender Rep. Michele Bachmann fired up a crowd at the Faith and Freedom conference in Washington, DC today, showcasing her talent for energizing the Republican social conservative base who would be vital to her presidential campaign.
Bachmann, who’s expected to officially announce her bid for the White House this month, is one of several GOP presidential hopefuls speaking at the Faith and Freedom Conference, including former Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney, Texas Congressman Ron Paul, Herman Cain and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.
Although earlier speakers, including Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, who authored the Republican Medicare proposal, were given an enthusiastic reception, it was Bachmann’s arrival that woke up the crowd.
Catering to an audience of social conservatives, Bachmann’s remarks focused on issues such as gay marriage and abortion rather than the fiscal issues she’s recently trumpeted in Congress and before tea party groups.
Describing her pleasure at gay marriage referendum that will be on Minnesota’s ballot next year, Bachmann reminded the crowd that she had been at “the tip of spear” when it came to efforts to define marriage as being between a man and woman during her time in the Minnesota statehouse.
Bachmann received multiple standing ovations, including a lengthy one after she proclaimed, “I will not rest until we repeal Obamacare!”
That was followed by a swipe at the family planning organization Planned Parenthood, which receives some federal funding.
Calling the group a “corrupt organization,” Bachmann said the group performed hundreds of thousands of abortions, “and that’s in addition to the trafficking of underage girls that has gone on under Planned Parenthood’s nose.”
Bachmann did not answer questions about the accusation but her press secretary Becky Rogness later pointed to a link on Bachmann’s congressional website praising the work of the anti-abortion group Live Action, which claimed to have found evidence of human trafficking by the group through the use of undercover sting videos.
Planned Parenthood has not responded to requests for a comment on Bachmann’s allegation but on its website, it called the Live Action videos “dishonest” and “doctored.”
Bachmann ended her speech with a prayer, saying, “We do pray for our president, we pray for the Supreme Court, we pray for the members of Congress, we pray for those who are in authority.”
While Bachmann’s nascent campaign organization has not announced when Bachmann will travel to Iowa to reveal her presidential plans, the House of Representatives will be on recess next week and the last week of June, making either week a distinct possibility.
Listen to Bachmann’s speech here: