Republicans Perry, Bachmann share stage in Iowa

WATERLOO, Iowa Mon Aug 15, 2011 9:16am EDT

1 of 11. U.S. Republican presidential candidate and Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann greets supporters at the Republicans of Black Hawk County Dinner in Waterloo, Iowa, August 14, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Jim Young

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WATERLOO, Iowa (Reuters) - Two of the leading Republican candidates for president avoided confrontation on Sunday as they attended the same Iowa fund-raiser to court the party's social and religious conservatives.

Texas Governor Rick Perry, already seen as a leader in the field despite just entering the 2012 race on Saturday, and Michele Bachmann, the Minnesota congresswoman aligned with the Tea Party movement, shared a stage and struck the same tune.

"Everybody's got their own issues that matter, but at the end of the day, getting America working again is what the bulk of the people really care about," Perry told a swarm of reporters shortly after arriving in the venue.

During an interview with Radio Iowa a few hours before the Sunday evening event, Bachmann avoided directly criticizing or challenging Perry. Instead, she focused on her victory in the Iowa straw poll on Saturday, calling it "step number one in a long journey."

"I intend to earn every Iowan's vote," she said.

Perry had been expected to enter the race for weeks, setting the stage for a fight with Bachmann to win the support of social conservatives. Already, his entry has voters, even Bachmann supporters, considering a switch to Perry.

John Sabbath, 79, of Cedar Falls, said Bachmann has "the right philosophy" on economics, but "down the line" he might be interested in another candidate like Perry.

"We don't know that much about Rick Perry," he said. "We know some, but not a lot."

Steve Sukup, a businessman, former state legislator and 2002 Republican candidate for governor of Iowa, suggested Perry and Bachmann would make good running mates.

"I think we're seeing the ticket tonight," said Sukup. "I think he's just a solid conservative. He's got the right background ... and then Michele has tremendous enthusiasm."

The event was held in the Electric Park Ballroom in Waterloo, Iowa, a venue Bachmann chose for her own "homecoming" event in June, the evening before formally launching her candidacy with a speech in downtown Waterloo.

Perry told reporters he would spend "a lot of time in Iowa" as part of a broad national campaign in all 50 states. Iowa holds the first vote on party nominees for presidents in early January, followed by New Hampshire and South Carolina before building to multiple states by the end of March.

"We're a long way until the end of the race, and it's a marathon, not a sprint," Perry told reporters. "So we're going to be running hard and spending a lot of time in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina and lots of other states."

(Reporting by Kay Henderson; Editing by Todd Eastham)

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Comments (10)
dogman2 wrote:
why does not anyone mention Ron Paul who came in second in the straw poll? He has a very large following and is not as severe as Perry.

Aug 14, 2011 10:31pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
ginchinchili wrote:
Dogman2: Wake up. The powers that be don’t want Ron Paul around. They’re the ones who chose our presidents; not us. Ron Paul was less than 1% behind Bachmann. There were over 200 votes that weren’t counted, enough to give Ron Paul the lead. He was barely even mentioned on the Sunday morning political talks shows and Bachmann was a guest on all of them. Herman Cain was mentioned much more frequently than Ron Paul and he came in 5th. And of course there was plenty of talk about Tim Pawlenty, who bowed out; Mitt Romney, who came in 7th; and Rick Perry, who announced his candidacy yesterday. Ron Paul’s being sidelined just like he was during the last Republican primary.

Our political system is rigged, corrupt to the point that it can no longer seriously be considered “our” system. It’s not our system. It belongs to the wealthy plutocrats who tell our “elected” officials what legislation to pass and what legislation to kill. And they are making off with mountains of America’s cash. Oh, but they earned it. The rest of us are just lazy bums.

Aug 14, 2011 11:02pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
nieldevi wrote:
Well I think it’s because Ron Paul is also seen as another nut off of some kind of Texas tree. Coming in second in the Nutt Poll only proves it.

Aug 14, 2011 11:07pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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