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Bachmann feels connection to NH voters

Union Leader Correspondent

June 28. 2011 9:18PM
Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann shakes the hand of Steve Steiner of North Conway during a campaign stop on Tuesday. Gretyl Macalaster 

RAYMOND - Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann paid her first visit to the Granite State as an official Republican presidential candidate on Tuesday.

The Tea Party favorite said she is thrilled to see her message already resonating in New Hampshire, a state she said reflects her core values.

'There are two things about New Hampshire: they hate high taxes and they love liberty and that is Michele Bachmann,' she said in a brief one-on-one interview with the New Hampshire Union Leader.

About 200 voters in the first-in-the-nation primary state gathered in the backyard of Tom and Tracy Hoenig waving blue 'Bachmann for President' signs and yellow Tea Party flags. Bachmann officially announced her candidacy in her home state of Iowa on Monday.

Bachmann said she loves coming to New Hampshire because people always have questions.

Bachmann addressed questions about her timeline for troop withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan, and her stance on global warming.

Bachmann said she is not in the camp that agrees humans are the cause of global warming and said President Barack Obama's energy policy, or lack there of, is based on political correctness, not science.

The Congresswoman also continued her attacks on the Obama administration's handling of the nation's economic crisis, and staunchly denounced his health care policy, dubbed 'Obamacare.'

Bachmann said among the first orders of business if she becomes President will be the full repeal of 'Obamacare' which she called a 'job killer.' Additionally, she will focus on improving regulations and decreasing taxes, including elimination of the capital gains tax, to help small businesses already in fear of how Obamacare will affect them.

As she has often in recent days, Bachmann said she has a 'titanium spine' and is no card carrying member of any 'good old boys club.'

She said she is a proud social, fiscal and 'peace by strength national security' conservative.

'I take on the opposition party, but I take on my own party as well, because I believe it is principle over party,' Bachmann said to resounding applause.

Although Bachmann has been criticized for some of her misstatements and positions, her realism and mistakes are not necessarily hurting her campaign.

'She's perfectly human and that's why we can identify with her,' William Condon of Barrington said.

He added that he does not think Bachmann is as 'extreme' as people want to paint her.

Bachmann agreed, stating that the Tea Party is not the 'right-wing fringe,' but a group of disaffected Democrats, Independents and Libertarians, as well as Conservatives, that are fed up with the status quo.

Because of this, she said her message is not limited to a small group, but is broad-based with wide appeal that she believes will resonate with New Hampshire voters.

'I think I'm the unifying candidate' Bachmann said.

Attendees said they were impressed with Bachmann's confidence, positions, and humor.

'I think that she knows what she's talking about, she means it, and we need someone that is going to do what they say,' Gene Shannon, a World War II veteran from Londonderry said. 'I think she can do it.'

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