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Waterloo showdown: Bachmann to join Perry at Iowa event

August 11, 2011|By Michael A. Memoli
(AP Photos )

Making a play to defend her home turf in a state that's a must-win for her, Rep. Michele Bachmann will return to Waterloo on Sunday to speak at the same event where Texas Gov. Rick Perry is set to make his Iowa debut.

Bachmann's campaign announced Thursday that the Minnesota congresswoman would remain in Iowa after Saturday's straw poll to speak at the Black Hawk County Republican Party's Lincoln Day Dinner on Sunday, in the candidate's birthplace of Waterloo.

Perry had already accepted a speaking role, which was to round out a weekend of stops in the three early-nominating states before he formally announces his candidacy, likely next week. Bachmann's visit will be her second in as many months, after declaring her candidacy there in late June.

Organizers of the event told the Iowa Republican, a conservative blog based in the Hawkeye State, that all of the potential candidates were invited. But Bachmann confirmed her attendance only after it was announced that Perry was going.

Some Iowans were reportedly unhappy with Perry's decision to make a high-profile speech on Saturday in South Carolina, just as most of the announced candidates are to address Iowa Republicans before the straw poll. He quickly added the Iowa stop to his weekend itinerary, which also includes a Saturday night visit to New Hampshire.

The bit of programming and counter-programming comes as the Republican presidential race is entering a new phase, beyond the quiet "waters-testing" visits of the past few months and into the overt glad-handing on display this week, before a growing horde of television cameras and reporters.

Sarah Palin also is making a play for attention this weekend, having announced Wednesday she'd relaunch her "One Nation" bus tour in Iowa this weekend.

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