(Rainier Ehrhardt / Associated…)
Reporting from Norwalk, Iowa — Campaigning in Iowa Wednesday, Rep. Michele Bachmann brushed off recent reports that she has severe migraines that have led her to seek hospital treatment.
The Republican presidential candidate told reporters after her "backyard chat" with voters here that she had been in Washington on Tuesday night voting on GOP-proposed budget legislation and had arrived in Iowa well after midnight.
"I keep a very rigorous schedule," she said. "I feel great. So we've answered that."
"What I'm here to talk about is the debt ceiling, and I think it's been very clear that people in Iowa do not want us to continue government spending and increase the debt ceiling. Everywhere I go, this is what people are talking about," the Minnesota congresswoman said. "They want the economy turned around. They want job creation; that's my focus."
Bachmann did not answer any additional questions about the news reports, directing reporters to read the statement that she released Tuesday. Her staff surrounded her and escorted her inside the home of the supporter who was hosting the event, pushing back reporters.
During her remarks, Bachmann did not mention the recent news coverage and instead focused primarily on a message of curbing federal spending and her opposition to raising the federal debt ceiling as she spoke to more than 50 voters in a shaded backyard about 20 miles south of Des Moines.
She opened her remarks by writing figures on a whiteboard on stage -- showing what she said was the increase in the nation's debt from when she first arrived in Congress ($8.67 trillion) to when President Obama took office ($10.62 trillion) to today ($14.3 trillion).
"We've seen one outrageous bill after another," she said, listing the nation's economic "bailout" package approved in 2008 and President Obama's stimulus and healthcare programs as examples. "I have taken on a Republican president, my Republican leadership, because I put principle over party."
I love my party; I'm proud to be a Republican, but I believe more in the principles of this country."