Rep. Michele Bachmann used the first major presidential debate of the 2012 campaign to announce that she is formally running for president.
For Bachmann, the conservative from Minnesota, the announcement was expected, but the timing of it was not. She had been expected to declare later in the month in Iowa.
But early in the debate in Manchester, N.H., live on CNN, Bachmann said that she had filed her paperwork Monday with the Federal Election Commission to launch a presidential fundraising committee.
She said she would soon make a public announcement. CNN's John King, a bit flustered, quickly pushed Bachmann to return to addressing the debate topic at hand.