Shortly after Rep. Michele Bachmann kicked off her presidential run with an address in her birthplace of Waterloo, Iowa, that included a blistering critique of President Obama, the incumbent's campaign lashed back.
In doing so, Obama campaign signaled it will try to tie Bachmann, a Republican from Minnesota, to Rep. Paul Ryan's budget plan that would transform Medicare into a private voucher program. Bachmann voted for the plan, which would also reduce the upper-tier tax rate for wealthier Americans.
"Congresswoman Bachmann talks about reclaiming the American Dream but her policies would erode the path to prosperity for middle-class families," Ben LaBolt, a spokesman for Obama's Chicago-based reelection campaign, said in a statement. "She voted for a budget plan that would extend tax cuts for the richest Americans on the backs of seniors and the middle class while ending Medicare as we know it.
"Congresswoman Bachmann introduced legislation to repeal Wall Street oversight -- risking a repeat of the financial crisis -- and while she voted to preserve subsidies for oil and gas companies, she opposes making the investments necessary to enhance America’s competitiveness and create the jobs of the future.”
Earlier in the day in Waterloo, Bachmann repeated her refrain that the state of the economy would cost Obama a second term.
"In February 2009, President Obama was very confident that his economic policies would turn the country around within a year. He said, 'A year from now, I think people are going to see that we're starting to make some progress. If I don't have this done in three years, then there's going to be a one-term proposition,' Bachmann said. "Well Mr. President, your policies haven’t worked. Spending our way out of this recession hasn’t worked. And so Mr. President we take you at your word."
The quick counterpunch is also a sign that Obama's camp is taking Bachmann seriously, as polls show her gaining strength in Iowa. At the same time,Democrats are hoping that Bachmann, or some other rival, can make a dent in Mitt Romney's momentum, and turn the GOP presidential primary into an extended, and costly, affair.
Speaking of fundraising, Obama's campaign released more details Monday about the contest it's sponsoring that would give a donor a chance to eat dinner with the president. That dinner, the campaign said, will also be attended by Vice President Biden.
That would seem to ensure there will be no uncomfortable pauses during the meal.
Here's a video of Bachmann's announcement from this morning, courtesy of Politico: