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Michele Bachmann says she'll make a decision on presidential run by summer

CNN reports that Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann will form a presidential exploratory committee this summer, and the Minnesota Republican does not deny the report. 'It could be before then,' she says in Iowa, where she's courting local political activists.

March 24, 2011|By Michael A. Memoli and Paul West, Washington Bureau
  • Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), speaking at an event in Des Moines, says there is a "natural timeline" she's following in making a decision on whether to run for president.
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), speaking at an event in Des Moines, says… (Getty Images )

Reporting from Des Moines, Iowa, and Washington — Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann is not denying a report that she will form a presidential exploratory committee this summer, saying Thursday she would aim to formally enter the campaign just ahead of a key test of support in Iowa.

With considerable uncertainty about Sarah Palin's future plans, a Bachmann candidacy would ensure the field of candidates seeking to challenge President Obama includes a fiery voice with appeal to "tea party" activists.

CNN, citing sources close to the three-term Minnesota congresswoman, reported Thursday morning that she will take the first step toward a White House run in early June so that she could participate in scheduled GOP candidate debates.

Bachmann, in Iowa on Thursday courting activists in the first nominating state, said she'll make a decision by this summer.

"I'm not saying it's false," said in a brief interview, adding: "It could be before then."

Bachmann said there is a "natural timeline" guiding her decision making, and that she would aim to enter the race in time to compete in the Ames straw poll of Iowa Republicans this August. Supporters are urging her to enter two to three months before that contest so she can do the necessary organizing.

Bachmann, founder of the House "tea party" caucus, could be a formidable candidate in the Hawkeye State, whose caucuses are traditionally dominated by social conservatives. She is an Iowa native, something she's played up as she has teased a potential campaign.

Another Minnesotan, former Gov. Tim Pawlenty, announced the formation of an exploratory committee on Monday, becoming the first top-flight Republican to do so.

Memoli reported from Washington and West from Des Moines.

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