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Michele Bachmann defends credentials to be US president

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Congresswoman Bachmann cited her position at “the tip of the spear” in conservatives’ fight against raising the national debt ceiling, President Obama’s health-care reform law, and legislation to regulate the banking industry in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. Though all were losing battles for her and her tea party allies, Bachmann said her determination to “fight the fights” and to stick with her principles are what qualify her to be president – not whether she has ever served as a governor.

Ronald Reagan was a governor. But what made Ronald Reagan great wasn’t his governing experience as a governor. It was his core set of principles,” Bachmann said on ABC News’ “This Week.” “Jimmy Carter was also a governor. But I don’t think anyone would argue that America prospered and flourished under Jimmy Carter’s presidency. … It’s really, who is the person and what is their character?”

Bachmann also made clear that she will push for immediate changes to federal entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare in order to curtail government spending. During this summer’s Washington debate over raising the national debt ceiling, she was adamant that Congress should not do it.

Her plan? Assure the markets that the US will pay interest on its debt. Then pay members of the military. Then pay current recipients of Social Security. After that, she said, get down to the business of reforming entitlements.

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