Image: Rep. Michele Bachmann
Adam Hunger  /  Reuters
Rep. Michele Bachmann sings "God Bless America" next to a current member of the U.S. Navy at an event paying tribute to veterans on Memorial Day in Dover, N.H.
msnbc.com
updated 5/31/2011 6:05:26 AM ET 2011-05-31T10:05:26

Asked why she wanted to run for president, Rep. Michele Bachmann told Republican activists "because we need a person who is going to stand up to Obamacare," The Washington Post reported Tuesday.

Speaking at a GOP event in New Hampshire Monday, Bachmann made the remark after she was asked why she did not try to oust Sen. Al Franken in Minnesota, her home state, rather than try for the White House, the Post said.

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"You've got to be willing to take on our party, the other party and then explain it to the people," she said. "I know I can make the case to the American people and win them over to our side."

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The Post noted Bachmann has said she will make a formal announcement in June, but described her response as "the most definitive answer yet" and one which "eliminated" any doubt that she was preparing to run.

'Rock-ribbed'
She said she was a "rock-ribbed, constitutionalist conservative," according to the Post.

"Obama has to go and has to be replaced, but not just by anyone," she added. "We need someone who is committed to taking that thing out (the health care law), because it is the crown jewel of socialism, and if it's allowed to stand we will never get our country back."

She was speaking to dozens of GOP activists on the lawn of failed gubernatorial candidate Karen Testerman's home in Franklin.

Earlier Monday, at a Memorial Day picnic in Dover, Bachmann hailed those who have served in various conflicts and the authors of the Declaration of Independence.

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Referring to that document's reference to "unalienable rights," Bachmann said: "That means the government cannot bestow them, and remember, government cannot take them away."

The Post said "woman after woman" in the crowd of more than 100 Republican activists at the picnic said they hoped Bachmann would try to become the first female president.

"It's time. We are half the population, after all," said Fran Wendelboe, a former state legislator, according to the paper.

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Video: Potential GOP candidates hit the road

  1. Closed captioning of: Potential GOP candidates hit the road

    >> to unseat the president is finally heating up. kristen welker is live at the white house with more this morning. good morning.

    >> reporter: good morning, matt. they say memorial day marks the unofficial start of summer. it seems this year it marks the unofficial start of the gop race. right now, all eyes are on sarah palin who today begins day three of the bus tour. first stop, the battlefields of gettysburg, pennsylvania. on monday, palin was in washington, stopping at some of the nation's most iconic landmarks including the national archives and george washington 's home in mount vernon , sparking speculation she may enter the gop race.

    >> are you going to run?

    >> you know, we're still kind of contemplating that.

    >> reporter: palin hasn't launched a fund raising effort or suggested party leaders suggesting to some she may not run.

    >> running for president isn't like opening a lemonade stand on the corner. it's difficult, takes a lot of manpower. so far what we see from sarah palin doesn't look like she's doing that.

    >> reporter: in an interview monday palin balked at those who think they know.

    >> i don't think i owe anything to the main stream media . i think it would be a mistake for me to become a conventional politician.

    >> reporter: a more conventional politician and current front-runner mitt romney was out of sight monday. he's expected to announce on thursday. he and palin are virtually neck and neck, according to the latest gallup poll . meanwhile, tim pawlenty has announced he's in. he toured iowa monday touting the tea party platform.

    >> government has a role but a limited role. that role needs to be defined precisely and kept within the limited nature.

    >> reporter: another tea party favorite, minnesota congresswoman michelle bachmann was also barn storming in new hampshire saying she'll announce next month.

    >> if i throw my hat in the ring i think i will do favorably against barack obama .

    >> reporter: on monday the president observed memorial day at arlington national cemetery . even gop insiders admit mr. obama will be a formidable opponent.

    >> he's a great candidate and a prolific fund-raiser. just because republican voters don't like the president doesn't mean we can take it for granted.

    >> reporter: this race will heat up in june. former pennsylvania senator rick san to rum announces on the 6th. then the candidates debate in new hampshire a week later. meredith?

    >> thank you very much. as

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