• With: Rep. Michele Bachmann

    This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," February 7, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

    GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Right now, we are closely watching the election results come in. Minnesota is one of the states picking a candidate tonight. Minnesota congresswoman Michele Bachmann joins us. Good evening.

    REP. MICHELE BACHMANN, R-MINN./FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Good evening. Good to be with you.

    VAN SUSTEREN: All right, at least right now, it seems like a very big night in many ways for Senator Rick Santorum. The AP announced that he's won the state of Missouri. And he's leading in Minnesota. But I'm curious -- this isn't binding in Minnesota, is it.

    BACHMANN: It's not binding. It's very different. Minnesota's a grass roots state. I love the way politics is done there because anyone can show up. You don't have to be a Republican to show up tonight. Anyone can show up. You can caucus.

    But from there, a very few people will go on to the senate district convention, and then from there, even fewer people will go on to the congressional convention. Then from there, even fewer people to the state convention. So the people who showed up tonight and who voted tonight won't necessarily be the people who are voting on the final night, which is the state.

    VAN SUSTEREN: All right, when is the state convention likely to be?

    BACHMANN: Oh, it's later on this spring, a long time from now. So we won't know for a long time how many delegates -- this is a good indicator of, like, a beauty contest, you might say. It's not binding, but we'll know later, much later this spring.

    VAN SUSTEREN: All right, so theoretically, you could win tonight, like Senator Rick Santorum is likely to in Minnesota, but by the time you get down to the state convention, there could be another candidate who wins the state convention delegates?

    BACHMANN: It could be because you may have slates of Ron Paul or Romney or Gingrich or Santorum where it's -- where everybody is committed to one candidate win, and it may not be reflective of tonight.

    VAN SUSTEREN: How can that be fair?

    (LAUGHTER)

    VAN SUSTEREN: I mean, how does it make any sense whatsoever? Why would you campaign in Minnesota for tonight? I mean, I guess it's sort of symbolically -- but I mean, you could very -- I mean, this could be very painful at the state convention ...

    BACHMANN: Well, it's a great system because...

    VAN SUSTEREN: How!

    BACHMANN: ... each of the candidates have the opportunity to recruit anyone they want to come out tonight. Then it's up to them to continue recruiting of the number that are there -- they have to continue to recruit their slate to go on to the next level. And it's four levels. So it's very involved, very complicated, but if you're highly motivated and if the grass roots base likes you, they'll stick with you.

    But I think this is interesting because if you look at Minnesota, Santorum now is at 43. Santorum's at 55 in Missouri, 50 in Colorado. This is showing he's having a great night. But it really reflects what's on the voters' minds.

    And I think especially in this last week, this is reflective of President Obama and the big mistake that he's made on "ObamaCare" with the contraception and the fact that he's mandating that the Catholic church and other organizations have to make these purchases of health care decisions based on reproductive rights. If that's the case, I think you're seeing a lot of people react against President Obama's policies.

    VAN SUSTEREN: So you think that this is -- that this vote is largely determined in the last few days. I mean, this whole idea -- this whole issue of contraception has arisen in the last few days.

    BACHMANN: We haven't had a social issue election yet. This is the first one. And I think that that in part might explain these results. But I think, again, President Obama has done himself no favors on reelection because the people are upset.

    I will tell you that's why we saw the results in 2010. That's why the House gained majority, over "ObamaCare." People are very upset about it. And President Obama, that's his signature issue for 2012. So I think he's in big trouble because that's an issue that is not popular with the voters.

    VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Minnesota went for President Obama in 2008, and it traditionally goes Democratic.

    BACHMANN: It always -- Minnesota has gone for a Democrat for president longer than any other state in the country.

    VAN SUSTEREN: All right...

    BACHMANN: That's why I'm the first and only Republican woman ever to win out of Minnesota.

    VAN SUSTEREN: If Governor Romney doesn't, when the numbers finally settle in Minnesota and does -- doesn't -- he's not going to -- doesn't look like he's going to win, but if he does even poorly, go down around third or fourth, what about Governor Pawlenty, who is the former Minnesota governor, who is one of his surrogates who's been out there for him? You know, is that a slap in the face to Governor Pawlenty?

    BACHMANN: Well, again, remember, the vote tonight is not necessarily reflective of the final vote. It's an indicator, but we have...

    VAN SUSTEREN: It's a lousy indicator! That means -- it may -- it may be...

    (CROSSTALK)

    VAN SUSTEREN: Well, would you be -- if you -- if you come in fourth tonight in Minnesota...

    BACHMANN: You still have a chance.

    VAN SUSTEREN: Yes, but would you feel very good? Would you feel very good?

    BACHMANN: Well, of course, you want to be a winner tonight. But you've got...

    VAN SUSTEREN: I'd feel a lot better...

    (CROSSTALK)

    BACHMANN: You've got a lot more hurdles and a lot more gates to go through. So it depends. You know, these candidates are going 50 statewide. It depends on how much energy you want to expend on the various states.

    VAN SUSTEREN: Well, you say energy, but energy often means money, right?

    BACHMANN: Sure, but here's the great thing about Minnesota. It is actually a very finite pool of people because now you've -- you only have to go through a few thousand. So it's no...

    VAN SUSTEREN: That's a lot!