Published October 23, 2011
Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann insists her candidacy isn't on the ropes even after two campaign aides resigned from her New Hampshire staff to protest what they said was too much focus on Iowa, the first-in-the-nation voting state in the 2012 cycle.
Bachmann, who spoke to "Fox News Sunday" from Iowa, said she is hiring new staff and has spent a "great deal" of time in The Granite State. She added that she recognizes it has a special role as the first state to hold a primary, behind the Iowa caucuses.
But Bachmann said she is focused on Iowa, which goes to vote on Jan. 3, and despite polling showing her on the decline there, she won the Ames, Iowa, straw poll back in August, which she insists gives her strong momentum.
In the latest University of Iowa poll, Bachmann grabs 4 percent of support in the state where she was born. That's behind Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and front-runner Herman Cain, who has 37 percent support.
Cain has run into a challenging spot in the last few days. First, he's had to clarify his position on abortion after saying that he opposes it but should be a decision for the mother in cases of rape and incest. He later said he wants it illegal, no exceptions.
Cain has also pushed back against claims, repeated by Bachmann, that he is against a federal law identifying marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Cain said he thought it was a state issue, but later said the president is in breach of his responsibilities by not defending the Defense of Marriage Act.
Bachmann noted that Cain also suggested he would be open to negotiating with terrorists because he said he would consider releasing Guantanamo Bay prisoners in exchange for an American soldier taken captive, similar to the Israeli exchange of more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners for soldier Gilad Shalit.
"You can't have all of these flip-flops in our nominee, one after another. And it's making the voters' heads spin," Bachmann said. "I think it's giving people pause, and they're asking real questions about, what does he believe, truly, and how would he govern as president of the United States? And that's non-negotiable."
Bachmann added that her positions are what Iowans are looking for.
"I can tell you, here in Iowa, people want to make sure that our nominee is 100 percent pro-life, 100 percent standing for marriage between a man and a woman, and they certainly don't want to see terrorists like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed released from Guantanamo Bay," she said.