Bachmann the Dark Horse Candidate?

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," December 28, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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ERIC BOLLING: In the "Impact Segment" tonight, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann was riding high after her August Iowa straw poll victory. But since that big win, she's seen her poll numbers slip with less than a week ago before the caucuses. Can Mrs. Bachmann turn the tide and become the dark horse candidate in the Hawkeye state?

Joining us now from Winterset, Iowa, the aforementioned, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. Welcome, Congresswoman.

BACHMANN: It's great to be with you on tonight, Eric. Good to see you.

BOLLING: Great to see you again as well.

Congresswoman, one of the -- the surprises so far for me at least, I maybe you can weigh in on this. Are you surprised, Ron Paul doing very well?

Now there is a new CNN poll that has Mitt Romney at 25; Ron Paul, 22. But up until today, Ron Paul was leading. Does that surprise you?

BACHMANN: You know, everything is so in flux right now. About half of Iowans are completely undecided. That's why we decided to embark at our 99-county tour all across Iowa. I'm in Winterset, Iowa right now. We're deep in the heart of Madison County. This is our 94th country.

Now what we've seen is something really remarkable, it's almost like an electric light switch was flipped and we are seeing people making their decision right now in these last few days. And we've been overwhelmed with the support that we've seen across the state.

And I think what people are looking for is, who is the genuine conservative? Who has the core conviction? And most importantly, who can take on Barack Obama and win?

And I think when people saw the last Sioux City debate, they saw how I took on Ron Paul over the issue of a nuclear Iran and how I took on some of the other candidates on crony capitalism, they saw that that's exactly what I will do if Barack Obama in the debates.

BACHMANN: I'll defeat him and go on to win in 2012 and get the country back on the right track.

BOLLING: But Congresswoman I got to point out, in the newest poll, Rick Santorum has moved up into third place with 16 percent of the vote. So for that conservative vote, he seems to be resonating. What -- what are you -- what is he doing right and maybe what are you not doing because you're at nine percent. You need to move up.

BACHMANN: Eric, you're citing one poll. There are all sorts of polls that are out of there that say exactly the opposite. We have polls that have me in that same exact position as well. And again, what we are doing, we're the hardest working campaign on the ground. No other candidate is going to 99 counties in just over ten days. We're doing that and we're seeing a lot of people go from undecided to the Michele Bachmann column.

I think a lot of people are going to be shocked on January 3rd because when people see me, when they hear me, one thing they know about me is that I'm an authentic, real person. I'm not a politician. I never want to be a politician.

BOLLING: All right.

BACHMANN: They're seeing in me a person who is very competent, and who's going to do what I say.

BOLLING: Right, Congresswoman, talk to us a little bit about what happens on January 4th. You're going to wake up and where do you need to be? You need to be first, second, third? Where do you need to be to stay in the presidential race, the run?

BACHMANN: Well, we see that we're going to do very well in Iowa. I am the only candidate that's won a statewide race so far. That was the Iowa straw poll. No other candidate can say that. And what we're seeing on the ground, like I said, is nothing short of phenomenal. Don't count out Iowans. They're very independent people. They make up their mind. The media doesn't tell them what to think.

And I think you're going to see next week that people are going to make their choice and they're going to choose Michele Bachmann. And that's what we see, too.

BOLLING: But Congresswoman you know, you're a good friend of mine. This is the -- the No Spin Zone, so give me a level. If it's fourth or fifth, will you -- will you stick around for New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida?

BACHMANN: Well, we don't see that it's going to be that position. We see that we're going to do really well because that's the reality that we're seeing on the ground. You have to talk to real people, real Iowans and that's the reality that we're seeing.

BOLLING: Do you think you and maybe Rick -- Rick Perry and Santorum, you think you're splitting the Evangelical vote, the -- let's you know the one that's not Romney, the -- the vote that, by the way, Rick Perry has gone after very aggressively?

BACHMANN: Well, I think what we're seeing is that people saw in me a lot of confidence and the Evangelical community is one that is very strong. I received over 100 pastor endorsements and we're now working on over 200 pastor endorsements. I have a caravan of pastors that have gone all across the state of Iowa on my behalf. We have very strong backing from a former Iowa family policy leader and also we also have the head of the Iowa Concerned Women for America, as well as Phyllis Schlafly. Glenn Beck came up and said that I'm the candidate that he'll be voting for.

So we have very strong support here in Iowa. And Evangelical community recognizes that when it comes up to standing for life from conception until natural death, I'm the strongest. When it comes to standing up for marriage between a man and woman, I'm the strongest candidate. People want someone who is not going to cave. They want someone principled and they're seeing that I'm that candidate.

BOLLING: Congresswoman, if -- if you -- if you're not the GOP nominee, will you vote for anyone who is? Will you vote for Ron Paul if he happens to be the one?

BACHMANN: Well Eric, I think you don't have faith tonight in what I'm saying to you. All I can tell you is what I'm seeing on the ground is remarkable and I think that I will be that nominee because the country needs a strong woman, just like in 1980, we needed Ronald Reagan. Britain needed a Margaret Thatcher. I intend to be America's iron lady and the strong principled conservative woman that America needs right now to get the economy back.

There is only one candidate who really will repeal Obamacare. That's me. I led 40,000 people to Washington, D.C. to take that issue on. Barack Obama knows me. I've taken him on, on Obamacare, on Dodd-Frank, on out-of- control spending. I've taken him on. I'll do it in the debate and that's why I will defeat him in 2012 and he will be a one-term president.

BOLLING: And I -- and I absolutely believe you that -- that you believe that as well. But I'm -- I'm trying to get this -- figure this out. Newt Gingrich earlier, I believe it was yesterday, couldn't say that he would vote for Ron Paul. In fact, he was asked directly, would you vote for Ron Paul if he were the nominee and he flat out said no, I wouldn't do that.

Now my question is, you know I'm a conservative as you are. Anyone but Obama for me, for my liking. So if it is a Ron Paul, would you be able to vote there?

BACHMANN: Well, it's not going to be Ron Paul as the nominee. That's the point. He won't be the nominee. I intend to be that nominee.

And we need to have a strong conservative woman who actually is going to do what she said. Ron Paul would be dangerous as a president because of his foreign policy. I have the right perspective. I will stand for our ally, Israel, and I'll stand up and make sure that Iran never gets a nuclear weapon because they said they'll use it against America, they'll use it against Israel.

And of all the candidates in the race, no one has more current national security experience than I have. I'll stand up for this country and I will be the commander-in-chief that we need.

BOLLING: I don't disagree, Congresswoman Bachmann. I got to tell you, it took one of those -- those little games, those little polls where you type in your beliefs, yes, no, and you rate things. And it shows you which candidate would be your best candidate. You happen to come in first in that poll.

We're going to say thank you so much, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann.

BACHMANN: It's always a pleasure. Thank you, Eric.

BOLLING: You're welcome.

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