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Michele Bachmann regularly sees comparisons to Sarah Palin, but she's ready to be put to the test on her own merits. "We don't see a similar comparison between two men, for instance, who would also be running for President," she says. The representative from Minnesota threatens to steal fiscal and social conservative voters away from other Republican candidates for President if she chooses to run. Last weekend, Bachmann came in first place during a straw poll with 23 percent of the vote from attendees at a gathering at Liberty University. She also came in second place in a recent "positive intensity tracking" poll from Gallup. Most national polls, however, place Bachmann at about 4 percent among Republican voters. Bachmann received her J.D. degree from Oral Roberts University before the law school moved to Regent University. She is a member of Salem Lutheran Church, and her husband runs a Christian counseling center in Stillwater, Minnesota. CT spoke with Bachmann about Tea Party concerns, Donald Trump's birth certificate questions, and recent budget negotiations.

We've seen quite a bit of attention devoted to fiscal concerns, and I know this is a concern for you since you launched the Tea Party caucus last year. Do you have any concerns that the Tea Party might overshadow the concerns of some conservative Christians?

There has been a common cause that has risen in the last six months or so. What we're seeing emerging is a three-legged stool of concern. One is certainly fiscal conservatism, the second leg is social conservativism, and the third would be national security concerns. The Tea Party movement is an organic, spontaneous movement and in many ways a leaderless movement. People come in to the Tea Party with their particular ...

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