This week on Face the Nation: Michele Bachmann
This Sunday's guests on Face the Nation are Republican Presidential Candidate Representative Michele Bachmann, Iowa Republican Representative Steve King and CBS News' Chief White House Correspondent Norah O'Donnell and Political Director John Dickerson. Plus an exclusive excerpt of Steve Kroft's interview with President Obama for 60 Minutes.
Michele Bachmann is in the middle of the pack with nine percent in the latest CBS News/New York Times poll of Iowa Republican caucus goers. But Bachmann is unique among the other candidates in that she's near the top, with frontrunners Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney, among caucus goers when it comes to questions on her values and beliefs.
She's tied with former House Speaker Gingrich in second place with 63 percent of Republicans saying she says what she believes. Only Representative Ron Paul scores higher.
And Bachmann is atop the poll with 19 percent of caucus goers saying she shares their values, and 21 percent saying she is best at promoting conservative principles.
"I'm the only candidate in this race that's been a consistent, no-surprises conservative," she said recently. "I can't wait to shred [President Obama's] radical agenda to pieces in the debate."
If Bachmann got the nomination, 34 percent of those polled would enthusiastically support her, tying her with former Massachusetts Governor Romney in this category. She is one point behind Romney in favorability, 43 percent to 42 percent, and three points lower in unfavorability, 30 percent compared to 33 percent for Romney in the poll.
"This is a highly unusual election," she said. "This is America's last chance to get it right. We've got to get the country back on the rails."
Bachmann has said recently that she has picked up supporters of Cain, who suspended his campaign last week.
"Our phones are blowing up with former Cain supporters wanting to line up behind a true consistent conservative. I won't back down from my conservative beliefs. It is with our campaign that Cain supporters will find a home for their constitutional conservative agenda." she said in a statement.
Influential Republican representative Steve King is one of Republican's brightest stars. He has hosted presidential forums in Iowa and in South Carolina, appeared with Gingrich and Herman Cain at their Lincoln-Douglass style debate and taken Texas Governor Rick Perry and former Senator Rick Santorum out hunting.
"The endorsement of Iowa congressman Steve King is one of the most coveted in the GOP presidential election," says Craig Robinson of the influential Iowa Republican website.
All eyes are on King to see when that endorsement will happen. He's known to be very close with Representative Bachmann, often appearing together at press conferences in Washington attacking the Obama Administration's health care law and regulatory initiatives.
But King has yet to tip his hat to Bachmann. This week he told Chris Cillizza of The Washington Post that by now, he wished that there would be a "full spectrum conservative candidate" atop the polls and said that while frontrunners Romney and Gingrich had talked like true conservatives, "when you look at the records it's a little harder to accept it all as its delivered," he told The Post.
King also told Cillizza that while Bachmann and Santorum are true conservatives, their lack of strong acceptance among voters, as seen by lagging poll numbers gave him pause.
"Had either of them been able to catch some momentum, this would have been easier," he said.
Can Bachmann surge to the top in Iowa? Can Gingrich hold off Romney or will Ron Paul sweep to victory in the Iowa Caucus? Are Gingrich and Romney real conservatives and can Republicans overlook their shortcomings to rally behind one of them to challenge President Obama? Which candidate will survive the race for the nomination that is beginning to get negative as Romney's campaign has begun to attack the frontrunner Gingrich? And can President Obama's new fight for the middle class propel him to a second term?
Those will be among the issues discussed as Republican Presidential Candidate Michele Bachmann, influential Congressman Steve King and CBS News's Norah O'Donnell and John Dickerson join Bob Schieffer to Face the Nation.
- Robert Hendin
Robert Hendin is senior producer for "Face the Nation" and a CBS News senior political producer.Follow on Twitter »
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