Bachmann: Gingrich the "King of K Street"
Republican presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann continued an ongoing offensive against Newt Gingrich Sunday, hammering her presidential competitor for being a "consummate establishment insider," and targeting his history brokering influence on behalf of Freddie Mac and others.
"He's the 'King of K Street,'" Bachmann said of Gingrich, in an appearance on CBS' "Face the Nation." "For a person who's been influence peddling for over 30 years in Washington, D.C. - to think that Newt Gingrich is somehow an outsider, when he is the consummate establishment insider?"
Bachmann continued efforts to distinguish herself as the only "consistent constitutional conservative" in the race, blasting Gingrich and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney for being on "the same side of the president" on one too many issues.
"I'm the only proven consistent constitutional conservative in this race on issue after issue," Bachmann told CBS' Bob Schieffer. "Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney, it is very clear that there's not a dime's worth of difference between the two of them."
Pointing to both candidates' previous support of individual health care mandates, Bachmann accused the two Republican candidates - whom she has begun referring to as "Newt Romney" - of siding with President Barack Obama on health care reform.
"This is the seminal piece of legislation of Barack Obama," Bachmann said. "It's the one issue that our candidate has to take President Obama on with, and they won't be able to debate him on the issue because they're on the same side as the president. 'Newt Romney' are on the same side of the president when it comes to cap-and-trade, the $700 billion bailout, illegal immigration, even the payroll tax this week, which there isn't one shred of evidence that that has created a single job."
When asked why she thinks Romney has failed to break out of the 20th percentile in national polls, Bachmann contended that the former governor's values don't reflect "where this party wants to go."
"Both Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich represent the big government frugal socialist wing of the party," she said. "I represent the true constitutional conservative wing of our party."
Bachmann concurred with a recent refrain that the contest for the GOP nomination has become a two-man race, largely because polls show Romney and Gingrich with huge leads over the rest of the pack: "When you take a look and people say this is a two-man race, I would agree. But the one man is Newt Romney, and the other man is Michele Bachmann, the only proven consistent constitutional conservative.
"I'm the only one that can take the debate to Barack Obama and win and be elected."
The Minnesota congresswoman also presented herself as the only candidate who has taken on President Obama and been "tested by fire in the lion's den."
"Barack Obama knows me in Washington, D.C., because I've taken him on. I've been on the tip of the spear fighting him on 'Obamacare,' on cap-and-trade, on issue after issue," she said. "There's a clear distinction in the candidates. I'm the proven candidate who has been tested by fire in the lion's den of Washington, D.C."
- Lucy Madison
Lucy Madison is a political reporter for CBSNews.com.Follow on Twitter »
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