Bachmann calls Paul foreign policies "dangerous," rebukes his newsletter

Republican presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn, left, talks during a campaign stop at the home of Robin Read, right, Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2011, in Shenandoah, Iowa. AP Photo/Eric Gay

Rep. Michele Bachmann on Tuesday joined the criticism over fellow Rep. Ron Paul's newsletters containing racist statements, saying she also considers him unfit for president because of his "dangerous" foreign policy beliefs.

Bachmann told National Journal/CBS News that she thinks support will turn against Paul "the more people that find out about Paul and the racist statements and comments that came out in his newsletters."

Ron Paul faces fire from GOP rivals

She also said he has been insufficiently determined to prevent Iran from waging nuclear war on the United States.

"They find out that Ron Paul will not defend United States of America in the event of a nuclear attack. He is just fine with Iran having a nuclear weapon and they have already stated they will just use a nuclear weapon against the United States ... Ron Paul would be dangerous for the United States on foreign policy."

Most Republican presidential candidates are quick to compare themselves to Ronald Reagan. But Bachmann has another conservative from the 1980s she seeks to emulate - former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

"I want to be America's Margaret Thatcher," Bachmann said. "I want to be America's Iron Lady."

Bachmann has made such comparisons before, but she undoubtedly knows that the new Meryl Streep film "The Iron Lady" is bound to evoke more attention in Thatcher.

Bachmann, who is seeking to regain the momentum she enjoyed in Iowa during the summer, also had harsh words for fellow candidates Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney.

She dubbed Gingrich "the grandfather of the individual mandate" for the former House speaker's alleged onetime support of Massachusetts' health care reform policy. She blasted Romney "for signing over 100 same-sex marriage licenses" when he was the Bay State's governor - an accusation that is not technically true, since Romney's administration issued one-day declarations to both gay and straight couples allowing "non-clergy individuals to solemnize a marriage."

Polls currently show the Minnesota congresswoman running a distant fifth in Iowa behind those three and Texas Gov. Rick Perry. But she asserted: "I think the polls will be shocked on the evening of January 3rd and January 4th."

Full CBS News coverage: Michele Bachmann

  • Rodney Hawkins On Twitter»

    Rodney Hawkins covers the 2012 presidential campaign for CBS News and National Journal.

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