Bachmann shifts focus to abortion for a day in Iowa

Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., Friday, Sept. 23, 2011.
Pool,AP Photo/Joe Burbank
Michelle Bachmann, Florida
Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann
Pool,AP Photo/Joe Burbank

DES MOINES, Iowa - Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., took a break from her emphasis on fiscal matters on Tuesday to focus on her strong opposition to abortion, a move aimed at shoring up support among her socially conservative base.

"In the midst of the number one issue, which is jobs and the economy, we don't want to forget the issue of life," Bachmann said at a media event in Des Moines that featured 18 local pastors, "because you can get a lot of things wrong, but you can't get life wrong."

The issue is important to Bachmann, who cited her involvement with the cause since her teenage years. Before her speech, Bachmann toured the Informed Choices Medical Clinic in Des Moines, which provides women with information on sexually transmitted diseases and options apart from abortion.

Bachmann also took media questions on campaign-related issues, including reports that she has suffered staff turnover. She said she has hired people in individual states and that members of her congressional staff who had worked on her campaign are returning as planned to their original jobs.

The congresswoman also said she is trying to economize as much as possible on her campaign, pointing to her recent commercial travels in coach class.

"I think I came in here on a US Airways airline, if I remember, and someone said, 'Well, I'm surprised you're not on a private plane,' and I told them, 'This is exactly how I intend to run the country ... in a way that I grew up understanding here in Iowa. We were frugal, we were prudent and we never spent more money than what we took in."

  • Sarah Huisenga On Twitter»

    Sarah Huisenga is covering the Mitt Romney campaign for CBS News and National Journal.