NEW ORLEANS - Republican presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann - who was introduced as "a lady despised by the liberals nationwide" - assailed President Obama at the Republican Leadership Conference Friday, telling an adoring crowd of party activists that the president's "morbid obesity on spending and debt accumulation" is putting the nation at risk.
Bachmann, the conservative three-term Congresswoman from Minnesota whose performance at the Republican presidential debate Monday was widely hailed, walked onstage to a standing ovation and an audience member yelling, "Love you!"
"Love you too!" she responded. "You survived Katrina! You survived President Obama's oil moratorium! There is nothing you cannot survive!"
"During the brief years that I have served in the halls of Washington DC I feel that my greatest accomplishment has been to bring the voice of the people into the halls of Congress," Bachmann said. Her goal, she said, is to "take your voice into the White House where it hasn't been heard for a very long time."
Bachmann vowed to combine her social conservatism, which includes strong opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage and civil unions, with fiscal and national security conservatism. She said Republican need the Tea Party movement, arguing that liberals are afraid of the movement and falsely want Americans to believe it represents "just a radical fringe of the Republican Party."
"Get ready 2012 - the Tea Party will be bigger then ever," said Bachmann.
Bachamnn, the founder of the Tea Party caucus in the House, also reiterated what has been something of a catchphrase for her: "Barack Obama will be a One. Term. President!" The crowd yelled out the last three words along with the candidate.
She said Republicans have a better story to tell in the 2012 presidential election because President Obama "got a big F on his economic report card."
She said Mr. Obama "has made us all poorer" by devaluing the dollar and that the health care law passed by the president is "the symbol" for everything wrong with his administration - on jobs, spending, debt and "government overreach."
She also said that Mr. Obama's "plan for senior citizens is Obamacare."
"And I think very likely, and I'm speculating, what the president intends is that Medicare will go broke and that ultimately that answer will be Obamacare for senior citizens," she said. She went on to claim that the health care law "will kill 800,000 jobs."
Bachmann strongly opposed raising the debt ceiling and said if she becomes president "I will make serious spending cuts such that this nation never has to raise the debt ceiling again." She vowed to cut funding for Planned Parenthood, NPR, "bullet trains to nowhere" and "cowboy poetry festivals," generating enthusiastic applause and laughs from the audience.
The Minnesota representative compared President Obama to the man behind the curtain in the Wizard of Oz, saying he has "failed us all when it comes to jobs" and adding, "Mr. President, you're no economic superpower." She also pointed a bill she introduced called "The Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act," vowing that if she is president she will "allow you to buy any light bulb you want."
Bachmann also complained of a policy of "political correctness and social experimentation over readiness" in the military and called the EPA the "job killing agency of America."
In a question-and-answer session with reporters after the speech, Bachmann, who closed her speech with a long story from the Bible, said she supports "intelligent design," saying she backs "putting all science on the table and then letting students decide."
"I would prefer that students have the ability to learn all aspects of an issue," said Bachmann.
More from the Republican Leadership Conference: