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Michele Bachmann to Chris Wallace: "I Know I Can Win"

Following a first place finish in the Iowa Straw Poll, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann sat down with Chris Wallace to discuss her policies going forward.

Wallace: What is the message from Ames, Iowa?

Bachmann: People want a change in Washington. They don’t want what President Obama is giving. We saw a punch to the gut with what is happening in the economy. This sent a very loud and clear message. I was very strong and very clear. People knew I was leading on not increasing the debt ceiling. They want to know they can trust the person they are sending to Washington.

Q: What about the argument that those in Ames represent social conservatives, but not the whole Republican Party? How do you expand your base?

A: We are expanding it already. There is not an event where I don’t have people who have never been political come up to me. They want to vote for someone they believe in.

Q: Rick Perry's outreach to value voters is similar to yours. What makes you more qualified than him?

A: I think I’ve demonstrated I will be a fighter in Washington. I get job creation. I get how the economy needs to work. What sets me apart is that I’ve been a proven fighter in Washington on issue after issue after issue.

Q: I want to explore your willingness to compromise. What would you do for the economy that you could get through a divided government?

A: We will have an election in 2012. I will work tirelessly to make sure I can help elect an additional 13 senators to get a filibuster-proof majority so we can repeal Obamacare and Dodd-Frank. Plus we need to have someone serious about cutting spending. We have got to reform the tax code. What we are doing right now isn’t working

Q: Are you willing to compromise?

A: Of course. I can work with Democrats and Republicans; the best example is the Minnesota legislature and repealing Minnesota education laws.

Q: Reagan famously said half a loaf is better than none ...

A: I don’t compromise my core principles. But you can make advancements sometimes; sometimes you can’t get all of the way. Sometimes you make steps. As long as you make progress you are moving in the right direction.

Q: In the debate you said the S&P downgrade supported your decision to vote against the debt limit.

A: Let’s make a distinction. I never at any time talked about default. I introduced a plan to make sure there wouldn’t be default. No wonder the markets were roiled if we didn’t have a plan. The president had no plan.

Q: You’ve been critical of the deal that was finally agreed to; are you saying Speaker Boehner and Senate Leader McConnell made a bad deal?

A: I'm saying it's not the deal I would’ve made.

Q: Bipartisan Policy Center analysis found that after you pay creditors, social security, Medicare and military, you would have to cut 68 percent from all these other programs. Would you have been willing to gut these programs outside of creditors, social security and Medicare?

A: Doesn’t that tell you how bad off the U.S. is, that we are overspending that much? We have to grow the revenue side. We need to embrace pro-growth policies. One thing we need to do is reject the new normal level of spending under President Obama. He ramped up spending. Should we accept those new levels?

Q: "Newsweek" reports that you requested stimulus funds.

A: I voted against the stimulus. After it passed and the money was there, why should my constituents be disadvantaged? Most of the money ended up going to politicians that were politically well-connected to Barack Obama.

Q: You have said earmarks should not include transportation money.

A: One legitimate action of government is to build transportation projects. I think we need to reform the system we have in Washington. It has no connection to where we need to spend the money.

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