WASHINGTON – By the time Michele Bachmann arrived for her speech Friday evening at the sixth annual Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C., the atheist group staked out in front of the event hotel had departed.
The Republican presidential candidate delivered a message geared toward the predominantly conservative Christian attendees of the three-day political gathering hosted by the Family Research Council.
The Minnesota congresswoman recalled that she was 16 years old when she became a born-again Christian. “I knew I needed a savior,” she said, adding, “I stand for Jesus Christ because he first stood for me.”
Bachmann said, “I consult the Lord with prayer on almost every decision,” including her introduction Thursday of legislation, the “Heartbeat Informed Consent Act,” that would require mothers considering abortions to hear the heartbeats of their unborn babies.
If elected president, said Bachmann, “I’ll put our government out of the abortion industry.” She would begin, she said, by defunding Planned Parenthood, the nation’s biggest abortion provider, which, she said, receives $300 million a year from the federal government.
Bachmann told her audience, which interrupted her 45-minute speech numerous times with loud, appreciative applause, that she believes in the right to life, “from conception to natural death” because she believes that all humanity is “made in the image and likeness of holy God.”
Her Christian faith also accounts for her opposition to same-sex marriage, she said. “A holy God designed marriage to be between one man and one woman,” she said, adding that it has proven, over thousands of years, to be the best relationship for procreation of children.
Bachmann expressed no worry about those who accuse her and other Christian conservative elected officials of blurring the line between church and state. She noted that “John Adams,” her favorite founding father, “was a Christian,” and that he spoke of the role that faith, religion and morality had “in the fabric of our country.”
The Minnesota lawmaker devoted some of her speech to talking about more secular issues, calling again for repeal of President Obama’s new health care law, shuttering the Department of Education and Environmental Protection Agency (among other government entities), and freeing the United States from dependence on foreign oil by opening up domestic drilling.
Bachmann is currently polling at 4 percent to 7 percent in GOP presidential preference polls, having lost much of the momentum she gained after winning an Iowa straw poll several months ago.
Her campaign is hoping that a strong showing in a straw poll conducted at the Values Voter Summit will give her the shot in the arm she needs to reestablish herself as one of the leading contenders for her party’s nomination.