2012 Republican hopeful Michele Bachmann is making it clear she won’t stand down now that Texas Gov. Rick Perry has all but entered the race.
The Bachmann campaign just announced that their candidate will be a “special guest speaker” at the Black Hawk County GOP Lincoln Day dinner in Waterloo Sunday night — the same event where Perry is making his Iowa debut.
By appearing at the event, Perry — who is expected to announce his presidential intentions in South Carolina and New Hampshire on Saturday — is signaling that he intends to compete in Iowa’s first-in-nation Republican caucuses. That puts Perry and Bachmann on a collision course as both candidates go after the state’s conservative evangelical voters, who make up 60% of Iowa caucus-goers.
The Iowa Republican reports that, although all of the 2012 Republican candidates were invited to the Black Hawk County GOP event, Bachmann’s team did not accept the invitation until yesterday.
Bachmann, who has staked her campaign on her evangelical, Iowa roots, has the most to lose by Perry’s entry into the race. The Texan has similar Christian conservative bonafides, and his 30,000-person prayer rally in Houston last weekend shows he holds immense appeal among evangelicals.
Bachmann’s campaign released a list of endorsements from Iowa religious leaders on the eve of Perry’s prayer rally.
The Iowa Republican reports that another 2012 hopeful may be attending. We can only hope it’s a certain former governor of Alaska.