Bachmann Moderates Her Fiery Rhetoric in Iowa

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Rep. Michele Bachmann wouldn't be able to get the attention--and campaign donations--she needs to run for president if it weren't for the adoration of her Tea Partying fans. But if Bachmann actually wants to win the Republican nomination in 2012, she's going to have to broaden her appeal. Monday, Bachmann stopped short of endorsing budget-cutting hero Rep. Paul Ryan's plan to overhaul Medicare. Then she said she wouldn't "condemn" women seeking abortions who are in a difficult position. She hasn't even officially declared her candidacy yet, but are we already seeing the fiery Bachmann get moderated?

In Pella, Iowa to speak at events organized by the conservative religious group The Family Leader, Bachmann told the Associated Press' Thomas Beaumont that "in principle" she supports "making Medicare and Medicaid sound and secure." But Ryan's controversial plan--which would change Medicaid into a system where states would get federal block grants to pay for poor people's health insurance and Medicare into a health insurance subsidy--is "an aspirational document," Bachmann said. "It's not a piece of legislation."

At another stop in Iowa City, Bachmann faced hecklers carrying a sign that said "Desensitized Homosexual," which refers to Bachmann's statement that school kids could get desensitized to homosexuality. The duo would have been escorted out, but Bachmann instead chose to address them, saying she'd answer their questions after her remarks. They stayed, and she followed through on her promise, Politico's Kasie Hunt reports. Bachmann also talked about her opposition to abortion, but "made a concession she hadn't at her early stop [in Pella]," Hunt writes. Bachmann--who just won the evangelical Liberty University straw poll--said that though "every life is valuable... that's not to condemn abortion-minded women who find themselves in a tough situation."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.