Iowa Rep. Steve King called Michele Bachmann’s straw poll victory a testament to her “force of personality,” and predicted that newly-declared presidential candidate Rick Perry would have to work harder as a result of the outcome in Ames.
Asked if Bachmann’s win would make it harder for Perry to court tea party voters and other core Iowa activists, King told POLITICO: “It does to some degree. I don’t know how much. It’s hard to measure Rick Perry since he hasn’t been here.”
King, who has criticized Perry’s decision to announce his campaign on the same day as the straw poll, continued: “He’s coming tomorrow. He chose the time directly against our straw poll here, he chose that time, so that doesn’t help him. He could have chosen any other day to do that. Just strategically, Iowans get that. He’s gonna be all right, but he’s gonna have to work harder because of it.”
The outspoken congressman, who counts Bachmann among his close friends in the House, said her performance Saturday validated the down-the-line conservative stances both she and King have taken in Washington.
“I think it says a lot about constitutional conservatism. It says a lot about the tea party. It says a lot about the social conservative agenda – life and marriage – and the fiscal issues too,” King argued. “She’s taken a strong stand against raising the debt ceiling. Others disagree with that position but it held up well here.”