Straw Poll 2011: Bachmann, McCotter & Cain speeches

The six candidates who are participating in today’s Iowa GOP Straw Poll began speaking to the crowd in Hilton, here in Ames, earlier this afternoon, The first three were Rick Santorum, Ron Paul & Tim Pawlenty.

Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann was the fourth to speak.  A long biographical video was played first.  At 2:16 p.m. Bachmann makes her way on stage — by herself.

“God bless you every one…It’s going to happen.  2012 is ours. We’re going to take it back in 2012,” she began. “All of the energy…is right here in this room in Ames, Iowa.  We are going to do it together.”

“…From one Iowan to another, I will be the pace car, if you will, to set the tone and set the pace,” she said.

Bachmann reminded the crowd her campaign is 48 days old.

“I believe it is time we have an Iowan in the White House,” she said.  “…We can do this. They know if we stick together, this will happen.”

Bachmann got a large burst of applause for praising Iowa for voting three state supreme court justices off the court in November.

Bachmann said God had blessed America. “We could never think that we did this ourselves,” Bachmann said. 

Bachmann talked about being a small business owner, about serving on the House Intelligence Committee, the Five Sullivan Brothers of Waterloo (who went down with their ship in WWII). “We are the team that can’t be beat,” she said.  “…I’m heading over to the voting booth right now…Come with me now…I’m asking for your vote.”

Bachmann’s husband, Marcus, came on stage at the conclusion of the speech. 

The fifth candidate to speak was Michigan Congressman Thaddeus McCotter.  After a brief video introduction, McCotter began by talking about the video. “I was a bit chagrined because in my mind’s eye I have a full head of hair,” McCotter said. “But as children of God we realize our limitations & our mortality.”

Wall Street believes it is too big to fail, he said. “They are wrong,” McCotter said, getting applause.  “…And that is why I have no doubt that you recognize the future is not big government. It is self-government.”

“…Big government, the welfare state…is non-sustainable in 2011 in a globalized world and that is why govenrment must be restructured for the 21st century…the same way that businesses and families have had to restructure their operations in a global age,” he said.

He returns to the bailed out banks on Wall Street.  “This economy will remain stagnant until the banks are forced to recapitalize at their own expense,” he said.

He gets very animated in talking about China “that seeks to own and dominate the 21st century” and gets strong applause. “You matter more than ever,” McCotter tells the crowd, and there’s a sort of rolling applause, “because in your hands rests the true hope for change….The future is now. The future is you…and, if lucky enough to be nominated…I promise you this: I will not work for the pundits…I will not work for the powerful….I will work for you.”

Herman Cain, the former Godfather’s Pizza CEO, is the final candidate set to speak.  After a video intro, he said “Thank you” several times.

“We are America. We are the greatest nation in the world and we don’t have to apologize for it either,” Cain said.

“You tell ’em Herman!” a man in the nose-bleed seats yelled.

“We have become a national of crisis,” he said, including a “severe deficiency of leadership crisis.”

Cain repeated that “uncertainty” is what is “killing this economy.” 

He said as president he’d work to change the U.S,. from “being an entitlement society to an empowerment society.  Let’s empower people, empower businesses.”

The “Cain Doctrine” related to energy production/consumption.  “We will be our own best customer,” he said.

Cain said he had been criticized for failing to have extensive foreign policy experience. “And the guy we have in there now has?” Cain asked, getting applause.

Cain talked about the pursuit of happiness. “There is no department of happy in Washington, D.C.,” Cain said.

Cain suggested Republicans had been “awakened” after Obama took office. “This giant has awakened and it’s not going back to sleep,” Cain said, to applause.

“…We have to be the defending fathers and put the ‘united’ back in the United STates of America, the greatest nation in the world,” he said in conclusion.

Voting in the Straw Poll ends at 4 p.m. Results wil be announced (sometime) after that.

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.