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Will Michele Bachmann Attack Rick Perry?

Paresh Dave |
September 12, 2011 | 11:11 a.m. PDT


Michele Bachmann speaking in Iowa in August. (Creative Commons)
Michele Bachmann speaking in Iowa in August. (Creative Commons)

Crazy statements and a late entry into the Republican presidential nomination race have kept Texas Gov. Rick Perry in the headlines for exactly a month, pushing former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann to the sidelines.

But Monday night, Bachmann has a chance to shine in front of a favorable audience of Tea Party members at the second Republican presidential debate in five days. Bachmann rose to fame largely through bold statements to audiences just like the one candidates will encounter Monday in Tampa, Florida.

The CNN/Tea Party Express debate, which will air from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. PDT on CNN, might be one of the last chances for Bachmann to show why members of the Tea Party should support her over Perry.

Among the issues where she can draw a line in the sand is social security, which Perry has labeled a failure. Bachmann and Romney both say while it may have issues, the system can fixed.

Florida political blogger Jeff Lukens told a Patch in Florida,  “I was identified as a Tea Party activist, one of about 10 in Tampa Bay, invited to attend the debate. It should be interesting to be part of the whole ambiance of a live debate and observe the candidates firsthand. I really believe the race is between Perry and Romney, and it will be interesting to see how things play out, whether anyone makes a mistake. I like Michelle but I don’t think she has as good a chance of winning. That’s why I’m going with Perry."

CNN's Wolf Blitzer, audience members from Tea Party groups across 32 states, viewers watching at three official viewing parties and folks online will be posing the questions at the debate.

Floridians will have a chance to let their preference for the nomination known in a Sept. 24 straw poll that will offer candidates a sense of how well they will fare in one of the largest states up for grabs.

After Monday, the candidates next debate Sept. 22 in Orlando. That debate will be on Fox News.

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