Michele Bachmann: GOP's New Front-runner?

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As the conservative movement searches for strong leadership, two women are among the front-runners.

Sarah Palin is the most visible with a new book riding the top of the bestseller list and Congresswoman Michele Bachmann is gaining ground as one of the drivers of the "tea party movement."

Despite attacks from the left, Bachmann hasn't given up and is armed with a strong faith that helps keep her going.

In 2006, she became the first Republican woman ever sent to the U.S. House of Representatives by Minnesota voters.

Now, just three years into the job, Bachmann is a major voice against what she believes is an out of control government threatening the freedom of Americans.

"What we are seeing now is the rise of big government, and so, big government is now oppressing the American people with too much spending, too much taxes, too much regulatory burden," she said. "We just saw the hate crimes law pass...really that bill is more about restricting free speech and free expression of American citizens, in contradistinction to the First Amendment that wants free speech and expression for all of Americans."

Bachmann says the United States is blessed with a unique form of government, but the current administration is straying from what the founding fathers intended.

"Jefferson warned us over 230 years ago, be prepared. The natural way of government is to enslave you," she explained. "And Jefferson said again, bind down big government with the chains of the Constitution. That's what the effort was. Use these beautiful documents to limit man, not to grow man's influence and oppress mankind."

Rep. Bachmann believes the current growth of government's influence will backfire.

"We have the most left-leaning, radical president we've ever had in the history of the United States. The most radical, left-leaning speaker of the House than we've ever had in the history of the United States and one of the most radical, left-leaning majority leaders in the Senate," she said. "We have never had this type of radical view of government before and the American people look at this and are repulsed at liberalism in practice."

"They're saying we don't want any part of it," Bachmann continued.  "And that's why I think this wave that has built politically is going to speak loud and clear in volumes at the ballot box next November in 2010."

However, Bachmann isn't the only one speaking her mind. Much like Sarah Palin, Bachmann has her share of critics who lash out against her in the media, online and on TV.  Some consider her the number one enemy of the left.

"Women are very competent, very intelligent. They can be very successful and make it on their own," Bachmann said about why she's under attack. "And I think that the left is very concerned [about] the message that myself and other women would be able to deliver. And I think that's part of the reason why you see the attack to silence us as messengers."

Driven by Faith

This congresswoman has proven she's not about to be silenced and she relies on God as her source of strength to endure the battle.

"The Lord is my Compass, and He is my Rock and my Salvation.  In Him do I trust," Bachmann said.  "I was born into a Lutheran family and my parents had me baptized and took me to church every Sunday, and I'm grateful for the parents I have."

"It wasn't until I was 16 years of age, however, that I truly understood that I was a sinner and I needed to repent of my sins... I needed to have a Savior who paid for those sins," she continued.  "And so when I was 16, I went to my Lutheran altar, knelt before that altar, confessed my sins before Jesus Christ, asked Him to come into my heart, cleanse me of my sins so that I could receive His righteousness and have an assurance of salvation.

"That when I die, that that wouldn't be the end. That that would just be the beginning. That I would spend eternity, forever, with Him and with those who have come to know Jesus Christ."

"My world changed when I was 16 years of age," Bachmann recalled.  "It was like I had lived in darkness my entire life and it was like a door was thrown open. And I saw for the first time the fullness of life, of all that there can be."

Bachmann and her husband have five biological children, but over the years, they have opened their home to 23 foster children.

"The Lord moved our heart, and we said, 'You know, we think we can do that in our home,'" she said.

When asked what she wanted her legacy to be, Bachmann said, "That I was faithful to do what the Lord had called me to do."

"It brings tears to my eyes that when we come to the end of our days, we want to know that on our death bed that the Lord will say to us, 'Well done, my good and faithful servant,'" she continued.  "And I wish I could say that for all of my life that I have been good and that I have been faithful. I haven't. I'm a sinner, but I thank God that I have received His grace and He has forgiven me of my sins and made a way for my salvation."

"And I just pray," Bachmann ended, "I'm 53-years-old now, and I just pray that for the time that I have left, that I will faithfully serve Him until that day."

*Originally posted January 14, 2010. 

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Mark Martin

Mark Martin

CBN News Reporter

Mark Martin is a reporter and anchor at CBN News, covering various issues from military matters to alternative fuels. Mark has reported internationally in the Middle East and traveled to Bahrain to cover stories on the U.S.S. Dwight D. Eisenhower. Follow Mark on Twitter @MarkMartinCBN and "like" him at Facebook.com/MarkMartinCBN.