LYNCHBURG, Va. -- Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann addressed students at Liberty University Wednesday, pushing her credentials as a Christian, a conservative, and a constitutionalist.
The former frontrunner has lost ground recently in the polls, but she said she's planning a comeback.
"You have ups and you have downs. And there's no story better than the comeback story of anyone who comes back from going down and coming back up. We see that that's what's happening to our campaign right now," she said.
CBN News interviewed Bachman backstage after she spoke to 10,000 Liberty University students.
She turned in her Bible to a specific verse before taking the podium. Without a teleprompter or depending on her notes, Bachmann told students about the night she accepted Jesus Christ as her savior when she was 16 years old.
"We began weeping before the Lord. Even though I hadn't been a drinker, done drugs, rebellious, it didn't matter. I was a sinner and I had a heart that needed to be cleaned," she told the audience.
Bachmann won a recent Liberty University straw poll. Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr., said it's because students see her as one of them.
She may have fallen in the race behind other Christian conservatives like businessman Herman Cain and Texas Gov. Rick Perry. But Bachmann said she won't settle and told students they shouldn't either - in any aspect of their lives.
"The most important decision I made in not settling was what I was going to do with my faith," she said.
Not settling has become the new theme of the Bachmann campaign. She said Americans have decided to hold President Obama to one term so Republicans can feel confident nominating a true conservative like her.
"We can have a candidate that represents our values this time, rather than stand against the wall and say we just have to get behind a moderate who is a compromised candidate," she said.
"Not this year. Not this time. This is our time. That's why we have to stand up and be counted and not settle," she continued.
Bachmann believes she can make a comeback by playing up her credibility as a small business owner and tax lawyer and by explaining how she'd reform the tax code and create a business-friendly environment.
Meanwhile, she challenged the college students to fulfill God's plan for their lives.
"You have no idea what it is or where He wants to take you, but fulfill His plan. He has an amazing plan for everyone," she said.