- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 28, 2011

LYNCHBURG, Va. (AP) — Rep. Michele Bachmann on Wednesday told Christian students at Liberty University not to “settle” for easy personal and political choices in life.

During a half-hour address to some 10,000 students at Liberty’s weekly campuswide convocation, Mrs. Bachmann briefly tied a message mostly about personal values and responsibility to an appeal to reject President Obama’s agenda, including his health care reforms.

Mrs. Bachmann, Minnesota Republican, made no mention of her GOP presidential primary rivals in a talk laced with Scripture that took on the tone of a sermon.

Badly trailing the front-runners — Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney — and struggling in national polls, Mrs. Bachmann sought a breakout moment with her base of support: Christian conservatives.

Liberty’s chancellor, Jerry Falwell Jr., said Mrs. Bachmann won a recent student straw poll over the GOP field, largely because of her evangelical roots.

Mrs. Bachmann evoked a few standing ovations and an occasional amen in speaking of her conversion to Christianity and how she would set her alarm for 5 a.m. as a teen so she could wake and read the Bible.

“Even though I hadn’t been a drinker, even though I never did drugs, … even though I hadn’t been chasing around, it didn’t matter. I was a sinner,” she said. “I radically abandoned myself to Jesus Christ.”

She called the issue of abortion “the watershed issue of our time,” noting that she had five children of her own and that she and her husband, Marcus, who joined her onstage, had taken in 20 foster children. She used her address to pivot into a broadside against Mr. Obama’s health care reforms.

“Obamacare is the first time in the history of our nation that we have taxpayer-subsidized abortions,” she said. “When it comes to Obamacare — and I have been involved in this fight for some time now — I will tell you, unless we repeal (it) in 2012, we will have socialized medicine for the United States’ future.”

And the applause lines kept coming.

Mrs. Bachmann, the leader of the House’s Tea Party Caucus, said conservatives have to stand against federal takeovers of U.S. industries, including the automotive, banking and insurance industries the government bailed out during the recession.

“And we can’t settle when it comes to America standing up for our greatest ally in the world, Israel,” Mrs. Bachmann said.

The “don’t settle” theme has become the dominant message of Mrs. Bachmann’s campaign in recent days. She hit it hard in appearances in Iowa on Monday.



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