Campaign pitches, promises -
Published Wednesday, December 28, 2011 at 1:00 am / Updated at 1:33 am
Campaign pitches, promises

COUNCIL BLUFFS — For conservative Iowans who want a staunch abortion opponent as their presidential candidate, Michele Bachmann said she is the "clearest choice'' in the GOP field.

"I am against partial-birth and late-term abortions. I am 100 percent pro-life," Bachmann said in a brief stop in Council Bluffs.

She also opposes the national health care law championed by President Barack Obama because she says it includes abortion coverage.

Bachmann, a Minnesota congresswoman, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry both campaigned Tuesday in Council Bluffs, one week in advance of the Jan.3 caucuses.

Stopping at the Scooter's coffee shop on West Broadway, Bachmann touted her record in Congress, including sponsoring legislation defending marriage as the union of a man and a woman and her opposition to the bank bailout.

She called for reduced government spending to trim the national debt of $15 trillion and said she will not be influenced by well-funded special interest groups.

"I am not for sale," she said.

Bachmann, who won the summer's Iowa straw poll of GOP presidential candidates in Ames, said she will have visited all 99 counties before the caucuses.

Tamara Scott, spokeswoman for a group called Concerned Women for America, supports Bachmann because of her view on abortion.

"She is pro-life from conception to natural death — life from conception, without exception," Scott said.

The Texas governor spoke to a large crowd at the Main Street Cafe, where he repeated his call for a part-time Congress whose members' pay would be cut in half.

Perry also talked about illegal immigration, saying that the federal government has failed to secure the border with Mexico. He noted that as governor, Texas has spent $400 million to improve border security.

If elected, he said, he would secure the border within a year by installing a fence and increasing the number of border agents.

Arizonan Joe Arpaio, the self-styled "America's toughest sheriff," campaigned with Perry. Arpaio, a staunch opponent of illegal immigration who is currently the target of civil and criminal investigations that he calls politically driven, has endorsed the Texas governor.

While other candidates just offer their views on illegal immigration, "Gov. Perry is doing it," Arpaio said.

Later, at the Glenn Miller Birthplace Museum in Clarinda, Perry was asked about abortion.

"Whoever wins this election could be in a position to pick the next two or three justices," he said. "I would appoint only strict constructionists . and in the meantime, support and work for an amendment to the Constitution that protects all innocent life from conception to their last breath."

Among those attending the Perry event in Council Bluffs was Diane Nelson of Neola, who likes his opposition to abortion and his views on less government and balanced budgets.

Though she is undecided, she said, "I'm leaning towards him."

Bob Eschliman of the World-Herald News Service contributed to this report.

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