WASHINGTON – House Speaker John Boehner says GOP presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann did a "really good job" in Monday's debate. She and another House member in the race, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, have as much chance as the other contenders to win the party's nomination, he added.
Boehner, who has called Bachmann a friend but did not endorse her bid for a House leadership post, said Tuesday that she is a "bright light" in the GOP caucus. That's why, Boehner said, he appointed her to the prestigious House Intelligence Committee.
During the Minnesota Republican's breakout performance Monday, she announced that she had filed the necessary papers to be a candidate. Bachmann, a tea party favorite, is the only woman in the seven-candidate field. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is considered the front-runner.
Bachmann said she revealed her plans for the next election cycle because she believed it was "the right thing to do."
Speaking on CBS' "The Early Show" Tuesday morning Bachmann said that she "had full assurance from the American people that this was the right thing to do. ... We were quite confident, after much planning and deliberation, this is exactly the right time to file the paperwork, and we'll be making a formal announcement soon."
Asked how she would feel about former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin getting into the race, Bachmann says, "I have great respect and admiration for the governor." Bachmann told "The Early Show" that she believes the Republicans have a strong field and "I think we have room for more if the governor chooses to get in." She says she'll make her formal announcement soon.
The AP reported on Monday night:
Since first hinting at a presidential campaign ahead of an Iowa speech in January, she has made sustained trips there and to New Hampshire and South Carolina, all places with an outsized voice in the nominating process. She previously told reporters she would announce her intentions this month in her birthplace of Waterloo, Iowa.
Veteran Republican campaign consultant Ed Rollins confirmed to The Associated Press that he would be Bachmann's campaign manager. He said a formal rollout hasn't been set.
"We are now a campaign committee and we will come out to Iowa sometime in the next couple of weeks," Rollins said.
Click here for a video mash-up of highlights from the GOP presidential primary debate on Monday night. Below, a clip released by Bachmann's camp shortly after her she revealed her plans for 2012 during the forum.
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