WASHINGTON -- Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) had already released a 30-second ad this month in which she said the words, "I will not vote to raise the debt ceiling."
But in her first ad, that statement didn't come until 20 seconds into the spot. On Wednesday morning, Bachmann released a second 30-second ad to make extra clear where she stood. This video gets right to the point.
"I will not vote to increase the debt ceiling," Bachmann says in the first four seconds. Bachmann pauses between every word to emphasize each one. She gestures with her hands.
If anyone thought that some skepticism and criticism among conservatives of Bachmann's populist stance was going to get her to change her mind, they were wrong.
It's clear that the Tea Party favorite is seeking to make the debt ceiling hike a pivotal moment in the Republican presidential primary. Bachmann has already zoomed to the second spot in the latest polls: a Wall Street Journal/NBC survey released Tuesday showed her at 16 percent, behind former Massachusetts Gov. MItt Romney's 30 percent.
Bachmann's stance is viewed by many in the GOP as irresponsible. Republican leaders in the House and Senate feel she is far too cavalier about the government defaulting and is encouraging others to downplay the consequences of such a scenario. Her insistence on a repeal of President Obama's health care law being included in any debt ceiling increase was ridiculed recently in an interview with Fox News' Bill O'Reilly.
But the 55-year-old, third-term congresswoman is combining Tea Party orthodoxy on the issue with a political calculation that this could be the issue that vaults her over the other more cautious Republican primary candidates. It is bet that is not without some risk, however, and the weeks to come could have significant impact on whether she does in fact rise higher or come back to earth.
The rest of Bachmann's ad takes on the tone of a journal entry or a letter home from summer camp.
"So here I am in Congress watching these people borrow more money that we don't have so that my children can be further indebted," Bachmann says.
She then uses a word you can expect her to reference more often as this debt ceiling showdown goes on to differentiate herself from other Republicans: courage.
"We have to deal with the economic reality and I have the will and I have the courage to see this through," she says.
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