Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) seemed to attack two of her Republican rivals, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain, without naming them Monday at a speech at the Family Research Council in Washington.
"Unfortunately for too many Republicans, they also aspire to be frugal socialists," she said. "The reason President Obama and some Republicans can get behind socialized medicine is because they share the same core political philosophy about the purpose of government." She added, "We cannot preserve liberty if the choice is between a frugal socialist and an out-of-control socialist."
The most likely target of her remarks was former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who signed into law a health care reform in his state similar to the law the president signed. Romney says that he wants to repeal the president's health care law.
When asked by a reporter about who she was referring to in the question-and-answer session in the "frugal socialist" remark, she responded, "Well you see, that's part of the puzzle for you to figure out." The audience laughed. "Good try," she added.
Bachmann also attacked Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain -- and possibly Romney who has shifted on his views -- for his stance on abortion, without mentioning him by name. "Our candidate has to do more than just check the box on life," she said. "You won't find YouTube clips of me advocating anything else," she added.
The former Godfather's Pizza CEO has given conflicting answers on his position in recent interviews. He said in an interview with CNN's Piers Morgan that he believes in abortion "under no circumstances," but added that "it's not the government's role or anybody else's role to make that decision." A YouTube clip of an interview with him this summer drew attention for his contradictory answers on abortion.
Bachmann, however, remains far behind Romney and Cain. A Washington Post/ABC News national poll released Friday showed Romney and Cain with 24 and 23 percent, respectively, and Bachmann with 4 percent, down from 16 percent in July.
Bachmann commented on other subjects in her speech. She said, "I believe in liberty for light bulbs," referring to new efficiency standards for incandescent light bulbs, which some conservatives oppose. Bachmann also claimed President Barack Obama was not listening to the generals on Afghanistan. "He is not listening to General Allen. He is listening to General Axelrod," she said, referring David Axelrod, one of the president's top 2012 campaign advisors.