Des Moines, IA -- Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann stood amongst nearly 20 representatives from the Faith and Family Council in Iowa today to reaffirm her position as a steadfast supporter of their pro-life position.
At a press conference inside a Des Moines hotel, Bachmann acknowledged that the economy and creating American jobs is a central priority among the candidates seeking the Republican nomination, but said this election presents an opportunity for the faith community to elect a candidate with a proven track record and a platform that is consistent with their values.
"Of course jobs and getting Americans working again is the number one issue facing the country," said Bachmann. "But, amidst those goals, we cannot settle for a candidate that doesn't stand up for the sanctity of life and humanity."
After a swing through North Carolina last week, Minnesota Congresswoman Bachmann returned to Iowa this week, where she likely has to do well in the Iowa caucuses to stay alive in the Republican presidential race. Bachmann won the Ames Straw Poll in August but recently has seen her approval numbers slip below several of her Republic competitors, according to last week's Fox News poll and a Washington Post-ABC News poll, released October 3rd.
Bachmann, who shared the stage with pastors and a representative from Informed Choices Medical Clinic, an Iowa based reproductive counseling clinic, spoke of her own experience, since she was 19, counseling women and encouraging them to take the pro-life route.
"My husband and I have experience informally working with women, holding their hands, caring for them, and helping them stand on their own two feet," said Bachmann.
Praising the financial contributions and collaboration local Protestant and Catholic groups have shared with Informed Choices Medical Clinic, Bachmann said, "Informed Choices is about bringing the baby to full term. This work can't be done without the faith community."
Pastor Brad Sherman, who leads Solid Rock Christian Church in Coralville, Iowa, explained that the "right to life" movement is emblematic of the message Americans are sending Washington right now.
"We don't need big government to tell us what to do," said Pastor Sherman. "And that is why I am so happy to support her (Bachmann) and what she is doing." According to a March 2011 story in the LA Times, Sherman was was complimentary of another Republican candidate for president, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who has been courting conservative pastors while expressing contrition for his personal history.
Several of the press conference participants nodded when one of their colleagues said the nation has lost its "moral way."
Another pastor, Mark Doland, of Park Church of Christ in Oskaloosa, Iowa, said, "If someone is willing to compromise on the right to life, you can't trust them with you money."
According to the Bachmann campaign, the Congresswoman has received over 100 endorsements from Iowa pastors and faith leaders.
"As I travel the country, the one thing I hear from people is, 'We're going to be sure Obama is a one term president'," said Bachmann. "But if there is one election where we can have it all, why not have it be this election?"
The move to shore up her religious conservative base could have mixed results depending on whether Republican and Independent voters respond well to a candidate focusing on a specific social issue most rather than a comprehensive plan to improve the economy.