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Hoping to trigger a comeback in the polls, Republican presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann dropped by a downtown Scottsdale party Sunday as part of her third visit to Arizona in three months.
Bachmann, a three-term "tea-party" style congresswoman from Minnesota, warmly worked the crowd of about 150 people at the swanky Mint restaurant and ultra lounge, signing autographs and posing for photographs with fans and well-wishers.
She did not grant any one-on-one media interviews at the event, which marked the fourth anniversary of Politics on the Rocks, a Republican professional networking group. A private reception followed the free-to-the-public party.
During an 18-minute stump speech, Bachmann trained her fire on President Barack Obama, whom she accused of treating the United States as if it were "a banana republic." She vowed to limit him to a single term in the White House.
Bachmann also praised Arizona for its reputation for fiscal responsibility and called the state "the home of the tea party."
"Washington, D.C., needs to be a lot more like Arizona," Bachmann said to cheers. "Arizona should not be like Washington, D.C. Am I right?"
Bachmann also earned applause by promising to junk the U.S. tax code, to boost energy production and to get rid of Obama's 2010 health-care overhaul, which she described as her "win-win-win plan," an apparent play on former candidate Herman Cain's "9-9-9 plan."
"You are looking at the titanium spine that is going to repeal Obamacare," she said.
Bachmann's Scottsdale visit came the day after she earned generally good marks for her performance in a Saturday night debate in Iowa. She has been showing new signs of life in that state, which hosts the first-in-the-nation presidential caucuses on Jan. 3.
Bachmann won the Ames, Iowa, GOP straw poll in August, but her campaign had since sputtered. Nationally, the socially conservative Bachmann continues to struggle. She trails former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, according to the rolling average of national-poll results compiled by the political site RealClearPolitics.com.
Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., a strong Bachmann supporter who was on hand at the Mint, suggested that Republicans shouldn't write her off in the race.
"Of all of those people running, she is the most consistent conservative I know of," Franks said of Bachmann. "You won't find videotapes of her saying something that contradicts her statements of today. She is just someone of the highest integrity."
Arizona's Republican presidential preference election, or primary, is Feb. 28.
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