Michelle Bachmann won the Ames straw poll with a quarter of the 16,000-plus votes cast. Tim Pawlenty was in third place.
The Minnesota (presidential) Twins offered their seal-the-deal remarks to Republicans attending the party's straw poll in Ames, Iowa, Saturday afternoon, shortly before voting on the GOP's presidential closed for the day (check back for updates).
Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty, his presidential campaign bid all but smothered by speculation that he's toast if he doesn't perform well in the poll, was up first, to be followed by Rep. Michele Bachmann, who has been soaring.
Iowa Rep. Steve King, one of Bachmann's closest allies in Congress, warmed up the crowd before Pawlenty's speech, echoed the Sixth District congresswoman by saying President Obama will be "a one-term president" and that "Obamacare" has to be "teared up by its roots." He did not, however, endorse any of his fellow Republicans.
Pawlenty spent most of his speech lacerating Obama, saying, obliquely, that while his Republican rivals are "wonderful people," the Republican presidential nominee has to "be more than words -- we've got to deliver."
With his backers alternately chanting "T-Paw" and "USA" Pawlety said the straw poll is the beginning "of this journey for taking this country back from Barack Obama ... Barack Obama's got to go."
Pawlenty outlined a basic thre-point program: a country that "puts its trust in God first and foremost;" the United States "can't take in more than it takes in," and "maintaining the peace by maintaining our strength."
He concluded: "I will restore America's peomise."
Bachmann took the stage 20 minutes later, only glancingly mentioning Obama and spening far more time speaking of God and social conservative issues -- and stressing her bonafides as a native Iowan. "As one Iowan to another," she opened one of her statements.
Stressing her opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage, Bachmann said "we need the family to go forward ... We are social conservatives and we will never be ashamed of beingsocial conservatives."
Never once mentioning any of her Republican rivals, she took direct aim at the general election next year: "God Bless you everyone. We are going to do it. It's going to happen. 2012 is ours ... We're going to tak the country back in 2012 and we are going to do it together."
He added, in a trademark rhetorical trope, "we're going to make Barack Obama a ... ONE ... TERM ... PRESIDENT." Her supporters matched her word for word.