A crowd of about 300 attended the gathering in St. Paul as part of 47-city national tour by the Tea Party Express.
Fresh off her mega-rally with Sarah Palin a day earlier, U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann told Tea Partiers gathered at the state Capitol on Thursday that "the Tea Party is leading the way back to constitutional conservatism."
The Tea Party Express, the conservative moment's traveling road show, rolled its rock star tour buses into St. Paul on Thursday morning as part of a cross-country tour, turning out about 300 people for Bachmann's brief speech.
Bachmann offered up heaping helpings of conservative red meat for the crowd, telling them she would work to unwind the federal health care overhaul and characterizing the federal bailouts of large lenders and automakers as an alarming government intrusion into private businesses.
"In 18 months, we have effectively witnessed an economic coup," she said to cheers. "But this is our country; we own it. We are here today as Tea Party patriots to put a stake in the ground and say, 'This is our country and you are not taking any more.' "
The Tea Party Express is on a 47-city tour hosted by conservative leaders from around the country, radio talk show hosts, life coaches and entertainer Lloyd Marcus.
Bachmann is a favorite of the tour crowd, who made St. Paul the 28th stop on a tour that was headed to Duluth in the afternoon. A few carried signs that said, "We aren't retreating, we are reloading," "Impeach the Media" and "Damn right I own a gun."
The event alternated between high-energy pep rally, conservative revival and campaign event. The leaders announced the endorsement of Bachmann's reelection campaign and pledged a check for $1,000. After hearing the news, Bachmann clutched her hands over her head like a prize fighter.
"Two years from now, Barack Obama will be a one-term president," Bachmann said. "We will replace him with a rock solid, bull-courageous, constitutional conservative. No substitutes for president this time."
Mark Skoda, a member of the Memphis Tea Party, warned the crowd that opponents will try to infiltrate upcoming anti-tax rallies. He urged people to buy small video cameras to document Tea Party events so "you know who's next to you."
Leanne Petyo, of Lino Lakes, said she came to stand up "for the country's values and principles."
"I've learned I haven't been doing my civic duty," Petyo said.
The Tea Party Express kicked off its tour with a giant rally in Searchlight, Nev., last month starring Palin. That rally targeted U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and exemplified the tour's slogan: "Just Vote Them Out!"
From Duluth, the Express was headed to nine stops in Michigan and points east, ending in Washington on April 15, Tax Day.
Staff writer Bob von Sternberg contributed to this report.