From NBC's Domenico Montanaro
Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-MN) stoked the fears of conservatives here that President Obama is putting the United States on a path to the decline of so-called "American exceptionalism."
She also claimed that Franklin Delano Roosevelt took a "manageable recession" and turned it into a 10-year Depression. (Really?)
She hailed conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer as a "genius" because he wrote that decline is a "choice" not predetermined.
She mocked Obama for having said that he believes in American exceptionalism as he probably suspects the Brits believe in British exceptionalism, for example. She then read off a list of what she said Obama sees as American sins.
The crowd booed loudly.
"We're all going to need a self-esteem course or two after that litany," she said, adding, "Decline can happen quickly even for a great nation. ...
"Will they choose decline for the united States or will they choose greatness?"
Sounding the Tea Party theme of co-opting the founding fathers, she claimed, "The founders of this great nation did not choose decline. They chose us, and they chose greatness for us. They gave us a legacy that was unlike any in recorded history."
Unlike any in recorded history? Tell it to the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Romans, the British Empire.
"They chose greatness for us, rather than decline," she told the crowd. "That is our history. That is our American story."
NOTES: Bachmann showed a slide of the Bush "Miss me yet?" billboard. She said she is "lucky enough to be the reprsentative for these very creative innovative business people. ... They got their ad dollars out of this billboard." ...
She advocated evangelizing conservatism to liberals. She talked of her son in medical school who vowed to convert just one liberal. His San Francisco roomate, she said, seemed to come around, because he sent him a Pat Buchanan WorldNetDaily column. She challenged the crowd to also change just one liberal's mind. "These elections won't even be close if we change one person each," Bachmann declared.
Bachmann opened her speech, saying she was addressing "the majority in waiting. How does it feel?" ...
She hit Obama on debt. She said that the $4 trillion in debt would be a pillar of money that would reach 260 miles into space. "This is a tremendous accumulation of debt even by Washington, D.C., standards," she said. "This is real money."
She then criticized the efforts toward health-care reform. "They're pushing to take over another 18% of the economy," she said, describing Democrats' plan as a "job-killing government takeover of health care." ...
She added, "You and I have a right to our labor, to the fruits of our labor." She labeled the Obama administration and the Democratic-controlled Congress as "radical," because they don't believe this, she claimed. "What I have belongs to me, not the king. Bondholders at Chrysler know this all too well." ...
Bachmann also talked of a supposed Obama speech and thought police.