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Bachmann stresses social issues, makes another gaffe

DES MOINES, IA –- Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann held a press conference this morning focusing on social issues she feels other candidates are ignoring. 

About two-dozen supporters –- many of them area Christian leaders -– sat behind her in a ballroom at a local hotel as she re-iterated her anti-abortion views. “We all understand that the No. 1 issue that people will be voting on in this election will be the economy and jobs,” Bachmann said. “But in the midst of this, we can’t forget the issue of the protection of the most innocent and vulnerable among us -- and that’s the unborn.”

Today's event seemed designed, in part, to underscore Bachmann’s strong appeal with conservative Christian voters at a time when she is slipping in national polls. But when the congresswoman misspoke during the Q&A period, she renewed attention on the health of her campaign –- and added to a list of gaffes dating back to her debut on the national stage.

“We have something like 250,000 donors to our campaign,” Bachmann told reporters. “That is a tremendous amount of donors. And our average donation is $50.”

But immediately following the event, Bachmann’s campaign spokeswoman approached the media to clarify that statement. Alice Stewart said the congresswoman misspoke –- the 250,000 donor number was actually, she said, “over the course of her entire political career.”

The press conference followed Bachmann's private tour took of a nearby clinic that counsels women out of abortions. The leaders of the Informed Choices Medical Clinic joined Bachmann onstage, and gave remarks on the role of faith in the debate over abortion rights. They said that the young women who visit are urged to consider keeping the baby.

“At the end of the entire process,” Pastor Brad Sherman said, “we try to ask a second question, and that is: There’s somebody else that cares very much about you as well, and about your eternal life, and his name’s Jesus Christ.”