Bachmann seeks Iowa boost

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Michele Bachmann
Michele Bachmann, R-Minn meets with Steve Sukup vice president and CFO of Sukup Manufacturing Company in Sheffield, Iowa.
MPR Photo/Mark Zdechlik

Promoting lower taxes and reduced government regulation as ways to spur the economy and create jobs, Michele Bachmann, R-Minn. continues a two-day presidential campaign tour Tuesday in Iowa.

Bachmann kicked off her jobs tour with a stop at Sukup Manufacturing Company, Monday in Sheffield, Iowa.

With nearly 500 workers, the grain storage and drying equipment manufacturer is the largest employer in town.

Speaking to Sukup workers gathered together in a large room, Bachmann countered President Barack Obama's jobs proposal, saying the best way to bring back the economy is to cut taxes and regulations.

"If we can pull away that regulatory burden," Bachmann said. "If we can lower the tax rate on a company like this, that will mean more money in Sukup's pocket."

And with more money, Bachmann said companies like Sukup could expand and hire more workers.

The Republican candidate took just one question during her meeting with Sukup workers. It was about whether she would support what proponents call a "fair tax," or a federal sales tax that would replace income taxes. Bachmann hedged and instead said she would enjoy leading the debate over how to reform the tax code to make it simpler and fair.

During the tour, Bachmann greeted Sukup workers.

"Seems like a nice person," said Philip Strand, 60. Strand said he's politically independent and that he voted for Ronald Reagan years ago and for Barack Obama in 2008. He is unhappy with the Obama administration, but neither does he agree with Bachman's core argument about the necessity to cut taxes.

"All the Republicans seem to be thinking that if we just cut taxes, cut taxes, cut taxes, that all the money will trickle down to the working me and I just don't see it happening," Strand said. "It hasn't happened yet."

Coleman Moffett does not work at Sukup, but lives in Sheffield and was aware of Bachmann's visit, as most of the town. Moffett, 24, works in construction and doesn't have as much work as he'd like.

Michele Bachmann
Michele Bachmann, R-Minn discusses manufacturing at the Sukup Manufacturing Company in Sheffield, Iowa.
MPR Photo/Mark Zdechlik

"Less hours means less pay for me and I just want the economy to get better so people will start wanting to build more houses so I actually have a steady job."

Moffett said he voted for Barack Obama, but that he won't be doing that again.

"I'm not too happy with everything that's been going onm so I'm open pretty much anything else."

Moffett said he might end up supporting Bachmann.

"I hear her name pretty much come up a lot out of all of the other candidates. I've heard a couple of different names before," he said. "I can't list them off, but her name probably because she's a female stands out above all the rest. She's probably this year's Sarah Palin."

Moffett is aware, yet unconcerned that Bachmann has a history of sometimes mixing up facts and misstating information.

"You know, people do that from time to time. You can't hold it against them," Moffat said. "We're human beings. We make mistakes."

Bachmann left Sheffield for Waterloo, where she visited a much smaller business. OMJC Signal employs 15 people who make high tech traffic control equipment, including some cutting edge solar powered units. Bachmann again delivered her platform: cut taxes and regulation and business will grow.

"That's what I want to see. I want to see this company grow so that you do better. Waterloo does better," she said.

Since winning the Iowa Straw poll a little more than a month ago, Bachmann has been back in the state a few times.

Bachmann invited reporters to ask questions after both events Monday. Asked what she needs to do to regain ground lost to Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Bachmann said she's on it.

"We're doing exactly what we need to be doing and that's being here in Iowa, seeing how important the state of Iowa is, listening to Iowans, talking to Iowans and that's how you win a state," Bachmann said.

Bachmann's trip to Iowa wraps up with a visit to a third business Tuesday morning in Des Moines.