Bachmann on Senate run: ‘Should it be me?’

Michelle Bachmann is surrounded by delegates from Texas at a 2012 event. (Robyn Beck/AFP/GettyImages)

Former Minnesota Republican U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann hasn't ruled out a run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Democratic Sen. Al Franken.

In an episode of "The Jim Bakker Show" that aired last week, Bachmann told the televangelist that she has been encouraged to consider a 2018 campaign. At about 24 minutes into the interview, she said she's mulling it over with her husband but didn't offer a timetable for a decision.

"The question is: should it be me, should it be now? But there's also a price to pay. The price is bigger than ever because the swamp is so toxic," Bachmann said.

Bachmann served four terms in Congress and ran for president in 2012, a race that ended with a defeat in the Iowa caucus.

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"Am I being called to do this now? I don't know. I could handle the job," Bachmann said. "I know how to do the job."

Republican state Sen. Karin Housley has announced a campaign for the seat. So has Tina Smith, the Democratic lieutenant governor whose term as an appointed senator begins Wednesday. The remaining two years of Franken's term will be filled during a November special election.

Bachmann would be an instant force in the race given her broad name recognition and a nearly $1.7 million campaign balance she still has control of from her days in Congress. That money could be transferred to a Senate campaign.

Bachmann spoke at length on the show about dealing with criticism as a political figure and how her husband's therapy business suffered as a result. Since leaving office, Bachmann has remained a political voice, backing Donald Trump's presidential run in 2016.

On the Bakker show, Bachmann touted Trump as a resolute leader but said he has been "a mixed bag like we all are." She said Trump has brought some biblical principles to Washington and she continues to "pray for an imperfect man."

Bachmann said Franken was "forced out" by his party.

"I'm not saying he didn't do some bad boy things. I think he did. He didn't do what Harvey Weinstein did," Bachmann said, invoking the Hollywood mogul accused of sexual assault by multiple women.