South Carolina’s Tea Parties have been an early destination for some high-profile Republicans as they consider running for president. Most recently, Rick Santorum and former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson went directly to the Myrtle Beach Tea Party to gather or gauge support. The party’s first Southern primary is in South Carolina.
Among those testing the political winds is third-term Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. A tax lawyer and owner of a Christian counseling business, she recently gained attention when she gave a national response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address, outside of the standard GOP counterpoint given traditionally. Some local Tea Party leaders, including Allen Olson of the Columbia Tea Party says he personally believes the response should be left to Paul Ryan. He says that no one person speaks for all Tea Parties.
Olson says Rep. Bachmann contacted the Columbia Tea Party about coming here. She says she is coming to talk to the state’s Tea Parties early because she “respects them a great deal.” Bachmann talked with affiliate WVOC’s Keven Cohen.
She says she has not made a decision right now about whether she will run, but she is “still taking input right now.”