Politics

Bachmann Enters Presidential Race, Faces Criticism Over Farm Subsidies

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

Rep. Michele Bachmann has formally entered the Republican race for president, making the announcement in her birthplace in Iowa, which coincidentally is the sight of the first presidential caucus.

"I know what it means to be from Iowa -- I know what we value here, and I know what's important," Bachmann said in her hometown of Waterloo.

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The Tea Party darling is expected to do well in Iowa; a Des Moines Register poll on Sunday shows her running second only to Mitt Romney in the state, trailing him by just a percentage point -- 23% to 22%.

Also on Sunday, the Minnesota congresswoman fought off allegations that she benefited from government subsidies -- the type of thing Tea Partiers despise.

The Los Angeles Times reported that a counseling clinic run by her husband received nearly $30,000 from Minnesota and the federal government in the last five years. A family farm in Wisconsin, where she is listed as a partner, received about $260,000 in federal subsidies.

Appearing on "Face the Nation," she denied profiting from the subsidies.

"First of all," she said, "the money that went to the clinic was actually training money for employees. The clinic did not get the money. And my husband and I did not get the money either. That's mental health training money that went to employees."

She said the farm belongs to her father-in-law. "It's not my husband and my farm. And my husband and I have never gotten a penny of money from the farm."

However the Times claimed that in her own financial disclosure forms, Bachmann reported receiving between $32,503 and $105,000 in income from the farm, at minimum, between 2006 and 2009.

She was not asked about those forms during the interview.

Here is Bachmann kicking off her campaign: