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Bachmann energizes conservative crowd at Minnesota State University Moorhead

U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn.

MOORHEAD -- Michele Bachmann was in full campaign mode Saturday night, repeatedly bringing a ballroom full of conservatives to their feet in her "Win Back Washington" town hall meeting and rally at Minnesota State University Moorhead.

The Minnesota 6th District congresswoman entered the room to the strains of "She's a Lady" by Tom Jones, and the first of several standing ovations.

She said Republicans may have lost this battle on health care reform, but exhorted the crowd to sign up "to win the war."

"This is our country, and we're not going to let them take it away from us," she said.

"What you heard this week was nothing more than a smear campaign against God-fearing, freedom-loving, decent Americans" who protested against the bill, she said.

She said Republicans need 10 seats in the Senate and 40 seats in the House to regain majorities and urged audience members to volunteer their time and contribute to campaigns to make that happen.

The event was emceed by Fargo conservative radio talk-show host Scott Hennen.

The MSUM ballroom could seat 900 people, Hennen said. More than two-thirds of the seats were full by the time the program started.

Former North Dakota Governor and Bush administration Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer carried a microphone to audience members.

"They're pent up. They just want to be heard," Schafer said.

Politicians on the dais looking to tap Bachmann's popularity were:

- North Dakota Republican endorsed congressional candidate Rick Berg.

- Three of the four candidates vying for Republican endorsement in Minnesota's 7th Congressional District -- Karen Nelson, Lee Byberg and Glen Menze. Candidate Melva Larson could not attend.

- Marty Seifert, who is seeking the GOP nomination for governor.

In the audience were Paul Sorum, who had sought the North Dakota U.S. Senate nomination earned by Gov. John Hoeven, and Mary Franson, running for the Minnesota House in District 11B.

Franson thanked Bachmann for taking unpopular stands.

"It's a badge of honor to be called a loony, right-wing, crazy, wing nut whatever. I hope to someday have that honor," she said.

Bachmann said other issues on the horizon are national security and terrorism. She said that the Obama administration has treated Israel badly, too.

"The president has been treating our friends like enemies and our enemies like our friends," she said.