ATLANTIC, Iowa -- It filled up early at the Cass County community center here. Five minutes before she was scheduled to speak, better than 50 Iowans had shown up -- the lucky ones under a tent, the unlucky ones in the warming sun. (They were told to show at 11:45.) The worry of the moment was, what else, the S&P downgrade.
"I agree with S&P," said Morry Knudsen, 76, a retired college professor. "This debt thing they passed... it was a facade."
When Bachmann arrived, she devoted half of her opening statement to the downgrade. The message: She could have stopped it.
"For the last two weeks, I led the fight against raising the debt limit," Bachmann said. Increasing the limit "pushed the rating agency over the edge." It was a "$2.4 trillion blank check that caused the downgrade."
Make no mistake: The downgrade was Barack Obama's fault. "We were somehow able to get through the Great Depression without a credit downgrade," she said. "Only under this president have we seen a credit downgrade... we are getting that credit rating back. That is going to be our goal. That will be our mission."
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