ABC News’ Michael Falcone ( @michaelpfalcone) reports:
Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann declined to directly address reports that the Christian counseling clinic owned by her and her husband, Marcus, has tried to help gay people become straight through prayer.
“I’m extremely proud of my husband. I have tremendous respect and admiration for him,” she told an audience in Washington, DC on Thursday. “I am running for the presidency of the United States.
My husband is not running for the presidency, neither are my children, neither is our business and neither are our foster children.”
Bachmann’s remarks came during a question and answer session after she delivered a speech at the National Press Club. Bachmann’s husband, Marcus, and two of the couple’s children, Sophie and Elisa, were in the audience on Thursday.
Though she declined to respond to the question about the practices of Bachmann & Associates counseling centers, she acknowledged that running for president often brings intense, and often unwanted, scrutiny.
“I have no doubt that every jot and tittle of my life will be fully looked at an inspected,” she said, adding that she
Bachmann’s appearance on Thursday in Washington was wedged in between visits to Iowa where she has been campaigning hard ahead of the Ames Straw Poll next month. She campaigned there earlier in the week and will return for more events over the weekend.
The Minnesota Republican did not steer clear of other personal issues, including her faith, telling the audience in Washington that if elected she “will pray every day.”
“I will be praying for every one of you too,” she said.
As the clock ticks down toward the Aug. 2 deadline for default on the national debt, Bachmann said there was no changing her mind about voting “no” on House Speaker John Boehner’s debt-limit plan, which is expected to come up for a vote later Thursday.
“We have to stop making raising the debt limit routine,” she told an audience in Washington, DC on Thursday. “The American people have made it abundantly clear they don’t want us to raise the debt limit whether it’s a short term raise or a long term raise.”
“I couldn’t go down that road and so I couldn’t give John Boehner that vote,” she said.
As she has before, she repeatedly accused President Obama of failing to lead on the issue, saying that “the lack of a clear plan from our president to substantially reduce our debt is what’s scaring the market.”
“He has passed the baton of leadership to Congress,” she said.
She also took issue with the government’s Aug. 2 deadline for default, referring to indications that the date “might not be accurate.”
In addition to the questions raised about her husband’s clinic, Bachmann has also endured scrutiny in recent weeks for her struggle with migraine headaches and for the low-cost home loan she received.
“We considered what would be involved and we knew this would be a momentous journey and it would take every bit of our stamina,” she said of her decision to run for president, “and we knew that it would be tough.”
As she campaigns for the Republican nomination, Bachmann said she follows the news in newspaper, magazines and on her Apple iPad.
“Thank god for ipads, I love them,” she noted. She also said that she often starts by reading and watching reports from “liberal” news organizations, citing MSNBC, The Huffington Post and the Daily Beast.
In response to a question, she told the audience that her favorite Republican president is Abraham Lincoln, her favorite Democrat is Harry Trum and her “all time favorite” president is George Washington.
“He was the reluctant president that didn’t choose the job,” she said.