U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann said Tuesday that Democrats are "terribly afraid" of her possible presidential campaign, and that it's sexist to suggest that there isn't enough room in the race for both her and Sarah Palin.
After touring the New Hampshire Statehouse in the morning, the Minnesota Republican headed to a pub across the street for WXKL-FM radio's "Road to the White House" interview series. Asked about the prospect of running against Palin in the GOP primary, Bachmann said that the race can accommodate them both. But rather than compare herself to the former Alaska governor, she said she's focused on the man she hopes to unseat, President Barack Obama.
"I think that comparison shows me very favorable compared to the current president of the United States," she said.
If she runs, Bachmann said she will emphasize how her background as a lawyer, business owner and mother makes her most qualified to turn the economy around.
"I've got that background, of being a person who worked my way through college," she said. "We're self-made people — I get it."
While Palin is in the midst of a bus tour of historic sites that may or may not bring her to New Hampshire this week for her first visit since the 2008 campaign, Bachmann has visited the state several times in recent months and spent Memorial Day at a picnic in Dover that raised money for area veterans.
Palin, the GOP's 2008 vice presidential candidate, said this week she is "still kind of contemplating" a presidential campaign but doesn't know whether she will run. Bachmann plans announce her decision in June in Iowa, and on Tuesday told former U.S. Senate candidate Ovide Lamontagne that she's looking forward to attending one of his candidate house parties later this summer.
Earlier Tuesday, Bachmann told ABC's "Good Morning America" that she considers Palin a "friend," not a "competitor," but that she has no problem running against a friend. In Concord, when asked whether it is sexist to suggest there isn't room for both her and Palin in the race, Bachmann responded by criticizing Democratic National Committee chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who last week called the GOP agenda "anti-women."
"They're terribly afraid of a Michele Bachmann candidacy for president of the United States. Democrats see themselves with group politics quite often, they'll see that they think they should own certain minorities or ethnicities or that they should own women. That's not true."
She said women are paying attention to the economy — including rising gas and grocery prices she blamed on Obama's policies — and are looking for conservative candidates.
"Women are not inclined to go necessarily toward the liberal policies of Barack Obama. If they see a common-sense conservative like myself making the case for pro-growth politics, that threatens the Democrats, so they want to attack," she said.
During a commercial break, Bachmann was greeted by former pizza magnate Herman Cain, who has recently joined the field of GOP presidential candidates and was having lunch at the restaurant where she was doing her interview.
"Some people have the idea just because you're both running for the nomination that you don't like each other. I love this woman!" Cain said after giving Bachmann a hug.
"That's why he supports me!" Bachmann quipped.