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Minnesota Delegation Not Rushing to Back Bachmann

Tom Williams/Roll Call
Three of Rep. Michele Bachmann’s fellow Minnesota Republican colleagues have not endorsed her for president.

The Minnesota delegations 2012 support is suddenly up for grabs, but whether the only Minnesotan left in the 2012 GOP presidential race can capture those endorsements is far from decided.

Republican Reps. John Kline and Erik Paulsen, two of former Gov. Tim Pawlentys (R) most prominent Capitol Hill backers, havent sprinted to support their home-state colleague Rep. Michele Bachmann since Pawlenty abruptly ended his candidacy Sunday.

Rep. Chip Cravaack (R), a conservative who would appear to be more aligned with Bachmanns ideals than the former governor, hasnt rushed to her side either.

When Bachmann sought the House Republican Conference chairmanship, she had votes from her two best friends and her home team GOP delegation. But according to Roll Calls analysis of Member endorsements, despite becoming the first woman and Minnesotan to win the Ames straw poll, she stands alone.

Spokesmen for Kline and Paulsen did not respond Monday to requests for comment on whether they would back Bachmann.

Cravaack spokesman Michael Bars was elusive, telling Roll Call in an email simply: Nothing to report.

Pressed whether this meant Cravaack was pondering an endorsement or had decided not to endorse Bachmann at all, Bars doubled down on his enigmatic response. There is nothing to report whatsoever, he said. Chips focused on the 8th [district].

Former Rep. Vin Weber (R), who held the 6th district seat Bachmann now holds and served as an unofficial adviser for the Pawlenty campaign, told Roll Call he would endorse another candidate at some point.

Weber, who publicly apologized after telling the Hill last month that Bachmanns sex appeal was among the things that could help her in Iowa, said in a phone interview that he would look for a candidate who could articulate a hopeful economic message. But he didnt mention Bachmann.

Im going to think it over a little bit and let the dust settle, he said.

David M. Drucker contributed to this report.

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