Michele Bachmann faces independent voters who plan to caucus in Iowa

Rachel Rose Hartman

DES MOINES, Iowa--Michele Bachmann finds Iowans "not to be highly partisan," she said during her opening remarks at a town hall here on Thursday. "I find Iowans to be genuinely independent-minded people."

Those words proved true minutes later when Iowa voters began asking her questions.

"I'd like to know how you think you'd be more successful than President Obama in working with Congress," the first questioner asked.

Bachmann's response? Elect more Republicans.

"My intention as the nominee of the Republican party is to not quit until I help elect 13 more Republican senators," giving Republicans a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, Bachmann said.

"Assuming that you do not have Republicans to control the legislature … how are you going to work with a Democratically-controlled Senate?" the second questioner asked.

"Oh ye of little faith," Bachmann immediately answered, explaining why she believes a Republican supermajority is attainable.

Her answers didn't satisfy some in the crowd. "She basically avoided the question and said she's going to replace everybody so she gets what she wants," Jeff Trier, an employee of Principal Financial Group, which Bachmann was visiting, told Yahoo News. "It's like…. you're not working with people, and avoiding the situation."

"She expressed [her plan] as very ambitious to say we're going to elect all these people so therefore we'll get it all through … again, what if you don't?" Jonas Cutler, another attendee, told Yahoo News.

Both Trier and Cutler said they are not registered with a political party. They and two other independent colleagues told Yahoo News they plan to participate in Tuesday's caucuses. Independents must register as Republicans on caucus night in order to participate.

Cutler, a Marine veteran, said he was more concerned about Bachmann's foreign policy proposals than her partisanship. He said he feels most comfortable with Ron Paul's foreign policy among the positions staked out by the Republican candidates.

Bachmann did appear to have many supporters in the crowd, and she received strong applause following both her speech and the question-and-answer session.

Despite her low standing in the polls and the decision by her Iowa campaign chairman, Kent Sorenson, to endorse Ron Paul, Bachmann insisted to reporters Thursday that she is experiencing new momentum in Iowa. "We saw over and over that what energized people at these stops was the fact that Ron Paul would be dangerous," she said.

Watch a clip of Bachmann speaking to reporters about President Obama below:

Bachmann won the Iowa straw poll in August but has seen her standing in public opinion surveys in the state and nationally fall precipitously in the intervening months.

Chris Moody contributed reporting to this story.

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