EDITOR'S NOTE: During the 2012 GOP presidential race, The Post and Courier is seeking to talk one-on-one with each contender. U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann gave a speech in Mount Pleasant on Thursday and later talked with reporter Robert Behre.
P&C: Some say the Occupy movement (which interrupted Bachmann's speech on the aircraft carrier Yorktown) could turn the Democrats' convention into 1968 all over again.
Bachmann: "It will. I don't think they understand the mentality that the American people really turn against that because there's so much uncertainty right now. And people are economically at odds. This isn't the message the American people want."
P&C: In the wake of Texas Gov. Rick Perry's debate performance Wednesday, have you ever had a moment speaking in public where you sort of froze and forgot what you were going to say?
Bachmann: "It's everyone's worst nightmare. It can happen to anyone. I've certainly made mistakes myself when I've stood up and spoken, so I don't take any glee in that."
P&C: As the only female candidate, what is your take on the sexual harassment allegations against Herman Cain? Do you think he's getting a fair shake?
Bachmann: "I don't have any details about it. I just have no comment."
P&C: Do you feel that being the only woman in the field gives you any particular advantage or handicap? To what extent should voters consider gender when they're making up their minds?
Bachmann: "I think the unique contribution I bring to the race is the fact that I am a mother... One thing that I've seen all across the country is mothers are very worried. They see the nation is in a steep decline and they've poured their entire life into raising that next generation. They didn't raise that next generation to be handmaidens of the state, wards of the state."
P&C: What else makes you unique?
Bachmann: "With my candidacy, you won't see surprises from me. There's been a lot of political surprises in this race so far. It's been like Wall Street, with the stock market going up and down. You won't find that with me, with my policy positions. I've been very, very consistent."
P&C: What do you feel is the most overlooked issue in this campaign so far?
Bachmann: "I think the China threat is one we do need to consider. And the Iranian threat. Foreign policy, I think this has been the issue that's been most neglected. ... Here's the other thing I think is extremely important: It's the velocity of the decline that the United States is going in. ... Almost 10 times as much debt in four years. There is no parallel in American history, this velocity of decline."
P&C: You're an Iowa native now representing Minnesota in Congress. What is it about your biography or policies do you think most connects you with voters here in South Carolina?
Bachmann: "A lot of Minnesotans live here in South Carolina, and who wouldn't want to? It's a beautiful place to live, especially here in the Charleston area. I have family that live here... but I think what connects me is where I stand on issues. I'm a committed born-again believer in Jesus Christ but I'm also very strong in my pro-life values, my pro-marriage between one man and one woman values. ... But I'm also very strong on national security. This is a national security state."
P&C: This is at least your third trip to Charleston during the campaign. Do you have a favorite place you'd like to go here once the campaign work is done?
Bachmann: "Oh goodness, I love it. The islands are all beautiful nearby. I've visited some of the islands. There are no shortage of good restaurants to eat at in South Carolina. You can't go wrong with the seafood. The problem is where you go to eat because there are so many good places."