The first thing to understand about President Donald Trump, former Minnesota congresswoman Michele Bachmann said Wednesday, is that the billionaire president is a normal person.

“He is quite honestly one of the most regular guys you would ever meet,” said Bachmann, an adviser to Trump on faith issues who prayed over the president in the Oval Office last week. “He just is who he is.”

The second thing Bachmann wanted Carver County Republican activists to understand about the president is that he’s doing the right thing about a vital threat to America: “migration from Islamic countries.”

“After all of this phony, fake, Russia-collusion nonstory, the number one thing that voters in America stand with Donald Trump on, it’s the idea that they want the pause button hit on immigration from Islamic countries because of the problems that are coming into this country,” Bachmann said at the American Legion post in Waconia, where she was the keynote speaker at a dinner hosted by the Carver County Conservative PAC and a forum for five Republican candidates for governor.

She spent the core of her nearly 50-minute speech Wednesday calling for vigilance against Muslim immigrants, some of whom she warned were different from any prior wave of immigrants to the United States and intent on undermining Western civilization.

At other parts of her speech, Bachmann criticized national education standards, the Metropolitan Council, “economic Marxist” Sen. Bernie Sanders, high taxes and the “welfare state.”

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Bachmann frequently sparked controversy while representing Minnesota’s 6th District in Congress from 2007 to 2015, and she didn’t shy away from it Wednesday.

“This is something that we have to be cognizant of, and not be afraid of it,” Bachmann said. “That’s what I see in Minnesota: Too many people who are being afraid of being called racists, bigots, Islamophobes — I’m not afraid of it, because what we’ve got to do is talk about the truth of the problems that are going on in Minnesota.”

Bachmann said America should “step up deportation in the country of people who are unwilling to bear allegiance to the United States,” stop immigration from Muslim countries and prevent the creation of “parallel societies within our society.”

“The next governor of Minnesota needs to understand the problems and the complications we have dealing with the issue of radical Islam. There are very, very few who do,” said Bachmann.

It was one of several times that she referred to what the next governor needed to do, including a specific reference to “if I were governor.”

Bachmann drew periodic applause from the Carver County audience for her speech.

“I was delighted to hear her,” said Oscar Tenzer, 87, of Mankato. “It was clear, it was factual, it was bold. She talked about the things that the politically correct crowd thinks you shouldn’t talk about.”

After the speech, Bachmann said she’s not running for Minnesota governor in 2018, where more than a dozen candidates in both parties are already seeking to succeed DFL Gov. Mark Dayton, who is note seeking a third term.

“No,” Bachmann said when asked if she was thinking of running for governor. “Just an expression to say, ‘This is what I would do.’ ”


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