Pundits seemed to all agree that Michele Bachmann was on the ropes heading into last night’s Tea Party debate—and now they all seem to agree that she fought her way back in with her scathing indictment of Rick Perry’s HPV vaccination program. Here’s what people are saying:
- "Bachmann needed to make some noise ... and she did," a Republican strategist tells Reuters. "She challenged Perry in a very aggressive way." The question, another adds, is whether it will affect Iowa polling, because Bachmann "has to either win Iowa or help Perry implode."
- "Bachmann, the founder of the Tea Party Caucus in the House, knew her audience well and it showed," writes Amy Walter of ABC. Then again, "Bachmann’s weakness has been her inability to prove she can expand her appeal," and this debate didn’t help with that.
- "Bachmann finally awoke from her slumber" and "pummeled" Perry on HPV and illegal immigration, writes Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post. But she still doesn’t think Bachmann vaulted herself to tier one status.
- Bachmann herself was pretty pleased with the HPV dustup, because less than two hours later she sent out a fundraising email citing it, Politico notes, adding, "She certainly hit him hard, and has signaled a new stage of the race."