CNN has exclusively learned that Rep. Michele Bachmann will form a presidential exploratory committee. The Minnesota Republican plans to file papers for the committee in early June, with an announcement likely around that same time.
But a source close to the congresswoman said that Bachmann could form the exploratory committee even earlier than June so that she could participate in early Republican presidential debates. “She’s been telling everyone early summer,” the source told CNN regarding Bachmann’s planned June filing and announcement. But the source said that nothing is static.
“If you [debate sponsors] come to us and say, ‘To be in our debates, you have to have an exploratory committee,’ then we’ll say, ‘Okay, fine…I’ll go file the forms.’”
UPDATE: From the Des Moines Register:
I asked Bachmann about the report on CNN that she plans to open a presidential exploratory committee in June. She didn’t dispute the timeline but said that’s when she’ll make a decision.
“Well, we’ll be making a decision by this summer if we will or not. We haven’t made a decision that we actually will. But our national timeline that we’re following will be this summer because I believe it’s important to be part of the Iowa Straw Poll going forward, so I think a decision would have to be made by then.” …
“The Iowa Straw Poll I think will be a key for us. That will be a focal point. And so we’ll have to make the decision so we can meaningfully participate in the Iowa Straw Poll.”