GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – US 2012 presidential election hopefuls Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry showed their colours this weekend, setting off the Republicans’ challenge to Barack Obama’s presidency. Bachmann, from Minnesota and founder of the Tea Party Caucus in Congress, won the Iowa straw poll Saturday 13 August, a first testing of the waters of Republican voters’ sentiment. Fellow Minnesotan, former governor Tim Pawlenty, dropped out of the race after coming third in the straw poll.
Rick Perry, Governor of Texas and one-time Democrat, meanwhile announced officially that he will run. He and Bachmann are seen as challengers to possible front-runner Mitt Romney of Michigan. Both will give Romney a fight for the large Christian, conservative group of voters who are wary of the federal government.