Bachmann opens SC forum railing against Obama

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- Opening a tea party-backed forum in this first voting state in the South, presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann is criticizing President Barack Obama's understanding of the Constitution and is pledging fidelity to the nation's founding document as she woos the grassroots activists who could deliver her the GOP's nomination.

The Minnesota Republican on Monday said the 2012 presidential election would hinge on each candidate's understanding of the Constitution, which she called "that sacred document."

Branding herself a "constitutional conservative," the former federal tax lawyer-turned-congresswoman challenged Obama's understanding of his powers. She cited Obama's political and policy advisers, whom she called "czars," the Justice Department's decision not to appeal a court's overturning of a federal marriage law, and his immigration policies.

She says all were unconstitutional.