The assessment was issued in response to reports that surfaced this week in which former aides, quoted anonymously, said the attacks are frequently incapacitating, raising questions about whether Bachmann is fit to serve as commander in chief.
Those questions, the latest in a series of controversies that have flared up in her campaign recently, present the first real test of Bachmann’s ability to weather the rigors of a modern presidential campaign.
They come at a critical juncture for her presidential bid, which has gained momentum since her strong showing in a debate last month, when she emerged as a top-tier candidate. A Washington Post-ABC poll released Thursday shows her running strong among Republicans, behind Mitt Romney, and other polls indicate that she is a front-runner in Iowa, whose caucuses are the first test of the primary season.
Bachmann has a chance to cement that standing with a strong showing in next month’s Iowa straw poll. That depends to some extent on whether release of the doctor’s note allows her to move beyond the focus on her health.
The note, dated Wednesday, confirms that doctors conducted brain scans and lab work and prescribed two types of medication that she takes when symptoms arise. It wasn’t clear when the scans and lab work were conducted.
“You have not needed medical attention from me regarding your migraines with the use of the above mentioned commonly used therapies,” Monahan wrote.
As she campaigned in a supporter’s back yard in Norwalk on Wednesday morning — a “beautiful, bright, sunny, wonderful, God-kissed morning in Iowa,” she exulted — many of the Republicans gathered said it wasn’t the headaches that would signal her fitness for office, but how she deals with the pressure.
“How she handles it is important,” said Kay King, 69, a retired small-business owner from Prole. “Whether or not she gets a migraine? We have to keep focused on what’s important here.”
But one of her opponents, former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, suggested Wednesday that the headaches might preclude her from serving in the White House. At a campaign event Wednesday at a sports bar in Indianola, Iowa, Pawlenty said that candidates must show they can do “all of the job, all of the time.”
At a campaign stop in Southern California, Romney defended Bachmann. “There’s no question in my mind that Michele Bachmann’s health is in no way an impediment to her being able to serve as president,” Romney said.
News of Bachmann’s migraines surfaced Monday in the Daily Caller, which credited the information to three anonymous sources. According to the Web site, Bachmann had previously been hospitalized for the headaches, which the aides said were stress-induced and caused her to be out of commission for days.