Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann told a crowd of about 100 here Tuesday that her under-privileged childhood was a “blessing in disguise.”

The Minnesota congresswoman outlined her Midwest upbringing with a single mother and explained how Christianity shapes her policy beliefs, a theme that played well at the S.C. Christian Chamber of Commerce event, near a Columbia homeless shelter.

Bachmann said after her parents divorced when she was about 12, her family went from middle- to lower-middle class to below the poverty line overnight. She took babysitting jobs. Her brothers delivered newspapers.

“One thing I learned is never despise small beginnings,” Bachmann said. “Sometimes suffering can be the greatest friend you have. It teaches us something, doesn’t it?”

Continue Reading on