Story highlights

Rep. Michelle Bachmann says though she's leaving the Hill, she wants to play a role in the 2016 White House race

Bachmann says she has no plans to run for president, but does want to "speak nationally on a variety of issues"

(CNN) —  

Rep. Michele Bachmann says now that she’s leaving Congress, she can “take the handcuffs off.”

In an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Friday, the eight-year Minnesota congresswoman said she wants to play a major role in the 2016 presidential campaign – even though she has no plans to seek the Republican nomination.

“I intend to go around the country and speak nationally on a variety of issues. I’ll be writing. I’ll be affiliating with groups,” she said.

Bachmann had harsh words for House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), calling Thursday night’s vote to pass a government funding bill – which Bachmann opposed – the most consequential of her four terms. She voted against the bill Thursday.

She said Boehner had linked arms with President Barack Obama to avert a government shutdown without defunding Obama’s executive action overhauling U.S. immigration rules. “The cake was baked months ago,” she said.

Bachmann, who sought the GOP presidential nomination in 2012, repeatedly deflected questions about whether she’d run again in 2016. She said she hasn’t formed a campaign committee – and that’s a sign that she has no plans to jump into the race.

But, she said, she does want to “be involved” in the race.

“I’m the only woman on the Republican side who’s ever been in a presidential debate. I’ve been in 15 of them,” Bachmann said. “I have no plans to put together a committee and run again, but I do intend to be involved.”