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2012: 'I'm running for president'

“The Republican National Committee announced Tuesday that it raised slightly more than $7 million in March, finishing the month with $3.2 million in cash on hand and $19.8 million in debt from the 2010 election cycle,” Roll Call reports, adding, “The fundraising news came at the same time as the announcement that the RNC has hired Angela Meyers to serve as its new finance director.”

GOP 12’s Christian Heinze, writing in The Hill, looks at the double-edged sword of attempts at humor by candidates.

BACHMANN: Michele Bachmann will visit New Hampshire on April 18, the New Hampshire Union-Leader’s DiStaso reports. She’ll meet with about two dozen to 30 state Tea Party leaders.

BARBOUR: Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour begins his two-day visit to New Hampshire today, which includes a reception at a private residence in the town of Bow; a breakfast at a French restaurant in Manchester, a meet-and-greet at Riley’s Gun Shop in Hooksett; and a reception with the Greater Manchester Federation of Republican Women, the Memphis Commercial Appeal writes.

Barbour deflected several questions about Mitt Romney’s health care plan when he visited the Congressional Health Care Caucus yesterday, saying only that “the similarities are obvious,” the New York Times writes, adding that Barbour said he’ll be “in or out” for the presidency by the end of April.

DANIELS: In an editorial board with the Indianapolis Star, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels was asked to respond to Time columnist Joel Klein plea for Daniels to enter the race and his characterization of the rest of the GOP field as a “freak show.” “‘It's always good to be held to a low standard,’ [Daniels] said and envisioned his campaign being praised with the words: ‘At least he's not a freak.’” On whether Daniels accepts that President Obama was born in Hawaii, he said: “I guess I do, but I don't care… I don't think it's material. I accept that he was."

GINGRICH: Newt Gingrich is “highly unlikely” to meet the criteria for the Fox News Channel/South Carolina GOP’s May 5 debate, The Hill reports, as participants must register a presidential exploratory committee or have announced a formal campaign for president by April 29. “Specifically, the April 29 requirement does not fit within our time line,” Gingrich’s spokesman explained.

Gingrich showed his documentary at Texas A&M University yesterday, student newspaper The Battalion writes.

HUCKABEE: Mike Huckabee tweeted a birthday greeting yesterday to Iowa conservative Bob Vander Plaats, who turns 48 today, the Des Moines Register writes. Vander Plaats invited Huckabee to speak in his group The Family Leader’s presidential lecture series but Huckabee hasn’t accepted so far.

“Mike Huckabee and Donald Trump had a one-on-one meeting last week, a sit-down that left the former Arkansas governor with the impression that the developer is indeed going to run for president,” Politico reports. “The get-together came as Huckabee, multiple sources said, has been quietly meeting with donors in New York for the past month as he himself weighs a run.”

PAWLENTY: Pawlenty said on CNN yesterday that he is “running for president,” a statement his campaign quickly sought to downplay, as Pawlenty has not officially announced a bid, AFP notes.

Pawlenty’s exploratory committee announced its political director of its exploratory committee, Jon Seaton, who ran the Iowa caucus operation for John McCain’s 2008 bid and was the regional campaign manager for Ohio and Pennsylvania during the general election. 

The New Hampshire Union-Leader’s DiStaso reports that Tim Pawlenty will participate in the first New Hampshire Republican presidential debate on June 7.

ROMNEY: Questioning a candidate’s citizenship is familiar territory for the Romney family, as lawyers for Mitt Romney’s father, then-Michigan Gov. George Romney, investigated the question in the 1960s when the elder Romney was running for president, Forbes writes. George Romney was born in a Mormon colony in Chihuahua, Mexico.

SANTORUM: Rick Santorum will discuss the next step he will be taking regarding a potential presidential bid tonight on Fox News, New Hampshire Union-Leader’s DiStaso writes. “It's anticipated that Santorum, who announced on Monday that he will participate in a presidential debate in New Hampshire on June 7, will move closer to a candidacy, perhaps with the formation of an exploratory committee.”

TRUMP: “Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) suggested that Trump, the real estate mogul and reality TV star, should be fired for running for president and the comments he's made while readying a possible campaign,” The Hill reports. Weiner tweeted: “There is no law against stupid, but when is Comcast/NBC/Kabletown gonna fire Trump? #MaybeWeDoNeedSuchALaw.”