BACHMANN: “LensCrafters is not happy that Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann has yanked the company into America's abortion debate,” the New York Daily News says. “The international eyewear retailer requested that the Tea Party darling and aspiring presidential candidate stop using the company's name days after Bachmann said Planned Parenthood was ‘the LensCrafters of big abortion.’”
Michele Bachmann released a statement after her vote on the Continuing Resolution to fund the government through September: “The American people gave us a mandate last fall to cut spending, and to fight to repeal ObamaCare and defund Planned Parenthood. This CR fell woefully short in terms of spending cuts, and left the other two key issues as stand-alone amendments. I was pleased to vote for both of those amendments, but they were defeated in the Senate.”
BARBOUR: Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour’s visit to Riley’s Gun Shop in Hooksett, New Hampshire “underscored not only Barbour's support for Second Amendment freedoms, but also his affinity for the ideals embraced in the lead presidential primary state,” the Boston Globe writes. During a conversation with owner Ralph Demicco and, later, reporters against a backdrop of ammunition boxes, Barbour expressed his support for low taxes and aversion to government spending; for the right to keep and bear arms; and for the Granite State's conservative tradition. ‘I told them outside, 'A lot of targets' – the liberal media,’ Barbour quipped to Demicco as the two chatted amid a pack of reporters, television, and still cameras.”
HUCKABEE: Without the aid of anyone in the Huckabee camp, a group of Iowa loyalists to the former Arkansas governor have started a campaign – complete with online radio show, Facebook page and telephone campaign - to stay committed to the state’s 2008 caucus winner, the Des Moines Register writes. “As other potential conservative contenders roam Iowa’s presidential testing grounds and scoop up ace Iowa strategists for their campaigns, Huckabee fans began to feel anxious about the lack of organizing here for their guy. So they pulled out the four-year-old campaign lists and have so far contacted about 540 people who helped catapult Huckabee to a top finish in Iowa’s first-in-the-nation Republican caucuses in 2008.”
PALIN: Sarah Palin will attend a Tea Party Tax Day Rally, sponsored by Americans for Prosperity, in Wisconsin on Saturday, The Hill reports.
PAUL: Ron Paul has formed a “testing the waters” campaign.
ROMNEY: “Since his defeat in the 2008 GOP presidential primary, a few political friends have given generously to Romney’s political operation, providing him a financial and organizational edge as the 2012 campaign gets underway,” The Boston Globe reports. But Romney has also “become a master of a controversial but legal fund-raising technique that relies on a network of loosely regulated state political action committees to collect those funds.” Donations that exceed federal PAC limits were donated to Romney’s state PACs and then the money was transferred to the federal PAC. Here’s a look at Romney’s top contributors. He was able to raise $1.5 million from just 38 people – an average of more than $39,000 a person.
SANTORUM: Rick Santorum told the New Hampshire Union-Leader’s John DiStaso that he found the biggest encouragement to take the next step toward a presidential candidacy in the reception he received in New Hampshire. “I don't mean to sound patronizing and I'm not being patronizing, but the thing that convinced me more than any other thing that has happened is the great reception I've gotten in New Hampshire," Santorum said. "It has really surprised me, the warmth of the reception, the crowds and the volunteers and the affirmation of what they're looking for is someone who's authentic and has stood for these principles in good times and in bad times."
TRUMP: Stumped: “The Donald ducked a question about how many members serve in the House of Representatives in a profile published in Time today,” The New York Post writes. "Well, I don't want to answer your questions because this isn't a history class," said Trump, who insisted he knew the answer. "You could get some stiff that knows every one of those answers, but is incapable of governing."