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2012: Analyzing Huntsman's launch

BACHMANN: With the national spotlight glaring on her since her strong showing at the CNN debate, Michele Bachmann will have to overcome some challenges to keep other potential candidates from stealing it, the New York Times writes. “[A] Rick Perry candidacy would have the potential to overshadow her. Mr. Perry, a 10-year governor of Texas with a strong economic record, shares her outsider status, and like her, speaks Tea Party lingo and appeals to fiscal and social conservatives.” The Times also mentions Perry and Mitt Romney’s cache with establishment Republicans, which Bachmann lacks.

The Times also examines Bachmann’s role as a foster parent.  

GINGRICH: “Former House speaker Newt Gingrich had a second line of credit at the high-end jewelry store Tiffany and Co. for as much as $1 million dollars, his presidential campaign acknowledged Tuesday,” the Washington Post reports.

Gingrich’s spokesman R.C. Hammond characterized the departure of two members of Gingrich’s fundraising team as an “amicable parting,” The Hill writes.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Yesterday “was supposed to be another day where Newt Gingrich could get his struggling campaign for President back on track, but instead of giving a speech in Atlanta that makes news on issues, the former House Speaker faces more questions about his future in the GOP race.”

HUNTSMAN: “Newly declared Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman says the Obama administration's pace of troop drawdown in Afghanistan is too slow,” AP writes. “Huntsman tells NBC's ‘Today’ show ‘what we need now is a healthy dose of nation-building here at home.’ The former Utah governor also said ‘we can probably be a little more aggressive’ about withdrawing American forces from Afghanistan.’” And on the economy, he said there's “no real sign of recovery.” But he added, that raising taxes should be "off the table."

The Washington Post’s fact checker writes that Huntsman’s speech yesterday was fact-free. 

AP’s Woodward finds just a few facts to check, and says they were largely on point. “Huntsman's debut as a presidential candidate Tuesday marked a departure from the norm in the Republican race, if not in politics overall,” he writes. “He made only a few measured claims about his record and based them largely on the facts -- with a bit of wiggle room here and there. By taking Obama-bashing off the table, the former governor and ambassador to China avoided an entire category of rhetorical excesses that has characterized the announcement speeches of his rivals for the Republican nomination. And he tooted his own horn with restraint.”

The New York Times on Huntsman’s announcement in New Jersey: Showing “little noticeable emotion” as he announced his run for president, he “promised a cordial campaign, saying ‘it concerns me that civility, humanity and respect are sometimes lost in our interactions as Americans,’ adding, ‘I don’t think you need to run down somebody’s rep in order to run for the office of president.’”

The Boston Globe writes of Huntsman’s New Hampshire strategy: “Huntsman has decided not to compete in the Iowa caucuses, and the road through New Hampshire will not be easy. He is entering a wide-open Republican field, in which he will probably woo moderate voters who until now have focused much of their attention on former governor Mitt Romney of Massachusetts. Huntsman has little name recognition — a recent Globe poll by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center found he would get about 3 percent of the vote — and has already faced criticism from members of his own party and Democrats. Democrats have criticized him for embracing House Republicans’ plan to change Medicare to a voucher system, while Republicans worry about his service to Obama.”

David Axelrod, the top adviser for the Obama re-election campaign, suggested he noted hypocrisy in Huntsman’s speech, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. “I found it slightly bewildering because when I met with him in Shanghai when I traveled with the president, he could not have been more effusive about the president, including the domestic initiatives, health care and so on,” Axelrod said, continuing, “He seemed a little concerned about the direction of his party.”

Huntsman said he won’t sign the anti-tax pledge crafted by Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist, as well as the Susan B. Anthony List pledge to limit abortion rights. “My take on all of this is your record should say everything about where you are and where you're going. I don't need to sign a pledge,” Huntsman said, according to The Hill.

Ahead of Huntsman’s visit to South Carolina today, state Democratic Party chairman Dick Harpootlian welcomed “"ambassador, governor, Democrat, Republican Jon Huntsman” in a conference call, Politico writes.

PERRY: Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad said yesterday that he didn’t believe it was too late for Rick Perry to enter the race and win the Iowa caucuses. As the Des Moines Register notes, Branstad reminded reporters that former President George W. Bush didn’t enter the 2000 race until June of 1999, which would put Perry on a similar time frame.

Newt Gingrich offered effusive praise of Perry yesterday appearing on Laura Ingraham’s radio show, the Houston Chronicle notes. “I wrote the foreword to his most recent book; I think he’s been a great governor of Texas; he will be a very formidable competitor if he gets into the race,” Gingrich said.

PALIN: Palin could be an Emmy winner: “TLC has entered ‘Sarah Palin's Alaska’ for consideration in four Emmy categories -- best reality program, music composition, picture editing, and cinematography,” GOP12 writes. GOP12’s Heinze makes this point: “TLC submitted it into ‘best reality program’” – even though “Palin has repeatedly and passionately claimed it's not a reality show, but instead, a documentary.”

PAWLENTY: Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty will air the first Republican television commercial for a presidential candidate in Iowa today, introducing himself to voters in the state. According to the Wall Street Journal, airing the ad in Iowa “may reflect some anxiousness on the part of his campaign after shaky performance in last week’s debate.” Here’s the ad.

Pawlenty told Politico that he didn’t take Mitt Romney to task over his health care plan in the CNN debate because he wanted to stay positive for his first impression on many Republican voters, although he added that he could have been “more direct” in answering the question. He also said he’d be bringing back the term “Obamneycare” but that he might change it a little bit, perhaps to “Robamacare.”

Aso in the interview, Pawlenty separated himself from some of his fellow Republican candidates who have expressed a desire to draw down the war in Afghanistan. “I wouldn’t be overly anxious to get the troops out of there until we have enough stability and capacity within the Afghanistan security forces to take up the slack,” he said. “We need to make sure we do not send the message that we are leaving just because we’re tired or just because it’s too difficult.”

ROMNEY: Romney yesterday started a series of closed-door fundraisers over the next several days in California, including a “kick off” lunch at a Sacramento hotel where co-hosts were asked to raise at least $10,000, the San Jose Mercury News reports.

The Romney campaign announced yesterday that the candidate will participate in six debates between now and October 18.

SANTORUM: Former Sen. Rick Santorum told a group of Iowa farmers yesterday that he supports phasing out federal subsidies of the ethanol fuel industry, the Des Moines Register writes.