BACHMANN: “Republican Michele Bachmann officially launched her White House bid yesterday, casting herself as hard-charging conservative capable of carrying the party into the 2012 election over a crowded field of GOP rivals,” the Boston Globe writes.
The New York Times’ Zeleny: “As she returned to her childhood home in Waterloo, where she lived until the age of 12, Mrs. Bachmann asked voters to ‘make a bold choice’ as they weigh the Republican contenders. She presented herself as a forceful conservative, unafraid to confront the party establishment and unwilling to compromise on its principles in her quest to win the nomination to challenge President Obama.”
She gets two more Pinocchios from the Washington Post’s Fact Checker: “Bachmann’s announcement speech had relatively minor transgressions, factwise, but she did worse in her pre-announcement interviews. We are pleased to see she has modified her language on the 800,000 jobs — though this stale talking point should be dropped altogether — but she erred badly on her assertion about the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. She needs to figure out how to eliminate the use of hyperbole — such as “massive” or “all” — from her vocabulary.”
Politico looks at Bachmann's thin legislative resume: “Bachmann has never had a bill or resolution she’s sponsored signed into law, and she’s never wielded a committee gavel, either at the full or subcommittee level. Bachmann’s amendments and bills have rarely been considered by any committee, even with the House under GOP control. In a chamber that rewards substantive policy work and insider maneuvering, Bachmann has shunned the inside game, choosing to be more of a bomb thrower than a legislator.”
"The president of the United States is threatened by my candidacy," Bachmann said on FOX’s Hannity last night, per NBC’s Matt Loffman. "He fears me. He sees me as a serious, substantive competitor. I think he sees that I have a very clear path to victory for the nomination, and I think that he wants to do whatever he can to diminish me because he thinks he'll have to see me in the debates."
On her misstatement that John Wayne was born in Waterloo: “Clearly he was born in Iowa. The point is, John Wayne represents patriotism and great American values. He wasn't afraid to stand up for the greatness of the United States of America. That's what we need. That's what the American people want. They want a president that's going to stand up for our allies and stand against our enemies. They want someone who's going to fight for America."
Bachmann to CBN’s David Brody on Mitt Romney: “Well, I think particularly now, Governor Romney has stated that he is pro-life, I take him at his word but, he’s had some issues with that in his past, where he has taken various positions. This was a wonderful opportunity to sign the [Susan B. Anthony List’s] pledge and demonstrate that he’s pro-life. He chose not to. I think that’s troubling and I think that he should have signed the pledge.”
CAIN: “Herman Cain's state director and lone New Hampshire staffer has resigned, leaving the campaign without a New Hampshire presence at least for the time being, the Granite Status has learned,” the New Hampshire Union-Leader reports.
On FOX last night, Cain said he wasn't offended by Jon Stewart's recent segment on “The Daily Show about Cain's proposal of three-page pieces of legislation. "I'm not playing the race card," he said, per NBC’s Loffman. "Some people in the media are playing the race card. I didn't complain."
More: "It's not about color, I keep saying that. It's about content of ideas and it is about character."
PAUL: Catch this exchange on Iowa Radio, per The Hill: Host Jan Mickelson asked Paul: "Are we going to experience -- are you predicting in essence -- if bankruptcy is the cure for Greece, is it also the cure for the United States?" Paul’s response: "Absolutely.”
PAWLENTY: Ahead of his foreign-policy speech today, he gets the neo-con blessing, per The Hill: “I think Pawlenty and his statements is the heir to the McCain-Reagan active, internationalist foreign policy that has characterized Republicans for a couple generations,” said Randy Scheunemann, “a former adviser to McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign who’s advised former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) in the past few years.”
ROMNEY: He said yesterday in New Hampshire of Obama, per the Boston Globe: “He did not cause this recession, but he made it worse. It will be essential to have a person who understands how the economy works, understands what it takes to create and grow jobs, in the White House.”
(Memo to Romney: The recession technically ended a while ago; the Dow is considerably higher than it was in ’09; corporate profits are up; and the unemployment rate has dropped nearly a full point since Nov. 2010.)
The Washington Examiner’s Byron York: “Ever since Mitt Romney's unsuccessful run for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination, there's been much discussion of whether GOP voters would accept a Mormon candidate. Would evangelical conservatives, in particular, look past the former Massachusetts governor's faith to vote for him? The underlying assumption was that the more conservative the views, the more intolerant the voter. Now, it turns out a better question might be whether Democratic voters would accept a Mormon candidate.”