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2012: Bachmann's on the air in Iowa

BACHMANN: Bachmann’s going up today with an ad its campaign says is a “substantial buy” in Iowa. The ad starts on pictures of Waterloo, IA, where Bachmann was born. Then Bachmann says to camera, per NBC’s Sarah Blackwill, “As a descendant of generations of Iowans, I was born and raised in Waterloo. As a mom of five, a foster parent and a former tax lawyer -- and now a small business job creator -- I know that we can't keep spending money that we don't have. That's why I fought against the wasteful bailout, against the stimulus. I will not vote to increase the debt ceiling. I’m Michele Bachmann, and I approve this message.”

The text on screen then is “Michele Bachmann for President. The unifying choice that will beat Obama. Ames Straw Poll August 13.”

Sen. Jim DeMint said yesterday on CNN that he’s “disappointed” that Bachmann has not signed the “cut, cap balance” pledge to cut spending and balance the budget.

PAWLENTY: Pawlenty’s campaign co-chair Vin Weber said that Bachmann would be “very hard to beat” in Iowa because… “She's got hometown appeal, she's got ideological appeal, and, I hate to say it, but she's got a little sex appeal too,” The Hill writes.

Gov. Pawlenty distanced himself from Weber’s statement, saying, “I don’t believe that he or anyone else should use a reference to somebody’s sex appeal to judge their fitness for office,” the Des Moines Register says. An apology from Weber was released by the Pawlenty press office.

Tim Pawlenty’s quiet swing through Florida last week paid off, as he got the endorsements of three top lawmakers including the incoming Florida House Speaker, Will Weatherford, the Miami Herald writes.

PERRY: Speaking on Fox Business Network yesterday, Karl Rove said he believed that Rick Perry would run for president, The Hill notes.

On a two-day trip to California, Perry held a series of private meetings and events with lawmakers, conservative activists and CEOs, the AP writes, “positioning himself as a champion of limited government, states' rights and low taxes as he edges toward a decision on whether to enter the 2012 presidential campaign.”

ROMNEY: Romney was raising money at a townhouse in London last night, telling reporters that he was in the city for meetings with officials, having met with former Prime Minister Tony Blair and his wife, as well as the minister of defense, Liam Fox, yesterday, the New York Times reports.

Romney released a list of supporters from Utah yesterday, which the Boston Globe writes is a tweak to Jon Huntsman which “helps underscore the simmering rivalry between the two, sons of prominent and wealthy Mormon families who once vied to lead those [Salt Lake City] Olympics.”