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2012: The Perry scrutiny picks up.

BACHMANN: “Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) has missed nearly 40 percent of votes in the House since she formally launched her presidential campaign,” The Hill writes. “Bachmann’s absentee rate, which is significantly higher than the two other House members running for president, could be used by her GOP opponents on the campaign trail.” (But neither of those House members – Ron Paul and Thaddeus McCotter are considered front runners. Bachmann has been spending a lot of time in Iowa campaigning, and it’s par for the course for presidential candidates to miss a higher number of votes than when they’re not running.)

GINGRICH: Regrets, he had a few… “Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) said Tuesday that he regrets making a commercial with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on the need to address climate change,” The Hill writes. He even claims it was “misconstrued.” "I was trying to make a point that we shouldn't be afraid to have a debate with the left, even on the environment," Gingrich said on WGIR radio of the 30-second television commercial. "Obviously it was misconstrued, and it's probably one of those things I wouldn't do again." Uh, in the ad Gingrich said that the "country must take action to address climate change." And in January he “mean exactly what [he] said in that commercial.” OK…

He also claims President Obama is trying to “blackmail the whole country.”

PALIN: Who didn’t see this coming? Palin’s movie tanked in the second week, per Reuters (via GOP12): “Despite increasing its play dates by 40%, ticket sales were down 63% compared with last weekend's take. And in a sign that the distributor, Arc Entertainment, doesn't think it's likely to rebound, the film will be available on pay-per-view, September 1.”

PERRY: Politico's Martin looks at the likely campaign-in-waiting. “As it increasingly appears likely the Texas governor will launch a White House bid, Perry’s ramp-up has become eerily reminiscent of the front porch strategy then-Gov. George W. Bush employed in 1999 at the governor’s mansion ahead of his own presidential run – but at an accelerated pace. This week alone, Perry is meeting in the Texas capital with a group of elected officials from Arkansas, then with another later in the week from Tennessee and Georgia. He’s also hosting a group of national donors. Next week, he’s set to sit down with a different set of bundlers. ‘So many people want to do these, we’ve had to add additional dates,’ said Dave Carney, Perry’s top strategist.

“Texas Gov. Rick Perry has the potential to shake up the Republican presidential contest and would enter the race as a probable national frontrunner. But just two years ago, Perry couldn't even count on the Lone Star State to grant him another term as governor,” Roll Call writes, adding, “The governor sowed the seeds of his eventual rise beginning in 2005, Texas Republicans say, when he was viewed as acting decisively to help the Gulf Coast recover from Hurricane Katrina. In 2008, as he managed the aftermath of Hurricane Ike, which blew through Houston and greater southeast Texas, Perry's leadership stood in stark contrast to what many Texans had witnessed in Louisiana, GOP operatives say. But it is President Barack Obama, the man Perry would face in the 2012 general election should he win the Republican nod — and the subsequent rise of the tea party — who is credited more than anything else with shaping the governor's recent political stardom.”

In addition to his comments that he’s OK with New York passing a gay-marriage law, GOP 12 digs up a quote from Perry on the Daily Show in November 2010, when he said, "[If] you want to go somewhere where you can smoke medicinal weed, then you ought to be able to do that." (The Perry scrutiny is picking up…)