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2012: Romney reveals his VP shortlist?

“Add GOP presidential candidates to the list of Republicans who aren't thrilled by House Speaker John Boehner's plan to raise the debt limit,” USA Today writes, adding, “Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann said Tuesday that Boehner's approach is ‘wrong.’ … Ex-Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney praised Boehner, but not the plan. Spokeswoman Andrea Saul told Politico yesterday that Romney ‘applauds’ Boehner for ‘standing firm against raising taxes when our nation can least afford them.’ Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman was the first GOP presidential candidate to come out with a statement Monday supporting Boehner. He called it a ‘good first step.’” Pawlenty was firmly against.

A new Gallup poll of the GOP field shows Rick Perry surging to second place in the GOP field behind Mitt Romney. It’s Romney 17%, Perry 15%, Sarah Palin 12%, Bachmann and Rudy Giuliani 11%, Ron Paul 8%, Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich 3%, Pawlenty, Huntsman, and Rick Santorum 2%.

BACHMANN: The latest hit against Bachmann is that she spent $5,000 on hair and makeup in the early weeks of her presidential campaign.

(But honest question here: From calling her “flaky” to migraines to hair and makeup, why are opponents focusing on these stories rather than her actual statements, policy plans, and qualifications?)

“Like many members of Congress, Rep. Michele Bachmann has been a fierce critic of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, blaming the government-backed loan programs for excesses that helped create the financial meltdown in 2008. And like millions of other home purchasers, Bachmann took out a home loan in 2008 that offered lower costs to the borrower through one of the federally subsidized programs, according to mortgage experts who reviewed her loan documents,” the Washington Post reports. “Just a few weeks before Bachmann called for dismantling the programs during a House Financial Services Committee hearing, she and her husband signed for a $417,000 home loan to help finance their move to a 5,200-square-foot golf-course home, public records show. Experts who examined the loan documents for The Washington Post say that they are confident the loan was backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.”

CAIN: “The Daily Caller has learned that Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain will host a roundtable discussion with American Muslim leaders within the next seven days. … The announcement comes in the wake of several statements by Cain in recent months that seemed to paint the former Godfather’s Pizza CEO as hostile to Muslims.”

Cain was supposed to be on The Colbert Report tomorrow night, but canceled.

HUNTSMAN: In an appearance on CBS this morning, Huntsman blamed his campaign's lagging performance on "the dog days of August," NBC’s Jo Ling Kent reports. "If the election were next month, I guess that'd be cause for concern."  He also said "it's going to take a little while" to get his campaign's message out there. And he noted his campaign has "terrific presence" in early primary states. This comes after Huntsman hired 21 paid staffers in New Hampshire this week.

The Boston Globe: “Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman blasted President Obama’s political posturing on the debt ceiling and targeted rival Mitt Romney’s record during a quick trip to the Granite State yesterday.” More: “Of Obama’s prime-time Monday night speech on increasing the amount the federal government can borrow, Huntsman said there was ‘too much politics.’” And on Romney, he said, “We’re talking about our economic records, which are very clear — number one job creation in the state in America versus number 47. All of this when the most important issue around 2012 is gonna be creating jobs and expanding our economic viability. I think those records are material, and I think they’re going to be of great interest to the American people.”

PAUL: “Representative Ron Paul has a message for the ardent followers who read his books with a highlighter and donate to his fund-raising ‘money bombs’ on the Internet: Winning the Iowa Straw Poll next month would ‘rock the establishment,’” the New York Times reports.

PAWLENTY: “Tim Pawlenty continued to defend himself Tuesday against criticisms leveled by Republican rival Michele Bachmann over the weekend,” the Des Moines Register writes. But the Register quotes one Iowan, who questioned Pawlenty over it and “wasn’t buying Pawlenty’s explanation for a 2006 audio clip in which the former Minnesota governor praises a mandate for individuals to buy health insurance.”

Pawlenty also came out against Boehner’s plan, saying it didn’t cut enough. He said in a statement, per the New York Times: “The debt limit is a line in the sand where Republicans can force the tough decisions to fix our nation’s finances, and taxpayers cannot afford for us to back down now. I am for the plan that will cut spending, cap it and pass a balanced-budget amendment, but unfortunately this latest bill does not accomplish that.”

ROMNEY: Former Ohio Sen. and Gov. George Voinovich will endorse Mitt Romney for president, Romney's campaign confirmed to NBC’s Garrett Haake last night. The endorsement was first reported by the Columbus Dispatch.

At a fundraiser in Virginia, Mitt Romney took the unusual step of outlining his vice-presidential short list – Virginia Gov. Bob “McDonnell, Governor Christie of New Jersey and Marco Rubio of Florida,” Romney said, according to Bearing Drift, a conservative Virginia blog.

Politico: “A source familiar with the event confirms that Romney mentioned McDonnell, Christie and Rubio as possible vice presidential prospects, noting that he was speaking in general terms and naming them as obvious candidates for the GOP ticket, rather than revealing his own personal short list.”

SANTORUM: He appeared to take a shot at Rick Perry yesterday in Des Moines, saying, per the Des Moines Register: “I am not, as some in this race have said, OK with New York doing what they’re doing. What New York did was wrong. I will oppose it and I will go to New York, if necessary, and help overturn it.” He also took a protectionist tone when a reporter from ABC pointed out that his campaign T-shirts were “Made in the Dominican Republic”: “It’s tragic that so many products in this country are made outside of this country. And what we have to do is create a different dynamic. I think my policies are very clear that we have to go out and make setting up a business in this country productive.”