BACHMANN: Bachmann resumes campaigning in Iowa Friday. On Saturday, she will sign the Strong America Now debt-reduction pledge. Signing the pledge means that her supporters will be able to ride busses provided by the Texas-based issue group: an advantage the Bachmann campaign acknowledges. "We came into Iowa months later than others," Bachmann campaign spokesperson Alice Stewart says, NBC’s Jamie Novogrod reports. "Any help we can get, we can use it."
CAIN: The Herman Cain campaigns released the first of a series of video profiles on individual Cain supporters, called “Herman Cain Stands With Us.” The clip features Kent Short, a butcher from Santa Paula, California, who says the economy is “in the tank,” and that Cain “understands what we need to do to get to the next level.”
HUNTSMAN: “A blistering internal feud in the Jon Huntsman presidential campaign is erupting into public view, with dueling camps trading charges and an exodus of campaign officials,” Politico’s Martin writes. “And now, a longtime family friend tells POLITICO that Huntsman’s wife and father fret that his presidential prospects have been threatened by the turmoil — and he places the blame on John Weaver, Huntsman’s controversial chief strategist.”
NBC’s Jo Ling Kent reports that Huntsman yesterday didn’t reject the notion that President Obama should be impeached for his involvement in Libya. "My position in Libya is pretty simple, we shouldn't be there," Huntsman said in Dover, NH, last night. Asked directly, "Do you think it’s an impeachable offense?" Huntsman said, "I'll let Congress make that decision.
On abortion, per Kent, he was asked to clarify his position by an Ob-Gyn: "Rape incest and the life of the mother are my exceptions," Huntsman said. "That's where I am, that's where I have always been my entire life." And what would be “the greatest contribution to this nation’s competitiveness that I can think of,” per Huntsman? Tax reform.
Huntsman has yet to catch on, but he joked about forcing voters to like him and his family: “If you don't like my wife Mary Kaye, well, then you're down right crazy. But if some reason you don't, we have seven kids to choose from. You're certainly going to like one of the seven. So just the mathematical odds are that we are going to win you over at some point."
PAWLENTY: Per Politico, “Tim Pawlenty will be pulling his radio and television ads off the air in the 72 hours before next Saturday’s straw poll in Ames. The former Minnesota governor’s presidential campaign says it’s not short on cash, but simply planning to divert money into turning out supporters at the Aug. 13 event that’s a traditional test of campaign strength.”
PERRY: “When Gov. Rick Perry emerged from back surgery on July 1, he tweeted that his ‘little procedure’ — a spinal fusion and nerve decompression designed to treat a recurring injury — had gone ‘as advertised.’ The possible presidential contender didn’t reveal that he’d undergone an experimental injection of his own stem cells, a therapy that isn’t FDA approved, has mixed evidence of success and can cost upwards of tens of thousands of dollars,” the Texas Tribune reports. More: "The doctor who performed a controversial adult stem cell infusion on Rick Perry during a July spinal surgery said Wednesday night that he’d never done the procedure before he did it for the governor, who could announce a run for the presidency any day. Meanwhile, the lab that cultured Perry’s stem cells is the Texas branch of a South Korean company that has made international headlines for commercialized dog cloning, ‘regenerative’ beauty products and allegations of so-called ‘stem cell tourism.’”
The Washington Post's Karen Tumulty delves into Perry's attempts to reform higher education in Texas, an effort that has rankled academics, alumni, and philanthropists. "Critics — many of them longtime political supporters of the governor — accuse Perry and his allies of being on an ideological quest that will demolish the quality of the institutions and scare off the kind of faculty they must recruit to take their place among world-class centers of learning and research."
ROMNEY: NBC’s Michael Isikoff reports: “A mystery company that pumped $1 million into a political committee backing Mitt Romney has been dissolved just months after it was formed, leaving few clues as to who was behind one of the biggest contributions yet of the 2012 presidential campaign. The existence of the million-dollar donation — as gleaned from campaign and corporate records obtained by NBC News — provides a vivid example of how secret campaign cash is being funneled in ever more circuitous ways into the political system.” The former Federal Election Commission’s general counsel is quoted as saying this could create a "serious" legal issue as well as being a new post-Citizens United "roadmap" for funneling huge gobs of secret money into Super PACs.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, President Obama’s former chief of staff, took a shot at Mitt Romney’s Web video that uses Chicago as a backdrop to his Obama on the “sorry state of the economy.” Per NBC’s Lauren Selsky, Emanuel said, “Because of the tough decisions the president made discarding all conventional wisdom that was then spewed around, 1.2 million people today have a job, because he didn't listen to conventional wisdom drafted by the ex-governor Mitt Romney, who suggested that Detroit -- meaning the auto industry -- and all the related industrial base of America should just go bankrupt. … Mitt Romney wanted to see them go bankrupt and also I'd just like to note to the governor in case he needs a rendezvous with his record. When he was governor, Massachusetts was 47th out of 50 in job production. In case he forgot that, I'd like to remind him of that. So when he comes to Chicago I’ll make sure I get him a Groupon discount on the seats of the idea festival.”