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2012: Minnesota Nice?

“Representative Michele Bachmann and former governor Tim Pawlenty, both of Minnesota, used some of the harshest terms yet of the Republican presidential contest to challenge each other’s credentials last night in a high-energy nationally televised debate,” the Boston Globe writes. 

The Globe’s Johnson says Mitt Romney and Bachmann won the debate. 

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune: “Tim Pawlenty and Michele Bachmann were anything but Minnesota Nice in Thursday's night presidential debate. The former governor and current congresswoman staked their claims to the GOP presidential nomination in a series of tart exchanges as they stood side by side during the televised debate in Iowa.”

The New York Post also leads with Bachmann vs. Pawlenty. 

The New York Times: “The debate ... came at a moment of increasing intensity in the Republican campaign. While the eight candidates were united in their criticism of Mr. Obama, with a particular focus on his economic policies and unemployment, the crosscurrents in Iowa overshadowed the larger issues in the race."

The Des Moines Register: “A full-out war of words broke out Thursday night as eight Republican presidential candidates turned on each other, jockeying for pole position in an ever-growing GOP field.”

More on winners, losers: “A handful of prominent Iowa Republicans interviewed by the Register thought former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich helped their causes. Pawlenty hurt himself with attacks on Bachmann, said U.S. Rep. Steve King, a western Iowa Republican. ‘He came out on the losing end,’ King said.”

Here are some of former Des Moines Register columnist David Yepsen’s thoughts: “LOSERS: None.  ‘Nobody made big mistakes. They all did themselves well.’ BEST PERFORMANCES: Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Both were humorous and forceful, Yepsen said. OTHER THOUGHTS: Bachmann was a bit rigid and stuck to her talking points. However, she handled the question about a woman being submissive to her husband rather well. SURPRISE: Romney took rather few punches, surprising since he is viewed as the national frontrunner. ‘Nobody really laid a glove on him.’” 

The Hill: “Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Rep. Michele Bachmman (Minn.) had some heated exchanges and largely ignored the front-runner in the GOP field, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, in Thursday night’s Iowa presidential debate." 

Stu Rothenberg is protesting Ames: “Last week, I canceled my room reservation for the week of the Iowa straw poll. I am not going to Ames. With Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and Jon Huntsman not participating in what is already an event of dubious predictive value, the Ames event became little more than an opportunity to consume large amounts of beef, gossip and alcohol with my fellow journalists. … The odds that the eventual winner of the Iowa straw poll will be the GOP nominee next year are quite small (though not zero). … it is very hard to make the case that this year’s poll is a crucial test in the race to select the Republican nominee for president.”

BACHMANN: “Republican Michele Bachmann isn’t ceding ground in her Iowa birthplace to probable presidential rival Rick Perry,” AP writes. “Bachmann said yesterday she will appear at a GOP fund-raiser in Waterloo on Sunday, the same event that will serve as the Texas governor’s Iowa debut. Both will speak at the Black Hawk County GOP Lincoln Day Dinner.”

HUNTSMAN: The Salt Lake Tribune’s Burr writes, “In his presidential debate debut, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman defended his family business, his support for civil unions and whether he even belonged in the Republican field seeking the White House. Attempting to give a jolt to his stalling campaign, Huntsman cited his record in Utah and swiped at his fellow competitors for staying silent as the country was on the brink of defaulting.”

PAWLENTY: Roll Call’s Toeplitz leads with Pawlenty: “No more Mr. Minnesota Nice Guy. … Pawlenty had the most at stake in the lead-up to the Ames straw poll Saturday. Polls show him lagging, while Bachmann has overshadowed Pawlenty’s Iowa-or-bust campaign in recent weeks. Many Iowa Republicans say he must place in the top three slots in the straw poll to ensure his campaign’s survival.”

PALIN: GOP 12 notes: “Here's a fascinating number, buried in a new Fox News poll. By -3%, those who identify themselves with the tea party don't think Sarah Palin would make a good president. That's a shocking number, especially compared to the rest of the field.

PERRY: GOP 12’s Heinze looks at the case for and against Perry. He notes that “he floated the idea of letting states opt out of Social Security.  Here's a big problem with Perry -- he'll be extraordinarily easy for Democrats to paint as being too extreme for America.  Not only does he say controversial things, but he just seems so controversial saying them.”

The Texas governor was at an Austin TV station when the news broke of his planned Saturday announcement. (He even signed a copy of the AP newswire of the breaking news.) 

Charleston's hometown paper points out that the last time a candidate made a presidential announcement in town, it didn't work out in the end.

The Statesman delves into the influence of RedState ahead of Perry's Saturday speech to its annual convention.

ROMNEY: The Boston Globe: “As a presidential candidate, Republican Mitt Romney says he opposes revenue-boosting tax increases. But back when he was Massachusetts’ governor, he bragged about them.” Politico first reported the news. “A question left unanswered by the Politico report is whether Romney was in the room for the presentations to the rating agencies,” the Globe, which obtained a second presentation, writes. “A June 3, 2005, memo to Romney from the Executive Office for Administration & Finance states that the governor was scheduled to join the presentation to Fitch after the first hour and would deliver remarks of 10 to 15 minutes.”

Romney in his back and forth with hecklers at the state fair, per left-leaning blog Talking Points Memo (and on tape): "Corporations are people, my friend. Of course they are. Everything corporations earn goes to people. Where do you think it goes? Whose pockets? People's pockets. Human beings, my friend."