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2012: Perry's word, record attract scrutiny

BACHMANN: Bachmann begins a tour of South Carolina this week with events Tuesday in Spartanburg and Greenville, NBC’s Jamie Novogrod reports. But the congresswoman is not visiting the Palmetto State only to hold rallies and town halls. This week marks the beginning of Bachmann's fundraising drive. A fundraising team is now in place -- some of it drawn from the group of staffers who left Newt Gingrich several weeks ago, according to the Bachmann campaign -- and its objective is to find what the campaign calls "high dollar donors." Bachmann will be meeting privately with donors, and the choice to travel to South Carolina after the Ames Straw Poll was guided, in part, by fundraising opportunities in the state, according to the campaign. The campaign says it remains proud of its grassroots outreach, which has yielded about $50 dollars a donor, but, spokeswoman Alice Stewart says, "It's important to have a mix."

“Fresh from a first-place finish in the Iowa Presidential Straw Poll, U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann will bring her campaign to the Upstate on Tuesday,” the Greenville News writes. “Bachmann has been in Iowa for the past few days, but plans to turn her attention south, recognizing South Carolina's importance as the first in the South primary.” 

“Republican presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann has assets worth up to $2.8 million, the largest of which are the building housing her husband’s psychotherapy clinic and a family farm, according to disclosure forms she filed late Friday,” Roll Call reports.

CAIN: “His campaign might be limping along nationally, but Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain got a warm reception from an Indianapolis crowd that had its first chance Monday to root on someone who hopes to defeat President Barack Obama in 2012,” the Evansville Courier & Press reports. “Cain, the former Godfather's Pizza executive, repeatedly lambasted Obama during a 48-minute speech in front of 200 people at the swank Columbia Club, on the city's inner circle.’

At the same event last night, Herman Cain said he supports Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock’s challenge to Sen. Richard Lugar, the AP writes. 

PAWLENTY: The Boston Globe’s editorial page laments that Pawlenty was beholden to the Ames Straw Poll: “Pawlenty was a credible contender. Unlike those who are showcasing their values and economic theories, Pawlenty built his campaign around people, working-class voters he called ‘Sam’s Club Republicans.’ In a field that is light in governing experience, he had spent eight years wrestling with a more liberal legislature in a state whose varied political passions mirror those of the country. Pawlenty wasn’t a perfect candidate - or even, necessarily, the best option for the GOP. That’s an assessment voters should make. Instead, he felt compelled to prove himself in a bogus forum and, when he lost, looked like a chump. It’s too bad, because he had more to offer.”

PERRY: Per NBC’s Carrie Dann, Gov. Rick Perry broadly attacked the Federal Reserve last night, accusing the agency of manipulating currency for political gain. "Printing more money to play politics at this particular time in American history is almost treacherous or treasonous in my opinion," Perry said. He went on to say that promoters of such an idea -- hinting but not naming Ben Bernanke specifically -- would get an "ugly" treatment in his home state of Texas. "We have tried to print the money and it didn't work. All it has done is devalue the American dollar," he told reporters after the event. Perry also declined earlier to say whether or not he believes the current president loves America. "You need to ask him," he said.

The Washington Post's Dan Balz: “Texas Gov. Rick Perry turned his rhetorical fire on Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke here Monday night, saying that the chairman would be committing a ‘treasonous’ act by ordering the printing of more money. Doing so, Perry said, would amount to a political decision to help President Obama win reelection in 2012.”

The New York Times gives A1 treatment to the Texas miracle... lucky or leadership?

We missed this yesterday, but the Boston Globe’s Johnson has a good run down of Rick Perry’s stances on policy, including having called Social Security a “Ponzi scheme” and wanting to use Predator drones, used to kill terrorists in hard-to-get-to places like Northwest Pakistan and Yemen, to secure the U.S.-Mexico border.

Liberal Catherine Poe, writing in The Washington Times: “So what’s not to love about Perry? He sounds like Perry the Perfect. His sumptuous mansion, the one he chose to live in while the Governor’s house is repaired and renovated, also sounds perfect. Do you want to see taxpayers seethe? Then ask Texans about the rental bill they’ve been footing for the past four years. Rick Perry and his family currently reside in a $1 million plus residence with all expenses paid, including new window treatments by Neiman Marcus, all financed by Texans to the tune of  $700,000. So far.” Here’s a link to a video made by the Texas Democratic Party, hitting Perry on the house. Poe also takes aim at Texas’ job creation record, its economy, that it’s the country’s biggest polluter, a poor health record, and his emergency management.

“Newly-declared Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry is a ‘good-looking rascal,’ former President Bill Clinton said Monday,” the New York Daily News writes. “But Perry's anti-Washington posturing is ‘crazy,’ Clinton said.”

Perry told FOX, per the New York Daily News: "I hope I'm President Obama's worst nightmare. He's the real problem. It's his policies."

The LA Times: "Perry has received a total of $37 million over the last decade from just 150 individuals and couples, who are likely to form the backbone of his new effort to win the Republican presidential nomination ... Nearly half of those mega-donors received hefty business contracts, tax breaks or appointments under Perry, according to a Los Angeles Times analysis."

Good question from the Texas Tribune: While Perry campaigns, who's in charge in Texas?

Perry is holding a conference call with Republican donors in California today.

He’ll headline a fundraiser Friday in Columbia, SC, for the state GOP.

PAUL: NBC’s Anthony Terrell reports that Ron Paul 2012 campaign releases a new ad today, going after "failed leadership," "smooth talking politicians" -- while split screening images of Rick Perry, Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. The ad continues about "games of 'he said, she said rhetoric and division" --  while split screening images of Harry Reid with Rick Perry, then pictures of Nancy Pelosi with Michele Bachman during those lines. Near the end, the ad declares that Paul is "the one who will stop the spending, save the dollar, create jobs, bring peace, the one who will restore liberty. Ron Paul, the one who can beat Obama and restore America now.” Politico reports the ad will air in Iowa and New Hampshire.

ROMNEY: So Mitt Romney used his private-sector experience against Rick Perry and, in a twist, his government experience against Herman Cain, per the Boston Globe: “I think understanding how the economy works by having worked in the real economy is finally essential for the White House, and I hope people recognize that. I respect the other people in this race, but I think the only other person that has that kind of extensive private-sector experience, besides me, in the Republican race is Herman Cain. And I respect Herman Cain, but I also think it’s helpful to have had that government experience that I’ve had.”

In New Hampshire, “responding to a question of C. Lynn Graton of Holderness about buying American-made products, Romney said ‘we need to bring back manufacturing,’ and the way to do that he said is to hold down the burdens created by government,” the New Hampshire Union Leader reports. "‘We must make sure that when we make (foreign trade) agreements they are being honored and they work for us not just the other guy,’ Romney said.”

Romney is out with a second Web video hitting Obama on his bus tour.

Today, per NBC’s Garrett Haake, Romney holds three events across New Hampshire today, and an undisclosed number of Granite State events tomorrow. On Friday, he heads to Utah for two fundraisers.

NBC’s Ali Weinberg contributed.