The kicker quote to Maggie Haberman’s piece about Romney vs. Perry is this from Mark McKinnon: “The question is: Do GOP primary voters want to nominate Arthur Fonzarelli or Richie Cunningham?”
BACHMANN: Michele Bachmann says the U.S. should drill in the Everglades – as long as it doesn’t harm the environment: "The United States needs to be less dependent on foreign sources of energy and more dependent upon American resourcefulness. Whether that is in the Everglades, or whether that is in the eastern Gulf region, or whether that's in North Dakota, we need to go where the energy is," she said, per AP. "Of course it needs to be done responsibly. If we can't responsibly access energy in the Everglades then we shouldn't do it." Of course, spills happen… (Here’s video.)
HUNTSMAN: Jon Huntsman will make an announcement from the South Carolina statehouse in Columbia today from Attorney General Alan Wilson, son of Rep. Joe Wilson, per NBC’s Ali Weinberg.
The New Hampshire Union-Leader takes a shot at Huntsman for not laying out what “shared sacrifice” means “specifically.” Huntsman said, “Over time, we’re going to figure that out.” The Union Leader: “Great. Before the New Hampshire primary would be nice, if it’s not too much trouble. In the meantime, Huntsman has given Republican voters another reason to question his ideological leanings. Appropriating class warfare rhetoric from the current redistributionist President is no way to assure Republicans that you’re playing on the same team.”
Huntsman sparred with a FOX host over global warming. The host said scientists are “making things up.”
PAUL: A week after turning 76 years old, 12-term Texas Republican Congressman Ron Paul made five campaign stops in Iowa Saturday, NBC’s Anthony Terrell reports. In addition to hitting FEMA Friday, on Saturday, he took aim at entitlements: "If you mess up, don’t go crawling to the government for the government to go to your neighbor to say take care of me, because I didn’t do the right thing. You have to assume responsibility for your actions."
Paul also disagreed with an audience member who said she was concerned about the threat of “radical Islam.” Paul said, “I don’t see Islam as our enemy. … I see that motivation is occupation and those who hate us and would like to kill us, they are motivated by our invasion of their land, the support of their dictators that they hate. That is their main motivation. … motivated by intrusion.”
The Des Moines Register: “Specifically, Paul mentioned the 1991 U.S. intervention in Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam, as key provocation to al-Qaeda’s Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. Osama Bin Ladin, who was born in Saudi Arabia, had said as much himself.”
PERRY: “Since Rick Perry joined the presidential race this month, his campaign entourage has included not just the standard array of political advisers and aides, but a squad of Texas law enforcement agents,” the Washington Post reports, adding, “How much is this ever-present phalanx of state policemen costing the taxpayers of Texas? They won’t know at least until after next year’s presidential election, thanks to a provision, tucked into a school finance bill in July, that will keep the governor’s travel records sealed for 18 months.”
Politico asks provocatively: “Is Rick Perry dumb?” “[C]onversations with both Perry admirers and critics reveal a more complicated assessment about the mind of a politician who has never lost an election—and ranks as the longest-serving governor in Texas history. He is not an ideas man. Perry hasn’t spent his political career marking up the latest Cato or Heritage white papers or reading policy-heavy books late into the night. Advisers and colleagues have informed much of his thinking over the years. … Perry may not be a wonk, but that doesn’t mean he’s a rube—a costly mistake many of his foes have made. … He’s a power politician and very canny one. And what seems to animate him is competition.”
“Governor Rick Perry of Texas autographed Bibles recently at a campaign stop in South Carolina, but he was really there to enlighten Republicans on the ‘Texas miracle,’ a creation story about jobs,” the Boston Globe writes, adding, “His critics, however, say too many of the jobs pay low wages and do not include benefits. Still, with the nation languishing in a painfully slow recovery, jobs are the heart of Perry’s economic platform and his best case for why he is the right candidate to take on President Obama.”
“Riding high in the polls, Gov. Rick Perry rode into Iowa on Saturday with tough talk on President Obama, the economy and foreign policy and a declaration that Social Security is not only a Ponzi scheme but a ‘monstrous lie’ for younger people,” the Houston Chronicle reports. He said, "It is a Ponzi scheme for these young people. The idea that they're working and paying into Social Security today, that the current program is going to be there for them, is a lie. It is a monstrous lie on this generation, and we can't do that to them."
From the New York Times and the Texas Tribune on Perry's 10th Amendment focus: "Though the governor has a claim to acting on these principles, he has come to publicly embrace states’ rights as a defining issue only in the past few years, a period when the 10th Amendment has been a rallying cry for many Tea Party supporters, libertarians and others who make up components of his party’s conservative base. And he has at times been inconsistent in applying those beliefs, drawing criticism from some states’ rights advocates and raising questions even among fellow Republicans about whether his stance is as much campaign positioning as a philosophical commitment."
Right before announcing his presidential bid, Perry tried to bill the federal government for the cost of incarcerating illegal immigrants in Texas.
Perry will hold nine fundraisers over the next four days as he gears up to face the scrutiny of a new frontrunner.
Over the weekend, Statesman columnist Ken Herman profiled Robert Morrow, the man largely responsible for peddling sordid rumors about Perry's past.
SANTORUM: He took aim at Ron Paul’s views on terrorism: In an e-mail to The Des Moines Register Sunday, Santorum wrote, “To imply that we were the catalyst of the attack on 9/11 disparages the memory of those who lost their lives on that tragic day and is an insult to who we are as a people. Congressman Paul’s understanding of the enemy and why they have attacked us is shockingly misguided.”