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2012: The outsider

BACHMANN: The Los Angeles Times notes how Bachmann has been an outsider on Capitol Hill. “It is difficult to find Republicans willing to discuss her on the record. House leaders have kept their distance and rarely rewarded her with legislative responsibilities. Bachmann was recently criticized by other Republicans in a private meeting where members blamed her near-constant cycle of television appearances for undermining the House Republican message.”

However, the National Review’s website has a piece on two of Bachmann’s closest friends and political allies in Congress: Iowa Rep. Steve King, and Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert.

Speaking to FOX by telephone, Bachmann said this about Perry, per NBC’s Jamie Novogrod: "It's natural when you have a new candidate come in, that sucks a lot of oxygen out of the room." (Here's the video.)

“South Carolina appears to be the firewall where [Rep. Michele] Bachmann must lay to rest the questions about whether her campaign can go all the way. Those questions have intensified with the entrance of Perry, who matches Bachmann’s faith-centered, small-government politics, with an added measure of executive experience to boot,” the Minneapolis Star Tribune writes. 

CAIN: “Last night, Herman Cain slammed Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN) for saying that the tea party movement would love to see African-Americans ‘hanging on a tree,’” GOP 12 writes. Cain said, "It was despicable. It was disgusting. And it was desperate. You see, the Democrats have no results to run on. … They have taken the race card to a new low."

HUNTSMAN: “Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman, the Obama administration's former ambassador to China, called for sweeping tax changes and new trade agreements to help revitalize the nation's manufacturing sector and create jobs,” AP reports.

“Lagging badly in the polls, GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman Jr. turned his attention to jobs Wednesday afternoon, unveiling a plan to jump-start the economy by revising the tax code, repealing financial regulations and opening up foreign markets,” the Washington Post reports.

“Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman yesterday advocated a dramatic restructuring of the tax code in a way that will help businesses but could hurt those earning lower incomes by getting rid of tax breaks for mortgages or for low-income workers,” the Boston Globe writes.

PALIN: "Sarah Palin soon will end the will-she-or-won't-she presidential speculation that has trailed the former Republican vice presidential candidate for two years — and that she has fueled with abandon, perhaps to the detriment of her potential candidacy," the AP writes. "But, should she run, she may have hurt herself by playing the wait-and-see game for so long. Two candidates with strong tea party support — Perry and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann— have blossomed in recent months, raising questions about whether the cat-and-mouse game Palin has played has done irreparable damage by turning off potential supporters."

She’s heading to South Korea Oct. 11-13 for a “U.S. leadership perspective on how to lead the world out of the latest crisis" at the World Knowledge Forum, GOP 12.

PERRY: Perry promised attendees at a private weekend retreat that nothing in his personal life could derail his presidential bid. The Texas Tribune: "'I can assure you that there is nothing in my life that will embarrass you if you decide to support me for president,' Perry said, according to one of the participants, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly."

Social Security will loom large in Perry's vetting, writes the Statesman's Embry.

Perry supports ending lifetime tenure for Supreme Court justices, writes the Dallas Morning News.

ROMNEY: The Wall Street Journal is the latest to write about Romney’s shift in courting the Tea Party.

So is the Boston Globe: “In an apparent strategic shift, Romney will be standing beneath a Tea Party Express banner in New Hampshire on Sunday night, and by Monday afternoon he will be at a Republican gathering in South Carolina hosted by Senator Jim DeMint, the South Carolina Republican and Tea Party kingmaker. What changed? Governor Rick Perry of Texas entered the race, accepted swoons from the Tea Party, and immediately replaced Romney as the Republican frontrunner.”