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2012: Social Insecurity

Politico: “Mitt Romney launched a second wave of attacks Thursday on Rick Perry and Social Security – suddenly and unmistakably the central focus of the Republican race.” More: “Romney, sensing an opportunity to halt Perry’s surge in the polls, went even further than he did on the debate stage, asserting in blunt terms that the new frontrunner had rendered himself unelectable and that his nomination could lead to a 2012 GOP wipe-out.”

But Romney’s not pure on this: “During a primary debate in 2007, Romney praised Bush’s privatization push - a position Romney’s campaign sought to clarify yesterday,” the Boston Globe writes. His campaign says: “Governor Romney has never supported privatization of Social Security as it is commonly understood, meaning the total privatization of all Social Security. He does believe in allowing individuals, on a voluntary basis, to invest in private accounts.’’

The Globe also has this fact check on Social Security: “[W]hile both candidates are seeking to make significant changes to the 76-year-old entitlement, the situation is not nearly as dire as either candidate makes it out to be. Actuaries project that retirees will be paid every penny that is due them through 2036. After that, they will receive 78 percent of what they are owed for an indefinite period - and that is without any change to the current program.”

The Globe fact checks the NBC News-Politico debate here.

BACHMANN: NBC’s Jamie Novogrod wraps the latest Bachmann news: The New York Times examines Bachmann’s press conference Thursday, which followed President Obama’s address to a joint session of Congress.  The newspaper describes the press conference as “an effort to reignite the buzz and regain momentum that her campaign has lost in recent weeks.” But it adds, “no television network carried it live, and Mrs. Bachmann took only a handful of questions.”

And The Hill quotes unnamed GOP members of congress who express frustration over Bachmann’s press conference. As it notes, there was no official GOP response and the report cites House Republicans who accuse Bachmann of “showboating.”

Back to Ames: The Des Moines Register reports that Michele Bachmann will appear Saturday morning in Ames, Iowa, where she plans to tailgate at the Iowa State vs. University of Iowa game. Monday, she appears in Tampa, Florida, for the CNN Tea Party debate.

PERRY: “During the Sept. 7 Republican debate, Ron Paul clashed with fellow Texan Rick Perry once again. This time, things got physical,” the International Business Times writes, citing a photo from Reuters. “During a commercial break, Perry walked up to Paul's podium, physically grabbed Paul's wrist, and pointed at Paul's face with his other hand.”

Karl Rove said he thought Perry had a strong debate performance and responded to Perry’s criticism of him: "I was a little surprised. I didn't know I was under his personal care like that,” Rove said on FOX, per GOP 12. “Look, it was an odd moment -- my name being mentioned in a presidential debate."

ROMNEY: Paul McMorrow, writing in the Boston Globe calls Romney the “re-write man”: “Mitt Romney apparently doesn’t know Angelo Mozilo, the disgraced former CEO of Countrywide Financial. He’s never met a bonus-crazed investment banker or a mortgage broker looking to pad his commission or a board of directors greedily eyeing the competition’s quarterly earnings reports. Because when he was asked about the three-year old downturn this week, Romney insisted that Barney Frank and Chris Dodd, “as much as anyone I know in this country, were responsible for the meltdown that we had.’’ The only way Romney could credibly claim that the two Democratic congressmen were the most responsible for the financial meltdown would be if he knew of no one who’d ever worked on Wall Street.”

“Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour signed on to aid the fundraising efforts of American Crossroads, the conservative group that is expected to spend millions to boost Republicans in the 2012 cycle,” Roll Call reports.

Crossroads could double its original $120 million goal, Peter Stone reports. “We see a pathway to at least doubling our earlier projected goal,” Crossroads President Steven Law said. “Everyone is going to stretch as far as they can here because we all feel this is the most important election we have ever been involved with.”

Political Wire: “A new Yale University survey finds that just 34% of self-identified Tea Partiers said they believe global warming is real, but 53% of those surveyed do not believe global warming is happening. In contrast, 53% of Republicans, 71% of independents and 78% of Democrats said they believe global warming is real.”