BACHMANN: “The second round of the Cuban Missile Crisis could be coming - at least in Michele Bachmann's world,” the New York Daily News writes. She said, "There's reports that have come out that Cuba has been working with another terrorist organization called Hezbollah. And Hezbollah is looking at wanting to be part of missile sites in Iran and, of course, when you are 90 miles offshore from Florida, you don't want to entertain the prospect of hosting bases or sites where Hezbollah could have training camps or perhaps have missile sites or weapons sites in Cuba. This would be foolish."
The Wall Street Journal reports on Bachmann’s effort to reignite her campaign in Cedar Rapids. But the newspaper finds supporters expressing doubt. One supporter says: "I just don't think she's debated very well,” and: "she seems to lack experience and real poise."
CAIN: The former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Tweeted that he will be on The Tonight Show Friday.
CHRISTIE: “He hasn’t thrown his hat into the ring, but New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie certainly sounded presidential last night -- delivering an uplifting speech praising America as an ‘exceptional’ country while making a stirring call for national unity,” the New York Post writes. Christie talked a lot about unity, chided Congress and labeled President Obama a “bystander.” And he claimed, “Now, seven years later, President Obama prepares to divide our nation to achieve re-election.”
(So, according to Christie, it’s President Obama who has been unwilling to compromise?)
On whether he’d run, “Christie urged a capacity audience of about 900 to look at the website Politico, which had pieced together a long string of video clips in which he says he's not a candidate for the White House. ‘Those are the answers,’ he told the crowd. Christie later said he was flattered by suggestions he should run in 2012, but added, ‘that reason has to reside inside me.’”
The L.A. Times says Christie’s speech sent a “mixed message,” particularly since he took a shot at Rick Perry for his stance on letting children of illegal immigrants pay in-state tuition. “Responding to a question from the audience, Christie said he opposed laws that allowed the children of illegal immigrants to pay lower in-state tuition at public colleges. Perry, who has taken heat from rivals for approving such a law in Texas, has said critics of the policy have no heart,” the Times writes. Christie said, "From my perspective, that is not a heartless position. That is a common-sense position."
The Star Ledger: “[W]hen asked later whether he was running for president his answer was artful, not direct — and not what many of the crowd of Republican faithful seemed to want to hear. They groaned at his response. He never said, ‘Yes I'm running,’ and he never said, ‘No I'm not.’”
John Podhoretz also thinks Christie left the door open a crack in his speech last night. “[H]e never actually said no last night,” he writes in the New York Post. “And judging from his brilliant performance, he shouldn’t.”
Meanwhile, Christie’s approval rating got a bounce in the latest FDU PublicMind survey. He stands at 54%-36% now, up from 44%-44% in May.
JOHNSON: Everybody gets a SuperPAC! “A former member of Gary Johnson's presidential campaign staff has created a pro-Johnson super PAC,” The Hill writes. “Kelly Casaday filed the Freedom and Liberty political action committee’s paperwork Monday evening with the Federal Election Commission.”
PERRY: Politico’s Martin: “Even as some of his supporters grow anxious, the Texas governor’s top aides insist they have no plans for real or even symbolic changes to their campaign. The only pivot they’ll make, they say, is to become more aggressive with Mitt Romney.”
His campaign is downplaying fundraising expectations. Spokesman Mark Miner told the Boston Globe: “Mitt Romney’s fund-raising machine has been in place for almost six years and we have been in this race for only six weeks. Our goal is to have the necessary resources to run a credible campaign.”
“Rick Perry’s Republican opponents have put chinks in the Texas governor’s conservative armor, turning the right’s would-be white knight into a punching bag on controversial issues,” The Hill writes, adding, “Grassroots activists who coalesced behind Perry at the start of his candidacy have begun to express concern not merely about the Texan’s faltering debate performances but also his heterodox positions on some of those issues.”
“[W]hile [Rick] Perry may not be scoring the most points [at debates], he has lapped the field on one dimension: using clichés. A Smart Politics review of the last three Republican presidential debates finds that Rick Perry has incorporated more clichés into his answers than any other candidate. In fact, the Texas governor has tallied nearly twice as many clichés as the entire rest of the field combined.”
ROMNEY: “Mitt Romney’s campaign aides estimate that they will raise much less this fund-raising quarter than his $18.2 million haul in the previous three months,” the Boston Globe reports. “Aides contend that Romney’s top rival —Texas Governor Rick Perry — will raise more than he will, even though Perry has been in the race for only six weeks.” Spokeswoman Andrea Saul: “We are going to raise considerably less than what we did in our first reporting period, but we will still meet our finance goals for this quarter. “Rick Perry is a brand new candidate raising primary and general election dollars, and as the governor of a large state and former [Republican Governors Association] chair we suspect he will lead the Republican field in fund-raising for this quarter.”