BACHMANN: She said the “Occupy Wall Street” protesters had their ire directed in the wrong place, per NBC’s Jamie Novogrod and Morgan Parmet. “It's for your sake and for your future America and ‘Occupy Wall Street’ in particular needs to wake up and stop blaming the free market, stop blaming capitalism, stop blaming job creators for the failures that have been created by selfish politicians.”
And Founding Fathers established New York as a financial capital? "You see, there's a reason our Founding Fathers decided to establish our political capital in a different city than our financial capital, because it's time for us to reaffirm the wisdom of that decision by getting Washington D.C., out of free markets. And I'm running for president of the United States because I understand the difference between free markets and a Bernie Madoff style of government."
Bachmann also said in Adel, IA, last night, per NBC’s Jamie Novogrod that Al Franken's contested 2008 election to the Minnesota senate seat, in which he defeated incumbent Republican Norm Coleman by narrowest of margins, was a "stolen election." "But for Al Franken, in a stolen election by the way -- although that probably doesn’t surprise you,” Bachmann charged. “But for Al Franken we wouldn’t have Obamacare. We wouldn’t have Dodd-Frank. And you see, that’s why all our chips are on the line."
CAIN: A major conservative advocacy group funded by Koch family oil interests says it is reviewing its "financial dealings" with a Wisconsin charity headed by Herman Cain's campaign manager, raising fresh questions about the source of tens of thousands of dollars in funds that were used to pay expenses for Cain's presidential campaign, NBC’s Michael Isikoff reports. The Center for Public Integrity reported late Thursday that Americans for Prosperty, one of the largest and most prominent of conservative political groups, has confirmed unspecified financial transactions with two closely linked Wisconsin non-profits-- Prosperity USA and Wisconsin Prosperity Network-- that were founded by Mark Block, Cain's campaign manager. One of those groups, Prosperity USA, paid thousands in expenses for Cain's campaign, according to financial documents disclosed this week by the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel. Non-profits are barred by law from paying for campaign expenses. (More to come later this morning.)
Americans for Herman Cain is up with a new fundraising video for its 9-9-9 fund, called “High-Tech Lynching” now blaming the “liberal media” and heavily invoking Clarence Thomas, NBC’s Matt Loffman reports.
The Cain campaign says it has raised $1.2 million in the past three days, NBC’s Andrew Rafferty reports. Cain Tweeted that his new Iowa Fund has raised more than $255,000 since its creation this week. The goal, according to the Tweet, is to raise $999,000 (get it – 9-9-9?) by Nov. 9.
“Herman Cain’s campaign yesterday backed off explosive charges that GOP rival Rick Perry’s campaign was the source for a damaging story linking Cain to sexual harassment of female staffers while he headed the National Restaurant Association,” the New York Post writes. “All the evidence we had pointed to Mr. Anderson being the source. We are absolutely thrilled that he came on your show said it wasn’t him,” said Mark Block, Cain’s chief of staff, on FOX. “Mr. Cain has always had the utmost respect for him.”
Cain got away from DC and headed up to New York yesterday morning to talk foreign policy with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. Afterward, he put out a statement that ends with this: Under a Cain Presidency, his message to Iran is this: “If you’re messing with Israel, you’re messing with the U.S.A.” This, of course, is after him raising the specter of war with Iran in an interview with FOX's Bill O'Reilly.
He was back in DC by last night at the Cosmos Club. According to its website, the club did not allow women as members until 1988. Also spotted walking into the club were The Daily Caller’s Tucker Carlson and Fox News Brett Baier.
Cain continued to dig in yesterday, telling Sean Hannity, courtesy of NBC’s Parmet: "Sean, this is absolutely fabrication, man. I don't know what else to say. How many more ways can I say this stuff is totally fabricated."
HUNTSMAN: At a town hall meeting with students and faculty at the all-women Converse College in Spartanburg, S.C., Jon Huntsman took a veiled swipe at Mitt Romney's call for punitive tariffs on Chinese imports, NBC’s Ali Weinberg reports. "Some of the guys I’m running against -- I won’t be mean and nasty right now -- but they say, 'Why don’t we put a tariff on China, because they’re manipulating their currency?' And I say, that’s a stupid idea. Why would you want to start a trade war?" He made the remarks while answering a question from an 8-year-old boy about how his experience as the ambassador to China would help him as president. He also repeated his claim that he would "surprise the marketplace" in New Hampshire and then "come South and do it in South Carolina," despite his scant presence in the state and his poor showing in polls here.
Earlier, at a barbecue restaurant in Columbia, Huntsman said of Herman Cain's still-developing allegations, "My concern is it takes a lot of bandwidth out of our discussion about this country."
PERRY: Rick Perry reaffirmed he had nothing to do with the leak about Cain, NBC’s Parmet reports. “No apology needed,” Perry told CNN. “We found out about this the same time that I suppose the rest of America found out about it. Both on the Internet or the next day in the news. I don’t know how to tell any other way except knew nothing about it, sir.” He said if someone on his campaign were found to be responsible, they’d be “out the door. … Gone.” (Honest question though: Even if the accusations are true, that person would be fired?)
To that point, here’s what former Bill Clinton aide Paul Begala wrote in The Daily Beast: "Here's the Begala Standard: if an attack is fair, factual, and about the public record, it's not dirty. Business experience -- and, yes, one's conduct around the office or in an after-work watering hole -- is relevant. Scrutinizing it is fair. You don't attack someone's race or religion or gender or sexual orientation. You don't go after family. You don't pry into private lives, but you look at public performance in office, or in prior campaigns; you look at business and financial matters, votes and quotes (and for the presidency and vice presidency I think health is a legitimate inquiry). And there's nothing wrong with encouraging journalists to do so as well." (Hat tip: Taegan Goddard.)
ROMNEY: Mitt Romney unveiled his most detailed spending policy to date, promising, in his first term, to slash government spending by $500 billion by cutting 10% of the federal government’s workforce; eliminating union labor collaborations with government by repealing the Davis-Bacon act requiring union labor and wages for government construction projects; cutting subsidies for Amtrak, reducing foreign aid, and reorganizing federal government programs, like Medicaid and food stamps, which he would make have the states administer, NBC’s Jo Ling Kent reports.
The Boston Globe notes the stagecraft and messaging that sounds an awful lot like the Tea Party: “Standing beneath a large banner that read, ‘Cut the Spending,’ Romney told a packed crowd of several hundred at the Exeter Town Hall that the country had a ‘moral responsibility’ to reduce government spending. ‘Deficits do matter, they matter a lot,’ he said.”
He, once again, though awkwardly joked about his wife’s spending habits: “As we were coming in Ann turned to me and she said, ‘Do you want me to speak a few words tonight,’ ” Romney said, per the Globe. “I said, ‘Well I don’t think so. This is a speech on spending.’ She looked at me, and I said, ‘Just kidding.’ ”
SANTORUM: On whether he has any skeletons in his closet, he said in Iowa, per NBC’s Alex Moe: “I think one of the things that you can say when you’ve run 3 statewide races in PA and you’ve been in front of the national media for 12 years, you’ve been kicked around a lot. And, certainly people will find out things I’ve done, but it’s not like it will be anything new.”
How about this Yogi Berra-style quote? “We want to win [in Iowa], and that’s what we are aiming for, but obviously if you are sitting in the back of the polls, a win is not necessarily the only way you can come out of here with a win.”