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Tags: The Primary Event

Poll Shows Perry Beating Obama in N.C.



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President Obama has made it clear he’d like to keep North Carolina blue in 2012 — even going to the extent of hosting the Democratic convention in Charlotte next year.

So this is sure to be unpleasant news for him: a new Civitas Institute poll shows that if Rick Perry was the GOP nominee, he’d beat Obama in North Carolina, 45 percent to 42 percent. 

Civitas did not poll other possible GOP nominees against Obama.

Romney Leads in S.C.



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Mitt Romney has a significant lead in South Carolina, according to an American Research Group poll released today.

Romney is at 25 percent among likely GOP primary voters.  In second place is Sarah Palin, with 16 percent. Michele Bachmann is in third place with 13 percent, while Herman Cain is at 10 percent.

Among the single digit tier, Rudy Giuliani and Rick Perry are both at 6 percent, Newt Gingrich is at three percent, and Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, and Buddy Roemer are tied at 2 percent. 

Gary Johnson received less than one half of 1 percent support — which places him ahead of Tim Pawlenty and Jon Huntsman, neither of whom received sufficient support to register on the polling results. 

UPDATE: Via Dave Weigel, Nate Silver rated the American Research Group as a firm with a higher than usual rate of error in polling results. 

The Undefeated’s Opening Weekend



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The Undefeated, which chronicles Sarah Palin’s political career, did well enough in its opening weekend that its distributor plans to open it on more screens later this month. 

The film averaged about $5,000 per screen, according to distributor ARC Entertainment. In some venues, showings were sold-out completely. 

“We expect word-of-mouth to keep ticket sales strong and we will definitely expand the film to a wider national audience. With merely three weeks of preparation and a virtually non-existent traditional advertising spend, the film did exceptionally well,” said Trevor Drinkwater, ARC Entertainment CEO, in a statement.

Pawlenty’s Iowa Push



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Like Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin, Tim Pawlenty also has his own set of campaign wheels now, according to photo Politico nabbed:

Pawlenty is planning to make a hard push in Iowa in the last few weeks before the Ames Straw Poll. Pawlenty campaign manager Nick Ayers wrote last week that Pawlenty would spend 20 out of the 30 days in the next month campaigning in Iowa.

Gay Activists Plan to Attack Bachmann



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Gay activists are hoping to galvanize gay Democrats by highlighting Rep. Michele Bachmann’s past comments and positions on gay marriage — and her husband Marcus Bachmann’s work as therapist running a clinic that, if a patient requests, will seek to help the patient reduce same-sex inclinations. From Politico’s Ben Smith:

But if the contrast between Obama and Jon Huntsman, who has signaled tolerance and won the backing of support of gay Republicans, or Mitt Romney, whose record as Massachusetts governor was moderate, may leave gay activists cold, Bachmann gets gay Democrats excited.

“The idea of some sort of a therapy to make us straight — it’s bizarre and nuts,” said David Mixner, a top gay Democratic fundraiser. “For those who are somewhat disenchanted on some issues with Obama, this will enable them to get over whatever reservations they may have.”

Smith also reports that gay rights groups intend to highlight Bachmann’s record on gay rights:

“Michele Bachmann is the very definition of a target-rich environment, and given her husband’s positions and things she’s said in past she’s going to have a really hard time appearing as a reasonable mainstream candidate,” said Michael Cole-Schwartz, the communications director for the group Human Rights Campaign.

“We’re going to be looking or opportunities to get her record and her rhetoric out there,” he said, arguing that voters of both parties would view “ any candidates who espouse those kind of beliefs [as] living in the Twilight Zone.”

Full piece here.

Bachmann Formally Left Church Week Before Announcing Candidacy



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From CNN:

 

Bachmann, a Minnesota congresswoman, and her husband Marcus withdrew their membership from Salem Lutheran Church in Stillwater, Minnesota last month, according to church officials.

The Bachmanns had been members of the church for more than 10 years, according to Joel Hochmuth, director of communications for the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, the broader denominational body of which Bachmann’s former church is a member.

The church council granted the Bachmanns’ request to be released from their membership on June 21st, Hochmuth said.

After declaring at the CNN/WMUR/New Hampshire Union Leader presidential debate that she would seek the nomination, Bachmann formally announced her presidential bid June 27th in Waterloo, Iowa.

Gingrich Campaign $1 Million in Debt



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Newt Gingrich’s campaign is $1.03 million in debt, and has $322,222 cash on hand, reports the Associated Press. 

Gingrich: Don’t Hike Debt Ceiling Without Equal Cuts



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Newt Gingrich thinks that Republicans should only hike the debt ceiling by as much as Democrats are willing to cut spending by.

“The principle for a long-term debt ceiling hike ought to be very simple: the president does not get any more money in the debt ceiling than he signs into savings. So if he wants a trillion dollars increase in the debt ceiling, there has to be a trillion dollars in savings in how the government is run,” Gingrich said in a conference call with reporters this afternoon.

Gingrich focused on waste, fraud and abuse when talking about how spending could be cut, arguing that applying Six Sigma business practices to the government could save as much as $500 billion. He also cited a study done by his Center for Health Transformations that estimated Medicare and Medicaid theft amounted to $70 billion to $120 billion. He pointed to Rep. Paul Ryan’s $700 billion savings estimate for block granting Medicaid, and recommended that cabinet officers should eliminate the 10 percent of workers least effective under them.

If that means a series of short-term debt ceiling hikes, the former speaker is fine with that.  “This idea that we have to have some magic long-term solution is baloney,” he said, saying that a three-month or six-month debt ceiling hike should be seen as acceptable.

Gingrich said he did not support the elimination of any tax credits, such as the home mortgage credit, to raise revenue.  “This country is over-spent. It’s not under-taxed,” he said.

Gingrich had harsh words for President Obama

“Obama really put the bully back in the bully pulpit,” he said, discussing President Obama’s remarks that Social Security checks could fail to go out if the debt ceiling wasn’t hiked. Gingrich advocates the House passing a bill that would guarantee enough money to be set aside for August that senior citizens would receive their checks, regardless of whether the debt ceiling was raised or not.

Pawlenty Raised $4.5 Million Last Quarter



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Tim Pawlenty raised $4.5 million last quarter, and has $2 million in cash, his campaign announced today. About $610,000 of the campaign’s cash is in general election funds and cannot be touched until then.

Cain: Obama ‘Specific’ on Tax Hikes, ‘Vague’ on Spending Cuts



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Herman Cain criticizes President Obama’s proposed compromises to get Congress to hike the debt ceiling in a new statement:

The American people know that now is not the time to raise taxes on America’s job creators and their employees. They know that government does not have a revenue problem, but instead, a spending problem.

Still, President Obama has been plenty specific on tax hikes he’s eager to impose upon the American people, but he has remained awfully vague about where he’d rein in government spending.

If the President and Congress fail to reach a compromise, it is not because the Republicans were not serious about cutting spending. It is because President Obama was not interested in a compromise that did not include taking more from the American people in the form of tax hikes. We’ve had enough press conferences and summits.

What we need now is mature leadership, and that means making tough decisions to protect the financial future of this country. 

Palin: ‘Obama Lies’



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Sarah Palin tweeted her discontent with President Obama after his press conference today:

Obama lies, economy dies. He says “default’s catastrophic” then opposes deal to avert it. Nonsense. Gold stars to GOP trying to deal w/this.

Santorum Raises $582K this Quarter



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Rick Santorum raised $582,348 for his presidential campaign this quarter. He also raised $489,866 for his PAC.

Currently, Santorum has no debts and has $229,000 cash on hand.

“It is worth noting that Senator Santorum didn’t hold his first official fundraiser until June 22, and between that day and June 30, he raised nearly half of the money he raised as an official presidential candidate,” said  campaign finance director Amanda Kornegay in a statement.

The campaign also emphasized that Santorum did not officially become a presidential candidate until June 6.

Pawlenty, Romney Address Debt Ceiling



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Tim Pawlenty thinks Republicans should continue to use the debt ceiling vote as a way to gain leverage.

“If we don’t get people in Washington D.C. to take this seriously and actually make the tough decisions — they always say ‘Oh, we’re going to make the tough decisions. We’ll do it. We’ll do it’, and then they never do,” he said on CNBC, reports GOP12.

“The only way you’re going to get people to do something tough is to put their backs up against the wall,” Pawlenty added.

Romney addressed the matter yesterday, saying, according to ABC News, that “the answer for the country is for the president to agree to cut federal spending and cap federal spending and put into place a balanced budget amendment.”

“It is within the president’s power to say to the leadership in the house and the senate that ‘I’ll cut spending I’ll cap the amount of spending and I’ll pursue a balanced budget amendment and if the president were to do that this whole debt limit problem goes away,” Romney said.

Clip of Pawlenty on CNBC:

Cain Opposes Controversial Tenn. Mosque



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Herman Cain, who has backtracked from his March comment about being uncomfortable hiring a Muslim to work in his administration, told reporters yesterday that he opposed the construction of a controversial mosque there. From the Associated Press:

Cain didn’t bring up the controversial facility in a campaign rally on Thursday, but told reporters afterward that he’s concerned about the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro.

“It is an infringement and an abuse of our freedom of religion,” he said. “And I don’t agree with what’s happening, because this isn’t an innocent mosque.”

The new mosque has been the subject of protests and counterprotests in the city about 35 miles southeast of Nashville. …

Opponents have used the hearings to argue that the mosque is part of a plot to expand Islamic extremism in the U.S. Cain appeared to agree.

“It is another example of why I believe in American laws and American courts,” Cain said. “This is just another way to try to gradually sneak Shariah law into our laws, and I absolutely object to that.”

Marcus Bachmann: Clinic Isn’t Anti-Gay



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From the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:

Marcus Bachmann, who runs Bachmann & Associates Inc. out of clinics in Lake Elmo and Burnsville, said in an interview with the Star Tribune that his treatment business is not focused on converting gays to heterosexuality. He also denied that he has ever called gay people barbarians. ..

He didn’t deny that he or other counselors at Bachmann & Associates have attempted to convert gay patients, but he said it is not a special interest of the business and would only be attempted at the client’s request.

“Will I address it? Certainly we’ll talk about it,” Bachmann said. “Is it a remedy form that I typically would use? … It is at the client’s discretion.”

He said the business mainly treats people who accept religious faith as part of their healing process — typically for depression or anxiety.

“We don’t have an agenda or a philosophy of trying to change someone,’’ Bachmann said.

In the full piece, Bachmann also addresses the charge that he called gays “barbarians,” saying that the quote was taken out of context, and defends his decision to accept Medicaid patients.

Evangelicals for Ron Paul



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Ron Paul’s campaign has launched an Evangelicals for Ron Paul movement.

“Evangelicals are hurting as much as any other segment of America during this economic stagnation, which manifests itself in record-high unemployment, barely palatable growth and widespread loss of opportunity,” said Doug Wead, a senior adviser to Paul, in a statement. “In addition, cash-strapped local governments use land-use privileges to erode the rights of those who wish to establish a house of worship. Pastors assert that they cannot construct needed churches because zoning boards prefer not to allow properties to be transferred to the nonprofit, and thus tax-exempt, sector.”

“There is so much outrage about the economy, the corruption of the political system and rights erosion that Ron Paul is seen as the only presidential candidate who is trusted to deliver the message reliably, consistently and unapologetically,” Wead concluded.

Below the jump, the list of evangelical leaders affiliated with Paul, as provided by the campaign.

Keep reading this post . . .

Romney Pokes Fun at Himself



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Starting around the one minute mark, a wry Mitt Romney shares some anecdotes: 

Palin’s PAC Raises $1.6 Million



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Sarah Palin’s PAC raised $1.6 million in the first half of 2011, reports National Journal. She spent nearly all of that, although she has $1.4 million cash on hand from previous fundraising hauls. 

Money from her PAC cannot be transferred to a campaign if she decides to run.

Perry, Haley Advocate Cut, Cap, and Balance Pledge



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Rick Perry and Nikki Haley pen an op-ed in the Washington Post pushing Jim DeMint’s Cut, Cap, and Balance policy: 

As governors of states whose residents, like all Americans, are desperate for the restoration of fiscal responsibility in Washington, we are proud to have signed the “Cut, Cap and Balance Pledge” amid the debate over once again raising the federal debt ceiling.

We oppose an increase in the federal debt limit unless three common-sense conditions are met: substantial cuts in spending; enforceable spending caps to put the country on a path to a balanced budget; and congressional passage of a balanced-budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution. That amendment should include a requirement for a congressional supermajority to approve any raises in taxes.

At heart, the pledge represents the reality that yet another temporary fix to our nation’s budgetary woes is no fix at all. The time has come for all of us to begin holding the federal government to the same common-sense standards in place in most states, including South Carolina and Texas.

Conservatives for Huntsman



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Huntsman campaign manager Susie Wiles e-mails supporters, asking them to join Conservatives for Huntsman:

Our goal today is to identify 5,000 conservative leaders from across the nation who are 100% committed to supporting Governor Huntsman in his campaign to defeat President Obama. As a Conservatives for Huntsman Leader we will call on you to recruit others to our team. We need to reach this goal in 5 days. 

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