2012 Candidates Weekly Update 3/8/11

Michele Bachmann

Health Care: Decries secret funding of reform law which wasn't actually a secret (Minnesota Post, 3/7).

Energy: As gas prices rise over Mideast crisis, Bachmann blames Obama (CNN, 3/7).

Religious Right: Invites Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel to her Tea Party Caucus (RWW, 3/4).

Haley Barbour

Campaign: Adds staff to leadership PAC (The Fix, 3/7).

Iowa: Will join Bachmann, Santorum, Gingrich and others at conference hosted by Steve King (Des Moines Register, 3/7).

Background: Made millions as a lobbyist for the energy industry, now repeating their arguments (HuffPo, 3/3).

Mitch Daniels

Indiana: Democrats in state legislature lead boycott to protest Daniels's anti-labor agenda (TPM, 3/4).

Religious Right: Richard Land attacks Daniels's truce proposal as "political suicide" (RWW, 3/4).

Newt Gingrich

Campaign: Discusses "confusion" of exploratory committee announcement (Des Moines Register, 3/7).

Obama: Tells Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom Coalition that "secular, socialist" Obama administration "cannot represent America" (The Hill, 3/7).

Religious Right: Plans to address Religious Right conferences in Iowa and Liberty University, and meet with controversial pastor John Hagee (RWW, 3/4).

Mike Huckabee

South Carolina: Tells South Carolina crowd on book tour that the state is a must-win primary (The State, 3/8).

Culture: Slams actress Natalie Portman for allegedly glorifying single motherhood (The Week, 3/4).

Obama: Agrees with Bryan Fischer that Obama is anti-American; falsely claims that President Obama grew up in Kenya and then lied in his mea culpa (RWW, 3/2; County Fair, 3/7).

Religious Right: Joins Bachmann, Barbour, Gingrich and pseudo-historian David Barton for a webcast on religion in politics (RWW, 3/2).

Jon Huntsman

Campaign: Top aides meet in New Orleans, set sights on New Hampshire voters (RCP, 3/7).

Obama: Praise from President may damage Huntsman's chances (Salt Lake Tribune, 3/6).

Donors: Supporters of Huntsman paid for video about his work as Ambassador (Politico, 3/3).

Sarah Palin

2012: Says she would run for President if voters are ready for someone who is against "obsessive partisanship" (BBC News, 3/7).

Culture: Picks fight with comedian Kathy Griffin (LA Times, 3/7).

Foreign Affairs: Prepares for trip to India (Politico, 3/6).

Tim Pawlenty

2012: May be GOP front runner due to the "process of elimination" (TNR, 3/8).

Religious Right: Calls on members of Ralph Reed's Iowa group to "take back our country" (CBS News, 3/7).

Minnesota: Keith Ellison says Pawlenty has "no connection" to his roots (Think Progress, 3/4).

Buddy Roemer

Tea Party: Tells Religious Right group, "Thank God for the tea party" (Des Moines Register, 3/7).

Campaign: The former Louisiana governor announces exploratory committee (CBS News, 3/4).

Mitt Romney

Health Care: Massachusetts AG uses Romney's health care policy to defend federal law (Politico, 3/7).

Social issues: After turning hard right on social issues, Romney now wants to downplay them (Salon, 3/7).

Campaign: Produces "restoring hope" video for leadership PAC (Politico, 3/7).

Rick Santorum

Reproductive Rights: Plays-up his career in the anti-choice movement to Ralph Reed's Iowa group (Des Moines Register, 3/7).

Religious Right: Argues in Iowa op-ed that LGBT equality will "eviscerate" freedom (RWW, 3/7).