Pawlenty is spending bucks to win the Ames straw poll. He’s already shelled out $50,000 to bus companies:
Pawlenty has already started spending on the kind of vehicles campaigns use to cart in supporters for the Ames straw poll.
Meanwhile, the wife is in New Hampshire trying to get votes.
Herman Cain’s had his “come to Allah” moment:
According to one of the Muslim community members Herman Cain visited with Wednesday, the Republicans newfound respect for Islam is completely genuine.
“He seemed genuinely surprised,” Robert Marro, a trustee at the ADAMS Center mosque in Northern Virginia told TPM. “It was almost like he was saying, ‘I should’ve known better.’” ….
Marrow said Cain was struck by connection between American Muslims of today and Cain’s fellow African Americans from the past. Marro said the staff talked about the recent tragedy in Oslo, Norway, which many reflexively blamed on Muslims before the facts of the attacks came out. The story touched Cain’s childhood memories, Marro said.
“He said, ‘when I was growing up, they always said it was some renegade black person who did wrong,’” Marro recalled. “One of the things that he said a number of times: there’s a great deal of common ground between us.”
It was a meeting that may change the trajectory — or at least the public image — of Cain’s run for president. Marro said it’s the kind of thing that can change minds, too.
“Come to the horse’s mouth,” he said. “If you think [mosques] are hotbeds of terrorism, come visit.”
“We not only have nothing to hide,” Marro added, “we welcome it.”
Herman Cain’s statement:
I would like to thank Imam Mohamed Magid and the ADAMS Center for extending their hospitality to me this afternoon. We enjoyed heartfelt fellowship and thoughtful dialogue about how patriotic Americans of all faiths can work together to restore the American Dream.
While I stand by my opposition to the interference of shariah law into the American legal system, I remain humble and contrite for any statements I have made that might have caused offense to Muslim Americans and their friends. I am truly sorry for any comments that may have betrayed my commitment to the U.S. Constitution and the freedom of religion guaranteed by it. Muslims, like all Americans, have the right to practice their faith freely and peacefully.
As I expected, we discovered we have much more in common in our values and virtues. In my own life as a black youth growing up in the segregated South, I understand their frustration with stereotypes. Those in attendance, like most Muslim Americans, are peaceful Muslims and patriotic Americans whose good will is often drowned out by the reprehensible actions of jihadists.
I am encouraged by the bonds of friendship forged today at our meeting, and I look forward to continuing this very healthy dialogue. The relationship we established was so positive that the Imam has invited me back to speak to not only some of their youth, but also at one of their worship services.
Rick Santorum is being told to back off his opposition to gay marriage, or he’ll have his first name redefined too. I’m not sure why anyone is very threatened by the views of Santorum when he doesn’t have a shot anyway.
Obama leads Romney in a new Michigan poll.
Which leaves Romney in an ironic position. He is the presidential candidate who sells himself for the White House on the basis of his experience as a successful businessman with economic savvy and as a problem solver. Yet, he refuses to engage fully on the debt-ceiling stalemate, a problem if ever there was one, even as the nation seems closer to default than ever.