Battle gets messier for GOP presidential candidates

The Takeaway

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Voters separated wheat from chaff this weekend at the Iowa straw poll. Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann won the poll, while former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty made a poor showing and cut his campaign short, removing himself from the GOP roster. Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced his candidacy Saturday, and Sarah Palin attracted big crowds at the Iowa State Fair, further shaking up the GOP roster.

Jordan Fabian, political editor at Univision News, talked to The Takeaway about how the GOP primary might play out now that Rick Perry has joined the race.

“I think that Bachmann and Perry inspire a little more excitement among the Republican base,” he said. “So it’s going to be difficult for Mitt Romney at a certain point in the campaign to keep people energized about his candidacy.”

Bachman was grilled about her social-conservative views as she made the rounds on TV shows over the weekend, but remained consistent in her message around gay marriage, family values and religion. Fabian says her message worked in Iowa, but he isn’t so sure about other parts of the country.

“It remains to be seen whether she’ll be able appeal to a broader electorate with that message moving forward,” he said.

While Bachman emerged the front runner in Iowa, her lead might be short-lived as Rick Perry joins the roster of presidential hopefuls.

“Rick Perry jumped in the race on Saturday and really stole a lot of the thunder from the event, and a lot of the headlines,” Fabian explained. “And he’s going to be going after a lot of the same voters that Bachman is going after — a lot of the same evangelical Christian, socially-conservative wing of the Republican party.”

This week, President Obama is also in the midwest, on a bus tour of Illinois, Iowa, and Minnesota. He’s planning to sharpen his messaging against Republicans on the handling of the economy and jobs creation.


“The Takeaway” is a national morning news program, delivering the news and analysis you need to catch up, start your day, and prepare for what’s ahead. The show is a co-production of WNYC and PRI, in editorial collaboration with the BBC, The New York Times Radio, and WGBH.

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