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08.14.11

7 Best Moments From Sunday Talk

Tim Pawlenty quits the race, Michele Bachmann says she’s not 'judging' gay people, Debbie Wasserman Schultz calls Rick Perry’s record 'overblown,' and more in our Sunday Talk roundup.

Pawlenty: I’m Out of the Race

The first one bites the dust: former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty made headlines when he announced on This Week that his campaign had come to an end after a disappointing third-place finish in the Iowa straw poll. Falling behind Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul in the survey, T-Paw said his message didn’t get the kind of “traction or lift” he needed. “I wish it would have been different, but obviously the pathway forward for me doesn’t really exist,” he told Jake Tapper.

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Bachmann: I Had Plan to Avoid Default

After winning Saturday’s Iowa straw poll, the congresswoman made her victory lap on all the Sunday talk shows—and faced the tough questions. On Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace asked the GOP frontrunner about her decision not to raise the debt ceiling and S&P’s subsequent downgrade of the U.S. credit rating. “I never at any time talked about default. As a matter of fact, I introduced a plan to ensure that the United States sovereignty would not default … I had one, unlike President Obama,” she said. So there.

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Cain: Pawlenty ‘Doubled-Down’ and Lost

Herman Cain has some advice for T-Paw. Despite placing fifth in the Iowa straw poll, the pizza magnate said on State of the Union that his own “momentum continues to grow” because he invested significantly fewer funds into his Iowa appearance than the former Minnesota governor. When asked whether he believes in his “heart of hearts” that he can win an election, Cain said he’s right where he wants to be in the field: “For me to be finishing in the middle of the pack with a 46 percent name ID … that is a great position to be in,” he told host Candy Crowley.

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Bachmann: ‘I’m Not Judging’ Gay People

Would Michele Bachmann appoint an openly gay person to her administration? While it’s no secret that the GOP frontrunner’s husband, Marcus, runs a “gay therapy” clinic, David Gregory confronted the congresswoman about a past statement that gays and lesbians face “sexual dysfunction in their life and sexual identity disorders.” The Iowa straw poll winner deflected the query on Meet the Press, instead saying her hiring criteria would be the same for appointing an atheist: “Where do you stand on the Constitution, are you competent, and do you share my views?”

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DNC Chair: Perry’s Record Is "Overblown"

Them’s fightin’ words. Though Rick Perry announced his presidential campaign only Saturday, it’s never too early to start taking heat. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) called out the Texas governor’s jobs record on Face the Nation, saying, “It’s extremely difficult for him to deserve credit for that job creation … It is way overblown to suggest that the job creation in Texas is squarely on the shoulders of his policies.” Wasserman Schultz added that, despite diminished approval ratings, “the president is in, actually, remarkably good shape,” as he prepares to join the fanfare in Iowa on his own bus tour Monday.

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King Won’t Endorse Bachmann…Yet

Friendship just isn’t enough to seal the deal for Rep. Steve King. The Iowa Republican said on State of the Union that he won’t be endorsing pal Michele Bachmann—or any other candidate, for that matter—any time soon. As for Rick Perry’s surprising sixth place in the straw poll, thanks to write-in votes, King predicts a “shootout at OK corral” when the Texas governor and Bachmann face off in Waterloo, Iowa, Sunday evening. “At event after event, people would stand up and give a speech for Rick Perry, and so it wasn’t that he was just sitting in Texas and people came here and put up a vote,” King said.

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About That Bachmann Cover

It was no Funny or Die photo-shoot reenactment, but on Reliable Sources the roundtable took on Newsweek’s Michele Bachmann cover. “It’s not the picture that makes her look crazy, it’s the things she says that make her look crazy,” syndicated-radio-show host Stephanie Miller said.

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