Top Talker: Race for the 2012 GOP nomination…Perry is in, Pawlenty is out, Bachmann wins straw poll

Updated
Republican presidential candidate Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks to local Republicans during the Black Hawk County Republican Lincoln Day Dinner, Sunday, Aug. 14, 2011, in Waterloo, Iowa.
Republican presidential candidate Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks to local Republicans during the Black Hawk County Republican Lincoln Day Dinner, Sunday, Aug. 14, 2011, in Waterloo, Iowa.
AP

With the 2012 presidential race beginning to take shape, Republican candidates are campaigning in some key early primary states today.  It comes after a big political weekend, where Texas Governor Rick Perry officially announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination and fellow presidential contender Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann won a key early test on Saturday. 

Last night, Perry and Bachmann both spoke at the Lincoln Day dinner in  the congresswoman’s hometown of Waterloo, Iowa.  In his speech, Perry explained what he would do to stop spending in Washington.  He said, “The President of the United States has a pen, and it’s called a veto pen - and I’ll use that until all of the ink runs out to get the message across that we’re not spending all the money.”  Bachmann addressed the crowd after Perry, saying “without social conservatives will be very difficult to defeat Barack Obama in 2012.”

Michele Bachmann received over 4800 votes in the straw poll with Texas Congressman Ron Paul coming in a close second.  Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty followed with a distant third place finish after heavily campaigning in the hawkeye state.   That’s partially why yesterday, Pawlenty said he decided to drop out of the race.  In an interview with ABC news, he said, “you need to make sure that you’ve got that kind of ability to get some momentum but that pathway doesn’t appear available to me.”

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Top Talker: Race for the 2012 GOP nomination...Perry is in, Pawlenty is out, Bachmann wins straw poll

Updated