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Former governor Pawlenty eyes 2012 Obama fight

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WASHINGTON – Former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, a Republican, announced Monday he was formally exploring a 2012 challenge to President Barack Obama.

“We have a great country, but we’re headed in the wrong direction. We need a real debate with President Obama, so the American people can decide how to get this country back on track,” Pawlenty said in a statement.

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Pawlenty, long rumored to be seeking the presidency but largely unknown outside his home state, announced his plans to create a presidential exploratory committee, generally a must-do step that allows potential candidates help to gauge the potential for raising the vast sums of money required.

His announcement came as other potential Republican candidates, including former governors Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin, had yet to say formally one way or the other whether they will seek the White House.

Republican officials worry that the crowded field of possible White House hopefuls could end up helping Obama, who is sure to get his party’s 2012 nod but is seen as vulnerable amid stubbornly high US unemployment.

“I will unite the Republican Party around my optimistic vision. We need to make the tough decisions to reform and renew the American dream. I am looking forward to making my case,” vowed Pawlenty.

Pawlenty, 50, lives in Minnesota with his wife Mary and two teenage daughters.

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2020 Election

‘Don’t you dare!’ CNN’s Brian Stelter gets into shouting match with conservative over Hunter Biden story

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CNN media correspondent Brian Stelter and Washington Examiner correspondent Susan Ferrechio tangled on BBC radio on Wednesday during a discussion about how conservative media have hyped a political attack on Joe Biden's son.

During a panel discussion that included the corruption allegations against Biden and his son, Ferrechio complained that most mainstream media outlets have not publicized the report, which was first published by the New York Post.

"The bottom line is it deserves scrutiny by all media outlets," Ferrechio said. "And if they pick and choose this and decide it's not worth their time, I think that's showing real bias."

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2020 Election

‘Humiliating self-own’: Trump mocked after touting binder full of his ‘accomplishments’ — but photo shows blank page

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President Donald Trump on Wednesday tweeted photographs of his press secretary delivering a binder full of his purported accomplishments to CBS News reporter Lesley Stahl.

“Kayleigh McEnany presenting Lesley Stahl (@60Minutes) with some of the many things we’ve done for Healthcare. Lesley had no idea!” the president tweeted.

However, many Twitter users noticed that one photograph showed Stahl opening the binder – revealing a blank page.

"Are there Nobel prizes for most humiliating self-owns? If so, Trump definitely deserves one for presenting Lesley Stahl with a blank book and claiming it's some huge gotcha moment," remarked author Steve Silberman.

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Republicans grow increasingly nervous over potential loss of Senate seat GOP has controlled for decades

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Rep. Roger Marshall (R-KS) wants to fill the state's open Senate seat that been in the hands of Republicans since 1932, and was once widely expected to do so, but thanks to the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, the seat is more likely to be a toss-up, according to the Washington Post's Annie Gowen.

Marshall’s Democratic opponent, Barbara Bollier, 62, is a state senator who recently left the GOP, and has focused her platform on battling the pandemic and expanding health care. Gowen reports that she has racked up a "record third-quarter fundraising haul of $13.5 million, and has raised a total of $20 million. Marshall raised $2.7 million in the third quarter and has a total of $5 million."

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