Afternoon Fix: Gallup shows Cain nearly tying Romney

at 06:42 PM ET, 10/10/2011

New polls show Herman Cain rising, Joe the Plumber is running for Congress, Mel Martinez is endorsing Romney, and Newt Gingrich wants Gary Johnson in the debate.

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WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED:

* A new Gallup poll finds Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain all but tied with former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney for the Republican nomination. Romney comes in at 20 percent; Cain is at 18 percent. Texas Gov. Rick Perry is at 15 percent. In a new poll of likely New Hampshire primary voters, Cain also came in second — at 20 percent to Romney’s 38 percent.

* On a bus tour in New Hampshire, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) declared that Attorney General Eric Holder should resign “if the facts prove to be what they appear to be” in the Fast and Furious case — a Phoenix gun sting that resulted in 2,000 illegally purchased firearms hitting the streets. Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) has also called for Holder’s resignation.

* In an interview Friday with the Christian Broadcasting Network, Cain said he could deal with gotcha questions: “When they ask me who’s the president of Ubeki-beki-beki-beki-stan-stan I’m going to say, ‘You know, I don’t know. Do you know? And then I’m going to say, ‘how’s that going to create one job?’” He went on to say that “Knowing who is the head of some of these small insignificant states around the world, I don’t think that is something that is critical.” Uzbekistan is actually pretty important to the U.S. Ubeki-beki-beki-beki-stan-stan, maybe not.

* Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, aka Joe the Plumber, has taken a step towards running for Congress. The one-time Republican star submitted paperwork to run in Ohio’s 9th district — the site of a potentially ugly Democratic primary battle between Reps. Marcy Kaptur and Dennis Kucinich, thanks to redistricting. It’s a heavily Democratic seat, and Wurzelbacher — made famous by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in the 2008 campaign — does not have much of a shot.

* Former president George W. Bush, who rarely discusses his presidency since leaving office, was on “Good Morning America” this morning and defended the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. “I hope history proves them wrong,” Bush said of a poll showing only a third of recent veterans thought the wars were worth fighting. “The only way for there to be peace is for free societies to emerge, and history takes awhile to unfold.”

WHAT YOU SHOULDN’T MISS:

* Long-shot Republican candidate Buddy Roemer is joining an Occupy Wall Street protest Tuesday, which should make for an interesting photo-op if nothing else. Roemer, who served as governor of Louisiana from 1988 to 1992, has been all-but-ignored in the GOP race, left out of debates and not registering in polls.

* Former Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) has endorsed Romney. Interestingly, Martinez quit the Senate in 2009 in large part because his party refused to consider comprehensive immigration reform that would have included a path to legal status for millions of undocumented immigrants. Romney has been attacking Perry on the campaign trail as too soft on immigration.

* Perry is out with a new web video hitting Romney hard on health care, employing the now-ubiquitous Michael Bay style. Aside from all the storm clouds and intense music, it’s a familiar argument — that the law Romney signed in Massachusetts is the model for national reform. The Texas governor is trying to vault himself back into the national conversation after a bad couple weeks.

* Strange bedfellows — former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson wants a seat at tomorrow’s Washington Post/Bloomberg News economic debate, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is behind him. “Fairness requires Gov. Johnson to be included in tomorrow’s debate,” Gingrich wrote on Twitter. “I encourage Wash Post/Bloomberg to invite him.” In order to participate in the debate, candidates must meet several requirements — including participation in at least three previous nationally televised debates this cycle. Johnson has appeared in only two. Johnson supporters are hoping to get him into the CNN Las Vegas debate on Oct. 18.

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