Rick Perry might skip future debates, Paul Ryan is taking on Obama, Herman Cain is boning up on foreign policy, Michele Bachmann files by mail.

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Alan Khazei and Rep. John Olver bow out

How Rick Perry’s birther comments are hurting him

Comparing the GOP hopefuls’ tax plans

Romney, under fire, endorses Ohio union law

Newt Gingrich: He’s baaack!

How the Occupy Wall Street movement could help Democrats


* Texas Gov. Rick Perry has repeatedly argued that debates are overblown. Now he might start skipping the events altogether. “I think all the campaigns are expressing frustration right now," spokesman Mark Miner told Politico. "We said we would do Michigan but the primaries are around the corner and you have to use your time accordingly.”

* In a speech at the Heritage Foundation today, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) accused President Obama of using “sowing social unrest and class resentment” to promote his jobs plan. “The president is barnstorming swing states, pushing a divisive message that pits one group of Americans against another on the basis of class,” he said. Ryan also weighed in (more favorably) on Perry’s flat tax plan, saying it “would grow the economy.”

* Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman was on ABC News’ TopLine today and said Perry’s “birtherism” talk made him “cringe.” Huntsman got some buzz when he defended climate science earlier this year, but he’s not really staking out new ground here.

* Harvard Law School Professor Elizabeth Warren, running against Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), clarified today that she wasn’t taking credit for the Occupy Wall Street movement. “There's not a question of is there enough credit to go around," she said. “I have been protesting Wall Street for a very long time. Occupy Wall Street is an organic movement ... I am glad that that conversation is going forward.”


* Herman Cain may think it’s irrelevant to know “who is the head of some of these small insignificant states around the world,” but the former Godfather’s Pizza CEO’s newly-formed foreign policy team has made him a list of 20 foreign leaders’ names to commit to memory.

* A new CNN poll of Republican voters in four states has former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney leading in Florida and New Hampshire and statistically tied with Cain in Iowa and South Carolina. In the other two, Cain comes in second.

* In what could be interpreted as a sign of her investment in the state, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) filed as a candidate in New Hampshire by mail. She is planning to replace her staff in the state.

* President Obama reached out to the young people today with a speech at the University of Colorado’s Denver campus, announcing an initative to make student loans more affordable. “There are going to be better days for this country,” Obama told the crowd. “You inspire me, your hopes, your dreams.”


Cats were made for Halloween costumes.

With Rachel Weiner and Aaron Blake