Tim Pawlenty won’t sign the Family Leader pledge, Newt Gingrich has nice things to say about Rick Perry, Tim Kaine raised twice as much as George Allen and Minnesota could run out of beer.

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* Tim Pawlenty has opted not to sign a pledge from the Family Leader, an Iowa conservative group, that asks candidates to denounce gay marriage, divorce, pornography and Sharia law. “I prefer to choose my own words, especially seeking to show compassion to those who are in broken families through no fault of their own,” the former Minnesota governor said in a statement. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney , former Godfathers’ Pizza CEO Herman Cain and former House speaker Newt Gingrich have also refused to sign. But the decision was particularly fraught for Pawlenty, who is struggling to win over socially conservative voters.

* Before he was indicted on federal campaign finance charges, former senator John Edwards (D-N.C) was apparently planning to start over in New York City. Arthur Schwartz, a union and employment lawyer, tells the New York Observer that he met with Edwards several times last year about co-founding a public-interest law firm in the Big Apple. They even put bids on some office space. City Councilwoman Letitia James was another potential hire for the firm, and had this to say about Edwards: “I thought he was very tall.”

* Gingrich had some very kind words for a potential rival today, praising Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) during a tea party event in South Carolina. “He is a great friend of mine,” Gingrich said. “I wrote the forward to his new book. He has done a great job in Texas. He is terrific job creator and he would be a very formidable candidate.” Some Perry advisers are among the staffers who abandoned Gingrich’s campaign last month.

* Freshman Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) is getting heat today for a recent interview in which he said of stopping illegal immigration: “As your congressman on the House floor, I will do anything short of shooting them. Anything that is lawful, it needs to be done because illegal aliens need to quit taking jobs from American citizens.” Rep. Charles Gonzalez (D-Texas) of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus responded that Brooks’ “irresponsible words that reflect a hateful, dehumanizing undercurrent” in the immigration debate.


* Former Sen. George Allen (R) raised $1.1 million in the second quarter in the race to succeed retiring Sen. Jim Webb (D), less than half what ex-Gov. Tim Kaine (D) took in over the same period. But there is some good news for Allen in the reports: primary challenger Jamie Radtke raised less than $100,000.

* The Republican National Committee is out with an ad attacking Obama in four states the GOP hopes will see red in 2012: Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, and New Hampshire. “The RNC will be taking on Barack Obama in every state where his failed policies have hurt job creators and Americans are looking for work,” said RNC Chairman Reince Priebus in a statement. The ad is airing on cable and broadcast television. An RNC spokesperson called it a “light buy.”

* Former Nevada GOP chairman Mark Amodei is out with a new 30-second ad for the Sept. 13 special election to replace now-Sen. Dean Heller (R). It’s Amodei’s second ad since launching his bid for the seat; he will face state Treasurer Kate Marshall (D). In it Amodei promises he will “vote to cut taxes and not increase the Obama debt limit.”

* The latest upsetting news out of Minnesota: The state is in danger of running out of cigarettes and beer as brand licenses expire and tax stamps are not printed. The government shutdown over the state’s $5 billion budget gap is now in its 13th day, a record, with no sign that a deal between the Democratic governor and the Republican legislature will be reached soon.


Don’t try this on your bridge unless you know what you’re doing.

With Aaron Blake