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GOP

Pawlenty says he is tough enough for 2012

GOP White House hopeful Tim Pawlenty is scoffing at claims that he’s too “nice” and too “bland” to take the political fight to President Obama.

Fox News Channel’s Bill O'Reilly said last week that Mr. Pawlenty was “invisible” and that ice cream maker Haagen-Dazs could put his picture on vanilla ice cream.

Mr. Pawlenty asked “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace whether Mr. O'Reilly was “playing the race card on me.” Mr. Wallace said he thought Mr. O'Reilly was discussing “the taste, not the color.”

Then the former Minnesota governor said that he had a strong record in running a state, but that “being strong is not the same as being loud.”

And Mr. Pawlenty said that “if you want the clown in chief, vote for somebody else. That’s not me.”

NORTH CAROLINA

Perdue is first governor to veto budget plan

RALEIGH — Democrat Beverly Perdue is the first North Carolina governor to veto a budget bill since the chief executive was given the power in 1997.

Mrs. Perdue’s said in her announcement Sunday that the Republican-led Legislature’s $20 billion proposal would do “generational damage” to public education. She says the Legislature has turned its “back on our schools, our children, our longstanding investments in education and our future economic prospects.”

Republican Senate leader Phil Berger said the veto was irresponsible and political. He says the budget plan she rejected does more to create jobs and help public schools than her own.

North Carolina governors have vetoed 15 bills over the past 14 years, but never a budget.

The GOP could still win the battle with an expected override vote this week.

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