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Illustration: The GOP's hand by Linas Garsys for The Washington Times

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Debt Showdown_Reps.jpg

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, center, joined by other GOP leaders, criticizes President Obama and Congressional Democrats for failure to end the debt crisis, Monday, July 25, 2011, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, July 25, 2011. From left are, Rep. Jeb Hensarling, Texas Republican, Boehner, Rep. David Dreier,, California Republican, and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Va. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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Debt Showdown__Live.jpg

As Congressional leaders try to reach an accord to avert a debt-ceiling crisis, House Speaker John Boehner, Ohio Republican, walks from his office to the House Chamber on Capitol Hill on July 25, 2011, following a morning meeting with other GOP leaders. (Associated Press)

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Debt Showdown_Live.jpg

As Congressional leaders try to reach an accord to avert a debt-ceiling crisis, House Speaker John Boehner, Ohio Republican, walks from his office to the House Chamber on Capitol Hill on July 25, 2011, following a morning meeting with other GOP leaders. (Associated Press)

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Senate 2012 Hoekstra_Lea.jpg

** FILE ** Former Rep. Peter Hoekstra, shown in June 2010, plans to seek the GOP nomination to challenge Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow in 2012, the Associated Press has learned. (AP Photo/Adam Bird)

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Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain came in fourth in a new poll of GOP primary voters in South Carolina at 10 percent. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

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Texas Gov. Rick Perry has phoned influential Republicans in early-voting New Hampshire and Iowa in recent days as he weighs whether to enter the race for the GOP presidential nomination. (Associated Press)

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ASSOCIATED PRESS GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney talks to reporters Thursday at the Allentown Metal Works, Inc., manufacturing plant in Allentown, Pa. He blamed its closure on the “Obama economy.” But some politicians and business leaders disputed the direct correlation.

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Bachmann 2012 Iowa_Lea.jpg

Rep. Michele Bachmann, Minnesota Republican, waves to the crowd as she officially announces her intent to seek the GOP presidential nomination on Monday, June 27, 2011, in Waterloo, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

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ON MESSAGE: Rep. Michele Bachmann, Minnesota Republican, is "a long shot" to be the GOP nominee but "is certainly articulating a clear and powerful set of views," fundraiser Fred Malek said. (CBS News via Associated Press)

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Illustration: GOP fight by Alexander Hunter for The Washington Times

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Tough Republicans_Lea.jpg

Rep. Ron Paul, who is running for the GOP presidential nomination, speaks at the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans on Friday, June 17, 2011. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

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House Republicans Job_Star.jpg

Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, assails President Obama on jobs creation, following a GOP political strategy session on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 14, 2011. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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Jon Huntsman Jr. sits on a Harley-Davidson at a dealership during a May visit to Manchester, N.H. The GOP presidential candidate is back in New Hampshire, traversing the campaign trail on a Harley Road King. (Associated Press)

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ASSOCIATED PRESS Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. tests the waters for a 2012 GOP presidential bid Saturday with some retail politicking in Gorham, N.H.

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RUNNING: Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney announces his candidacy for president on Thursday at Bittersweet Farm in Stratham, N.H. Analysts say his Mormon faith remains a stumbling block, as it was in his 2008 campaign, especially among evangelical Christians influential in the GOP. (Associated Press)

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ASSOCIATED PRESS For former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, neighboring New Hampshire could make or break his GOP presidential campaign, which kicks off Thursday.

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Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (second from right), the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee, gives a thumbs up from the back seat of a motorcycle at the beginning of Rolling Thunder at the Pentagon in suburban Washington on Sunday, May 29, 2011. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

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Illustration: GOP gas by Alexander Hunter for The Washington Times

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ASSOCIATED PRESS Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks to GOP activists in Waterloo, Iowa, on Thursday as part of a three-day visit to the state.