TPM News

As European markets continued their tumble on Friday, talk of a possible Greek default gained pace.

During last night’s debate, in a moment reminiscent of Nixon’s “Checkers” line, Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) claimed that he was lobbied to mandate HPV vaccines for 12 year-old girls.

“I got lobbied on this issue. I got lobbied by a 31 year old young lady who had stage 4 cervical cancer,” the governor claimed.

Now ABC News is reporting that Perry did indeed meet with the woman, named Heather Burchman. What the candidate left out, however, was that he met her after he had already passed the executive order.

House Republicans closed ranks just after midnight on Friday morning, and passed legislation to avert a government shutdown at the end of the month. The vote tally was 219-203.

But the bill received almost no Democratic support and faces an uncertain future in the U.S. Senate because Republicans have used the funding bill as a vehicle for disaster relief money, and insisted it be paid for by slashing funds for jobs programs Democrats support. Dems say the GOP legislation provides insufficient aid, and sets a dangerous precedent by requiring those funds to be offset with partisan budget cuts.

"The bill the House will vote on tonight is not an honest effort at compromise," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) in a statement anticipating its passage. "It fails to provide the relief that our fellow Americans need as they struggle to rebuild their lives in the wake of floods, wildfires and hurricanes, and it will be rejected by the Senate."

A livid Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) told reporters Thursday night "We're fed up with this...we're sick of it, we're tired of it."

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ORLANDO, FL -- Here's something many of the candidates running for the Republican nomination for president can agree on: Booing an active duty soldier serving in Iraq because he's gay is really not a great thing to be doing.

TPM spoke with candidates and spinmeisters in the post-debate mob here Thursday night about the gasp-inducing sight of Republicans booing a member of the military because he's gay during the night's Fox News/YouTube debate. The common response was variations on the word "unfortunate."

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ORLANDO, FL -- Members of the crowd gathered for the Fox News/YouTube debate booed a video of a gay soldier in Iraq who asked if the nine presidential candidates on stage would work to "circumvent" the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

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Texas Gov. Rick Perry defended his support of giving in-state tuition rates to the children of illegal immigrants at the Fox News-Google Republican presidential debate on Thursday.

"If you say that we should not educate children who have come into our state for no other reason than they've been brought there by no fault of their own, I don't think you have a heart," Perry said of the 2001 state legislation he signed into law.

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Rick Perry's campaign is finally walking things back a bit on Social Security under concentrated fire from Mitt Romney, claiming in a press release that Perry never said in his book that the program was unconstitutional. But their explanation isn't too convincing, especially given that Perry has repeated the claim in interviews as well.

Perry was pressed on his Social Security statements in the debate and, while he did not address his thoughts on the program's constitutionality, he denied that he wanted to dissolve the program and turn it over to the states. Romney, however, went right at the constitutional issue and accused Perry of flip flopping.

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Former IRS lawyer Michele Bachmann has an interesting approach to taxation: she thinks Americans should get to keep "every dollar" they earn, though she says the government needs to get money somehow.

Fox News host Megyn Kelly asked Bachmann about a question at a previous Republican debate on how much of every dollar taxpayers should get to keep. Bachmann said that she talked to the young man who asked the question at the last debate.

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Ah yes -- it's the time of the year when wealthy powerful people battle over whom is more "common man."

Rick Perry picked up on Mitt Romney's quote at a town hall Wednesday where Romney counted himself among the middle class -- one of a string of similar statements that's caught the attention of Democrats -- to attack Romney for pretending to be something he's not.

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