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Video: GOP: Guys Other than Palin

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    >>> well, whether sarah palin is running or just wants to be heard or just likes the attention, you could argue none of this would be happening if there was an overwhelming favorite for the gop nomination. tonight our chief white house correspondent and political director chuck todd has the story of the rest of this unsettled field.

    >> reporter: whether she's running or not, sarah palin is shouting the message that others have been whispering for weeks. the party wants more choices.

    >> you know, i believe that there are many more out there who have much more to add. and competition breeds success.

    >> reporter: but the folks already running, like former minnesota governor tim pawlenty , are growing tired of the who else question.

    >> whoever's going to get in i hope they get in soon because i want the field to be set so we can have the real debate.

    >> reporter: one reason palin and others are clamoring for more candidates, neither pawlenty nor former massachusetts governor mitt romney is firing up the republican base. romney's answer today? tougher rhetoric aimed at president obama .

    >> he's been one of the most ineffective presidents at the job at hand that i've ever seen.

    >> reporter: hoping for an opening, former pennsylvania senator rick santorum and minnesota congresswoman michelle bachmann are expected to join the race soon.

    >> we're very close. i have just announced on thursday that i'll be making my announcement in the state where i was born, iowa , and in the city of my birth, which is waterloo, iowa .

    >> reporter: but these candidates and others, including jon huntsman , newt gingrich , and herman cain -- coming to town like a hurricane herman cain all have failed to challenge romney's shaky front-runner status.

    >> do i think i can win iowa ? can i win iowa ? [ applause ]

    >> the front-runner is in the mid teens in a lot of these polls and you would think a front-runner should be further ahead by this point.

    >> reporter: the field of non-candidates still pondering is no less crowded. there's wisconsin congressman paul ryan . he says he's 95% certain he will not run. texas governor rick perry , who said last week he's now thinking about it again. and new jersey governor chris christie , who tonight is hosting a dinner for iowa republicans, who are trying to get him in the race.

    >> there's a huge vacuum somebody's going to fill, particularly that social vacuum.

    >> reporter: that dinner of palin and trump is not the most important political dinner tonight. it is what's going on in new jersey, brian, with chris christie . his wife's at the dinner. this is a big deal . iowans are very serious about this. and he's very serious, at least in listening.

    >> all right. a lot of moving parts, and we're still a long ways away. chuck todd in washington. thanks.

updated 5/31/2011 8:32:27 AM ET 2011-05-31T12:32:27

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is calling Barack Obama "one of the most ineffective presidents" he's ever seen, and says he can beat him next year.

Romney tells NBC in an interview that while Obama wasn't responsible for the recession he inherited, "he made things worse. He's failed."

Story: Romney sets date to announce presidential run

Romney also says he thinks Obama lacks "a cogent assessment" of world affairs. The Republican charges, in his words, "The Arab spring came, one of the greatest opportunities we've seen in decades, and we've been flatfooted."

Story: GOP presidential contenders drift to the right

Romney, who plans to formally get into the GOP race later this week, says he doesn't think his Mormon faith will be an obstacle to winning the GOP presidential nod, saying "we're not electing a pastor in chief, we're electing a commander in chief."

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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