UPDATE: Rick Perry's camp is trying to make hay out out of President Obama's one-liner about the Texas wildfires and the Texas governor's stance on man-made climate change.
"It's outrageous President Obama would use the burning of 1,500 homes, the worst fires in state history, as a political attack," Perry spokesman Ray Sullivan emailed Politico Monday morning. "This from a president whose nation is financially suffering and his solution is taking more money away from families by raising taxes on families and small businesses."
As a number of political observers have already noted, the war of words between the president and the current GOP frontrunner is likely mutually beneficial to both men. Team Obama would likely rather face Perry in the general election than the more moderate Mitt Romney (and certainly benefits from the fundraiser applause line), and Perry could use the head-to-head spat with the commander in chief to change the subject from his poor performance in last week's debate and the Florida straw poll that he lost to Herman Cain over the weekend.
POST 9:55 a.m.: With his re-election campaign ramping up, President Obama is doing his best to energize his base by taking direct aim at his Republican challengers.
During a West Coast campaign swing over the weekend, the president delivered some of his sharpest attacks to date on the GOP field in general, and current GOP frontrunner Rick Perry in particular.
The one-liner that is getting the most attention was his skewering of the Texas governor’s stance on global warming: "You've got a governor whose state is on fire denying climate change."
A few other pull quotes:
-- "From the moment I took office what we've seen is a constant ideological pushback against any kind of sensible reforms that would make our economy work better and give people more opportunity." (via Time)
-- "Some of you here may be folks who actually used to be Republicans but are puzzled by what’s happened to that party … I mean, has anybody been watching the debates lately?" (via ABC News)
-- Republicans are offering "an approach to government that will fundamentally cripple America in meeting the challenges of the 21st century." (via the Associated Press)
-- "This is a choice about the fundamental direction of our country. 2008 was an important direction. 2012 is a more important election." (via ABC News)