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(Larry Downing/Reuters)
 
Depending on which accounts you read, John Boehner is either asking for unity on his bill or telling his caucus to "get your ass in line."

Whichever it is, the GOP's 2012 presidential field isn't doing it:

So far, former Utah governor Jon Huntsman is the only major GOP candidate to come out in favor of the package. And former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty late Tuesday joined Reps. Michele Bachmann and Rep. Ron Paul in announcing their opposition to it. Meanwhile, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and businessman Herman Cain are keeping their powder dry.

And of course, Jon Huntsman is a major GOP candidate only in the eyes of the Beltway media. So what we have is Tim Pawlenty trying to compete with Michele Bachmann in Iowa, while Mitt Romney tries to decide on the first of the four or five positions he will ultimately take on this issue.

Yesterday, Jed Lewison noted that among major conservative groups, only the Chamber of Commerce and Americans for Tax Reform support Boehner's plan, while Club for Growth, Americans for Prosperity, FreedomWorks and several others are opposed to it, and concluded that:

It's no surprise that the two groups Boehner has on his side are establishment Republican groups with a greater interest in corporate lobbying than in right-wing ideology. And each of the groups that that position themselves as being closer to grassroots conservatives opposes the measure. That gives you a sign of where this thing is headed: down.

In the presidential field, Mitt Romney is equivalent to the Chamber of Commerce—corporate establishment rather than right-wing ideology. The fact that he won't come out and support the bill, even for a few minutes, shows how weak Boehner's position is.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Wed Jul 27, 2011 at 09:44 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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