Huckabee's daughter to work for Pawlenty

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty is naming the daughter of 2008 Iowa caucus winner Mike Huckabee to help lift his own effort ahead of a key test of strength in Iowa.

Pawlenty's campaign says Sarah Huckabee Sanders begins today as the former Minnesota governor's senior adviser for the state's Republican straw poll.

The Aug. 13 event at Iowa State University is seen as a test of strength for Republican presidential candidates ahead of the leadoff caucuses, set for February.

Gingrich urges GOP courage on debt issue

ATLANTA -- Presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich is urging fellow Republicans to stand firm in their battle with President Barack Obama over raising the debt ceiling.

Gingrich outlines his views in a policy paper provided Tuesday to The Associated Press.

He recalls that Republicans were denounced for twin government shutdowns in 1995 and 1996 when he was House speaker. But Gingrich says the shutdown led to the first discretionary spending cut since 1969.

In his words: "Ultimately, standing firm led to the first four balanced budgets in our lifetime."

Romney fundraising group raises $12 million

WASHINGTON -- An independent fundraising group supporting former Republican Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's presidential bid has raised $12 million so far this year.

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Restore Our Future announced its latest fundraising figures Tuesday. The group, founded by several strategists who worked for Romney during his 2008 campaign, is expected to be one of many groups helping Republicans try to defeat President Barack Obama next year.

In a statement, treasurer Charles Spies said the group's fundraising success was evidence that voters believe Romney can boost the sagging economy.

Romney's campaign fundraising is expected to outpace others in the GOP field. Advisers say the campaign raised between $15 million and $20 million in the quarter that ended June 30.