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Richard Shiro, Associated Press
Republican presidential candidate, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., speaks to supporters at the Beacon Drive-in, Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2011, in Spartanburg, S.C.

WASHINGTON — Are the GOP and the tea party one in the same? Yes, according to the White House.

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The rising profiles of Republican presidential candidates Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann are giving President Barack Obama and his Democrats a new opening: linking the entire GOP field to the tea party, whose popularity has recently sagged.

A new video by the Democratic National Committee provides a window into the strategy. It says Republican lawmakers and presidential candidates are, in the DNC's words, "embracing extreme tea party policies."

If the strategy works, it could cause guilt-by-association problems even for non-tea-party Republicans like Mitt Romney.