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Newslinks for Monday Feb 13: Santorum builds for two-man race with Romney

Posted on 02/13/2012

VIDEO: Sarah Palin tells Fox News that she's still not convinced by Romney

Palin hints that Romney might be a flawed candidate in a matchup with Obama - WSJ

SANTORUM STILL SURGING

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Santorum moves ahead of Gingrich and is 5.8% behind Romney in national poll of polls - RCP

  • Team Santorum is confident that they can beat Romney if they can get race down to a one-to-one - Politico
  • "Romney has been painting Santorum as a long-time Washington insider who pursued home-state projects. Santorum on Sunday described Romney's recent criticism as "desperate." "You reach a point where desperate people do desperate things," said Santorum, who represented Pennsylvania during his 16 years in Congress, first in the House and then in the Senate." - USA Today | WSJ

Romney speakingRomney wins Maine, beating off strong Paul challenge...

"In Maine, Romney won 39 percent of the poll votes; Texas Rep. Ron Paul took 36 percent of the vote, while former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum captured 18 percent. Former House speaker Newt Gingrich won 6 percent." - Washington Post

  • "It was a smart decision for Mr. Romney to pay a late visit to the state, without which he might have lost." - Nate Silver
  • BUT Paul campaign disputes Romney's Maine victory - MSNBC

...he also wins CPAC straw poll with 38%, Santorum won 31%, Gingrich 15% - Roll Call

  • Santorum hints CPAC poll was rigged - LA Times

Jennifer Rubin predicts the right-wing blogosphere will downplay Romney's CPAC and Maine victories: "Standing on the floor of the ballroom, I remarked to a conservative journalist after the speech that I was surprised by the robust greeting (given all the harrumphing in the right-wing media). He waved me off: “It doesn’t matter what he says.” Well, yes, to many in the right blogosphere nothing Romney says makes any difference, but voters, even very conservative activists, are a different matter."

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell urges GOP activists to back Romney - USA Today

For a candidate running against the entrenched interests of Washington, Romney keeps an awful lot of lobbyists around - New York Times

NRO: Romney must set out his agenda

"Romney is a transactional politician rather than a charismatic one. Maybe he should make the most of it: Tell conservatives what they will get out of a Romney presidency. Entitlements brought under budgetary control. A more market-oriented health-care system. Judges who know their place in the constitutional architecture. Fannie and Freddie extinguished. The defense budget protected. Tax reform, and tax relief for families." - NRO Editors

  • BUT, says Peter Beinart at the Daily Beast: The GOP frontrunner cannot catch fire with conservatives because he wants to run on a platform of fixing the economy and restoring jobs—but they’re more interested in fighting a culture war about limited government and greater freedom

Romney mocked for describing himself as "severe" conservative

"As Molly Ball of The Atlantic pointed out, Mr. Romney “described conservatism as if it were a disease.” Indeed. Mark Liberman, a linguistics professor at the University of Pennsylvania, provided a list of words that most commonly follow the adverb “severely”; the top five, in frequency of use, are disabled, depressed, ill, limited and injured." - Paul Krugman in the New York Times

Gingrich campaign in need of cash

At RCP Michael Barone thinks last week's results were serious for Gingrich: "The one candidate who took a clear loss was Newt Gingrich, who failed to get on the ballot in Missouri, finished a miserable fourth in Minnesota and beat Ron Paul by 1 percent in Colorado. Those are dreadful results 16 days after his big win in South Carolina. It's not clear how he maintains the visibility he needs to recover."

  • In need of cash, Gingrich is forced to focus on donors rather than voters - New York Times

Bush JebAl Cardenas, head of the American Conservative Union, has said that Republican turmoil might lead to a brokered convention in which Jeb Bush, former Florida governor, would emerge as a “possible alternative” party nominee - Toby Harnden

2012 primary race is increasing voter dislike for GOP - Washington Post

  • Republicans have become "nattering nabobs of negativism" - Dana Milbank for the Washington Post

McConnell S&SMitch McConnell: Birth-control debate will continue until Obama 'backs down' - The Hill

  • The NRO Editors dismiss Obama's contraceptive "compromise" as a symbolic tweak
  • The Weekly Standard calls it "phony"
  • Commentary doesn't like Obama's choice of "accommodation" to describe his changed position
  • Democrats to Catholics: ‘We don’t want you’ - Rod Dreher

Some Senate Republicans wish earmarks could return - Roll Call

Boehner's $260 billion highway bill heads for cliff

Boehner Jacket"Boehner has made the legislation a priority and the election-year centerpiece of the House GOP’s jobs agenda. The measure uses revenues from an expansion of domestic oil drilling to offset some of the cost of maintenance and improvements to roads and bridges. The bill also contains no earmarks, which have traditionally been liberally sprinkled throughout transportation legislation. This cheers fiscal hawks, but makes it harder for Boehner to win support from rank-and-file members who in the past have enjoyed directing federal largesse toward their pet projects." - The Hill

Republican National Committee prepares “The Big Fail” briefing highlighting Obama’s record on unemployment, housing, national debt, poverty, ethics and negative advertising - Daily Caller

China will get the oil from Canada that could have come to the U.S. if we'd built the Keystone XL Pipeline - Rick Perry in the Wall Street Journal

Walker ScottAt CPAC, Gov Scott Walker Walker warns of high stakes in Wisconsin recall: "If we fail -- and I'm not planning on it -- but if we were to fail, I think this sets aside any courageous act in American politics for at least a decade, if not a generation" - Hotline

At CPAC, Tory MEP Dan Hannan warns America against Europeanization

"I have been a member of the European Parliament for 12 years, I am living in your future — or at least the future toward which your present leaders seem intent on taking it," he said at the Conservative Political Action Conference Saturday in Washington. "Believe me, my friend, you are not going to enjoy it." - Washington Times | HotAir has his full speech

Strong In 2010, Where Is The Tea Party Now? - NPR

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