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Newslinks for Friday Jan 13: Romney responds to attacks on his business record

Posted on 01/13/2012

Obama seeks another debt ceiling increase

OBAMA BLUE TIE"President Obama formally asked Congress Thursday to raise the nation’s debt ceiling, stating the country’s debts have fallen within $100 billion of the current debt limit and an increase is needed to meet “existing commitments.” The request came Thursday in a letter from the president to House Speaker John Boehner. The latest request is the third asking to raise the debt limit since the contentious debt ceiling agreement last August. That agreement called for the ceiling to be increased in three stages, giving Congress the opportunity to express disapproval at each stage." - CNN

Romney steps up defense of business record...

Romney-2012-blog-photo-mitt-speech_0"Mitt Romney on Thursday aggressively defended his tenure as head of Bain Capital, asserting again that his private-equity career resulted in the net creation of over 100,000 jobs while also calling any job losses an unfortunate fact of life in the private sector. ... Romney said any job loss is a "tragedy," but insisted that every time Bain "invested in a business it was to try and encourage that business to have ongoing life."" - CNN

  • "[R]arely has there been an attack that had such uncertain potential to harm a candidate in a primary but such clear potential to harm him in the general election. Welcome to the strange world of “super PACs” and the undisciplined messaging that they can facilitate." - Nate Silver
  • Peggy Noonan: South Carolina will most likely pick Romney - WSJ

...As the GOP is divided over attacks on Romney's private sector career

"[T]he debate over Bain -- a proxy for a broader argument about the rough and tumble of market capitalism -- looks set to continue through the next primary in South Carolina, a state with a pronounced populist streak that is possibly the last chance for Romney's rivals to slow his march toward the nomination. Newt Gingrich, one of the harshest critics of Romney's Bain years, acknowledged Wednesday that it was a tough argument, but his campaign said he has no plans to back off." - New York Post

  • "A number of conservative leaders have come to Romney’s defense, including Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Tim Phillips, who leads the tea-party-friendly Americans for Prosperity. On Thursday, a former Perry donor and former South Carolina GOP chairman, Barry Wynn, switched teams and endorsed Romney — in part over the Bain issue." - Washington Post
  • David Brooks: "In reality, Romney’s Bain success is largely irrelevant to the question of whether he could be a good president." - New York Times

Under pressure, Newt relents on attacks against Romney

Meet Newt 9"Under pressure from some in his own party, Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich on Thursday tempered his public attacks on front-runner Mitt Romney while defending his right to question the former Massachusetts governor’s business record. “If you ask about his career, it’s because he’s running for president,” Gingrich said of the questions he and his allies have raised about Romney’s tenure as head of a private equity fund."- Washington Post

  • But Rick Perry sticks at it: "Speaking to about 30 people at a restaurant north of Columbia, Rick Perry left out his "vulture capitalist" attack on Mitt Romney's work with Bain Capital. But in an interview with Fox News that came afterward and played on the restaurant's big-screen TVs, he repeatedly defended his criticism." - LA Times

Christian conservatives - just as in Iowa - are yet to rally round a candidate in South Carolina

400px-South_Carolina_counties_map"The 2012 version of the South Carolina Republican primary is shaping up to look a lot like the 2008 edition. Once again, the right is splintered between conservative alternatives to a center-right favorite who’s coming out of New Hampshire with a burst of momentum. And, just as John McCain did four years ago, Romney could win the state by turning in a strong performance on the more moderate coastline as his rivals carve up the vote in such Upstate population centers as Greenville and Spartanburg." - Politico

  • "Even as Mitt Romney marches steadily toward the Republican Party's presidential nomination, a new poll released on Thursday underscores lingering distrust between members of his Mormon religion and the evangelical community that constitutes a large bloc of voters in South Carolina." - National Journal

Santorum determined to stay competitive in race

Screen shot 2011-01-21 at 10.13.36"Rick Santorum aimed to make good on his promise to work harder than any other candidate in the Republican race, trekking to four stops in southeastern South Carolina on Thursday where many communities are isolated on islands or cut off by ocean inlets."  - CNN

  • Rick Santorum’s South Carolina team revels in momentum - Washington Post
  • Pro-Santorum group increases TV buy in S.C. - USA Today

Mitt Romney starts campaigning in Florida - LA Times

  • "Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign expects to pick up a raft of new donors – beginning with a fund-raiser Thursday night in Palm Beach, Fla." - WSJ

Charles Krauthammer: Ron Paul is the GOP's Jesse Jackson

Krauthammer"He is Jesse Jackson of the 1980s, who represented a solid, African American, liberal-activist constituency to which, he insisted, attention had to be paid by the Democratic Party. Or Pat Buchanan (briefly) in 1992, who demanded — and gained — on behalf of social conservatives a significant role at a convention that was supposed to be a simple coronation of the moderate George H.W. Bush." - Charles Krauthammer

George W. Bush wanted brother Jeb to run in 2012 - Daily Caller

The Veepstakes: Rubio, Martinez, Christie, Portman, Thune, McDonnell, Haley, Sandoval and and Daniels

"The GOP primary is not over yet, but, with Mitt Romney firmly in control of the race, it isn’t too soon to begin asking: Who might he select as his running mate? ... The most striking thing that emerged from these conversations was that some Republicans are a lot more excited about the vice presidential choices than about the presidential ones." - The advantages and disadvantages of each VP contender, at The New Republic

John Raese (R) files for rematch with Sen. Joe Manchin (D) in West Virginia - Roll Call

Justice Dept.: Obama recess appointments valid


"In an internal opinion, the Justice Department said the president has the authority to make recess appointments during pro-forma Senate sessions in which no business is to be conducted. It said the brief pro-forma sessions called for the purpose of preventing recess appointments "do not have the legal effect of interrupting an intrasession recess long enough to qualify as a 'Recess of the Senate under the Recess Appointments Clause.'"" - CNN

Write-in campaign for Hillary Clinton falls flat in New Hampshire - LA Times

And finally... Stephen Colbert for President

""I'm proud to announce I plan to form an exploratory committee to lay the groundwork for my candidacy in the United States of South Carolina," Colbert said at a taping of his show Thursday evening. Colbert said voters in South Carolina saw him as an alternative to current GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney. "Clearly my fellow South Caroliniacs see me as the only Mitternative," Colbert said." - CNN

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