Newslinks for Monday Jan 16: Jon Huntsman withdraws from race, endorses RomneyPosted on 01/16/2012
Jon Huntsman to drop out, back Mitt Romney
"Jon Huntsman will drop out of the GOP presidential race Monday morning and endorse Mitt Romney, POLITICO has confirmed. Huntsman will endorse Romney in a speech at 11 a.m. Monday at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. ... A source said that Huntsman’s rationale for now backing Romney, who he has criticized for weeks on the campaign trail as lacking a “core,” is that he didn’t want to block the person best prepared in the field to beat Obama, and then to lead the country and grapple with the economy." - Politico
- "Huntsman was one of the oddities of this year’s primary season. ... he goes down in history–or in my book, anyway–as one more “Republican” politician whose most basic failing was that he thought that actual GOP voters weren’t good enough for him. Like most people with vast inherited wealth, his natural affiliation was with the Democrats." - Powerline
- "Because Mr. Huntsman had relatively little support in South Carolina — between 1 and 6 percent of the vote in recent surveys — the net effect of this might be fairly negligible in the immediate term... Still, and particularly with Mr. Huntsman primed to endorse him, this removes another obstacle from Mr. Romney’s path to the nomination." - Nate Silver
Top eight Jon Huntsman attacks on Mitt Romney - BuzzFeed
If Romney was buoyed by Huntsman's exit, a new book to be released, "The Real Romney", may dampen his spirits - WSJ
Christian conservatives gathered in Texas decide to back Santorum
"Christian conservative leaders, hoping to derail Mitt Romney as the GOP nominee, coalesced Saturday around Rick Santorum as a consensus choice to be the Republican standard-bearer to take on Barack Obama. After a two-day meeting of some of the nation’s most influential social conservatives at a ranch near Brenham, Texas, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council said participants agreed that Santorum is a reliable conservative who can beat the president." - Dallas Morning News
- "Without doubt, this will be a major morale boost for the Santorum campaign — and a blow to the Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry camps — but whether it can morph into something more remains to be seen. Before the meeting, experts doubted that the group of aging activists would be able to alter the race much at this point in the nominating process" - Hot Air
- "At this point, a vote for Santorum really does help Mitt Romney, but few are willing to acknowledge that." - RedState
Gingrich's tactic is to portray Romney as too moderate, no longer attacks him for his business career
"Gingrich continues to make the case that he is the most conservative alternative to Romney and is the candidate best suited to tackle President Barack Obama in the fall. ... At the event, Gingrich instead steered clear of identifying Romney by name, referring repeatedly to a “Massachusetts moderate”... Gingrich could have been reacting to yesterday’s crowds — when he mentioned that a Georgetown steel mill had been shut down as a result of a Bain buyout, he actually drew boos." - Politico
- "Newt: Yeah, I’ll probably win South Carolina" - Hot Air
Rick Perry may withdraw if he doesn't win or come close runner-up in South Carolina
"Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Sunday he will decide on Saturday whether to drop his presidential bid if he does not place first or a close second in South Carolina’s GOP primary that day. “We’ll make that decision on Saturday,” he said on ABC’s This Week. “It’s our intention to win South Carolina and go forward from there. But to try to plan out your campaign months in advance, I think is a little bit of a stretch.”" - WSJ
- "U.S. District Judge John Gibney ruled Friday that the candidates should have challenged Virginia's primary qualifying rules earlier. Judge Gibney said they knew the rules months ago. Mr. Perry sued last month after failing to submit enough signatures to get on the ballot." - WSJ ($)
Could proportional allocation slow Romney's roll?
"One little-noticed fact of the high-profile New Hampshire primary is that it allocated only twelve delegates, half of its original total. The reason? Because it is being penalized, as will upcoming primaries in South Carolina and Florida, by the Republican National Committee for holding its primary before March." - The Nation
Why is the Republican presidential field so weak? - Fred Hiatt in the Washington Post
Congress logs most futile legislative year on record
"It’s official: Congress ended its least-productive year in modern history after passing 80 bills — fewer than during any other session since year-end records began being kept in 1947. Furthermore, an analysis by The Washington Times of the scope of such activities as time spent in debate, number of conference reports produced and votes taken on the House and Senate floors found that Congress set a record for legislative futility by accomplishing less in 2011 than any other year in history." - Washington Times
Michael Barone: Obama's one-man rule thumbs nose at Founders
"The recess appointments Obama made are to important offices. ... So the appointment may turn out to be a futile act. But, hey, it's good fodder for campaign ads. That's substantiated by the explanation for the appointment you can find of my.barackobama.com. "When Congress refuses to act, he will." This looks uncomfortably close to the view taken by King Louis XIV. "L'etat, c'est moi," he is supposed to have said, and you don't need John Kerry's or Mitt Romney's command of French to know that that means one man rule." - Michael Barone for the Washington Examiner
Newsweek calls Obama's critics "dumb"
"If you’re a critic of President Obama, Newsweek apparently doesn’t think you are smart. The magazine on Sunday posted an image of this week’s cover story that poses the question: ‘Why Are Obama’s Critics So Dumb?’ ... The cover is hardly surprising; the magazine is especially harsh on conservatives." - Daily Caller
- "If in recent years it seems as if Newsweek has been descending into self-parody, it's still hard to imagine that this is real" - Weekly Standard
Harry Reid calls the Tea Party "extremist"
"Saying it's time to rebuild America by working together to create jobs, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Sunday prepared for Congress' return to Washington this week with a warning to Republicans to leave Tea Party "extremism" behind and "learn what legislation is all about." "I would hope that they understand that everything doesn't have to be a fight. Legislation is an art of working together, building consensus, compromise. And I hope that the Tea Party doesn't have the influence in this next year that they had in the previous year," Reid said." - Fox News
America is slipping in economic freedom measures
"The source of America’s prosperity is no secret: our economy has historically been freer than those of almost all rivals. Unfortunately, that advantage–the essence of what America is all about–is being lost. The Heritage Foundation has released its annual Index of Economic Freedom, and the United States has slipped to tenth place, trailing Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Canada, Chile, Mauritius and Ireland" - Powerline
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