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Feb 29, 2012 7:06:20 AM

Newslinks for Wednesday Feb 29: Romney wins Michigan and big in Arizona

VIDEO: Newt Gingrich tells Bill O'Reilly how he'd cut gas price to $2.50 a gallon


Romney wins Michigan by 41% to 38% and Arizona by 47% to 27% - Detroit Free Press

  • PowerLine claims many Democrats voted for Santorum, boosting his tally
  • Commentary notes Romney's money advantage over Santorum is much narrower (3 to 2) than many would guess at 

Romney's BIG Arizona win

  • Nate Silver is impressed with Romney's "sweeping" win in Arizona
  • :Almost everything in Arizona broke Mr Romney’s way. Jan Brewer, the governor, endorsed him after last week’s debate in (very Mormon) Mesa, Arizona, where the audience gave Mr Romney something resembling a hometown advantage, and where Mr Santorum had a bad night indeed. In Barry Goldwater’s state, Mr Santorum’s blue-collar and rust-belt Catholicism just does not resonate very well. By contrast, Mr Romney’s perceived economic savvy does resonate in a state that is, with Nevada, the centre of the foreclosure crisis." - Economist


Screen Shot 2012-02-29 at 11.27.43

See full exit poll details in USA Today.

"Someone tweeted last night, quoting Churchill, that nothing is so exhilarating as being shot at with consequence. For now, Mitt Romney is experiencing the thrill of a bullet having barely missed." - Rich Lowry for Fox

New delegate count: Romney 137, Santorum 54, Gingrich 32, Paul 20 - RCP

"Exit polls showed that 54% of Michigan voters judged the economy the most important issue in the race. Of those, 45% chose Mr. Romney, compared with 29% for Mr. Santorum. Far down the list of issues important to voters was abortion. Only 14% considered abortion to be the overriding issue." - WSJ

"Romney was far better organized and financed and able to sell himself as the candidate with the experience and skills needed to turn around the slumping economy." - Washington Examiner

Jennifer Rubin notes that Romney is moving from leading on his biography to a more economics-focused message.

Romney speakingWhat does it mean for Romney?

  • His twin wins prove a simple political fact: Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing - Washington Post
  • "Even though this most wobbly of frontrunners will face a new set of challenges next week, Romney eased GOP fears Tuesday. He leaves his childhood home having averted disaster and with the second example in a month of bouncing back from adversity" - Politico
  • Romney will have to fight all the way to the Convention - Daily Caller
  • "Romney continues to face a class problem. Once again, his strongest group in the electorate consisted of those who make over $200,000 a year. In Michigan, they backed Romney over Santorum by 55 percent to 28 percent. But he ran behind Santorum among voters earning less than $100,000 a year." - E J Dionne in the Washington Post
  • Romney's tax reform plan threatens his fiscal responsibility brand - Ross Douthat
  • GOP voters want to hear a critique of Mr. Obama, but above all they want to hear an agenda and vision for a better future that can rally a majority to defeat him - WSJ editorial

Santorum largeWhat does it mean for Santorum?

  • "Mr. Santorum must hope that keeping it close in Michigan still will provide a jolt of momentum—not to mention an infusion of cash and volunteers —as he turns his attention to Saturday's caucuses in Washington state and the 10 Super Tuesday contests that loom less than a week away" - WSJ
  • “We came,” Santorum continued, “into the backyard of one of my opponents in a race that everyone said well, just ignore, you have really no chance here, and the people of Michigan looked into the hearts of the candidates, and all I have to say is, I love you back.” - NRO
  • Santorum attempts to broaden appeal by talking taxes, manufacturing, energy - New York Times

Santorum's chief strategist continues to raise concerns about Romney-Paul alliance - NRO

Onwards to Super Tuesday...

"Romney faces a two-front war next week on Super Tuesday with its seven primaries and three caucuses. Santorum will concentrate on beating Romney in Ohio, a pivotal state, while Newt Gingrich is angling to win in Georgia and Tennessee.  Romney can count on winning in Idaho, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Virginia. A win in Ohio would all but finish off Santorum, who has opened up a strong lead in polls. But dramatic victories in one week’s contest tend to influence the next week’s. So Romney may quickly close Santorum’s lead in Ohio and may even get a boost against Gingrich in the Southern states." - Fred Barnes for the Weekly Standard

Mitt managed to win in Michigan after a hellish week on the campaign trail. Good for him. But daunting obstacles—like Ohio and Georgia—remain in his path - Daily Beast

Obama used a speech at the United Auto Workers conference for a wide ranging attack on the candidates vying for the Republican nomination to oppose him, bashing their views on the auto bailout, organized labor and values - Politico

  • Gas price hikes could derail Obama's economic and political recovery - Dick Morris for The Hill

Senator Snowe's retirement makes the Maine seat a likely pick-up target for Democrats in their bid to retain control of the Senate - WSJ

  • Obama praises Snowe - MSNBC
  • "Snowe’s surprise retirement announcement Tuesday blindsided fellow Republicans and gave Democrats another morale boost when it comes to their prospects for holding the majority this fall." - Roll Call

Boehner John Blue ShirtBoehner's often laissez-faire approach has encouraged dissension and open defiance among the rank and file - Roll Call

Reagan knew that diplomacy and development policy neutralize threats before they become crises

"Foreign assistance programs that vaccinate children against polio, engage at-risk youth in Central America, give young girls in Afghanistan the opportunity to go to school, or provide HIV/AIDS treatments to millions in sub-Saharan Africa do more than just ease suffering and increase opportunity around the world. They also promote core U.S. national security interests by stabilizing regions that could otherwise become incubators for radicalism." - John Kerry for the Wall Street Journal

Welfare reform worked: The success story among poor mothers shows how public policy can reduce poverty by encouraging individuals to work - Peter H. Schuck and Ron Haskins for LA Times

John O'Sullivan: Journalism would be uniformly, monoculturally and suffocatingly liberal without Rupert Murdoch - NRO

Conservative leaders demand apology from Huffington over anti-Catholic column - Fox



Feb 28, 2012 6:56:21 AM

Newslinks for Tuesday Feb 28: Romney pivots from social message, back to economy

VIDEO: Romney ad questions whether Santorum really is a conservative with "courage"

Romney returns to core economic message

ROMNEY MITT"Romney is dropping his recent focus on social issues and returning to his core message on the economy. After two weeks of talking about abortion, religious liberty and gay marriage to appeal to recalcitrant GOP conservatives ahead of Tuesday’s Michigan and Arizona primaries, Romney is signaling that he will leave those hot-button subjects to to the rival campaign of Rick Santorum in the upcoming states." - Washington Post

  • "Romney must give some evidence — visiting, say, a low-income health clinic or a gang-occupied school — that his hand has touched, that his retina has registered, the hurt and hardship of another America" - Mike Gerson in the Washington Post
  • Santorum, Romney spar over economy ahead of Michigan primary - NPR
  • "There is a compelling case that individuals require a certain material minimum to ensure that their economic liberties have real worth. If Mr Santorum's cuts would leave Americans below that threshold, they would amount to an assault on the economic freedom of the disadvantaged." - Economist

Screen Shot 2012-02-28 at 11.51.31Michigan is too close to call: Romney leads by 2 points in polls by Rasmussen and Public Policy Polling, while Santorum leads by 2 points in the latest Mitchell-Rosetta Stone survey - The Hill

  • Santorum reaches out to Democratic voters in Michigan - WSJ
  • The intensity is with Santorum says Bill Kristol but Byron York thinks Santorum - "with little staff and little organization" - is winging it.
  • ""This sure has been fun these last 10 days or so. We've started out what 15 points down in the polls; now we are leading in the polls. Thank you, guys," Romney said." - USA Today
  • A defeat for Romney in Michigan could reset the Republican race - New York Times
  • "The stakes are very high, particularly for Romney. A failure to achieve anything other than the top spot in the state where his dad was governor for three terms could prove to be a dramatic momentum killer -- enabling Santorum to bolster his argument that Romney is far from the presumptive GOP nominee." - Fox

Polls split on how Romney, Santorum perform against Obama in swing states, with voters - Weekly Standard

Obama weighs in after Santorum calls him a 'snob' - LA Times | Washington Times

  • "We have found out that Santorum believes he is on a mission from God, that he doesn’t believe in public education, doesn’t believe in the separation of church and state, that he doesn’t believe in contraception and that Satan has somehow possessed a bunch of people that he disagrees with. He sounds like our Founding Fathers." - John Feehery for The Hill

Libertarians should vote for Gingrich says Bob Barr - Daily Caller

Walker ScottScott Walker attacks $9m cost of "frivolous recall election"

"“It’s a huge distraction not just for me, but the legislature. It’s $9 million of taxpayer money just to run this,” said Walker on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “Think about the number of kids, think of the number of seniors we could help in our state with $9 million we didn’t have to waste on this frivolous recall election.” - Politico

  • Democrats target corruption in Walker's office in first recall ad - Politico

Warren Buffett shot back at Christie Christie in a CNBC interview today, after the New Jersey governor told CNN's Piers Morgan last week that Buffett should "write a check and shut up" because he's "tired" of hearing the billionaire investor talk about how he's not paying enough in taxes - USA Today

Brooks_New-articleInlineDavid Brooks: The Republican establishment has failed to confront the party's extremists

"Where have these party leaders been over the past five years, when all the forces that distort the G.O.P. were metastasizing? Where were they during the rise of Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck? Where were they when Arizona passed its beyond-the-fringe immigration law? Where were they in the summer of 2011 when the House Republicans rejected even the possibility of budget compromise? They were lying low, hoping the unpleasantness would pass." - David Brooks in the New York Times

A BBC documentary on the Republican Party...

"The American primaries - Justin Webb explores what they reveal about the state of the right in the US. Is the Republican party really split? Has a radical wing taken over? What does the American right offer in the post financial crisis world - that might enthuse Americans and perhaps the rest of us too? And is the party ready to lead again?" Access via this page.

The number of Americans who say they strongly approve of Obama has been creeping up, but that group has not exceeded 30% in more than a year - PowerLine

  • "With Republicans playing a lot of offense in gubernatorial races this year, contesting several states where the president is likely to lose in November, the head of the Republican Governors Association is advising Republican candidates to tie thier Democratic opponents to the White House" - Hotline

The contraceptives battle is a fight Democrats are perfectly pleased to have - New York Times

Jennifer Granholm's message to Republicans: "The version of Republicanism you are offering is a gift to Democrats looking for recruits. The anti-gay, anti-woman, anti-immigrant, anti-Latino, anti-Muslim, anti-Europe (particularly the French and the Greeks), anti-labor, anti-poor, anti-99 percent and now anti-college graduate rhetoric enables us to eagerly welcome your castoffs into the Democratic Party — where inclusivity is celebrated and their contributions are welcome." - Politico

"59% of moderate Republicans support gay unions; 63% of independents do. Those voters might be sympathetic to a candidate who opposes civil unions, but they will be strongly against someone who tells them their position on the issue makes them part of the country’s moral collapse." - TIME

  • At NRO Thomas Sowell says the GOP candidates are too focused on peripheral issues

Word leaked Monday that former Sen. Bob Kerrey (D) is strongly reconsidering a comeback Senate bid in Nebraska - Roll Call

The Obama administration says it will not change its strategy of withdrawing troops from Afghanistan despite anti-American violence - The Hill

  • These Republicans are inflaming the situation in Afghanistan by criticizing Obama for apologizing, says Hillary Clinton - HotAir

"The overthrow of the Assad regime will not automatically end the country’s civil war. More likely, that will reverse the dynamic, with Alawites and other rebels next fighting a Sunni Islamist regime" - Daniel Pipes for NRO

Why is school prayer only allowed during tragedies? - Todd Starnes for Fox



Feb 27, 2012 5:10:42 AM

Newslinks for Monday Feb 27: Romney regains lead over Santorum

After being 10% behind in Gallup tracker survey, Romney is now 2% ahead

Romney 470

"Gallup's survey finds Romney garnering 50 percent support in a hypothetical matchup with Obama to the president's 46 percent. Romney's support is up two percent from the organization's last survey of a hypothetical general election between the president and the former Massachusetts governor. Santorum, a former Pennsylvania senator, draws 48 percent in a hypothetical matchup of himself against Obama, compared to the president's 49 percent." - The Hill

  • "Less than a third (32 percent) of GOP voters see Santorum as the strongest challenger to Obama; a big majority (58 percent) agrees that Mitt has the best shot" - Michael Medved for the Daily Beast

Santorum 32.9%, Romey 29.0%, Gingrich 14.4%, Paul 12.4% - RCP national average

Some more good news for Romney...

  • Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer endorses Mitt Romney - Weekly Standard | Washington Post
  • "If Rick Santorum wins in Michigan on Tuesday but loses Arizona, he may get the better spin out of the evening while winding up with fewer delegates. That is because Arizona is a winner-take-all state whereas Michigan is not." - Nate Silver
  • "Santorum’s surprising surge appears to have ground to halt in the last week. A renewed focus on his extremely conservative views on social issues combined with an all-out attack on his congressional record by Romney’s well-oiled campaign machine has damaged the Pennsylvanian." - Commentary
  • Only two of the four Republicans still standing, Mitt Romney and Rep. Ron Paul (Texas), have assembled national campaigns capable of pivoting to the general election - Roll Call

Rick Santorum: We need bold tax reform, but Mitt Romney wants to tinker at the margins

Santorum largeIn the Wall Street Journal Senator Santorum lists a ten point economic agenda, including: "I'll submit to Congress comprehensive tax policies to strengthen opportunity in our country, with only two income tax rates of 10% and 28%. To help families, I'll triple the personal deduction for children and eliminate the marriage tax penalty."

Romney defends the progressive tax code - Fox

  • "In back-to-back speeches over the weekend, [Santorum] described President Obama as “a snob” for focusing on the importance of a college education and disparaged the idea of a separation between church and state by attacking President John F. Kennedy, who made it a key point in his 1960 campaign" - Washington Post
  • "Rick Santorum on Sunday reached out to voters who do not want a college degree, saying that pushing Americans toward higher education “devalues the tremendous work” of people who are not interested in going to college" - WSJ

Rick Santorum says the notion of religion not playing role in politics “makes me want to throw up" - Politico

The NRO Editors warn Santorum to exercise more "discrimination and tact" in how he expresses himself.

  • Santorum makes case for religion in public sphere - New York Times
  • Republican Governors want presidential candidate to focus on economy, not social issues - Politico

Romney, Santorum Represent Different White Americas - Michael Barone for RCP

  • Santorum: Romneycare ‘In Some Respects’ Worse than Obamacare - NRO
  • Santorum: Romney uses teleprompters, I don't - CBS

Ron Paul is denying reports that he is teaming up with opponent Mitt Romney to defeat Romney's chief rival, Rick Santorum, in Tuesday's primary - Washington Examiner

Gingrich May 2011Gingrich says he is staking the future of his presidential campaign on a win in his home state, Georgia - MSNBC

  • Gingrich focuses on rising gas prices in bid to refuel campaign - WSJ
  • Obama prepares to fight gas prices with new bumper sticker - HotAir

Obama is in a stronger position but economy and early end to GOP race could still defeat him - E J Dionne in the Washington Post

  • Romney having to use funds he'd intended for general election - New York Times
  • Labor unions no longer upping funding to Democrats - WSJ

Why Apologize to Afghanistan? The reaction to an accidental Koran-burning was inexcusable - Andrew McCarthy for NRO

"The facts surrounding the incident are somewhat murky; apparently a number of books were being used by Taliban prisoners to smuggle messages, and 60 or 70 books were confiscated and destroyed, some of which turned out to be Korans. The Korans’ burning is generally described as “accidental.” I assume that means, not that the destruction was unintended, but that the troops who carried it out did not realize that some of the volumes were Korans–not surprising, since they were not in English. What we do know for sure is that the response of many Afghans was outrageous. Dozens of people have been killed or wounded, including a number of American servicemen." - PowerLine

US Ambassador to Iraq has only been able to meet with Maliki twice since troops pullout, despite repeated attempts - Politico

  • The Weekly Standard says Obama is not living up to his own words and is betraying Syria.

Many Oscar nominees are big donors to Democrats - USA Today

And finally... Should Ann Romney be the candidate? - The Washington Post looks at a long list of wives who might have often made the superior candidates.



Feb 24, 2012 7:01:46 AM

Newslinks for Friday Feb 24: Polling shows a Romney-Santorum toss-up in Michigan

Michigan polling points to a toss-up

  • 685px-Flag_of_Michigan.svgRomney 36%, Santorum 33%, Paul 12%, Gingrich 9% - Mitchell Research/Rosetta Stone
  • Santorum 38%, Romney 34%, Paul 12%, Gingrich 7% - CBS
  • "It’s clear that Mr. Santorum’s position had deteriorated some from last week, when a series of polls gave him a lead of about 7 percentage points, on average." - Nate Silver

What if Romney wins?


"Republican strategists say that although they would restore Romney to front-runner status in the race, they could still leave the party looking at a long nomination battle. They also say that winning both states Tuesday wouldn’t be enough to resolve many of the doubts that still surround Romney. ... Even if Romney were to win Michigan and Arizona, he will face a difficult landscape on Super Tuesday, March 6. A victory in Michigan would boost his prospects in Ohio, but Santorum, who is from neighboring Pennsylvania, is a serious threat there." - Washington Post

The negative campaign moves to Michigan

"So with the Arizona debate over, the increasingly contentious campaign moves to Michigan, where Romney has been running ads attacking Santorum, and on Thursday Santorum introduced two new ads attacking Romney. The first hit Romney for supporting Wall Street bailouts and "turning his back on Michigan workers."" - Byron York

Team Romney's anti-Santorum strategy: paint him as a Washington insider

"And now, team Romney sees a lucky break in swatting away the latest would-be alternative to his candidacy, banking that former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum has exposed himself as a Washington insider incapable of delivering the jolt so many Republicans believe the political system needs." - Washington Examiner

Is there an alliance between Ron Paul and Romney?

Paul Ron"Rick Santorum’s campaign suggested that there may be a covert alliance between Ron Paul and Mitt Romney, especially in view of their behavior at the debate in Arizona. ... there does seem to be something, prima facie, to their conduct during debates, if one assumes that the alliance would preclude Paul from criticizing Romney in debates. In the previous seven debates, going back to the January 7 New Hampshire debate, Ron Paul has only attacked Mitt Romney once." - National Review

What Democrats can learn from Santorum

Screen shot 2012-01-02 at 12.06.00

"Santorum’s detractors cite his unusual opinions on the politics of gender and “artificial birth control” to paint him as extreme. But the source of Santorum’s appeal is his skill at waging class warfare, Republican-style. His grandfather was a coal miner, he explains: “Those hands dug freedom for me.” He wants to revive real jobs—blue-collar jobs—with zero corporate taxes on manufacturing. He’s a Pennsylvania guy who’s OK with declaring trade war on China." - Clive Crook

  • "“I’ve been playing this little game with my friends. It’s called ‘Guess which seven states Santorum can win,’” said veteran Democratic strategist James Carville, who thinks Santorum’s stances against abortion, contraception and stem cell research make him a no-sale to women voters in all parties. “Here’s the seven. OK, there’s Utah, Idaho, a Dakota, South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama. What’s that? Six? Okay — Texas? … Wait. I’m not 100 percent sure he can win Texas.”" - Politico

Gingrich faces questions over travel payments - WSJ

Not again: a Republican not currently running could STILL win the nomination - Washington Examiner

Former Gov. Buddy Roemer leaves GOP race to run on third-party platform - RCP

Democrats have most to lose in 2012 gubernatorial elections

Screen shot 2011-08-27 at 16.01.13"While Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) is highly vulnerable, Democrats are facing a fierce primary to recall him. And in four other gubernatorial races, Democratic incumbents are retiring, leaving open seats in competitive states like North Carolina and Montana." - More from Politico, including details on the individual races

Boehner may scale back highway bill amid Republican opposition


  • "House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) may significantly scale back his signature transportation bill in the face of opposition from conservative and centrist members of his own party... The move would be seen as a dramatic retreat for the Speaker, who has trumpeted the $260 billion legislation as a jobs priority" - The Hill
  • "According to a GOP aide, Boehner is considering shortening the bill to two years and scrapping a plan to separate transit and highway funding, a plan that led to a moderate revolt within his conference. The retooled bill could also include new cuts to spending as a potential fig leaf to conservatives within the party." - Roll Call

Poll: 50% now say Obama doesn’t deserve reelection - Hot Air

Obama slams energy critics... but campaigned on lower energy prices himself in 2008

Screen shot 2011-08-08 at 4.39.04 PM"It's the easiest thing in the world to make phony election-year promises about lower gas prices," Obama told a crowd at the University of Miami. "What's harder is to make a serious, sustained commitment to tackle a problem that may not be solved in one year or one term or even one decade."" - LA Times

  • "President Obama is taking heat from the right for rising gas prices, but it wasn't so long ago that Obama on the attack over high oil prices. The six ads below highlight the extent to which Obama went to campaign on lowering gas prices for the average American and ending our dependence on foreign oil." - BuzzFeed

Obama apologizes to Afghanistan for Quran burning  - CNN

  • "GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said Thursday a U.S. apology to Afghan authorities for burned Qurans on a military base was “astonishing” and undeserved." - Washington Post
  • More Afghan cuts, more war - Max Boot

Comedian Bill Maher gives $1m to Obama Super PAC - Politico

David Brooks: America is not that different to Europe

Screen shot 2010-12-14 at 15.55.45"We Americans cherish our myths. One myth is that there is more social mobility in the United States than in Europe. That’s false. Another myth is that the government is smaller here than in Europe. That’s largely false, too. The U.S. does not have a significantly smaller welfare state than the European nations. We’re just better at hiding it. The Europeans provide welfare provisions through direct government payments. We do it through the back door via tax breaks." - David Brooks

Maryland Senate passes same-sex marriage bill - Washington Post



Feb 23, 2012 6:44:44 AM

Newslinks for Thursday Feb 23: Santorum gets bad reviews for debate performance


  • "Mitt Romney challenged Rick Santorum’s credentials as a fiscal conservative in a fiercely combative debate on Wednesday, trying to redefine Mr. Santorum as part of the problem in Washington and regain his footing in the fight for the Republican presidential nomination." - New York Times
  • The debate got heated early during a discussion of fiscal policy when the former Massachusetts governor drilled into Santorum for voting to raise the debt ceiling five times and seeking scores of earmarks - LA Times
  • Tempers flare as Santorum, Romney trade barbs, blame for healthcare reform - The Hill
  • "Santorum said that Romney had used government funds to mount a “federal takeover” of the health-care system while serving as governor of Massachusetts" - Politico
  • Poll after poll has found that, for conservatives, compromise has become a dirty word... so, Charles Blow asks: "Was it a foolish for Rick Santorum to admit that when he was a senator he would sometimes “take one for the team, for the leader”?" - New York Times
  • Ron Paul calls Santorum a 'fake' at GOP debate - The Hill


  • "Rick Santorum’s night was defined by explaining why he voted for things he opposed (NCLB, Title X). He’s right that politics is a “team sport” (at least most of the time), but that’s not the best posture to be defending when you’re occupying his slot in a Republican presidential primary." - Rich Lowry on NRO
  • "Having heard a little more than an hour of the Republican debate on Wednesday evening, my gut reaction was that it was a disaster for Rick Santorum and a solid night for Mitt Romney. Santorum was booed repeatedly while cheers for Romney sounded more enthusiastic than anything I've heard since Florida." - Ross Kaminsky for the American Spectator
  • Romney earns poor marks - Daily Caller
  • Santorum flops in the debate spotlight - Commentary
  • Tough night for Santorum - HotAir
  • It was the last debate and Gingrich won it - RedState
  • "Newt Gingrich won the debate, hands down. These contests are like air to him. For his purposes, there have been far too few of late. He is the kind of professor who will always be popular with students because he is clear, concise, and great at tracing out an argument. The audience were his students. He delivered the material beautifully. Everything depends on whether GOP voters have finally settled in the belief that he is too damaged for serious consideration. If he rebounds while Santorum falls, it’s happy days for Romney again." - Hunter Baker for NRO
  • Mitt managed the seemingly impossible task of outflanking Rick from the right - Paul Begala for the Daily Beast

Declining audiences for debates mean there'll be no encores - New York Times

Polls seem to suggest that Santorum is as electable as Romney - WSJ

38% see Santorum as too conservative; 51% see Obama as too liberal

Screen Shot 2012-02-23 at 11.05.23

A USA Today poll finds a rock landscape for both Democrats and Republicans.

Oklahoma's Tom Coburn is the most conservative member of the Senate, while New Yorker Kirsten Gillibrand and Oregon's Jeff Merkley share the title of top liberals, according to National Journal's 2011 Congressional Vote Ratings - National Journal

Romney is getting less support from small donors than other GOP candidates - Washington Post

Neither Romney nor Santorum looks like a formidable candidate for November - George Will for the Washington Post

"GOP leaders are watching with rising dismay as the 2012 presidential campaign has featured excursions into social issues like contraception and a sprint by the candidates to strike the toughest stance against illegal immigration, which they say are far removed from the workaday concerns of the independent voters Republicans need to evict Barack Obama from the White House." - Politico

...More on social conservatism...

  • Democrats will gain from contraception issue - Washington Post
  • "Rick Santorum on Wednesday showed no signs of backing down from his provocative statements about President Obama and religion, accusing the president of working to undermine the country’s “Judeo--Christian values” through his implementation of health-care reform and other policies." - Fox
  • Santorum "is rigid and a homophobic" - Romney-supporting former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.) issues big blast - The Hill
  • "In the (still-unlikely) event that Santorum captured the nomination, then, his campaign would probably be to social conservatism what Barry Goldwater’s 1964 campaign was to small-government conservatism: A losing effort that would inspire countless observers to declare the loser’s worldview discredited, rejected, finished." - Ross Douthat

Only Ron Paul would keep debt in check says survey

Paul Ron Close Up"The national debt would increase, perhaps dramatically, under the tax and spending plans of the leading Republican presidential candidates, according to an independent budget watchdog group. Leading the way with the most expensive plan is former House speaker Newt Gingrich, followed by former Pennsylvania sennator Rick Santorum and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, says the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. Only Rep. Ron Paul of Texas would keep the national debt in check as a percentage of the economy, the group found, because he has proposed by far the largest spending cuts." - USA Today

Conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh wondered today whether the hosts of tonight’s GOP presidential nomination debate will ask Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) about repeatedly being double reimbursed for flights - Roll Call

Meanwhile Rand Paul says it would be an honour to be considered for Romney's VP - Daily Caller

Pro-Obama Super-PAC hits Romney on auto bailout - NPR



Feb 22, 2012 6:34:04 AM

Newslinks for Wednesday Feb 22: Key debate takes place tonight as Romney retakes poll lead in Michigan

Lots at stake in first debate in nearly a month

Republican debate 20th

"A lot has changed in the battle for the GOP nomination since the last debate, a CNN-Republican Party of Florida showdown in Jacksonville on January 26. Romney went on to win big in Florida and Nevada, while Gingrich, who had just scored an impressive victory in South Carolina, faded fast. Then Santorum surged in state and national polling after sweeping the February 7th contests in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri. The debate Wednesday is the last time the candidates will share a stage before primaries in Arizona and Michigan on Tuesday" - CNN

  • "The former Massachusetts governor was long considered the clear GOP leader in Arizona, but polls have narrowed considerably in recent days and now indicate a dead heat between him and Santorum." - Arizona Republic
  • "The stakes are high for Mr. Gingrich, who is low on money and facing eclipse by Mr. Santorum’s surge even in Southern states that were to be his bulwark. He needs to give voters, especially conservatives, a reason to return to him." - New York Times
  • "Team Romney tells me there will be a bolder tax-cut plan released either at the debate tomorrow night (if Mitt gets it in) ... the new plan will be across-the-board with supply-side incentives from rate reduction, and that it will help small-business owners" - National Review

Poll shows Romney back on top in Michigan

"It’s just one poll, but that’s the first time he’s led in the state in nearly three weeks — and the same poll had him trailing Santorum by nine just a week ago. Another poll out today has the race tied and PPP’s new one, while showing Santorum still ahead by four, has Romney roaring back from a 15-point deficit over the past seven days." - Hot Air

  • "A surging Rick Santorum is running even with Mitt Romney atop the Republican presidential field, but neither candidate is faring well against President Barack Obama" - AP
  • Romney only 4% ahead in a supposedly friendly state, Arizona - Weekly Standard

Romney, in an attempt to step on Santorum's territory, gets tough on social issues


"Romney [said] his vice presidential pick would be anti-abortion... pledging to pick strict constructionists to serve on the Supreme Court and castigating the Obama administration for launching a war against religion. “I can tell you as someone who has understood very personally the significance of religious tolerance and religious freedom and the right to one's own conscience, I will make sure that we never again attack religious liberty in the United States of America if I’m president," Romney said, in a rare reference to his Mormon faith." - LA Times

Santorum comments on "Satan" attract controversy

Santorum"A 2008 speech by Rick Santorum at Ave Maria University is making waves this week, in large part because Santorum said Satan had his sights set on America and the country was facing spiritual warfare." - CNN

  • "Asked whether he still thinks Satan is attacking the United States, Santorum called the inquiry “not relevant to what’s being discussed in America today.” “If they want to dig up old speeches of me talking to religious groups, they can go ahead and do so, but I’m going to stay on message and I’m going to talk about things that Americans want to talk about,” Santorum said" - National Journal
  • "There is no way that a man who expresses such a dark view of the American national character can win the presidency." - John Podhoretz
  • "Santorum not only defends beliefs that are looked down upon as dated and unrealistic; he does it with a passionate sincerity that opens him to mockery and attack." - Rich Lowry

Byron York investigates why Santorum lost Pennsylvania by 19% in 2006 

0318race_york"The biggest policy reason was Santorum's outspoken support for the war in Iraq. By November 2006, the war was going badly and threatened to turn into a full-scale catastrophe. President Bush resisted calls to change course. While Santorum's Democratic opponent, Bob Casey, called for a new policy, Santorum stuck with the president, and with the war. He even made it his primary focus in the last days of the campaign." - Byron York

  • Santorum says he's no Washington insider - USA Today

Gingrich campaigning on low gas prices

Screen shot 2011-10-30 at 7.54.05 AM"Down in the polls and increasingly overlooked in the Republican nominating contest, Mr. Gingrich's campaign is betting it can claw its way back into the conversation with a focus on rising gas prices, an issue that is viewed as an increasing liability for the White House. "There's no reason we can't get gasoline down to $2 and $2.50 a gallon," Mr. Gingrich said Monday in Tulsa." - WSJ ($)

  • Obama seeks to deflect GOP criticism over escalating gas prices - The Hill

The Washington Post reviews Rep. Darrell Issa's first year as House oversight chairman

"Since assuming the chairmanship of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in January 2011, the California Republican has held hundreds of hearings, made more than 700 requests for information and issued almost two dozen subpoenas." - More at the Washington Post

Smart donations make Sen. John Cornyn favorite in race to become Senate Republican whip

Screen shot 2011-02-24 at 09.58.31"Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) gave more than $100,000 to colleagues though his leadership political action committee (PAC) last year... His rival in the race, Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), has given $60,000 through his leadership fund, the Next Century Fund, to Senate GOP colleagues and $45,000 to Senate Republican candidates such as George Allen in Virginia and Jeff Flake in Arizona." - The Hill

Serious conservative primary challenge to 36-year incumbent, Sen. Dick Lugar - Weekly Standard

  • Sen. Lugar defends Indiana residency - USA Today

Obama to offer corporate tax plan

OBAMA BLUE TIE"Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner told a Senate panel last week the plan will be an effort to find "common ground" on broad principles between Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill. ... Senior administration officials Tuesday would not provide details of the president's plan. They said it will be consistent with his commitment to fairness and the message he laid out in the State of the Union address." - CNN

  • Politicians fiddle while fiscal crisis looms - John Stossel for Town Hall
  • Rahm Emanuel, Bill Daley to be named Obama campaign co-chairmen - LA Times

Democratic senators want super PAC crackdown - Politico

Supreme Court adds more time for oral arguments on Obama healthcare law - The Hill

And finally... Biden’s office circulates press release to promote veep’s trip to “Road Island” - Hot Air



Feb 21, 2012 7:03:00 AM

Newslinks for Tuesday Feb 21: Reagan Democrats fleeing Romney explain his trouble - and Santorum's rise - in Michigan

Why is Romney struggling in Michigan? Reagan Democrats.

REAGAN RONALD"Blame the frosty homecoming on the Independent Voters Formerly Known as Reagan Democrats. Economically populist and socially conservative, these blue-collar, largely Catholic, largely unionized workers tend to swing. In 2008 they helped put Barack Obama over the top. In 2010 they returned to the GOP... As talk of his paltry 14 percent tax rate and “I like to be able to fire people”–style gaffes came to dominate the airwaves in January, Mitt’s unfavorable rating among working-class whites jumped 20 points nationwide." - Daily Beast

  • "It was no accident that [Santorum] had come here: Steubenville is home to precisely the combination of religious conservatives and blue-collar Rust Belt voters that Santorum is hoping will lead him to victory on Super Tuesday and beyond." - Washington Post
  • Poll: Mitt Romney not hurt in Michigan over stance opposing auto bailouts - The Hill

Despite polls, Romney confident of Michigan win


"The campaign has good reason to be skeptical of the media's recent narrative of doom for Romney. A week ago, the worst poll for Romney... had him down 15 points to Rick Santorum in Michigan. Today, after adjusting its initial, less-than-realistic turnout projections, the same polling company has Romney down just four points. And given that Romney's ads just went on the air in the middle of last week, there's still plenty of time for his message to sink in and get him over the hump." - BuzzFeed

  • "There are few outward signs that panic has set in at the Romney campaign — the delegate-by-delegate chess game has only begun — but concern is palpable among Mr. Romney, his allies and Republican Party elders" - New York Times
  • "Mitt Romney, struggling to shore up his support in the Midwest, again attacked Rick Santorum‘s spending during his time in Congress." - WSJ

Donald Trump hitting Michigan airwaves for MittABC

Screen shot 2011-04-08 at 3.25.10 PM"What’s the prescription for a famously brilliant venture capitalist who has trouble connecting with blue-collar voters in his native state?  How about bringing in a far more controversial venture capitalist who’s claim to recent fame is in firing people on national television?" - Hot Air

Santorum and Gingrich focus attacks on Obama's religious liberty record

  • GingrichSantorum"Rick Santorum said Monday that Obama had been "particularly weak" in protecting religious liberty around the world and compared him to "tyrants" who want to limit the role of faith in their citizens lives." - LA Times
  • "Gingrich also charged Obama again with waging a war on religion, something the former House speaker has said repeatedly since a controversy erupted over an Obama administration policy requiring religious-affiliated employers to provide free birth control." - USA Today
  • But Ed Kilgore warns that the GOP shouldn't put too much faith in the Catholic vote: "American Catholics are hardly monolithic, even on issues supposedly touching on the Church’s authority and teachings."

Looking ahead: Santorum has big polling leads in Texas and Oklahoma - Hot Air

Romney tops January funding figures

  • Screen shot 2011-07-02 at 12.21.00"Romney raised $6.5 million in the month of January but spent nearly $19 million, leaving him with about $7.7 million in cash ... Santorum raised $4.5 million in January and spent $3.3 million, leaving him with about $1.5 million in cash ... Newt Gingrich raised $5.6 million during the month of January, but spent almost $6 million, leaving him with about $1.7 million in cash" - New York Times
  • "Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul raised $4.5 million in January, his campaign just announced. The Texas congressman ended the month with $1.6 million in the bank." - USA Today

Republican Presidential campaigns are becoming reliant upon SuperPAC money

"[O]ver all, super PACs backing the four leading Republican contenders raised $22.1 million in January, slightly more than the candidates themselves, and ended the month with $19.4 million in cash on hand, about $5 million more than the candidates had." - New York Times

Billionaire Sheldon Adelson says he might give $100M to Newt Gingrich - Forbes

Sen. Rubio tops poll on vice presidential picks - USA Today

Some Republicans still clamoring for a "Plan B" candidate

Christie"[O]ne knowledgeable GOP source confirms that some Republicans are circulating the deadlines and the basic math that would allow another candidate to get into the nomination fight and take it all the way to the convention... A majority of the delegates to the national convention are still up for grabs." - CNN

  • "The Tea Partiers think they want a convention fight. The fantasists say they want a Daniels-ex-machina. But the realists in the Republican Party’s elite have settled into the grim reality: One of the three flawed men battling for their party’s nomination will win it" - BuzzFeed
  • "If these four candidates are unacceptable to a majority of Republicans, they won't be accepted — and something else will have to happen. What that "something else" will be, I don't know. But ... a wild convention seems more plausible than sewing together the good bits from the current pack." - Jonah Goldberg
  • Gov. Daniels again nixes GOP presidential bid - USA Today
  • Poll finds most GOP voters opposed to brokered convention - The Hill

The price of a Romney endorsement: how Tim Pawlenty paid off his campaign debt

"According to Politic, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, the Republican front-runner, and his family members joined with several Bain Capital officials to assist Mr. Pawlenty in retiring his debt last year, federal records show." - The State Column

Why did Obama tell Democrats SuperPAC fundraising is okay? Because the pro-Obama SuperPAC raised only $59K in January (and $50K of that was from one guy) - Politico

The next debt fight will be ugly, but will come after the election

Screen shot 2011-08-29 at 08.57.02"The fiscal year ends on Sept. 30. Whether the debt limit is reached before the presidential election (a third of Senate seats and all House seats will also be at stake and control of one or both could change, setting up a particularly nasty fight along party lines) depends on how well the economy performs. But even if the recovery slows down, or simply doesn't speed up, and the limit is reached before the election, the Treasury Department can—and likely will—use "extraordinary measures" to push back the drop-dead deadline for raising it." - National Journal

US and Mexico announce accord to boost offshore oil, gas exploration - The Hill

Obama to meet with Netanyahu next month as concern grows on Iran response - Bloomberg

David Brooks: Talented people can thrive in our individualistic society. The less fortunate find it harder

Brooks"Over all, we’ve made life richer for the people who have the social capital to create their own worlds. We’ve also made it harder for the people who don’t — especially poorer children. ... So maybe it’s time to acknowledge a core reality: People with skills can really thrive in this tenuous, networked society. People without those advantages would probably be better off if we could build new versions of the settled, stable and thick arrangements we’ve left behind." - David Brooks

And finally... John Ensign used to be a Senator. Now he's back to his old job... as a vet - CNN



Feb 20, 2012 6:19:33 AM

Newslinks for Monday Feb 20: McCain warns negativity of primary campaign is boosting Obama

VIDEO: Fox News panel, including Karl Rove, discuss Michigan primary and implications for Romney of possible defeat

Latest RCP national average: Santorum 33.8%, Romney 28.4%, Gingrich 14.0%, Paul 12.2%

McCain JohnMcCain warns that negativity of primary campaign could help re-elect Obama - Politico

He probably meant attacks like...

  • Rick Santorum told voters that Mr. Romney’s leadership of the 2002 Winter Olympics amounted to pork-barrel spending and hypocrisy - WSJ
  • Ron Paul blasts Santorum's 'atrocious' voting record - LA Times

"Voter say they don't like negative campaigning. But, although they may reject such ads consciously, that doesn't mean they aren't unconsciously affected" - Drew Westen for the LA Times

Santorum picking up very few endorsements from former Congressional colleagues - USA Today

BUT, reports USA Today: "Former Ohio senator Mike DeWine switched his support to Rick Santorum today, saying he could no longer back Mitt Romney because of his "astounding inability" to give people a reason to vote for him." Also see the American Spectator.

Ron Paul says Santorum's social issues are a 'losing position' for the GOP - National Journal

Santorum faces full on media scrutiny of his social conservatism - The Hill

Santorum 470

"With Santorum launching one social issues bomb after another, there is no time to talk about the economy. Is this the Democratic Party’s dream, or what?" - PowerLine

  • Santorum rallies thousands at Georgia megachurch - Washington Post
  • Rick Santorum denies questioning Obama's faith - LA Times
  • Santorum Criticizes Obama's 'World View,' Not Faith - NPR
  • Social conservatism is crucial to building a Republican majority - Jeff Bell's thinking profiled by James Taranto in the Wall Street Journal
  • Matt Lewis at the Daily Caller agrees: "As much as moderate Republicans and cosmopolitan conservatives might lament the resurrection of the culture wars (which were foisted upon us, and appear to have been rekindled once again by liberal overreach), they were electorally fruitful for the GOP."
  • Why Romney can, and should, win evangelical vote - Nancy French for USA Today
  • Nate Silver says Romney has a more moderate tone on social issues but doesn't differ substantially from Santorum on policy.

"Rick Santorum is sharpening his rhetoric against President Obama on the campaign trail, painting a picture of a president out of touch with the American people that seems aimed at tapping into fear and anger among Republican primary voters." - CBS

Jennifer Rubin issues stark warning against Santorum

Rubin Jennifer"Santorum is no Marco Rubio. Whereas Rubio expands the party’s base of support, Santorum shrinks it. Whereas women, independents and young people see Rubio as a forward-looking reformer, Santorum seems stuck in a time warp from a different era, someone chasing issues that were “lost” decades ago." - Rubin in the Washington Post

Gingrich piles on Michigan pressure

"Newt Gingrich said Sunday that a primary loss by any of the Republican presidential candidates in their home states would be devastating to that campaign. "If any of the three of us lose our home state, if Santorum loses Pennsylvania, Romney loses Michigan or I lose Georgia, I think you have a very, very badly weakened candidacy, for any one of the three of us," Gingrich said on "Fox News Sunday."  "I think it's extraordinarily important to carry your own state."" - Politico

  • Gingrich archives show his public praise, private criticism of Reagan - Washington Post
  • Newt Gingrich says his focus is on Super Tuesday - LA Times
  • Gingrich, Cain campaign together in Georgia - MSNBC

The New York Times previews Wednesday night's debate - the first since Santorum leapfrogged Romney in Michigan and national polls.

"About the only argument that still works for Romney among GOP insiders is that he would be less of a drag on the ticket than the strident Santorum or the mercurial Newt Gingrich." - Walter Shapiro for TNR

ChristieIs it too late for another candidate to enter the race?

"There are growing calls for an alternative to Mitt Romney as the Republican standard-bearer, with the names of Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie again being seen as the most likely saviors." - Politico

Majority Leader Eric Cantor said House Republicans will push for two measures to benefit small-business owners in the coming weeks - Roll Call

Payroll tax cut agreement pushes nation closer to hitting debt ceiling

"The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that in the short term, the payroll package will add $101 billion to the deficit, which effectively erases a month of wiggle room under the $16.394 trillion debt cap. The government’s public debt currently sits at $15.39 trillion." - The Hill

  • "Conservatives in power have never been -- and can never be -- as anti-government as they are in a campaign" - E J Dionne for RCP

Obama Goes Soft on Iran - Weekly Standard

  • At the American Conservative Rod Dreher calls McCain and Lindsey the "terrible twins": "McCain wanted the US to risk war with Russia over Georgia. How fortunate we are that McCain lost in 2008. Who knows where our soldiers would be fighting today if he hadn’t."

Monica Lewinsky at center of four hour documentary on Bill Clinton - New York Times

A universal birth-control mandate is a curious priority for a dying republic - Mark Steyn at NRO says the mandate is like handing out condoms on the Titantic.

Presidential candidates are always saying THIS is the most important election ever but which one really did matter most? - David Mayhew in the Washington Post

And finally... HotAir goes in search of a new slogan for the Obama campaign...

Screen Shot 2012-02-20 at 10.48.48

Join in the fun.



Feb 17, 2012 6:41:24 AM

Newslinks for Friday Feb 17: The truth about Obama's stimulus

VIDEO: Campaign video defending Scott Walker against recall

VIDEO: New Santorum ad bills him as "Proven Conservative"

The truth about Obama's stimulus and unemployment

Screen Shot 2012-02-17 at 10.21.16

"I have written many times that inefficient spending cannot create jobs. Rather, wasteful spending destroys wealth and thereby destroys jobs, too. That thesis is amply borne out by the experience of recent years." - PowerLine

  • Unemployment has been higher for longer under Obama than since the Great Depression - Pete Wehner

Rick Synder, Governor of Michigan, endorses Romney

Synder"Our country has never elected a president born and raised in Michigan. Mitt Romney was born in Detroit. His father served with distinction as governor. Before that, he was president of American Motors. Mitt grew up with the prospects of the auto industry and of Michigan discussed around the dinner table. He has deep ties to our state. Mitt understands the challenges confronting Michigan as few Americans do." - Synder in the Detroit News

  • Rick Santorum challenges Michigan to be 'game-changer' - LA Times
  • Santo's uncompromisingly conservative platform has finally been rewarded in the polls and the voting, but the arithmetic still favors Mitt Romney - Doyle Mcmanus in the LA Times
  • The more Romney explains his opposition to auto-bailouts the more he confuses - National Journal
  • Romney isn’t sinking because of the flip-flops. He’s sinking because of his robotic reasonableness. Michael Tomasky on how Mitt became the Al Gore of the GOP - Daily Beast

Elections expert Larry Sabato calls the Feb. 28 Michigan Republican primary a "must-win" for Mitt Romney - WSJ

Don't lurch right; Don't unveil a new Mitt, Don't stop attacking - Michael Crowley's advice for Romney in TIME

Santorum could beat Gingrich in his home state of Georgia - RCP

Gerson: Santorum is Romney's most serious challenger

Gerson"Santorum combines a deeply held social conservatism with an authentic blue-collar appeal. Romney has trouble competing in either category. While Santorum is very conservative, he avoids being a conservative caricature. He was one of the Senate’s main advocates of global health programs and a champion of faith-based anti-poverty efforts." - Mike Gerson in the Washington Post

The 18% question: Why did Santorum lose his Senate seat by 18%?

"The reasons for Santorum's defeat are too complicated for a 30-second ad or a brief answer at a debate. He can blame a lot of factors, but in the end he was most responsible for his own fate. Now, if Santorum's presidential campaign continues to soar, he'll likely have to discuss the '06 defeat more. The Romney campaign will point to it as proof that Santorum can't win the White House. Santorum's job is to tell voters -- and prove to them with his actions -- that he has learned from his loss, and that he's a better candidate for it." - Byron York for the Washington Examiner

The uncharitable Santorum?

"The Santorums actually gave less than two percent of their income to charity, a smaller percentage than the average for people in their income group though not extremely so. The average is slightly more than three percent." - NPR

"Rick Santorum, whose humble coal-country biography is central to his political message, made more than $3.6 million in recent years as a Washington consultant" - Washington Post

Could Ron Paul come to Romney's rescue?

Paul Ron"In a Republican presidential contest known for its angry rivalries, the Romney-Paul relationship stands out for its behind-the-scenes civility. It is a friendship that, by Mr. Paul’s telling, Mr. Romney has worked to cultivate." - New York Times

  • Is Romney giving Trump the cold shoulder? - Daily Caller
  • Huntsman disagrees with Romney's statements on China - MSNBC
  • The Mormon card is now being played against Mitt Romney - Toby Harnden

Republicans in Washington need to stop acting like Democrats, says … Mitt Romney - HotAir

"The small fraction of Americans who are trying to pick the Republican nominee are old, white, uniformly Christian and unrepresentative of the nation at large" - Timothy Egan at the New York Times

Perry plans new PAC with unused campaign money - USA Today

Payroll-Tax Cut Pact a Rare Sign of Bipartisanship - WSJ

Boehner Smiling"While House GOP leaders are reluctantly backing the agreement, most Senate Republicans are expected to vote against it. This will be the first time that Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and his lieutenants will be voting differently than their Senate counterparts on a high-profile issue in the 112th Congress." - The Hill

  • Senate Republicans out in the cold - Roll Call

Jennifer Rubin's verdict on the deal: "After folding at the end of last year, Republicans plainly don’t have the votes or the nerve to hold up a deal. On one hand, it does damage to the president’s argument that the Republicans are obstructionists. That said, fiscal hawks are not going to be pleased. Once again, the president and Congress simply kicked the can down the road."

Hispanic delegation in Congress set to grow to over 30, from 25 - Politico

"In some good news for Republicans in a marquee Senate race, a new poll shows GOP Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts enjoying a wide lead over his premier Democratic challenger, Elizabeth Warren. A poll by Suffolk University/7NEWS released Thursday night found Mr. Brown leading Ms. Warren, 49% to 40%." - WSJ

GOP says "drill. drill, drill" is answer to higher gas prices - Politico

ChristieThe New Jersey Assembly on Thursday passed a bill legalizing same-sex marriages, setting the stage for an anticipated veto by Gov. Chris Christie - NPR

  • Five reasons to oppose gay marriage - John Hawkins for

Obama approval drops to 43% in latest Gallup poll - Fox

Rep. Dennis Kucinich faces tough redistricting battle against Democratic primary challengers - Roll Call

And finally... "They call him 'Honest Abe.' But he's just another Springfield insider."

Peggy Noonan draws up an attack ad against Abraham Lincoln - WSJ



Feb 16, 2012 7:00:48 AM

Newslinks for Thursday Feb 16: Romney struggles in Michigan as national polling shows big Santorum lead

Mitt Romney can't count on home-state advantage in Michigan


""Michigan's been my home, and this is personal," Romney says in a new TV ad that features vintage black-and-white photos, including one of a teen-aged Mitt and his square-jawed father, the state's late governor, George Romney. ... Polls indicate that Michigan could go either way, making Romney's attempt at repositioning himself a particularly acute task in this state, the first in the industrial Midwest to award delegates and a place where a loss could be shattering. ... Romney is reverting to the formula that worked earlier this year: He's going negative against his main opponent and leveling an intense media barrage that the other side hasn't got the resources to counter." - LA Times

  • Romney says he cares 'very deeply' about auto industry - LA Times
  • "Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, one of the final holdouts of the state’s Republican establishment, will endorse Mitt Romney Thursday." - WSJ
  • Romney targets auto bailout in battle for Michigan - AP
  • The character of the Chinese government—one that marries aspects of the free market with suppression of freedom—shouldn't become the norm - Mitt Romney for the WSJ

Latest polling shows Santorum with a big lead

Screen shot 2011-12-29 at 11.03.34"A new Rasmussen survey shows Rick Santorum has jumped to a 12-point lead over Mitt Romney nationally in the race for the GOP presidential nomination. Santorum leads with with 39%, followed by Mitt Romney at 27%, Newt Gingrich at 15% and Ron Paul at 10%. Key finding: "Perhaps more tellingly, Santorum now trounces Romney 55% to 34% in a one-on-one matchup among likely GOP primary voters. This is the first time any challenger has led Romney nationally in a head-to-head match-up."" - PoliticalWire

  • Santorum releases four years of tax returns - USA Today
  • Democrats keeping an eye on surging Rick Santorum - LA Times
  • Is Romney’s campaign running out of money? - Hot Air

Gingrich trying to win delegates in Michigan

Meet Newt 9

"“My prediction is that if Mitt Romney goes and attacks Santorum as negatively as he attacked me in Florida and elsewhere, that what you’re going to see is he’ll peel votes off Santorum, but they’re going to come to me, they’re not going to go to Romney,” Gingrich said on the FOX News show, “On The Record.”" - CNN

  • "The Super PAC promoting Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign is unleashing radio ads Thursday in three key states as well as nationally on popular conservative talk shows." - WSJ

Congressional negotiators reach payroll deal

Screen shot 2011-03-29 at 11.20.21"Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) emerged from a Capitol meeting room to say the agreement — hashed out by a bicameral, bipartisan conference committee — would garner enough support to move forward in both chambers." - Politico

  • "The deal, such as it is, seems like less of a triumph for Congress than the mere prevention of disaster. Neither party had wanted to see the payroll tax go up in an election year with a weak economy nor did they want unemployment benefits to cease." - National Journal

House Republicans delay vote on transportation bill

Screen shot 2010-11-17 at 20.42.02"House Speaker John Boehner told his Republican caucus Wednesday that the House will postpone voting on a massive transportation and energy bill... The move was a sign that GOP leaders were still struggling to put together the votes to pass the measure that funds highway programs and includes several energy measures, including drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), and approval of the Keystone XL pipeline." - CNN

  • Keystone Pipeline fate in U.S. in limbo but construction moves forward in Canada - Fox News
  • GOP eases its culture of ‘no’ - Politico

Sen. Marco Rubio taking an active role in opposing Obama's diplomatic record

Screen shot 2011-01-31 at 10.19.38"Sen. Marco Rubio isn’t waiting for a vice presidential offer to go after President Barack Obama: He’s been locked in a quiet battle with the White House for months, blocking key diplomatic appointments in hopes of getting his say on foreign policy. The Rubio-Obama administration skirmish — sloppy, confusing and still largely unresolved — could presage an even bigger, sloppier and more confusing Rubio-Obama political battle this fall." - Politico

Rep. Allen West: Democratic handouts an 'insidious form of slavery'

Allen west""Our party firmly believes in the safety net," West said in a late Wednesday floor speech. "We reject the idea of the safety net becoming a hammock. "For this reason, the Republican value of minimizing government dependence is particularly beneficial to the poorest among us," he continued. "Conversely, the Democratic appetite for ever-increasing redistributionary handouts is in fact the most insidious form of slavery remaining in the world today, and it does not promote economic freedom."" - The Hill

Some Senate candidates are held back by House membership

"In the 15 races ranked as most competitive... Republicans could field current or recently departed House members in eight of them; Democratic House members are top candidates in four Senate races. Races that were not supposed to be all that close are looking more like barn-burners, in large part because one of the standard-bearers carries the millstone of his or her current position: member of the House." - New York Times

  • Nevada and Massachusetts are the key to Senate control - Roll Call
  • Claire McCaskill: Obama loyalist to the end - Politico

Chris Christie defends lower flags for Whitney Houston - Politico

Obama is busy campaigning in California again 

Screen shot 2011-03-29 at 11.13.54"At the posh home of a Hollywood soap opera producer, the president urged Democrats to mobilize, telling supporters... "People out there are hurting and they need us to do more," Obama said on a star-studded night that included a performance by the Foo Fighters and appearances by actors Jack Black and Rashida Jones."- AP

  • "Government spends taxpayer dollars and liberals want to spend more of them. But what sets Mr. Obama apart—what places him in a category of one—is how eager he is to find ways outside the normal appropriations process to fund his schemes in the name of fairness, or to make them appear free." - Karl Rove in the WSJ ($)
  • CNN Poll: Obama approval rating back to 50% mark
  • Nate Silver says the fundamentals now point to an Obama re-election

Pentagon eyeing future cuts to nuclear arsenal

Pentagon"Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the committee there are internal discussions under way about the number of nuclear weapons America will have in the future. The talks, Dempsey said in his testimony before the committee, were in preparation for upcoming meetings with Russia on the matter. Rep. Trent Franks, R-Arizona, called the idea "reckless lunacy." Rep. William "Mac" Thornberry, R-Texas, said the concept has him "very concerned."" - CNN

California Congresswoman calls conservative leaders 'demons'

"California Congresswoman Maxine Waters' rant last weekend at the California Democrats State Convention in San Diego... described House Majority leader Eric Cantor and Speaker of the House John Boehner as “demons” who are “destroying this country”" - Nile Gardiner

George Will: Supreme Court should take on New York City’s rent control laws - Washington Post

Polling: Conservatives would support Israeli military action on Iran

Screen shot 2011-04-09 at 13.13.45"Fully 71% of conservative Republicans think the U.S. should support Israel’s military action if they attack Iran, compared with 43% of moderate and liberal Republicans. A majority of independents and Democrats (including both liberal and more moderate Democrats) think the U.S. should stay neutral." - Weekly Standard

  • Dept. of Homeland Security 'concerned' over threats from Iran - Fox News



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