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

Posted on 02/20/2012

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

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