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Newslinks for Tuesday Feb 7: To compete with Republican fundraising, Obama reverses his opposition to SuperPACs

Posted on 02/07/2012

In major policy shift, Obama's re-election campaign declares support for SuperPACs

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"President Obama is signaling to wealthy Democratic donors that he wants them to start contributing to an outside group supporting his re-election, reversing a long-held position as he confronts a deep financial disadvantage on a vital front in the campaign. Aides said the president had signed off on a plan to dispatch cabinet officials, senior advisers at the White House and top campaign staff members to deliver speeches on behalf of Mr. Obama at fund-raising events for Priorities USA Action, the leading Democratic “super PAC”" - New York Times

  • "It's a significant reversal for the president, who had campaigned vigorously against the outside groups during the 2010 mid-term elections. Obama had slammed them as tools of special-interests corrupting the political system, including accusations they might be using foreign money to fund their operations." - National Journal
  • A video collection of Obama attacking money in politics - BuzzFeed

...and Obama hands back money linked to fraudsters

"Two American brothers of a Mexican casino magnate who fled drug and fraud charges in the United States and has been seeking a pardon enabling him to return have emerged as major fund-raisers and donors for President Obama’s re-election campaign." - New York Times

  • "President Barack Obama's campaign is returning about $200,000 in contributions collected by family members of a Mexican casino owner who fled the U.S. after facing drug and fraud charges." - AP

Santorum likely to win two out of the three contests today - he is favorite in Missouri and Minnesota

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"Rick Santorum could be headed for a big day in today's contests in Colorado, Minnesota, and Missouri. Missouri looks like a probable win for Santorum. He's at 45% there to 32% for Mitt Romney and 19% for Paul. Minnesota provides an opportunity for a win as well. Currently he has a small advantage with 33% to 24% for Romney, 22% for Newt Gingrich, and 20% for Ron Paul. And Santorum should get a second place finish in Colorado, where Romney appears to be the likely winner. The standings there are Romney at 37%, Santorum at 27%, Gingrich at 21%, and Paul at 13%." - Public Policy Polling

  • "It's the first day so far this cycle with multiple contests and with a total of 70 delegates up for grabs in caucuses in Colorado and Minnesota, it's the largest haul yet in the race for the White House." - CNN
  • However: "On the eve of the trio of races, the Republican National Committee sent out a memo reminding reporters that no delegates actually will be awarded in Tuesday’s presidential caucuses in Minnesota and Colorado or in Missouri’s nonbinding presidential primary." - Washington Post

Byron York: If Santorum wins both states, the race will be turned on its head again - Washington Examiner

  • "[O]nce the not-Romney alternatives were winnowed to Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, I think it became clear which of the two men stood a better chance of competing with Romney in states like Ohio, Illinois and Pennsylvania." - Ross Douthat

Romney camp acknowledges concern about Santorum by setting the attack dogs on him 

Screen shot 2011-07-03 at 09.02.48"The Romney campaign responded Monday by putting former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty on a conference call with reporters to criticize what he called Santorum's legislative history of supporting spending earmarks and increasing the federal debt ceiling. "He has been part of the big spending establishment in Congress and in the influence peddling," Pawlenty said of Santorum." - CNN

  • "Santorum largely bypassed Florida and Nevada to blanket the two caucus states with criticism of Romney and lay the groundwork among conservatives who have great sway in the process." - AP
  • "Santorum hits Romney hard: Are we really going to nominate the worst possible candidate on health care" - Hot Air

Romney attacks Obama decision to force religious service providers to pay for contraceptives and abortions

Screen shot 2012-02-03 at 09.41.16"The backlash from the church was swift and could endanger Mr. Obama’s prospects among Catholic voters, a rift Mr. Romney aimed to widen Monday evening. “Think what that does to people in faiths that do not share those views; this is a violation of conscience,” he said. “We must have a president who is willing to protect America’s first right, our right to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience.”" - WSJ

  • "On Monday, Romney told conservative radio host Scott Hennen that he didn't think Komen should continue giving money to Planned Parenthood. Romney says the government should stop giving Planned Parenthood money, too." - AP

David Brooks: The Obama administration's decision to force religious groups to provide for abortion and contraceptives teaches the faithful to distrust government

Brooks"The administration’s policies on school vouchers and religious service providers are demoralizing because they weaken this ecology by reducing its diversity. By ending vouchers, the administration reduced the social intercourse between neighborhoods. By coercing the religious charities, it is teaching the faithful to distrust government, to segregate themselves from bureaucratic overreach, to pull inward." - David Brooks in the New York Times

  • "The Secular Left is on the offensive, while the oft-demonized Religious Right is mostly playing defense, trying to preserve the liberty of religious adherents to conduct their lives according to their own consciences." - Timothy P. Carney for the Washington Examiner
  • "“Never before, unprecedented in American history, for the federal government to line up against the Roman Catholic Church,” said Catholic League head Bill Donohue. ...“This is going to be fought out with lawsuits, with court decisions, and, dare I say it, maybe even in the streets,” Donohue said." - CBS New York

Where has combative Newt gone? In Colorado, he goes heavy on policy and pulls his punches

"Gone were the jabs at the GOP front-runner’s wealth and Cayman Islands bank account. While Mr. Gingrich again brought up Mr. Romney’s remark last week that he is “not concerned” about the very poor because they have a safety net, he did so late in his remarks and stuck mostly to policy." - WSJ

  • Gingrich sees Egypt as Obama's Iran hostage crisis - LA Times

Paul Ron Close UpThe New York Times takes a look at how Ron Paul's upbringing influenced his political views - NYT

Michele Bachmann calls herself "the perfect candidate," says Americans "had their chance" - Houston Chronicle

By 19 points, independents support the repeal of Obamacare - Weekly Standard

Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) put forward a bipartisan jobs plan: the Startup Act

"In 2010, Congress temporarily exempted capital gains taxes on the sale of certain small-business stock held for at least five years. The Startup Act will make this exemption permanent ... To further encourage business development, our plan also reduces the corporate income tax on certain new businesses during the first three taxable years of profit ... Our bill requires all government agencies to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of all proposed new regulations with an economic impact of $100 million or more." - The two Senators write for the Wall Street Journal today

Payroll tax cut extension fight could turn into another supercommittee situation

Screen shot 2011-06-26 at 22.16.43"House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp’s private assessment of the payroll tax debate is pretty bleak. Late Monday afternoon in Speaker John Boehner’s office, the Michigan Republican told House GOP leadership that the negotiations to extend the tax holiday seem like a replay of the disastrous deficit supercommittee, according to several sources present." - Politico

Senate Democrats annoyed with Harry Reid's management style

"The frustration is felt mostly among junior lawmakers, who want more of a role in decision-making and have yet to resign themselves to the traditional pace of the Senate, where seniority rules and lawmakers often have to wait years to have significant influence. They say Reid’s style leaves them feeling out of the loop." - The Hill

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