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

Posted on 02/22/2012

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



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