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Mar 30, 2012 6:55:24 AM

Newslinks for Friday March 30: House Republicans pass Paul Ryan's Budget

House Republicans approve Paul Ryan budget plan and its mix of lower spending, lower taxes, and overhaul of Medicare and Medicaid

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  • "The passage of the Ryan's blueprint represented a significant political victory for House GOP leaders, who have struggled to pass high-profile legislation in recent months" - The Hill
  • "After the vote, Republicans ground out press releases praising the vote for proposing “real solutions” to improve the economy. Democrats responded with a round of statements decrying the GOP effort to revamp Medicare" - Washington Post
  • "Democrats said the GOP budget would cripple vital programs and dismantle Medicare while not raising taxes on the wealthy, even though several bipartisan panels have recommended a mix of spending cuts and tax increases to cut the deficit" - Wall Street Journal
  • Ryan Budget Will Be GOP Blueprint - Commentary

Peggy Noonan's verdict onthe "devious and dishonest" looking Obama

Noonan Peggy"We were in crisis in 2009—we still are—and instead of doing something strong and pertinent about our economic woes, the president wasted history's time. He wasted time that was precious—the debt clock is still ticking!" - Peggy Noonan in the Wall Street Journal

ObamaCare/ Supreme Court updates

  • "The attack on ObamaCare was that Congress does not have the power under the Commerce Clause to force a private citizen into a private contractual relationship. If such a thing is permitted to stand, the anti-ObamaCare forces argue, there will be no limit to Congress’s power in the future." - John Podhoretz for the New York Post
  • "If one of the most unpopular aspects of the legislation gets tossed out and many of the more popular provisions remain intact, it might suddenly become much easier for the president to score points by talking about" - Ross Douthat
  • "The defeat of ObamaCare would also free up Romney from the burden of trying to prove why his bill was not the spiritual father of Obama’s. That would help him with the GOP base as well as give him space to concentrate on his economic expertise and to flay the president’s record on employment." - Jonathan Tobin for Commentary
  • Most experts think it'll be a GOP win if Court strikes down ObamaCare - Hotline

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Nate Silver: Supreme Court May Be Most Conservative in Modern History

Romney's labeling of Russia as America's "No. 1 geopolitical foe" has drawn attention to his hawkishness on several foreign policy fronts - Wall Street Journal

"Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney is preparing to broaden his challenge to President Obama’s management of foreign affairs, sensing political vulnerability in an area in which the incumbent has received his strongest public support" - Washington Post

Paul Ryan expected to endorse Mitt Romney imminently - Daily Caller

The importance of Rubio's endorsement

Rubio lecturn"The Florida Republican is the last in a line of prominent Republicans to get behind Romney in recent weeks, including Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and kind words from South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint. But Rubio — a prominent Latino lawmaker with roots in the tea-party movement — offers Romney cover with conservatives who have been hesitant to support him." - Politico

More Romney in brief

  • "The elder George Bush formally endorsed Mitt Romney on Thursday, calling him “an old friend” and saying he would “make a great president” - New York Times | Romney campaign blog
  • Sporting lavendar socks H W endorses Romney - MSNBC
  • Romney supporters yearning for the personal side - New York Times
  • Romney well ahead in Maryland - Weekly Standard
  • "As far as the Republican presidential nomination contest this year: Yes, it’s basically over, and has been for a while. Pretending that it’s not is just a disservice to anyone trying to understand what’s going on" - Jonathan Bernstein for the Washington Post
  • News of a Romney-Gingrich Meeting, but No Deal - WSJ
  • Romney is only slightly more popular than war in Afghanistan - Andrew Sullivan

Robert Costa goes on the campaign trail with Gingrich: " “I haven’t done a very good job as a candidate because it is so difficult to communicate big solutions in this country,” he said wistfully near the end of his talk. “The entrenched structure of the system is so hostile to it.” The students nodded; some clapped. Gingrich didn’t pause. He didn’t smile. He wasn’t looking for a cheer. For what it’s worth, he was trying to make a point." - NRO

  • Gingrich's low key Wisconsin launch - MSNBC

Republicans declare peace on gay rights issues

Gaywedding"What was once a front-and-center issue for rank-and-file Republicans — the subject of many hotly worded House and Senate floor speeches — is virtually a dead issue, as Republicans in Congress don’t care to have gay marriage litigated in the Capitol... It’s not like the GOP has become a bastion of progressiveness on gay rights, but there has been an evolution in the political approach — and an acknowledgment of a cultural shift in the country. Same-sex relationships are more prominent and accepted. There are more gay public figures — including politicians — and it’s likely that many Washington Republicans have gay friends and coworkers. Just as important — there’s also a libertarian streak of acceptance on people’s sexuality coursing through the House Republican Conference." - Politico

"Can center-right moderates find a home in the G.O.P., even in coastal California? As the two parties become more insular, is it possible to mount an independent alternative?" - David Brooks in the New York Times

Jimmy Carter: Jesus Christ would never have approved of abortions

Fox reports the former President's words: "I’ve signed a public letter calling for the Democratic Party at the next convention to espouse my position on abortion which is to minimize the need, requirement for abortion and limit it only to women whose life are in danger or who are pregnant as a result of rape or incest. I think if the Democratic Party would adopt that policy that would be acceptable to a lot of people who are now estranged from our party because of the abortion issue."

The Senate approved dozens of President Obama's nominees as leaders sought to temper the brinkmanship that had developed after the president made a recess appointment earlier this year over GOP objections - LA Times



Mar 29, 2012 6:15:26 AM

Newslinks for Thursday March 29: Rubio and Bush Snr both endorse the "inevitable" Romney

Marco Rubio Endorses Mitt Romney - WSJ


“I have zero doubt in my mind of two things: No. 1, that Mitt Romney will govern as a conservative, and No. 2, that he will be head and shoulders better than the guy who’s in the White House now” - Rubio quoted by the Washington Post

...AND George H.W. Bush will officially endorse Romney

"Both the former first lady, Barbara Bush, and one of the president’s sons, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, have already thrown their support behind Mr. Romney. The elder Mr. Bush’s endorsement is sure to offer a boost to Mr. Romney’s argument that he is the inevitable Republican nominee. His campaign has dwarfed rival Rick Santorum‘s in the delegate fight and the latest polls show Mr. Romney well positioned as the race moves to Wisconsin." - WSJ | Fox

Polls show Romney on track for win in Wisconsin - Nate Silver

Romney tells 'humorous' story about his dad closing a Michigan auto factory - The Hill

Santorum tones down anti-Romney rhetoric

Santorum Green"Rick Santorum has eased up on using phrases like “worst Republican in the country” when tearing into Mitt Romney. And he is no longer saying that a vote for Mr. Romney would be basically the same thing as a vote for President Obama" - New York Times

  • He can't win himself - Santorum's simple aim is now stopping Romney getting majority of GOP delegates - Washington Examiner
  • Santorum has begun bragging about his sporting skills in an effort to connect with Midwestern voters - WSJ

Obama has widened his lead over Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum to double digits in a new national poll by CNN - USA Today

Gingrich carries on but only to promote his message not his presidential ambitions - Politico

Paul Ryan budget plan poised to pass House, giving GOP needed boost - The Hill

  • Romney's support for Ryan Budget has Democrats crying foul - NPR

House crushes bipartisan budget proposal - Politico | The Hill

"In a major disappointment to those hoping Congress will strike a grand bargain to cut deficits through spending cuts and tax revenues, a budget proposal designed around those principles was supported by only 38 House members Wednesday night" - Washington Post

National Republicans will be touting 16 Democratic-held seats it believes are in play as a result of the redistricting process - Hotline

Three GOP Senators attack Obama's lies on energy - PowerLine

  • Obama’s campaign push for biofuels evokes Carter’s 1980 State of Union address - Daily Caller

"The mess that is ObamaCare is not going away. The president's handling of it will deeply affect his re-election chances" - Karl Rove in the Wall Street Journal

"Mitt Romney’s job in a post-Obamacare world is to show voters what his alternative would be. In a recent op-ed in USA Today, he begins to set this out: tax benefits for individuals purchasing insurance outside their workplace; more competition and consumer choice for insurance plans; medical-malpractice reform; interstate insurance options; and state-determined insurance protection for those with preexisting illnesses. All this is a good start. Rather than a government-run health-care reform, Romney is pushing a market-run reform, which has long been a Republican idea." - Larry Kudlow for NRO

Romney keeps low public profile amid health care hearings - MSNBC

The conservative Supreme Court?

Pete Wehner on Commentary: "Listening to the oral arguments on the Supreme Court during the last three days is a reminder of why it is, in many respects, the intellectual crown jewel for conservatives, and why it’s vital that those appointed to the high court aren’t simply reliable votes but are capable of making compelling arguments."

  • The Long-Awaited Coming of a Conservative Court? - Maggie Gallagher for RCP
  • After three days of testimony, one thing is clear: No one really knows how the Court is going to decide - Ben Jacobs for the Daily Beast
  • White House says it has no contingency plan on health law - NPR

Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., was escorted off the U.S. House floor today for wearing a hoodie as he protested the shooting of Trayvon Martin


- USA Today

American Spectator: "I usually stick to commenting on events abroad, but I was shocked to see Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) address his fellow members clad in a "hoodie" in an unvarnished cry for media attention, capitalizing on the death of Trayvon Martin. He was dismissed from the floor, but not before donning his sunglasses."

McCain on Meet The PressRussia and Foreign policy in brief...

  • McCain disagrees with Boehner’s suggestion that it’s inappropriate to criticize President Barack Obama when he’s traveling overseas - Politico
  • If Romney wants to a) bash the Russians b) bash Obama and c) talk tough about counter-terrorism, he should learn up on this issue - Michael Crowley for TIME
  • "Two decades after the end of the cold war, Mitt Romney still considers Russia to be America’s “No. 1 geopolitical foe.” His comments display either a shocking lack of knowledge about international affairs or just craven politics. Either way, they are reckless and unworthy of a major presidential contender." - New York Times editorial
  • White House declares Al Qaeda 'No. 1 geopolitical foe' - LA Times

SEVEN sons of former Congressmen are running for office this cycle - Roll Call



Mar 28, 2012 7:16:21 AM

Newslinks for Wednesday March 28: Speculation that ObamaCare will be declared unconstitutional

If the unpopular parts of ObamaCare are declared unconstitutional it might help Obama win re-election - Ross Douthat

Carville JamesJames Carville agrees - HotAir

But The Daily Mail's Toby Harnden does not: "The most fundamental problem for the President is that if the heart of Obamacare is ruled unconstitutional then he will be left empty-handed after spending two years and virtually all his political capital on jamming through the bill without a single Republican vote."

  • Health care law endures tough questioning from swing justice at Supreme Court showdown - Fox
  • "The Obama administration’s health insurance mandate faced severe skepticism Tuesday from conservatives on the Supreme Court during a pivotal morning of oral arguments on the landmark legislation. Justice Anthony Kennedy, the court’s most consistent swing vote, repeatedly voiced doubts about the mandate’s constitutionality, suggesting he could side with the court’s four staunch conservatives to overturn President Obama’s healthcare law." - The Hill
  • 10 moments from the Supreme Court debate on healthcare - LA Times
  • Obamacare mandate opponents shouldn't uncork the Supreme Court champagne yet - Avik Roy for Forbes
  • Justice Roberts shines - David Frum

68% disapprove and 24% approve of how Obama is responding to gas price increases - Fox | Washington Examiner

Why Obama's open mic slip could seriously hurt his reelection hopes

Rove Karl 2"By telling Mr. Medvedev and his patron, the once-and-future Russian President Vladimir Putin, that he will have “flexibility” after the American election on Russian demands opposing a US missile defense for Europe, Mr. Obama is in effect saying he is ready to do something the Russians will like but that the American people won’t." - Karl Rove for Fox News

  • "Republicans said Obama's comments suggest that he might be willing to abandon the missile-defense system" - USA Today
  • Parsing President Obama's private chat with Dmitry Medvedev - Wall Street Journal editorial
  • Meanwhile... "Mitt Romney is getting some heat from Dmitry Medvedev and House Speaker John Boehner for calling Russia the "No. 1 geopolitical foe" of the United States" - USA Today

Newt Gingrich is cutting back his campaign schedule and will lay off about a third of his cash-strapped campaign’s full-time staff - Politico

Gingrich Ad Image"In the delegate count, Gingrich trails badly, and he has gained few delegates in the most recent contests because of such a poor showing. His scaled-back primary schedule comes as Rick Santorum tries to close a yawning delegate gap with Romney and narrow the race to a two-man contest, even as the former Massachusetts governor racks up endorsements and seems to be on his way to becoming the nominee." - Washington Post

  • Santorum still not calling for Gingrich to leave race - MSNBC

6 in 10 Republicans would like Gingrich and Paul to abandon their White House bids - USA Today

  • Why didn't the passion for Ron Paul translate into more votes? - New York Times

More latest polling:

  • Half of all Americans now express unfavorable views of Mitt Romney, a new high for the GOP presidential hopeful in Washington Post-ABC News polling.
  • Romney leading Santorum 39% to 31% in Wisconsin - Wall Street Journal
  • Romney has also caught up with Santorum in Pennsylvania - PittsburghLive

Romney's one word descriptions of possible running mates...

  • ""Indomitable," he said when Mr. Leno mentioned New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
  • "The American dream," he said to Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.
  • "Creative," to Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan.
  • When the host said, "Donald Trump," Mr. Romney said "Huge," using the real estate magnate's own catchword.
  • But when Mr. Leno said, "Rick Santorum," the former governor shot back: "Press secretary," drawing some chuckles from the crowd."

Collected by The Washington Times.

A Role For Santorum? Romney Says ‘Press Secretary’ - Wall Street Journal

Criteria for picking a VP candidate

"The first rule of picking a vice president is that he or she should do no harm — a criterion that may have increased in importance since John McCain picked Ms. Palin in 2008. There are four ways that a vice-presidential nominee could potentially hurt the ticket: by being unready, undisciplined, unvetted or unpopular. Governors are probably worse than senators by a couple of these measures." - Nate Silver

Palin Sarah blackSarah Palin approves of Santorum's profanity against "liberal-leftist, in-the-tank for Obama press character" - Commentary

Republicans are moving early to staff campaign efforts in swing states, fearing the prolonged GOP nomination battle is ceding too much time for Obama re-election forces to rally voters - Wall Street Journal

Rasmussen’s polls have Republicans leading Democrats for eight Senate seats now held by Democrats - Dick Morris for The Hill

Marco Rubio backs his state’s Stand Your Ground policy — the controversial law now at the heart of the Trayvon Martin case - Politico

Congress gave final approval to a popular, but controversial, bill that aims to make it easier for small businesses to access investment capital - LA Times

Walker scott 2Scott Walker has small leads in Wisconsin recall election over potential Democrat challengers - Hotline

"Now is the time for all good tea partiers to come to the aid of Wisconsin. Fiscally conservative leaders in the Badger State are under coordinated siege from Big Labor, the White House, the liberal media, and the judiciary" - Michelle Malkin for NRO

Obama's HUGE defense cuts

"President Obama’s budget cuts defense by $487 billion over the next ten years. Furthermore, the president has not led an effort to avoid an additional $500 billion of cuts under the so-called “sequestration,” which will likely result in what Obama’s secretary of defense predicts will be “smallest ground force since 1940, the smallest number of ships since 1915, and the smallest Air Force in its history.” - The Weekly Standard

38% of Americans believe there is “too much expression of religious faith and prayer from political leaders”

Gerson"Candidates such as Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry have practiced a kind of identity politics, urging evangelicals to support one of their own. Then they reduced the evangelical tradition to a pathetic caricature, defined by support for school prayer or (in Bachmann’s case) conspiratorial opposition to vaccines. Their view of Christian social ethics is strangely identical to the most uncompromising anti-government ideology — involving the systematic subordination of a rich tradition of social justice to a narrow and predictable political agenda. It is difficult to imagine Bachmann or Perry in the same political universe as evangelical abolitionists and social reformers William Wilberforce and Lord Shaftesbury." - Mike Gerson in the Washington Post

"Politicians say they "create jobs." In fact, only the private sector generates the information needed to create real, productive jobs." - John Stossel for RCP 



Mar 27, 2012 7:00:04 AM

Newslinks for Tuesday March 27: Rick Santorum takes his campaign to the Supreme Court to protest Obamacare

Rick Santorum takes his campaign to the Supreme Court to protest Obamacare

Screen shot 2012-01-02 at 12.06.00

"Framing the legal challenge to the 2010 health care law as a question of "basic liberty in our society," Santorum said Romney lacks credibility in opposing health care reform because he implemented a similar system in Massachusetts when he was governor. "There is one candidate in this race who can actually make the contrast that is necessary between the Republican position -- the conservative position ... and one that (President) Barack Obama believes in -- and that's Rick Santorum," the former Pennsylvania senator told reporters." - CNN

Most Americans don't want the Supreme Court to completely overturn Obamacare - CNN

  • Universal coverage is a worthy goal. Decentralized competition is the way to make it affordable - David Brooks

Supreme Court signals it won't punt on ObamaCare decision

Supreme_court_building"One thing was clear out of the Supreme Court's opening session Monday on the federal health care overhaul -- the justices are eager to issue a ruling, and unlikely to punt. The anticipation over how the court might rule on the merits of the law will have to wait another day, as the justices revealed very little about their views during opening arguments. What came out of the day's 90-minute session -- the first of three days covering four unique challenges -- is that the justices are poised to decide this year on the constitutional validity of the controversial law." - Fox News

  • Why the Supreme Court should rule on Obamacare - Washington Examiner
  • Howard Dean predicts Supreme Court will declare individual mandate unconstitutional - Daily Caller

Romney slams Obama for open mic comments

Romney on Fox"Mitt Romney slammed President Obama's comments about having "flexibility" after the general election, saying the remarks captured on an open microphone represent "an alarming and troubling development." ... Romney, campaigning today in California, said Obama's words to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that he would be freer to deal with missile defense after the November election are "revealing."" - USA Today

  • Romney: Obama's exchange with Medvedev a 'troubling development' - LA Times
  • Republicans call on Obama to clarify comment on missile defense 'flexibility' - Fox News
  • Obama clarifies hot mic comment made to Russian president - LA Times

Despite delegate math, Santorum and Gingrich remain steadfast


"“There is no obligation to concede it to him,” Gingrich said. “If he can win it, more power to him.  If he doesn't win it, then June, July and August become very interesting months." ... Rick Santorum, speaking on the same program, said that while he disagrees with the delegate math that suggests that he has no path to the nomination, the “likelihood” is that no candidate will accumulate enough delegates by the time the voting contests conclude. “This race is going to -- is in all likelihood going to go to the convention,” he said." - LA Times

  • "Lindsey Graham (R) on Sunday criticized Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich for suggesting the U.S. might need to accelerate its withdrawal from Afghanistan and said his fellow GOP contenders should listen to the advice of military brass on the war" - The Hill

Santorum: 'Of course' I'd consider being Romney's running mate

""Of course," Santorum said, when asking whether he'd consider being Romney's running mate." This is the most important race in our country's history. I'm going to do everything I can," he said. "We know their future and all of our children's future is at stake in this election, and I don't want to be the guy who has to sit with my granddaughter 20 years from now and tell stories about an America where people once were free. I don't want to have that conversation."" - Fox News

Romney's lead hasn't convinced many of GOP's unpledged delegates

Screen shot 2011-08-27 at 16.01.13"According to a CNN survey of the unpledged RNC delegates, only 39 of them have chosen to endorse any candidate. Thirty-four are for Romney, three for Gingrich and two for Rick Santorum. No unpledged delegates have endorsed Ron Paul." - CNN

  • "Mitt Romney will be rounding up donors in the traditionally Democratic strongholds of Hollywood and Silicon Valley this week, in an attempt to maintain his fundraising momentum and lay the groundwork for the delegate-rich California primary in June" - FT

Candidates will use this week for fundraising

Screen shot 2011-08-22 at 10.37.50"With no primaries until early April, candidates are using this off week to solicit funds and solidify support. Mitt Romney will attend several fundraisers in the Los Angeles area Tuesday, and also appear on the "Tonight Show with Jay Leno."" - CNN

"In a sign that his campaign is in need of fresh funds, Newt Gingrich on Monday began charging $50 to have a photograph taken with him following a campaign speech to Republican groups here in the northernmost part of the state." - National Journal

Romney wins support of tea party favorite Sen. Mike Lee - Daily Caller

Senate GOP allows bill repealing tax breaks for oil, with a catch

Screen shot 2011-09-24 at 5.36.55 PM"In an unusual but calculated political move, Senate Republicans declined to block a Democratic bill that would repeal tax breaks for oil companies --  choosing instead to launch a floor debate on the legislation as a way to showcase the Keystone XL pipeline and other GOP proposals aimed at curbing sky-high gas prices." - LA Times

Highway bill: House GOP delays vote

"House Republican plans to pass a three-month extension of the surface transportation law fell apart Monday as it became clear that the leadership didn't have the votes to move the bill... Likely leadership will regroup and instead use a rule to bring the bill to the floor, which requires a simple majority to pass." - Politico

Democrat Mayor of Boston, Tom Menino, refuses to endorse Elizabeth Warren for Senate against Republican Scott Brown

“I’m not with anybody at this time. I’m not involved in the campaign. I’ve got a lot of things I’m trying to do in the City of Boston, honestly. I haven’t even focused on the election.” - CBS Boston

Jonah Goldberg: The comfortable way is to blame Trayvon Martin's death on 'the system,' and 'the system' is a white thing - LA Times



Mar 26, 2012 6:50:58 AM

Newslinks for Monday March 26: Romney hits 40% for first time

Video: Santorum ad predicts horror movie future for America if Obama is re-elected


Romney 470

"Romney has a 14-point national lead over Rick Santorum and is approaching the halfway mark in delegates needed to secure the nomination. Before this week, Romney's high point in support was 38%. He first reached that mark Feb. 29-March 4 after winning the Arizona and Michigan primaries." - USA Today

Jim DeMint's endorsement of Romney will be more significant than Jeb Bush's among conservatives - WSJ

  • Pat Toomey, long-time rival of Santorum, endorses Romney's conservative credentials - Commentary

Santorum makes increasingly strident attacks on Romney

Santorum & Romney

"Rick Santorum said Sunday that Mitt Romney is the “worst Republican in the country to put up against Barack Obama” because of his stance on health care, some of the strongest language he has used against the GOP front-runner. “Pick any other Republican in the country,” Mr. Santorum said. “He is the worst Republican in the country to put up against Barack Obama. Why would Wisconsin want to vote for someone like that?”" - WSJ

"In Green Bay Saturday night, even as he thanked the voters of Louisiana, he took another shot at Romney on the issue of conservatism, noting that in Romney's damage-control remarks during the Etch-A-Sketch flap, Romney said, "I'm running as a conservative Republican."  Romney's words were revealing, Santorum suggested.  "I'm not running as a conservative candidate for president," Santorum said.  "I am the conservative candidate for president."  And with another win, whatever the steep hill of improbability, Santorum intends to keep at it." - Washington Examiner

Santorum, boosted by victory in Louisiana, shifts focus to Wisconsin - RCP

  • Rick Santorum’s 22-point margin of victory in Louisiana was the 2nd-largest in any GOP primary this year - Weekly Standard | Economist
  • His victory proves again that Romney has limited appeal in the South - Howard Kurtz for the Daily Beast

Gingrich NewtGingrich aimed to win nomionation... then to stop Romney winning nomination... now it's just to influence debate - New York Times

  • White House hits back at Newt Gingrich over claims US president was playing politics with death of teenager, Trayvon Martin - Guardian
  • "Lindsey Graham (R) on Sunday criticized Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich for suggesting the U.S. might need to accelerate its withdrawal from Afghanistan and said his fellow GOP contenders should listen to the advice of military brass on the war" - The Hill

Romney raising most money in GOP race

"Romney pulled in $12 million last month, bringing his total receipts to $74.7 million, and he has $7.3 million in cash on hand. He also rounded up 2,479 new donors in the $2,500 category. By contrast, ex-Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum has collected $15.5 million since the beginning of the campaign and has $1.6 million in cash on hand, while former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) pulled in $20.8 million and is $500,000 in debt." - Roll Call

  • "Mitt Romney will be rounding up donors in the traditionally Democratic strongholds of Hollywood and Silicon Valley this week, in an attempt to maintain his fundraising momentum and lay the groundwork for the delegate-rich California primary in June" - FT

GOP race in brief

  • Santorum says "bullsh*t" to reporters - Fox
  • GOP candidates chase the votes of unaligned delegates - WSJ
  • Rivals use Obamacare anniversary to ding Romney - The Daily Caller

Paul Ryan says he’d ‘consider’ a vice presidential candidacy - Washington Post | USA Today

Boehner John Blue ShirtHouse Republican leaders prepare three themed strategy

"House Republican leaders will unveil a broad election year platform this week designed to pull off a political trifecta:

  • to highlight their differences with President Barack Obama,
  • give rank-and-file lawmakers a package of popular conservative proposals to run on
  • and avoid being tagged as do-nothing obstructionists.

In private meetings set to begin on Tuesday with restless Republican lawmakers, leaders will outline a “strategic plan” to take the House GOP through Election Day, with items ranging from rewriting the corporate and individual Tax Code to overhauling federal regulations to changing U.S. energy policy." - Politico

And some hope for the GOP... History shows, writes Michael Medved, that whenever once-elected presidents seek a second chance, more often than not the people say no - Daily Beast

College graduates continue their exodus from GOP

"College graduates composed 28% of the electorate in 1980, 44% of the electorate in 2008, and are projected to compose a majority of American voters by 2016. Yet the Republican Party's well-credentialed candidates are increasingly pandering to the uneducated, forgetting that their own success, and that of all Americans, starts with a good education." - David Frum

California already has the fourth highest income tax in the nation but Governor Jerry Brown wants it to be higher still - WSJ leader

CHENEY DICKCheney doing ‘exceedingly well’ after heart transplant

"The transplantation is the latest chapter in the semi-public chronicling of Cheney’s life with coronary heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States for more than half a century. Much of his story — he had his first heart attack in 1978 at the age of 37 — has traced the leading edge of cardiac care." - Washington Post

Looking back on Supreme Court interventions in election years - CNN

Young thinkers see culture wars fading; seek new ways to do Jesus' work - Tom Krattenmaker for USA Today



Mar 23, 2012 8:00:11 AM

Newslinks for Friday March 23: Santorum implies he'd prefer a second Obama term to a Romney presidency

Today marks Obamacare's second anniversary

OBAMA BLUE TIE"The second birthday of President Obama’s landmark legislative achievement, coming just three days before the Supreme Court begins oral arguments on its constitutionality, falls amid serious questions over whether it will have a third. A ruling against the law this summer—a final decision from the court is expected in June—could dismantle Obama’s signature policy triumph. Either way the court comes down, it will have a major effect on the tenor of this fall’s presidential campaign, in which Obama will seek a second term." - The Hill

  • Why I'd repeal ObamaCare - Mitt Romney for USA Today
  • "Rarely has one law so exemplified the worst of the Leviathan state — grotesque cost, questionable constitutionality and arbitrary bureaucratic coerciveness. Little wonder the president barely mentioned it in his latest State of the Union address. He wants to be reelected. He’d rather talk about other things. But there’s no escaping it now. Oral arguments begin Monday at 10 a.m." - Charles Krauthammer
  • 5 things Dems got wrong on health care - Politico

Rick Santorum implies he'd prefer a second Obama term to a Romney presidency

Romney Santorum

""You win by giving people a choice," Santorum said during a campaign stop in Texas. "You win by giving people the opportunity to see a different vision for our country, not someone who's just going to be a little different than the person in there." Santorum added: "If they're going to be a little different, we might as well stay with what we have instead of taking a risk of what may be the Etch A Sketch candidate for the future."" - Fox News

Jim DeMint all-but-endorses Romney and advises other candidates to leave the race

Screen shot 2011-07-20 at 17.11.05""We all need to look at this presidential primary and encourage the candidates to do a little self-reflection here on what's good for our country," the influential South Carolina conservative told reporters in the Capitol after attending a group meeting with Romney. "The sooner we can make a decision, the sooner we can focus on the real problem, which is Obama."" - Politico

  • Mitt meets with Hill GOP - Politico
  • "Asked if he was making a diplomatic case for former Sen. Rick Santorum and former Speaker Newt Gingrich to drop out, DeMint said "You can take from that what you will." "There's no need to drag this to a convention if it's pretty clear who our nominee is," DeMint said... "I am very impressed by Romney and I always have been," DeMint said. "There's a lot to like there."" - Politico
  • Peggy Noonan ($): Romney is not emotionally sophisticated

But Santorum says he is holding on until Texas

Screen shot 2011-09-24 at 7.53.14 AM"Despite running second in the race for Republican delegates, Rick Santorum is not out of the race. He’ll be fighting on, and told roughly 1,000 USAA employees that Texas would be crucial to his eventual nomination. The state’s primary is set for May 29 because of legal disputes over election maps. “This race will not be over when Texas comes around,” he said to a packed hall. “You’ll have the opportunity here, in the state of Texas, to speak very loudly about what kind of leader you want in this country.”" - Houston Chronicle

Santorum's disorganization means he can't win as many Pennsylvania delegates as he should be able to - The Morning Call

Santorum set for a big win in Louisiana


"We find him with 42% to 28% for Mitt Romney, 18% for Newt Gingrich, 8% for Ron Paul, and 2% for Buddy Roemer. It's interesting to look at these numbers in the context of last week's results in Alabama and Mississippi. Mitt Romney averaged 30% in those two contests, and that's about where he is here... Santorum and Newt Gingrich combined for 64% in those two contests, and they combine for a relatively similar 60% here. The big difference though is that conservative voters appears to be abandoning Gingrich for Santorum now" - Public Policy Polling

Campaign grind takes its toll on the candidates

"Mitt Romney, who scaled back his public schedule this week to get a break, has slept in his own bed just twice since Christmas. Rick Santorum's been making the kind of flubs that come with exhaustion. Newt Gingrich got caught sleeping on camera a few weeks back, and looked like he just might topple over. And then there's 76-year-old Ron Paul, last in the delegate hunt. The oldest candidate in the race, Paul is running a campaign that's a study in Ever. So. Slow. Pacing." - AP

Newt begins paying off debts - Politico

  • Herman Cain: Newt shouldn’t listen to those calling for him to drop out - Daily Caller

RNC begins 2012 ground game - even as primaries are ongoing

Screen shot 2011-08-27 at 16.01.13"In the 2008 presidential race, the Republican National Committee didn't begin its general election ramp-up in earnest until after John McCain was the de facto nominee. The RNC was ready to go, but the McCain campaign held off. As a result, they were never able to catch up effectively.. .This time, they're not waiting. Even with the GOP presidential primary still going - no matter how stark the math is - the RNC is moving to ramp up its ground game in key battleground states" - Politico

Ryan Plan gets Romney's backing

Screen shot 2011-05-27 at 5.11.24 AM"Mitt Romney conferred with GOP lawmakers on Capitol Hill on Thursday, including Representative Paul Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman. In an interview with National Review Online, Romney praised Ryan’s budget, and hinted that if he wins the nomination, he will work closely with the Wisconsin legislator to craft a unified fiscal agenda with congressional Republicans." - NRO

  • Paul Ryan budget goes there again - Politico

Obama headed for defeat in Keystone fight - Byron York

Joe Biden is laying the groundwork for 2016 run

Screen shot 2011-02-24 at 10.00.26"For the past couple of years, Vice President Joe Biden has quietly assembled an A-team of advisers who would, without doubt, be considered the nucleus of a presidential campaign — if only he wouldn’t be 73 in 2016. Biden’s age would snuff the last embers of a presidential ambition that led him to a pair of crushing defeats in 1988 and 2008... But the old fire crackles yet." - Politico

America is inching towards energy independence

"Taken together, the increasing production and declining consumption have unexpectedly brought the United States markedly closer to a goal that has tantalized presidents since Richard Nixon: independence from foreign energy sources... In 2011, the country imported just 45 percent of the liquid fuels it used, down from a record high of 60 percent in 2005." - New York Times

Al-Qaeda was saddened by Keith Olbermann’s MSNBC firing

"“As I wrote last week, Gadahn hated Fox News,” Ignatius writes. “[H]e liked MSNBC but complained about the firing of Keith Olbermann; he had mixed feelings about CNN (better in Arabic than in English) and made flattering comments about CBS and ABC. Basically, he wanted to play them all off to al-Qaeda’s best advantage.”" - Daily Caller


Mar 22, 2012 8:01:31 AM

Newslinks for Thursday March 22: Romney's Jeb Bush endorsement ruined by campaign aide gaffe

Jeb Bush endorses Romney and calls for an end to the primaries...

Bush Jeb 470

"Mr. Bush is the latest influential Republican leader to urge the party to rally behind Mr. Romney. Several other leading voices in the party are expected to follow suit in the coming days, aides to Mr. Romney said, in an effort to build a movement to gently urge the three remaining candidates to not block Mr. Romney’s path to the nomination. “Now is the time for Republicans to unite behind Governor Romney and take our message of fiscal conservatism and job creation to all voters this fall,” Mr. Bush said in a statement announcing his endorsement." - New York Times

  • Bob Dole: Almost time for Santorum to 'face reality' - USA Today

...but a Romney aide manages to ruin the candidate's good day by suggesting Romney won't campaign as a conservative in November

ROMNEY MITT"Eric Fehrnstrom, Romney's senior campaign adviser, was asked in a CNN interview Wednesday morning whether the former Massachusetts governor had been forced to adopt conservative positions in the rugged race that could hurt his standing with moderates in November's general election. "I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign. Everything changes," Fehrnstrom responded. "It's almost like an Etch A Sketch. You can kind of shake it up, and we start all over again."" - CNN

  • Romney offers some clarification: "“The issues I’m running on will be exactly the same,” Mr. Romney said in a one-question news conference with reporters after a campaign stop here. “I’m running as a conservative Republican, I was a conservative Republican governor, I’ll be running as a conservative Republican nominee…The policies and positions are the same.”" - WSJ

Santorum and Gingrich seize on the remark

GingrichSantorum"Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum shared a mind meld Wednesday when they pulled out toy Etch A Sketches minutes apart from each other at campaign stops located on opposite sides of Louisiana. The toy props were used to mock Mitt Romney for comments made by his top spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom" - Fox News

  • Santorum said: "“You’re not looking for someone who is the Etch A Sketch candidate,” he told an audience here, at an event organized by the North Shore Tea Party. He said voters need a candidate “who writes what they believe in stone and stays true to what they say.”" - WSJ

Romney: It was Bush, not Obama, who averted second Depression - LA Times

Larry Sabato: Romney's Illinois win confirmed the inevitable

"Romney can’t ignore the remaining contests, and he has to perform as expected or better. Yet what truly matters now is how Romney finishes out a tough season and prepares to push the re-set button at his convention. Will he limp or soar into Tampa? Republicans are tired of watching an unscathed Obama while GOP fratricide grabs the headlines, but that part of the process may be coming to a close." - Larry Sabato

After Illinois win, Tea Party group FreedomWorks drops its opposition to Romney's candidacy

 "FreedomWorks, a tea party organization led by former congressman Richard K. Armey (Tex.), appears to be softening its opposition to Romney’s presidential bid. The group’s vice president, Russ Walker, told the Washington Times that “the numbers favor Mitt Romney.” FreedomWorks will no longer oppose Romney’s candidacy, he said." - Washington Post

Why Louisiana could stop Romney’s Southern slide


  • "Louisiana is the least evangelical and most Catholic Southern state to vote so far. And both of those are good for Romney."
  • "While Gingrich was a non-factor in the Illinois primary on Tuesday, he retains some goodwill in the South."
  • Romney has momentum after his Illinois win
  • "Louisiana is the least rural Southern state to vote so far."
  • "Romney won the majority of counties in western Mississippi, just off the north and central Louisiana border. If he can come close to that on Saturday, he will probably have won his first Southern state."
  • From the Washington Post

The eight races that will decide the Senate

  • Screen shot 2011-08-27 at 16.01.13Montana (Leans R)
  • Massachusetts (Leans R)
  • Missouri (Toss-up)
  • Nevada (Toss-up, but just leans R)
  • Wisconsin (Toss-up)
  • Virginia (Toss-up)
  • Florida (Toss-up, but just leans D)
  • New Mexico (Leans D)
  • Detailed information on each of the 2012 Senate races from Larry Sabato.

Outrage among House GOP after Manzullo ousted in primary battle - The Hill

"The House Budget Committee approved Chairman Paul Ryan's 2013 budget resolution on Wednesday night by a close vote of 19 to 18." - The Hill

How Paul Ryan sold his budget plan...

Screen shot 2011-05-27 at 5.11.24 AM"The Paul Ryan budget was a political disaster last year for Republicans. This year the GOP had a much more methodical, careful rollout. The party polled on Medicare in 50 battleground districts. It vetted the plan with a dozen conservative groups. It reached out to rank-and-file lawmakers and asked them what they needed to support the sweeping conservative spending plan. Ryan briefed the Republican presidential candidates and won a quick public endorsement of the plan from Mitt Romney." - Politico

...and how Republicans will market the Ryan Plan

"[P]erhaps most important, the GOP learned how to use the right poll-tested words. On the day before the budget rollout, top Republicans gathered in Speaker John Boehner’s smoky Capitol conference room with National Republican Congressional Committee officials and went over key phrases. Call the Medicare reform “bipartisan,” they were told. Frame it as helping to “fix Medicare and keep it from going bankrupt.” Be sure to point out that Americans 55 or older would not be affected. And say it gives seniors the choice of “staying in the current Medicare system or using the new one.”" - Politico

  • Ryan plan triggers budget wars anew - Politico
  • "Under the Ryan budget, private plans would send the government an estimate of the premiums they would charge for insurance coverage that is at least as generous as the standard Medicare benefit package." - Washington Post
  • ObamaCare's costs are soaring - Sen. Ron Johnson in the WSJ

Standoff in Congress threatens highway construction funding

"With less than two weeks before federal money runs out for transportation projects across the country, a partisan showdown is developing between Senate Democrats and House Republicans over passing a new bill. The standoff, based on sharply differing views about the overall expense of the bill and how to pay for it, jeopardizes thousands of road and bridge construction projects." - CNN

Obama tries to reclaim advantage on gas prices, health care

Obama"The White House has launched a concerted effort to turn political weakness into strength on two critical election-year issues that have become big vulnerabilities for President Obama: rising gas prices and the controversial health-care law. At the heart of Obama’s strategy are attempts to dispel Republican claims that his policies have helped drive up the cost of gas, and to improve public opinion of the health-care law, which has been a source of GOP derision for two years."  - Washington Post

  • Obama energy pitch includes renewed effort on Cushing pipeline - LA Times
  • Energy industry accuses Obama of misleading public about extent of untapped oil resources - Fox News
  • Karl Rove reviews Obama's campaign film: "Three dismal years are spun into 17 minutes of fact-challenged campaign film." 

And finally... Rick Santorum's campaign is a boon to the sweater vest industry


"The presidential hopeful’s campaign spent nearly $100,000 in February to buy sweater vests from Bemidji Woolen Mills in Bemidji, Minn., according to campaign finance reports released Tuesday... The vests go to donors who give $100 or more. “Perfect for demonstrating solidarity with true conservatives, this vest is a great way to show your support for Rick,” the campaign website says. “Don’t let sleeves slow you down — donate today!”" - Politico


Mar 21, 2012 7:59:30 AM

Newslinks for Wednesday March 21: Romney wins big in Illinois

VIDEO: Mitt Romney celebrates victory in Illinois by turning fire onto Obama

VIDEO: Viral ad mocks GOP frontrunner's authenticity: Will The Real Mitt Romney Please Stand Up?


Romney victory Illinois

  • "With 99% of precincts reporting, Mr. Romney led with 47% to Mr. Santorum's 35%. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas had 9%, and Newt Gingrich trailed with 8%." - WSJ
  • Latest ABC delegate count: Romney 563, Santorum 263, Gingrich 135, Paul 50
  • "Romney wins by wide margin" - New York Times
  • Romney sounds like GOP nominee in Illinois victory speech - Daily Caller
  • "Mitt Romney’s resounding win in the Illinois primary Tuesday demonstrated his solidifying hold on the GOP’s upscale managerial wing, and deepened the question of whether rival Rick Santorum can appeal to a broad enough segment of Republican voters to truly challenge the front-runner’s lead for the nomination." - National Journal
  • Romney exorcises demographic demons - The Hill
  • Illinois primary win boosts Romney's inevitability case - LA Times

Romney won Tea Partiers and conservatives

"In Mitt Romney's decisive Illinois victory Tuesday, the campaign got some encouraging signs from segments of the GOP that have, in the past, been reluctant to support him. Early exit polls showed him beating Rick Santorum among self-identified conservatives, voters who support the Tea Party, and even people making less than $50,000 per year. But one stubborn Republican faction refused to join the rest on the Romney bandwagon: white Evangelical Christians." - BuzzFeed

Why Santorum lost

Screen shot 2012-01-02 at 12.06.00

"It's been a rough few days for the former Pennsylvania senator. On Tuesday, he was forced to distance himself from an earlier comment suggesting he didn't care about the country's unemployment rate. Over the weekend in Puerto Rico, he had to repeatedly explain his position on whether islanders would have to speak English if they want to become a U.S. state. And he had to answer questions about a fiery pastor who introduced him at a church service in Louisiana while suggesting that America is a Christian nation." - AP

Santorum will need to do well in Wisconsin and home state Pennsylvania to justify staying in the race

"Both Republicans eyeing a sooner-the-better end to the bloody GOP battle and Santorum himself are increasingly looking to the April 24 Pennsylvania contest, with 72 delegates and home state supremacy at stake, as a crucial pivot point. “How does Rick Santorum continue if he were to lose among his home state primary voters?” asked Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.), an unaligned member of the House GOP leadership. “Where’s the momentum coming out of that?”" - Politico

Looking ahead: Louisiana

"Louisiana, which will hold the next Republican primary on Saturday, is a much more balanced picture. According to new data from a Republican who monitors media spending, Mr. Santorum and the Red White and Blue Fund, the pro-Santorum super PAC, have committed nearly a half-million dollars to advertising on broadcast television, cable and radio there." - New York Times

  • "Gingrich and Paul plan to head into Louisiana, which holds its GOP primary Saturday." - CNN

Romney-Ryan?Weekly Standard

Gingrich, Santorum super PACs low on funds - Washington Post

  • Romney to hit road for funds - WSJ

Las Vegas billionaire has provided $16.5 million out of the $18.8m total Newt Gingrich's super PAC has raised

Newt"The Las Vegas mogul and his wife put another $5 million into the super PAC in February, according to Federal Election Commission reports filed Tuesday. His daughter, Shelley Adelson, donated $500,000. Altogether, the Adelson family has given Winning Our Future $16.5 million out of the $18.8 million it has raised." - LA Times

  • "If it wasn’t for Sheldon Adelson and his family, the pro-Newt Gingrich super PAC Winning Our Future would’ve raised a pittance in February. ... Gingrich’s own campaign committee is expected to report Tuesday night that it’s carrying more debt than cash on hand, a dubious sign for a candidate that has virtually no chance at this juncture of securing his party’s presidential nomination." - Politico

Paul: Secret Service protection ‘a form of welfare’ - CNN

NRCC sees big fundraising night with Nikki Haley - CNN

GOP candidates’ wives are less disliked than their husbands - Hot Air

The other Illinois primaries: Eric Cantor's Illinois intervention a success

Screen shot 2011-04-21 at 11.15.12"Branding himself as a new kind of conservative, Adam Kinzinger bested two-decade veteran Don Manzullo in the first Republican member-on-member race of the 2012 cycle. The ugly GOP primary fight drew some strange lines in the sand: On one side were tea-party groups with Manzullo, despite the fact they had rallied around Kinzinger in 2010. And on the other were House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Kinzinger, a freshman and rising Republican star." - Politico

  • Victory a relief for GOP leaders - The Hill
  • And... party favorites win in Illinois 12th, 17th districts - National Journal

Ryan, Obama budgets offer radically different visions of America

  • Screen shot 2011-05-27 at 5.11.24 AM"On spending... the Obama budget increases federal spending every year, for a total of $1.5 trillion over the next decade. Ryan's "Path to Prosperity" decreases federal spending by $3.5 trillion."  - Washington Examiner
  • Ryan plan triggers budget wars anew - Politico
  • "Under the Ryan budget, private plans would send the government an estimate of the premiums they would charge for insurance coverage that is at least as generous as the standard Medicare benefit package." - Washington Post
  • ObamaCare's costs are soaring - Sen. Ron Johnson in the WSJ

GOP primaries are allowing Obama to build a fundraising advantage over Republican candidates

Obama"Mr. Obama's campaign reported $85 million in reserves at the end of February, an increase from $76 million at the end of January, according to February campaign-finance reports filed Tuesday. That is more than six times the amount of money that the entire Republican field had in the bank" -WSJ ($)

Obama debt hole deeper than George W. Bush's in less than half the time

"From the time Bush took office in January 2001 to his departure on Jan. 20, 2009, the debt increased $4.9 trillion -- from $5.73 trillion to $10.63 trillion. The debt now stands at $15.57 trillion, up $4.94 trillion since Obama took office less than four years ago. When Obama was campaigning, he called the debt increase under Bush "irresponsible" and "unpatriotic."" - Fox News

Many of our big problems could be solved by devolving decisions to the lowest level possible - Jonah Goldberg

Administration grants exemptions on Iran sanctions

Screen shot 2011-04-09 at 13.13.45"The United States is offering some breathing room in its seemingly ironclad set of sanctions against Iran, underscoring the difficulty the U.S. and other countries may have in truly freezing out the Iranian regime. The State Department on Tuesday announced exemptions for 11 countries from the newly passed economic sanctions expected to hit Iran's financial and energy sectors." - Fox News

  • Obama plans weekend visit to Korean Demilitarized Zone - Fox News

And finally... Rick Santorum was nicknamed "Rooster" in high school - BuzzFeed


Mar 20, 2012 8:01:51 AM

Newslinks for Tuesday March 20: Paul Ryan unveils "Path to Prosperity" budget

Paul Ryan starts the roll-out for the "Path to Prosperity" budget

Screen shot 2011-07-26 at 21.04.47

"The president's budget gives more power to bureaucrats, takes more from taxpayers to fuel the expansion of government, and commits our nation to a future of debt and decline... Courageous Democrats have joined our efforts. And bipartisan opposition to the path of broken promises is growing. And so Tuesday, House Republicans are introducing a new Path to Prosperity budget that builds on what we've achieved." - Paul Ryan for the WSJ

  • "Democrats are organizing media blitzes, House floor speeches and town halls back home to seize on the changes to Medicare that Republicans are expected to propose Tuesday. To blunt GOP talking points that only Republicans are willing to confront the debt, Democrats intend to unveil their own budget next week calling for a mix of spending cuts and tax hikes on the rich." - Politico
  • "Facing last-minute resistance from members of his own party, House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan will dive headfirst into turbulent water in releasing his fiscal 2013 budget today." - Roll Call

Santorum gaffes in Illinois, says "I don't care what the unemployment rate is gonna be. It doesn't matter to me." - BuzzFeed

Screen shot 2012-01-02 at 12.06.00

"The context? I've heard Santorum make this point in other speeches. Roughly: Mitt Romney can only win if the economy is lousy. I, a full-spectrum conservative, can win in any situation. Juanna Summers, a Politico embed on the Santorum campaign, clipped another line from this speech: "My campaign doesn't hinge on unempoyment rates and growth rates." Santorum's meaning is pretty obvious." - Dave Weigel

  • In Illinois, Santorum's chance of the nomination is slipping away - Nate Silver

...Romney campaign jumps on the error


"With the economy still foremost on voters' minds, Romney on Monday immediately took advantage of Santorum's comments about unemployment. "One of the people who is running also for the Republican nomination today said that he doesn't care about the unemployment rate," Romney told college students in Peoria, Ill. "It does bother me. I want to get people back to work. I am concerned about those how are out of work."" - AP

Santorum's error is part of a wider trend: he's not talking about the economy

"His typical stump speech, an almost hour-long mixture of Orwellian fears of government overreach, history lessons about the French and Middle Eastern revolutions and suggestions that President Barack Obama would rather side with Islamists than Americans, has evolved into a tour de force of building fear in his listeners. Since winning primaries in Alabama and Mississippi, Santorum’s standard remarks have generally excluded an economic plan — the heart and soul of the message his chief GOP rival, Mitt Romney, repeats at event after event, day after day."  - Politico

Santorum's organization woes undermine his claims to have momentum advantage 

Screen shot 2011-08-27 at 16.01.13"The blow here is not to Santorum's hopes of accumulating delegates -- those are already more or less doomed -- so much as it is to his larger emotional argument that people are rallying to his cause. Santorum's campaign is, as his spokesman memorably told National Journal's Naureen Khan, built on "a MacGyver model. We give Rick a hamburger and a road map and he wins Iowa." The idea of a spontaneously joined movement of people swept up in a cause is a powerful one." - Atlantic

Gingrich is running two campaigns: one with a publicly happy face, and one dying slowly

Gingrich Ad Image"There is Newt and Callista’s Excellent Adventure, an upbeat and defiantly unconventional bid that is as much a bon vivant’s American tour as it is a White House run... That cheery, DIY effort masks a different campaign, one that is slowly expiring in all the usual ways of terminal campaigns at the end-stage: cash is running low, supporters are griping about not getting paid and aides are valiantly trying to convince themselves as much as the press that, really, there is a path forward." - Politico

Romney's Secret Service codename: Javelin. Santorum's: Petrus

"It's tempting to associate a candidate's code word with some aspect of their personality. Sometimes this is true and sometimes it is not. "Petrus" is a biblical allusion—as in St. Peter, the first pope. (The Latin name is derived from the Greek word for "rock.") Perhaps "Javelin" is a reference to the '60s muscle car made by American Motors Corporation, the company once run by George Romney." - GQ

Ron Paul and Romney supporters manage to grab Missouri delegates from Santorum

Paul Ron"Supporters of Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Ron Paul have forged an alliance in some of Missouri's local caucuses. Rick Santorum easily won Missouri's non-binding primary last month. But he was shut out from receiving delegates at some of the local caucuses that occurred over the weekend after Romney and Paul supporters combined to advance their own slate of delegates." - AP

  • "In a Republican primary process that has been more convoluted than a pretentious student film, Missouri's rules are uniquely confusing and uniquely prone to exploitation by a well-organized campaign. Paul's operation, designed to maximize caucus-state delegates, has stepped into the void left by Santorum's underwhelming operation." - Daily Beast

Could there be a brokered convention? Yes! - Stephen Hayes in Weekly Standard

Rubio to headline major South Carolina GOP fundraiser - CNN

Majority Leader Cantor intervenes in Illinois congressional primary

Cantor Eric"[T]he contest between Reps. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill, and Don Manzullo, R-Ill., will be a very important test of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's clout - and, even more importantly, his political judgment... Cantor took the unusual step of taking sides in the Republican primary contest endorsing Kinzinger... a super PAC tied to Cantor (YG Action Fund) spent $50,000 worth of radio ads endorsing Kinzinger... The move was designed to promote a young, telegenic congressman whose military background and willingness to be a team player makes him an ideal member, in Cantor's view. But it is looking like it could backfire, big-time." - National Journal

...the backlash begins

"Republican operatives tracking the race said that Manzullo has moved into a narrow five-point lead over the past week, after starting the contest behind. Cantor's endorsement prompted outside conservative groups (FreedomWorks, RedState) to engage in the race on behalf of Manzullo, irked by leadership's bigfooting over a reliably conservative member." - National Journal

"The 10-term congressman said he was “outraged” that Cantor (R-Va.) endorsed freshman Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) in the battle between the two lawmakers, which is growing nastier by the day. “He needs to step down as majority leader,” Manzullo told The Hill on Monday afternoon, referring to Cantor. “Members of our conference don’t trust him, and when you don’t trust someone, you need to replace him.”" - The Hill

Latest war games show Israeli strikes against Iran would end in a Middle Eastern war 


"A classified war simulation held this month to assess the repercussions of an Israeli attack on Iran forecasts that the strike would lead to a wider regional war, which could draw in the United States and leave hundreds of Americans dead, according to American officials. [T]he game has raised fears among top American planners that it may be impossible to preclude American involvement in any escalating confrontation with Iran, the officials said."- New York Times

In vitro babies denied U.S. citizenship - USA Today



Mar 19, 2012 7:57:28 AM

Newslinks for Monday March 19: Romney wins Puerto Rico and comfortably leads Illinois polling

CBO says Obama's budget would add $6.4 trillion to debt

Screen shot 2011-04-13 at 6.16.53 PM"The president's budget would add $6.4 trillion in deficits between 2013 and 2022, the CBO said. Under the so-called alternative fiscal scenario, where Congress simply extends a number of favored policies, cumulative deficits would reach nearly $11 trillion. The president's proposals would bring debt held by the public to 76% of GDP at the end of the period measured, up from 68% last year." - CNN

Romney easily wins Puerto Rico primary


"With about 83% of total ballots accounted for early Monday in Puerto Rico, Romney had garnered more than 98,000 votes -- or 83% of the total... Rick Santorum was a distant second, at 8% with slightly more than 9,500 votes. The other two candidates, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Texas Rep. Ron Paul, were barely registered in the race with 2,431 votes, or 2% of the vote, and 1,452 votes, or 1%, respectively." - CNN

Romney sees PR win as sign of ability to win Latinos

"Mr. Romney, making his pitch to Illinois voters ahead of Tuesday’s primary,  highlighted his his victory Sunday  in Puerto Rico as an indication that the Republican Party can pick up Latino votes... “Those people who don’t think that Latinos will vote for a Republican need to take a look in Puerto Rico,” Mr. Romney said" - WSJ

Screen shot 2011-08-27 at 16.01.13Final PPP Illinois poll: Romney 45%, Santorum 30%, Gingrich 12%, Paul 10% - PPP

Campaigning in Illinois, Romney calls himself an "economic heavyweight"

"Repeatedly referring to himself as "an economic heavyweight," Romney said his rivals – including Obama as well as fellow Republican contender Rick Santorum, a former Pennsylvania senator – just couldn't stack up. "Sen. Santorum has the same economic lightweight background that the president has," Romney said, painting himself as the best candidate to take on Obama. "We've got to get an economic heavyweight to replace the economic lightweight."" - CNN

A look ahead: Santorum is in poll lead in Missouri and Louisiana - Fox News

Catholics are supporting Romney over Santorum

"Catholics in the exit polls tend to look more like the typical Romney Republican. Catholics are less deeply conservative and less likely to back the Tea Party movement. They have more formal education than non-Catholics and higher incomes, with 74 percent reporting annual household incomes over $50,000, compared with 67 percent of non-Catholics. Catholics are also less likely than other Christians to hesitate over Romney's Mormonism." - AP

Doyle McManus: Mitt Romney proves the GOP "Massachusetts rule" - LA Times

If he leaves the race, Gingrich voters are evenly split between Romney and Santorum

Meet Newt 9

"The poll finds 40% of Gingrich supporters name Romney as their second choice, and 39% say the same about Santorum. Ron Paul would pick up about 12% of Gingrich's voters if the former House speaker withdrew." - USA Today

Brokered convention could energize base, boost nominee, say some insiders - The Hill

What next for Ron Paul?

Paul Ron"[A]nalysts say Paul’s interests may stretch beyond 2012. Although he’s leaving Congress this year, he has built a libertarian movement that may soon be led by his son Rand, a freshman senator from Kentucky. “As for transferring the mantle, I think that only works when there’s a quality receiver,” said Cullen. “But Rand seems to be that. And, I think Rand is a better communicator and more politically savvy. Rand has potential to expand on his father’s base.”" - Houston Chronicle

Despite gaining Governors and state legislatures in 2010, Congressional districting is unlikely to make that much difference to Republicans in 2012

"When voters change their minds, redistricters can turn out to be too clever by half. Many districts designed to elect Republicans elected Democrats in 2006 and 2008. Many districts designed to elect Democrats elected Republicans in 2010. The less aggressive redistricting plans adopted this cycle show that even strong partisans have absorbed the lesson that if you create a bunch of 53 percent districts you can lose them when your side's support goes down by 4 or 5 percent." - Michael Barone

Sen. Dick Lugar leads conservative challenger by only 6% - National Journal

Bob Turner readies to take on Gillibrand, Republican Senate challengers - Daily Caller

Voters want the Supreme Court to invalidate at least part of Obamacare

"More than four in 10 — 42 percent — want the high court to throw out the entire law, 25 percent want to do away with the mandate alone and a similar proportion wants the justices to uphold the entire law. Just over half the public thinks the mandate is unconstitutional (51 percent), according to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll released last week." - Washington Post

Administration pushes forward with abortion pill and contraception mandate

Screen shot 2012-02-03 at 09.41.16

"On Friday afternoon, the Obama administration released an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to announce it was proceeding as planned with its new federal mandate that abortion pills, sterilization procedures, and contraception must be provided without co-pays under virtually all health care plans." - Weekly Standard

  • Birth control controversies a fundraising boon for Democrats - Politico

Screen shot 2011-06-26 at 08.42.07SuperPACs level the playing field between challengers and incumbents - New York Times editorial

Obama campaign raises $45m in February - Politico

State governments lack transparency and accountability to citizens, and remain at high risk for corruption, according to a new study of all 50 statehouses - Fox News

And finally... Ron O'Paul

"I went to the St. Patrick's Day Parade in South Boston... This is the tenth time in the past eleven years I have attended the parade... Over those years, I have seen some strange things... Well, I can now add a contigent of Ron Paul supporters to the list. From my vantage point, they were greeted with indifference which pretty much sums up the state of Paul's campaign." - American Spectator



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