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Gut-wrenching social issues return to forefront of Campaign 2012

This was supposed to be an election where America’s struggling economy takes center stage. Then social issues got in the way. Republican strategists know they can’t win on the economy. “We’re weak on economic issues,” a GOP strategist admitted to Capitol Hill Blue this week. “The modest rebounds we’re seeing right now will most likely increase in the coming months and those improvements will help Obama, not Republicans.” But the Obama administration handed the GOP a gift: A return to the gut-wrenching social issues of abortion, contraception and gay marriage.  The administration’s decision to force insurance for birth control on
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CPAC: Just another phony conservative sideshow

God help us. It’s time for CPAC — the Conservative Political Action Conference — the annual gathering of the rabid right wing in the National Capital Region. CPAC this year comes just as conservatives finally have something to celebrate — former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum‘s sweep of the Tuesday caucuses and — in their minds — a victory for those who see regression as a way of life. CPAC is the creation of David Keene, part of a long-line of political opportunists who see rallying the rabid right as a way to make a quick buck. Keene’s American Conservative Union
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Santorum sweep scrambles GOP primary sweepstakes

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum delivered a three-strike punch against former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney‘s claim to the Republican Presidential nomination Tuesday, sweeping caucuses in Minnesota and Colorado and winning a non-binding primary in Missouri. Romney came in second in Colorado and Missouri and fell to third in Minnesota — his lowest finish yet in this fledgling primary season. In wins, Santorum — in one night — became the new GOP frontrunner, capturing four states to date while Romney trails in second with three, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich comes in fourth with one and Texas Congressman Ron
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Is Santorum surging again?

While former Minnesota Gov. Mitt Romney worked to neutralize former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, the other “former” in the race — one time Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum — may be poised to sneak up an grab a victory in at least one of two caucus states on Tuesday. “Santorum is surging again, at least in Minnesota and Colorado,” GOP strategist Sam Goldstein tells Capitol Hill Blue.  “He could pull off a surprise or two.” Indeed. Polls show a close race between Santorum and Paul in the two states while Gingrich and Texas Congressman Ron Paul fade into the
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Halftime in America

Clint Eastwood popped up in a Super Bowl ad at halftime Sunday night — not dispatching bad guys as Dirty Harry or snuffing outlaws in a spaghetti western. Nope, Clint was shilling for Chrysler Corp., talking about jobs, manufacturing and quality — traits some say are lost in this nation. But the ad also spotlighted some other things that are lost in today’s America: Hope, resiliency, belief in ourselves and an ability to bounce back from adversity. Said Clint: This country can’t be knocked out with one punch, we get right back up again and when we do the world
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Romney tops the other GOP losers in Nevada

  As expected, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney won the Nevada caucuses. As expected, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich finished a distant second but vowed to stay in the race until the bitter end. As expected, Texas Congressman Ron Paul finished an even-more-distant third but his small but ardent band of supporters treated it like a victory. And former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum finished dead last and, as usual, no one knows what to expect from him. Turnout in Nevada was dismal at best and some results are not yet reported but Romney leaves the state with the
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Romney appears headed for another victory in Nevada

GOP Presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney goes into the Nevada caucuses Saturday with as much as a 20 percentage point lead in the polls while former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich lags back in second, Texas Congressman Ron Paul is third and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum brings up the rear. Polls put Romney at 45 percent and Gingrich at 25.  The only question appeared to if Paul, who does well in caucus states, can challenge Gingrich for second. “Romney has three things going for him Nevada,” political scientist Charles Moran tells Capitol Hill Blue.  “He has the money, he
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Newt Gingrich’s latest — and most blatant — hypocrisy

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, the Republican bomb thrower who turned dissension into public policy, now says he is “sick and tired” of candidates who deploy divisive tactics. Now Gingrich says he is the candidate to “unite America.” Say what? “I want to be a President for all Americans,” Gingrich said Wednesday. This from the man who turned the U.S. Congress into a political divide larger than the Grand Canyon.  This from the man who — as Speaker — turned Congress into a backbiting snake pit where compromise became a dirty word and coalitions sank into a swamp
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Romney’s clueless remarks about the poor is a major gaffe

GOP Presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney, fresh off victory in the Florida primary, planted his Gucci-clad shoe firmly into his mouth Wednesday with a gaffe that got worse the more he tried to spin. Romney, trying to explain how his campaign is focused on the plight of the American middle class, said he is “not concerned about the very poor” because they’re OK with a  “safety net.”  He didn’t just say it once, but three times. In American politics, one does not say he or she is not concerned about the poor and if you’re a Republican trying to corral all
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Romney takes Florida but the race is far from over

Mitt Romney, as the polls predicted, took the Florida primary by double digits, posting a 14 percent win over South Carolina winner Newt Gingrich: 46 percent to 32. Rick Santorum finished a distant third with 13 percent and Ron Paul brought up the rear with just seven percent. But as Romney celebrated his win, a closer look at the returns showed the former Massachusetts governor still has a long way to go to win the hearts and minds of most Republicans. Gingrich still carried several rural counties in Florida, including the very conservative north.  He lost votes to Santorum and
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