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Romney auditioning candidates for vice president

Mitt Romney’s vice presidential search has entered a new phase: auditions. As his campaign evaluates potential running mates, Republicans with a possible shot at the No. 2 spot on the presidential ticket are starting to engage in unofficial public tryouts for the traditional vice presidential role of attack dog. Democratic President Barack Obama is “the most ill-prepared person to assume the presidency in my lifetime,” New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie declared at a speech in Kentucky this week. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio told South Carolina Republicans that Americans hadn’t seen such a “divisive figure in modern American history” as Obama.
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Senators try new plan to douse partisan fires

Call it a humble effort to douse the flames of dysfunction and paralysis in the U.S. Senate. Frustrated by an inability to get much done amid the partisan rancor in what has been called “the world’s greatest deliberative body,” two senators – Republican Lamar Alexander and Democrat Mark Warner – have decided to quietly reach across the political divide. They helped pull together a loosely organized group of senators – dubbed the “Volunteer Fire Department” by Republican Senator Lindsey Graham – to have private dinners and try to build relationships to help quell conflicts. “The idea is basically this: When
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Romney closes in on magic delegate number with primary sweeps in Arkansas, Kentucky

Mitt Romney closed in on the Republican Presidential nomination Tuesday, sweeping primaries in Arkansas and Kentucky, ending the day just 79 delegates shy of the 1,144 needed to officially clinch the race. Romney captured all 42 delegates in Kentucky and 31 of the 33 up for grabs in in Arkansas.¬† A convincing win next week in Texas could put him over the top. With the nomination all but assured, Romney continues to focus on his general election opponent — incumbent Democratic President Barack Obama — while all but ignoring his one remaining GOP opponent¬†: Never say die Libertarian Texas Congressman
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Ron Paul’s delegate strategy could pay off at GOP convention

Texas Congressman Ron Paul may have suspended “active campaigning” for his third and last run for President but he continues to look for ways to add delegates to his current count of 104 and wants enough of a collection to press parts of his agenda on the Republican Party at the nominating convention in Tampa this summer. What’s he want?¬† A few things: Stricter oversight of the Federal Reserve. Paul has long advocated disbanding the Fed but now is willing to go with more regulation if he can get that tidbit as part of the GOP platform; A ban on
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Newt’s failed campaign racked up $4.78 million in debts

Newt Gingrich‘s failed campaign for President was mired in $4.78 million in debt when the former Speaker of the House threw in the towel, reports filed with the Federal Election Commission show. Gingrich owes more than a million to a private jet company — bills he and his trophy wife ran up while jetting around the country in style on corporate-style jets owned by a leasing company called “Moby Dick Airways. Interesting concept. A failing campaign runs up $1.03 million in debt using a plane named after the great white whale that brought down a obsessed sea captain. Besides the
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Both sides stubbornly refuse to budge on debt limit negotiations

Republicans and Democrats are refusing to budge when it comes to their already hardened positions on spending cuts versus tax increases to deal with the nation’s debt. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., both said Sunday that when Congress is asked to raise the nation’s borrowing cap after the election, they’ll insist on spending cuts to offset the increase. Democratic leaders countered that the GOP stance was irresponsible, given that the partisan showdown over the debt ceiling last year caused a downgrading of the U.S. government’s credit rating. “If the president is going to
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Right-wing fatcats slow to write checks for Romney

Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney and his party raised a sizable $40 million last month from donors who want him to replace President Barack Obama. But even as Romney solidifies his position as the eventual GOP nominee, many supporters who backed his primary election challengers have not yet come to his aid. An Associated Press review of campaign finance data found that only a few hundred donors who contributed to candidates like Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum have changed course and gave to Romney’s campaign or the Republican Party in April. That’s as GOP stalwarts and some former rivals have called
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Anti-war protestors target Obama campaign headquarters

A small group of anti-war demonstrators staged a peaceful “die in” on Thursday at President Barack Obama’s election campaign headquarters in Chicago to demand an end to the war in Afghanistan and unmanned drone aircraft attacks overseas. Despite calling ahead, some of the roughly 50 protesters said they were unable to deliver a letter to the Obama campaign calling for the United States to leave NATO and its “violent mission of protecting the 1 percent in the global economy who represent 99 percent of corporate wealth in the world.” The 99 percent slogan has been the signature of the anti-Wall
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Romney denounces proposal to use Obama’s former pastor as campaign attack

Mitt Romney swiftly and firmly distanced himself Thursday from a group exploring plans to target President Barack Obama’s relationship with a controversial former pastor. But the revival of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright as a campaign issue momentarily placed race at the center of the presidential contest and showcased the independent groups playing a new role this year with big-money TV ads. Republican Romney pushed back against a proposal being weighed by a conservative super PAC, Ending Spending Action Fund, to run a $10 million ad campaign drawing attention to racially provocative sermons Wright delivered at a church Obama attended in
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Campaign 2012: Nothing, apparently, is off limits when it comes to political mud

The early border skirmishes of Campaign 2012 are reviving questions about one candidate’s former pastor and shining a spotlight on the other’s high school hijinks. Can a fresh round of questions about President Barack Obama’s birth certificate be far behind? In a campaign year when voters have declared the economy their top concern, Obama and Mitt Romney are on notice that there’s no statute of limitations on the issues or conduct that might be used against them. And there’s sure to be somebody with money or other means to insert even low-threshold matters into the political dialogue. “It’s open season,”
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