Gingrich’s Ex-Wife Talks

Earlier this week, Newt Gingrich’s ex-wife, Marianne Gingrich, conducted an interview with ABC News, according to the Drudge Report.

She spoke to investigative reporter Brian Ross for two hours and “her explosive revelations are set to rock the trail.”

The AP reports the interview is likely to air on Nightline Thursday night.


Romney Parks Millions in Offshore Investments

“Although it is not apparent on his financial disclosure form, Mitt Romney has millions of dollars of his personal wealth in investment funds set up in the Cayman Islands, a notorious Caribbean tax haven,” ABC News reports.

“As the race for the Republican nomination heats up, Mitt Romney is finding it increasingly difficult to maintain a shroud of secrecy around the details about his vast personal wealth, including, as ABC News has discovered, his investment in funds located offshore and his ability to pay a lower tax rate.”


Obama’s Dream Debate

A Super PAC backing Newt Gingrich imagines a general election debate between Mitt Romney and President Obama in a new animated ad.

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South Carolina Race Tightens

A new CNN/Time poll in South Carolina shows Mitt Romney slipping and Newt Gingrich gaining.

Romney leads with 33%, followed by Gingrich at 23%, Rick Santorum at 16%, Ron Paul at 13% and Rick Perry at 6%.

Said pollster Keating Holland: “Gingrich appears to be the only candidate with momentum as the race in South Carolina enters the final few days. Support for Romney and Santorum appears to be slipping, and Paul and Perry seem flat. Gingrich, however, has gained ground and cut Romney’s lead in half since early January.”


Obama Campaign Begins TV Ads

President Obama’s campaign has begun buying advertising time in a handful of key battleground states — in Michigan, Virginia, Ohio and North Carolina — making his first purchase of television time so far this election, the New York Times reports.

“So far the purchase appears quite limited, according to someone who monitors political advertising. The ads were placed for one day only, Thursday. And the number of states where they will run could expand.”


Kansas Lawmaker Attempts to Secretly Record Meeting

Kansas state Rep. Terri Lois Gregory (R) attempted to covertly record a private conversation with state Sen. Vicki Schmidt (R) about controversial health reforms sought by Gov. Sam Brownback (R), the Topeka Capital Journal reports.

During the meeting, Schmidt noticed a small flashing light in Gregory’s satchel. It wasn’t a telephone.

Said Schmidt: “I asked her, ‘Are you recording me?’ She said, ‘Yes.’ ”

“A bipartisan contingent of legislators said Gregory violated an unwritten code of conduct among lawmakers that frowns on clandestine recording of colleagues in closed-door meetings.”


What Was Professor Gingrich Like?

Wall Street Journal: “A clutch of little-known records from what is now the University of West Georgia in Carrollton suggests the ambition and intellectual grandeur of Newt 2012 aren’t a long way from the 1970s vintage. In addition to seeking the college presidency, Mr. Gingrich was often absent as he pursued political goals. He embarked on an effort to moonlight as a paid consultant. And, it turns out, he spent little time teaching history.”


Obama Considering Summers for World Bank

President Obama is considering nominating Lawrence Summers, his former National Economic Council director, to lead the World Bank when Robert Zoellick’s term expires later this year, Bloomberg reports.

“A nomination of Summers would bring scrutiny of his previous stints in government, both as former President Bill Clinton’s Treasury Secretary and Obama’s NEC director, as well as his tenure as the president of Harvard University.”

Felix Salmon thinks it’s a bad idea: “The only way to be an effective World Bank president is to be an effective diplomat… Summers himself is the first to admit that he’s no diplomat: he prides himself on speaking the truth as he sees it. Which is fine if you’re making millions of dollars advising DE Shaw on their investments. But it’s not going to help you run the World Bank — or run anything larger than the Treasury Department, really. Even Harvard was too much for him to run; giving him the World Bank job would be a disaster.”


Gingrich Warns of “Dirty” Romney Campaign

After a national poll found Newt Gingrich surging again in the GOP presidential race, Newt Gingrich warned supporters it’s going to get ugly, National Review reports.

Said Gingrich: “I fully expect the Romney campaign to be unendingly dirty and dishonest for the next four days because they’re desperate. They thought they could buy this. They’re discovering they can’t buy this.”

He added: “I think they have internal polls that show them losing.”


GOP Lawmaker Takes Buffett’s Offer

Warren Buffett last week pledged to match any volunteer contribution made by a Republican member of Congress in order to reduce the national debt. Fortune reports Rep. Scott Rigell (R-VA) is the first to take Buffett up on his offer.

Rigell actually “got to this issue before Buffett did. He had, on his own, moved in 2011 to give 15% of his Congressional salary to the Treasury for the very purpose of paying down debt… Rigell said he would be making a 15% gift to the Treasury this year, but also hoped that Buffett would retroactively match his 2011 contribution. The amounts would be about $23,000 for 2011 (when some clerical errors resulted in the full 15% not being reached) and about $26,000 for 2012.”

Buffett responded that he would indeed match both amounts.


Paul Polls at 18% as Third Party Candidate

A new Pew Research survey shows that a third-party campaign by Ron Paul would clearly work to President Obama’s advantage: In this scenario, Obama would receive 44%, Mitt Romney would get 32% and Paul would get 18%.

In a two-way general election match up, Obama receives 50% while Romney gets 45%.

“Paul has repeatedly said he is not contemplating a third-party run, but has not ruled it out. While most of Paul’s backing in a three-person race comes from independent voters, they are independents who disproportionately lean Republican.”


Paul Polls at 18% as Third Party Candidate

A new Pew Research survey shows that a third-party campaign by Ron Paul would clearly work to President Obama’s advantage: In this scenario, Obama would receive 44%, Mitt Romney would get 32% and Paul would get 18%.

In a two-way general election match up, Obama receives 50% while Romney gets 45%.

“Paul has repeatedly said he is not contemplating a third-party run, but has not ruled it out. While most of Paul’s backing in a three-person race comes from independent voters, they are independents who disproportionately lean Republican.”


Will Romney Stop Debating?

Byron York reports Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign “says it has not yet accepted invitations to participate in two high-profile debates leading up to the January 31 Florida primary, and a key Romney adviser is expressing fatigue and frustration over what he sees as a never-ending series of GOP debates.”

Said adviser Stuart Stevens: “There are too many of these. We have to bring some order to it. We haven’t accepted Florida…It’s kind of like a cruise that’s gone on too long.”


A Weak Frontrunner

Jonathan Chait: “Romney has been positively associated with ‘electability’ because he is more electable than most of his rivals. But he is the one-eyed man in the land of the politically blind. Romney, by normal standards, is a terrible candidate. He is nowhere near as formidable as John McCain was four years before. The latest poll from PPP has his favorability rating at a miserable 35 percent positive, 53 percent negative. He may win — he probably will win if the economy dips back into recession — but he is a weak candidate who in many ways embodies the public’s distrust of his party.”


Molinari vs. Gingrich

Mitt Romney’s campaign put former Rep. Susan Molinari (R-NY) in a new web ad knocking Newt Gingrich’s leadership when he was Speaker of the House.

Miami Herald: “Molinari’s beef with Gingrich has a deeply personal aspect as well. Her husband, former Rep. Bill Paxon, was a top leader in the coup to oust Gingrich in 1997. It failed. Some blame Republican leader Dick Armey, now the leader of tea-party organizer FreedomWorks, for selling out his fellow plotters when he learned that Paxon would be speaker and not him. Paxon mysteriously soon left his post in Congress. It was never clear why.”

See more…


Romney Directed Millions to Mormon Church

ABC News: “Underscoring the prominent, if little discussed role that Mitt Romney played as a Mormon leader, the private equity giant once run by the GOP presidential frontrunner carved his church a slice of several of its most lucrative business deals, securities records show, providing it with millions of dollars worth of stock in some of Bain Capital’s most well-known holdings.”

“His family charity, called the Tyler Foundation, has given more than $4 million to the church in the past five years, including $1.8 million in 2008 and $600,000 in 2009. But because Romney, whose fortune has been estimated at $250 million, has never released his personal tax returns, the full extent of his giving has never been public. Newly uncovered stock contributions made during Romney’s Bain days suggest there is another dimension to Romney’s support for the church — one that could involve millions more than has been previously disclosed.”


Newt-mentum Again?

First Read: “There are some increasing signs — though all of it anecdotal for now — that Newt Gingrich is gaining some momentum three days before the South Carolina primary. First was his strong debate performance on Monday, from which his campaign cut a new TV ad. Second, the Romney campaign today is holding a conference call (featuring former Sen. Jim Talent and former Rep. Susan Molinari) with the sole purpose of hitting Gingrich, and we haven’t seen one of those from the Romney camp since Iowa. And third, Sarah Palin sort of endorsed Gingrich last night.”

“Of course, one challenge Gingrich faces is time; there are just three days to go until Saturday’s primary. And the other challenge is the math. It is very possible for Romney to win South Carolina with just 31% or 32% of the vote.”


Democrats Cut Convention to Three Days

In addition to announcing that President Obama would deliver his acceptance speech at Bank of America stadium, Democrats also said that they were shortening the convention from four days to three.

First Read: “This change will have a lasting repercussion. We likely won’t ever see four-day conventions any more. Also, given that they have just three days to work with, Democrats have a potential primetime scheduling challenge on their hands. How do you find three days to fit in primetime speeches by Obama, the first lady, the vice president, the keynote speaker, and Bill Clinton (who you know will want to receive speaking time)?”


Why Romney’s Tax Returns Matter

As First Read points out, “the central story of the past 10 days in the GOP presidential race has been about Mitt Romney’s wealth and his business practices at Bain Capital.”

Adam Sorensen: “For Democrats, this is the perfect campaign issue. It lies at the intersection of the personal, professional and political identities they plan to foist on Romney in the general election: the privilege they hope will make it hard for voters to relate to Romney, the erstwhile career in private equity that they hop will taint him as a economic predator rather than a turnaround artist, and the regressive tax policies they hope can drive a wedge between the Republican party and the middle class.”

Chris Cillizza: “The political problem for Romney in all of this is not that he’s wealthy. (President Obama is quite wealthy in his own right thanks to the success of his books.) It’s that the way Romney talks about money can make him seem drastically out of touch with average people — an issue that is exacerbated by the fact that he is running for president in a time of incredible economic hardship… Being rich isn’t the problem. Being unaware that lots and lots of other people aren’t (and what that means in real terms) is.”

Meanwhile, the DNC put out a video on Romney’s “taxing day.”

See more…


Did Santorum Win the Iowa Caucuses?

John Avlon: That’s what it looks like if numbers from a caucus in the town of Moulton, Appanoose County, are correctly counted when the official certification begins Wednesday night. This not only could rewrite the election history of 2012 to date — it would invalidate the oft-repeated line that Mitt Romney is the only candidate to win both Iowa and New Hampshire. It would stop the inevitability narrative in its tracks.”


Why Romney Keeps His Tax Returns Private

Reuters notes that it’s not just Mitt Romney’s low 15% tax rate that might deter him from releasing his tax returns.

“His vast fortune is invested in dozens of funds linked to Bain Capital LLC, the powerhouse private equity firm he co-founded and led for 15 years. Several Bain funds have offshore connections and take advantage of tax breaks used only by the U.S. financial elite… Bain funds in which Romney is invested are scattered from Delaware to the Cayman Islands and Bermuda, Ireland and Hong Kong, according to a Reuters analysis of securities filings.”


Mocking Super PACs

must-see video: Jon Stewart mocks U.S. campaign finance law by showing how his Super PAC is “not coordinating” with exploratory presidential candidate Stephen Colbert.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Candidates, National, Politics

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