Mitt Romney stopped by David Lettermen on Monday to deliver the “Top ten list,” this time a list of the “Top ten things Mitt Romney would like to say to the American People.” Number one? “It’s a hairpiece,” he said.
Over the weekend, Gingrich said that the president had the power to arrest judges whose opinions the administration disagreed with. On Fox News last night, Mitt Romney disagreed with his opponent, telling Bill O'Reilly that a disappointing decision is no reason to uproot the constitution.
“Let me tell you, there are a lot of decisions by judges I vehemently disagree with,” Romney added. “But I also agree with the Constitution. The solution to judges out of control is not to tear up the Constitution and say that the Congress of the United States becomes the now ultimate power in this country.”
Rick Perry’s latest ad, called “Three Streets,” portrays each of the frontrunners as being from a different monied interest. Newt Gingrich comes from K Street, where he spent years in Washington making money. Mitt Romney comes from Wall Street, where he made his millions. Finally, Perry is the outsider from Main Street who created jobs in Texas.
As party of a multi-million dollar ad campaign, the Paul campaign is out with a new ad called “The One, Part 2.” The ad portrays Washington as broken, discounts his opponents as Washington insiders and smooth-talking politicians, and portrays Paul as the only candidate voters can trust. Like Paul’s other ads this cycle, the ad is highly polished. The 1-minute spot will air on broadcast and cable in Iowa and New Hampshire.
Tuesday morning, Rev. Donald E. Wildmon, founder and chairman of American Family Association and American Family Radio, announced his support for Newt Gingrich. According to the campaign, AFA is “one of the largest and most effective pro-family organizations in the country" with 190 radio stations, including six in Iowa. Wildmon will also stump for Gingrich in Iowa ahead of the caucuses.
After a much-longer-than-anticipated caucus meeting Monday night, House Republican leaders announced a plan to vote Tuesday to nix a broadly bipartisan Senate stopgap bill to extend the current payroll tax cut for two months. But they won't be doing this with a standard up or down vote.
The development comes after House conservatives launched a full scale rebellion against a Senate bill negotiated by Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell that passed with an overwhelming 89 votes.
However House Republicans are aware of the political peril that will come with killing a bipartisan plan to extend the payroll tax cut, and they know they'll likely be held responsible if the tax holiday expires. So they're structuring the votes in a manner that's designed to give their members cover from that charge and, perhaps, preserves their right to reconsider the Senate bill in the coming days.
Earlier Monday, TPM reported that some of Newt Gingrich's supporters were lamenting the candidate's recent turn-the-other-cheek approach to the barrage of negative ads that have battered him since he rocketed up the polls.
They didn't have to wait too long for him to change his tune. Later Monday he promised a 44-stop bus tour to push his message, and also lash back at the criticisms.
Today Mitt Romney says he is for the full repeal of "Obamacare." And he's created a tightly woven explanation of just how his reform in Massachusetts differs from President Obama's national plan. As Romney now tells it, his approach was always different in kind from President Obama's, especially because the president's plan imposed a mandate nationwide. There was never a point, even going back to his days as Governor, when he would have supported Obama's approach.
But a year and a half ago, that was far from clear. Then Romney was one of those Republicans who called for keeping the 'good' parts of the president's plan while ditching the bad. And now a video has surfaced in which Romney makes clear that one of those 'good' similarities was the mandate which is now the centerpiece of conservative opposition to the plan.
One argument House Republican leaders -- including Speaker John Boehner -- are making about their refusal to adopt the Senate's payroll tax cut compromise is a throwback to old times. They note that "regular order" in Congress is for the House and Senate each to pass legislation and to then convene a conference committee where members from each chamber meet to iron out the differences between the bills.
That's "regular order" in a traditional sense, but it's not even close to how this Congress has operated in practice. Case in point: both the House and Senate have passed legislation to reauthorize federal aviation programs on a semi-permanent basis. One key area of disagreement between the parties is a provision in the House bill that would make it much more difficult for rail and airline workers to unionize -- just the sort of provision that could be the focal point of negotiations in a conference committee.
But House Republicans won't let that happen, and have pushed a series of temporary reauthorizations instead.
Critics from both parties are identifying Mitt Romney's history at Bain Capital as potentially his biggest general election weakness. Now a steady drip of stories threatens to move the issue to the forefront sooner rather than later.
Romney was a founding partner and at one point CEO of the investment firm, where he oversaw the purchase of a number of businesses, many of whom laid off workers under Bain's oversight.