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Mitt Romney, continuing his call for Newt Gingrich to release his contract with Freddie Mac, questioned the former House Speaker’s role as a “historian” for the mortgage lender.

“You don’t pay someone $1.7 million just to write their history,” Romney said.

Mitt Romney, appearing on Fox News Monday morning, said his campaign “didn’t have a great week in South Carolina.” Newt Gignrich — who won Saturday’s SC primary — had a better week, Romney said.

Reporting from the New Hampshire primary, Fox News's Carl Cameron observed that Bain Capital was "the venture capital company in which [Romney] both bought and grew companies and occasionally shut a few down."

But Bain Capital is not, as Cameron said, a venture capital firm. He wasn't the only reporter to mislabel Bain, either. When Newt Gingrich first ramped up attacks on Romney as a "corporate raider" at Bain, the news media covered the attacks by referring to the company alternately as a venture capital firm and a private equity firm. After a few days, private equity began to be used more often. However, looking over transcripts from Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC, TPM found that all three often continue to use the term "venture capital" to refer to Bain and Romney's private sector experience.

For better or worse, a key feature of this campaign will be Mitt Romney's record at Bain Capital. As a result, the understanding the difference between private equity and venture capital will help voters understand the man they may vote for in the primary, and possibly the general election. Because venture capital tends to be regarded as a job-creation industry, confusing the two terms will likely work to Romney's advantage.

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Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich scored a huge victory in the South Carolina Republican primary this weekend. He performed well in the debates and data suggests that drove his rise in the polls -- his numbers picked up after he revved up the partisan crowd and Romney faded into the background. And then he won the actual vote by nearly thirteen points.

That's all well and good. Republican voters are certainly happy with the fire that Gingrich is providing, as the one common thread that GOP voters share this cycle is a desire to see President Obama run out of office. But if that is their goal, then Newt's surge doesn't make much political sense. See the chart below.

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House Republicans made a conscious choice to undercut the Keystone XL oil pipeline project, even though members of their own party strongly support it. The politics were too ripe.

But just how badly have they undercut it? It's not a stretch to say that politicking the issue will cost TransCanada -- the firm that was to build the pipeline -- huge sums of money, and may just be the project's death knell.

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In a Wall Street Journal op-ed marking the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Rick Santorum took the opportunity to hit President Obama’s “radical and extreme” views on abortion.

Santorum writes:

We don’t judge hearts but we do judge records. President Obama’s record of support for abortion is radical and extreme. He stood alone not to defend life but to oppose the Born Alive Infant Protection Act in the Illinois State Senate. He opposed ending the horrific procedure of partial-birth abortion. He supported federal funds for abortion through ObamaCare and told Catholic Charities that there was no room in the inn if they wanted to help women abused by sex traffickers and be pro-life at the same time.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has moved to the front of the pack in a new poll of Florida by Rasmussen, which echoes numbers that dropped last night from InsiderAdvantage showing a Newt lead. Gingrich gets 41 percent in the new survey, while former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney gets 32 and his campaign is floundering after a big loss in the South Carolina primary. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum sees 11 percent and Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) gets 8.

Our TPM Poll Average now shows Gingrich with a seven point lead in Florida.

The new numbers show that the electability argument, the centerpiece of the Romney candidacy, is starting to be one by Gingrich in some polls. From Rasmussen:

Throughout the GOP race, Romney has always benefited from the perception that he was the strongest general election candidate in the field. However, among Florida voters at the moment, that is no longer the case. Forty-two percent (42%) now believe Gingrich would be the strongest candidate against Obama, while 39% say the same of Romney. At the other extreme, 64% see Ron Paul as the weakest potential candidate against Obama.

The AP reports:

The European Union adopted an oil embargo Monday against Iran and a freeze of the assets of the country’s central bank, part of sanctions meant to pressure the country to resume talks on its nuclear program.

Newt Gingrich on Monday morning said he hopes the records from his time as a “historian” for Freddie Mac are released before the Florida primary. On Good Morning America, Gingrich then took an opportunity to attack Mitt Romney for not releasing his own business records.

Romney has “decided to make a stand on transparency without being transparent,” Gingrich said.


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