TPM News

With President Obama's jobs package facing a handful of Democratic defections in the Senate, the White House released a letter from 16 Democratic governors who are standing squarely behind the bill in a last-ditch lobbying blitz before the Tuesday night vote.

The jobs bill faces almost certain defeat Tuesday night on a procedural motion requiring 60 votes to stop a GOP filibuster. All Republicans are expected to oppose it-- and even a handful of Democratic senators are poised to vote no.

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In a couple hours, the Republican field will gather for a debate in New Hampshire, just the latest of many forums between the candidates, but with a twist -- this one's just about the economy.

Many eyes will be on Rick Perry, who needs a strong performance to help him bounce back from past debates that have left a bad taste in the mouths of Republicans who were once so excited about him.

But the more interesting viewing might be the dynamic between Mitt Romney and Herman Cain, who have had a looong mutual admiration society thing going that could come to and end tonight.

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Accuses Cain of having called anti-Fed people “ignorant.” Cain says that’s wrong and replies, “You’ve got to be careful about the things you read on the internet.”

Cain should know: most of his anti-Sharia ideas seem to come from the writings of Pamela Gellar

Herman Cain contrasted the simplicity of his 9-9-9 tax reform plan, with Mitt Romney’s 59-point plan — and asked Romney how his plan could be simple and transparent, and whether he could name its tenets.

Romney countered that things aren’t always simple, and then proceeded to lay out various planks of his platform on such issues as taxes, spending and government regulation.

As Howard Dean once observed: you know you’re the frontrunner from all the buckshot you’re taking in your back.

That’s probably good news for Cain. A lot of pile-on over his 999 plan tonight. Indeed, he’s been treated like a top-tier candidate and Perry has been an afterthought.

Meanwhile, Bachmann’s campaign is doubling down on her own criticisms of Cain. They’ve just sent reporters an email with the headline: “9-9-9 Would Wreck the U.S. Economy”

She’s basically reduced to shouting out “repeal Obamacare” over the other candidates during their answers.

Michele Bachmann warned that Herman Cain’s “9-9-9” plan, and its included sales tax, could lead to persistent rising taxes for future generations.

“You turn the 9-9-9 plan upside down, and the devil’s in the details,” Bachmann said — a possible reference to the numbers 666!