TPM News

At a Romney rally in South Carolina, the GOP frontrunner’s new surrogate, John McCain, urged the crowd to show up and help “Landslide Mitt” eke out a win in South Carolina, even as he played down Romney’s expectations in New Hampshire.

“He’s gonna do well in New Hampshire,” McCain told the crowd. “Not as good as the polls show. They’re gonna close up some.”

However, whatever the showing, he urged the crowd to do all they could to help get Romney supporters to the polls in South Carolina.

“It’s gonna be v close in South Carolina,” he said. “But if he wins here he will be the next president of the United States.”

Rick Perry has posted a diary entry at RedState railing against insider trading on Capital Hill:



We have a $15 trillion national debt that is growing by the day, a direct result of establishment, insider politicians who are more interested in constantly increasing their personal power and profit than in reforming the system, bringing spending under control, and doing the work they were elected to do. It’s time to uproot and overhaul Washington. We can start with ensuring insider trading by members of Congress results in prison time, and not unseemly profits.

Rep. Eric Cantor released the following statement on this morning’s news that the economy added 200,000 jobs in December:



While it is welcome news that more jobs were created in December, millions of Americans still can’t find work and small businesses are struggling to grow and hire. Giving small businesses confidence to expand, create jobs, and get people working again requires a long term solution for economic growth, not simply stops and starts. Going into the New Year, we must find areas of common ground and work together to deliver results on the most important issue facing our nation: the lack of long term job creation. We will continue fighting for small business men and women by making it easier for them to expand, invest and hire new workers.

Read the Labor Department’s December jobs report here. The U.S. economy added 200,000 new jobs in December, and unemployment has fallen to 8.5 percent.

Newt Gingrich appeared on ABC News' “Good Morning America” and turned up the heat on his rival, Mitt Romney.

“I think as people look at his record and then imagine him debating Obama, Obama is going to laugh at him,” the former House Speaker told his interviewers.

Gingrich has turned up his attack on Romney’s record in recent days, pointing to Romney’s win in Iowa of roughly 25% and suggesting his inability to go much beyond this in many polls shows he’s “unacceptable” to 75% of conservatives.

Gingrich said this was a point he’d continue to make on the stump in New Hampshire: “This is the place to point out how big the gap is between a Reagan conservative and a Massachusetts moderate."

The U.S. economy added 200,000 jobs in December, and the unemployment rate has fallen to 8.5 percent, the lowest level in nearly three years. A total of 1.6 million jobs were gained in 2011.

Read the Labor Department’s December jobs report here.

While private employers added 212,000 jobs, the public sector cut 12,000 jobs, continuing the trend in government layoffs.

Manufacturing, health care, and education industries were all boosted in December, each adding more than 20,000 jobs. The construction industry, which has been hard hit by the recession, also picked up steam with another 17,000 workers hired.

In a late boost to his flagging campaign, Jon Huntsman scored one of the most coveted endorsements in the New Hampshire primary on Thursday: The Boston Globe.

"Among the candidates, only two stand out as truly presidential, Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman," the paper's editors wrote. "Both have track records of success, and both, through their policies and demeanors, have shown the breadth of spirit to lead the nation. But while Romney proceeds cautiously, strategically, trying to appease enough constituencies to get himself the nomination, Huntsman has been bold. Rather than merely sketch policies he articulates goals and ideals."

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In the month leading up to the Iowa caucuses, spending by candidates and the Super PACs supporting them flooded into the state. A large portion was dumped on the Iowa airwaves, where TV-watchers took in dozens of ads each day. But the pay-off was better for some candidates than others.

The first chart is the total amount of money spent, both by candidates and the independent groups supporting them, on TV ads. The second chart is the return on this investment -- in effect, how much money each vote cost.

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