TPM News

TROY, MICHIGAN -- Still on a quest to prove his social conservative bona fides against chief rival Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney told a tea party crowd here Saturday that he stood tall against gay marriage and cloning while governor of Massachusetts. 

The two ideas were juxtaposed in his speech -- his fight against legalized same-sex marriage and what he called his battle against "cloning and embryo farming" came as part of a single thought -- and were received well by the crowd here, which was gathered for an Americans For Prosperity event. 

Most of Romney's speech was a standard stump speech, but he did take time out to attack Santorum by reminding the crowd Santorum had endorsed him in 2008. 

Here's the section about the gay marriage and cloning, which are part of Romney's continuing efforts to cast himself as a culture warrior since Santorum rose in the polls. 

I also faced a Supreme Court in my state that said John Adams had written into our constitution a right to marriage between people of the same gender. And I became the nation's champion to reverse that with an amendment in our state. We were on progress to do that until I saw a Democrat take over the governor's office. And then we also had the legislature pass a bill saying we will allow cloning and embryo farming in our state. They wanted to change the definition of when life began. And I stood up and said absolutely not and I vetoed that legislation. I am a pro-life governor -- I was a pro-life governor and I'm still a pro-life candidate. I was a pro-traditional marriage governor and am so as a candidate and I am a conservative. 

DETROIT -- Are clever Democratic activists really going to cost Mitt Romney his home state on Tuesday? Or is the grassroots plan to use Michigan's open primary as a means to humiliate the candidate most see as the biggest threat to President Obama in the fall just a red herring?

Romney's allies aren't worried. Democrats and Obama's campaign aren't getting involved. And yet, activists think they just might pull this thing off.

Welcome to the Michigan primary sideshow that just might play a part in the main event.

Read More →

It's the final weekend of campaigning before the Michigan and Arizona Republican primaries. Here are ten things you need to know today.

  • Romney takes a small lead in Michigan: The polling is looking better for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has he campaigns for the state he grew up in. The new TPM Poll Average of the Michigan Republican primary race now shows Romney with a slightly lead ahead of Tuesday's vote. Snap polls conducted after the CNN debate on Wednesday night show movement in Romney's direction as he took the lead from former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA).
  • Arizona looks solid for Romney: The race for Arizona's delegates tightened a little bit after Santorum won the Minnesota and Colorado caucuses, along with the non-binding Missouri primary on February 7th, but it's never really seemed out of Romney's grasp. Now as the actual vote is approaching, Romney appears to have the state firmly in hand -- our TPM Poll Average shows him with an eight point lead. Public Policy Polling (D) will be releasing new numbers on Arizona and Michigan on Sunday and Monday nights.
  • Read More →

Speaking at an Americans for Prosperity event in Michigan on Saturday, Ann Romney introed her husband to the stage, as she often does. But she also added that Romney won't be attending any more debates, if they are scheduled.

"I've also decided no more debates," she said. "If we do another debate, he's going to sit in the audience and watch me."

The debate schedule for the 2012 Republican primary race has marked many of the moments the race has shifted, and it seems that it's helped former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney this time.

Romney was behind in the Michigan GOP primary after former Senator Rick Santorum took the February 7th Minnesota and Colorado caucuses, along with the non-binding Missouri primary. Santorum, despite being outspent by the Romney campaign and allied super PACs, nursed that lead through the days after his surprise victories up until Wednesday's CNN debate in Arizona. But while he didn't he didn't win outright, he didn't flop either.

And that was all Mitt Romney needed. Romney won by default on Wednesday night, and his advantage on the airwaves softened the ground enough to take the lead in our TPM Poll Average of Michigan with the addition of two new snap polls taken completely on Thursday.

Read More →

Local residents in Abbottabad, Pakistan say the government is razing the compound where Osama bin Laden lived hidden for years and where U.S. commandos took him out, reports CBS:

Two residents say the government brought in three mechanized backhoes Saturday afternoon and began destroying the tall outer walls of the compound after sunset.

They set up floodlights to carry out the work.


NATO has pulled out of all of Afghanistan's ministries after an attack in Kabul resulted in the death of two U.S. advisers, reports BBC:

Nato said an "individual" had turned his gun on the officers, believed to be an American colonel and major, and had not yet been identified or caught.

Nato commander Gen John Allen condemned the attack as "cowardly".

The shootings come amid five days of deadly protests over the burning of copies of the Koran by US soldiers.


Votizen is a startup website that automatically scans a user's social networks for friends who are registered voters and allows users to collaborate with those friends on virtual campaigns for real political candidates. But it ultimately aims to be the "Napster," of politics -- disrupting the political process in the same way that old file-sharing website rocked the music industry.

So it helps that Votizen just received a $450,000 round of funding from Napster founder Sean Parker, as well as celebrity investors including Ashton Kutcher and Lady Gaga's manager Troy Carter, among others, as All Things D first reported Thursday night.

"The big names believe in our goals and mission, and they have good resources to back it up," said Votizen CEO David Binetti, in a phone interview with TPM on Friday.

Binetti is himself a big name in the tech industry, having created, the official web portal for the U.S. federal government, back in 2007.

Read More →

UPDATE: Santorum supported making it easier to go to college in 2006.

TROY, MICHIGAN -- Rick Santorum is working hard in Michigan to try and cast himself as the candidate of the working class. At a speech before a tea party audience here Saturday, he made his case by accusing President Obama of trying to turn America's youth into liberal drones by sending them to college.

The idea was pretty well received by the crowd here at a rally hosted by the Michigan branch of Americans For Prosperity.

"Not all folks are gifted the same way. Some people have incredible gifts with their hands," Santorum began. "Some people have incredible gifts and want to work out there making things."

Then he went after the president's call for making college easier for Americans to attend.

President Obama wants everybody in America to go to college. What a snob," Santorum said as the crowd howled with laughter and applause. "There are good, decent men and women who work hard every day and put their skills to the test that aren't taught by some liberal college professor."

Santorum said he knows the real reason Obama wants more Americans on college campuses.

"That's why he wants you to go to college. He wants to remake you in his image," Santorum said to more applause. "I want to create jobs so people can remake their children into their image, not his." 

Watch the video below: