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Newt Gingrich said that if he is elected president, and Republicans increase their numbers significantly in the House and take a strong majority in the Senate, he will start right off with a bold agenda: Ask the Congress sworn in on Jan. 3, two and a half weeks before his inauguration, to pass a whole raft of bills repealing “Obamacare,” the Dodd-Frank financial regulation, and the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley accounting regulations.

“And my goal is to have all three bills sitting there waiting, so the minute I am sworn in, I can sign all three — and we’re off to a pretty good opening morning.”

Technically, Gingrich could not sign those bills as a “pretty good opening morning” the minute he sworn in — under the Constitution, the President is sworn in at noon.

With the news Tuessday that Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN) is retiring in 2012, a true firebrand of the past 30 years is exiting the political stage -- and he's left some great career highlights.

Burton overcame humble beginnings and a very hard childhood to become a successful real estate broker, and then a politician. After serving on and off in the Indiana legislature starting in 1966, and losing races for Congress in the early 1970's, he was finally elected to a very safe Republican seat in 1982.

Along the way, he made some unlikely friends -- such as Rep. Andrew Jacobs Jr. (D-IN), against whom Burton had lost in his first run for the House in 1970. In a 1997 profile of Burton, Jacobs recalled that Burton introduced him to fellow GOP freshmen in 1983, saying: "This is Andy Jacobs. I ran a dirty campaign against him in 1970 and he beat me and I deserved it."

But Burton surely also made enemies -- and at the top of that list was President Bill Clinton, a man he doggedly pursued for various scandals (and a conspiracy theory or two) in the 1990's.

So let's go back in time, and take a look at ten great moments in Dan Burton history.

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Until now the issue of reforming Medicare had remained surprisingly quiet during the Florida primary. But it erupted after Mitt Romney told a group of seniors on Monday night that "we will never go after Medicare or Social Security. We will protect those programs."

Democrats did a double-take. Barely a month ago, Romney became a strong backer of the Paul Ryan budget which would essentially end Medicare by turning it into a voucher program. Now, Democrats are going after Romney for promising to save the program he recently signed on for dismembering. On the day of the election, it might be too late to push this narrative on primary voters, but Romney's position on Medicare will be front-and-center in the general election.

Now that he's in Florida, Mitt Romney is trying to "change his tune," DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz said on a conference call Tuesday. "We had always assumed he'd be here saying anything to voters in the Sunshine State to get elected."

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The Susan G. Komen Foundation, a prominent charity working to prevent and cure breast cancer, has pulled its funding of Planned Parenthood.

“We are alarmed and saddened that the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation appears to have succumbed to political pressure,” Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America said in a statement, according to CBS News. “Our greatest desire is for Komen to reconsider this policy and recommit to the partnership on which so many women count.”

In his speech Tuesday night, after losing the Florida primary to Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich took aim at his favorite adversary: The elites who he says talk down to America.

“Now you’ll notice that a number of folks are holding up a sign about ‘46 States To Go.’

“We did this in part for the elite media, because you know the same people who said I was dead in June and July, and said I was gone after Iowa, who seemed totally quiet the night of the South Carolina primary, are gonna be back saying, ‘What’s he gonna do? What’s he gonna do? What’s he gonna do?’

“So I just want to reassure them tonight: We are going to contest every place, and we are going to win, and we will be in Tampa as the nominee in August.”



Opening his remarks to supporters in Florida, Newt Gingrich said everyone he has met in Florida has been “so positive.”

Gingrich said that Florida shows that the Republican presidential race will be between the “conservative” Newt Gingrich and the “Massachusetts moderate” Mitt Romney.

Rick Santorum gave a stump speech to supporters in Nevada, on the night of the Florida primary (a contest from which he had effectively withdrawn, preferring to focus on the lower-cost western caucus state this weekend).

Santorum announced to the applauding crowd that his disabled infant daughter Bella, who was hospitalized over the weekend, will be coming home tomorrow. He then continued with his stump speech, saying there needed to be a focus on the issues of the race — and announcing how he would go about it.

“Tomorrow we’re gonna give a speech on Romneycare and Obamacare. We’re gonna talk about the issues that are important to the people of Nevada, important to the people of Colorado, and Minnesota and Missouri — the states that are up next in this next go-around in the next week.

“We meed a candidate who can get up on the issues of health care, and draw a clear contrast with President Obama. We need someone who can get up on the issue of cap and trade, and government using environmentalism to be able to crush the businesses of our country, and draw a clear contrast with President Obama. We need someone on the issue of Wall Street and the bailouts.”

Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz released the following statement tonight on the results of the Florida Republican primary:









“Mitt Romney’s victory tonight in the Florida GOP primary comes as no surprise – Romney and his Super PAC outspent his nearest opponent by running 13,000 ads to Newt Gingrich's 200, carpet- bombing the airwaves with negative ads. In fact, Romney’s campaign has already spent more on negative ads than John McCain did during his entire presidential run.

“Tonight, Romney was successful in buying his way to victory – but with every passing Republican contest, he becomes weaker with key general election swing and independent voters should he make it that far. That’s because Mitt Romney has made it clear he will say anything, take any position on any given day and before any given audience and will distort any fact about his or his opponents' record to win.

"But voters are paying more attention than Mitt Romney gives them credit for. They know he has declared support for both an extreme Tea Party agenda that would gut Social Security and Medicare and a budget plan that would end Medicare as we know it and shifts costs onto the backs of America’s seniors. They also know Romney has doubled down on his incredibly out-of-touch positions of letting foreclosures hit the bottom and expanding tax breaks to the wealthiest few at the expense of the middle class. And despite his double-speak in Florida, Mitt Romney has done nothing to dissuade voters from the notion that he is the most anti-immigrant significant major party candidate for president in generations.

"The reason Mitt Romney's negatives have soared with independent voters nationally and in key states, even as he has won one contest on his home field and bought his way to victory in another, is because the more voters learn about his extreme and out of touch positions the less they like him and the less they trust him to lead."

Rick Santorum, weighing in on the Florida primary results from his Nevada headquarters, says voters don’t want to see the GOP candidates get into a ‘mud-wrestling match" where everyone gets dirty. Santorum called on the candidates to focus on criticizing President Obama rather than each other.

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