TPM News

The Tax Policy Center in DC has released numbers Rick Santorum's tax plan -- the latest, and perhaps final, in a series of analyses of the leading GOP contenders' tax plans.

It's a variation on the theme underlying all of the Republicans' tax proposals -- its impact on the middle class is trivial compared to the massive tax cut it proposes for the wealthiest Americans.

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It’s been a wild day for the 2012 Republican presidential campaign. Rick Perry this morning dropped out of the race and offered Newt Gingrich his endorsement. A tell-all interview with the former House Speaker’s ex-wife is set to air tonight after the debate wraps up.

And now it turns out Mitt Romney lost Iowa to Rick Santorum. On top of that, recent polls show Newt biting at his heels in South Carolina just days before the Palmetto State’s primary. Follow our live coverage starting at 8 p.m. ET.

He charged in to the race with a glorious "thumbs up" and faded out with the same gesture.

Rick Perry stayed as positive as he could throughout his campaign despite...well... pretty much every single thing that happened once he got in to the race.

From a "loopy speech" on a bit too much "back medicine" to his attack on gays in the military, you could always expect that Governer Perry would throw out something surprising.

TPM trawled back through an eventful few months and here we bring you our favorite moments from Rick Perry For President 2012.

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Mitt Romney isn't having the best day.

Turns out he lost a state he thought he'd won (Iowa), Rick Perry dropped out of the race and threw his support behind Newt Gingrich (who's breathing down his neck in South Carolina), and people keep asking all these pesky questions about his millions (some of which may or may not be stashed in the Caribbean.)

This terse exchange he had with a questioner on a rope-line had us wondering - is the pressure getting to Romney? You decide.

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The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is joining in with the communal needling of Mitt Romney over his tax returns. The DCCC put up a petition Thursday night seeing 100,000 people to call on Romney to release the returns, which he has suggested he’ll do in April.

“Wonder why Presidential candidate Mitt Romney won’t follow decades of historical precedent and release his tax returns? So do we,” the DCCC petition reads. “It might be because Romney likely pays a lower tax rate than middle class families.”

The name of the DCCC website? MittsBigSecret.com

On Tuesday, Mitt Romney finally acknowledged what we've long suspected: that, despite earning millions of dollars a year, his tax rate is approximately 15 percent -- the same as it would be if he were a teacher earning $50,000 a year.

The disclosure touched off a flurry of news stories -- some about the rigged nature of the U.S. tax code, most about how this fact would play in the primary and general elections. Then on Wednesday ABC News broke another story. Romney, it turns out, has a lot of money invested in offshore funds -- the sort of funds you used to hear about years ago when wealthy people, foreign investors, private pensions and others would invest and shelter their money.

The timing of the ABC story couldn't have been better for those hoping to create a hazy sense that Romney's some kind of tax avoider. But they're largely two different things.

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BEAUFORT, SC -- Voters here in coastal South Carolina don't seem too bothered with the salacious "bombshell" stories Marianne Gingrich is expected to tell on Nightline on Thursday night. They may not all vote for Newt Gingrich, but they all agree that voters here won't be moved by stories of a 68 year-old former House Speaker's sex life.

After all, they told me, have you seen what's on TV these days?

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Jenny Sanford – the ex-wife of disgraced “Appalachian Trail-hiking” former South Carolina governor Mark Sanford – appeared on MSNBC’s Hardball and was asked to react to the ‘Marianne’ Bombshell about to explode on Newt Gingrich tonight.

She told interviewer Chris Matthews that she thought the interview “would have an impact for some people” but that it was hard to know how much, “because most people knew” that Gingrich was on his third wife.

She told Matthews that it “does call into question his character on the personal side” and that when judging politicians you had to gather whether they had a “very strong stance” on the ideological side to compensate.

Sanford told Matthews that she felt Newt “fell short” and “he wouldn’t get my vote.” She said she had not made up her mind on which of the remaining candidates she would vote for on Saturday.

Former South Carolina First Lady Jenny Sanford on MSNBC, regarding Newt Gingrch’s history with his ex-wife Marianne, said that a person’s personal behavior has an impact on their actions in the public sphere.

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