TPM News

ABC News reports that Mitt Romney will get Secret Service protection this week, making him the first Republican candidate since Herman Cain to get a detail this cycle.

From ABC:



Secret Service protection is being given to the campaign not because of a specific threat but because of the increase in crowd sizes as the primary season has progressed over the past few weeks, according to the sources, who refused to be identified because they don’t have authority to comment on such matters publicly.

Restore Our Future, the “super PAC” backing Mitt Romney, took in $17.9 million in donations, according to a report they just filed with the FEC.

Newt Gingrich's campaign, which closed out 2011 with $2.1 million to its name while carrying over a million dollars in debt, still owes $1,666.66 to Rick Tyler -- the former Gingrich aide who now runs a "super PAC" supporting his candidacy.

Figuring out a way to pay off the $1,666.66 debt owed to Tyler for "strategic consulting" might be a bit awkward since the Gingrich campaign isn't allowed to coordinate with Tyler's Winning Our Future "super PAC."

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Firebrand ex-Congressman Alan Grayson (D-FL), running to reclaim his seat in 2012, told TPM that Mitt Romney’s fans shouldn’t get too excited about his Tuesday win. The real issue was Gingrich’s lousy campaign.

“I think that in the end the Not-Romney vote was unwilling to coalesce around Newt Gingrich,” Grayson said. “His flaws, politically and personally, become more obvious as it went on and it’s a personal rejection of him. There’s tremendous reservation about Romney, the majority are not happy with the choices left.”

Either way, he said, the GOP is leaving Florida worse than it arrived.

“I think there has been lasting damage,” he said. “I think that when Newt Gingrich parades around the country saying Mitt Romney is a liar and Mitt Romney parades around country saying Newt Gingrich is a liar, the conclusion most people draw is they’re both liars.”

Grayson cited Romney’s ongoing tax return issues as his biggest impediment going forward and predicted he’d have a tough time repairing his brand with general election voters.

“Newt’s negatives are astronomical — they’re approaching his name recognition at this point — and Romney’s are also very high. I doubt we’ll see them go down,” he said. “Mitt romney has been exposed, like a character out of Orphan Annie, Daddy Warbucks, as an enormously wealthy person out of touch with ordinary Americans who simply wants to be president, as far as we can tell, because he wants to be President.”

CELEBRATION, FLORIDA -- I asked the DNC chair what she's learned watching Mitt Romney tee himself up for a likely victory in the GOP primary here tonight.

The lesson, according to Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL): Romney sure can buy a lot of negative advertising when he wants to.

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Facebook will file for its much-hyped initial public offering on Wednesday with dramatically less money up-front than initially reported; $5 billion instead of $10 billion, according to the International Financing Report.

The company is still expected to be valued at close to the $100 billion speculated by The Wall Street Journal in its January 27 report that targeted the IPO filing for February 1, the IFR report just indicates that the company will be offering fewer shares than previously anticipated.

Facebook is currently valued at just over $80 billion on the secondary market, according to IFR.

"The smaller deal size reflects a decision to start with a conservative base before deciding whether to increase," IFR reported, adding "With final pricing of Facebook shares unlikely to be settled for at least three months, it is still unclear what valuation the company is targeting on the IPO."

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Ron Paul spoke to supporters Tuesday night in Henderson Nevada, on the results of the Florida primary in which he got fourth place.

“Just a little while ago I called Governor Romney, and congratulated him,” Paul said, which led to booing form audience. He quieted them down: “No, no, we had a friendly conversation. I honestly congratulated him.

“He ran a good campaign. But I also said, I would see him soon in the caucus states!” The audience applauded and cheered. Paul then spoke of his “fantastic” reception he has received in Maine, Colorado, Nevada and elsewhere. He spoke of his strategy to build up delegates in caucus states, on the grounds that delegates are what truly matters.

“And we will spend our time in the caucus states — because if you have an irate, tireless minority, you do very well in a caucus state.”

“But there’s something else that the caucus state lends itself to: Because if you have an energized group of people that are working in a campaign — and actually believe in something — it’s better to work in the caucus states.”



Ron Paul, who came in fourth place with 7% in the Florida primary, greeted his supporters Tuesday night, across the country in Henderson, Nevada.

“Well if enthusiasm wins elections, we’d win hands down,” he said, letting out a short laugh. “This is great, this very nice, and thank you very much for coming out.”

Newt Gingrich made another bold announcement of what he will do on his first day as President: “We will on that day, sign an executive order that will instruct the State Department that day to open the embassy in Jerusalem, and recognize Israel.”

The United States does, of course, recognize the State of Israel. The American Embassy, however, is in the country’s original capital of Tel Aviv, due to the disputed nature of Israel’s occupation of territories and unification of Jerusalem after the 1967 Six-Day War.

NEWT HQ, ORLANDO — Newt Gingrich kept up his primary race tradition of not calling Mitt Romney to congratulate him on his win in Florida Tuesday, the Romney campaign told TPM.

The Romney campaign confirmed to TPM that Gingrich didn’t call Romney Tuesday night, just as he didn’t after Romney won in New Hampshire. Gingrich didn’t congratulate Romney on stage in his election night speech here Tuesday, either.

Romney’s campaign notes that Mitt Romney dialed Gingrich on the night Gingrich won South Carolina.

I’ve asked the Gingrich campaign for comment.

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