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Now that Rick Santorum is in third place in Iowa, Rick Perry is attacking the former senator for the earmarks he got for his state while in Congress, reports the Des Moines Register: “Rick Santorum is a friend. I’ve got great respect for him, but when he talks about fiscal conservatism every now and then, it kind of leaves me scratching my head. Because he was a prolific earmarker.”

Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) press secretary released a statement on his Facebook page Thursday afternoon denying Rep. Ryan supports the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).

However, the statement also noticably doesn’t say that Ryan opposes SOPA, either. Instead, it seems he’s taking a “wait and see” approach for the time being.

As the statement reads:



Contrary to false reports, Congressman Paul Ryan is not a cosponsor of H.R. 3261, the Stop Online Piracy Act. He remains committed to advancing policies that protect free speech and foster innovation online and will continue to follow the House Judiciary Committee’s deliberations on this issue carefully.



The denial was apparently issued in response to “Operation Pull Ryan,” a Reddit-coordinated effort to oust Ryan in the 2012 election or sooner over Ryan’s purported support over the Stop Online Piracy Act. We’ve reached out to the organizers of that effort for more info on how Ryan’s new statement impacts their effort and will update when we receive a response.

Rasmussen has released a poll showing a very similar result to yesterday’s CNN numbers in Iowa: former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) are fighting for first place among likely caucus-goers, with former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum moving into third place.

The numbers: Romney 23, Paul 22, Santorum 16, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at 13 percent a piece, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) at 5, with former Ambassador and Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman at 3.

With Republican Presidential candidates tightly bunched in Iowa, different polls show different candidates in the lead ahead of the January 3rd caucuses. A new survey out from American Research Group shows former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney up by five, with 22 percent of likely caucus-goers to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s 17 and Rep. Ron Paul’s (R-TX) 16. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who is making a late move in the state, rounds out the candidates in double digits with 11.

Michael Reagan, President Reagan’s son, has endorsed Newt Gingrich. At a Newsmax event, Reagan offered these comments:



Soon Iowa will make a critical vote . . . In a minute we are featuring a person who we believe will help continue my father's vision . . . A man who fought in Congress for my father's programs. That person is Newt Gingrich.

North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr has endorsed Mitt Romney, the Romney campaign said in an email Thursday. The email contained a statement from Burr:



Governor Romney's proven leadership and his track record on issues of vital importance such as reducing government spending and creating jobs are exactly what we need to put Americans back to work, reduce our spending and address our national debt, and put our nation on the path to economic prosperity.

Rick Santorum is buying ad time for the first time in New Hampshire, reports CNN. Santorum is hoping for a strong finish in Iowa and will want to keep that momentum going as he pivots to New Hampshire after January 3.

Jon Huntsman has a video up attacking Ron Paul as unelectable because of the racist newsletters printed under his name in the 1980s and 1990s. The 1-minute video uses footage of Paul talking about the newsletters that has surfaced in recent weeks, as well as the media coverage as news anchors read of racist content found in the letters.

The video ends by asking, “Can New Hampshire Voters Really Trust Ron Paul?” Huntsman is currently polling behind Paul in the Granite State.

Watch:



What could explain Barack Obama’s powerful campaign operation better than a social media conspiracy?

On Jan Mickelson’s show on WHO radio Thursday morning, a caller noted that Michele Bachmann was up against a social media-Democratic alliance. The caller said: “Michele Bachmann is up against not only the other candidates, but up against President Obama, who has Facebook, Twitter, Google, and YouTube in its back pocket. I believe that helped him win the last election. No president should have the monopoly of those companies in their back pocket.”

To which Bachmann responded: “I absolutely agree, Jonathan. We have seen, whether it is the head of Facebook or Google, it is clear there is an alliance with the obama administration, as well as with NBC.”

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