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The ratings agency Fitch has cut six Eurozone countries' credit ratings, including Spain, Italy, Belgium and Ireland.

Standard & Poor’s earlier this month also cut the credit ratings of a number of Eurozone countries, including France.

Read the Fitch release here.

The watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) sent a letter to the Office of Government Ethics asking them to refer Mitt Romney to the Justice Department for an investigation into the inaccurate personal finance disclosure form he filed.

“Mr. Romney says the errors are minor, but then again he also claims earning $374,000 in speaking fees isn’t much money,” CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan said in a statement. “In reality, filing an inaccurate disclosure form can be a criminal offense.  As a result, the Office of Government Ethics should forward the matter on to the Department of Justice to determine whether Mr. Romney deliberately withheld information.”

The White House’s first technology officer, Aneesh Chopra, plans to step down from his post, administration officials tell The Washington Post.

Chopra is one of a few tech leaders President Obama hired at the beginning of his term.

The Dems were quick to leap all over Romney’s claim last night that he bore no responsibility for his investments, since they were in a blind trust. They pointed out that there’s evidence that the blind trust manager is close enough to Romney that there’s at least grounds for suspicion over just how blind it is. They also pointed out that in his 1994 Senate battle with Ted Kennedy, he slammed Kennedy’s claims of having a blind trust as being “an age old ruse.”



"You give a blind trust rules. You can say to a blind trust, don't invest in properties which would be in conflict of interest or where the seller might think they're going to get an advantage from me."


Buzzfeed’s Andrew Kaczynski has made something of a speciality of digging up footage of the younger Romney advocating positions that apparently conflict with his current stances. He’s got the goods once again, which you can see below:



The Romney campaign has distributed the following email response to Newt Gingrich’s latest Florida ad, which attacks Romney as ‘Disonest’:



“Newt Gingrich's desperate smears have already been called ‘inflammatory’ by Marco Rubio and ‘ridiculous’ by Jeb Bush. It is laughable to see lectures on honesty coming from a paid influence peddler who suffered an unprecedented ethics reprimand, was forced to pay a $300,000 penalty, and resigned in disgrace at the hands of his own party. Speaker Gingrich is desperate to distract from his record of failed and unreliable leadership in an attempt to try and prop up his sinking campaign.” –Andrea Saul, Romney spokesperson

The Newt Gingrich campaign has released the following email containing details about their latest Florida ad buy:



Newt 2012 today is releasing a new ad today, "What Kind of Man?" which will air in Florida markets.

"Last night Mitt Romney revealed his character," said R.C. Hammond. "In the past two debates, Newt Gingrich has been presidential and poised. In Governor Romney, we saw an over eager politician. Romney exposed his biggest weakness: credibility."

TRANSCRIPT:

Governor Huckabee: "If a man's dishonest to get a job, he'll be dishonest on the job." (Source)

Narrator: What kind of man would mislead, distort, and deceive just to win an election?

This man would be Mitt Romney. Romney said he has always voted Republican when he had the opportunity.

But in the 1992 Presidential Primary Romney had the chance to vote for George H.W. Bush or Pat Buchanan but he voted for a liberal Democrat instead. (Source)

Romney said his investments in Fannie and Freddie were in a blind trust.

But as reported in the National Journal, Romney earned tens of thousands of dollars from investments NOT in a blind trust. (Source)

Romney denied seeing a false ad his campaign used to attack Newt Gingrich. But Romney's own campaign paid for the ad...Romney's own voice is on the ad approving the content. (Source)

If we can't trust Romney in a debate, how can we trust him in the White House?

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush ®, who has not endorsed in the presidential primary, told the National Review that Newt Gingrich needs to lay off his attempt to associate Mitt Romney’s Florida team with former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who is persona non grata among the Florida GOP.

From National Review:



“That’s not a serious accusation,” Bush says. “Candidates win elections. I’m not a big Charlie Crist fan, as you recall, but these guys shouldn’t have that moniker attached to them, as if Governor Romney is part of some evil plot. That’s ridiculous.”

Polls earlier this week showed a huge bump for former House Speaker Newt Gingrich after his win in the South Carolina primary. Only days later, the momentum has returned to Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who is again up in the Sunshine State. The question now is whether Romney's performance in Thursday's debate, after which many pundits argued he outshone Gingrich, will be enough to hold him through the weekend, as he remains the subject of negative attacks on his business record via a pro-Gingrich super PAC.

New Quinnipiac University polling numbers out Friday morning now show a nine point lead in the state for Romney, who gets 38 percent of the Florida Republican electorate surveyed to Gingrich's 29, just outside the poll's margin of error. Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), who has essentially punted on the state, gets 14 and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum sees 12.

Read More →

At the House Democratic Retreat, Vice President Joe Biden took a quick dig at Mitt Romney. “We’ve decided not to take Romney’s advice” and help people with their housing, he said.

We've seen the last of the debates ahead of the January 31st Florida primary. Here are ten things you need to know today.

  • Quinnipiac Poll at 8 A.M.: A new Quinnipiac Poll of the Florida GOP race is out Friday morning and shows a nine point lead for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Initial polling of the race in the Sunshine State showed former House Speaker Newt Gingrich with a huge bump from his win in South Carolina -- but as the week has gone on Romney has moved back into a healthy lead -- the TPM Poll Average now shows the former governor with a 9.3 percent lead.
  • Santorum hits Romney hard on Mass. health care law: In one of the most spirited exchanges from last night's Republican debate on CNN, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum hit Romney where it hurts -- the Massachusetts health care reform bill that he signed during his tenure as governor. Santorum said that the law so clearly resembled the federal reform that were Romney to be the nominee it would essentially cede the issue during a year when polling shows many Americans remain skeptical about the new law.
  • Read More →

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