TPM News

The New York Times reports:

At least 45 tons of highly radioactive water have leaked from a purification facility at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station, and some of it may have reached the Pacific Ocean, the plant’s operator said Sunday.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti on Monday unveiled at a 30 billion euro austerity package, Reuters reports. French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are in Paris today to hammer out a proposal ahead of an economic summit in Brussels later this week.

Fox 5 Atlanta — the same station that broke the news of Herman Cain’s alleged 13 year extramarital affair — is reporting that, according to a source, Cain will on Monday endorse Newt Gingrich for the GOP nomination.

In announcing his campaign suspension on Saturday, Cain said he would be endorsing another candidate soon.

John McCain told Candy Crowley of State Of The Union that he looks at the 2012 presidential race with a sense of “relief.”

When asked if President Obama can win Arizona, McCain said: “I think it can be up for grabs. I think that’s true of New Mexico, Colorado, Texas even, although maybe not this time. But the demographics are clear. The demographics are clear that the Hispanic vote will play a major — be a major factor in national elections.”

Speaking on State Of The Union with Candy Crowley, Michele Bachmann said that she thinks her campaign will pick up a lot of people who supported Herman Cain. “One thing that we’ve seen is that a lot of Herman Cain supporters have been calling our office, and they’ve been coming over to our side,” she said.

“I think part of that is because people see that I’m the Tea Party candidate in the race,” Bachmann continued. “They saw Herman Cain as an outsider, and I think they see that my voice will be the one that would be most reflective of his.”

In an interview with Christiane Amanpour on This Week, Rick Santorum said it’s not necessarily a bad thing that he’s been consistently down in the polls. Amanpour pointed out that unlike other candidates, Santorum hasn’t had an “explosion to the top.” Bachmann and Perry, she said, “were up and now they’re down. But you haven’t been up.”

“Well, that’s a good thing,” Santorum replied. “That’s a great thing not to have had it. We still have almost — we have a month to go before the election. And as you know, Christiane, that’s a lifetime in politics.”

From NBC News:

With about four weeks until the first Republican presidential nominating contest, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has surged to the lead in Iowa and has climbed nearly 20 percentage points in New Hampshire since October, according to new NBC News-Marist polls. Meanwhile, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has seen his support drop in both states.

Read the results here.

More details on the new Des Moines Register poll out Saturday:

One striking finding: The results show Gingrich’s ascendancy has the potential to grow, pollster J. Ann Selzer said. More respondents choose Gingrich as their second choice than any other candidate. Together, 43 percent of likely caucusgoers pick him as first or second. With Cain’s departure from the race, Gingrich will likely benefit. More Cain supporters name Gingrich as their second choice than any other candidate.

The DMR analysis notes that there’s some good news in the poll for Mitt Romney, too:

Pluralities of likely caucusgoers see Romney as the most electable candidate in the general election, and the most presidential. Gingrich supporters name Romney as their second choice more than any other candidate. And Romney takes the likability crown that caucusgoers bestowed on Cain a month ago.Leading on electability offers perhaps the brightest ray of hope for Romney supporters. Gingrich’s surge might prove another primal but short-lived scream of frustration at the direction the country is headed.

Read the rest here.

Mike Huckabee's presidential forum Saturday was certainly unique, featuring a slate of ultra-conservative state Attorney Generals grilling the candidates on issues like regulation, health care, and judicial philosophy.

The candidates were asked to refrain from attacking each other, but Newt Gingrich drew e-mailed attacks from rival Rick Perry for his answer regarding a 2007 ad with Nancy Pelosi endorsing climate change legislation.

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The Des Moines Register is out with their latest much-anticipated poll of the presidential field in Iowa and Newt Gingrich's momentum is the big story. He leads the field with 23%, trailed by Ron Paul at 18% and Mitt Romney at 16%.

The others: Michele Bachmann at 8%, the departed Herman Cain at 8%, Rick Santorum at 6%, and Rick Perry at 6%. 11% were undecided.

Read More →