TPM News

Iowa Republican activist Darrell Kearney, founder of the conservative club of Des Moines, endorsed Newt Gingrich on Monday night with high praise for the candidate: “the most prepared conservative leader to be president since Ronald Reagan.”

Four years ago, Kearney endorsed Mitt Romney. As the Des Moines Register reports, Romney remains Kearney’s second choice.

It’s no secret that Morning Joe host and former Republican congressman Joe Scarborough has some beef with his former caucus leader, Newt Gingrich. But on Scarborough’s show this morning, he really laid into the current GOP frontrunner for his tendency to “dehumanize” his opponents.

“When he puts on his political helmet, he is a terrible person,” The Hill quoted Scarborough as saying. “He may be a nice person at home, [but] people that don’t know Newt at home need to know this.”

The morning show host slammed Gingrich for, among other things, comparing Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to the genocidal Soviet autocrat, Joseph Stalin.

Scarborough said that other Republicans he served with in Congress had emailed him privately, with words to the effect of, “How many times does Newt have to teach these people he’s bad for the conservative moment?”

Former Vice President Dan Quayle has an op-ed in his hometown Arizona Republic announcing his support for Mitt Romney’s campaign.

“He has proven over and over again that he is a leader,” Quayle writes. “He has demonstrated he is capable of making tough decisions and turning things around. He is a man of integrity. He understands budgets and financial markets. He balanced budgets and met a bottom line. He is strong on national defense and has a deep love of the principles that make America great.”

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) on Monday expanded his investigation into why ATF let guns "walk" across the Mexican border during Operation Fast and Furious, to include a probe of DEA laundering money to Mexican drug cartels.

The New York Times reported on Sunday that U.S. narcotics agents "have laundered or smuggled millions of dollars in drug proceeds as part of Washington's expanding role in Mexico's fight against drug cartels."

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Libertarians in Washington are not happy about how the Republican primary is shaping up. Barring a miracle, there are two candidates with a decent shot at the nomination. Mitt Romney, the godfather of Obamacare, is not libertarians' first choice. And they think Newt Gingrich, the new frontrunner, is even worse.

On Monday, Christopher Barron, a Republican strategist with libertarian leanings and head of GOProud, which represents gay conservatives, penned an op-ed mourning Herman Cain's exit from the race. In his stead, Barron endorsed Gary Johnson, the libertarian former governor of New Mexico.

Now, many of Cain's supporters had tea party inclinations, and the latest polling suggests many of them are swinging Newt's way. Barron thinks that's a terrible mistake.

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Standard & Poor’s has issued a warning to the European Union’s bailout fund, saying that if any AAA credit euro member is downgraded, the bailout fund may lose its AAA rating also. S&P on Monday issued a credit warning to the major European Union countries.

Donald Trump on Fox Tuesday morning said the debate he will moderate later this month will get better ratings than the other debates before it. Responding to criticism from Karl Rove, Trump called the GOP operative a “political hack.”

Michele Bachmann on Morning Joe Tuesday morning said her campaign hasn’t yet decided whether to attend Donald Trump’s GOP debate later this month. Bachmann added that Trump is a “great guy.”

Reuters reports:

A suicide bomber attacked a Shi'ite Muslim shrine in Kabul on Tuesday killing at least 54 people in unprecedented sectarian violence a day after Afghanistan’s Western allies pledged long-term support once their troops leave.

The United Nations is urging factions in Yemen to halt attacks on civilians so human rights monitors and aid can access the country, Reuters reports.