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Mitt Romney’s flub of saying “I like being able to fire people” is barely two hours old, but it’s already generating a rhetorical pile-on. Jon Huntsman has joined the growing chorus attacking Romney for the gaffe the former Massachusetts governor made this morning. Via Politico:



"I will always put my country first. It seems that Governor Romney believes in putting politics first. Governor Romney enjoys firing people. I enjoy creating jobs."


It’s worth observing that Romney was talking in a hypothetical context about the importance of competition and being able to shop around for services elsewhere if your provider isn’t doing a good job. But with one day till the New Hampshire primary, his opponenets are giving him no quarter.

“I don’t think you defeat a billion dollar attack campaign by trying to resemble it,” said former House Speaker Newt Gingrich on Monday at a town hall in Manchester, New Hampshire. Gingrich was referring to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who is leading the polls ahead of Tuesday’s Republican primary, saying that Romney has changed his political affiliation and positions over the years to fit different situations.

Gingrich said that the reason former President Ronald Reagan defeated then President Jimmy Carter in 1980 was by being a sharp conservative contrast to his opponent, which Gingrich said he provides in lieu of Romney’s moderation.

Things are tightening ahead of the New Hampshire Primary in the Suffolk tracking poll of the state, but other numbers show that Romney still has a commanding lead. The Suffolk poll shows Romney down to 33 percent, from a high of 43 percent on Monday and Tuesday of last week.

Other polls from the University of New Hampshire and Public Policy Polling (D) show Romney at 41 percent and 35 respectively, and with the primary on Tuesday, it’s hard to see a scenario where Romney could actually lose the vote tomorrow.

From Suffolk:



For the fifth day in a row, Mitt Romney has fallen in overnight tracking, but lack of movement by second place Ron Paul has insulated a likely Romney victory, according to the latest two-day Suffolk University/7News tracking poll of likely voters in the New Hampshire Republican presidential primary...“Mitt Romney’s biggest asset is the large number of candidates in this group that are dividing up the remainder of the vote,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston. “With just a 33 percent stake, he can control his destiny, so long as the others in his group continue to battle each other. So the more people in the group the merrier for Romney.”


The TPM Poll Average puts Romney at 37.8 among GOP voters in the Granite State.



Congressman Paul Ryan released the following statement regarding H.R. 3261, the Stop Online Piracy Act:



The internet is one of the most magnificent expressions of freedom and free enterprise in history. It should stay that way. While H.R. 3261, the Stop Online Piracy Act, attempts to address a legitimate problem, I believe it creates the precedent and possibility for undue regulation, censorship and legal abuse. I do not support H.R. 3261 in its current form and will oppose the legislation should it come before the full House.

The New Hampshire primary is tomorrow. While polls still show Mitt Romney with a safe lead in the state, second and third places are up for grabs. Three polls out Sunday all had different numbers. Here are the 10 things you need to know today.

  • Public Policy Polling shows Romney with big lead in NH : Public Policy Polling has released its final poll before the New Hampshire primary. They see Romney "headed for a comfortable win in New Hampshire" with 35% and the rest of the field very close together. Ron Paul has with 18%, Jon Huntsman 16%, Newt Gingrich 12%, 11%. Buddy Roemer's 3% beats Rick Perry's 1%. The latest TPM Poll Average has Romney with 35.1%, Paul with 17.7% and Huntsman with 16.2.
  • Suffolk poll shows Romney ahead, but slipping: The latest Suffolk University/7News poll which has been turning out daily polling data in New Hampshire has Romney in the lead, but with the other candidates closing the gap. Sunday was the fourth night in a row that Romney has fallen in their daily tracking poll. Santorum also slipped into fifth place. Suffolk puts the distance between Paul's second place (20%) and Huntsman's third (11%) much wider than the 2 percentage point difference in the PPP poll.
  • Read More →

The New Hampshire Union Leader reports:



A long and grueling 2012 New Hampshire primary campaign comes to an end Tuesday when an estimated 325,000 Granite Staters go to the polls, with most choosing the man they want to have oppose President Barack Obama in the fall general election campaign.

The Democrats are having a primary, too, but it is a formality. Obama is not opposed in New Hampshire — or anywhere for that matter — by any significant challengers.

As a result, Secretary of State William Gardner expects only 75,000 to vote in that primary as opposed to 250,000 in the Republican primary.

Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) has further solidified her position as the presumptive Democratic nominee in Wisconsin for Senate, with the campaign announcing Monday the endorsement of the person she hopes to replace — retiring Democratic Sen. Herb Kohl.

“Tammy Baldwin has served our state and our country with conviction, compassion and common sense, and she will be an excellent senator who will make Wisconsin proud,” said Kohl, in a statement released by the Baldwin campaign. “We can all trust Tammy to stand up for the people of our great state and for the values we all share.”

On the Republican side, there is a heated primary between former Gov. Tommy Thompson, former Rep. Mark Neumann, and current state Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald. The primary will be held on August 14.

At an event in Nashua, New Hampshire Monday morning, Mitt Romney made statement that he probably already regrets: “I like being able to fire people who provide services to me.” Here’s the full quote and context:



"I want individuals to have their own insurance. That means the insurance company will have an incentive to keep you healthy. It also means that if you don’t like what they do, you could fire them. I like being able to fire people who provide services to me. You know, if someone isn’t giving the good service, I want to say, I’m going to go get someone else to provide this service to me."

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