TPM News

Things are heating up, with Mitt Romney and Rick Perry struggling to talk over one another. Check it out:

The White House isn't backing away any time soon from Richard Cordray's bid to become the first director of the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The administration enlisted the help of 37 attorneys general, both Republicans and Democrats, to push for their former colleague, Ohio's previous attorney general, and sing his praises. The attorneys general sent a letter Tuesday to every member of the Senate, asking them to overcome their opposition to Cordray and the CFPB in general.

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Perry: “There is a magnet, and the magnet is called jobs. And those people who hire illegals ought to be penalized.”

“Mitt,” he continued. “You lose all of your standing in my eyes because you hired illegals for your home.”

Romney then denied doing that, and the pair started bickering over the rules, and which was allowed to respond. It degenerated to the point where it actually drew jeers and boos from the crowd. Indeed, it then degenerated a second time, prompting Romney to cry, “You have a problem with allowing people to finish speaking. and i suggest that if you want to become POTUS, you’re gonna have to let both people speak.”

Spend enough time around Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and you'll learn a few things about him. He's the most disciplined GOP leader on the Hill, and one of its savviest. His devious parliamentary tactics have been a cornerstone of the GOP strategy to thwart the Democratic agenda, of which he was the key architect.

But he rarely loses his cool.

That's why his acid-tongued attack on President Obama Tuesday came as such a surprise -- and, perhaps, an indication that Obama's campaign against the GOP for blocking his jobs bill is working.

Here's the audio, from McConnell's weekly Capitol briefing with reporters.

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Rep. Michele Bachmann continues her signature “repeal ‘Obamacare’” line at the GOP presidential debate:

Deep in the midst of a heated exchange between Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney on Romneycare, members of the debate audience booed Santorum for not allowing Romney to respond.

Rick Santorum said: “Believe it or not, studies have been done that in Western Europe, people at the lower rungs of the income ladder actually have a higher chance of going up than we have. And that’s because we’ve lost our manufacturing.”

Santorum then put forward his proposed tax breaks for manufacturing businesses, which he said could restore that upward mobility to America.

The GOP presidential candidates are debating in Las Vegas. The candidates came out swinging at Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan. Here’s a snapshot of the debate:

Perhaps indicating how she’s fallen as a candidate, Bachmann struggles to fit all her economic thoughts into a concise period of time. However, she does manage to repeat her earlier flub that she’d go back to the Reagan tax code (even though the rate was higher then). She ends: “President Obama’s plan has been a plan for the destruction of this economy,” and then plugs her website.