TPM News

In an appearance on “Fox and Friends” on Wednesday, Newt Gingrich defended his sharp criticism of Mitt Romney and contended that his attacks on the former Massachusetts governor’s time at Bain are not the defining issue of his campaign.

“This is not the centerpiece of my campaign, but it’s a legitimate, important question,” Gingrich said. He went on to say he is not engaging in “socialist” attacks on capitalism, as some of Romney’s backers have charged:

That's not an issue about the whole capitalist system. That's a question about a very particular style of activity involving a very particular person. Remember, we're not talking about the system. We're talking about somebody who is running for president of the united states and we're asking a question about his judgment, his values, the choices he made. Seems to me that's very central to what kind of a president he will be.

CNN reports:

As Rick Santorum fights for conservative support in South Carolina, the independent super PAC supporting the former senator from Pennsylvania is weighing in with more than a half million dollars of new ad buys in the state.

The Red, White and Blue Fund is buying $600,000 in new ad time Thursday in the state, a source familiar with the buy confirmed to CNN. The new ads are expected to go up on Saturday and remain up through next week's primary, the source said.

This is in addition to the $190,000 the group previously bought in the state for commercials promoting Santorum that went up last weekend.

Phyllis Young, the owner of the Aloha Bed And Breakfast in Oahu, Hawaii says that being gay is "detestable" and "defiles our land." That's why she denied a lesbian couple a reservation in 2007, and that is why the couple filed a discrimination suit against her in December.

But Young's got a little high-powered help. Her attorney, from the Alliance Defense Fund, argues that the lawsuit threatens Young's religious freedom because "no business owner should be forced to violate his or her religious beliefs because someone is offended by those beliefs."

This argument is a mainstay with the ADF -- which has for years attached itself to similar legal battles across the country -- as well as the broader movement against anti-discrimination suits by members of the right-wing.

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Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus had harsh words for Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz on Wednesday.  Priebus accused the Florida Representative of blaming the Tea Party for the January 2011 shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ).

Wasserman Schultz “should apologize immediately,” Priebus tweeted Wednesday afternoon.  He later appeared on CNN, accusing the Chairwoman of using the tragedy to try to “score political points.”

Thanks to Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry, Bain Capital is all over the news this week, prompting an upset MItt Romney to accuse his rivals of turning to "the bitter politics of envy" in order to halt his momentum. But is it possible the latest round of attacks will actually work to Romney's advantage in the general election?

Some pundits have thrown out the idea that because the Bain story is coming up sooner than expected, it will be that tougher for Democrats to go on the offensive later as per their original plan.

"[If] Romney wins the nomination, this early fuss might have inoculated him against the Scrooge gambit," TIME columnist Joe Klein wrote."The public may feel Bain is same old, same old by October."

Don't buy it, Democrats say. Even while they acknowledge that they planned to roll out the Bain angle later for a reason, they find it pretty hard to contain their grins overall.

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When it comes to Hispanic outreach, Republicans on Wednesday took two tiny steps forward and one giant step back. The RNC announced they were ramping up their outreach efforts to Hispanic voters and Mitt Romney released an advertisement in Florida in Spanish. But it's hard to see either of those overshadowing Romney's embrace of the architect of notorious Arizona and Alabama anti-immigration laws.

Wednesday morning, the Romney campaign announced the endorsement of Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach. "I'm so proud to earn Kris's support," Romney said in the press release. "Kris has been a true leader on securing our borders and stopping the flow of illegal immigration into this country," which Romney said he was "very pleased to get."

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Michelle Obama is now officially on Twitter.

“We’re excited today to launch @michelleobama as a new way for you to connect with First Lady Michelle Obama and the President’s campaign,” reads the first tweet.

Within the 1.5 hours since the account has been activated, she has gained over four thousand followers, and the count is steadily rising.

The account will be managed by the First Lady’s campaign staff, with her personal tweets signed by “-mo.”

Comedian Stephen Colbert is considering jumping in the race for the Republican nomination – or so he joked on his program Wednesday.  He emphasized his qualification as not being Mitt Romney, and promised his fans a big announcement on Thursday.

This comes on the heels of a recent PPP poll which showed Colbert beating Jon Huntsman in a hypothetical South Carolina race.  The Colbert Report host received 5% of the vote, versus 4% for the former Utah Governor.

Speaking to voters at a cafe in Daniel Island, SC, Jon Huntsman said that he will embark on a “Grateful Dead-like tour” across the country to regain the trust of the citizenry.

Huntsman has demonstrated a penchant for music on the campaign trail, cracking a joke about Kurt Cobain at a debate in September and jamming out on the piano during an appearance last month on the Late Show with David Letterman.