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Former President Jimmy Carter on Wednesday charged Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich with crafting his campaign message in a way that speaks to prejudice.

"I wouldn't say he's racist, but he knows the subtle words to use to appeal to a racist group," the former Democratic president said in an interview set to air on CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight."

Speaker Boehner, addressing the State Department’s decision to reject the Keystone XL oil pipeline, said “this is not the end of the fight.”

Boehner said President Obama will not stand up to his political base, “even to create jobs.”

President Obama today released a statement officially detailing why he decided to reject the Keystone XL pipeline project, saying that after he reviewed the State Department’s report, he agreed:

This announcement is not a judgment on the merits of the pipeline, but the arbitrary nature of a deadline that prevented the State Department from gathering the information necessary to approve the project and protect the American people. I’m disappointed that Republicans in Congress forced this decision, but it does not change my Administration’s commitment to American-made energy that creates jobs and reduces our dependence on oil. Under my Administration, domestic oil and natural gas production is up, while imports of foreign oil are down. In the months ahead, we will continue to look for new ways to partner with the oil and gas industry to increase our energy security –including the potential development of an oil pipeline from Cushing, Oklahoma to the Gulf of Mexico – even as we set higher efficiency standards for cars and trucks and invest in alternatives like biofuels and natural gas. And we will do so in a way that benefits American workers and businesses without risking the health and safety of the American people and the environment.

Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown is facing a serious challenger in Elizabeth Warren. In the blue state of Massachusetts, Brown’s best bet is basically running as an independent, not beholden to either party. To that effect, he has released a video re-introducing himself to voters. In the video, he stresses his rough upbringing, his time in the military, and the fact that even though he’s technically Republican, he’s really an independent.


Interestingly, one part of the video shows a Newsweek headline calling Brown “The New McCain.” But of course, John McCain did not win Massachusetts in 2008 — he lost it to Barack Obama by a 26-point margin.

In an interview with Wolf Blitzer that will air today at 5:25 pm E.T. on CNN, Newt Gingrich said he will ask Sarah Palin “to play a major role” in his administration if elected President.

Gingrich’s remarks come a day after the former Alaska governor and vice-Presidential candidate made waves by offering a quasi-endorsement of Gingrich on Fox News.

“I want to see this thing continue because iron sharpens iron,” Palin told Fox’s Sean Hannity. “If I had to vote in order to keep it going, I would vote for Newt.”

Palin recently said she was unsure whether her endorsement would actually help any candidates at the moment, which may help to explain her slightly unconventional fist-bump for Newt. She explained it further this way:

"I want more debates, more vetting of candidates, because we know the mistake made in our country four years ago with having a candidate that was not vetted to the degree that he should have been."

Most observers, and even most of the presidential campaigns, now say that if Mitt Romney wins South Carolina’s primary this Saturday – even by a slim margin – then the race is in effect over, and it will be all but impossible for the other candidates to challenge him credibly for the nomination. However, polls suggest Gingrich may be making gains in the state, and should he be able to unite the “anti-Romney” vote behind him, then he could attract enough money and support to help prolong the contest. Conservative commentators including talk show host Laura Ingraham and RedState founder Erick Ericksson have recently said that Rick Perry should drop out before Saturday in order to help solidify support behind Newt Gingrich.

John McCain may be one of Mitt Romney's top supporters now, but the release of his 2008 opposition research file on the current frontrunner gives an uncomfortable inside look at how he once prepped himself to battle his former rival. Especially awkward is that McCain, who has suggested attacks on Romney's record at Bain Capital are an affront against capitalism itself, dinged Romney over the same issue while his staff identified the company as a key vulnerability.

The 2008 oppo file, obtained by Buzzfeed's Andrew Kaczynski, contains over thirty pages on Bain that reference many of the same issues raised by Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, and national Democrats recently.

Read More →

A key reason Mitt Romney is headed for victory in South Carolina on Saturday, and then on to win the Republican nomination, is that the voters opposed to Romney are divided between three candidates: Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and to a lesser degree, Rick Perry.

RedState’s Erick Erickson has a plan to stop this. On Wednesday, he wrote a piece urging Perry to drop out and endorse Newt Gingrich. Erickson has a two-part argument. First, Perry could help conservatives unite around an anti-Romney; second, Perry could save face and act as a “king maker” rather than return to Texas entirely defeated. It’s a piece Erickson hopes Perry will read and think about.

Huntsman has already done his part to help Romney. Perry’s endorsement today or tomorrow morning could offset that, shifting undecideds and Perry’s own voters to someone else and get them a leg up on Mitt Romney. With Newt Gingrich surging according to the latest Rasmussen poll and Sarah Palin saying she’d support him, Perry’s withdrawal and endorsement before Saturday could ensure a Gingrich win.

Rick Perry’s campaign has come to an end. But he could leave on an unexpected high note — helping conservatives unite around one not-Romney in a way no one else has been able to. Rick Perry could be the catalyst and kingmaker so many have been looking for, even as other conservatives have stood by, unwilling to endorse in the face of long odds...

Either Rick Perry will leave the race Sunday with no political capital and no deposit of goodwill an endorsement would bring, or he will choose to strike one final blow for limited government conservatism.

Chalk up another one: Sen. John Boozman (R-AR) has withdrawn his support of the internet piracy bill PIPA, via a statement on his Facebook page:

Over the past few weeks, the chorus of concerns over Congressional efforts to address online piracy has intensified. I can say, with all honesty, that the feedback I received from Arkansans has been overwhelmingly in opposition to the Senate bill (S.968, the PROTECT IP Act) in its current form. That is why I am announcing today that I intend to withdraw my support for the Protect IP Act.