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ABC News reports:



Scrappy insurgent Rick Santorum today told ABC News that Mitt Romney’s “I like firing people who provide me services” comment might say something to voters about how the frontrunner sees the world.

“I am not too sure that is a very good message to a lot of folks out there,” Santorum said of the remark. Romney was talking about the ability of consumers to seek a new health insurance company, but coming at the same time that his tenure at Bain Capital is under scrutiny, the remark was easily seized upon by rivals as an example of his participation in leveraged buyouts of companies, resulting in thousands of fired workers.

Santorum said, “it was certainly an inarticulate way of phrasing what he wanted to phrase, but it’s a little bit of a gotcha…I am not going to make a big issue of that, I understand what he meant, we all say things a little left-handily. But obviously the way you say things left-handily can provide some insights on how you actually see things and we’ll let the American public figure that out.”

Newt Gingrich, who has been going hard against Mitt Romney, said he has “no personal opinion” of the former Massachusetts governor. Gingrich said he doesn’t mind Romney as a person, and called him a competitor.

Asked how he feels about being called an “angry little attack muffin,” Newt Gingrich first said he was thankful for being referred to as “little.” But he denies being “angry.” People call him angry because they don’t have a better explanation, he said.

The White House has confrimed that Cecilia Munoz, currently director of Intergovernmental Affairs, will take over as director of the administration’s Domestic Policy Council. She will succeed Melody Barnes, who left the post at the end of 2011. At a briefing, White House press secretary Jay Carney dismissed the notion that Munoz’s appointment is a thinly veiled effort to improve outreach to the Hispanic community. “I think Cecilia is the best person for the job,” Carney said.

Newt Gingrich, in a taped interview on Fox News, continued his assault on Mitt Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital. He again said Romney needs to hold a press conference to explain his actions at Bain. Gingrich said he’s all for winners and losers in a free market system, but added that there needs to be a sense that “we’re all in the same boat.”

“It has to be fair, it has to be out in the open,” Gingrich said.

LAS VEGAS -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer gave what the company has said will be its final keynote speech at the Consumer Electronics Show on Monday night. And much like the T.S. Eliot poem, it ended not with a bang, but a whimper.

Ballmer, with the aid of Ryan Seacrest, showed off the new Windows 8 operating system, which Microsoft hopes will make a big splash when it launches for public beta in February.

"The feature attraction of tonight's keynote is Metro Style," Ballmer told Seacrest, referring to the Windows 8 user interface -- a new look for Windows which incorporates the innovative "tiles" navigational system pioneered on Microsoft's Windows Phone 7.

Other Microsoft executives also demoed voice-controlled Bing search for XBox's home entertainment offerings, an interactive version of Sesame Street for the XBox Kinect, and various features of the Metro user interface on Windows Phones, all of which are set to come out later in 2012.

But no news of much real consequence or substance came from the event, much to the disappointment of the thousands of reporters, analysts and exhibitors who showed up to see the colorful, frequently profane, notoriously high-strung Ballmer take the stage for what is supposedly the last time here at CES in Vegas.

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Mitt Romney’s claim that he created 100,000 jobs during his tenure at Bain faced another setback Tuesday, with Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler declaring it “an untenable figure” and awarded it three “Pinocchios” out of four on his lie scale.

Romney’s claim, which he doubled down on over the weekend, is central to his 2012 case for being a job creator. It initially came under fire after reporters revealed that he was cherry-picking statistics to ignore jobs lost by the companies he was involved with during his tenure and include jobs added following his departure.

“We asked the Romney campaign for a response, but did not get one,” Kessler reported.

Mitt Romney’s claim that he created 100,000 jobs during his tenure at Bain faced another setback Tuesday, with Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler declaring it “an untenable figure” and awarded it three “Pinocchios” out of four on his lie scale.

Romney’s claim, which he doubled down on over the weekend, is central to his 2012 argument that he’s a job creator. It initially came under fire after reporters revealed that he was cherry-picking statistics to ignore jobs lost by the companies he was involved with during his tenure and include jobs added following his departure.

“We asked the Romney campaign for a response, but did not get one,” Kessler reported.

Fox News' Megyn Kelly just teased two segments: an interview with former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty — a Mitt Romney supporter — and a taped interview with Newt Gingrich. Stay tuned.

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