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President Obama, speaking from Kansas today about economic themes of fairness, recalled the the fast years of the 2000s, where regulators and bankers helped drive the economy off the cliff. Here are some of his excerpts:

For many years, credit cards and home equity loans papered over the harsh realities of this new economy. But in 2008, the house of cards collapsed. We all know the story by now: Mortgages sold to people who couldn’t afford them, or sometimes even understand them. Banks and investors allowed to keep packaging the risk and selling it off. Huge bets – and huge bonuses – made with other people’s money on the line. Regulators who were supposed to warn us about the dangers of all this, but looked the other way or didn’t have the authority to look at all.

President Obama is speaking on the economy and the payroll tax cut extension debate. The speech is set in the same city Teddy Roosevelt delivered a call for a “New Nationalism” more than 100 years ago. Watch the live video below:

Former House Speaker has reached a new height in Gallup’s polling of the Republican Primary. Gingrich gets 37 percent their latest trial heat, the highest level that any Republican has reached all year in their polling. Gallup included the second choices of businessman Herman Cain’s supporters after he dropped out of the race this weekend.

Former Mass Gov. Mitt Romney is second with 22 percent and the rest of the field is in single digits. From Gallup:

Gingrich's lead is especially large among conservative Republicans and those who describe themselves as supporters of the Tea Party movement, with more than twice the level of support of any other candidate. Romney ties Gingrich among Republicans who are not Tea Party supporters, and the race is close among moderate/liberal Republicans.

After 18 months, Mitt Romney will finally appear on a sunday show – Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace – on Dec. 10th.

Two new polls this morning show former House Speaker Newt Gingrich adding to his lead in Iowa and South Carolina with the first votes in the Republican Presidential Primary less than a month away. A Washington Post/ABC News poll shows Gingrich up in Iowa and a Winthrop University poll has him with the lead in South Carolina.

The ABC/WaPo poll of Iowa shows Gingrich with a third of the vote, as former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney and Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) are second with 18 percent each. The poll "suggests that Gingrich holds the advantage to some extent because he lacks the negatives that are pulling back his top two rivals -- for Romney, his record on health care and weak ratings on standing up for his beliefs; for Paul, his isolationist views and doubts about his electability," ABC pollster Gary Langer wrote.

Still, just as has been the case for the entire 2012 GOP race, many voters are not firm in their support. 52 percent of likely GOP caucus-goers in the Iowa poll say they could change their minds, with 45 percent saying they won't change. But as we've seen over the last few months, voters have changed from one alternate candidate to Romney to another, despite around 30 to 40 percent of the Republican electorate saying their support is solid.

Gingrich gets the nod from 38.4 percent of Republicans and GOP-leaning independents who plan to vote in the South Carolina Republican Primary, with Romney finishing with 21.5 percent in the Winthrop poll. South Carolina has clearly shifted to the Gingrich column for the moment, as this is the fourth poll in a row to show him with over thirty points of support and a double digit lead.

The ABC/WaPo poll used 356 telephone interviews with likely Iowa caucus-goers conducted from Nov. 30th to Dec. 4th, which has a sampling error of six percent. The Winthrop poll used interviews with likely Republican and GOP-leaning registered independent voters conducted from Nov. 27th to Dec. 4th, and has a sampling error of 5.38.

Jon Huntsman attended a packed blogger sit down at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday. TPM’s Evan McMorris-Santoro attended, pressing the GOP presidential candidate about his position on climate change.

In August, Huntsman acknowledged the broad body of science pointing to climate change. Seated at an elite conservative think tank, however, Huntsman played a different tune, saying climate scientists “owe us more” information before we can decide if climate change is real.

“I think there’s probably more debate to be played out within the scientific community,” he said.

Via Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire comes this clip of Rush Limbaugh praising Gingrich’s record in the House for balancing the budget and shepherding welfare reform through Congress: “Who was the last person to actually cut government? Who was the last person who actually led a movement that balanced the federal budget? Who was the person that did that? You’re not gonna take a guess? That’s right, it was Mr. Newt!”

It’s not an official endorsement, but it’s sounds pretty close.

Listen to the audio here: