TPM News

Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) appeared Sunday on CNN's State of the Union, with an important message for Republicans on Christmas: Don't let the Tea Partiers -- like the one challenging Lugar in his primary -- cost the GOP in 2012.

Lugar, who was first elected to the Senate in 1976, is being challenged from the right in the Republican primary, by state Treasurer Richard Mourdock.

Notably, Lugar slammed Tea Party activists and candidates from the last cycle -- for costing the Republicans the chance to win the majority in 2010.

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Newt Gingrich, who makes no secret of his messy marital past, long maintained that his first divorce in 1980 was initiated by his wife. But according to CNN, court documents indicate this isn’t true. Gingrich initiated the divorce. See the documents here.

Mike Huckabee, who won the Iowa caucuses in 2008, predicts that weather could be the deciding factor in the Iowa caucuses on January 3. If the weather is good, he says, Romney will win with good overall turnout. But if the weather is bad, and some less dedicated voters stay home, then Ron Paul will win.

Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, currently seeking the presidential nomination on the Republican ticket, will make a major announcement Wednesday, his campaign announced moments ago. It will take place at 10am MST in Santa Fe.

News broke last week that Johnson was planning on switching to a bid for the nomination on the Libertarian ticket, abandoning the Republican primary. TPM assessed what effect this might have on the campaign.

In a statement Monday, Tea Party Express Chairmen Amy Kremer released a statement applauding the support and agenda of Michele Bachmann. Despite the praise, the Tea Party Express makes clear that this is not an endorsement:

While the Tea Party Express has not endorsed a presidential candidate at this time, Michele Bachmann garners strong Tea Party support because of her work and commitment to restoring fiscal responsibility to Washington, D.C. We have been pleased with Congresswoman Bachmann’s contributions to this Presidential race and to the Tea Party movement by focusing attention on the need to end the out-of-control government spending and skyrocketing national debt. She is a champion of Tea Party values, as she campaigns for fiscal responsibility and the principles of a limited federal government laid out in the U.S. Constitution.

In a long article Sunday, the Des Moines Register assessed Michele Bachmann’s career in office. The takeaway was that while Bachmann is a fantastic campaigner and can rally supporters to her, she is less effective at passing legislation.

Mitt Romney will arrive in Iowa on Tuesday for an evening event, and begin to campaign in the state in ernest Wednesday morning with a 3-day bus tour. He spent most of last week in New Hampshire.

On Sunday, the New York Times ran a piece detailing Ron Paul’s history of and connection with extremist fringe organizations. Some of this came from Paul’s infamous newsletters, his advisor Lew Rockwell, and simply from extremists reading his writing and speeches and deciding to support him.