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Mitt Romney may have failed when he tried to explain how separate he his from the Super PAC run by former staffers that’s dumping ads all over the country.

“I haven’t spoken to any of the people involved in my super PAC in months,” Romney said.

He repeated his suggestion that super PACs are bad for democracy and called for their replacement with unlimited donations to candidates (with full disclosure.) The moment came during yet another exchange with Newt Gingrich over Super PAC ads, which have become a central part of the bitter campaign between the two men.

Gingrich called on Romney to condemn what he said were inaccuracies in Romney’s super PAC ad blitz aimed at him, while Romney called the anti-Bain Capital movie put out by Gingrich’s super PAC “the biggest hoax since Bigfoot.”

Mitt Romney has been pretty buddy buddy with John McCain lately, touting his endorsement and making joint appearances with him in key primary states. But apparently tensions are still in the air — Romney called McCain-Feingold, the Arizona Senator’s campaign finance law that’s typically considered his signature legislative achievement, a “disaster” in Monday’s debate.

In a bit of a stumble on Monday night’s Republican debate, questioner Juan Williams asked former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney if he still enjoys hunting, an activity he’s said he enjoyed. “I’m not going to describe all of my great exploits,” Romney joked. “I’m not the great hunter like some on this stage — Rick Perry, my guess is you are a serious hunter. I’m not a serious hunter, but I enjoy the sport and when I get invited I’m delighted to be able to go hunting.”

Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) was questioned whether he said that international law would have constrained the US from killing Osama bin Laden. Paul said not only did vote for the authorization to go after bin Laden, but frustrated that it took ten years to get him. But on the point of international law, Paul said he thinks that the US should respect other nations' soverignty more often.

“What I suggested there was that if we have no respect for the sovereignty of another nation that it will lead to disruption of that nation,” Paul said. “Here we have a nation that we are becoming constantly trying to kill people who we consider our enemies. At the same time we are giving the government of Pakistan billions of dollars. Now there’s a civil war going on, people are mad at us. The government is getting money from us and I think it’s a deeply flawed policy. But to not go after him, and if I voted for the authority, obviously I think it was proper.”

After being pressed on the issue, Paul was booed for his position, essentially saying he wouldn’t unilaterally endorse American free reign to use military force.

There was a rare kind word for President Obama at Monday’s South Carolina Republican presidential debate in Myrtle Beach. Frontrunner Mitt Romney was asked if he’d sign the controversial National Defense Authorization Act, the law that critics say will allow the president to indefinitely detain just about anyone.

Romney said he would do what Obama did when it came to the NDAA: sign it. That led to boos from the crowd in Myrtle Beach. But that’s when Romney said he wasn’t worried Obama would misuse the authority granted him in the NDAA, a legacy Romney said he’d continue if he wins.

“I recognize, I recognize that in a setting where there are enemy combatants on our own soil, that [power] could be abused,” Romney said. “There are lots of things I think this president does wrong but I don’t think he will abuse this power and if I were president I would not abuse this power.”

Rick Perry said in Monday’s South Carolina debate that Turkey may have been taken over by “Islamic terrorists” based on their ruling Islamic party. The answer came in response to a question over whether Turkey should remain a NATO ally, which Perry said was a conversation worth having.

“Obviously when you have a country that is being ruled by what many would perceive to be Islamic terrorists, when you start seeing that type of activity against their own citizens, then, yes,” he said. “Not only is it time for us to have a conversation about whether or not they belong…but it’s time for the United states, we look at their foreign aid, to go to zero with it.”

Rick Perry waded into controversial territory this weekend, saying the Obama administration was going too far in condemning the U.S. marines who were videotaped urinating on Taliban corpses.

He continued pressing this theme tonight, saying, “they made a mistake and they need to be punished. But the fact of the matter is when the Secretary of Defense calls it a despicable act… let me tell you what’s despicable: cutting Danny Pearl’s head off and posting a video of it online.”

Newt Gingrich is not even a little interested in entertaining the notion that some of his rhetoric has ruffled racial feathers.

At the Fox News debate in South Carolina Monday, co-moderator Juan Williams asked Gingrich about concerns from some that his rhetoric on the stump has been racially insensitive.

Williams, from a rush transcript (added emphasis):

Speaker Gingrich, you said black Americans should demand jobs, not food stamps. You also said poor kids lack a strong work ethic and proposed having them work as janitors in their schools. Can’t you see that this is viewed, at a minimum, as insulting to all Americans, but particularly to black Americans?

Gingrich was not interested in that line of inquiry.

“No. I don’t see that,” he said to cheers from the audience.

Later, Williams pushed the point. And the crowd booed him:

I have to tell you my Twitter account has been inundated by all races, who are asking if your comments are not intended to belittle the poor and racial minorities. You saw some of this reaction dug your visit to a black church in South Carolina. We saw some of this during your visit to a church in South Carolina where a woman dad’s asked you why you referred to President Obama as the food stamp president. It sounds as if you are seeking to belittle people. 

“Well, first of all, Juan, the fact is that more people have been put on food stamps by Barack Obama than any president in American history,” Gingrich shot back. “I know among the politically correct you are not supposed to use facts that are uncomfortable.”

Mitt Romney loves a lot of things. One thing he loves more than most appears to be wading his way through the patriotic songs of the country (American anthems, if you will) and wowing audiences in the early primary states.

For the silver-flecked crooner, his most recent his is a cover of America The Beautiful. A cover that is adaptable depending on what state you are in, yes, but one that retains the same heartfelt passion throughout.

So, make your own mind up - is he more Tom Jones, or William Shatner?

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