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Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney accomplished something big in the first two primary states -- he was the first GOP candidate to win both Iowa and New Hampshire. That set the narrative totally toward a Romney roll: He moved up in the polls at the next stop in the process, South Carolina, and with a huge fundraising quarter it very much looked like Mr. Inevitable was, well, inevitable.

And then the campaigning down south started.

The TPM Poll Average of the race shows that Romney had a ten point lead in the week after his Iowa win and expected victory in New Hampshire. When the campaign moved to South Carolina, and the circular firing squad over Romney's tenure as CEO of Bain Capital began, he started dropping while the chief Bain critic, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, has bounced back in the state. Now new Public Policy Polling (D) numbers out Friday show Romney in the lead with 29 percent, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich with 24, Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) with 15 and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum at 14. The rest of the field is in single digits.

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Three years, two months and a week -- more than 1100 days -- after the 2008 presidential election, internal investigators at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement are still probing who leaked the immigration status of then-Sen. Barack Obama's aunt Zeituni Onyango just three days before voters went to the polls.

Relevant files from ICE's Office of Professional Responsibility are "part of an ongoing investigation" and will not be disclosed, an ICE official wrote in a Jan. 11 response to TPM's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for documents related to the investigation.

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Former John Ensign aide Doug Hampton is now one step closer to going on trial on charges he broke an anti-revolving door lobbying law.

Hampton appeared at a pre-trial hearing in Washington, D.C. on Friday, his trip provided by the U.S. Marshals Service because he was financially unable to pay his own way, according to court records. He's due back in court on Sept. 5, with a trial likely in the fall. Hampton's role in the Ensign debacle is at this point well know. He left Ensign's office in 2008 after learning the Senator had carried on an affair with his wife Cynthia Hampton. Hampton allegedly soon started lobbying Ensign's office in violation of the law. A Senate Ethics Committee report found there was "Substantial Credible Evidence That Senator Ensign Conspired to Violate, and Aided and Abetted" Hampton's alleged violations of the ban. Ensign resigned in April, just before the report was released.

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Speaking before a crowd of veterans in Hilton Head, SC at a campaign event for Mitt Romney, former United Nations ambassador John Bolton dismissed the notion that President Barack Obama deserves any credit for the killing of Osama bin Laden:

“The irony is [Obama] is campaigning on the basis that he is a success as a foreign policy president. This is amazing. Navy Seal Team Six killed Osama bin Laden That is his definition of success. In 1969, when Americans landed on the moon, it is like Richard Nixon taking credit for that. It happened to occur during his presidency.”

Stephen Colbert, who on Thursday night announced his intention to explore a presidential bid, will headline ABC’s This Week on Sunday. Texas Gov. Rick Perry will also be a guest on the program.

A badly excerpted quote shown on the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial in Washington will be corrected, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar told the Washington Post on Friday. Salazar has given the National Park Service 30 days to come up with a more accurate alternative.

“I was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness,” the quote on the monument reads.

A federal appeals court on Friday ordered the immediate enforcement of a new Texas abortion law, Reuters reports:



The law, enacted in 2011, requires abortion providers to perform an ultrasound on pregnant women, show and describe the image to them, and play sounds of the fetal heartbeat.

Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s on Friday downgraded a number of Eurozone countries, including France, Ireland, Italy and Spain. Standard & Poor’s downgraded Italy and Ireland to ‘BBB+’. S&P downgraded Spain to ‘A’.

Here’s a map of the downgraded European countries:

Newt Gingrich said last month that he would repudiate any ads by independent Super PACs that he felt were out of bounds. On Friday, his campaign said he was honoring that pledge by calling on a pro-Newt Super PAC, Winning Our Future, to take down ads attacking Mitt Romney's Bain Capital years.

"This week, fact check organizations like The Washington Post and Politifact have ranked advertisements produced by Super-PACs supporting Governor Romney and myself as containing enormous inaccuracies," Gingrich said in an e-mailed statement to reporters. "I am calling for the Winning Our Future Super-PAC supporting me to either edit its 'King of Bain' advertisement and movie to remove its inaccuracies, or to pull it off the air and off the internet entirely."

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