Campaign Headlines March 12, 2012: Rivals Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich Call Mitt Romney a Weak Choice for G.O.P. Nomination — Weakest front-runner since 1920

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

Rivals Call Romney a Weak Choice for G.O.P. Nomination

Source: NYT, 3-12-12

With two key Southern primaries on the horizon this week, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich sharpened their attacks against Mitt Romneyon Sunday, as Mr. Santorum bluntly declared that his leading rival “can’t close the deal,” and Newt Gingrich called Mr. Romney the party’s weakest front-runner since 1920.

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While much of the attention is focused on Mr. Romney, the Republican contests in Alabama and Mississippi on Tuesday could bring a new measure of clarity to the field. The tension between Mr. Gingrich and Mr. Santorum is steadily increasing, but Mr. Gingrich has rejected suggestions that he leave the race if he fares poorly in the two primaries.

“I think we’re probably pulling ahead in both states right now,” Mr. Gingrich said in an interview on “Fox News Sunday.” He rejected the assertion that Mr. Santorum was the strongest conservative in the race, saying: “I think there’s a space for a visionary conservative with big solutions.”

Mr. Santorum, who swept to a commanding victory in the Kansas caucuses on Saturday, stopped short of joining his aides and supporters in calling for Mr. Gingrich to end his campaign. But he made clear that a two-man race with Mr. Romney was the party’s best chance to present a conservative alternative for Republicans.

“Speaker Gingrich can stay in as long as he wants, but I think the better opportunity to nominate a conservative is to give us an opportunity to go head-to-head with Gov. Romney,” Mr. Santorum said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “Hopefully that occurs sooner rather than later.”

The Republican presidential campaign has become a race to win 1,144 delegates needed to secure the party’s nomination. Mr. Romney holds a significant advantage over his rivals, but his advisers believe that he will not reach the delegate threshold for at least two more months….READ MORE

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Political Headlines March 12, 2012: Washington Post-ABC News poll: Gas prices sink Obama’s ratings on economy, bring parity to race for White House

POLITICAL HEADLINES

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Gas prices sink Obama’s ratings on economy, bring parity to race for White House

Source: WaPo, 3-12-12

Video: President Obama is hitting back at Republican criticism of his energy policies and his role in controlling gasoline prices.

Disapproval of President Obama’s handling of the economy is heading higher — alongside gasoline prices — as a record number of Americans now give the president “strongly” negative reviews on the 2012 presidential campaign’s most important issue, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Increasingly pessimistic views of Obama’s performance on the economy — and on the federal budget deficit — come despite a steadily brightening employment picture and other signs of economic improvement, and they highlight the political sensitivity of rising gas prices.

Graphic

Public disapproval of President Obama’s handling of the economy is again on the rise.

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Public disapproval of President Obama’s handling of the economy is again on the rise.

 

The potential political con­sequences are clear, with the ­rising public disapproval reversing some of the gains the president had made in hypothetical general-election matchups against possible Republican rivals for the White House. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and former senator Rick Santorum (Pa.) now both run about evenly with Obama. The findings come just five weeks after Obama appeared to be getting a boost from the improving economy.

Gas prices are a main culprit: Nearly two-thirds of Americans say they disapprove of the way the president is handling the situation at the pump, where rising prices have already hit hard. Just 26 percent approve of his work on the issue, his lowest rating in the poll. Most Americans say higher prices are already taking a toll on family finances, and nearly half say they think that prices will continue to rise, and stay high….READ MORE

 

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