Campaign Buzz March 13, 2012: Rick Santorum’s Double-Header Win in Alabama & Mississippi Primaries — Sweeps South, Newt Gingrich Places Second, Mitt Romney Third — Blow to Romney Campaign — Romney Wins American Samoa Caucuses


By Bonnie K. Goodman

Ms. Goodman is the Editor of History Musings. She has a BA in History & Art History & a Masters in Library and Information Studies from McGill University, and has done graduate work in history at Concordia University. Ms. Goodman has also contributed the overviews, and chronologies in History of American Presidential Elections, 1789-2008, 4th edition, edited by Gil Troy, Fred L. Israel, and Arthur Meier Schlesinger published by Facts on File, Inc. in late 2011.


Mike Stone/Reuters
Rick Santorum prepared to address supporters at his Alabama and Mississippi primary election night rally in Lafayette, La., on Tuesday night. More Photos »


Rick Santorum wins GOP primary in Mississippi: Rick Santorum has won the Republican primary in Mississippi, his second victory of the night after winning in Alabama.
Results in Hawaii and the American Samoa, which also voted today, are expected early Wednesday morning…. – WaPo, 3-13-12

Rick Santorum wins Republican primary in Alabama: Rick Santorum has won the Republican primary in Alabama, beating Mitt Romney and dealing a blow to Newt Gingrich’s hopes of keeping his candidacy alive with victories in the South. WaPo, 3-13-12

AP: Mitt Romney wins GOP caucus in American Samoa: Former Mass. governor Mitt Romney has won the Republican presidential caucus in American Samoa, picking up all nine delegates, the Associated Press reported…. – WaPo, 3-13-12

Santorum Wins Mississippi and Alabama Primaries: Rick Santorum captured both Republican primaries in Mississippi and Alabama on Tuesday, dealing a forceful rebuke to Mitt Romney’s hopes of demonstrating political strength in the South as he grinds toward his party’s nomination.
The failure by Mr. Romney to emerge as a victor in the three-way battle with Mr. Santorum and Newt Gingrich was underscored by his weakness with the Republican party’s traditional constituencies. Mr. Romney lost among very conservative voters and evangelical Christians, according to exit polls.
Mr. Gingrich appeared poised to come in second in both states Tuesday night, ahead of Mr. Romney but having failed to deliver any first-place victories in southern states outside of his home state of Georgia.
The immediate question for Mr. Gingrich will be whether pressure mounts for him to exit the race to allow conservatives to coalesce behind someone other than Mr. Romney…. – NYT, 3-13-12

“We did it again. This is a grassroots campaign for president. Who would have ever thought in the age of media that we have in this country today that ordinary folks from across this country can defy the odds day in, day out?
For someone who thinks this race is inevitable, he’s spending a whole lot of money against me.
The time is now for conservatives to pull together. The time is now to make sure — to make sure that we have the best chance to win this election, and the best chance to win this election is to nominate a conservative to go up against Barack Obama who can take him on, on every issue.” — Rick Santorum

“Because this is proportional representation, we are going to leave Mississippi and Alabama with a substantial number of delegates.
One of the things tonight proved is that the elite media’s effort to convince the nation that Mitt Romney is inevitable just collapsed. If you’re the frontrunner and you keep coming in third, you’re not much of a frontrunner.” — Newt Gingrich

“With the delegates won tonight, we are even closer to the nomination. Ann and I would like to thank the people of Alabama and Mississippi. Because of their support, our campaign is on the move and ready to take on President Obama in the fall.” — Mitt Romney Statement

Live Coverage of the Alabama, Mississippi and Hawaii Primaries: Follow along for live updates, analysis, results and more from The New York Times political unit…. – NYT, 3-13-12

Live blog: Three-way GOP tossup in Deep South: We’re live blogging the results from tonight’s GOP presidential primaries in Alabama and Mississippi.
The few statewide polls available show a tight race in both states among Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum. Ron Paul lags well behind and hasn’t really been competing in the two states…. – USA Today, 3-13-12

  • Santorum sweeps Mississippi, Alabama primaries: Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum has won Tuesday night’s primary contests in Alabama and Mississippi.
    With almost all of the precincts reporting in Alabama, Santorum earned 35 percent support, with Newt Gingrich barely edging Mitt Romney out for second as each won about 29 percent of the vote.
    Meanwhile, in Mississippi, with nearly all of the votes in, Santorum led his rivals with 33 percent support, while Gingrich followed him with 31 percent. Romney came in third with 30 percent.
    The Associated Press reported that Romney picked up all nine delegates in the Republican caucus in American Samoa. There are also caucuses going on in Hawaii, although results have not yet been announced…. – CBS News, 3-13-12
  • Santorum wins big in South, grabs conservative banner: Republican Rick Santorum won a pair of crucial Deep South primaries on Tuesday, taking control of the party’s conservative wing in the presidential race and dealing a severe setback to rival Newt Gingrich.
    Santorum narrowly defeated Gingrich and front-runner Mitt Romney in three-way battles that shook up a volatile Republican presidential race that has already seen a series of shifts and stumbles.
    The losses were a huge blow to Gingrich, who represented Georgia in Congress and desperately needed a win in one of the Deep South states to validate his southern-based comeback strategy and keep his struggling campaign afloat…. – Reuters, 3-14-12
  • Santorum wins GOP primaries in Mississippi, Alabama: Rick Santorum won Republican presidential primaries in Alabama and Mississippi tonight, propelling his candidacy and wrecking Mitt Romney’s hopes for a game-changing Southern breakthrough.
    While the returns were incomplete, Newt Gingrich was running second ahead of Romney in both states.
    Santorum, speaking in Louisiana, took a rhetorical swipe at Romney, the front-runner who has depicted himself as the inevitable GOP nominee. The former Pennsylvania senator predicted he would win the nomination.
    “He spent a whole lot of money against me, for being inevitable,” Santorum said of Romney. He added that “all the establishment” of the Republican Party was “on the other side of this race.”
    “We are going to win this nomination,” Santorum said. “If we nominate a conservative, we will defeat Barack Obama and set this country back on the right track.”
    With most precincts counted in Alabama, Santorum had nearly 35% of the vote.
    In Mississippi, Santorum had a small lead and 33% of the vote with nearly all precincts counted…. – USA Today, 3-13-12
  • Wins in South For Santorum: Rick Santorum won the Republican presidential primaries in Alabama and Mississippi Tuesday, solidifying his claim to be the favored candidate of the party’s conservative base and the main challenger to front-runner Mitt Romney.
    Mr. Santorum’s victories will bring new clarity to a race so far marked primarily by the inability of Mr. Romney to overcome resistance from the party’s most conservative voters. A nominating contest that has lasted longer than most expected may enter a new chapter in which Messrs. Romney and Santorum go head-to-head.
    Mr. Romney was hoping that he could prove his ability to consolidate the party behind him by scoring an upset win in the Deep South. His campaign argued Tuesday night that the losses wouldn’t diminish Mr. Romney’s lead in the delegate count or ease Mr. Santorum’s path to winning the 1,144 delegates needed to claim the nomination…. – WSJ, 3-13-12
  • Rick Santorum sweeps to victories in Alabama and Mississippi Republican Primaries: A resurgent Rick Santorum swept primaries in Alabama and Mississippi Tuesday night, upending the race for the Republican presidential nomination yet again and nudging Newt Gingrich toward the sidelines. Mitt Romney was running third in … – WaPo, 3-13-12
  • Santorum wins Alabama, Mississippi: Rick Santorum delivered another sharp shock to Mitt Romney’s campaign Tuesday night…. – Politico, 3-13-12
  • Santorum: Voters want ‘one-on-one’: Rick Santorum told Fox News on Tuesday night that conservative voters want him in a “one-on-one” contest with Mitt Romney, but noted that he “can’t control” whether Newt Gingrich drops out of the race…. – Politico, 3-13-12
  • Santorum: Time to ‘pull together’: Rick Santorum solidified his status as the conservative candidate in the GOP nomination fight after capturing double wins Tuesday in Alabama and Mississippi. The pair of scores robbed rival Mitt Romney of the opportunity to claim credibility in the South, thereby putting a quick end to the protracted GOP nominating fight…. – Politico, 3-13-12
  • After wins, Santorum says it’s time ‘for conservatives to pull together’: Rick Santorum scored two major victories in his insurgent campaign for the Republican presidential nomination Tuesday, winning the Alabama and Mississippi primaries and dealing a potentially…. – LAT, 3-13-12
  • GOP rivals look to Louisiana as next red state to woo: With victories in Alabama and Mississippi on Tuesday, Rick Santorum was already looking ahead to Louisiana’s presidential primary in 10 days, gathering here with supporters to press for another win in the Deep South…. – USA Today, 3-13-12
  • Gingrich vows fight, says Romney ‘not much of a front-runner’: Newt Gingrich fell short in his bid Tuesday to reignite his presidential campaign with wins in two Southern primaries but did not budge from his pledge to go all the way to the Republican convention, arguing that the … – LAT, 3-13-12
  • Newt Gingrich second in Alabama, Mississippi primaries: Newt Gingrich has said he plans to continue on in the Republican presidential race no matter the outcome of the primaries in Alabama and Mississippi. But Tuesday’s losses in both of these Deep South states — territory that should have set up favorably…. – WaPo, 3-14-12
  • Gingrich: I’m not leaving: Newt Gingrich said Tuesday night he feels “no pressure” to drop out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination. After delivering his primary-night speech in Birmingham, Ala., Gingrich told Fox News’s Bret Baier that he will stay in the race after losing both Mississippi and Alabama on Tuesday…. – Politico, 3-13-12
  • Mitt points to the scoreboard: Reacting to this evening’s primaries in a statement, rather than live remarks, Mitt Romney emphasizes that the delegate-level fundamentals of the race haven’t changed…. – Politico, 3-13-12
  • Mitt fails to clinch Southern wins: Mitt Romney placed third in Alabama and Mississippi Tuesday, but his campaign argues that’s irrelevant. With Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich bunched within five percentage points of each other, the trio is poised to effectively split the 90 delegates at stake in the two Southern states…. – Politico, 3-13-12
  • Exit polls show Santorum wins in AL with voters considering candidate’s….: Santorum had a huge lead among voters in both states seeking a candidate who is a real conservative, winning just over half of their votes. He also captured more than 6 in 10 of those in each state preferring a candidate with strong moral … – WaPo, 3-13-12
  • Early exit polls show deeply conservative Ala., Miss. voters strongly back: Voters going to the polls for the tightly fought GOP primaries in Mississippi and Alabama expressed strong support for their chosen candidates, compared with voters in earlier primaries, according to Tuesday’s exit polls. And those polls suggested the … – WaPo, 3-13-12
  • Voting in Alabama, Mississippi could clarify race: Mitt Romney hoped to seal his status as the Republican presidential front-runner with a thus-far-elusive victory in the Deep South, a region that has been slow to embrace the former Massachusetts governor…. – AP, USA Today, 3-13-12
  • In Alabama and Mississippi primaries, expect the unexpected: Just one week after an indecisive Super Tuesday, voters in two Deep South states could rewrite the story line of the 2012 presidential race. The outcomes in Alabama and Mississippi are expected to be close, with any of three Republican…. – LAT, 3-13-12

Full Text Obama Presidency March 13, 2012: First Lady Michelle Obama’s Speech at Mini-Olympic Games Event — A Call to Action: Let’s Move!



A Call to Action: Let’s Move!

Source: WH, 3-13-12

First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks during a mini-Olympics event at American University

First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks during an event at American University in Washington, D.C., March 13, 2012. Samantha Cameron, wife of British Prime Minister David Cameron, left, joined the First Lady, Olympic and Paralympic athletes including Lisa Leslie, and Washington, D.C., area children in a mini-Olympics competition to celebrate the 2012 London Summer Olympics and the “Let’s Move!” initiative. (Official White House Photo by Sonya N. Hebert)

Ed note: Former WNBA player and four-time Olympic champion Lisa Leslie joined First Lady Michelle Obama and Samantha Cameron, wife of British Prime Minister David Cameron, and Washington, D.C., area children in a mini-Olympics competition to celebrate the 2012 London Summer Olympics and the “Let’s Move!” initiative. The First Lady will lead the Presidential Delegation to the Opening Ceremonies of the Games.


Remarks by the First Lady at Mini-Olympic Games Event

American University
Washington, D.C.

4:57 P.M. EDT

MRS. OBAMA: Okay, you guys can have a seat. You’ve done well. You’ve done well. Have you guys had fun today?


MRS. OBAMA: Was this not — very cool. This was very cool, wasn’t it?


MRS. OBAMA: I mean, let’s say thank you to everyone who helped organize this thing. Let’s give them all a round of applause. (Applause.) It looks like it was so much fun.

But I want to start, first of all, by thanking Lisa for that very kind introduction. She’s one of my heroes, I love her to death. Don’t we love Lisa?


MRS. OBAMA: She is so awesome. (Applause.)

AUDIENCE MEMBER: I want her autograph.

MRS. OBAMA: We’re going to get autographs. We’ll get that done. We’ll get that done. But we have to say thank you to a few more people. We have a couple of guests.

Mrs. Marjorie Susman, and Lady Susan Westmacott are here. They are the ambassadors for our great countries, and they’re visiting us. (Applause.) They’re here somewhere. There they are. There they are.

And of course, we have to thank all of our wonderful Olympic and Paralympic athletes who have joined us today who helped you guys out. Did you learn something from them?


MRS. OBAMA: All right, focus, because these people have put in some time and made some sacrifices, and they’re great role models to all of you, right?

And I want to join in in also welcoming our very special guest, Mrs. Samantha Cameron — we already said hello today, but Mrs. Cameron is here. She came here with her husband from the United Kingdom. Her husband is Prime Minister David Cameron. So he’s the Prime Minister there, and they’re here on an official visit.

And what we hope to do is just remember this special relationship our two countries have. They hosted us a little while ago. We had a wonderful time when the President and I got to visit London last year as guests of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, as well as the Camerons. So we are very pleased that they’re both back here in Washington with us today. So this is a really special day.

So we are very excited to have her here with us today, and I’m particularly excited that the Camerons are visiting our country this week because, as it turns out, I will be visiting their country this summer. Because today, I’m pleased to announce that I will have the honor of leading the presidential delegation to the Opening Ceremonies of the 2012 Olympic Games in London this summer. (Applause.) And let me tell you, I am thrilled to do it. I wasn’t sure whether they were going to let me do it, but I get to do it and I’m very excited. And I know that all of you are looking forward to the Games this summer, aren’t you?


MRS. OBAMA: I mean, this is why we’re here today. Because the true spirit of the Games isn’t confined to just the two weeks of competition in the summer. It’s not just about who wins the Gold, right? You’ve heard that before. It’s not just about who wins the medals, right?


MRS. OBAMA: Or which country wins the most medals. That’s not what the Olympics are about. Instead, the Olympic Games are about commitment, right? It’s about determination, and, most importantly, it’s about teamwork — teamwork, right?

The Games are about finding our inner strength. Do you know what I mean by inner strength? It’s like, what’s deep down inside that you want to do for yourself, right? And all of these athletes have done it by pushing ourselves to be the very best that we can at something that we feel deeply about, right? And that’s sports in this case, but that can be anything. But it’s about digging down deep and finding the thing that makes you want to do more.

And just to give an example of some of the athletes we have here today, do you know that to prepare for the Olympic Games, Dominique Dawes — Dominique, make sure they know who you are. Dominique, she was in the gym almost 40 hours a week practicing. I mean, can you imagine — 40 hours a week? And that’s in addition to going to school, right? Getting her homework done, and anything else she had to do. She was in the gym. That’s how much dedication it takes.

And Lisa Leslie was out on the basketball court practicing every night, because she knew it wasn’t just good enough to be tall, right? We like being tall, but that’s not enough. You’ve got to have some skills to go with that height, and you’ve got to practice, right?

And then there’s Kortney Clemons, this guy right here. In 2005 — listen to this, guys — Kortney was serving our country as a combat medic in Iraq. He was fighting in the war when a bomb exploded nearby him, right? A bomb went off. And he was 24 years old at the time, and he had a very young daughter; he was the father of a little girl. But then he lost his leg. All of a sudden, his leg is gone.

Now, he didn’t let that stop him from reaching new goals, see? And that’s the beauty, right? He lost his leg and he thought, what more can I do with one leg? So he set a new goal for himself. So he’s always been a pretty good athlete — you can tell. He’s got that athlete look in his eye. And so during his rehabilitation, he learned about the Paralympics, and he decided he wanted to participate.

At first, he tried weightlifting, because he wanted to get buff — I’m sure he was trying to impress somebody, right? (Laughter.) But soon, he found out that he really enjoyed running. He really loved the wind in his face when he was moving fast. How many people feel that when they’re moving fast? Yes, yes, there’s nothing like moving fast. Well, that’s how he felt. So he kept working.

And less than two years after the explosion — two years afterwards — he became a national champion sprinter. Can you — dang, yes. You want to say that again?


MRS. OBAMA: He is the first Iraq veteran to qualify for the national Paralympic team. And he is an inspiration to people around the world. Do you understand that? Around the world. Let’s give Kortney a round of applause. (Applause.)

I could go on, because everyone behind me has a similarly powerful story, okay? Everyone does. But these are the stories of triumph, of perseverance and sheer willpower that lie behind every Olympian and every Paralympian. And that’s why these Games are important, you guys.

So when you watch these Games — and I hope you all do, right? There are a lot of lessons to learn — not just who wins and loses. The stories behind these athletes should give us all reason to get up and move, right? And that’s what’s so beautiful about these Games.

They don’t just allow us to marvel at the skills and the achievements of the world’s greatest athletes. They help us all dream bigger, right? I mean, you can just imagine what you can do, right kids? These Games are about inspiring you guys to move.

And that’s what I want you all to do with Let’s Move. You guys know Let’s Move is about me ensuring that young people like you guys get up and get moving. And we want to use these Games as a way to jumpstart people into moving, right? And as Lisa said, moving isn’t just being a part of a sport. Moving can be dancing in the living room, it can be riding your bike, it can be walking your dog.

But if all these athletes can do what they do, then surely you guys can get moving and help the people in your lives get moving, right? So that’s going to be one of our very important goals with the Olympic Games, is using this as a way for us to be inspired to be as healthy as we can all of the time. Do you think we can do that?


MRS. OBAMA: So I’m going to need your help. You guys are going to get some medals, but I need you to be our ambassadors. Do you know what an ambassador is? I need you to send the word out to people in your lives and in your community about how important it is to stay active and healthy. Will you guys help?


MRS. OBAMA: All right. Well, if I have that promise, then I think we can get on with the next part of the ceremony, because I think we’ve got some medals to hand out, right?


MRS. OBAMA: Yes! (Applause.) Medals to hand out.

So with that, I’m going to turn it over to Kortney, who’s going to help with the medal ceremony. Congratulations to you guys. We are so proud of you. Keep up the good work, okay? Give yourselves a round of applause.

5:06 P.M. EDT

Campaign Headlines March 13, 2012: Live Coverage of the Alabama, Mississippi and Hawaii GOP / Republican Presidential Primaries Results — Romney tries to take control



Live Coverage of the Alabama, Mississippi and Hawaii Primaries

Source: NYT, 3-13-12

Follow along for live updates, analysis, results and more from The New York Times political unit….READ MORE

Live blog: Three-way GOP tossup in Deep South

Source: USA Today, 3-13-12

We’re live blogging the results from tonight’s GOP presidential primaries in Alabama and Mississippi.

The few statewide polls available show a tight race in both states among Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum. Ron Paul lags well behind and hasn’t really been competing in the two states.

Key questions: Does Romney win in either state and solidify his grasp on the GOP nomination? Can Gingrich, the former House speaker and Georgia congressman, do well in his backyard and pick up some momentum? Will Santorum eke out a win to stake his claim on conservatives?

Romney, the overall delegate leader, has couched the two Southern states as an “away game” for him. Because delegates are awarded by proportion of the vote, each candidate stands to win some tonight — thus ensuring the GOP race will continue.

Caucuses are also being held in Hawaii and American Samoa. Overall, the states and American Samoa have a total of 119 delegates, and most come from Alabama and Mississippi….READ MORE

Alabama, Mississippi primary night: Romney tries to take control

Source: Politico, 3-13-12
Mitt Romney speaks at a campaign event in St. Louis, Mo. on Tuesday. | AP Photo

Mitt Romney speaks at a campaign event in St. Louis, Mo. | AP Photo
Mitt Romney hopes to finally take control of the Republican presidential race by winning one or both of the primaries in Alabama and Mississippi on Tuesday night.

But his conservative foes are vowing to fight on regardless of tonight’s outcome, seeking to deny Romney the delegates he needs to clinch the GOP nomination.

A Romney victory in either of the Deep South states would put Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich on shakier ground as they argue that their party’s conservative base will not accept Romney as its candidate. Throughout the 2012 race, Romney has struggled to win evangelicals and the GOP’s most conservative voters and has been unable to win a Southern state so far — except for Virginia, where Santorum and Gingrich were not on the ballot.

But the most recent polling before tonight’s races, conducted by the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling, showed a close single-digit race in both Alabama and Mississippi, with all the candidates within reach of first place….READ MORE

Campaign Headlines March 13, 2012: Close 3 way race in Alabama & Mississippi Primaries between, Romney, Santorum & Gingrich — Wins for Romney would clarify race for Republican nomination



Votes Are More Against Than For in 2 Southern States

Source: NYT, 3-13-12

Rick Santorum greeted the staff behind the counter of the Sweet Peppers Deli in Tupelo, Miss.
Damon Winter/The New York Times

Rick Santorum greeted the staff behind the counter of the Sweet Peppers Deli in Tupelo, Miss.

A win in Alabama or Mississippi for Mitt Romney on Tuesday could all but wrap up the nomination and give him a victory in one of the most conservative parts of the country….READ MORE

Voting in Alabama, Mississippi could clarify race

Source: AP, 3-13-12

Mitt Romney hoped to seal his status as the Republican presidential front-runner with a thus-far-elusive victory in the Deep South, a region that has been slow to embrace the former Massachusetts governor.

A pair of closely fought primaries Tuesday in Alabama and Mississippi also could render a possible final verdict on Newt Gingrich’s Southern-focused candidacy and give Rick Santorum the two-man race he’s sought against Romney.

Santorum picked up a vote from Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley, who had not publicly endorsed the former Pennsylvania senator. Bentley’s spokesman said the governor traveled to his hometown of Tuscaloosa to vote for Santorum, whom he considers “the most conservative candidate in the Republican presidential race.”

With polls showing an unexpectedly tight race in the conservative bellwether states, Romney stopped in Alabama on Monday — a clear indication he was eyeing a potential win there….READ MORE

Political Headlines March 13, 2012: CBS News/New York Times Poll: President Obama’s approval rating sinks to new low




Obama’s Rating Falls as Poll Reflects Volatility

Source: NYT, 3-12-12

President Obama arrived at Richmond International Airport in Virginia on Friday. His job-approval rating has dropped as gas prices have risen and tensions with Iran have escalated.
Luke Sharrett for The New York Times

President Obama arrived at Richmond International Airport in Virginia on Friday. His job-approval rating has dropped as gas prices have risen and tensions with Iran have escalated.

Despite improving job growth and an extended Republican primary, President Obama’s approval rating dropped substantially in recent weeks, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

Poll: Obama’s approval rating sinks to new low

Source: CBS News, 3-13-12

President Obama’s approval rating has hit the lowest level ever in CBS News polling, according to the latest CBS News/New York Times survey. The drop may be partially attributable to rising gas prices.

Just 41 percent of Americans approve of the job Mr. Obama is doing as president, according to the poll, conducted from March 7 to 11. Another 47 percent disapprove of his performance, up from 41 percent last month.

Mr. Obama’s approval rating was 50 percent last month.

The average U.S. price of a gallon of gasoline has jumped 12 cents over the past two weeks. The poll found that most Americans, 54 percent, believe gas prices are something a president can do a lot about.

Americans have historically felt that a president can control gas prices, though experts attribute changes to a variety of factors, many outside of a president’s control….READ MORE

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