On The Campaign Trail, Santorum Hits Romney On Mass. Health Law
GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum continued to press the parallels between the state law signed by his rival, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, and the federal measure, as well as to question Romney's explanation of his positions. Meanwhile, news outlets report on how the gender gap and social issues like contraception are playing in this election cycle.
The Associated Press: Santorum: Mississippi Could Make It A 2-Man Race
As he closed his day in Jackson, he flat-out called Romney a liar over how he describes Massachusetts' health care law that many conservatives see as the forefather of Democrats' national health law. "It's one thing to argue for bad policies," Santorum said. "It's another thing to impose it on the people of your state. ... There's a final thing: When you don't have the courage to stand up and tell the truth about what you did" (Schelzig and Elliott, 3/7).
The Washington Post: Fact Checker: Rick Santorum's Latest, Strangest 'Obamacare' Claim
Rick Santorum has made the growth of entitlement spending a key focus of his campaign for the presidency, and he touched upon the subject again when he addressed supporters after the Super Tuesday primaries. We were struck by both figures he used in the speech — that 50 percent of Americans "depend on some form of federal payment" and that Obama's health care law would bring the figure to an eye-popping 100 percent. In other words, in just two years, every single American would begin to get federal handouts, according to Santorum’s calculation. As usual, the Santorum campaign did not respond to a request for documentation, so we searched for the best data we could find (Kessler, 3/8).
ABC: Rick Santorum Says Mitt Romney Not Being 'Truthful' With The American People
As he has since a 2009 op-ed came to light where the former Massachusetts governor recommended part of his signature health care law as a national model, Santorum tried to define Romney as someone who can’t be trusted, and compared him to President Barack Obama. "He told the American public repeatedly, 'Oh no, I never did that. I never recommended that Romneycare be used as a national model for Obamacare just parts of it. We find now in the last two weeks that's wrong," Santorum said to cheers from a crowd of about 300 at a local museum (Walshe, 3/8).
The Wall Street Journal's Capital Journal: Both Parties Are Facing A Growing Gender Gap
Andrew Kohut, head of the Pew Research Center, says the gender gap began emerging during the 1980s, driven by a split over Ronald Reagan's assertive foreign policy, but also by a debate over the role of government. Then, as now, women tended to favor a larger role for government programs than do men. ... But Mr. Kohut notes that the gap also is being driven by the Republican primary campaign's focus in recent weeks on social issues, and particularly by the debate over whether the government should require insurance coverage of contraception in employer insurance policies, as the Obama administration has ordered. On those issues, women tend to agree more with the administration (Seib, 3/7).
The Associated Press: Democratic Women Citing Limbaugh In Fundraising
Sen. Claire McCaskill was so disturbed by Rush Limbaugh's description of a law school student as a "slut" and "prostitute" that she decided to repeat his rhetoric, featuring it in a fundraising appeal sent to thousands of supporters around the country. The tactic has paid off nicely for the Democrat's re-election campaign. McCaskill is one of several female Democratic candidates facing competitive races who are seeking to capitalize on the conservative radio host's comments to fuel their quests for the U.S. Senate or House. Their message: You can help fight Limbaugh -- and, by extension, Republicans or tea party activists -- by financing candidates who will stand up for women's rights (Lieb, 3/7).