Romney Claims Florida Primary Win
Rick Santorum, another GOP presidential hopeful, says the messy Florida campaign caused damage to Republicans and also plans to deliver a speech about "Obamacare" and "Romneycare" today in Colorado. The Democratic National Committee hits Mitt Romney on Medicare, and Rep. Pete Stark, D-Calif., offers legislation aimed at Newt Gingrich.
USA Today: Comeback Kid: Romney Sweeps To Florida Win Over Gingrich
Romney prevailed by building a coalition that stretched across most demographic groups. He scored particularly well among seniors, the affluent, Catholics, Hispanics and moderates. According to surveys of voters as they left polling places, he did well among those concerned first and foremost about the economy — the electorate's dominant issue — and among those who cared most about supporting a candidate who could beat Obama (Page, 2/1).
Los Angeles Times: Santorum Says Messy Romney-Gingrich Fight In Florida Hurt GOP
Santorum plans to spend Wednesday campaigning in Colorado, where he spent part of Tuesday. In the morning, he will deliver what he's billing as a hard-hitting speech on "Obamacare" and "Romneycare," the derisive phrases used to describe the health care reform packages enacted by President Obama and Romney when he was governor of Massachusetts. Santorum has argued repeatedly that Obama's health care reform is such a grievous impingement on the freedom of the American people that it will be the defining election issue in November (Abcarian, 1/31).
The Hill: DNC Hits Romney On Medicare
Democrats took their Medicare fight to Mitt Romney on Tuesday, just hours before polls close in the crucial Florida primary. Romney drew sharp criticism from the left after telling a crowd of Florida seniors that he would protect entitlement programs. Romney has endorsed a Medicare plan similar to Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) proposal that would partially privatize Medicare and significantly reduce federal spending (Baker, 1/31).
The Hill: Rep. Stark Targets Medicare Tax Loophole Used By Gingrich
Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) said Tuesday that closing a Medicare tax loophole would save the government more than $10 billion — including about $69,000 from Newt Gingrich. Stark introduced a bill to close a loophole that allows people to avoid paying Medicare taxes by channeling their income through corporations. Stark said the loophole helped Gingrich avoid paying $69,000 in taxes in 2010. Stark's bill — the Narrowing Exemptions for Withholding Taxes (NEWT) Act — would subject more people to the Medicare tax (Baker, 1/31).
Meanwhile, a Democrat wins in an Oregon special congressional election —
Bloomberg: Democrats Retain U.S. House Seat In Oregon Special Election
Suzanne Bonamici won a special election yesterday in Oregon to replace fellow Democrat David Wu, a race testing how the two parties match up in a Democrat- leaning district nine months before the November election. … Both sides focused on Medicare. [Rob] Cornilles said Bonamici would cut benefits for seniors because she supports President Barack Obama's health care overhaul enacted in 2010. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee linked Cornilles with a Republican plan passed by the House last year that would create Medicare vouchers (Przybyla and Dodge, 2/1).