Detailing The Records, Evolution Of GOP Presidential Primary Candidates
Media outlets report on what Rick Santorum did after he left the Senate and what he would have on his to-do list if elected, the continuing "risks" Mitt Romney faces from the left and the right, and on an ethics group that is directing a challenge at Newt Gingrich.
The New York Times: Romney Facing Risks Left And Right
To Democrats, it is a straw-man formulation that twists the facts of Mr. Obama's record and implies that the president is somehow less than American. The largest entitlement programs — Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid — were all enacted before Mr. Obama entered grade school. … To some conservatives, the Romney argument only highlights what they see as a lack of commitment from him to translate his words into specific actions to reverse the growth of government and expand markets and individual liberties (Harwood, 1/5).
The Associated Press: Conservatives: Time To Rally Around A Not-Romney
Many conservatives have long viewed him skeptically. These voters complain that he's reversed himself on a series of social issues. They also don't like his record of support for government health care and exceptions to abortion restrictions. And, with conservatives making up the base of the party, the skepticism has kept his support under 25 percent in most national surveys and in some early primary states despite his front-runner status, strong organization and big bank account (Kellman, 1/5).
The Associated Press: Study: Romney Plan Raises Taxes On Poor Families
Republican Mitt Romney's tax plan would increase taxes on low-income families while cutting taxes for the middle-class and the rich, according to an independent study released Thursday. ... Romney would also repeal tax increases on the wealthy that were enacted as part of President Barack Obama's health care package (Ohlemacher, 1/5).
Politico: Christine O'Donnell Comes To Mitt Romney's Defense
Mitt Romney supporter Christine O'Donnell denied Thursday that the presidential candidate's health care law in Massachusetts is similar to President Barack Obama's, saying it's like "comparing Motel 6 to the Four Seasons" (Lee, 1/5).
The New York Times: After Santorum Left Senate, Familiar Hands Reached Out
In the years before he lost his Pennsylvania Senate seat in 2006, Rick Santorum worked hard to win hundreds of millions of dollars in additional Medicare money for hospitals in Puerto Rico. He sponsored at least two Senate bills and pushed to amend a mammoth Medicare overhaul to include the extra spending, which would have benefited Universal Health Services, a Pennsylvania-based hospital management company with facilities in Puerto Rico. If it seems at odds with the small-government philosophy Mr. Santorum now espouses in his presidential campaign, it was in line with his legislative efforts to help businesses in his state. And some of those businesses were happy to return the favor (McIntire and Luo, 1/5).
The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire: Santorum's Top Goals: $5 Trillion In Cuts, Entitlement Overhaul
Making his way through a crush of reporters and customers, Mr. Santorum also answered several questions on health care. He told one man that one of the principal reasons that health costs are high is because third-parties, not consumers, often deal with medical bills (Levitz, 1/5).
The Hill: Santorum: Obama's Health Care Law A Scheme To Get Democrats Reelected
Rick Santorum called President Obama's health care law a scheme to "hook" voters, who would reelect Democrats because they will have become dependent on the government for handouts. "ObamaCare is a game-changer that makes every single citizen dependent on the U.S. government for their life," Santorum said at a town-hall meeting in New Hampshire on Thursday (Easley, 1/5).
The Hill: Santorum: 'Get Rid Of' Medicare Agency
Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum says he not only supports privatizing Medicare, but wants to eliminate the agency that oversees the program. Santorum said in an interview with CNN on Wednesday that private-sector competition should supplant the government's role in health care (Baker, 1/5).
Reuters: U.S. Ethics Group Wants Lobbying Inquiry Of Gingrich
A group that files ethics complaints against elected officials is requesting a U.S. Justice Department investigation into whether Republican presidential contender Newt Gingrich worked as an unregistered lobbyist. ... The new complaint focuses on a 2003 debate over the expansion of Medicare, the federal health program for the elderly. Gingrich tried to influence the debate while he was head of a coalition of health care companies that stood to benefit financially from potential changes, the complaint says (Ingram, 1/5).
Politico Pro: CREW Asks For Probe Of Gingrich Health Group
A government watchdog group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, has asked the FBI and the Justice Department to investigate whether Newt Gingrich violated lobbying laws by failing to register as a health care lobbyist and by not filing lobbying disclosure reports. One of the issues CREW raised in its complaint was Gingrich's role in shaping and pushing for passage of the 2003 Medicare prescription drug law (Kenen, 1/5).