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John King did not have a good night Thursday.

At last night's CNN debate in Charleston, S.C., the network's moderator was absolutely eviscerated by Newt Gingrich after King brought up his ex-wife's recent interview in undoubtedly the event's most memorable exchange.

Not only that, he seemed to skip over Ron Paul - a doctor by trade - more than once, most notably during an exchange about the candidates abortion positions:

Following a back-and-forth between Republican presidential candidates Gingrich, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum, King changed the topic, only to be booed by the crowd.

Because he had completely ignored the fourth candidate on stage, Paul.

Paul laughed off the oversight, noting “John, once again, it’s a medical subject and I’m a doctor!” Paul, an obstetrician, went on to weigh in on the subject.

The Texas Congressman voiced concerns about federal funding of institutions providing abortions, saying such decisions should be made on a state-by-state basis.

South Carolina's crucial primary takes place tomorrow.

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President Barack Obama is probably not going to quit his day job (at least not for another year), but he did make a brief foray into R&B at a fundraiser last night.

The Commander-in-Chief burst into song while thanking Al Green, who had performed earlier at the same event, crooning a bar from "Let's Stay Together"

Obama then joked he hadn't been ushered off-stage. Watch:

It all happened at Manhattan's Apollo Theater late Thursday, when Obama stepped to the podium and veered from prepared remarks to thank Green.

Apparently not content to simply praise Green, Obama launched into "Let's Stay Together," warbling "I, so in love with you" ... complete with vibrato.

He stopped to laughter and applause, remarked that his staff didn't believe he'd do it, and that the Sandman hadn't come out to yank him outta there.

That would be Sandman Sims, a famous tap dancer who chased unpopular acts off-stage at the Apollo for decades. Sort of a Keyboard Cat predecessor.

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The U.S. House and Senate have postponed votes on the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA), respectively, after widespread protests this week.

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Tex.), author of SOPA, said today that he's postponing consideration of the bill in response to concerns from critics of potential censorship.

"I have heard from the critics and I take seriously their concerns regarding proposed legislation to address the problem of online piracy," Smith said in a statement.

"It is clear that we need to revisit the approach on how best to address the problem of foreign thieves that steal and sell American inventions and products."

sopa and pipa

Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) bowed to pressure from a coalition of Internet companies, including Google and Wikipedia, that rallied consumers.

In a statement, Reid said he would delay the vote scheduled for Tuesday to begin consideration until the Senate Judiciary Committee could make more progress.

"We made good progress through the discussions we've held in recent days, and I am optimistic that we can reach a compromise in the coming weeks," Reid said.

The announcement by Reid comes two days after Wikipedia, Reddit and other prominent sites coalesced to protest SOPA and PIPA votes by blacking out their sites.

That move that drew widespread attention and spurred a swift reaction from many lawmakers who had been supportive of or ambivalent toward the measures.

So after 7.5 million phone calls to Congress and 40 million signatures, round one goes to the people. Just be prepared to fight back twice as hard again soon.

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Another Republican debate has come and gone, and as usual there was no shortage of fireworks as Newt Gingrich clashed with his rivals ... and CNN's John King.

Amid reports that Newt asked Marianne Gingrich for an open marriage while cheating on her with Callista Bisek in 1999, King led off the GOP debate with that topic.

Newt was not happy, and he let King know it ...

Reaming out the “destructive, vicious, negative” media rather than his ex-wife, who raised these accusations yesterday, Gingrich said he was appalled by CNN.

Newt, who went on to divorce Marianne and marry Callista in 2000 (they are still married), punctuated his lengthy answer by saying, “The story is false.”

Some other highlights of the second South Carolina debate this week, and the last before Saturday's critical primary in the Palmetto State included:

  • Rick Santorum saying Barack Obama stands for “economic squalor”
  • Mitt Romney saying "maybe" he'll release his tax returns sometime
  • Santorum repeatedly criticizing Newt's grandiosity and stability
  • Gingrich and Santorum claiming Romney is not really pro-life
  • Ron Paul fans yelling for their man to get more screen time

With time running out for all candidates not named Mitt Romney to post a win and halt his march toward the Republican nomination, the tension was high.

Can any of them do it? We'll find out by tomorrow night. We've posted the entire GOP debate, and invite you to share your feedback with us, after the jump:

Continue Reading...

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Mitt Romney is suddenly looking for win #2 in a row rather than #3.

While the former Massachusetts governor appeared to eke out a slim eight-vote win in the Iowa caucus on January 3, the Des Moines Register reports that the final count of the vote puts former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum ahead by 34.

After a long night of vote-counting, Romney appeared to post the slimmest-ever margin of victory in Iowa, but GOP officials discovered inaccuracies in 131 precincts, not all of which affected the final vote, but which threw the race to Santorum.

Romney, Santorum

Rick Santorum won 29,839 votes to Mitt Romney's 29,805. In essence, state GOP officials said, Iowa's results come down to a virtual tie, or "split decision."

NBC News will still not declare a winner in the Iowa caucus, saying with results from eight precincts out of 1,774 missing, it is impossible to know who won.

Nevertheless, Santorum declared victory today after the updated results were posted.

What does this mean going forward? Not much. Romney put up a decisive victory in New Hampshire Jan. 10, while Santorum has faded fast since Iowa.

It does deprive Romney of bragging rights, though, and the story could help dissuade primary voters in South Carolina that he is the inevitable nominee.

South Carolina's critical primary is Saturday, with Romney looking to hold off a surging Newt Gingrich, who shot past Santorum after Monday's debate.

Newt got more good news today with Rick Perry dropping out and throwing his support behind him - and in essence giving him more screen time at tonight's debate.

Then again, Marianne Gingrich also started doing interviews.

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Just 48 hours before the critical South Carolina primary, Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich's ex-wife Marianne is criticizing the former House Speaker's character.

Marianne Gingrich says, in an interview airing tonight on Nightline, that Newt's professed positions on marriage and family values do not line up with his actions.

Their 18-year marriage ended in 1999, and during that span, Marianne says Newt Gingrich admitted to her about a six-year affair with a Congressional aide.

That woman is now Newt's third wife, Callista Gingrich. This is well documented, but it's a comment Newt allegedly made about it that's raising eyebrows:

He asked his wife if she would share him with Callista, according to Marianne.

Marianne Gingrich Picture

"I just stared at him and he said, 'Callista doesn't care what I do.' He wanted an open marriage and I refused," Marianne Gingrich tells ABC News.

Marianne also details how Newt was conducting this affair while publicly condemning the unfaithful President Clinton for his lack of moral leadership.

“How could he ask me for a divorce on Monday and within 48 hours give a speech on family values and talk about how people treat people?” she said.

“Truthfully, my whole purpose is to get out there about who I am, so Newt couldn’t create me as an evil, awful person, which was starting to happen.”

It gets worse. Newt divorced Marianne months after she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, she says, and began dating her almost as scandalously.

Continue Reading...

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The campaign of Presidential quasi-candidate Stephen Colbert was dealt a major blow this week when it was established that voters can’t write his name in on the ballot during Saturday’s Republican primary in his native South Carolina.

Colbert has, as a result, devised a new strategy.

Well, Colbert Super PAC supporting him has anyway. The organization is now asking voters to pull the lever for Herman Cain (remember him?), who still appears on the ballot, as he qualified for it before dropping out of the race.

As Colbert’s TV ad, narrated by the incomparable Samuel L. Jackson says of Cain: “He’s such an outsider, he is not even running for president!”

The ad slams Colbert for “turning our election into a circus.” Obviously.

If you're confused, and frankly we don't blame you if so, the Colbert Super PAC is a political action committee ... formed expressly to mock such things.

A Super PAC can raise and spend unlimited amounts of cash on a candidate's behalf, yet cannot coordinate efforts with the candidate directly.

Colbert is staging a faux campaign as a means of ridiculing the system's absurdity, though he led Jon Huntsman and tied Rick Perry in one poll.

Huntsman quit the race Monday, while Rick Perry dropped out this morning. Colbert is still going hard, even if it's on Herman Cain's behalf.

Watch your back, Mitt and Newt.

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Texas Governor Rick Perry will drop out of the GOP presidential race and endorse rival Newt Gingrich for the Republican nomination, according to news reports.

He will make the announcement shortly in North Charleston, S.C.

The move by Perry to end his flailing campaign was inevitable, yet came a few days sooner than expected, with the South Carolina primary looming this Saturday.

Perry hoped the state's evangelicals and social conservatives would revive his candidacy. Instead, it was Newt who surged after Monday's Republican debate.

Perry and Gingrich

Rick Perry was mired in the low single digits in the Palmetto State and nationally, while a revitalized Gingrich has shown an upward trajectory in recent polls.

Perry weighed dropping out of the race after a dismal finish in the Iowa caucuses, only to decide to stay in and make one last stand in South Carolina.

It was not to be. In hindsight, a campaign that began with such promise actually peaked on its first day, after which Perry sank like a stone in popularity.

Clearly not ready for prime time, Perry's substance never equaled his swagger. Amazing debate gaffes came early and often. Other candidates surged past him.

By dropping out now, he may provide a modest boost to Gingrich, who's trying to present himself as a more ideologically potent conservative than Mitt Romney.

Perry said in officially suspending his candidacy today:

Continue Reading...

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"Wherever this flag's flown, we take care of our own." - Bruce Springsteen

There is perhaps no more legendary American musician and working class hero than the Boss of Rock and Roll himself. With his new album Wrecking Ball coming March 6, Bruce Springsteen has just released a new single, “We Take Care of Our Own.”

Take a listen below and see what you think:

In vintage Springsteen fashion, the song is musically upbeat, yet references the struggles of America with lyrics like, “Where’s the promise, from sea to shining sea?”

Other songs on the 11-track album reflect similar populist sentiments, with titles such as "Death to My Hometown," "This Depression" and "Easy Money."

Politics aside ... The BOSS is back, baby!

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Sarah Palin hasn't endorsed Newt Gingrich in the GOP presidential race, but says she would vote for the former House Speaker if she were a South Carolinian.

Way to really put yourself out there.

"If I had to vote in South Carolina, in order to keep this thing going I'd vote for Newt and I would want this to continue," the 2008 V.P. nominee told Fox News.

"These guys are getting better in their debates, they are getting more concise, more grounded in what their beliefs are and articulating what their ideas are."

"If I had to vote in South Carolina, in order to keep this thing going I'd vote for Newt and I would want this to continue. More debates, more vetting of candidates."

"I want to see that taking place this time because America is on this precipice, it's that important. We need this process to continue on," she added.

Todd Palin, Sarah's husband, recently endorsed Gingrich, and Sarah's comments show she thinks of him favorably despite a lack of overt endorsement.

Whether it does him any good in Saturday's primary remains to be seen. Newt's showing at the first South Carolina debate was strong, with another coming up tonight.

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