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Sarah Palin weighed in on the race for the White House last night.

You were dying to hear from her, we know. You're so welcome.

Appearing on Fox News' Hannity, Palin, who hasn't endorsed a Republican candidate in the 2012 campaign, offered general praise for the field after Tuesday's Iowa caucus results, reserving the red meat for President Barack Obama.

"My concern is for the GOP candidate who wins this primary as they go forward to face the Obama presidential ticket machine and really the thuggery that is involved in that," Palin said, segueing to John McCain's endorsement of Mitt Romney.

"I believe that Senator McCain, in his endorsement of Mitt Romney, Senator McCain and I, we're the only ones in America who have ever had to face that Obama presidential ticket machine and all that it encompassed," she added.

"What it encompassed, you know, this unscrupulous, gimmicky scheme that it was."

"Senator McCain, evidently has chosen Mitt Romney as the one to be the most prepared to face this thuggery, this scheme that someone's going to have to face."

Is Romney the best prepared? Or the most electable? Do you wish Palin would have run for President herself? Or that she'd go away forever? Share your thoughts with us.

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Timid.

That sums up Mitt Romney in one word, according to Newt Gingrich, who touts himself as a bold, conservative leader for America's future in this new ad spot.

Coming out hard after Romney derailed him in Iowa, where he once held a sizable edge, Newt calls Mitt's economic plan "timid" and "virtually identical to Obama's."

Gingrich, despite a disappointing fourth-place finish in the first Republican caucus of the primary season, is showing no signs he'll drop out, at least for now.

"Timid won't create jobs, and timid certainly won't defeat Barack Obama," the narrator says, quickly delivering on Gingrich's promise to draw a sharp contrast.

"Newt Gingrich's bold leadership balanced the budget, reformed welfare and helped create millions of new jobs. The Gingrich jobs plan is a powerful plan to grow our economy and create jobs, rebuilding the America we love with bold conservative leadership."

You buying it?

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"If he had endorsed Santorum, I mean, I would be like slitting my wrists on the table right now." - Meghan McCain on John McCain's endorsement of Mitt Romney

Like her dad, Meghan McCain does not mince words.

In the wake of Tuesday's Iowa caucus, she didn't hold back on her feelings about surprise second-place finisher and frequent McCain critic, Rick Santorum.

“My father did not become the nominee having anything to do with the Iowa caucus. I find it completely irrelevant," she said. "If Rick Santorum becomes the nominee of this party, I mean, it is going to be bedlam and hysteria like you have never seen.”

As for whether a McCain endorsement will help Romney in next week's primary, the 27-year-old said it certainly couldn't hurt, given his popularity in the state.

"I think in New Hampshire the McCain name is very strong. If my father could run for Governor of New Hampshire right now, he'd probably still win," she added.

Romney leads N.H. and national polls in the Republican presidential race.

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Is Rick Santorum's “Google Problem” website - the one that ranks first when you Google Rick Santorum, and produces a hilariously revolting definition of the former Senator's surname - sponsored by fellow Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney?

It certainly looks that way:

Romney Ad on Santorum Site

Lovely. As if that weren't bad enough, the ad shown here is from Mitt Romney's official campaign (as opposed to the Super PAC he benefits from but disavows).

The image above is not Photoshopped either. Check out the video here:

Continue Reading...

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If Ron Paul was disappointed in last night's Iowa caucus results, it didn't show.

The Republican Congressman from Texas finished a strong third behind Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum, but certainly served notice that he's a factor in 2012.

Paul wanted some legitimacy and a bigger platform for his movement, and by securing over 20 percent in the first-in-the-nation caucuses, he's on his way.

On stage before a cheering crowd Tuesday, Paul said winning elections is the best way to promote a cause, and that he was one of three winners last night:

Claiming a ticket out of Iowa, Paul vowed to continue his fight, even as GOP rivals such as Newt Gingrich, Romney and Santorum dismiss him as unelectable.

Iowa voters thought otherwise, taking to Paul’s small-government, anti-war and pro-civil liberties message in enough numbers to lift him into the top tier.

Evangelicals, home schoolers, young people, moderates, libertarians and disaffected Democrats formed an unlikely coalition that led to his strong showing.

Can it be replicated or improved upon elsewhere? That's the key question.

Continue Reading...

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The GOP is coalescing around its perceived frontrunner in the presidential race.

John McCain, who battled bitterly with Mitt Romney for the Republican nomination four years ago, is endorsing him in advance of the 2012 New Hampshire primary.

Romney flew to New Hampshire Wednesday after his narrow Iowa caucus win to begin campaigning in the New England state, where he holds sizable leads in polls.

McCain and Romney

He was joined on stage today by McCain, who he called one of America's heroes and a great friend. McCain won the N.H. primary in 2000 and again in 2008.

Will McCain's endorsement help him lock up the nomination early?

Can the two-time candidate help Mitt fend off challengers Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum in the coming days and beyond? Does he even need it?

It can't hurt in New Hampshire, where he's clearly the man to beat, for better or worse. Here's Romney's speech to supporters last night in Iowa:

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Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum may have lost by eight votes to Mitt Romney last night, but was the clear winner of Iowa's first-in-the-nation caucus.

For Santorum, who has been toiling in the second or even third tier for months and months, to come to life and finish second, barely, is frankly astonishing.

It also means name recognition for the relative unknown, much of it positive (although some funny things come up if you Google Rick Santorum), and money.

How - and whether - he keeps it up will be a key to his success or failure going forward, and the honeymoon ends quickly with New Hampshire looming Tuesday.

In his quasi-victory speech last night, though, he was nothing if not optimistic, summing up his attitude in two words as the GOP campaign continues: Game on.

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Humbled by a resounding defeat in last night's Iowa caucus, where he came in a distant fourth, Newt Gingrich offered praise for second-place finisher Rick Santorum.

Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney, not so much.

Already in New Hampshire campaigning in advance of the January 10 primary, Gingrich came out swinging against Mitt Romney and the first-place finisher's allies.

Promising to fight against “a Massachusetts moderate” whom carries out a “relentlessly negative campaign of falsehoods,” Newt showed no signs of backing down.

In contrast, Michele Bachmann quit the presidential race already and Rick Perry is at least considering doing the same after their disappointing finishes Tuesday night.

Here's Newt's speech after the Iowa caucuses:

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Republican Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann formally ended her campaign for the White House this morning, just one day after Mitt Romney's Iowa caucus victory.

"Last night, the people of Iowa spoke with a very clear voice. And I have decided to stand aside," the GOP Congresswoman from Minnesota told reporters today.

They spoke, indeed, dealing her a disappointing sixth-place finish.

Michelle Bachmann Newsweek Cover

The Queen of Rage could not become The Queen of Votes.

Despite Bachmann's extensive tour to visit all 99 of Iowa's counties, her August straw poll win, and the state being her place of birth, she garnered just five percent.

Her communications director Alice Stewart told reporters following the news conference that conversations began last night about whether to continue the campaign.

The congresswoman asked for time to "sleep on it" and "pray about it." Stewart said she was awoken early Wednesday morning with the news that Michele was out.

Bachmann has not yet discussed whether she will seek reelection to her U.S. House seat in Minnesota, Stewart said, or whether she will endorse another candidate.

Also unclear if last night's second-place finisher will reach out to her supporters with the following tagline: Rick Santorum: Conservative Like Bachmann, But Less Crazy!

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