“Mitt Romney changes positions more often than a pornographic movie queen.”
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A must-read from Matt Bai:
“The Republican version of reality goes, briefly, like this: Boehner and Obama shook hands on a far-reaching deal to rewrite the tax code, roll back the cost of entitlements and slash deficits. But then Obama, reacting to pressure from Democrats in Congress, panicked at the last minute and suddenly demanded that Republicans accede to hundreds of billions of dollars in additional tax revenue. A frustrated Boehner no longer believed he could trust the president’s word, and he walked away. Obama moved the goal posts, is the Republican mantra.”
“In recent weeks, as it became clear that I was planning to write a more nuanced and detailed account of the final week of negotiations, both sides — but primarily the speaker and his aides — went out of their way to give extensive accounts to reporters at other outlets, in an effort to reinforce their well-rehearsed narratives. And yet it’s possible now to get beyond these clashing realities.”
A new Franklin & Marshall poll in Pennsylvania finds Rick Santorum barely ahead of Mitt Romney in his home state, 30% to 28%, within the poll’s 4.2% margin of error.
That’s a big change from February, when Santorum held a commanding 15-percentage-point lead over Romney in the poll.
A new ABC News-Washington Post poll finds Mitt Romney trails President Obama by 19 points in popularity. Just 34% hold a favorable opinion of Romney as compared to 53% for Obama.
Meanwhile, Romney’s 50% unfavorable score is higher than Obama ever has received; it’s been exceeded by just one other Republican candidate this year, Newt Gingrich, and by only one top candidate in 28 years, Hillary Clinton in 2008.
A new Quinnipiac poll finds President Obama leading Mitt Romney in three crucial swing states.
Florida: Obama 49%, Romney 42%
Ohio: Obama 47%, Romney 41%
Pennsylvania: Obama 45%, Romney 42%
Said pollster Peter Brown: “President Obama is on a roll in the key swing states. If the election were today, he would carry at least two states. And if history repeats itself, that means he would be re-elected.”
Democratic campaign treasurer Kinde Durkee is expected to plead guilty to stealing millions from the accounts she controlled for her California political clients, including Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA), the Sacramento Bee reports.
“Feinstein, who says millions are missing from her re-election account, wrote a $5 million check to her campaign account to make up for the losses. The senior senator is one of several politicians who have filed lawsuits to recoup some of the allegedly stolen money.”
Newt Gingrich “is cutting back his campaign schedule, will lay off about a third of his cash-strapped campaign’s full-time staff, and has replaced his manager as part of what aides are calling a ‘big-choice convention’ strategy,” Politico reports.
James Carville told CNN a Supreme Court ruling invalidating President Obama’s health care law may not be such a bad thing — at least politically.
Said Carville: “I think this will be the best thing that has ever happened to the Democratic Party.”
He added: “Then the Republican Party will own the healthcare system for the foreseeable future. And I really believe that. That is not spin.”
“As his limbs are progressively hacked off, the knight declares ’tis but a scratch! Then: ‘a flesh wound!’ And finally: ‘Alright, we’ll call it a draw.’ With barely a tenth of the delegates so far allocated, victories in two of 26 contests, and polling at 13 percent in Gallup’s latest survey of GOP voters, Gingrich’s rationale for remaining in the race is, to put it mildly, elusive.”
Meanwhile, a new CNN/Opinion Research poll finds 61% of Republican voters want Gingrich to exit the race.
The Fix: “The numbers serve as a reminder — for the umpteenth time — that simply because 100 percent of people who do politics for a living (the Fix included) are closely following a story, it’s no guarantee that the story is penetrating nearly as broadly among the general public.”
A new Marquette Law School poll in Wisconsin finds Gov. Scott Walker (R) is locked in a very tight recall race with two potential Democratic challengers, Tom Barrett (D) and Kathleen Falk (D).
Walker edges Barrett, 47% to 45%, and leads Falk 49% to 45%.
Said pollster Charles Franklin: “I don’t think you need the poll to know this is going to be a very close race.”
“I promise you, there will be huge scandals, because there’s too much money washing around, too much of it we don’t know who’s behind it and too much corruption associated with that kind of money. There will be major scandals.”
— Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), quoted Reuters, on the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that lifted limits on political fundraising by corporations, unions and other non-campaign groups.
In a potentially shocking development, Boston Mayor Tom Menino (D) told WBZ-TV that he’s not taking sides in the U.S. Senate race in Massachusetts, potentially signalling his support for Sen. Scott Brown (R) over Elizabeth Warren (D).
Said Menino: “When you vote, it’s a secret ballot.”
When pressed, he added: “I’m not with anybody at this time. At this time, I’m still not involved in the campaign.”
A new Marquette Law School poll in Wisconsin shows Mitt Romney leading Rick Santorum in the Republican presidential race, 39% to 31%, with Ron Paul at 11% and Newt Gingrich at 5%.
The Wisconsin primary is April 3.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) came to President Obama’s defense saying that Mitt Romney’s recent criticism of the president was inappropriate while Obama was abroad, National Journal reports.
Said Boehner: “Clearly while the president is overseas, he’s at a conference, and while the president is overseas I think it’s appropriate that people not be critical of him or our country.”