Presidential races

Presidential races

Santorum hits Obama, Romney on healthcare

Rick Santorum didn't hold any punches against his opponents on healthcare at a campaign stop in Couer d'Alene, Idaho on Tuesday.

Santorum attacked both President Obama and Mitt Romney over their records on healthcare. Regarding Obama, Santorum said if the administration's Affordable Care Act, which is scheduled to be fully implemented by 2014, is put in place the country would "be no more."

"If Obamacare is implemented, America as I described it to you will be no more," Santorum said. He said that Americans would have to pay "tribute" to the government if the law was fully put in place.

"This president is not a serious president when it comes to reducing government," Santorum continued. "Why? Because he doesn't want to reduce government."

Although he did not mention Romney by name, Santorum clearly contrasted himself with the former Massachusetts governor.

"But if you look at the other candidates in the race, they are not well positioned to take on President Obama on this issue," Santorum said. "One in particular is uniquely disqualified. We won't mention his name."

Santorum went on to jab Romney on his Massachusetts healthcare law.

"And who is the best candidate to go up against Obama on this signature issue of the day?" he asked rhetorically.

"You are," the crowd cheered in response.

Romney opponents attacking him over his healthcare reform law, which critics argue is very similar to the Obama administration's reform, has been commonplace in the 2012 presidential campaign.

Romney's surrogates have pointed out that Santorum voted for the Medicare Part D bill in 2003. The bill established a program that subsidizes prescription drug costs for Americans on Medicare, but the bill offered no method of paying for these benefits.

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Obama cabinet secretaries open to appearing at super-PAC events

Four Obama administration cabinet members suggested an openness to appearing at pro-Obama super-PAC events.

iWatch News at the Center for Public Integrity reports that spokesmen for Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk and Energy Secretary Steven Chu suggested that their bosses would be willing to raise money for the super-PACs.

A week earlier, after previously criticizing the legal ability of super-PACs to raise unlimited amounts money for their candidates, President Obama signed off on some of his wealthiest supporters donating to the pro-Obama super-PAC, Priorities USA.

The spokesmen for the cabinet secretaries all said their participation would not violate any campaign finance laws. It is illegal for cabinet members to raise money for candidates. It is not illegal, however, for cabinet members to simply appear at events. 

White House spokesman Jay Carney has said that members of the Obama administration who might appear at super-PAC events would not be soliciting funds.

Obama's new stance on super-PACs is meant to protect his reelection campaign from being outgunned money-wise by super-PACs supporting his GOP rivals, some of which have outraised pro-Democratic super-PACs.

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Perry uses Eastwood ad to hit Obama

Texas Gov. Rick Perry joked about his failed presidential run but delivered a speech that could've been given on the stump to the party faithful at the Conservative Political Action Conference — and the audience of GOP activists seemed to love it.

"I had certain ideas about putting an end to this president's failed administration. The people of Iowa and New Hampshire had a different idea," he said to laughs.

It was only his second public appearance since he dropped his bid for the GOP presidential nomination, and his first before a national audience.

{mosads}Perry, who spent heavily in his presidential run but won few votes, then made a harsh attack on President Obama and called for bold steps within the Republican Party to fight spending, echoing many of his speeches from the campaign trail. He made no mention of Newt Gingrich, whom he has endorsed for president.

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Sharron Angle endorses Santorum as Nevada caucuses near

Sharron Angle, the Tea Party-backed Nevada Republican who challenged Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) in 2010, endorsed Rick Santorum's presidential bid Wednesday.

"Rick Santorum and I have known each other for years. He is a strong fiscal and social conservative who stands on principles above politics. He has never wavered in his support for family values understanding the impact that strong families have on a prosperous economy. His continuous opposition to Amnesty, Obamacare, the bail-outs, and cap and trade are a perfect fit with our main street Tea Party movement," Angle said in a statement to National Review.

The former candidate's endorsement could help Santorum in Nevada, a state that votes by caucus. Traditionally, candidates with passionate and vocal supporters have overperformed in caucus states, which bodes well both for Texas Rep. Ron Paul and whichever candidate can corral the state's substantial Tea Party membership.

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