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A political tip sheet for the rest of us outside the Washington Beltway
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012
IOWANS SPEAK, PART 1: Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney squeaked out a win at the Iowa caucuses, getting eight votes more than dark-horse former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum. Texas Rep. Ron Paul came in third, followed by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann. Iowa caucus-goers highlighted the internal divisions in the GOP as it tries to find a challenger for President Barack Obama in the general election. Most of the candidates left Wednesday for New Hampshire, where former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman has been campaigning. They have just a few days before Republicans vote in the nation's first primary.
IOWANS SPEAK, PART 2: Iowa voters spoke very clearly, and native daughter Michele Bachmann listened. The Minnesota congresswoman announced that she was ending her bid for the Republican presidential nomination.
SANTORUM HURDLES: Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum has momentum going into New Hampshire ' but not much else. He's scrambling for sorely needed money for ads and an organization. On news shows Wednesday, Santorum defended votes and statements that are earning him a second look for the wrong reasons. Like his support for home-state spending projects known as earmarks, and a recent comment about black people that's being criticized for being racially insensitive. And then there's the comment comparing same-sex relationship to bestiality. The New Hampshire primary is Jan 10.
McCAIN SPEAKS, TOO: The last GOP standard bearer has come out in support of the Republican establishment's darling. Sen. John McCain endorsed former Massachusetts Gov Mitt Romney Wednesday at an appearance in New Hampshire. Romney took questions, which were much tougher than anything he's been asked so far.
THOUGHTS THE DAY AFTER:
ROMNEY: "I think there's a real boost coming out of Iowa, not just for me but also of course for Rick Santorum and Ron Paul."
GINGRICH: "I suspect it's going to be a very lively campaign,"
PAUL: "If you look to bringing new people in, the frustrated young people that Obama had, you have to look at my campaign. I mean that's where the enthusiasm is."
PERRY: "Here we come, South Carolina!"
HUNTSMAN: "This is a wide-open race still."
BACHMANN: "The people of Iowa spoke with a very clear voice, so I decided to stand aside. ... I have no regrets, none whatsoever. We never compromised our principles."
SANTORUM: "I don't believe that everything that is immoral should be illegal. The government doesn't have a role to play in everything that people of faith or no faith think is wrong or immoral."