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A political tip sheet for the rest of us outside the Washington Beltway
WASHINGTON (AP) ' A political tip sheet for the rest of us outside the Washington Beltway, for Friday, March 2:
MICHIGAN UNTIED-PART II: Rick Santorum's campaign is asking the Republican National Committee to investigate the Michigan party's decision giving Mitt Romney a 16-14 edge in delegates from this week's presidential primary. State party rules said 28 delegates were to be awarded based on the results in each of the state's 14 congressional districts. Two more delegates were to be awarded based on the statewide vote. Santorum's Michigan supporters said that means he and Romney each should have been awarded 15 delegates each. They want the state GOP Credentials Committee to reverse its decision to award Romney both at-large delegates. Committee member Saul Anuzis, who supports Romney, disagrees. He said a new rule adopted Feb. 4 gives both at-large delegates to the overall winner. He says a party memo saying they were to be awarded proportionally was wrong. If the dispute isn't settled before the national convention, the RNC rules committee could have to decide.
WASHINGTON STATE is the 11th to vote in the Republican nominating contest. Caucuses convene at 1 p.m. EST. Initial results aren't expected until after 6 p.m. Forty delegates to the Republican Party convention are at stake, a cache second only to Florida's 50. Anyone can participate in the caucuses, but they must first sign an affidavit that they are Republican and promising not to participate in a caucus for another party. Washington's contest is also the final one before 10 states, offering a total of 419 delegates, vote on Tuesday.
OBAMA-WOUNDED WARRIORS: President Barack Obama followed a White House dinner this week in honor of service members who served in Iraq, and their families, with a visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center near Washington. The White House says Obama met with 27 injured service members: 11 soldiers, 14 Marines, one sailor and one NATO forces member. One was injured in Iraq, while the others were wounded during service in Afghanistan. At the hospital, the commander in chief also awarded eight Purple Hearts.
IN THEIR WORDS:
' "I'm not a team player. I'm a change agent." ' Gingrich.
' "If you're wondering what I'm talking about, I recommend you watch the recent debates. We're thinking about just running those as advertisements, little snippets, without commentary. We'll just sort of ... 'here you go, this is what they said a while back.'" ' Obama, at a fundraiser Thursday night in New York City.
' "You know, it was a ... it was a strong term, probably not the smartest thing." ' Santorum to CNN, on referring to Obama as a "snob" for wanting all Americans to pursue higher education.
' "It's not the language I would have used, but I'm focusing on the issues that I think are significant in the country today and that's why I'm here talking about jobs in Ohio." ' Romney, on Rush Limbaugh's salty comments on the Georgetown University student who testified at a congressional hearing in favor of insurance coverage of contraception.
' "We expected to do real well here. We have always had broad, good support here and enthusiastic crowds." ' Ron Paul, campaigning in Spokane, Wash., ahead of Saturday's caucuses.