The Magnolia State
Rick Santorum continued to poke holes in Mitt Romney’s aura of inevitability by following up his victory in the Alabama primary with a win in the Mississippi primary tonight. Though Mr. Romney still has a large lead in the overall delegate count, a win tonight would have gone a long way toward cementing his status as the clear frontrunner. Mr. Santorum’s wins in more conservative states are prolonging the race for the Republican nomination and fueling the perception Mr. Romney has issues connecting with important elements of the Republican base. Despite his losses in the South, Mr. Romney is expected to win tonight’s caucuses in American Samoa and Hawaii, though those results won’t be official until much later due to the time difference.
The Yellowhammer State
Rick Santorum won the Alabama primary tonight. NBC News declared Mr. Santorum the winner a little less than one hour after polls closed. Mitt Romney, the frontrunner for the nomination, still holds a strong delegate lead, but he has had trouble winning primaries in the Southern states.
Former New York City Mayor and presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani was a guest speaker at the Bronx Chamber of Commerce Irish Heritage Luncheon today and The Politicker asked him whether he’ll be making an endorsement in this year’s Republican race. While Mr. Giuliani’s endorsement is considered influential to GOP voters, last month, he told CBS News he was reluctant to back Mitt Romney because the current frontrunner “has changed his position on virtually everything.” But today, Mr. Giuliani said he could imagine himself endorsing any of the three main Republican candidates.
“I can see myself supporting any one of the Republican candidates, whether it’s Governor Romney, Rick Santorum, or it’s my friend, Newt Gingrich,” Mr. Giuliani said. “I think all three of them would be much better for this country than President Obama, who, I think, is a disaster for our economy.”
With primaries occurring in ten states tonight, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich have each enjoyed victories on this Super Tuesday, but the most crucial contest, Ohio, is still too close to call. So far, Mr. Santorum won in Oklahoma and Tennessee. Mr. Romney, as expected, emerged victorious in Massachusetts, Vermont, and Virginia, where Mr. Santorum and Mr. Gingrich did not qualify to get on the ballot. Mr. Gingrich, who hasn’t had a primary victory since South Carolina in January, won his home state of Georgia.
“As it looks right now we’re going to get at least a couple of gold medals and a whole passel full of silver medals,” Mr. Santorum said to supporters at his Ohio campaign headquarters.
Never Gonna Give You Up
Though all the major news outlets have projected a win for Mitt Romney in last night’s crucial Michigan primary, Rick Santorum’s campaign operatives are clearly unwilling to accept their candidate’s loss. According to CNN, Mr. Santorum called Mr. Romney to congratulate him before making a speech to supporters in Grand Rapids, Michigan last night, but as Mr. Santorum was on stage, his campaign manager, Mike Biundo posted a picture of the moment on his Facebook page and titled it “Rick Santorum’s Victory Night Michigan.” After the speech was over, Mr. Santorum’s top strategist, John Brabender, told reporters, “We may have won Michigan.”
Mitt Romney bested Rick Santorum in a pair Republican presidential primaries tonight–a widely expected win in Arizona and a close, crucial victory in Michigan. With his wins tonight, Mr. Romney built on his delegate lead and stopped the momentum Mr. Santorum was beginning to enjoy after a trio of victories in Minnesota, Missouri and Colorado earlier this month.
Mitt Romney’s campaign manager, sent an enraged email to supporters tonight accusing “President Obama’s re-election team” of trying to get Democrats to vote for Rick Santorum in tomorrow’s influential Michigan primary and vowing to take revenge.
“This is politics at its worst. It doesn’t get much more pathetic,” Mr. Rhoades wrote.
Let's Make a Deal
Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has earned a reputation among Democrats as “Dr. No,” an uncompromising politician who’s been a major force behind the gridlock in Washington this past year. In a Q&A session with reporters after his speech at this morning’s ABNY breakfast, Mr. Cantor said he thinks the Democrats are the ones who aren’t willing to cooperate.
“I’ve not seen the willingness on the other side to compromise and it is always two things; spend more and raise taxes for them, and what we’re saying is, stop, we don’t have the money to spend, and let’s help people and let’s help the small businesses,” Mr. Cantor said in response to a question from The Politicker.
WASHINGTON — Mitt Romney capped off his victory in the Conservative Political Action Conference straw poll today with a win in the Maine Republican Caucus. Ron Paul came in second.
WASHINGTON — Rick Santorum’s campaign manager, Michael Biundo, responded to the growing controversy over a Hanukkah card signed by “S.C. Team Santorum” inscribed with a New Testament bible verse that implies non-Christians will “walk in darkness.”
“It certainly wasn’t an authorized graphic that they sent out. I’m not even sure who did it, you know, the South Carolina office is not even–you know, not together at this point,” Mr. Biundo told The Politicker at the Conservative Political Action Conference today.