The war of words between Michele Bachmann and Iowa state senator Kent Sorenson, her Iowa chair turned Ron Paul supporter, continued today. “The fact of the matter is I did not accept any money from the Ron Paul campaign…I was never offered a nickel from the Ron Paul campaign,” Sorenson said on Fox News Channel’s America Live. Bachmann doubled down on the charges in an interview a couple of hours later, saying on Fox News Channel’s Your World with Neil Cavuto that, “Well, I had a direct conversation with Kent Sorenson when he told me he was offered money, a lot of money … He told numerous people inside of our campaign that he was offered significant money including our Iowa chair Eric Woolson and he is willing to go on record.” Wes Enos, Bachmann’s Iowa political director who defended Sorenson, said today that he was no longer with the Bachmann campaign.
Newt Gingrich raised around $9 million in the fourth quarter, a significant uptick from the less than $1 million he raised the previous quarter.
Asked about Lawrence v. Texas, the 2003 Supreme Court decision that struck down Texas’ and other states’ sodomy laws, Rick Perry said today, per ABC News, that “I wish I could tell you I knew every Supreme Court case. I don’t, I’m not even going to try to go through every Supreme Court case, that would be — I’m not a lawyer.”
Rick Santorum, under fire in a new radio ad from Rick Perry that highlights his requests for earmarks while in Congress, defended his decision to seek them today. “I’ll say the same thing that, actually, Congressman Paul said when Rick Perry went after him on his earmarks,” Santorum said on Fox News, according to GOP12. “The Congress is the one that’s supposed to spend the money; so the idea that earmarks are somehow against the Constitution or something that is illicit that Congressmen can or shouldn’t do is just simply factually incorrect. …. I’ve defended my earmarks in the sense that I’m proud of the money that I did set aside for things that were priorities in my state.” He did add, however, if he was elected that he would “oppose congressional earmarks.”
Meanwhile, the Austin American-Statesman – not exactly Perry’s favorite paper – points out that Texas has fought for and won over $1 billion in earmarks during Perry’s tenure as governor.
Iowa kingmaker Rep. Steve King had warm words for Santorum, telling Politico that “I expect him to have a significantly better caucus night than predictors, the pundits and the polls, have said over the last month. I think he’s built the best face-to-face, hand-to-hand personal network in the state, and we’ll see if Iowans reward him for that. I expect they will.”
Santorum is now looking past Iowa and is buying air time in New Hampshire.
But according to the latest poll from Democratic firm Public Policy Polling, Santorum is tied for last in the Granite State currently. Results of poll of likely voters in the GOP primary there: Romney (36 percent), Paul (21 percent), Gingrich (13 percent), Huntsman (12 percent), Bachmann (7 percent), and Perry, Santorum, and Buddy Roemer (3 percent).
Influential New Hampshire newspaper The Union Leader is working to take Paul down, editorializing today that, “Ron Paul is a dangerous man. While his domestic libertarian views are quite attractive to some voters fed up with politics as usual, it is Paul’s position on issues of our national security that are truly dangerous.”
Newt Gingrich’s daughters, Kathy Gingrich Lubbers and Jackie Gingrich Cushman, talk about their dad in a video released today: