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Gingrich Distances Himself from Ryan Plan



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Newt Gingrich will not be endorsing Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget proposal. In a Facebook note, Gingrich credits Ryan for realizing that entitlement spending must be tackled, but makes it clear that he’s not behind Ryan’s proposal to transform Medicare by giving all senior citizens vouchers to purchase health insurance.

“One option is for Congress to move towards a 21st  Century personal Medicare system that would allow seniors to choose, on a voluntary basis, a more personal system with greater options for better care,” Gingrich said [emphasis added].

Under the Ryan budget, all Americans now younger than 55 would be required to use the new “voucherized” Medicare.

Gingrich also expressed his support for using spending cuts as a bargaining chip in agreeing to raise the debt ceiling, saying that “the Republicans should not agree to vote for raising the debt ceiling without getting very significant changes in the current spending trajectory.”

He also expressed support for switching Medicaid funding to block grants to the states.

Trump Hints at Presidential Run



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Donald Trump strongly hinted at a presidential run today.

“In my own mind, I think I’ve made the decision,” Trump said on Fox News this morning. “What Obama is doing to this country is a total and complete disaster.”

He said he had no problem releasing his financial data, although he refused to answer whether his net worth was closer to $2.7 billion reported by Forbes or $7 billion reported by Politico.

“If I run, I may do it [file the financial disclosures] the same day I run,” Trump said. “I have built a great company. I have very little debt. I have tremendous cash. It’s the way this country should be run. … In terms of a report card, I’ve done a great job.”

Trump said he would be willing to spend “a lot” and “many millions” of his own money on a presidential run, but wouldn’t give a specific number.

Talking about the speculation that he was flirting with a presidential run to boost Celebrity Apprentice’s ratings, Trump said, “I hate that.”

Celebrity Apprentice gets great ratings,” Trump retorted. “I don’t need to do this for ratings.”

Trump, who will be visiting New Hampshire next week, stated that he had “always loved” New Hampshire and Iowa and had “a lot of friends in both places.”

He also continued his criticism of Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget plan, saying that Ryan had “put himself too far out in front.”

“I’m not for doing anything at all negative to senior citizens,” Trump said. “I want to make the country so that we don’t have to do the kind of cutting that a lot of people are talking about doing.”

“I don’t want to hurt senior citizens with Medicare or Medicaid. I don’t want to be involved in big cutting or any cutting at all in terms of those things. … The greatest way to solve the problems, the deficits, is to have the country roaring,” he added.

Trump also lashed out at Karl Rove, after a clip was aired of Rove dismissing Trump’s birther promotion as a “losing strategy.”

“I don’t have to listen to Karl Rove,” Trump said. “[Rove] gave us Obama because he gave Bush advice and look what happened. Abraham Lincoln couldn’t have beaten Obama or any other Democrat after what happened with Karl Rove. So he doesn’t have to give me advice.”

Limbaugh Calls Bachmann ‘Strong Spokeswoman for Unapologetic Conservatism’



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Rush Limbaugh pens a tribute to Rep. Michele Bachmann in Time:

I don’t mind telling you that I’m a great admirer of Michele Bachmann’s. Far from being the fringe outlier depicted by the mainstream media — and all too often by some on the right — she is a strong spokeswoman for unapologetic conservatism. She is neither extreme nor unreasonable, which is why her philosophy has resonated with grass-roots conservatives. She is unafraid to speak out against the crushing debt crisis we face. She is energized, rather than deterred, by the caustic criticism she constantly endures.

Trump: Obama Should ‘Come Clean’ About Birth Certificate



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In an USA Today op-ed, Donald Trump maintains that President Obama should release his birth certificate — and complains that the media focuses too much on his birther position.

“There is not one interview when the ‘birther’ issue is not raised multiple times during the conversation,” Trump wrote.

He indicated that he would prefer the issue now get less coverage.

“I have spoken my piece on this issue  … My concern lies with people like the single mom who recently wrote to me that she now works a third job to pay for the gas to get to the other two,” Trump added.

But he couldn’t resist urging Obama to release the document.

“If there is nothing to hide, come clean,” Trump wrote.

Johnson Announces Candidacy



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Former New Mexico Republican governor Gary Johnson announced in New Hampshire this morning that he was running for president. From his remarks:

I’m a fix-it man. … Within two terms, I’d eliminated New Mexico’s budget deficit and cut the rate of state government growth in half while reducing the state workforce by over 10%, without laying off a single qualified state worker. Saying no to waste, corruption and political games is easier than you think. During my two terms I vetoed 750 pieces of bad, unnecessary and wasteful legislation, and used the line-item veto to save millions of dollars.  I was called “Governor Veto,” and accepted that nickname proudly. 

America needs a ‘President Veto’ right now — someone who will say ‘no’ to insane spending and stop the madness that has become Washington. That’s why I am here today to announce that I’m running for President of the United States.

Palin: ‘Too Early’ to Make 2012 Decision



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Sarah Palin won’t be announcing her decision about a presidential run anytime soon.

“I think it is too early to declare a candidacy,” Palin told Sean Hannity in an interview last night. “I think it’s too early for anyone.”

Palin said that even launching an exploratory committee at this stage was premature, telling Hannity that forming such a committee wasn’t “even on the radar” for her right now.

“I haven’t really run for anything conventionally. . . . I’ve just jumped in and done it when I’ve known it’s the right to thing to do,” Palin added.

Palin also had some kind words for Trump, saying that the media was “hammering” him on his birther views and forcing him to discuss it instead of other matters.

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