Paul Files Paperwork for Arizona Primary

by Brian Bolduc

Bruce Ash, the Republican national committeeman for Arizona, tells NRO that representatives for Ron Paul filed the necessary paperwork to appear on that state’s primary ballot yesterday. The primary takes place on February 28.

Perry to Hit the Road in Iowa

by Katrina Trinko

The Perry campaign has often touted retail politics as Perry’s great strength, and now, with just weeks to go to the Iowa caucuses, is planning to one big, last retail effort. Perry will tour the state in a campaign bus for 14 days, stopping in 44 cities, reports the Des Moines Register.

‘Leader’

by Katrina Trinko

Once again, without directly mentioning Newt Gingrich, the Romney campaign is pushing hard in this new TV ad the message that Mitt Romney has a long marriage:

Transcript of the ad, as provided by the campaign:

I think people understand that I’m a man of steadiness and constancy. I don’t think you’re going to find somebody who has more of those attributes than I do. I’ve been married to the same woman for 25 – excuse me, I’ll get in trouble – for 42 years. I’ve been in the same church my entire life. I worked at one company, Bain, for 25 years. And I left that to go off and help save the Olympic Games. If I’m President of the United States, I will be true to my family, to my faith, and to our country, and I will never apologize for the United States of America. “I’m Mitt Romney, and I approve this message.

Obama Campaign Starts Eyeing Gingrich

by Katrina Trinko

Politico’s Mike Allen reports:

 

Some Obama aides are exultant about running against a candidate with so much baggage and bad history. They generally view Romney as a stronger, more dangerous opponent, even if the former House speaker is likely to shine in debates. The feeling — or hope — among the campaign’s upper echelon is that the Romney-Gingrich fight just might last until June, as long as Obama-Clinton in 2008, with deeply unpredictable results.

But there’s also a wary recognition that Gingrich may be catching a wave that is both powerful and unpredictable.

They worry that Gingrich would be an erratic opponent, and therefore harder to handle than the relatively predictable Romney. Running against him may prove more difficult than it looks at first blush.

“It would be a nastier, more intense campaign,” said the Democrat close to the White House. “Newt has a history of getting people to rise to his bait. The president would have to stay mellow, steady Eddie.”

The Obama campaign has been pretty consistent about viewing Romney as the likely opponent — to the extent that the Romney campaign has started harping on how “obsessed” Obama is with Romney. It’ll be an interesting shift if they start targeting Gingrich.

McMorris Rodgers Endorses Romney

by Katrina Trinko

Washington congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, vice chair of the House GOP conference, announced her endorsement of Mitt Romney today.

Ann Romney Highlights Romneys’ Long Marriage

by Katrina Trinko

Last week, Politico reported that one of the Romney campaign’s strategies was to “highlight his stable family while leaving an unspoken impression about [Newt] Gingrich’s two divorces.”

Via The Hill’s Christian Heinze, Ann Romney was on Fox and Friends this morning, pushing that message, talking about how they had been married for 42 years. 

Video:

‘Strong’

by Katrina Trinko

Rick Perry is spending $1 million airtime for his TV ads for the three weeks before the Iowa caucuses, reports Politico. The campaign released another ad today, called ‘Strong’:

Text of the ad, as provided by the campaign:

 

I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a Christian, but you don’t need to be in the pew every Sunday to know there’s something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school. As President, I’ll end Obama’s war on religion. And I’ll fight against liberal attacks on our religious heritage. Faith made America strong. It can make her strong again. I’m Rick Perry and I approve this message. 

It will be interesting to see if the ad gets Perry any traction with evangelicals in Iowa. Perry’s been outspoken about his faith in the past — including his August day of prayer in Houston — but it hasn’t seemed to have translated into any especially high levels of support from evangelicals so far.

Quayle Explains Romney Endorsement

by Katrina Trinko

Dan Quayle explains his endorsement of Mitt Romney in an op-ed in the Arizona Republic:

 

[Romney] has proven over and over again that he is a leader. He has demonstrated he is capable of making tough decisions and turning things around. He is a man of integrity. He understands budgets and financial markets. He balanced budgets and met a bottom line. He is strong on national defense and has a deep love of the principles that make America great.

Mitt Romney has what it takes to be a great president of the United States, and that is why I enthusiastically endorse him for president.

Full piece here