Rewinding Romney on the Mandate, Adelson Investigated, Wedding Crashers, John Tyler’s Grandson Opens Up (PM Note)

Jan 27, 2012 6:59pm

Romney Defends Mandate – It hasn’t gotten that much attention yet, but Mitt Romney gave a SCOTUS argument-worthy defense of the individual mandate in last night’s CNN debate. Sure, he was talking about his own state version. But we bet the White House wouldn’t mind having a recording of it handy for oral arguments. More from Huma Khan – http://abcn.ws/zu97Z0

Adelson Investigated – The casino company run by the principal financial backer of Newt Gingrich’s presidential bid, Sheldon Adelson, has been under criminal investigation for the last year by the Department of Justice and the Securities Exchange Commission for alleged bribery of foreign officials, according to corporate documents.

In a separate civil lawsuit, a former executive of the company has alleged that Adelson ordered him to keep quiet about sensitive issues at the Sands casinos on the Chinese island of Macau, including the casinos’ alleged “involvement with Chinese organized crime groups, known as Triads, connected to the junket business.” The triads — Chinese organized crime syndicates — are allegedly involved in organizing high stakes gambling junkets for wealthy Chinese travelers. http://abcn.ws/xV52AT

Mitt and Medicare – A new Gingrich SuperPAC ad rehashes Romney’s involvement, at Bain in the ’90s, with a company that settled a Medicare Fraud lawsuit. It doesn’t appear he did anything wrong, however. Any sort of Medicare problem would seem to be toxic in Florida. But a history of Medicare lawsuits did not sink Rick Scott. More from Chris Good – http://abcn.ws/wCTJJT

McCain En Fuego

Debate Moderators are Communists – http://abcn.ws/x5aMwR

Send Gingrich to the Moon – http://abcn.ws/xmgjGf

Romney and Allies Outspending Gingrich 4-1 – From Michael Falcone – http://abcn.ws/ywKpGs

‘Big Jerk’ – Grandson of Long-Dead President Weighs in on Newthttp://abcn.ws/zcXU32

History Lesson – How Mitt’s Mexican-Born Father Could Run for President – http://abcn.ws/zJRlIY

Knives Still Out in Florida – Gingrich doesn’t seem to have come roaring back with his debate, but he’s not exactly giving up. He released an ad that uses Huckabee from 2007 saying some not nice things about Mitt Romney.  And it accuses Romney of distorting the truth. Huckabee, who has not endorsed in the race, issued a statement saying he was nonplussed about his own words being distorted. http://abcn.ws/xZldTY

Proxies with Moxie – Romney surrogates continue to dog Gingrich on the trail. Jason Chaffetz tells Matt Negrin that at Gingrich’s events, he tries to sway undecided voters to side with Romney and talks with reporters while they’re idling around — and he said he doesn’t try to intentionally disrupt the campaign. But that didn’t stop him from getting into consecutive dust-ups with Gingrich spokesman RC Hammond. Campaign watchers say this kind of proxy infiltration is unprecedented. http://abcn.ws/yYCUXt

Weird Ad – The Hill notices a Florida Congressional candidate who imagines Obama As captain of a ship of slave children:  http://bit.ly/x2cxf7

Santorum Appeals to Cuban Votershttp://abcn.ws/zCKuRf

Puerto Rico Statehood Becomes GOP Issue – Matt Jaffe – Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney were pressed today about their positions on Puerto Rican statehood at a gathering of Latino Republicans in Miami as the GOP candidates spar for Hispanic support in the final days before Florida’s Tuesday primary. A cadre of Puerto Ricans attending the Hispanic Leadership Network (HLN) conference were peeved that the issue of statehood was given short shrift during Thursday night’s CNN debate in Jacksonville, which was co-sponsored by HLN. Elizabeth Cuevas-Neunder, appearing from here in Miami, asked the candidates Thursday night about Puerto Rico’s statehood, but the question went unanswered by all but one GOP candidate before moderator Wolf Blitzer moved on to other topics. http://abcn.ws/z4KY5U

McCain is ready to send Gingrich extraterrestrial, but he doesn’t exactly approve of the infiltration tactichttp://abcn.ws/AtK5Zg

Controlling Tuition Costs – From Mary Bruce – “We can’t just keep on subsidizing skyrocketing tuition,” the president argued as he announced a proposal to withhold federal aid from colleges and universities that fail to get their tuition costs under control. “We are putting colleges on notice,” he said. “You can’t assume that you’ll just jack up tuition every single year. If you can’t stop tuition from going up, then the funding you get from taxpayers each year will go down. We should push colleges to do better. We should hold them accountable if they don’t.” http://abcn.ws/yXdCZa

Obama and Biden Give Dems Pep Talk 

“The good news is that we are moving in the right direction thanks to your efforts, thanks to some tough votes that all of you took, thanks to the leadership that Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the leadership team showed,” Obama told House Democrats at a retreat in Cambridge, MD. “We righted the ship. We did not tip into a Great Depression.” More from our John Parkinson - http://abcn.ws/zsdNwo

“I really do think we’re going to win back the House. I think you’re going to win back the House,” Biden said to cheers. “We will win based purely on the merits of our position.” http://abcn.ws/yq0K62

Battery Company Parent Bankrupt, Got $100 Million Govt. Funding – The parent company of an electric car battery maker that received more than $100 million in government funding from the Obama administration has filed for bankruptcy protection, the company announced Thursday. Alex Sorokin, the CEO for lithium-ion battery manufacturer Ener1, said the company suffered when demand for the batteries dropped as fewer Americans than expected opted for electric cars. More from Lee Ferran of the Blotter -

http://abcn.ws/wNaRxA

Obama Aides Owe Back Taxeshttp://abcn.ws/vZMWLg

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