ABC News’ Z. Byron Wolf (@zbyronwolf) reports:
Things we’re tracking – Panetta’s Says Afghan Combat Role Will End Next Year – http://abcn.ws/AlI1p5
Mitt’s Mixed Day – Good News, Poor People and Glitter -
Good News - Mitt Romney was probably walking in a shiny, happy cloud of euphoria this morning. He won Florida Tuesday night with pretty darn close to 50 percent of the vote and his February calendar is full of primaries and caucuses he won in 2008 (except Arizona), and he moved ahead of Newt Gingrich in the Gallup Daily Tracking poll.
Glitter Bomb - But by the time he took the stage for a rally in Eagan, Minn., Romney was walking in a cloud of glitter. More from Emily Friedman: http://abcn.ws/wS57JX
He played it off well – “Oh I’ve got glitter in my hair. That’s not all that’s in my hair, I’ll tell you that. I glue it on every morning, whether I need to or not.”
The photo of the glitter attack, by the way, bears witnessing. Seriously. http://abcn.ws/yKPOx3
Poor People - That came after the latest and perhaps most damaging in a string of comments that are sure to be used by Democrats in a general campaign.
On CNN Romney, discussing his campaign priorities, said he’s “not concerned” with poor people. He’s focused instead on the middle class.
It is technically true – campaigns are won and lost by the voting middle class, those who see themselves as in the middle class and those who want to be in the middle class. And he’s running for office for Pete’s sake. But the comment about poor people rings a little tone deaf.
Paired with other Romney comments – letting the foreclosure mess work itself out, a multi-millionaire fearing a pink slip, a vehement defense of corporations being people – the campaign must surely be wary of this line of attack. It was on display from Jim Messina by mid-morning on Twitter. http://abcn.ws/yIQYRr
Within hours of his interview on CNN, Romney was seeking to clarify his statement about poor people, arguing it was taken out of context.
“No no no no. I — no no,” he said on the plane from Florida to Minnesota. “You’ve got to take the whole sentence, all right, as opposed to saying, and then change it just a little bit, because then it sounds very different. I’ve said throughout the campaign my focus, my concern, my energy is gonna be devoted to helping middle income people, all right? We have a safety net for the poor in, and if there are holes in it, I will work to repair that. And if there are people that are falling through the cracks I want to fix that. Wealthy people are doing fine. But my focus in the campaign is on middle income people. Of course I’m concerned about all Americans — poor, wealthy, middle class, but the focus of my effort will be on middle income families who I think have been most hurt by the Obama economy.”
Gingrich References Poor in Reno - “Now, let me just saying something here. I am fed up with politicians in either party pitting Americans against each. other. I am running to be the President of all the American people I am concerned about all the American people.”
Where will Romney Take His Momentum? – The calendar in February includes all but one state (Arizona) he won in 2008 – http://abcn.ws/xtgzfb
A Tale of Two Unelectable Candidates – Matt Dowd looks at Obama and Romney’s unfavorable ratings, sees shades of 1992 and wonders “In a race between two theoretically unelectable candidates, anything is possible. Could a third party candidate emerge? Yes. Could Romney unify the Republicans? Very possible. Could Obama get a lift from an improving economy? Sure.” http://abcn.ws/xdVelb
WH Taking Resumes – Are H1B Visas Stealing Jobs From Americans or Helping Corps? Speaking of the Obama economy, we did a little more digging into Jennifer Wedel and her engineer husband from the Google Hangout Monday. Are Americans losing jobs to foreign workers getting H1B visas? Huma Khan’s fact check.
Planned Parenthood Defends Obama Against Catholic Criticism – http://abcn.ws/zubFxr
Tom Coburn v. 9/11 Memorial Museum – http://abcn.ws/xvyG1W
Obama Targets Black Voters in New Campaign - http://abcn.ws/yKkVBc
… Outlines New Housing Refinance Plan – http://abcn.ws/wfjWkF
Santorum Picks Up Colorado Endorsement, Targets Gingrich - http://abcn.ws/x5Q4fZ
HRC to Russia – Whose Side Are You On? – From Luis Martinez and Greg Krieg – Speaking at a signing ceremony with the foreign minister of Singapore, Clinton appealed to Security Council members to make their place known, asking, “Whose side are you on? “Are you on the side of the Syrian people?” she asked. “Are you on the side of the Arab League? Are you on the side of the people of the Middle East and North Africa who have during his past year spoken out courageously and often for their rights?” Or, Clinton asked, ”Are you on the side of a brutal dictatorial regime?” http://abcn.ws/xm9n9h
Boehner Cool and Collected as GOP Primary Battle Drags On – http://abcn.ws/A5RFxd
Bachmann: Despite Rumors, She Didn’t Endorse Anyone – The Minnesota Congresswoman and former presidential candidate denied rumors that she would endorse Mitt Romney in Minneapolis today. http://abcn.ws/zyl9FV
Ron Paul’s Breakfast in Bed – http://abcn.ws/w77JjJ