Severe Conservatives at CPAC, Contraception Conundrum at the WH, Double Booked in Maine (The PM Note)

Feb 10, 2012 5:50pm

A full rundown of the Contraception Conundrum below the fold. Suffice it to say that President Obama hopes an olive branch “accommodation” can make the debate about contraception and not about freedom of religion.

It’ll be a busy Saturday afternoon tomorrow.
Maine: Lazy Caucus in Vacationland - We’ll learn who won the week-long caucus Saturday in the neighborhood of 6:30 p.m. ET – But its clear that Mitt Romney doesn’t want to lose 4 in a row. He’s added an early morning event in Sanford and will appear later in Portland.  http://abcn.ws/zO6ybo

Double Booked, Part Deux – Remember the great South Carolina Ham House showdown? Romney and Ron Paul are both scheduled to appear at the Veterans Memorial Gym in Sanford, Maine in the 8 a.m. ET hour tomorrow.

Also – CPAC straw poll and Sarah Palin’s Keynote - Mitt Romney came in second to Ron Paul last year. The faithful make their pick and a winner is announced in the 4 p.m. hour tomorrow.

Today’s CPAC Program -

Romney – Self-Described “Severe” Conservative - http://abcn.ws/xCjFX6
Santorum – Contraception Rule - “It’s about government control of your lives, and it’s got to stop.” – http://abcn.ws/zCPbWy
Gingrich – “We Know Who (Obama) Really Is” - http://abcn.ws/yIRFrZ

Flies on the wall at CPAC – Courtesy Matt Negrin
Newt’s #1 Fan – 13 Year-Oldhttp://abcn.ws/zUYTHg
Veep Heap – Tryouts at CPAC - http://abcn.ws/A8dcQw
Can Romney Convince This Guy? - http://abcn.ws/w3Qwnf

Women in Combat - Jon Karl interviewed Santorum – “I was talking about men’s emotional issues; not women,” Santorum told ABC News. “I mean, there’s a lot of issues. That’s just one of them.” What emotional issues? Santorum says he believes that the men serving with women would put the protection of women in their unit above the overall the mission. “So my concern is being in combat in that situation instead of being focused on the mission, they may be more concerned with protecting someone who may be in a vulnerable position, a woman in a vulnerable position,” Santorum said. http://abcn.ws/Ak5lHV

The Public View – From Huma Khan – Three-quarters of Americans believe that women should be allowed to engage in direct combat, according to an ABC News-Washington Post poll released in March, a sharp rise from the early 1990s when only 45 percent supported such a move. Politically, Democrats and independents are more in favor of lifting the restrictions but even a majority of Republicans, 62 percent, thought this should be the case and the poll found that in no political group was a majority opposed. http://abcn.ws/y4pk36

Back to Contraception and reporting from Jake Tapper
Obama Blinks - http://abcn.ws/wGJJsq
Who Pays? - If not the religious institutions….or the women….who pays for the contraceptive services? You do – http://abcn.ws/w89j3I

Support from Nuns, Catholic Health, Planned Parenthood - Though they’re on opposite sides of the birth control and abortion debate, both Sister Carol Keehan, the president and CEO of the Catholic Health Association, and Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, issued statements Friday morning applauding the compromise, which allows religious organizations to keep contraception out of its coverage while requiring the insurance companies to step in and offer contraceptive coverage to the female employees.

http://abcn.ws/ymVqcm

Senators Introduce Resolution to Aid, Not Arm, Syrian Opposition - http://abcn.ws/zqnG1r

Numbers Games – 10 x as many people went to the Iowa State Fair as voted in the Iowa Caucuses. Other interesting numbers on primaries – http://abcn.ws/zIedcp

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