A political tip sheet for the rest of us

AP News
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Posted: Jan 03, 2012 7:17 PM
A political tip sheet for the rest of us

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012

GOP CAMPAIGN. Republicans are rendering the first verdict in the 2012 race for the White House in Iowa caucuses Tuesday night, the opening salvo in the campaign to pick a challenger to President Barack Obama in the fall. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Texas Rep. Ron Paul and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum shared the ballot with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann.

OBAMA. Not one to stay silent, President Barack Obama was hosting a live video teleconference for Democrats caucusing across Iowa. He'll outline progress during his term and ask for help in what's expected to be a tough fight for re-election.

CARTER. Former President Jimmy Carter offered Obama some unsolicited advice: Don't alienate voters with contentious positions. The Georgia Democrat told The Associated Press that just about everything he did during his one term alienated the electorate, from sealing a treaty to hand over the Panama Canal to establishing diplomatic ties with China.

FLORIDA BOUND. Votes hadn't even been cast yet in Iowa when Romney's campaign announced it was going up with a TV ad in Florida. The announcement was intended to project Romney's confidence and signal that he stands out among the GOP contenders for having the money and organization to wage a long-haul campaign. Florida's primary is Jan. 31.

FINAL IOWA APPEALS:

ROMNEY: Democrats will "poison the American spirit by pitting one American against another and engaging in class warfare. I believe in an America that is one nation under God, and I will keep it that way."

PAUL: "I defend the Constitution."

SANTORUM: "This is an important moment for our country,"

GINGRICH: "All of you have been drowning in negative attack ads. None of them have come from me. Iowans have an opportunity tonight to send a message to Washington and to the political system that the age of negative consultants and negative attack ads is over."

PERRY: "This is Concord. This is Omaha Beach. This is going up the hill, realizing that the battle is worthy. This is about sacrifice. Every man and woman has sacrificed your time, your treasure, your reputation. But you're doing it out of love for this country. That is what gets us up every day, gives us the courage, the fortitude, the focus to go do what we have done for the last almost six months."

BACHMANN: "We're moving on. We're moving forward because this election is far from over. This is the opening chapter. Tonight is the first vote. We've got a long road to go."