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Hotline Sort: Cheri Picking

May 13, 2011
6) Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney on Thursday refused to apologize for a Massachusetts health care plan that critics say mirrors the one President Obama passed last year, defiantly arguing that his state-based approach was different. 5) Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty's (R) substantial roster of well-connected GOP donors and fund-raisers -- which includes Bob Perry, the Texas home builder who gave more money than any GOP donor to conservative groups like American Crossroads -- could pose a challenge to Romney. 4) Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) will seek the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, he announced Friday on Good Morning America. A speech in Exeter, N.H. at 10 a.m. will kick off the campaign. 3) Looking for the salacious details coming out of the Senate Ethics Committee report on former Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.)? National Journal's Dan Friedman reports on the latest developments of the disgraced former Nevada senator. 2) In New York's 26th District special election, Republicans thought they had a golden piece of footage against Jack Davis after they circulated a video Wednesday showing a confrontation between a Jane Corwin (R) tracker and the independent candidate. Now the aggressive oppo against Davis may be backfiring, after it was revealed that tracker was actually Corwin's Assembly chief of staff. WNYMedia was the first to report the connection, and WRGZ approached Corwin about the incident following the Thursday debate. Corwin said she hadn't seen the video yet and didn't know about it even after her staff circulated it, but her campaign has emphasized he was working on his own free time and was not present in an official capacity. There was a second tracker that also caught the full incident, but Corwin's campaign has not released that video. 1) Indiana First Lady Cheri Daniels' much anticipated address before the Indiana GOP Thursday did not feature any big announcements about a presidential campaign, but the Indianapolis Star's Matthew Tully writes, "the speech seemed aimed at doing three things: getting Cheri Daniels comfortable in speaking before a big political crowd; reminding people that, despite her low profile, she is likable and has been involved in many issues over the years; and making clear that regardless of whether her husband runs for president, she will not play the traditional campaign role of a first spouse." Sources told CBS News that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) has told Daniels he would back him, as would Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R). CBS also reports that former First Lady Laura Bush has called Cheri Daniels personally to talk about a possible presidential run by her husband. At Thursday's dinner, supporters enthusiastically encouraged Daniels to run, though as Politico's Jonathan Martin notes, "It's becoming a recurring pattern: the more supporters of Mitch Daniels attempt to pump him up, the less he appears to want to run for president." -- Jessica Taylor and Steven Shepard contributed to this report
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