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Hotline Sort: Focusing On Feinstein

January 10, 2012
4) Cross Reps. Jeff Fortenberry and Lee Terry off the list of potential Republicans who might be tempted to add their name to the roll of Republicans running for retiring Nebraska Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson's seat. Bob Kerrey continues to mull a bid but told the Lincoln Journal Star that if he had to decide now, he would opt against running. "Today, probably no," Kerrey said. 3) Expect to see this time and time again from President Obama this year, given how unpopular Congress is:

Mr. Obama, in an aggressive campaign speech, linked Republicans in Congress and those running in the presidential election, saying both would dismantle Medicare, rollback environmental regulations, lower the minimum wage and crack down on labor union organizing.

But one of Romney's biggest political strengths is the fact that he's never served in Congress, and tying the former Massachusetts governor to Washington is easier said than done. 2) He's on the verge of a victory today in the New Hampshire primary, but Mitt Romney hasn't been doing himself any favors by making comments that remind voters of his wealth. The New York Times:

Offering more context to his assertion at a morning Chamber of Commerce event Monday that he enjoys firing people -- "I like to be able to fire people who provide services to me," Mr. Romney said then, in Nashua, N.H. -- Mr. Romney further clarified that he was referring to his belief that individuals should have the choice to get rid of insurance companies that are not providing adequate care and coverage. "I don't want to live in a world where we have Obamacare telling us which insurance we have to have, which doctor we can have, which hospital we go to," he said. "I believe in the setting as I described this morning where people are able to choose their own doctor, choose their own insurance company. If they don't like their insurance company or their provider, they can get rid of it." Asked for specific examples of when, in his career, Mr. Romney feared the pink slip, as he claimed on Sunday, Mr. Romney talked in general terms about the uncertainty of life in the private sector. "I think people imagine that I came in at the top of Bain & Company, the consulting firm, or the Boston Consulting Group -- I started at the bottom," Mr. Romney said. "I came out of school and I got an entry level position like the other people that were freshly-minted M.B.A.s, and like anybody that starts at the bottom of an enterprise, you wonder, when you don't do so well, whether you're going to be able to hang onto your job...

1) Romney's comment about firing people became instant fodder for opponents -- Democratic and Republican alike -- on Monday, but notably Rick Santorum was mild in his criticism of Romney on Monday, the New York Times notes. It's notable to see the split on this issue between Santorum and Gingrich, who is up with ads blasting Romney's record at Bain. Both are competing for a similar slice of the conservative electorate today, and Santorum may have won over some fiscal conservatives with his defense of capitalism Indeed, he won praise from several conservative bloggers, upset that Gingrich would utilize a Democratic line of attack against Romney and his business record. -- Steven Shepard contributed
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