Hotline Sort: The Show-Me Debate
Welcome back to Hotline Sort. The campaigns of Romney and Gingrich move to re-frame the race ahead of an expected Romney win in Florida tonight while Rob Cornilles makes a plea for the "Colbert bump" ahead of an expected loss in Oregon. Meanwhile, John Brunner spends a lot of his own money on the campaign, but is absent from yet another debate. And about that Warren/Brown super PAC agreement: there are gaps that one group is already exploiting. Here's today's rundown:
8) Second-year Republican governors are striking more moderate poses in 2012, the New York Times reports.
7) As Erskine Bowles mulls a North Carolina gubernatorial bid, here's a colorful quote from the Democrat last year worth keeping in perspective: "I have empirical data that I was a terrible politician," he said, referring to his two unsuccessful runs for U.S. Senate.
6) CREDO Mobile has launched a super PAC that is targeting Republican members of the House including Reps. Sean Duffy, R-Wis., Steve King, R-Iowa, Allen West, R-Fla., Joe Walsh, R-Ill., Frank Guinta, R-N.H., and Chip Cravaack, R-Minn.
CREDO is in the if-you-can't-beat-'em-join'-em camp. It's president says "we'd shut down every Super PAC in a minute if we could" and the group supports repeal of "Citizens United." But the decision for the group to form a super PAC is illustrative of the political realities of the current environment.
5) Businessman John Brunner raised $230,000 and pitched in over $1 million of his own money for the Missouri Senate race. It's a sign that he's serious about running and his money will make him a threat. His high initial burn rate is worth flagging (he is the only Republican who has already gone up on TV, so that explains some of the money spent): he finished the quarter with just $209,000 in the bank.
4) Meanwhile, Rep. Todd Akin and former Treasurer Sarah Steelman debated on Monday. Brunner, once again, did not participate, and Steelman criticized him for his absence.