Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney had this assignment for Rick Santorum on Tuesday to make light of his chief rival’s frequent tussles with the news media: “Press secretary.”
Romney, who sometimes struggles to connect with everyday voters, appeared on NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” for an interview that was at times serious and at times humorous.
The strait-laced former Massachusetts governor was quickly sidetracked into commenting on Santorum’s recent vow to crack down on pornography if he were to be elected president.
"Did you ever think we’d be talking about porn, with all the other things in this election?" Leno asked.
"I didn’t know we were talking about porn," Romney said to laughter from the audience.
The White House announced plans on Monday to help “Arab Spring” countries swept by revolutions with more than $800 million in economic aid, while maintaining U.S. military aid to Egypt.
In his annual budget message to Congress, President Barack Obama asked that military aid to Egypt be kept at the level of recent years — $1.3 billion — despite a crisis triggered by an Egyptian probe targeting American democracy activists.
Obama proposed $51.6 billion in funding for the U.S. State Department and foreign aid overall, when $8.2 billion in assistance to war zones is included. The “core budget” for the category would increase by 1.6 percent, officials said.
Most of the economic aid for the Arab Spring countries — $770 million — would go to establish a new “Middle East and North Africa Incentive Fund,” the president said in his budget plan.
President Barack Obama unveiled an election-year U.S. budget plan on Monday that would see a $6.7 trillion increase in the debt over the next decade despite what he called “very difficult” cuts to government spending and programs.
Obama, gearing up for the November 6 general election, said the American economy was on the mend but “not out of the woods yet” and called for more spending on education and infrastructure to boost hiring, downplaying the fiscal austerity message that dominated his 2011 fights with Congress.
The president’s budget proposal for fiscal 2013, which begins on October 1, previews the populist economic themes he will take to the country as he campaigns for re-election this year amid continued high unemployment and fragile growth.
Meet the GOP’s sugar daddy donor: 78-year-old Texas billionaire Harold Simmons has emerged as one of the biggest contributors to Republican presidential coffers — shelling out $8.5 million in 2011.
Reuters Andy Sullivan gets to dirt on the tycoon’s generous donations.
Republican presidential contender Rick Santorum claimed a surge of momentum and fundraising on Wednesday, a day after his shocking sweep of nominating contests in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri that dealt a blow to front-runner Mitt Romney.
Even though Romney holds strong advantages in financing and organization, his campaign will have to refocus to fight the challenge from Santorum, a former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania known for his socially conservative views.
"We definitely are the campaign with the momentum, the enthusiasm on the ground," Santorum said on CNN.
Despite his strong showing in early voting contests in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, Mitt Romney’s support among Republicans nationwide has dipped slightly during the past month, according to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Tuesday.
Romney was backed by 29 percent of Republican voters in the telephone poll conducted February 2-6, down from 30 percent in a survey in early January. The former Massachusetts governor’s three rivals in the race to oppose President Barack Obama in November were in a close race for second, the poll showed.
Read more: Romney’s lead dips despite wins
Businessman and real estate developer Donald Trump (R) endorses U.S. Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s candidacy for president as Romney looks on at the Trump Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada February 2, 2012. [REUTERS/Steve Marcus]
Read more: Romney plays Trump card in Las Vegas
You have to wonder just what Mitt Romney was thinking this morning when he told CNN host Soledad O’Brien that he’s “not concerned about the very poor” because, he said, they’re protected by “a safety net.”
Romney was, by all appearances, trying to portray himself as a champion of the middle class — “the very heart of America, the 90 percent, 95 percent of Americans who right now are struggling,” as he put it. And, to be fair, he also said he’s “not concerned about the very rich.” But the statement still, O’Brien pointed out, might sound “odd” to poor Americans who are also struggling.
"Finish the sentence, Soledad," Romney responded. "I said I’m not concerned about the very poor that have a safety net. But if it has holes in it, I will repair them." [Report: Grace Kiser]