January 02, 2012 at 10:16 am
Mitt Romney, Ron Paul and Rick Santorum stand at the top of the Republican field in Iowa, according to Des Moines Register poll released over the weekend. Romney was the choice of 24% of likely voters, with Paul right behind at 22% — and Santorum at 15%, according to the Des Moines Register survey, which tends to accurately predict the outcome of the caucus.
Taking on the “surging” Santorum, Romney opened the same playbook he used against Newt Gingrich — portraying the former Pennsylvania senator as a Washington insider. “Like Speaker Gingrich, Sen. Santorum has spent his career in government, in Washington,” Romney said yesterday (“First Read”).
Romney also continued his focus on Obama. In a speech in Iowa last night, Romney compared Obama to the Kardashians, saying: “You know, I’ve been looking at some video clips on YouTube, of President Obama, then candidate Obama, going through Iowa making promises. The gap between his promises and his performance is the largest I’ve seen since, well, the Kardashian wedding and the promise of ‘till death do us part’” (New York Times).
Santorum’s aides insist they are well-placed to capitalize on the recent groundswell of enthusiasm. “We have 1,500 precinct captains already,” Santorum’s senior political advisor Hogan Gidley said after a final Sunday evening event in Iowa. “He’s well-prepared to move forward” (The Hill).
Gingrich signaled yesterday that he plans to take a much more confrontational approach against Romney as the nominating race moves from Iowa to New Hampshire. “He didn’t get rid of me, he just slowed me down,” Gingrich said of Romney (Des Moines Register). Playing off the term “swift boating,” Gingrich also said he feels as though he’s been “Romney-boated” (USA Today).
A “slumping” Ron Paul came out swinging yesterday to deny charges he believed the U.S. was behind the 9/11 terror attacks. “That’s complete nonsense,” Paul said on ABC’s “This Week” (New York Daily News).
In new 30-second Iowa TV spot, Michele Bachmann sells her conservative credentials and her Iowa heritage in an ad titled, “One Of Our Own” (“The Page“).
Meanwhile, Romney maintains his commanding lead in New Hampshire, according to a new Suffolk poll. The survey has Romney at 41% among likely Republican voters — followed by Paul at 15%, Gingrich at 11%, and Jon Huntsman at 9% (Politico).