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Mitt Romney: ‘I’d have women into Augusta’

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Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich and President Obama agree on something, Connie Mack isn’t amused, Rick Santorum’s consultants say the math is wrong and Newt Inc. is struggling.

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EARLIER ON THE FIX:

Santorum huddles with conservative leaders, ponders future

The STOCK Act: Refuge of the most vulnerable congressmen

The ‘war on caterpillars,’ and what Reince Priebus meant

Rick Santorum edges toward the embarrassment zone

Independents are abandoning Romney (or not)

WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED:

* Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney joined President Obama today in arguing that women should be admitted to the Augusta National Golf Club. “Certainly if I were a member, if I could run Augusta, which isn’t likely to happen, of course I’d have women into Augusta,” Romney said. Former House speaker Newt Gingrich chimed in on Twitter, saying his wife “would be a great member.”

* John Yob, a consultant for former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, sent out a memo Thursday again arguing that the delegate count is closer than the media suggests. By Yob’s count, Romney has 571 delegates while Santorum has 342 and, he argues, “the race will be approximately even going into the Republican National Convention.” But Santorum’s path to victory is very, very narrow.

* Rep. Connie Mack (R-Fla.) was not at all amused by a headline on the Tampa Bay Times’ politics blog, “Mack Campaign: Why We Will Squash LeMieux Like a Bug.” Campaign manager Jeff Cohen made clear in a state ment that no one on the Mack campaign had actually said something so “snarky” and “unprofessional” about former Sen. George LeMieux (R), Mack’s primary rival. The headline has been changed to “Why we’ll win.”

* Newt, Inc. is suffering while Gingrich campaigns for president. The Center for Health Transformation, a think tank that brought in millions of dollars over the past eight years, has filed for bankruptcy. Gingrich cut his ties to the organization and other interests when he launched his presidential bid.

WHAT YOU SHOULDN’T MISS:

* A bipartisan Howey/DePauw Indiana Battleground Poll finds Sen. Dick Lugar (R) leading primary challenger Richard Mourdock by a narrow margin, 42 percent to 35 percent. That’s dicey territory for the incumbent. Twenty-three percent of likely primary voters are still undecided.

* Matt Cartwright, a Democratic lawyer challenging Rep. Tim Holden (D) in the primary for Pennsylvania’s 17th district, is out with a new ad defending himself against the incumbent’s attacks. “I hate negative campaign ads,” Cartwright says in the spot. “There’s no reason to sling mud at people.”

* Former Bush campaign manager Ken Mehlman is hosting a fundraiser for Richard Tisei, the former GOP leader of the Massachusetts Senate. If Tisei beats Rep. John Tierney (D) in the fall, he would be the first openly gay Republican elected to Congress.

* The Missouri AFL-CIO and the Greater St. Louis Labor Council have endorsed Rep. Lacy Clay (D) in his primary against Rep. Russ Carnahan. “Organized labor is standing with Congressman Clay because he has always stood with us,” state AFL-CIO president Hugh McVey said in a statement. Carnahan, who lost his seat to redistricting, has had trouble winning support in the new district.

THE FIX MIX:

Yes, David, it’s true.

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With Rachel Weiner

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