Bob Dole lays into Newt Gingrich, a trailer for another anti-super PAC documentary is out, Rick Perry has plummeted and there’s a debate tonight! Yes, another one.
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EARLIER ON THE FIX:
WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED:
* Former Kansas senator Bob Dole (R), a supporter of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney went after former House speaker Newt Gingrich — hard — in an open letter today. Writing that he needs to “take a stand before it is too late” the 1996 presidential candidate says Gingrich was “a one-man-band who rarely took advice” full of “off the wall” ideas and he hurt the GOP’s chances in the 1990s. A Gingrich nomination, he writes, would mean “an Obama landslide.”
* The pro-Gingrich super PAC who brought us “King of Bain” is coming out with a new documentary attacking Romney. Winning Our Future’s “Blood Money.” Based on this trailer, which will air in Florida tomorrow, the film appears to rely heavily on a Forbes article about Damon Corp., a Bain-owned, Romney-supervised medical testing company that defrauded Medicare.
* Romney is revising his federal disclosure forms to report over half a dozen offshore accounts that were included in the tax return he released but not disclosed to the Office of Government Ethics last year — once again putting his wealth and overseas investments in the spotlight. Spokeswoman Andrea Saul called the discrepancies “trivial inadvertent issues.”
* Retiring Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) is engaged to his longtime partner, handyman Jim Ready. The pair will marry in Massachusetts but did not give a date. Earlier this month, Frank told PBS that he was looking forward to spending more time with Ready once he left Congress, saying, “I’m in love for the first time in my life.”
* Two staffers of Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wis.) when he was Milwaukee County executive have been charged with illegally doing campaign work on the taxpayers’ time. Top Walker aides are also accused of creating a private email network to shield their communication from coworkers and the public. His campaign released a statement saying that Walker “expected everyone to follow the law and made that clear publicly and privately.”
WHAT YOU SHOULDN’T MISS:
* The campaign of Jesse Kelly is out with a poll finding the tea party-backed Iraq war veteran well-positioned in the GOP primary for the seat held by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.). He beats state Sen. Frank Antenori 35 percent to 15 percent; radio sports announcer Dave Sitton takes 7 percent. That’s not surprising, considering Kelly nearly beat Giffords in 2010.
* Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) raised $1.17 million in the fourth quarter of 2011, a good haul for the vulnerable senator. He has $3.8 million on hand. His likely opponent this fall is Rep. Denny Rehberg (R), who has yet to release his fourth quarter numbers. He had $1.8 million cash on hand at end of September. * Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), another GOP target, raised $1.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2011 and has close to $5 million on hand.
* Former Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.) is wading into an Illinois House race, endorsing businessman and Air Force Reservist John Tree in a 10th district primary that also includes management consultant Brad Schneider and community organizer Ilya Sheyman.
* Phoenix sports executive Jerry Colangelo, despite his past ties to Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), is backing investor Wil Cardon in the GOP primary for Arizona’s open Senate seat. Of course, Cardon was a Flake supporter too — until he decided to run against him.
* Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s job approval numbers have plummeted to 40 percent since he left the state to run for president, down ten percent from a year ago. He’s now less popular in the state than President Obama. Spokesman Ray Sullivan said polls change and Perry is still considering running for a fourth term in 2014.
* A mailer sent out in Florida by Romney’s campaign calls Gingrich “erratic” and “reckless,” as the New York Times reports that the former Massachusetts governor’s strategy is to paint his rival as mentally unstable.
* There’s a Republican primary debate in Florida tonight! Yes, again. But it’s actually the last one scheduled for almost a month, so let’s make it count, okay? The debate is at 8 pm eastern time on CNN; we’ll be liveblogging starting around 7:30. In the meantime, here’s what to watch for.
THE FIX MIX:
With Aaron Blake