Romney plays up conservatism at CPAC; Obama lays out contraception compromise; McIntyre won’t run for governor in North Carolina; and Rep. Spencer Bachus faces an insider-trading probe.

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The White House’s convenient contraception controversy


* President Obama today presented his compromise plan for contraception at Catholic institutions. The new plan will not force religiously affiliated groups to offer insurance plans that include contraception, but the insurance companies offering the plans will have to offer separate contraception coverage free of charge.

* In his address to CPAC today, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney said he was a “severely conservative” governor and used the word “conservative” 19 times.

* The gay Republican group GOProud today lashed out at Romneyfor his remarks at CPAC in which he said that he fought against Massachusetts becoming the “Las Vegas of gay marriage.” Said GOProud executive director Jimmy LaSalvia: “The left wants a culture war, because they can’t defend this president’s record of failure on the economy. Conservatives shouldn’t give them the fight they want – and that’s exactly what Mitt Romney did today.”

* House Financial Services Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) faces an insider trading investigation. The independent Office of Congressional Ethics began examining suspicious trades by the congressman — an avid trader — late last year.

* Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.) announced today that he will not run for the state’s new open governor’s seat. “I am honored to have had my name considered for governor, but there is simply not enough time between now and (the primary) May 8 to construct the type of campaign that I would have liked to establish.” The Democratic primary consists of Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton, former congressman Bob Etheridge and state Rep. Bill Faison.


* In his speech to CPAC, Mike Huckabee said the contraception issue means “we’re all Catholics now.” Added Huckabee: “Morality matters even more than money does, because where there is a nation that has lost its morals, there is a nation which will freely give up its money.”

* Former Delaware Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell (R) won’t rule out another campaign or a position in a Romney administration.

* Arizona Senate candidate and former U.S. surgeon general Richard Carmona (D) has endorsed former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords aide Ron Barber (D) in the special election to replace Giffords. The Democratic party is quickly closing ranks around Barber, who was also injured in the Giffords assassination attempt.

* A great cheat sheet from left-leaning Daily Kos Elections for those looking to nail down the new congressional districts in Florida.


When recycling gets real.

With Rachel Weiner.