Newt Gingrich has some advice for Afghanistan, Rick Santorum is declaring victory, Scott Brown won’t pull ads and Ron Paul doesn’t attack Mitt Romney in debates.

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* At a business luncheon in Nashville today, former House speaker Newt Gingrich said it was impossible to “fix Afghanistan” and that the United States should tell Afghans that “you’re going to have to figure out how to live your own miserable life… Because you clearly don’t want to learn from me how to be unmiserable.” Gingrich suggested the U.S. pull out our troops a few days ago, after two American soldiers were killed by a man in an Afghan army uniform.

* Given how hard former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney has had to fight, “We have already won Michigan,” said Rick Santorum adviser John Brabender told CNN today. “No matter what the results are, we’ve won. This is Romney’s home state.” Most recent polls show Romney with a slight lead. Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul’s response: “You don’t win by losing.”

* Some fodder for Santorum’s claim that the Paul and Romney campaigns are in cahoots. According to an analysis done by the liberal blog ThinkProgress, Paul has never once attacked Romney during a debate, while he has gone after Santorum 22 times.

* Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) won’t pull radio ads that claim the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D) would have supported his call for broader religious exemptions to birth control coverage. Kennedy’s son, the former House member Patrick Kennedy, asked Brown to stop airing the ads; Brown says he was “confused” by the letter because he thinks both Kennedys would agree with his position.


* Chuck Hassebrook, who got into the Nebraska Senate race after former senator Bob Kerrey said he would pass, doesn’t believe his fellow Democrat has changed his mind. "I do not believe the report that Bob Kerrey is getting in the Senate race,” he said in a statement. “Bob Kerrey is a man of integrity. He told me as recently as a few days ago that he would assist my campaign. I gave up my seat on the University of Nebraska Board of Regents based on his word. I do not believe he would go back on it.”

* Young House members, sticking together: Rep. Aaron Schock has endorsed Rep. Adam Kinzinger over Rep. Don Manzullo in the GOP primary for Illinois’ new 16th district, where the two were forced together by the new Democrat-drawn map.

* A new survey from national GOP pollster Glen Bolger finds Sen. Dean Heller (R) up slightly over Rep. Shelley Berkley (D) in the Nevada Senate race, 47 percent to 44 percent. That’s a small shift from September, when Heller led 48 percent to 42 percent.

* A new Associated Press poll finds President Obama’s standing with women voters improving. His approval ratings among women on unemployment and handling the economy have jumped 10 points. Santorum, meanwhile, has been improving his numbers with female Republican voters.

* Controversial anti-abortion legislation that caused a backlash in Virginia just last week has now been introduced in Idaho. The bill would require a woman to undergo an ultrasound before having an abortion, even if the fetus is so small that a transvaginal ultrasound must be performed.

* A new ad from the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) in Ohio attacks Romney for supporting the auto bailout. According to the Huffington Post, its a $350,000 buy. “Romney would have turned his backs on us in the depths of the recession,” the narrator says over footage of auto mechanics.


We don’t normally endorse candidates, but we’ll make an exception for this cat.

With Aaron Blake