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Giffords, Kelly launch group to ‘balance the influence of the gun lobby’

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WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED:

* Former Arizona Democratic congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, launched Americans for Responsible Solutions, which they say is meant to “balance the influence of the gun lobby, and will line up squarely behind leaders who will stand up for what’s right.” The announcement came on the second anniversary of the attempted assassination of Giffords in a Tucson, Ariz., mass shooting. Meanwhile, the mother of the attack's youngest victim appears in a new ad from Mayors Against Illegal Guns demanding lawmakers “stand up to the gun lobby.”

* Vice President Biden will meet this week with the National Rifle Association. The vice president is heading up an Obama Administration task force that is set to deliver recommendations on curbing gun violence later this month. Biden also will hold discussions with victims of gun violence and executives from the entertainment and video game industries. NRA officials recently advocated putting armed guards in schools to deter acts of mass violence there, but offered no new gun control proposals.

* New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) continues to fly high in the opinion of New Jersey voters, a new Fairleigh Dickinson University Public Mind poll shows. Christie is sporting a 73 percent approval rating, and he leads a trio of Democrats by at least 33 points each in head-to-head matchups. The governor devoted nearly his entire “State of the State” address on Tuesday to Hurricane Sandy, calling on lawmakers to deliver in federal aid. State Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D), a potential Christie opponent, apologized Monday after he said the governor “prayed” for the storm to help paper over the state’s economic problems.

* Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is likely to testify before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Jan. 22, said Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), the committee's ranking Republican. Clinton will address a deadly Sept. 11 attack on a diplomatic outpost in Libya.

WHAT YOU SHOULDN'T MISS:

* Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel (D) said Tuesday “there is no other shoe to drop" with regard to an extramarital affair he had with an attorney that recently surfaced. McDaniel, the only declared Democratic gubernatorial candidate, said he intends to remain in the race.

* Nearly eight-in-ten Americans (77 percent) said they think the way politics works in Washington these days is causing serious harm to the country, according to a USA Today/Gallup poll conducted in mid-December, when the debate over the "fiscal cliff" had yet to be resolved.

* The moderate Republican Main Street Partnership is removing “Republican” from its name, and will be called ”The Main Street Partnership." The group, which is headed by former Ohio GOP congressman Steve LaTourette, will now welcome centrist Democrats.

* Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) sent out an email to Sarah Palin's PAC email list thanking the former Alaska governor for endorsing him. "While federal law prohibited any coordination between SarahPAC and my campaign, none of this success would have been possible without the outpouring of financial support, hard work, and word of mouth from conservative fighters like you. The Governor's support and your constant encouragement played a critical part in our triumph," wrote Cruz. Palin backed Cruz against Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in the 2012 Texas GOP primary.

* The National Republican Congressional Committee has promoted Andrea Bozek to communications director for the 2014 cycle. Bozek was the committee's deputy communications director in 2012. Daniel Scarpinato, a regional spokesperson, will be the national press secretary.

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Comments
Show Comments
Republicans debated Saturday night. The South Carolina GOP primary and the Nevada Democratic caucuses are next on Feb. 20. Get caught up on the race.
The Post's Dan Balz says...
Rarely has the division between Trump and party elites been more apparent. Trump trashed one of the most revered families in Republican politics and made a bet that standing his ground is better than backing down. Drawing boos from the audience, Trump did not flinch. But whether he will be punished or rewarded by voters was the unanswerable question.
GOP candidates react to Justice Scalia's death
Quoted
I don't know how he knows what I said on Univision because he doesn't speak Spanish.
Sen. Marco Rubio, attacking Sen. Ted Cruz in Saturday night's very heated GOP debate in South Carolina. Soon after, Cruz went on a tirade in Spanish.
The Fix asks The State's political reporter where the most important region of the state is.
The State's Andy Shain says he could talk about Charleston, which represents a little bit of everything the state has to offer from evangelicals to libertarians, and where Ted Cruz is raising more money than anywhere else. In a twist, Marco Rubio is drawing strong financial support from more socially conservative Upstate. That said, Donald Trump is bursting all the conventional wisdom in the state. So maybe the better answer to this question is, "Wherever Trump is."
Past South Carolina GOP primary winners
South Carolina polling averages
Donald Trump leads in the first state in the South to vote, where he faces rivals Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.
South Carolina polling averages
The S.C. Democratic primary is Feb. 27. Clinton has a significant lead in the state, whose primary falls one week after the party's Nevada caucuses.
62% 33%
The complicated upcoming voting schedule
Feb. 20

Democrats caucus in Nevada; Republicans hold a primary in South Carolina.

Feb. 23

Republicans caucus in Nevada.

Feb. 27

Democrats hold a primary in South Carolina.

Upcoming debates
Feb 25: GOP debate

on CNN, in Houston, Texas

March 3: GOP debate

on Fox News, in Detroit, Mich.

March 6: Democratic debate

on CNN, in Flint, Mich.

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Where the race stands

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