01.01.12

Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, and More Sunday Talk

Rick Santorum would bomb Iran, Ron Paul cites ‘human flaw’ for racist newsletters, Rick Perry’s campaign turns on him, and more in our Sunday Talk roundup.

Santorum: I’d Bomb Iran

Rick Santorum is the latest candidate to enjoy a surge in the polls, but will voters line up for his hard-line approach to foreign policy? On Meet the Press, the former senator came out swinging, saying he would authorize targeted airstrikes in Iran to stop them from acquiring a nuclear weapon. “We will degrade those [nuclear] facilities through airstrikes, and make it very public that we are doing that,” he said. How’s that for taking a stance?

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Paul: ‘Human Flaw’ Led to Racist Newsletters

Everyone has flaws, so is that really a good excuse? On ABC’s This Week, Paul cited his “human flaw” as an explanation for his inadequate oversight of offensive writing that was published under his name. “I admit that I’m an imperfect person…but to paint my whole life on that is a gross distortion,” he said before adding, “I didn’t write them, I didn’t see them before that and I’ve disavowed them.”

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Perry’s Campaign Revolt

Is Rick Perry’s own campaign staff preparing for his demise? On Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace asked the Texas governor about a recent Politico story that quotes a campaign staffer as saying, “There has never been a more ineptly orchestrated, just unbelievably subpar campaign for president of the United States than this one.” Perry wrote off the harsh words as “inside-the-Beltway chatter” and said that although he’s “had some bumps and grinds” (Oops!) he “feels very confident” about his chances.

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Bachmann: I Can Still Win Iowa

Nevermind her last-place poll numbers or the fact that her Iowa state chairman jumped ship for a rival campaign, Michele Bachmann thinks she can still pull off an Iowa victory. “We had tremendous momentum which continues to this day,” she said on Fox News Sunday before going after Ron Paul for his foreign-policy platform. So will Tuesday mark an Iowa miracle for the congresswoman or will it be the epitome of a major campaign flameout?

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Huntsman ‘Messed Up Big Time’

With the Iowa caucuses up for grabs, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad named his picks for the top three contenders—and had some choice words for one person who definitely isn’t going to make the cut. Jon Huntsman “messed up big time,” Branstad said on CNN’s State of the Union. “He skipped Iowa and the result is he’s an asterisk, and he’s never going to get beyond that.” Ouch!

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Independents for Ron Paul?

Sure, he’s having his moment in the sun, but could Ron Paul actually win a national election? That all comes down to the independent vote, according to his son, Sen. Rand Paul. Paul said on CBS’s Face the Nation that his father was the candidate who “could reach across the boundaries of party, collect a lot of people who don’t vote normally and really energize the party.”

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The Media’s Blind Spot

Does the press give a pass to candidates until they surge in the polls? Fresh off the controversy surrounding Ron Paul’s 1990s newsletters, CNN’s Reliable Sources turned the lens on the media to examine if they have a major blind spot beyond candidates in the spotlight. “It didn’t take an investigative team to do a database search to find out that this had already been written about,” host Howard Kurtz pointed out in reference to Paul’s newsletters, which made major headlines only after he climbed in the polls.

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