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February 12th, 2012
02:24 PM ET

SOTU Crib Sheet for February 12th

On State of the Union:

The contraception controversy and budget politics with White House Chief of Staff Jacob Lew.  On the White House's controversial contraception policy he says the president has put out the plan that reflects where he intended to go. Room to compromise? Lew says "No. This is our plan."

Rick Santorum saw his winning streak come to an abrupt end this week at CPAC and in the Maine caucuses.  He doesn't put much stock in Romney's CPAC win, telling Candy: "For years, Ron Paul's won those because he just trucks in a lot of people, pays for their ticket, and they come in and vote. ... We didn't do that. We don't do that. I don't try to rig straw polls."

Senator Joe Lieberman, Chair of the Homeland Security Committee, on whether the Obama administration could/should do more to stop the Syrian government's deadly crackdown.  He told Candy "I think it's time to give them help. Medical help first, and then I'd give them training, I'd give them communications equipment, and then ultimately I'd give them weapons"

And a bit of a musical interlude. Make sure to check out this week's campaign trail, a look at the tunes selected by the candidates to accompany their comings and goings on the stage.


STATE OF THE UNION HIGHLIGHTS

(For more videos check out our website or cnn.com/video)

WH Chief of Staff Jacob Lew defends contraception policy

Sen. Joe Lieberman on Syria

2012 Republican Presidential Candidate Rick Santorum

Jack Lew, White House Chief of Staff
“The president has two principles that are very important. One, all women have a right to all women have a right to all forms of health care, including contraception. Secondly, in the greatest tradition we have to respect the religious liberties of people with very different views. Where I think this policy h as come out, is the initial announcement of a policy said it would take some time to work through the details. Because of the concern that arose, we speeded up the process. On Friday, the president announced we think a very good resolution of the problem.”

Jack Lew, White House Chief of Staff
“I think the economy’s doing much better but it needs to have that additional push that comes from the payroll tax. We saw in December that it didn’t work out so well to have a big, ugly fight over the payroll tax. We can avoid that. We have enough time for Congress to get its work done. You know, we all care about having economic growth and having unemployment go down and employment go up. This payroll tax is important.”

Rick Santorum (R) Presidential Candidate
Candy Crowley: “You think Mitt Romney’s team at least paid for folks to go and vote for him at the (CPAC) straw poll – and that’s what you’re saying?”
Rick Santorum: “That’s standard procedure at all straw polls. Campaigns who want to win go out, provide free tickets for them to come and vote. There’s nothing wrong with that. That’s a strategy. We don’t think that’s good use of our resources and Governor Romney obviously, you know, may have a different idea.”

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I) Connecticut
“We’ve got to do more than just begin to talk to the opposition in Syria because the reality on the ground is, since the U.N. resolution was vetoed by Russia and China, the Assad government has begun to kill its own people at – with increasing frequency. Hundreds since then. I think it’s time to try to help the brave Syrian freedom fighters to carry out a fair fight. And I think it’s time to give them help. Medical help first, and then I’d give them training. I’d give them communications equipment, and then ultimately I’d give them weapons.”

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