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January 15th, 2012
01:57 PM ET

Crib Sheet for Sunday, January 15th

Candy’s post-show analysis

http://bit.ly/w9Irvn

The big political news this morning is the meeting of conservative Christians in Texas who decided there’s a consensus around Rick Santorum as their pick. This is a huge blow to Rick Perry, who was our guest today. He tossed it off, saying the people in South Carolina will make up their own minds.

I thought Perry was most interesting on the question of the Marines and that video of them urinating on the bodies of dead Taliban that’s caused such a stir across the world and has launched a criminal investigation here in the US by the Navy. Perry said eighteen and nineteen year-olds have bad judgment, they shouldn’t have done it, they should be punished in some way, but it is over the top for the administration to try to make it criminal.

It was interesting to see disagreement between Perry and one of our other guests, Sen. John McCain. McCain said he didn’t have any problem with an investigation because Marines are supposed to be more disciplined.

David Axelrod spent much of our interview talking about Bain Capital, Mitt Romney’s company of venture capitalists who saved some businesses and stripped others. Romney’s record at Bain is certainly looking to be the focus of the Obama re-election team.

To cap it off, we had two South Carolina evangelicals, Rev. Brad Atkins and Bob Jones III, who said the large evangelical voting bloc have yet to coalesce around a candidate and that while the evangelical votes are scattered among multiple candidates, the advantage is with Romney. While this may be the case today, a week is a lifetime in politics.

We will be in South Carolina next Sunday. Join us then.

State of the Union Highlights

Gov. Rick Perry, (R) Presidential Candidate on the Marines who urinated on dead Taliban fighters

“What is really disturbing to me is just, kind of, the over-the-top rhetoric from this administration and their disdain for the military, it appears, whether it's the Secretary of State or whether it's the Secretary of Defense. I mean, these kids made a mistake.  There's not any doubt about it. They shouldn't have done it.  It's bad.  But to call it a criminal act, I think, is over the top.”

David Axelrod, Senior Strategist, Obama Campaign Senior Adviser on what Mitt Romney doesn’t get about the economy

“He [Romney[ misses the central issue of our time.  Americans aren't - it's not that they're not working hard enough.  They're working harder than they've ever worked, and for the last decade, their income has been flat - really, for several decades - and it's dropped in the last decade. That is a central issue of our time. How do we create an economy which the middle class is growing, wages are growing, standards of living are not declining, but growing? That's what a successful economy looks like. He misses that point.”

David Axelrod, Senior Strategist, Obama Campaign Senior Adviser on Mitt Romney’s record at Bain Capital

“His work at Bain is an issue is because Governor Romney has offered his business experience as his sole credential, really, for being President of the United States. So it behooves everybody to look at what that experience is. The truth is that he closed 1,000 or more factories, stores and offices.  He outsourced tens of thousands of jobs.  He took 12 companies to bankruptcy, on which he and his partners made hundreds of millions of dollars.”

Sen. John McCain (R) Arizona on social conservatives backing Rick Santorum over Mitt Romney in the South Carolina Republican primary

“Well, I think it is a hit. I mean, let's be honest. There is a very strong evangelical movement in South Carolina, particularly inland. But at the same time, there is a, in South Carolina, a very difficult economic situation. Unemployment is nearly 10 percent. And that certainly is a very - a much higher priority for the voters than it would be if the unemployment rates were down.  So, and also, I think it's a little late as well. But it's bound to have some effect. But I don't think it's going to be real significant.”

Bob Jones III, Chancellor, Bob Jones University on endorsing Romney in 2008, but not this year

“In 2008, he [Romney] was very solicitous of the evangelical vote. If he is that today, I am unaware of it. I certainly have had no contact with him, and so I don't know whether he feels he needs it or wants it, whether he considers it a plus or a minus for him. That was a different dynamic then. The other players in the Republican primary frightened me greatly in 2008.”

Sound of Sunday

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who long ago predicted he would win the nomination, has confined himself now to the short-term: Saturday's South Carolina primary

Newt Gingrich (R) Presidential Candidate on NBC’s “Meet The Press”

I think we're going to win here and we are increasingly consolidating and I'm very excited about the next seven days, and we have a lot of stuff planned all over the state and I think it's going to be a very, very exciting campaign.”

Yesterday, Christian evangelical leaders in Texas voted to back Rick Santorum for the Republican nomination. Today, Santorum was busy talking up his credentials.

Rick Santorum (R) Presidential Candidate on “Fox News Sunday”

I'm someone who's willing to stand up for all of the issues - not just the moral, cultural issues but the economic issues and the moral crisis of this debt and this explosion of government, who's willing to stand up against radical jihad - the things that are important to conservatives across this country.”

Rick Santorum (R) Presidential Candidate on “Fox News Sunday”

We feel like once this filed narrows and we get it down to a two person race, we have an excellent opportunity to win this race.

In what is clearly recognition that come November, Republicans will need the voters Ron Paul is attracting in January, Tea Party Republican and South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint is urging the party to diversify.

Sen. Jim DeMint (R) South Carolina, on CBS’s “Face The Nation”

"The Republican Party needs to embrace not only the Tea Party…but a lot of the libertarian thoughts that we're hearing from Ron Paul...What I hope is that our eventual nominee with recognize the strengths of the other candidates and take a lot of those ideas and incorporate them into platform that will unite us

The Campaign Trail

http://bit.ly/zZaQbg

A look at the lighter side of the campaign trail: Moments that defy explanation from this week's 2012 GOP race.

Links to today’s interviews

Gov. Perry Part 1

http://bit.ly/xQ7MbP

Gov. Perry Part 2

http://bit.ly/An1znY

Gov. Perry Part 3

http://bit.ly/wp5rTt

Axelrod

http://bit.ly/zfuPWE

Sen. McCain

http://bit.ly/x273Gi

Evangelical leaders

http://bit.ly/wThYQw

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