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With just four days and one more debate until voters go to the polls, Mitt Romney was roughed up by his challengers last night in South Carolina. We hear excerpts and assess the impact. Also, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker faces a recall, and the growing influence of Super PAC's, massive, unaccountable war chests that are supposed to be "independent" of the candidates they support.

Banner image: Republican presidential candidates, Newt Gingrich (R-GA) (R), and Mitt Romney (L) participate in a Fox News, Wall Street Journal sponsored debate on January 16, 2012 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Making News Wisconsin's Governor Faces a Recall 7 MIN, 18 SEC

Hundreds of thousands of signed petitions are being submitted today demanding the recall of Wisconsin's Republican Governor Scott Walker. It's all about new laws denying public employees collective bargaining rights, and the Governor is already fighting back with TV ads claiming he's creating "thousands of new jobs."  Bob Secter reports for the Chicago Tribune.

Bob Secter, Chicago Tribune

Main Topic Another Debate and Big Money in Politics

When he withdrew yesterday and endorsed Mitt Rommey, Jon Huntsman said of the Republican campaign for president, "Rather than trying to advance our common goal, this race has degenerated into an onslaught of negative and personal attacks not worthy of the American people." With the field narrowed to five (the others are Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, Rich Perry and Rick Santorum), Republican presidential candidates had some sharp exchanges last night in South Carolina. With just four days -- and yet another debate -- until the primary election, we hear excerpts and assess the impact on South Carolina voters.


Michelle Cottle, Newsweek/Daily Beast
Scott Huffmon, Winthrop University (@winthroppoll)
Rod Dreher, The American Conservative (@roddreher)

Crunchy Cons

Rod Dreher

Reporter's Notebook The Sudden Emergence of Super PAC's 28 MIN, 18 SEC

Super PAC's are the latest thing in political finance. These massive financial war chests allowed by recent Supreme Court decisions are spending more than the candidates -- $26 million so far -- without disclosing their sources. With names like "Restore Our Future," "Winning Our Future" and "Make Us Great Again," their real purpose is to support particular candidates like Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry. Based on this year's campaign records, what's been their impact on election results so far?

Chris Frates, National Journal (@influencealley)
David Keating, Club for Growth (@campaignfreedom)
Paul S. Ryan, Campaign Legal Center

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