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PRESIDENCY

Santorum establishes exploratory committee

Former Sen. Rick Santorum is taking the next step toward a presidential bid.

Mr. Santorum on Tuesday said he had established a presidential exploratory committee and would participate in Thursday’s debate in South Carolina, an early presidential-nominating state. The Pennsylvania Republican previously had filed a preliminary committee with the Federal Election Commission.

Establishing the presidential exploratory committee allows Mr. Santorum to raise and spend money, but requires him to disclose his donors.

Mr. Santorum, who lost a bruising re-election bid in 2006, has been busy visiting the traditional early primary and caucus states and hiring staff. He has established the groundwork for a presidential bid, but says he isn’t yet declaring a White House run.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Romney praises Obama on bin Laden operation

NASHUA | Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney says President Obama deserves credit for authorizing the military operation that resulted in Osama bin Laden’s death.

Before starting a round-table discussion with New Hampshire business owners Tuesday, Mr. Romney thanked Mr. Obama, U.S. military forces and the intelligence community for finding and killing the mastermind behind the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The former Massachusetts governor related that victory to the business owners, saying helping small businesses succeed boosts the economy and means more money to pay for the nation’s defense.

Mr. Romney ran for president in 2008 but eventually lost the GOP nomination to Sen. John McCain of Arizona.

Bin Laden was fatally shot by a team of Navy SEALs early Monday in Pakistan.

CONGRESS

Gerald Ford honored with statue at Capitol

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