- - Sunday, November 20, 2011

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Romney urges Obama to stop military cuts

NASHUA — Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney is calling on President Obama to block looming military cuts.

The former Massachusetts governor tells supporters in New Hampshire that the deficit-cutting supercommittee in Congress probably won’t come up with a deal before its Wednesday deadline. That would trigger billions of dollars in automatic cuts to the military and to domestic programs.

Mr. Romney says the president hasn’t done enough to push Congress to compromise, and Mr. Romney wants Mr. Obama to introduce legislation to stop the threatened military cuts.

IOWA

Republicans seek state social conservatives’ nod

DES MOINES — Most of the Republican presidential candidates, with the notable exception of Mitt Romney, set their sights on early-voting Iowa for a discussion on the role of religious faith in public life, along with hot-button social issues such as gay marriage and abortion.

The setting was a forum Saturday night hosted by a new evangelical group trying to leave its mark on the campaign in a state where influential social conservatives have struggled to rally behind an alternative to Mr. Romney. While the former Massachusetts governor has stayed near the top of national polls, some Republican activists have misgivings about his record on cultural issues.

Mr. Romney’s six more socially conservative challengers are actively competing in Iowa to emerge as the preferred candidate among Christian conservatives with just six weeks to go until the Jan. 3 caucuses.

“People are getting close to decision time,” former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum told the Associated Press at a campaign stop in Des Moines. “I think you’re going to see some coalescing in the next couple of weeks.”

STATE DEPARTMENT

Rice: Assad taking Syria to brink of war

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says Syrian President Bashar Assad is taking his country to the brink of civil war.

Ms. Rice tells CNN’s “State of the Union” that Mr. Assad’s crackdown is creating a very dangerous situation.

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