Inside Politics: Dems mark anniversary of Romney health care law

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White House press secretary Jay Carney said Mr. Obama is committed to gay rights and would support legislation that would protect gay, bisexual and transgender employees of federal contractors.

But he ruled out a special presidential order that would accomplish the same thing now. Gay rights groups say Congress won’t act to pass such a law and that the White House should step in with an executive order.

Mr. Carney denies the White House is trying to avoid a politically sensitive issue in this election year.

POLLING

Romney leads Obama in latest Fox News poll

Fresh off dispatching his chief rival for the Republican presidential nomination, Mitt Romney also is leading President Obama in a head-to-head matchup, according to the latest Fox News poll.

Taken Monday through Wednesday, the poll found Mr. Romney with a 46-percent-to-44-percent lead over the incumbent president — powered by a strong showing among self-identified independents, who backed Mr. Romney 43 percent and Mr. Obama 37 percent.

In the same poll last month, independents were split evenly at 40 percent each.

The poll also showed that while women back Mr. Obama 49 percent to 41 percent, men back Mr. Romney by an even greater margin, 52 percent to 38 percent, suggesting the gender gap is hurting the president more.

Last week, Mr. Romney swept contests in Wisconsin, Maryland and the District of Columbia, putting him well ahead of his competitors for the Republican presidential nomination. On Tuesday, Rick Santorum, who had been the closest competitor to Mr. Romney, dropped out of the race.

COLORADO

Romney glitter bomber pleads to disturbing peace

DENVER — A college student who tried to “glitter bomb” Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney after the Colorado caucuses has pleaded guilty to a charge of disturbing the peace.

Peter Smith, 20, told KCNC-TV that prosecutors dismissed a more serious charge of throwing a missile for the Feb. 7 incident.

Mr. Romney was speaking to supporters in Denver and vowing to fight on after losing nonbinding caucus votes in Colorado and Minnesota. While the former Massachusetts governor shook hands with supporters, Mr. Smith tossed a handful of blue glitter toward him, missing the candidate.

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