- - Wednesday, February 1, 2012

WHITE HOUSE

Obama team calls out Romney for pandering

President Obama’s campaign manager accused Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney on Wednesday of pandering to tea party members who harbor a “very personal dislike” of the president.

“There’s lots of money to be raised from far-right tea party types appealing to a very personal dislike of Barack Obama,” campaign manager Jim Messina wrote in an email to Mr. Obama’s supporters. “When Romney tells a reporter that we need a president ‘who believes in American principles’ or that President Obama will be just a ‘footnote in history,’ that’s who he’s talking to.”


A spokeswoman for Mr. Romney said the Obama campaign is just trying to distract people from the real issues in the race.

“The last thing President Obama and his political machine want is to have to face Mitt Romney in the general election,” said Romney spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg. “Since last year, the Obama campaign has spent all of their time thinking of ways to attack Romney and distract from their own record of failure.”

Marking his Florida primary win Tuesday night, Mr. Romney made a pitch for supporters to contribute to a $1 million “one-term fund” to end Mr. Obama’s presidency. In response, Mr. Messina said Wednesday that the Obama campaign is starting a $2 million fundraising drive to create a “two-term fund.”

NEW JERSEY

Kyrillos makes bid for Senate official

LINCROFT, N.J. — A New Jersey Republican lawmaker Gov. Chris Christie considers a friend and legislative ally has launched his campaign for the GOP’s U.S. Senate nomination.

New Jersey Sen. Joseph M. Kyrillos Jr. held kickoff events Wednesday in Monmouth County - which he represents - and also in Burlington County.

The 51-year-old legislator told Republican faithful that he would seek a balanced budget amendment and vote to repeal President Obama’s health care law if elected to the Senate.

Mr. Kyrillos would face an uphill battle against Democrat Robert Menendez, the better-known and well-financed incumbent, in a year with President Obama at the top of the ticket.

Mr. Kyrillos also must survive a GOP primary, as conservative Ian Linker also plans to seek the Republican nomination.

Recent polling data shows a 12 percentage point gap between Mr. Menendez and his closest challenger.

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