Say What Now of the Day

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Lots of discussion this morning about whether or not Santorum caught himself starting to say the N-word while describing Barack Obama during a recent speech in Janesville, Wisconsin.

Footage from the event shows Santorum characterizing candidate Obama as "the anti-war government nig-" before stopping himself with a filled pause and abruptly heading in a different direction.

There are several alternate theories out there which suggest Santorum was trying to say something (relatively) innocuous, and merely stumbled in an unfortunate place. One such theory claims Santorum was actually calling Obama a "governmentnik." While plausible, "governmentnik" isn't really something someone's ever called anyone.

This wouldn't be Santorum's first brush with racial remarks. He previously came under fire for allegedly singling out black people as welfare recipients. He later claimed he stumbled on a word, which he couldn't recall, but definitely wasn't "black."

[vice.]

Irresponsible Response of the Day

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Irresponsible Response of the Day
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Asked at a press conference today in Louisiana about the persistent belief among many Americans that President Obama is a Muslim, Newt Gingrich said he personally takes the commander-in-chief "at his word" concerning his Christianity, but understands why some do not.

"Why does the president behave the way that people would think that [he’s Muslim]?" Gingrich told reporters. "You have to ask, why would they believe that? It's not cause they're stupid. It's because they watch the kind of things I just described to you."

According to Politico, those "things" included the president's "excessive sensitivity" toward non-Judeo-Christian faiths. Gingrich has also accused the Obama administration of "anti-religious bigotry" and slammed the president for "apologizing" to Muslims.

"The fact is I take him at his word," Gingrich is quoted as saying, "but I think it is very bizarre that he is desperately concerned to apologize to Muslim religious fanatics while they are killing young Americans while at the same time going to war against the Catholic Church and against every right to live Protestant organization in the country. I just think it's a very strange value system."

Maggie Haberman notes that, in a radio interview yesterday, Gingrich admonished the media for "going easy on coverage of Obama's 'Muslim friends'."

[politico / photo: tpm.]

Stay Classy of the Day

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At a police gun range in Louisiana today, Rick Santorum was showing off his shooting skills with a Colt M1911 when an AP cameraman, as well as several other reporters, overheard a woman in attendance advising the GOP presidential candidate to improve his aim by "pretend[ing] it's Obama." (Can be heard at around 0:36 in the video above.)

Asked later if he heard the remark, Santorum said he did not. "It's a very terrible and horrible remark and I'm glad I didn't hear it," he told AP. A Secret Service spokesman said the woman's identity and intent were being investigated.

[ap / towleroad.]

This Is All Kinds Of Wrong of the Day

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This Is All Kinds Of Wrong of the Day
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The bigoted bumper sticker above, which is making the rounds on Facebook today, is just one of several inflammatory anti-Obama slogans popping up on vehicles in Texas and other southern states.

The Dallas/Fort Worth-based ABC affiliate WFAA traced the stickers back to an Arkansas-based retailer called Stumpy's Stickers. News 8 says shortly after it emailed the company for a comment, their site was taken offline, and their Facebook page was removed.

News One notes that the slogan above is not new, having been used on merchandise as far back as 2010. A t-shirt on Zazzle with the same offensive play on words caused a minor stir last year, before being pulled.

[wfaa / newsone.]

Santorum Santorum Says of the Day

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Santorum Santorum Says of the Day
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Having gone after pretty much every other "social malady" in the book, Rick Santorum is finally setting his sights on the big daddy of them all: Pornography.

In a statement that reads like something Anthony Comstock would have deemed "going too far," the GOP presidential candidate claims pornography "causes profound brain changes in both children and adults" and blasts the Justice Department for favoring "pornographers over children" by not enforcing obscenity laws.

Santorum continues: "[C]urrent federal 'obscenity' laws prohibit distribution of hardcore [obscene] pornography on the Internet, on cable/satellite TV, on hotel/motel TV, in retail shops and through the mail or by common carrier."

The former Pennsylvania Senator concludes by vowing that, as President, he will change the status quo as it concerns pornography.

It seems somewhat laughable, but can President Santorum really get rid of Internet porn if he set his mind to it? Yes, says UCLA Law Professor and noted blogger Eugene Volokh.

"If the government wanted to aggressively move against Internet pornography, it could do so," Volokh told The Daily Caller. "Here’s the deal: In most parts of the country, a lot of pornography on the Internet would plausibly be seen as obscene."

The law may be on his side, but, if he were to pursue his anti-porn crusade, Santorum would likely find rather quickly that the only thing still able to blur the lines of political affiliation is porn.

"When it comes to adult entertainment, it seems people are more the same than different," said Harvard Business School's Benjamin Edelman, who, in 2009, published a nationwide study [pdf] on porn viewing habits that should give Santorum pause.

Eight out of the top 10 porn-loving states voted for John McCain in the 2008 presidential election. By comparison, six of the bottom 10 cast their vote for Obama.

[thehill / dailycaller / newscientist.]

Super Tuesday Results of the Day

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Super Tuesday Results of the Day
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Super Tuesday Results of the Day: Mitt Romney managed to fend off a major embarrassment by eking out a win in Ohio following a hard-fought bout with Rick Santorum for first place in the Buckeye State.

But in taking his sweet time to unseat Santorum, who had been holding steady at number one for a significant portion of the night -- and even then hanging on

Santorum Santorum Says of the Day

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Santorum Santorum Says of the Day
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Santorum Santorum Says of the Day: Gone mostly unnoticed until very recently is a comment made by presidential candidate Rick Santorum during a December 30th NBC News interview, in which he made clear his intention to nullify all legal same-sex marriages currently in existence across the country.

The latest census data, collected in 2010, puts the number of married same-