The Louisiana Republican primary is today. Here are 10 things you need to know.
- Rick Santorum likely to take Louisiana: The polls show former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum likely to win the Louisiana Republican primary. Only 20 of the state’s 46 GOP delegates are up for grabs today. The AP reports: “Twenty at-large delegates will be allocated proportionally among candidates who get more than 25 percent of the vote in Saturday’s primary. If no candidate gets 25 percent, the party says, the 20 delegates remain uncommitted.” Polling places are open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Central Standard Time.
- Obama campaign embraces the term ‘Obamacare’: President Obama’s re-election campaign tried to turn the term “Obamacare” on its head Friday, long used in a pejorative sense by conservatives seeking to demean the president’s signature health care reform law. “It’s the two-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act,” the Obama camp wrote on its website. “Since then, the law that almost everyone calls Obamacare has been doing exactly what the other side has hoped it wouldn’t do: It’s been working.”
- DCCC chair embraces health care law: Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) embraced the health care reform law many political watchers argued cost Democrats the House in 2010. “If Republicans get their way, Americans would again be at the mercy of insurance companies who could deny coverage for pre-existing conditions, force seniors to pay more for prescription drugs, drop young adults from their parents’ plans, and take away protections for women, children, and small businesses,” Israel said in a statement.
- NRSC hits Berkley on ethics investigation: The National Republican Senatorial Committee went after Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-NV) on the announcement that the House Ethics Committee in Congress will be moving forward with an undisclosed complaint against Berkley. “The news that the House Ethics Committee is extending their investigation of embattled Congresswoman Shelley Berkley is not surprising given what appears to be a pattern of ethical questions that have surrounded her activities over the years,” NRSC Communications Director Brian Walsh said in a statement. At issue is whether Berkley’s actions in Congress have benefited her husband’s business dealings. Berkley has denied wrongdoing.
- Report details nepotism in Congress: The watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has released a new report detailing how some members of Congress use their positions to benefit themselves and their family members. “CREW’s investigation uncovered 248 members meriting inclusion in this in-depth compilation, which covers the 2008 and 2010 election cycles,” the group said in a statement. Read the whole report here.
- Rep. Buchanan also undergoing ethics inquiry: Democrats aren’t the only ones being hit with ethics investigations — Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL) is also, reports The Hill. The nature of the investigation wasn’t stated by the committee, but “The three-term lawmaker is also undergoing a separate ethics inquiry that deals with incomplete financial disclosures,” the paper wrote. An aide to Buchanan said the congressman was confident he’d be cleared.
- Gingrich says Obama makes people think he is a Muslim: Newt Gingrich said on Friday that it’s President Obama’s fault that a number of Americans think he’s a Muslim. “Why does the president behave the way that people would think that [he’s Muslim]?” he said, according to POLITICO. “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.” Gingrich said Obama’s policies are particularly sensitive to people of non-Christian, non-Jewish faiths.
- Romney still hitting Santorum on voting for Obama over him: Mitt Romney continues to go after Rick Santorum for suggesting that it would be better to re-elect President Obama than to support Romney. “We need to have a Republican president. Just think about the selections of the Supreme Court justices that a conservative would put in place. Think about the energy policies that I and other conservatives would put in place. Think about repealing Obamacare, which I would do and other Republicans would do. Think about lowering taxes and getting our economy growing to create jobs again that I and other Republicans would carry out. We have a very different agenda than President Obama,” Romney said in a radio interview.
- Santorum seeks to tamp down fallout from comment: For his part, Santorum sent out a statement Friday saying the whole thing is overblown. “I would never vote for Barack Obama over any Republican and to suggest otherwise is preposterous. This is just another attempt by the Romney campaign to distort and distract the media and voters from the unshakeable fact that many of Romney’s policies mirror Barack Obama’s. I was simply making the point that there is a huge enthusiasm gap around Mitt Romney and it’s easy to see why — Romney has sided with Obama on health care mandates, cap-and-trade and the Wall Street bailouts,” it read.
- Candidates not in Louisiana today: Neither Gingrich nor Santorum is scheduled to be in Louisiana for the primary vote today. Gingrich is set to campaign in Pennsylvania and Santorum will be in Wisconsin. Neither Romney nor Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) have public events scheduled.
Kyle is the Editor of TPM Media’s PollTracker. He graduated from Beloit College (WI) and began working in politics before getting an M.A. in magazine journalism from New York University, where he interned at TPM and the website of The New Yorker.