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2012: Gingrich on TODAY

BARBOUR: Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour made no secret about why he was visiting Reno and Carson City, Nevada yesterday: “‘I’m here because I’m thinking about running for president,’ he told reporters assembled at the Plaza Hotel in Carson City. ‘If I run, I will compete to win Nevada,’” the Las Vegas Sun reports.

CHRISTIE: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s star power and fundraising clout mean he’s on the top of the list of GOP endorsements for potential presidential candidates, and has already had several possible hopefuls come to the governor’s mansion to kiss the ring. Plus, those seriously considering running would also like confirmation that Christie is not going to make a run himself, the AP writes.

DANIELS: The New York Times writes that Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels’ lawsuit against IBM, who canceled a $1.3 billion contract to modernize the state’s welfare system, might haunt him if he decides to run for president: “In blunt language, an [IBM] lawyer charges Mr. Daniels with hypocrisy for claiming to run a ‘transparent’ government but refusing to release documents or be deposed in the case.”

GINGRICH: On TODAY, Gingrich was critical of President Obama’s handling of Libya. “This isn’t serious standard,” he said of the humanitarian reasons for going into Libya. “This is a public relations standard.” He added, “The president of the United States does not report to the United Nations.” And: “By this standard, we could get engaged in all sorts of places,” including Sudan. On Khaddafy, Gingrich said, “If this is not designed to get rid of Khaddafy, then this makes no sense at all.” On whether he would have engaged in this operation, Gingrich said flatly, “I would not have intervened. There were a lot of other ways” to deal with Khaddafy. And, he said, if Khaddafy stays in power, “it will be a defeat for the United States. … This is about as badly run as any foreign operation in our lifetime.”

Newt Gingrich writes an op-ed in Human Events saying that House Republicans should tie the repeal of President Obama’s health care law to the vote that would raise the debt ceiling: “Republicans should attach the full repeal of ObamaCare to the debt ceiling increase bill and pass it immediately.. While passing it, they should make clear that they would be willing to pass a clean debt ceiling increase if the White House and Senate Democrats agree to defund the implementation of ObamaCare through 2012 as part of a package of real spending reductions.”

Gingrich will be the next guest on Iowa Public Television’s “Iowa Press,” which will air March 25th and 27th, the Des Moines Register reports. Gingrich will be the second potential GOP presidential candidate to appear on the program, following Rick Santorum’s appearance last month.

Gingrich will address Georgia Republicans at the dinner for their annual convention on May 13 in Macon, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes.

GIULIANI: Speaking in Palm Beach, Rudy Giuliani backed away from his previous comments that he would consider running for president if Sarah Palin were a candidate, calling the statement “rash,” the Palm Beach Post writes. But he did say he’d think about a bid if it looks like the Republican nominee would otherwise be “too right-wing.” Giuliani also said Mitt Romney should disown the health care law he passed while governor of Massachusetts.

HUCKABEE: Mike Huckabee told the Christian news service One News Now that he would reinstate the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy in the military if he were president because “that's really what the military wants,” Politico notes.

PAWLENTY: On the one-year anniversary of the health-care overhaul being signed into law, Pawlenty is out with this statement: "One year ago today, President Obama signed into law the Federal government takeover of health care, one of the most flawed and misguided laws in modern history. Obamacare takes our health care system in the wrong direction, failing to reduce costs and improve quality. The law infringes on individual and states' rights by forcing individuals to purchase a good or service, which is why I joined a lawsuit calling the law unconstitutional. If courts do not do so first, as President, I would support the immediate repeal of Obamacare and replace it with market-based health care reforms."

Doug Wead, former President George H.W. Bush’s liaison to the evangelical community, said Tim Palwenty may be well positioned to win over the evangelical Christian voting bloc, the Minneapolis Star Tribune writes.

Pawlenty will appear at a meeting of the Nashua, New Hampshire Republican City Committee on April 14, the New Hampshire Union-Leader’s DiStaso writes.

ROMNEY: Romney writes an op-ed for National Review Online, re-stating his belief that President Obama’s national health care plan is “simply not the answer” while asserting that states should be “free to experiment.” He also said that while he advocates the full repeal of the health care law, a faster way to derailing it would be to issue an executive order to provide waivers to all 50 states to opt out of the program.

Nevada Rep. Joe Heck would support Mitt Romney if Romney runs, the AP reports.

SANTORUM: Rick Santorum will participate in an economic town hall at New England College in Henniker, New Hampshire on Thursday, April 14th, the New Hampshire Union-Leader’s DiStaso writes.