The AP fact-checks the GOP field and the president’s new film: “Rick Santorum says oil drillers in the Gulf of Mexico are being slammed by ‘worse and worse and worse’ delays in getting federal approval even as gas prices go through the roof. Actually, the wait for permits is getting better and better. Newt Gingrich boasts that small donors are powering his Republican presidential campaign. In reality, one deep-pocketed financial angel and other big money people have been doing loads of heavy lifting, too.
“The claims of the Republican presidential rivals are not getting the exposure they once did, ever since the crackling series of debates drew to a close. But in smaller venues or turns on TV, the assertions still fly, as do exaggerations, oversimplifications and outright mistakes. So, too, on the Democratic side. A polished new film from President Barack Obama's campaign, out Thursday night, pushes the gauzy hero worship beyond what has really happened in recounting the auto industry bailout and recovery.”
ROMNEY: Romney was on FOX again, per GOP 12. He dismissed Gingrich’s claim that he could get $2.50 gas and said there would not be a brokered convention. “Look, we're not going to go to a brokered convention," he said. "One or the other of us among the three or four that are running is going to get the delegates necessary to become the nominee. As it gets closer towards the end, it's going to be clear we've got someone who's in the strong lead. The states that remain will vote for that person and that person will get the delegates and become the nominee."
“Mitt Romney has repeatedly argued that no rival can catch up to him in the delegate race, making him the inevitable Republican nominee,” The Hill writes. “But in the convoluted delegate soup that candidates must navigate, another potential outcome has emerged: that Romney himself will come short of securing enough delegates to earn the nomination.”
Romney denied that there’s any kind of deal in the works with Ron Paul or that he has had any conversations with him on the subject.
Chris Christie campaigns with Romney in Illinois today. The New York Post said it was a “last-minute scheduling,” and “Romney wasn’t even planning to campaign in Illinois until Monday.”
Yesterday was the (real) first day of the NCAA Tournament but Romney’s not filling out a bracket. "I'm not plugged in well enough this year to do that," he said.
SANTORUM: “[W]hile many pundits believe a Gingrich withdrawal would allow the conservative vote to coalesce around former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum and defeat former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, the data is less clear,” the Boston Globe reports.
This AP story ran in the Miami Herald: “Santorum was forced to repeatedly clarify remarks he made Wednesday, when he said English would have to be the ‘main language’ for Puerto Rico to become a state.” Santorum said, “"I never said only English should be spoken here. Never did I even intimate that," Santorum told local reporters gathered in El Capitolio, the island's Capitol building. "What I said was that English had to be spoken as well as other - obviously Spanish is going to be spoken, this would be a bilingual country."
Message Un-discipline… “Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum has been busy in Puerto Rico, meeting with the island’s Governor, evangelical and political leaders, and even enjoying an ‘helado de coco’ in the streets of Old San Juan with his family,” NBC Latino reports. “But it is going to take more than some coconut ice cream to take the heat off his recent comments that Puerto Rico would have to make English its main language if it ever wanted to become a state. ‘I think Santorum put his foot in his mouth, or ‘metió la pata’ as we say in Spanish,’ says Dr. Juan Flores, a professor of Latino Studies at New York University. ‘It’s just a way of turning the whole country off, no matter what their political stripes or preferences,’ he adds.”
And: “A former Puerto Rican senator and pro-statehood supporter, Oreste Ramos, said Santorum should no longer count on him as a delegate after hearing of Santorum’s ‘English’ comments.”