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2012: Shake, rattle, and roll

Bloomberg writes that Etch-A-Sketch shows Romney “is facing fresh doubts about his commitment to core party principles.”

Politico calls this the Etch-A-Sketch campaign. “The problem is, this kind of rhetorical misfire is nothing new for Romney’s campaign,” it writes.

The AP’s Benac says the candidates are exhausted and it shows: “[T]hey make mistakes, get testy and lose perspective. At best, they may just seem to be off stride, muffing key lines and sounding, well, tired.”

“Harold Clark Simmons is on a mission to defeat President Obama in November and will spend almost any amount of money to do so. On Karl Rove's advice, the 80-year-old Texan head of chemicals and metals producer Contran Corp. and his wife, Annette, are the largest contributors to the 2012 election, having donated over $18 million to conservative PACs since the start of the race,” The Daily Beast/Newsweek writes. “Which Republican wins is not the point. "Any of these Republicans would make a better president than that socialist Obama," Simmons told The Wall Street Journal. "Obama is the most dangerous American alive."

Forbes lists the 80-year-old as the 33rd richest man in America with a net worth of $9.5 billion. He has apparently tripled his net worth since just 2010, when Forbes listed him as the 93rd richest man in America with a net worth of $2.5 billion.

“In a Pew Research Center survey released Wednesday, 38 percent of respondents said political leaders spend too much time talking about religion. The measure was an all-time high for the poll; it was just 12 percent in 2001, when Pew began tracking the public’s appetite for religion in politics,” the Boston Globe writes. “Most people, 54 percent, said churches should stay out of politics, while 40 percent said they should enter political and social debates. As recently as 2006, public opinion was essentially the opposite, with 51 percent of Americans believing churches should speak out and 46 percent saying they should keep quiet.”

GINGRICH: He was on FOX last night talking about Etch-A-Sketch.

ROMNEY: Overlooked by Etch-A-Sketch, Romney’s full embrace of George W. Bush and TARP: "I keep hearing the president say he's responsible for keeping the country out of a Great Depression. No, no, no, that was President George W. Bush and Hank Paulson."

Not only did Jeb Bush pick Romney as his choice for president, but he also said he should pick Marco Rubio as his vice president. "He is the best orator of American politics today, a good family man,” Bush told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “He is not only a consistent conservative, but he has managed to find a way to communicate a conservative message full of hope and optimism.” And: "The problem lies in the tone," Bush said. "You do not have to sacrifice principle to win the Latino vote."

The Washington Post notes that it’s unlikely Mitch Daniels will endorse before the primaries are over. (H/t GOP 12.)

Surprise. Romney leads in Connecticut, which votes April 24. Quinnipiac has him up 42%-19% over Santorum.

SANTORUM: Rich Lowry doesn’t think Santorum can win in Wisconsin. “Santorum doesn’t win unless evangelicals are more than half of the electorate. In Wisconsin in 2008, they were just 38 percent,” he writes.