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2012: The tipping point?

On Sunday, the New York Times wrote, “Mitt Romney is on the cusp of taking firm control of the Republican nominating contest for the first time, neutralizing his most powerful critics and rallying a broad spectrum of conservatives behind him as party leaders grow increasingly eager to take on President Obama.”

More: “‘I don’t think he’s presumptive just yet, but I do think we’re near a tipping point,’ said Ed Gillespie, a former Republican Party chairman and White House counselor to President George W. Bush who supports Mr. Romney. ‘April is pretty happy hunting ground for him, and he’s got some potentially significant delegate accumulation ahead.’”

GINGRICH: He says he’d back Romney if he wins the nomination (which he has said repeatedly about any of the Republican candidates).

ROMNEY: “As Mitt Romney delivered a speech Friday afternoon to kick off his closing Wisconsin campaign push, he stood alone at the podium, surrounded by darkness, a solitary figure at center stage,” the Boston Globe’s Johnson writes. “It was emblematic of where Romney has come in his bid for the Republican presidential nomination, and the status he could solidify after Tuesday’s Wisconsin primary.”

Mitch McConnell on CNN: “I think he’s going to be an excellent candidate, and I think the chances are overwhelming that he will be our nominee.”

The New York Post on Romney’s chances: “Mitt lookin’ like the Big Cheese.”

“Appearing ever-more confident in Wisconsin’s primary, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney focused entirely on President Obama during a campaign trip and predicted a victory that could effectively seal the nomination for him,” AP writes.

Romney got Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson’s (R) endorsement on Meet the Press. Johnson is a Tea Party favorite. Of that endorsement, the New York Post calls it “‘Tea’ time for Romney.”

“Vice President Joe Biden on Sunday became the latest to blast Republican presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney for his view of Russia, saying the former Massachusetts governor is unknowledgeable about foreign policy,” the Boston Globe writes. Biden said, “He just seems to be uninformed or stuck in a Cold War mentality. I think what the exchange did [is] it exposes how little Governor Romney knows about foreign policy.”

Romney swatted back: “Raising taxes on American job creators is apparently not enough to satisfy President’s Obama’s trillion-dollar spending addiction.”

The DNC attacked Romney for embracing Paul Ryan’s budget plan with this web video centered on economic inequality.

SANTORUM: On Meet the Press, Santorum was still comparing himself to “David” against “Goliath.” He said Wisconsin’s not do or die, but he has to win Pennsylvania. “We have to win Pennsylvania,” he said, “and we’re going to win Pennsylvania. I have no doubt about that.”

The New York Times on Santorum’s “Big Lebowski” strategy: “Mr. Santorum dropped in to Pla-Mor Lanes here on Sunday afternoon, his fourth visit to a bowling alley in Wisconsin, as part of what appears to be a clear effort to drive home his working-class credentials to voters. It is a comfortable setting for Mr. Santorum, who grew up bowling with his father and even took Bowling 101 for credit at Penn State.”

The New York Daily News looks at how Catholics haven’t been voting for Santorum.

He went after JFK again in an op-ed on Real Clear Politics sister site, Real Clear Religion: “The idea of strict or absolute separation of church and state is not and never was the American model.” (Hat tip: GOP 12)

Newt Gingrich praised Romney for getting Paul Ryan’s endorsement, but Rick Santorum? He says Ryan’s plan doesn’t go far enough.