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Off to the races: Gingrich-Santorum or Santorum-Gingrich?

Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich almost teamed up to take down Mitt Romney to form a Santorum-Gingrich, or Gingrich-Santorum ticket, Josh Green reports. Problem: Neither wanted to be vice president.  

National Journal: “President Obama’s health care law—a killer issue in 2010 but an afterthought among voters in 2012—will face another round of attacks in 2014 as its thorniest parts go into effect, potentially supplying Republicans fresh ammunition in their war against ‘Obamacare’ and creating renewed problems for a plethora of vulnerable Democrats. Neither party knows for sure how smoothly the law will be implemented or if Americans will ultimately support it. But it’s clear that seismic change is coming in health care, and that any disruption to the system could alienate voters who today are mostly ambivalent toward the law.”

But Ron Brownstein says the one thing that could turn Texas blue is Rick Perry. And it’s because of ObamaCare and Perry’s decision not to expand Medicaid (unlike other GOP governors) or set up a statewide exchange: “Rejecting the federal money might not pose an immediate political threat to Texas Republicans, whose coalition revolves around white voters responsive to small-government arguments. But renouncing the money represents an enormous gamble for Republicans with the growing Hispanic community, which is expected to approach one-third of the state’s eligible voters in 2016. Hispanics would benefit most from expansion because they constitute 60 percent of the state’s uninsured. A jaw-dropping 3.6 million Texas Hispanics lack insurance.”

And he concludes: “In 1994, California Republican Gov. Pete Wilson mobilized his base by promoting Proposition 187, a ballot initiative to deny services to illegal immigrants. He won reelection that year—and then lost the war as Hispanics stampeded from the GOP and helped turn the state lastingly Democratic. Texas Republicans wouldn’t be threatened as quickly, but they may someday judge their impending decision on expanding Medicaid as a similar turning point.” 

GEORGIA: Seriously, Paul Broun says he shot a lion on safari in Africa and ate it. He called it not “particularly tasty.” “It was kind of chewy, but I ate it too. … If I shoot it, I'm gonna eat it." (H/T: Political Wire.) Just asking, but does this apply to intruders, too?

OHIO: Want to see the Republican confusion same-sex marriage, look no further than Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R). Kasich said in a local TV interview in Ohio that he was in favor of civil unions for gay couples, but then took it back.

"I talked to Rob and encouraged him," Kasich said of Rob Portman’s decision to announce he was in favor of same-sex marriage now that his son came out as gay. "If people want to have civil unions and have some way to transfer their resources, I'm for that. I don't support gay marriage."

But a spokesman later said in a statement, “The governor's position is unchanged. He opposes gay marriage and opposes changing Ohio's constitution to allow for civil unions."

Here’s how the Cleveland Plain-Dealer framed it: “Ohio Gov. John Kasich revealed on Wednesday that he supports civil unions for same-sex couples. But don't quote him on that.”