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Off to the races: Priebus defends GOP platform on gay marriage

Reince Priebus is defending the RNC platform, which stands against same-sex marriage, but also is saying there should be room for dissenting views within the party on the subject.  "We do have a platform, and we adhere to that platform,” Priebus told USA Today. “But it doesn't mean that we divide and subtract people from our party.” He added, "I don't believe we need to act like Old Testament heretics.” Republicans "have to strike a balance between principle and grace and respect."

Paul vs. Rubio, cont’d… From Louisville, KY, Manu Raju writes, “Florida Sen. Marco Rubio swung by Rand Paul’s home state here on Monday where he effectively made one thing clear: He’s no Rand Paul — particularly on foreign policy. In a soaring speech on the University of Louisville campus, Rubio made the case for American military might around the world, vowing that the U.S cannot ‘retreat’ from international conflicts, must encourage democracy and continue spending money overseas aimed at bolstering the country’s image. He didn’t mention Paul by name, other than when he corrected a questioner who thought a speech he delivered recently called for the elimination of the Department of Education.”

Scott Walker, who heads to Iowa later this year, is writing a book.

Chris Christie has yet another 70% approval rating. Quinnipiac has it at 70%-23%. He leads in his reelection bid 60%-25% over state Sen. Barbara Buono (D).

SOUTH DAKOTA: The AP: “The anticipated retirement announcement from South Dakota Sen. Tim Johnson gives Republicans one of their best chances of picking up a seat in their quest to regain control, as the veteran moderate Democrat steps aside. Johnson, the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, is expected to say Tuesday afternoon that he will not seek a fourth term in the Senate next year. The fifth Senate Democrat to call it quits, Johnson was facing a potentially difficult challenge from popular Republican Gov. Mike Rounds and still coping with the constraints of a 2006 brain hemorrhage that left his speech impaired and limited his mobility.”