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Off to the races: Ryan calls for 'common ground' on abortion

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council is urging social conservatives to stop giving to the Republican National Committee. "Until the RNC and the other national Republican organizations grow a backbone and start defending core principles, don’t send them a dime of your hard-earned money,” CNN reports. “If you want to invest in the political process, and I encourage you to do so, give directly to candidates who reflect your values and organizations you trust-like FRC Action."

NBC’s Michael O’Brien reported Wednesday: “Thirteen social conservatives, representing various influential groups, wrote Priebus ahead of the RNC's quarterly meeting this week in Los Angeles to sternly rebuke the conclusions of a post-election report that advised Republican elected officials to adopt a softer tone toward social issues. ‘We respectfully warn GOP Leadership that an abandonment of its principles will necessarily result in the abandonment of our constituents to their support,’ concludes the letter.”

RYAN: “Rep. Paul Ryan, the Republican vice presidential nominee in 2012 and an abortion opponent, said Thursday that anti-abortion activists should try to build a broad coalition and find common ground with supporters of abortion rights as a way to advance their agenda,” AP writes. “Ryan, R-Wis., said in a speech to the Susan B. Anthony List that those who oppose abortion ‘need to work with people who consider themselves pro-choice — because our task isn’t to purge our ranks. It’s to grow them. We don’t want a country where abortion is simply outlawed. We want a country where it isn’t even considered,’ he said.”

Flashback to Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R)’s Wall Street Journal op-ed in December: “As a conservative Republican, I believe that we have been stupid to let the Democrats demagogue the contraceptives issue and pretend, during debates about health-care insurance, that Republicans are somehow against birth control. It's a disingenuous political argument they make. As an unapologetic pro-life Republican, I also believe that every adult (18 years old and over) who wants contraception should be able to purchase it. But anyone who has a religious objection to contraception should not be forced by government health-care edicts to purchase it for others. And parents who believe, as I do, that their teenage children shouldn't be involved with sex at all do not deserve ridicule.”

But Ryan also said, per The Hill and Political Wire: "Our critics say we should abandon our pro-life beliefs. But that would only demoralize our voters. It's an odd strategy, I think: the cynical ploy followed by the thumping defeat."

NEW YORK: Anthony Weiner’s comeback may be coming up short. The New York Daily News: “Anthony Weiner’s trial balloon is falling flat. The former congressman’s revelation that he’s considering a run for mayor after a cringeworthy sexting scandal has failed to send past supporters stampeding to his side. The Daily News interviewed nearly a dozen people who played key roles in the Democrat’s 2005 mayoral campaign as advisers, supporters or contributions. The reactions, for the most part, ranged from ambivalence to opposition, with only a few urging him to try again.”

VIRGINIA: Beth Reinhard: “It’s not easy to be the new Ken Cuccinelli. The new Cuccinelli, the Republican frontrunner in the Virginia governor’s race, is more likely these days to be calling for job growth and education reform than he is to be railing against abortion and gay marriage. But the old Cuccinelli, the state attorney general who crusaded for conservative values, keeps cropping up, offering a steady stream of fodder for opponents determined to frame him as a right-wing ideologue.”