Washington (CNN) - Former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania took his first official step toward running for president Wednesday, announcing the formation of a presidential exploratory committee.
"In 2008 Americans wanted a president who they could believe in, but after two years they realized that what they needed is a president who believes in them," Santorum said in a statement. "It's time for America to be America again - an America that rewards innovation and hard work, that stands by our allies instead of our enemies, that protects even the most vulnerable of our society, and an America that says every life is to be cherished. That is what I believe in, and that's why I'm taking this next step in a possible run for president."
Washington (CNN) - For a moment, Republican Rep. Billy Long sounded as though he were back in the auction house he owns in southwest Missouri.
He rolled the national deficit figures off his tongue Wednesday while introducing a bill that would pay tribute to his profession.
Washington (CNN) - It seems Mike Haridopolos is living up to his reputation as a strong fund-raiser.
The Florida state Senate president, who's running for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate, raised $2.6 million in the first three months this year, a source familiar with his fund-raising figures confirms to CNN.
(CNN) - Some of the likely 2012 Republican presidential candidates reacted to President Obama's deficit reduction speech Wednesday. Their responses:
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney: "President Obama's proposals are too little, too late. Instead of supporting spending cuts that lead to real deficit reduction and true reform of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, the President dug deep into his liberal playbook for 'solutions' highlighted by higher taxes. With over 20 million people who are unemployed or who have stopped looking for work, the last thing we should be doing is raising taxes on job-creators, entrepreneurs, and small business owners across America."
(CNN) - A Senate Democrat who could face a rough road to re-election is showing off his campaign cash.
Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida raised around $2 million in the first three months of this year and has between $4.5 million to $5 million cash on hand, according to an email release Wednesday from his re-election campaign. Nelson had $3,083,493 in cash on hand as of the end of last year.
Washington (CNN) - Don't expect Republican Sen. Jim DeMint to petition for the No. 2 spot on the GOP presidential ticket in 2012.
Washington (CNN) - Saying that he wants to keep Florida early in the presidential primary calendar, a leading Republican state lawmaker is proposing to create a ten member commission that would study the best date for the state to hold its contest.
House Speaker Dean Cannon told reporters Wednesday that a bill would be introduced Thursday to create the commission, which by October 1 of this year would need to pick a primary date between the first Tuesday in January and the first Tuesday in March.
Washington (CNN) - In many ways, the debate over taming the nation's spending and deficit beasts can be compared to a family's hand-wringing over what to cut, and what to keep, in tough times. It may be easy to nix "luxuries" like vacations and eating out. But should "essentials" like a car or a home be downsized or gotten rid of to save money?
Tough choices about what to keep, kill or cut back on are the kinds of things the nation's lawmakers are considering as they try to trim a $14 trillion debt.FULL STORY