(CNN) - Rick Santorum is running ahead of his rivals in Tennessee, a stronghold of evangelical Christians that votes on March 6, Super Tuesday.
Thirty four percent of likely Republican primary voters said they were backing Santorum, while 27% named Mitt Romney, 16% backed Newt Gingrich and 13% picked Ron Paul. The poll was taken by American Research Group February 8-9, when voters would have known about Santorum's sweep of voting contests in Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado.
(CNN) - Candidates seeking the Republican presidential nomination will be invited to participate in the Arizona Republican Presidential debate if they meet objective polling criteria, CNN announced Friday.
The nationally televised February 22 debate is being co-sponsored by the Arizona Republican Party and will take place in Mesa six days before Arizona and Michigan voters head to the polls.
Washington (CNN) – As word trickled out of a White House compromise with Catholic groups on its rule around contraception coverage on Friday morning, administration officials took to the phones to sell the plan to religious leaders across the spectrum.
Catholic officials say President Obama called New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan, President of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, to explain the revised policy, which exempts religiously affiliated universities and hospitals for paying for no cost contraception for their employees but requires insurers to offer such coverage for for free to women who work at such institutions.
(CNN) – President Barack Obama announced a compromise Friday in the dispute over whether to require full contraception insurance coverage for female employees at religiously affiliated institutions.Under the plan, religiously affiliated universities and hospitals will not be forced to offer contraception coverage to their employees. Insurers will be required, however, to offer complete coverage free of charge to any women who work at such institutions.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Three of the four remaining GOP presidential candidates were taking their cases straight to conservatives on Friday with appearances at the Conservative Political Action Conference.
Rick Santorum spoke to the group Friday morning, focusing his remarks not on his Republican opponents but on President Barack Obama. Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich also were scheduled to address the influential gathering in Washington.
Washington (CNN) - Rick Santorum trained his fire on President Barack Obama Friday during his much-anticipated speech at CPAC, hitting the president over the recent controversy surrounding health insurance coverage for contraceptives.
"They believe rights come from government," he said, with his family on stage. "The most important one they've been able to shove down the throats of the American public is the right to health care."
Washington (CNN) – Conservatives gathered Friday for the second day of the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) that promised speeches from and discussions with leading Republican lawmakers, analysts and pundits. The three day meeting in Washington will culminate with a much-watched straw poll Saturday. Check back here for updates from our reports and producers throughout the day. Watch the remarks live here and read the Live blog of CPAC: Day 1. Read more here.
9:19 p.m. ET – Speaking at an evening session of CPAC, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker defended his tough stance on unions, which sparked national headlines in 2011.
Walker, who faces a recall election after state Democrats submitted a petition with more than a million signatures, said the effort was funded by big union bosses based in Washington.
"I believe we will prevail," Walker said. He said the message he endorsed will echo across the states and into Congress and asked the audience for help spreading "the truth" about what was happening is his state across the country.
6:49 p.m. ET - @KilloughCNN reports: Things are breaking up but lots of protesters now engaging in intense, in-depth conversations with CPAC attendees. Clash of two movements.
6:30 p.m. ET - @KilloughCNN reports: The hotel hosting CPAC forced media back inside as Occupy protesters showed up again. Hotel security would not let media leave, creating major panic.
Andrew Breitbart also engaged in a streaming match and was escorted away by security while CPAC attendees sang "hey hey hey goodbye."
Police brought in two horses and protesters were escorted down a hill.
6:12 p.m. ET - Newt Gingrich's campaign distributed this photo on the floor at CPAC, and it was displayed in the monitors behind Gingrich when he delivered his address.
Gingrich called the supporters in the photo his "dream team." From left to right, they are: Actor Chuck Norris, former Oklahoma Rep. J.C. Watts, Republican strategist Kellyanne Conway, former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson, Gingrich, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Godfather's Pizza executive Herman Cain, conservative radio host Michael Reagan, and Iowa state Rep. Linda Upmeyer.
5:14 p.m. ET - Breitbart said he will march behind whoever the GOP presidential candidate is because it's a choice between "America and 'Occupy,'" a reference to the Occupy Wall Street movement.
"I don't care who our candidate is," he said.
5:07 p.m. ET - Breitbart promised to "vet him [Obama] from his college days" before the next presidential election.
"I have video," Breitbar said.
5:05 p.m. ET - @jimacostacnn: Gingrich spox @rchammond confirms more Callista in the coming days. Says she brings out "the softer side" of Newt. #CPAC2012
5:04 p.m. ET - Commentator Andrew Breitbart, publisher of Breitbart.com, said his speech will serve as a "war cry for 2012." He said the crowd needs to "join me in this war against the institutional left. This is not your mother's Democratic Party."
4:58 p.m. ET - @jimacostacnn: The image blowing up (err of interest) at #CPAC2012 – Newt's cabinet? pic.twitter.com/Kk5kYSii
Washington (CNN) – Rick Santorum will target President Barack Obama rather his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination during his speech Friday at the Conservative Political Action Conference.
A senior adviser to the former senator from Pennsylvania also told CNN that Santorum will most likely criticize the current White House for what they consider the administration's assault on the liberty of Americans.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) - President Obama is likely to propose a substantial funding increase for Wall Street regulators in his forthcoming budget.
But there won't be any cheering in the boardrooms and hallways of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) - Are you a billionaire with a few million bucks to spare?
Assuming you've already got the customary roster of yachts, planes and vacation homes, you might want to try out the newest craze for super-wealthy Americans: Throw a few million dollars to a super PAC.