Mesa, Arizona (CNN) - Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum mixed it up over their records on the debt, taxes and earmarks Wednesday night in the first Republican presidential debate in almost a month, and the first before three contests in the next 10 days followed by the Super Tuesday primaries and caucuses on March 6.
Answering a question from the audience on how to bring down the nation's debt, the former Massachusetts governor attacked Santorum's record when he was representing Pennsylvania in the Senate.
Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama on Wednesday signed into law the agreement passed by Congress last week to extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits while preventing a cut in payments to Medicare doctors.
The signing announced in a White House statement that resolves those issues for the rest of 2012, beyond the November election in which Obama will seek a second term.
(CNN) - The CNN Political Ticker is live blogging the CNN Arizona Republican Presidential Debate in Mesa. Check here for live updates throughout the event and be sure to follow @PoliticalTicker, @CNNPolitics and use #CNNDebate.
Participating in Wednesday's debate are former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, and Texas Rep. Ron Paul. Read more here.
10:33 p.m. ET - Read a transcript from the fourth part of tonight's debate here. The full transcript is posted here.
10:18 p.m. ET - From @SarahPalinUSA: Newt's message on energy development was spot-on. Drill now and stop bowing to foreign regimes begging them to do it for us. Then we'll all be "cheerful."
10:13 p.m. ET - Read a transcript from part 3 of tonight's debate here.
10:11 p.m. ET - Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer tells Borger the debate made it harder for her to choose a candidate to endorse. She said Gingrich's answer on immigration was strong, particularly his pledge to work with governors of border states.
10:09 p.m. ET - Watch CNN National Political Correspondent Jim Acosta in the post-debate spin room here.
Phoenix, Arizona (CNN) - In a rare show of public unity from a notoriously media-shy group, several current and former Sarah Palin advisers spoke out Wednesday about the upcoming HBO film "Game Change," which they said portrays the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee in a harsh and unfair light.
"It's false portrait cobbled together by a bunch of people who simply weren't there," said Jason Recher, a senior adviser to Palin during the 2008 race who was a fixture at the candidate's side during campaign, but does not appear in the film.
(CNN) – Ron Paul will spend the evening Tuesday – the day Arizona and Michigan voters head to polls – in northern Virginia, a senior campaign official tells CNN.
Paul and Mitt Romney are the only two GOP candidates to appear on the ballot in Virginia, one of ten states to vote on Super Tuesday. Four other candidates, including Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, sued after they did not make the Virginia ballot, and in January, a federal judge denied their request.
CNN LIVE: Tune in Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET for the last presidential debate before Super Tuesday, the CNN/Arizona Republican Party Debate hosted by John King. Follow it on Twitter at #CNNDebate and on Facebook at CNN Politics. For real-time coverage of the Arizona and Michigan primaries, go to CNNPolitics.com or to the CNN apps or CNN mobile web site.
(CNN) – James Dobson, the founder of the conservative group Focus on the Family and a Rick Santorum supporter, is hitting radio airwaves in Michigan promoting the former Pennsylvania senator ahead of the state's February 28 primary.
In the radio spot, which was produced and paid for by Santorum's campaign, Dobson says, "Like you I take my vote for president very seriously. Especially in this most vital election. And my choice could not be more clear. I'm voting for Rick Santorum. I worked with this man for many years when he was a senator from Pennsylvania. And I found him to be a remarkable leader."
Washington (CNN) - Letters containing a powdery substance were sent to at least three congressional offices this week, and the sender is threatening more that could include harmful material, the top Senate law enforcement official said Wednesday.
In a message to the U.S. Senate community, Sergeant at Arms Terrance Gainer said three letters that contained harmless powder showed up at two Senate state offices and a House district office on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Tucson, Arizona (CNN) – Speaking to a tea party audience on Wednesday, Rick Santorum mocked fellow Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and led the overwhelmingly friendly audience in a chorus of catcalls against President Barack Obama.
As Santorum harshly criticized the president on the economy and foreign policy during the speech in Tucson, audience members could be heard calling the president a "liar," "arrogant" – and repeatedly booing his name.
(CNN) - Touting an endorsement from The Detroit News, Mitt Romney's campaign sent out a press release announcing the news Wednesday morning.
But the e-mail skipped over a few key paragraphs in the editorial, namely sentences that offered criticism of the Republican presidential candidate.
Mesa, Arizona (CNN) – Finality can be a driving force in critical decision making, and it goes without saying that tonight's presidential debate is weighing heavily on the minds of the four Republican presidential candidates.
It's the final debate before next week's critical Arizona and Michigan primaries.