Morning Briefing: January 25, 2012

In his response to the president’s State of the Union address, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) denounced Obama’s policies as “pro-poverty” and extreme. Daniels, who decided against seeking the GOP nomination this year, said Obama’s “trickle-down government” approach stymied economic growth, and hit him for rejecting the Keystone oil pipeline.

A top adviser to Mitt Romney told NBC’s Andrea Mitchell that if Romney doesn’t win Florida, GOP elites will try to find another candidate who can stop Newt Gingrich. “Look, if Mitt Romney can not win here in Florida then we’re going to have to try to reinvent the smoke-filled room which has been democratized by all these primaries,” the adviser said. “And we’re going to have try to come with someone as an alternative to Newt Gingrich who could be Jeb Bush, Mitch Daniels, someone.”

Last night’s State of the Union speech received high marks from viewers across the country, a CBS poll shows. According to the poll, 91 percent of those who viewed the speech approved of the proposals put forth by President Obama, and 82 percent of viewers approved of Obama’s economic plans.

After Newt Gingrich attacked President Obama’s State of The Union last night by saying the president would “always prefer a food stamp economy,” Vice President Biden called Gingrich’s statement “ridiculous” on ABC’s Good Morning America. “I don’t know what they mean by it quite frankly,” Biden said.


Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (R-NV) endorsed President Obama’s call to eliminate Senate filibuster of all judicial and public service nominees. Viewing such a rule change as a “terrific” idea, Reid said he’d “be happy to” allow all except Supreme Court nominations to win confirmation with only 51 votes and within 90 days.

The Center for Responsive Politics’ calculations show outside spending soars over earlier cycles — $44.6 million, as of January 24. Outside spending by pro-Republican groups ($37.8 million) has far outpaced that of Democratic-leaning ($6.6 million).

And finally: Awaiting the Super Bowl, New England Patriots’ wide receiver Chad Ochocinco decided to live tweet the State of the Union address. Impressed with Obama’s command of his “awesome” speech (“how did he manage to memorize so much material?”), Ochocinco was perplexed by House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-OH) lack of “joy.” “You seem pretty angry kind sir. I can see you on tv but you’re not smiling. Hope you’re ok,” he tweeted.

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