Your afternoon reading:
- "Ron Paul defended rival Mitt Romney Tuesday over his Monday comment that he likes having the ability to 'fire people.' Texas Rep. Paul said the Republicans who are taking aim at the former Massachusetts governor over the comment are 'unfairly attacking' the candidate." — Paul defends Romney 'fire' comment, history at Bain, CNN
- "Tuesday’s primary in New Hampshire is not likely to be as dramatic as the Iowa caucuses, with one candidate, Mitt Romney, holding a clear lead in all of the polls. Still, the state is known for defying pollsters’ and pundits’ expectations. And as in other early voting states, the performance of the candidates in New Hampshire will affect the tenor of news media coverage and voter sentiment heading into South Carolina and Florida, where Mr. Romney could be more vulnerable. There is also a close battle for second in New Hampshire and, to the extent it matters, another close battle for fourth place." — New Hampshire Primary Overview and Forecast, FiveThirtyEight
- "Mitt Romney awoke Tuesday to fresh evidence that he is still a heavy favorite to win New Hampshire’s primary even as a late surge in the polls by Jon M. Huntsman Jr. raised questions about how large Mr. Romney’s margin of victory in the state might be. In the latest release of the 7 News/Suffolk University tracking poll, which came out as people began voting Tuesday morning in the nation’s first Republican primary, Mr. Romney leads with 37 percent. Ron Paul is backed by 18 percent of likely voters and Mr. Huntsman is backed by 16 percent — essentially tied for second place." — N.H. Margin Seen as Gauge as Rivals Try to Slow Romney, The New York Times
New in The Texas Tribune:
- "Rick Perry, trying to claw his way back into the 2012 presidential competition, conjured up images of hungry vultures Tuesday to describe front-runner Mitt Romney’s past as a corporate takeover artist. Perry rejected the notion that Romney was simply acting on free-market principles when he led Bain Capital." — Perry Says Romney Firm Acted Like "Vulture"
- "A panel of federal appellate judges has authorized Texas officials to enforce a controversial abortion sonogram law while its constitutionality is being challenged in court." — Judges: Texas Can Enforce Sonogram Law Now