A political tip sheet for the rest of us

By Laurie Kellman

Associated Press

Published: Monday, Feb. 6 2012 12:00 a.m. MST

Republican presidential candidate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks at the Colorado Energy Summit in Golden, Colo., Monday, Feb. 6, 2012.

Chris Carlson, Associated Press

WASHINGTON — A political tip sheet for the rest of us outside the Washington Beltway, Monday, Feb. 6, 2012:

PRESIDENT TEBOW? Tim Tebow might someday consider quarterbacking his own presidential campaign, he tells the Golf Channel. Asked whether he would want to run for office like Republicans Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, Tebow responded: "For me it could be something in my future. It's something I have to think about and definitely pray about. You know, I have no idea right now but, possibly." It's not the first time the Denver Broncos quarterback has been mentioned in the fight for the Republican nomination. Texas Gov. Rick Perry, wounded by weak debate performances, said at one point he hoped for a late-game comeback like those Tebow has led for his team. For Perry, it was not to be. He withdrew from the GOP race last month.

GINGRICH HIRED LOBBYISTS: Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich is facing more questions about lobbying. He says his consulting group never lobbied for clients. But his business hired state and federal lobbyists to work with clients, and some staff left to take lobbying jobs, according to lobbying disclosures and corporate reports. Gingrich's Center for Health Transformation hired a former Georgia lobbyist to help develop business in that state; a former Missouri state agency director who was a registered lobbyist before joining Gingrich's group; and a Washington lobbyist hired from a firm led by former Rep. J.C. Watts, a Gingrich supporter who represented Oklahoma in Congress.

HOEKSTRA SENATE AD RAISES IRE: A coalition of black ministers in Detroit called for Senate candidate Pete Hoekstra to apologize for his Super Bowl ad featuring a young Asian woman speaking broken English. The ad, which focuses on the impact of the Democrats' economic policies, also has been called "very disturbing" by an Asian-American group and others. The 30-second spot is aimed at Democratic incumbent Debbie Stabenow, whom it nicknames "Debbie Spenditnow." It opens with the sound of a gong and shows the Asian woman riding a bike on a narrow path lined by rice paddies. Stopping her bike, the woman smiles into the camera and says: "Debbie spends so much American money. You borrow more and more from us. Your economy get very weak. Ours get very good. We take your jobs. Thank you, Debbie Spenditnow." The Rev. Charles Williams II of Detroit's King Solomon Baptist church, where Malcolm X spoke in the 1960s, joined with several other Detroit pastors calling for Hoekstra to pull the ad. "The Asian woman speaking in this video would be no different than him having a black person speaking in slave dialect," Williams said in a statement. Hoekstra has defended the ad, saying it has sparked conversation about federal spending.

NEGATIVITY SELLS: Get used to negative ads, President Barack Obama says. During an interview with NBC's "Today" show, Obama said the rise of political action committees guarantees that there will be a lot of negative ads in the lead-up to November's presidential election. Obama says he would prefer to get the "big money" that funds the so-called super PACs out of politics. But he says court decisions authorizing the funding of super PACs means it's hard for a candidate to get their message across without using those resources. Obama wouldn't say whether his campaign or outside groups supporting him would avoid negative ads.

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