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HUFFPOST FUNDRACE - Newt Backs Off

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Newt Gingrich is now backing off attacks on Mitt Romney after his super PAC's ads were deemed to contain falsehoods. HuffPost's Jon Ward reports, "Newt Gingrich has called on a pro-Gingrich super PAC to edit a 28-minute film attacking Mitt Romney to "remove inaccuracies" and asked Romney to make the same public appeal to a super PAC supporting his presidential bid. 'This week, fact check organizations like The Washington Post and Politifact have ranked advertisements produced by Super-PACs supporting Governor Romney and myself as containing enormous inaccuracies,' said Gingrich in a statement sent out by his campaign on Friday." [HuffPost]

Fundrace: While Gingrich goes further in distancing himself from his super PAC's attacks than Mitt Romney ever did, by calling for the ads to be taken down, his comments still reveal the Janus-faced nature of the super PAC system. The candidate is able to maintain innocence and distance from the most vicious attacks while still benefiting from those attacks, even if they call for the attacks to cease.

Who's behind the anti-Romney documentary anyways? Barry Bennett, the man who claims he fronted $40,000 to make the documentary, has a long history of running secret money operations including one that was investigated by a Senate committee in the 1990s. [HuffPost]

Super PACs are outspending candidates 2 to 1 on the air in South Carolina. [ABC]

CMAG's Ken Goldstein and Elizabeth Wilner have an excellent piece explaining what to look for in ad buys to understand campaign strategy.

He's in it to win one state! Stephen Colbert announced last night that he is running for President of South Carolina. The stunt appears to be another in Colbert's long-line of expert parodies of our campaign finance system's many absurdities. Case-in-point, Colbert is handing off his super PAC to his show's executive producer Jon Stewart while he "runs for president." That super PAC is already buying air time in South Carolina. And Public Campaign, the campaign finance reform advocate, is teasing a campaign to challenge Colbert.

Tease: HuffPost's Dan Froomkin and Paul Blumenthal will be up with a multi-part series on Colbert's super PAC next week.

Speaking of those coordination rules that Colbert makes a mockery of, turns out that they are nearly impossible to enforce. [iWatch]

A super PAC supporting Ron Paul made a big advertising purchase on Thursday seemingly out of nowhere. The Santa Rita Super PAC filed with the FEC on January 4 and reported an expenditure of $317,541 on Thursday. Most of that expenditure went towards ad buys for seven different ads in South Carolina. The group hasn't disclosed it's donors yet.

A high spending campaign with a high spending super PAC that amounts to nothing. The sad, sad tale of Rick Perry and how money can't always buy you...uh...um...oops. [WaPo]

CAMPAIGN VIDEOS

Help us populate our list of campaign videos. Send any notable TV, radio or web ads that you see to Fundrace. Send your submissions to paulblumenthal@huffingtonpost.com.

Committee: Mitt Romney for President
Spot: "Bright Future" -- Romney responds to GOP attacks on his record at Bain Capital with this ad touting his work creating jobs and helping businesses. The ad highlights Bain's investment in Staples, Sports Authority, and Steel Dynamics, three of Bain's most successful investments. Romney is portrayed as a "conservative businessman" who "helped create and ran a company that invested in struggling businesses, grew new ones, and rebuilt old ones." The ad ends with an admonition to his GOP opponents that these attacks were expected from President Obama, but not from Republicans.
Link: [http://youtu.be/m9LZ3oQzTdg]
Market: South Carolina.
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: Restore Our Future
Candidate opposed: Rick Santorum
Spot: "Facts" -- The pro-Romney super PAC takes aim at Rick Santorum for the first time in this ad. Like all Restore Our Future ads, this ad explains its attacks by claiming that President Obama would love to run against Santorum, "Barack Obama knows four facts about Rick Santorum...that you don't." The ad then lists those facts: Santorum's support for earmarks, voted for the Bridge to Nowhere, voted to increase the debt limit five times, and voted to let convicted felons vote. Nevermind that two of those are the same and the other two wouldn't bother the Obama administration, it's still really Obama who is leveling these attacks, not Restore Our Future.
Link: [http://youtu.be/oi6JL8JlLKM]
Market: Unknown.
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: Red White And Blue Fund
Candidate supported: Rick Santorum
Spot: "Values" -- Rick Santorum's grandparents escaped totalitarianism to come to America and their values inform his beliefs, according to this super PAC ad. The ad touts Santorum having "never wavered in his support of the unborn and the only one with experience in the fight against radical Islam."
Link: [http://youtu.be/JhNdmD_I3Aw]
Market: South Carolina.
Buy: ~$600,000.

Committee: Newt Gingrich for President
Candidate opponent: Mitt Romney
Spot: "The French Connection" -- Romney is portrayed as a liberal in this ad, which includes a clip of him speaking French. Knowing and speaking French is, apparently, an unbelievable crime in a Republican primary.
Link: [http://youtu.be/tyFaWhygzjQ]
Market: YouTube.
Buy: None. Just a web video.

Committee: Winning Our Future
Candidate opponent: Mitt Romney
Spot: "King of Bain Trailer" -- The 30-second trailer for the anti-Romney documentary features clips of the film showing Romney as a corporate raider who stole from the poor to give to himself.
Link: [http://youtu.be/PyflCSLssuk]
Market: South Carolina.
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: Suzanne Bonamici for Congress
Spot: "Bonamici: The Right Priorities In Washington, More Jobs For Oregon" -- This ad comes as ballots go out to voters in the special election race to fill the empty seat in Oregon's First District. Bonamici argues that she will go to Washington to create more jobs for her district.
Link: [http://youtu.be/L8TFSKUROSc]
Market: Oregon First District.
Buy: Undisclosed.

TRACKING INDEPENDENT SPENDING IN THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE:

These numbers represent spending by independent groups, like super PACs and non-profits, to support or oppose a particular candidate for the presidency in 2012. Fundrace will update this spending daily to help show which candidates are gaining from the proliferation of independent groups in this coming election.

Newt Gingrich (R), $982,082 to support, $7,683,140 to oppose.
Rick Perry (R), $3,798,524 to support, $0 to oppose.
Jon Huntsman (R), $2,453,204 to support, $0 to oppose.
Ron Paul (R), $1,319,241 to support, $165,279 to oppose. (+$58,193)
Mitt Romney (R), $930,000 to support, $450,741 to oppose. (+$455,000)
Rick Santorum (R), $832,436 to support, $3,028 to oppose.
Herman Cain (R), $462,217 to support, $0 to oppose.
Barack Obama (D), $0 to support, $429,919 to oppose.
Gary Johnson (R), $518 to support, $0 to oppose.

RECENT INDEPENDENT EXPENDITURES

Citizens for a Working America, $455,000 to support Mitt Romney for President in South Carolina.
Endorse Liberty, $58,193 to support Ron Paul for President.

RECENT POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE REGISTRATIONS

PNC Financial Services Group Inc. PAC, Pittsburgh, Pa., Treasurer: Zandra Moss.
No Compromise PAC, Dallas, Texas, Treasurer: Claude E. Blankenship, Jr.
No Compromise SuperPAC, Dallas, Texas, Treasurer: Claude E. Blankenship, Jr. (Super PAC)

Send tips, hints, submissions, rumors to HuffPost Fundrace at paulblumenthal@huffingtonpost.com.