President Barack Obama says the 2012 election will be a “fun debate” over two different visions for the nation because he says “it’s always good to have the truth on your side.”

At Washington fundraisers, Obama says his administration has spent the past three years cleaning up after a “mess” created by his predecessors. He says Republicans are offering proposals similar to those that led to the economic downturn.

Obama referred to Mitt Romney as the “Republican front-runner,” rather than by name, and noted that the former Massachusetts governor has supported a budget plan offered by House Republicans that the president says would undermine middle-class families.

Obama was speaking at two fundraisers Thursday that were expected to raise at least $1.4 million.

AP source: Santorum huddles with conservatives


Conservative leaders helping Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum want Newt Gingrich to pull out of the race because they say he’s dividing the conservative vote.

Santorum met with the conservatives Thursday to come up with ways to beat rival Mitt Romney in the race to the GOP nomination.

Resentment lingers in PA after Santorum’s loss

Rick Santorum is as unpopular in Pennsylvania now as he was in 2006 when voters kicked him out of the Senate.

And that sour public perception may doom his fading chances of staying in the GOP presidential race, along with other hurdles dotting his path to a possible, and much-needed, victory in the state’s April 24 primary.

Santorum failed to heal a rift with fiscal conservatives or reassure party leaders that he could temper his hard-line positions on social issues. He also faces a nearly insurmountable hurdle to stop Mitt Romney from becoming the GOP nominee.

None of that is deterring Santorum. Campaigning in Pennsylvania this week, the former senator said that his support in the state is strong and that he’ll work hard to win the primary.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)