POLITICS: Romney using Rock's song for campaign

Kid Rock

WASHINGTON -- Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney's organization confirmed Wednesday that it is using Kid Rock's "Born Free" as a campaign song, a natural since Romney and Rock are originally from the Detroit area.

Romney spokesman Ryan Williams confirmed that the campaign plans to use the 2010 song, the video for which was filmed at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore on Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

Rock posted a statement on his Web site:

"He and anyone else who wants to use my song do not need my permission. I said he could use it and I would say the same for any other candidate. I have to have a little faith that every candidate feels like he or she can help this country. Without faith, we got nothing.

"I make music to have it be heard. Merry Christmas folks! Rock on."

Rock added: "PS: Any candidate who makes 'So Hott' their theme song has a good chance of getting my vote."

Perry looks to revive campaign in Iowa

NEW YORK -- Rick Perry isn't going down without a fight.

With a massive new television ad campaign targeting social conservatives, the Republican presidential hopeful signaled Wednesday that he intends to try to resuscitate his faltering candidacy in Iowa, which holds kickoff caucuses in less than four weeks.

It's a tall order for Perry, who entered the race to great fanfare in Charleston in August, only to see his popularity plummet throughout the fall.

Perry's campaign has launched a $1.2 million ad buy in Iowa leading up to the Jan. 3 contest.

The campaign plans to spend more than $650,000 this week alone on a commercial showcasing Perry's Christian faith and attacking President Barack Obama for waging a "war on religion."

Gingrich's fundraising surges in 4th quarter

WASHINGTON -- Newt Gingrich's campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, which has struggled financially for most of the year, says the former House speaker raised $4 million in the first half of the fourth quarter, when he began climbing in the polls.

That's about $1 million more than Gingrich raised in the first five months of the campaign, when he fell nearly $1.2 million in debt, including $450,000 owed to a private jet company.

The third quarter was by far Gingrich's worst: He raised just $800,000 and lost more than a dozen staffers who quit en masse in June.

But Herman Cain's demise has been Gingrich's gain -- and with many Republican voters still unwilling to jump behind Mitt Romney, Gingrich has managed a comeback that is evident not just in poll numbers, but in dollars to his campaign.

Palin praises Gingrich, but no endorsement

WASHINGTON -- Sarah Palin says she won't make an endorsement in the GOP race just yet. But it sounds like there's one candidate who could earn her support: Newt Gingrich.

The former Alaska governor, who waited until October to announce she would not be a candidate in the 2012 race, told Fox Business Network that Gingrich has "been a bit more successful" than Mitt Romney in courting party activists.

"He has been engaged in that movement most recently in order for them to hear his solutions and there's been some forgiveness then on the part of Tea Party Patriots for some of the things in Gingrich's past," she said, according to an advanced transcript of the interview provided by the network. "Romney and others need to reach out and convince Tea Party Patriots and constitutional conservatives that he truly believes in smaller, smarter government."

"He helped balance the budget under Bill Clinton. That is what we need today," she said.

Scott Conroy of Real Clear Politics reported last month that Gingrich appeared to be best-positioned to win Palin's support, according to close advisers.

"They speak very favorably of Newt and what they see as his credentials as compared to (Rick) Perry and Romney," one member of her "inner circle" told the website.

As for an endorsement, she said that the Iowa caucuses are just "the beginning of the road" toward the GOP nomination. She also criticized Romney for not agreeing to participate in a Newsmax debate moderated by Donald Trump.

"We can't just be preaching to the choir," she said. "Trump is going to attract people who haven't been just necessarily conservative, right-wing listeners and viewers of media. I think Romney could and should still change his mind and (Jon) Huntsman too and jump in there and participate."