Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* As things stand, each of the remaining Republican presidential candidates believes GOP senators must block the next Supreme Court nominee, regardless of who’s chosen.
* While vulnerable Republican Senate incumbents seemed the least likely to join the partisan blockade, Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and Rob Johnson (R-Wis.) have both said they intend to reject any court nominee from President Obama, regardless of the selection’s merit or qualifications.
* Today is the day former President George W. Bush returns to the campaign trail for the first time in a long while, appearing with Jeb Bush in South Carolina.
* Speaking of Jeb, the former governor complained over the weekend that President Obama “missed a real golden opportunity” by not forcing his immediate family members into the public spotlight more.
* In his closing statement in Saturday night’s debate, Ben Carson highlighted a quote from Joseph Stalin that’s completely made up.
* Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright recently created a controversy by saying, in reference to Hillary Clinton’s campaign, “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other.” Over the weekend, in a New York Times op-ed, Albright apologized.
* Marco Rubio has an official Senate speechwriter, who’s paid $60,000 a year in public funds, despite the fact that Rubio rarely gives speeches in his Senate capacity.
* When it comes to federal immigration laws, Cuban immigrants have enjoyed a special status for many years that isn’t extended to people from other countries. Donald Trump, apparently writing off his chances of competing in Miami, argued over the weekend that this special status should end.
* And with Michael Bloomberg considering an independent presidential campaign, journalists at Bloomberg News reportedly received a notice last month that “they were to refrain from covering the news in depth.”