Mitts Momentum

, Posted: Sun, February 12 2012 at 7:59 PM, Updated: Mon, February 13 2012 at 11:20 AM

Turning now to the race for the White House, a good weekend for Mitt Romney may have answered questions about whether he's conservative enough or it may have opened up a whole new line of attack for his rivals.

Brian Mooar has the story from Washington.

Mitt Romney ended a disastrous week with symbolic victories in the Maine caucuses and an influential conservative conference straw poll that Rick Santorum had hoped to win.

Now Santorum suggests Romney's camp stacked the audience.

"Well, you have to talk to the Romney campaign and how many tickets they bought. We've heard all sorts of things," Said Rick Santorum.

Not true says Romney's campaign, which notes Romney also edged out Santorum in a related phone survey. The presidential contest slows down until the Arizona and Michigan primaries at the end of the month.

But in washington, there's no end in sight to the fight over church-related contraceptive coverage. The White House hoped it had ended the fight with a compromise, making insurance companies pick up the cost.

"There's a broad consensus that this is the right approach. That doesn't mean everyone agrees with it," said White House Chief of Staff, Jacob Lew.

The offer is being rejected by catholic church leaders and congressional republicans.

"It's an accounting gimmick or a fig leaf, it's not a compromise. The president's doubled down," stated Republican Paul Ryan.

And House GOP leaders say they have the votes to stop the President's plan.

Brian Mooar, NBC News, Washington.

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