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The Donald's blessing

Bill Ritter's daily take on the news.
February 2, 2012 1:07:53 PM PST
It's not totally clear - the value of Donald Trump endorsing you for President.

After all, The Donald doesn't have a political organization - but he has a well-oiled public relations machine - and he has no real constituency, other than the media, which covers him head to toe.

Maybe the biggest benefit of a Trump endorsement is that he won't trash you - at least not on the day he endorses you. Or maybe it's that he won't hop into the race as a third-party candidate.

Whatever it is - Trump today was in Las Vegas - where he has several properties - to endorse Mitt Romney as the Republican nominee for President.

A poll last month by Fox News showed that Americans were nearly three times more likely to say they wouldn't vote for a Trump-endorsed candidate - by a margin of 27 to 10 percent. Nearly two-thirds polled said it would make no difference.

And then there are the quotes of bitterness from Mr. Trump about Mitt Romney from the not-so-distant past. Quotes that are being hoisted in public today from the other Republican candidates.

How about this ditty? "I'm a much bigger business man and have a much, much bigger net worth. I mean, my net worth is many, many, many times Mitt Romney."

Or how about this one? "If you look at his record as governor, it wasn't totally stellar," Trump said. "His job production was not great at all. In fact, it was the third worst in the nation. There are some pretty negative things with respect to Mitt Romney, which frankly he's going to have to overcome."

Trump also called Romney, "basically a small business guy. 'I'm a much bigger businessman."

And finally, Trump told one interview that Romney doesn't have a chance at the GOP nomination because, "he doesn't resonate, you know? Or he would have won last time."

And of course the Dems wasted little time mocking Trump's endorsement. Both Trump and Romney, the party machine pointed out, like to fire people.

We'll have the latest on the Trump endorsement - and, more importantly, from the campaign trail in Nevada - tonight at 11.

Also at 11, our investigative reporter Jim Hoffer takes a close and disturbing look at one of the many bridges in New York desperately in need of repair.

But this one - the much-traveled BQE - has just had its renovation postponed. For years.

Why? And why delay one of the most accident-prone slices of road in the state? Jim's eye-opening investigation - tonight at 11.

Two other stories rattling our cages tonight.

The first is Mayor Bloomberg diving head-on into the raging and perplexing controversy involving the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation and Planned Parenthood. Suddenly, the foundation has stopped its funding of breast cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood because of PP's pro-choice stance on abortion.

Mr. Bloomberg - a multi-billionaire who has long funded public health issues - said he would give Planned Parenthood a $250,000 matching gift. That apparently will make up for the Komen Foundation's funding loss.

Said the Mayor's office: "Politics have no place in health care. Breast cancer screening saves lives and hundreds of thousands of women rely on Planned Parenthood for access to care. We should be helping women access that care, not placing barriers in their way."

The other story is Luis Ortiz, the 21-year-old from Brooklyn accused of shooting NYPD Officer Kevin Brennan in the head at point-blank range.

The image of Ortiz blowing kisses to reporters and photogs at his "perp walk" last night - and his family yelling at reporters and throwing things at them - seemed a bizarre throwback to a dark and dangerous time long ago in New York City.

It's not like this guy was the victim of police abuse; he's accused of trying to kill a cop - and he was wanted already for a murder early last month. Ortiz - reportedly a gang member - showed the kind of anti-social hatred that can frighten even the heartiest New Yorker.

I'm just sayin'.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Meteorologist Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast, and Rob Powers in Indianapolis with the Giants for the Super Bowl will have the night's sports. I hope you can join Sade Baderinwa and me, tonight at 11.

BILL RITTER

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