FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Mitt Romney's not selling what conservatives want to buy.
His focus on jobs and the economy just isn't connecting with the right wing of the GOP.
Peter Beinart writes in The Daily Beast that the Republican base is more fired up about how to keep government from destroying liberty than how to use government to grow the economy.
Yes, conservatives see shrinking government and boosting the economy as related, but their focus is on greater freedom.
It helps explain the success of many of the GOP candidates who have caught fire this time around - from Michele Bachmann to Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, and currently Rick Santorum.
All of them have described the 2012 election on some level as a struggle between government tyranny and individual freedom.
Chances are in November, more Americans will want to hear about how the next president can fix the economy and create jobs - which would play into Romney's strengths.
But for now he needs to figure out how to make conservatives like him.
And, here's a hint: His speech at the Conservative Politcal Action Conference is not the answer. In it, Romney described himself as a "severely conservative Republican governor." That's just awful.
It once again highlighted his problems on the right.
But Romney did get some good news over the weekend. After the Santorum sweep last Tuesday, Romney narrowly defeated Ron Paul to win the Maine caucuses, and he won the straw poll vote at CPAC.
And there's this: Should Romney become the nominee, conservatives could fall into line faster if they think it means defeating President Obama.
Here’s my question to you: Why can't Mitt Romney catch fire with conservatives?
Tune in to the Situation Room at 4pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.
And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.
FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
160 million Americans could see their paychecks shrink at the end of the month - if Congress doesn't strike a deal on the payroll tax cut. This is the same cut they extended for only two months at the end of December, and those two months are just about up.
The payroll tax cut reduces how much many Americans pay into Social Security on their first $110,000 in wages.
Instead of paying in 6.2%, they've been paying 4.2% for the past year and two months.
For someone making $50,000, this tax cut is worth almost $1,000 per year. Significant money. Of course it's money we don't have, but that's never stopped the government before.
Just this afternoon, Congress inched one step closer to making a deal.
House Republicans now say they're willing to extend the payroll tax cut for the rest of this year without offsetting it with spending cuts elsewhere - something they weren't willing to do last week.
Can you tell it's an election year?
Republican leaders also say the measure could be voted on as soon as this week.
Lawmakers only have a little over two weeks to go before February 29, and they're scheduled to go on recess starting next week. They certainly deserve some more time off since they get so much done while they're in Washington.
Meanwhile the deadline could come even sooner, as many employers need to cut their first March-dated paychecks well before the last day of February. If Congress doesn't make a deal by the middle of this week, payroll processors will have to change their systems to reflect the higher tax rate.
Here’s my question to you: Should the payroll tax cut be extended yet again?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?