Romney’s an Issues Man:

As the race for the White House continues to devolve into a nasty slew of negative campaigning and attack ads, a senior adviser to Mitt Romney promises his candidate won’t use such tactics. Said Eric Fehrnstrom: “We are betting that a substantive campaign, conducted on the high ground, and focused primarily on jobs and the economy, will trump a campaign that is designed to appeal to our worst instincts.” That sounds great and all, but when were you guys planning to start this “substantive campaign”? Surely not the same week Romney referred to the president as “Obamaloney,” right? (Read more)

Who’s Feeding Reid? A source with ties to Bain Capital who has knowledge that Mitt Romney did not pay taxes the past 10 years has confided in the Senate majority leader, or so Harry Reid has claimed. Without a name, speculation has begun to mount about who’s supplying Reid with information. One interesting theory points to a Jon Huntsman—possibly Jr. (the former Utah governor and presidential candidate) or Sr. (wealthy businessman and a Mormon, like Reid). Consider: Jon Huntsman Sr. was business partners with the man who served as managing director of Bain Capital from 1994-2004, and Bain also invested hundreds of millions of dollars in Hunstman Corp. What’s more, Huntsman Sr. has donated a good amount of money to Reid, while the younger Huntsman served as governor of Nevada’s neighboring state. Finally, there’s this fact: Huntsman Jr., who served as the ambassador to China in the Obama administration, is skipping the Republican National Convention. Two sources close to the Huntsmans have rejected the claim, but the information presented in the Daily Kos report at least warrants a closer look. (Read more)

Axelrod’s Pick: As the speculation continues to swirl around Mitt Romney’s running mate—Paul Ryan? Rob Portman? Chris Christie?—senior Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod is making his own prediction. He believes when the dust settles it will be former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty. “If I were picking, I’d pick Pawlenty,” he told the National Journal. “You shouldn’t write that, because everybody will think I’m trying to bait [Romney] into picking Pawlenty.” Oops. Too late. (Read more)

Trump Silenced: Boo hoo! Against his wishes, “The Donald” will reportedly not be among the featured speakers at the Republican National Convention. This ensures that the rest of us will be spared the unpleasantness of listening to Trump talk about his favorite subject: himself. Still, Trump’s PR team still claims he will play a “major role” at the convention, whatever that means. (Read more)

Republicans Look to 2016: The GOP is clearly skeptical about its own candidate winning the 2012 presidential election. Oh sure, most have offered endorsements (many of them halfhearted ones), and publicly they’ll attempt to sound enthused about retaking the White House on the back of Mitt Romney. But as Politico points out, quite a few of Romney’s ex-rivals—Rick Santorum, Rick Perry and Sarah Palin—are showing up in states that would be among the first to vote in the Republican presidential primary in 2016. Coincidence? Uh … sure. (Read more)

Video of the Day: MSNBC host Rachel Maddow is demanding an apology from—of all news organizations—The Associated Press for what she says is a “shockingly bad article” about how the abortion debate played a crucial role in the recent district attorney’s race in Wichita, Kan. The main issue was the death of George Tiller, the noted Kansas abortion provider who was slain by an anti-abortion activist a few years ago. As Maddow noted, the article essentially goes as follows: “Blame for the doctor being shot to death by the anti-abortion activist … lies with the district attorney who didn’t prosecute that doctor for something or other. He didn’t get prosecuted so obviously, he had to be shot, so says Operation Rescue, and so writes down The Associated Press, thus resulting in newspapers all over the country printing this absolutely wackadoo, uncontested, more than insinuation.” And that’s why, Maddow says, the AP should retract the story and issue an apology.


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