Afternoon Fix: Chris Christie praises Mitt Romney’s ‘candor’

at 05:08 PM ET, 05/13/2011

Chris Christie likes Mitt Romney’s candor; one Massachusetts Democrat wants better candidates against Scott Brown, Rick Berg is announcing his Senate plans on Monday and voters are voting in West Virginia tomorrow.

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WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED:

* While Mitt Romney’s health-care speech yesterday got mostly critical reviews from conservatives, one much-admired Republican is praising the former Massachusetts governor for taking the plunge. "Governor Romney’s speech yesterday was just the type of tone we need,"New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said in a statement. "While folks may not agree with what he said, that type of candor is what Americans expect from a serious presidential candidate today.”

* Ten-term Massachusetts Rep. John Olver (D) is not impressed by the Democratic field aiming to take on Sen. Scott Brown (R) in 2012. “Three people running, but they have no capacity. That's the look of the thing thus far. Those people who have a lot of people, and there are a few people you could mention, with sizable amounts, have not yet had any interest," Olver told Politico.  “You can't beat somebody with nobody.” Brown has over $8 million in the bank and is hoping to raise about $25 million to defend his seat. Other Democrats are bullish, telling the AP that Brown is starting to slip up. "There are some cracks showing now,” as state party chairman John Walsh put it.

* Mideast peace envoy George Mitchell is resigning after two years of unsuccessful attempts to restart reconciliation talks between Israelis and Palestinians. The 77-year-old former Democratic Maine senator was one of Obama’s first presidential appointees. Obama is scheduled to give what is being billed as a major address on the Middle East on Thursday.

* Former president George W. Bush told hedge fund managers in Las Vegas earlier this week that he’s “a simple, retired guy — a Medicare guy.” He used the expression “Medicare guy” twice, which is leading some observers to wonder if he’s subtly distancing himself from Republican plans to do away with Medicare as an entitlement program. Bush also revealed that he was eating souffle when he got the bin Laden news. Word of warning: A Bush spokesperson said of the ABC News report that "most of the quotes are not accurate. But the general tenor of the piece accurately reflects President Bush's views."

WHAT YOU SHOULDN’T MISS:

* Voters are voting in West Virginia tomorrow, and we’ll be covering it on The Fix. The gubernatorial special election primary will decide the candidates to fill out now-Sen. Joe Manchin’s term. Acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (D) is the clear Democratic frontrunner, but the GOP race between former Secretary of State Betty Ireland (R) and businessman Bill Maloney is expected to be close. Of course, in a crowded field with low turnout anything can happen. Polls close at 7:30 PM. The general election is on October 4th.

* Mike Huckabee is making a “very important announcement” tomorrow night on his Fox News Channel show, which starts at 8 PM. His team would not expand on what the former Arkansas governor plans to say. But supporters are not optimistic that he will run for president in 2012.

* Rep. Rick Berg (R-N.D.) will announce his plans regarding the U.S. Senate Monday night, via a video being sent to supporters over email and Facebook. The freshman congressman will spend the rest of the week touring the state. Public Service Commissioner Brian  Kalk is already in the GOP primary to replace Sen. Kent Conrad (D), but some local Republicans say they prefer Berg. Conrad is touting former state Rep. Pam Gulleson for the Democratic nomination.

* If you want Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) to run for president, send her fifty bucks. She emailed supporters today for some advice in cash form: "If you want me to continue fighting the big-government Obama agenda in the U.S. House of Representatives, please make a generous donation of $25. If you want me to seek the Presidency, please make a donation of $50 or even $100 to let me know I can count on you."

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