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Afternoon Fix: Romney says no to Trump debate

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Romney not doing Trump but he is doing Fox News Sunday, Jon Huntsman shifts a bit on global warming, Joe Walsh making a decision and AFSCME endorsing Obama.

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WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED:

* Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney has declined an invitation to the debate being hosted by Donald Trump late this month. So far only former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former senator Rick Santorum are participating.

* Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman today embraced denialism about climate change, alluding to “debate” and “questions about the validity of the science.” While Huntsman has long argued that nothing can be done about global warming in this economy, he did not previously question its existence, so this is something of a shift.

* An internal fight in the Ohio Republican Party has spilled into the open over the past few days, with the vice-chairwoman telling Gov. John Kasich (R) to “stand down.” Kasich wants to get rid of party chairman Kevin DeWine and replace him with a leader of his own choosing.

* The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Union (AFSCME) endorsed President Obama today. Not a big surprise, but President Obama’s relationship with labor has been rocky and AFSCME is the biggest union in the AFL-CIO coalition. In a sign of how important the group is for 2012, Obama campaign manager Jim Messina attended the meeting.

WHAT YOU SHOULDN’T MISS:

* Romney will sit down with Fox News’ Chris Wallace on Dec. 18th, the candidate’s first Sunday show appearance in about 20 months. An interview earlier this week with the network got testy, with the candidate complaining that the questions were “overly aggressive” and “uncalled for.”

* Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.), who has been vacillating about where to run in 2012, says he will make his intentions known at a tea party event in Chicago on Thursday. Redistricting made Walsh’s district far more Democratic, and he was planning to run in a primary against Rep. Randy Hultgren. Recently he suggested he might change his mind and compete in his current seat.

* A poll done by GOP pollster Whit Ayres for the pro-Huntsman Our Destiny PAC shows the former Utah governor at ten percent in New Hampshire, which jibes with some recent independent polls. Ayres points out in a memo that Huntsman’s name ID and favorable rating have gone up, but he’s still in fourth place. The super PAC has spent a huge amount of money — $1.4 million — on ads supporting Hunstman in the Granite State.

* A super PAC supporting Romney is exploring the possibility of going up with ads in Iowa. The candidate has a positive ad out in the state, but some supporters want more aggressive attacks on Gingrich — something that so far only Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) is doing.

THE FIX MIX:

Brits get into the whole ‘armed services music video’ thing.

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With Rachel Weiner and Aaron Blake

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