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Republicans turn on John Roberts

at 05:41 PM ET, 07/16/2012

John Roberts drops, Sarah Palin feels snubbed, Romney hasn’t made a VP pick and Connie Mack’s campaign is at war with a newspaper again.

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WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED:

* Supreme Court Justice John Roberts is far less popular with Republicans than he was seven years ago, according to Gallup polling. When Roberts was nominated by President George W. Bush in 2005, 67 percent of Republicans viewed him favorably; now 27 percent do. Meanwhile he’s risen in the eyes of Democrats, 54 percent of whom now see him favorably. That number was 35 percent in 2005. He’s also jumped in favorability with independents, from 17 to 28 percent.

* Sarah Palin has not gotten an invitation fromformer Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney to speak at the Republican National Convention this August, and she’s not happy about it.  “I’m sure I’m not the only one accepting consequences for calling out both sides of the aisle,” she told the Daily Beast. She added that she hoped Romney spokesman Kevin Madden has “evolved” since disparaging her on a 2008 CNN panel.

* Romney raised $2 million at a fundraiser in Louisiana today, telling donors that stimulus money going to top Obama campaign bundlers is “smelly at best.” The Republican candidate is refusing to name his own bundlers — top supporters who gather together contributions and are often rewarded by winning presidents.

* Top Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom told reporters today that the candidate had not yet made a decision about his running mate. “There is no decision on VP,” he said, adding that Romney and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) “didn’t talk about VP” in Baton Rouge today. The New York Times reported Monday that friends believe Romney has reached a decision and could announce it this week.

WHAT YOU SHOULDN’T MISS:

* In Ohio today, Obama mocked Romney with a new outsourcing attack. “Today we found out there is a new study by non-partisan economists that says Gov. Romney’s economic plan would in fact create 800,000 jobs,” he said. “There’s only one problem. The jobs wouldn’t be in America.” (Here’s that study; the economist who wrote it is a Democrat, although it was published by the nonpartisan Tax Notes.)

* Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is teaming up with the National Republican Congressional Committee to help elect GOP candidates while retiring his own presidential campaign debt. The new joint committee, “Solutions Start in the House,” will split funds between the NRCC and Newt 2012. As of June, Gingrich still owed a little under $5 million.

* Rep. Connie Mack’s campaign manager is continuing his war on the Tampa Bay Times, this time over the paper’s endorsement of Rep. Dave Weldon in Florida’s GOP Senate primary. Top Mack staffer Jeff Cohen fired off a long diatribe against Times’ reporter Adam Smith (who does not have any role in editorial board endorsements), calling him a “Left Wing Democrat” who is “obviously in the tank” for Sen. Bill Nelson (D). For good measure, Cohen calls the paper itself “the National Enquirer of Florida Politics.”

* The conservative group FreedomWorks is backing businessman Eric Hovde in Wisconsin’s fractured GOP primary, splitting from other prominent outside groups supporting former Rep. Mark Neumann. Hovde has been rising in polls against the establishment-backed frontrunner, former governor Tommy Thompson, in the Aug. 14 race.

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