Mitt Romney adviser Stuart Stevens: Obama is a ‘terrible candidate’

at 05:46 PM ET, 06/20/2012

Romney adviser says Obama is a “terrible candidate,” Jon Huntsman has a new gig, Jay Rockefeller breaks with coal colleagues and some Democrats are skipping the convention.

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WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED:

* Stuart Stevens, an adviser to former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, tells GQ that President Obama is a “terrible candidate” (“right now,” at least) while “Mitt Romney's very good at this.” He said Obama had miscalculated not just on policy but on politics: “At this very moment, there's probably rarely been a candidate who connects as badly as President Obama.”

* Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman has joined the Brookings Institution as a distinguished fellow. The public policy nonprofit plans to have him participate in research projects and public events related to both China and domestic policy. Huntsman also chairs the Huntsman Cancer Institute.

* The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee raised $5.6 million in May, finishing the month with $28.3 million on hand. The National Republican Senatorial Committee raised $3.9 million and has $23 million on hand.

* Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) broke with fellow coal country lawmakers to side with the Environmental Protection Agency today. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) was attempting (unsuccessfully) to repeal an EPA rule on mercury; Rockefeller gave a forceful speech against the move in which he said “many who run the coal industry today would rather attack false enemies and deny real problems than find solutions,” Rockefeller said — a bold tack in his state.

WHAT YOU SHOULDN’T MISS:

* Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) has endorsed Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries for retiring Democratic Rep. Ed Towns’ seat. Jeffries has most of the establishment support and a vast fundraising advantage, but Towns himself endorsed firebrand Charles Barron in the June 26 primary.

* Rep. Mark Critz (D-Pa.) is skipping the Democratic convention, joining three lawmakers from West Virginia and two from New York. All the congressmen passing on the event are in territory inhospitable to President Obama. For Critz, at least, Obama doesn’t appear to be a liability yet. According to an internal campaign poll, he leads attorney Keith Rothfus (R) by ten points , 46 percent to 36 percent.

* Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has endorsed conservative activist Kevin Smith for New Hampshire governor, calling him a “a fresh new face” with “the ability to bring about reform to your state.” Smith, who backed Giuliani’s 2008 presidential campaign, faces the better-known Ovide Lamontagne in the GOP primary.

* A new poll from Marquette Law finds Obama still leads Romney in Wisconsin, 49 to 43 percent. The same poll gives former governor Tommy Thompson (R) the lead over Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D) in the state’s Senate race, 49 to 41 percent.

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