Romney allies launch $3.7 million ad campaign

at 05:46 PM ET, 05/01/2012

Mitt Romney’s allies are going big, William Tong is dropping out, Newt Gingrich is formally calling it quits and Obama is speaking tonight.

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WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED:

* Restore Our Future, a super PAC supporting former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, is going up with a $3.7 million ad buy in nine swing states — Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, Nevada, Ohio, Virginia, and New Hampshire. The ads will start running on Thursday.

* At a press conference today in New York City with former mayor Rudy Giuliani, Romney said it was “inappropriate” for President Obama to turn Osama bin Laden’s death into a campaign issue. The photo-op was hijacked by a heckler, who accused Romney of being a racist. Romney also met privately with current NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, in hopes of securing his endorsement.

* Connecticut state Rep. William Tong (D) has dropped his Senate bid and endorsed frontrunner U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy in the Democratic primary. Murphy still faces former Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz in the primary; the winner will take on either former GOP Rep. Chris Shays or former WWE executive Linda McMahon.

* About a dozen local Republicans announced their support of Democratic House candidate Ron Barber in Arizona’s 8th district special election today. Barber, a longtime aide to former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D), will face businessman Jesse Kelly (R) for the seat his old boss left vacant.

WHAT YOU SHOULDN’T MISS:

* Former House speaker Newt Gingrich will formally end his presidential campaign tomorrow, he announced in a web video today. “I want you to know that we’re going to continue out there on the road, both Callista and I will be talking, campaigning, making speeches, doing everything we can to help defeat Barack Obama,” Gingrich told supporters.

* President Obama made a surprise trip to Afghanistan today, where he signed a strategic partnership agreement with President Hamid Karzai committing U.S. aid through 2014. “I’m here to affirm the bond between our two countries and to thank Americans and Afghans who have sacrificed so much over these last ten years,” Obama said. It’s his first trip to the country since December 2010, and he’s Obama speaking from Bagram Air Force Base at 7:30 pm eastern time tonight.

* Romney is making multiple stops in Virginia this week, just a few days before Obama launch his reelection campaignfrom Richmond. (Just in case you thought the Old Dominion State wasn’t important.) Romney will be campaigning with Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) and fundraising; Republican Senate candidate George Allen will not be attending any of the events.

* Two Democratic state senators in Rhode Island are quitting  the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a corporate-funded policy shop that has come under fire in recent weeks for its support of “Stand Your Ground” legislation and voter ID laws.

THE FIX MIX:

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