Rick Perry says transparency is best, Karl Rove wanted Rubio, a super PAC ad star isn’t voting, and Republicans claim Obama hates small business owners.

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* Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) is joining the chorus of Republicans in favor of releasing tax returns, althoug he did not specifically pressure former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney. “I’m a big believer that no matter who you are, or what office you’re running for, you should be as transparent as you can be with your tax returns,” he said, adding that the president ought to release his college transcripts. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), meanwhile, put out a statement saying that his decision to pass over Romney for VP in 2008 “had nothing to do with the bogus tax return attacks.”

* Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin has endorsed Sarah Steelman (R) in the Aug. 7 Missouri GOP Senate primary. Steelman has lagged behind Rep. Todd Akin and businessman John Brunner in fundraising, but she does have a supportive super PAC with $451,500 on hand, and Palin has been pretty savvy with her picks this cycle. The winner will take on Sen. Claire McCaskill (D).

* Strategist Karl Rove and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) have both been urging Romney former to pick Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) as his running mate. Donors also like Rubio, according to the New York Times, but the ambitious young politician is now seen as a long-shot.

* A laid-off steelworker featured in a super PAC ad attacking Romney is not voting for Obama either, In These Times reports.  "I think Obama is a jerk, a pantywaist, a lightweight, a blowhard,” said Donnie Box, who worked for a Missouri steel company closed by Bain and featured in a Priorities USA ad. He doesn’t plan to vote.


* Republicans are using an out-of-context line from last Friday to suggest that Obama doesn’t think business founders deserve any credit. “Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that,” the president said in Virginia. “Somebody else made that happen ... [W]e succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together. ” Romney has been hammering the “you didn’t build that” line; his campaign released a web video that plays it over and over in a loop.

* President Obama’s campaign is suing Ohio Secretary of State John Husted over a new ban on in-person absentee voting for the three days before the election. Obama’s legal team argues that military personnel and overseas voters are arbitrarily exempted under the ban. The president’s 2008 campaign was very active in getting early voters to the polls. Other controversial voting changes were repealed by the GOP-controlled legislature, to avoid a referendum.

* Sheldon Adelson is threatening to sue the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee if the group does not retract and apologize for ads claiming “Chinese prostitution money” is going from the casino mogul to GOP candidates. Politifact rated the claim, based on allegations that Adelson approved of prostitution at his Macau casino, “Pants on Fire.”

* The Office of Congressional Ethics has cleared Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) of fundraising violations while in office, a relief for House Republicans (and Grimm himself). The vulnerable freshman still faces a DOJ probe into allegations that a rabbi helped funnel money from Israeli citizens to his campaign.

* Another sign that Eric Hovde is rising fast in the Aug. 14 Wisconsin GOP Senate primary: former Rep. Mark Neumann is out with an ad attacking the businessman as too far to the left instead of former governor Tommy Thompson. Hovde has self-financed to the tune of $4 million so far.


I was distracted by that vehicle. 

With Aaron Blake