Romney weighs in on Aurora, Pennsylvania weighs voter ID, Rick Santorum supports Chick-fil-a Appreciation Day and the U.S.S.R. is back.

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* In an interview with NBC News’ Brian Williams airing tonight, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney says changes to gun laws aren’t the answer. “[I]t was illegal for him to have many of those things already,” Romney said. “But he had them. And so we can sometimes hope that just changing the law will make all bad things go away. It won’t. Changing the heart of the American people may well be what’s essential, to improve the lots of the American people.” (The weapons James Holmes allegedly used were purchased legally, authorities say.)

* A new AP article sheds more light on Romney’s departure from Bain Capital, finding that after leaving for Salt Lake City in 1999 “he stayed in regular contact with his partners over the following months, tending to his partnership interests and negotiating his separation from the company.”

* Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum has joined former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee in calling for a “Chick-fil-a Appreciation Day” on August 1st. The sandwich chain is under fire after president Don Cathy said “we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation” when we “redefine what marriage is all about.” The mayors of Boston and Chicago are blocking the chain from their cities, and Jim Henson is no longer letting the company use its toys.

* Another Romney foreign policy adviser referred to the “Soviet Union” today — the second time a an adviser to the Republican candidate has made that mistake. Romney himself accidentally referred to “the Soviets” in April.


* Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) is again offering Romney advice, telling MSNBC today that the former Massachusetts governor ’s campaign is being too cautious. “I think there’s a lot of caution,” he said. “I think the mistake that they’ve made is the feeling like it can just be a referendum on the president. ... People don’t just vote somebody out -- they’ve got to vote somebody in.” In June, Walker said Romney needed a “simple message.”

* Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) endorsed Rep. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) in her primary campaign against former Rep. Ed Case — not in the Senate race against former Hawaii governor Linda Lingle — a spokesman clarified today. Young doesn’t plan to endorse in the general election.

* The details of the presidential debates are set. The first, on Oct. 3rd at the University of Denver, will focus on domestic policy. The second will be a town hall on all issues on Oct. 16 at Hofstra University in New York. The third will be on Oct. 22 at Lynn University in Florida, focusing on foreign policy. There will be a vice-presidential debate on Oct. 11 at Centre College in Kentucky.

* Two new polls from the Democrat-backing House Majority PAC and the Service Employees International Union have good news for two New York Democrats in tough races. Rep. Tim Bishop leads Republican Randy Altschuler by a whopping 24 points; Dan Maffei leads Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle (R) by a much closer four points. A Buerkle poll in April gave her a four point lead.

* The legal challenge to Pennsylvania's new voter ID law opened in court today. The case is being closely watched by both sides of the voting law fight, both because of the state’s electoral importance and because of the fights over voter ID laws across the country.Opponents of restrictive voter ID laws have been having been faring better in state than in federal courthouses.


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