Mitt Romney wouldn’t call Obama a monster, John McCain defends a Muslim State Department staffer, there’s no VP candidate yet, and likely voters might tell a different story.

Make sure to sign up to get “Afternoon Fix” in your e-mail inbox every day by 5 (ish) p.m!


What is the latest on the Veepstakes? A Fix Google Plus hangout

Romney’s new dirty word: Chicago

Why President Obama’s reelection is no sure thing — in 2 charts

Chris Christie convention talk premature, GOP says

Obama’s ‘You didn’t build that’ problem

The veepstakes: Pawlenty’s up, Rubio’s down (VIDEO)

The case for Bobby Jindal to be vice president

Romney Spanish-language ad: Mitt’s father was born in Mexico

New Romney ad accuses Obama of cronyism

Some Republicans still not sold on Mitt Romney’s campaign


* Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney disagreed with an Ohio town hall attendee who called President Obama a “monster” today, saying her son’s business shrunk “because of what this monster has done to this country.” Romney replied, “That's not a term I would use,” adding that she “had every right to be angry.”

* Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) pushed back hard today against House Republicans, including Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), who have accused State Department staffer Huma Abedin of taking part in a Muslim Brotherhood conspiracy. McCain called the accusations “an unwarranted and unfounded attack on an honorable woman, a dedicated American and a loyal public servant” that “defames the spirit of our nation.”

* Both Ann and Mitt Romney said today that the Republican candidate has not chosen a running mate yet. Ann told ABC News that her husband was “not quite there yet,” and Mitt later told a town hall that while he hadn’t chosen a VP, “that person will be a conservative.”

* The Huffington Post’s Mark Blumenthal notes in a new column that polls of “likely voters” tend to have a larger Republican sample than polls of “registered voters.” If likely voter screens were applied now, Romney would likely be doing better in head-to-heads with Obama. But this far out from the election, the numbers don’t say much about Election Day anyway.


* Attorney General Rob McKenna (R) has a $900,000 cash edge over Rep. Jay Inslee (D) in the Washington gubernatorial race, $3.7 million to $2.8 million. Both candidates have raised a little under $7 million, but Inslee spent a lot of cash on introductory campaign ads.

* The Democratic primary to take on Rep. David Rivera (R-Fla.) have gotten nasty, with Miami businesswoman Gloria Romero Roses and lawyer Joe Garcia both accusing each other of lying in some very angry mailers.

* Former Rep. Heather Wilson (R) will paint Rep. Martin Heinrich(D) as an environmental extremist, she told reporters in D.C. this morning, calling her rival for New Mexico’s open Senate seat “out on the extreme of his own party.” She would not take a position on the House Republicans’ budget, saying she didn’t “have all the specifics.”

* A Romney spokeswoman, asked if there was ever a year when the candidate paid no taxes, said simply, “Not True.” Obama’s campaign speculated in a recent ad that Romney may not have paid taxes at all.

* Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.) is taking control of his campaign away from his brother, Michael Berman, and giving it to strategist Brandon Hall, according to the website LA Observed. Berman is in a tough fight against fellow Rep. Brad Sherman (D), who beat him by ten points in the state’s jungle primary.


Mr. Wizard, kind of a jerk.

With Aaron Blake