Here are 10 things you need to know today.
- Rosengate dominates the news cycle: The furor over Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen’s comments that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s wife Ann “Hasn’t worked a day in her life” dominated the news cycle on Thursday, as Romney’s campaign tried to tie President Obama to the statement but the president himself and top Democrats all condemned the comments; Rosen herseflf apologized. The whole affair provided Republicans will the first real opening to attack their counterpart in the general election and made the most of it, while Democrats sought to weather the storm. Look for Republicans to continue to push the issue today, and for Democrats to try and turn the page.
- Obama calls Rosen comments “ill-advised,” Biden says they were an “outrageous assertion”: Rosen’s comments about Ann Romney reached the highest levels on Thursday when President Obama weighed in during an interview with an ABC affiliate KCRG in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. “My general view is those of us who are in the public life, we’re fair game. Our families are civilians,” he said. On Thursday night, Vice President Joe Biden called them an “outrageous assertion” and cited his own family experience: “whether it’s the Violence Against Women Act or equal pay, my entire career as a senator and a vice president is to get to one point, where my daughter is able to make whatever choice she wants and no one questions it,” Biden told MSNBC’s Ed Schultz.
- Romney to speak to NRA: Romney will speak to the National Rifle Association national conference on Friday in Saint Louis, Mo. The NRA typically endorses Republicans who favor mostly unfettered access to guns under the Second Amendment. Romney has favored some limitations, making him an unusual presidential candidate for the group. “He’s better than Obama,” Tom Zenthoefer, an NRA member at the conference, told Bloomberg. “It will be a hold-your-nose situation.”
- Sportsmen needle Romney on hunting comments at NRA conference: Democrats are highlighting an event before the Romney speech to the NRA in which “Missouri sportsmen and labor leaders” will hold an event outside of the conference in Saint Louis. “While Mitt Romney may call himself a ‘ifelong hunter,’ and NRA member, Romney isn’t shooting straight when it comes to his record on guns. Before he started running for president, Romney was an ardent supporter of strict gun control measures and made it clear that he didn’t ‘line up with the NRA,’” Democrats wrote in an advisory.
- Romney says Obama has “emboldened” North Korea: Romney’s campaign turned briefly from Rosen to attack President Obama after the North Korean government failed in a ballistic missile test. “Instead of approaching Pyongyang from a position of strength, President Obama sought to appease the regime with a food-aid deal that proved to be as naïve as it was short-lived,” Romney said in a statement. “This incompetence from the Obama administration has emboldened the North Korean regime and undermined the security of the United States and our allies.” A statement from White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said “The United States remains vigilant in the face of North Korean provocations, and is fully committed to the security our allies in the region.”
- Democratic primary in Wisconsin recalls in full swing: The two major candidates in the Democratic primary portion of the Wisconsin gubernatorial recall election are making their pitch to voters. Former Dane County (Madison) Executive Kathleen Falk released a new ad calling herself the best candidate to take on Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI), while Milwaukee Mayor 2010 Democratic candidate for governor Tom Barrett rolled out the endorsement of three unions in the state.
- Concerned Women For America: “Rosen is wrong on so many levels”: The Romney continues to highlight the Rosen flap by utilizing the campaign’s female surrogates, holding a conference call yesterday with female members of Congress who have endorsed Romney. The campaign also sent out a response from Concerned Women For America, an ultra-conservative group. “Rosen is wrong on so many levels. Stay-at-home moms hold the purse strings for the family. Statistically, they are better qualified to give economic advice then Obama’s advisors. Talk about energy policy, these women see the effects every day of desperately trying to manage paying almost four dollars a gallon for gas at the pump,” said the group’s CEO, Penny Nance.
- Obama campaigns in Florida today: President Obama will make a campaign stop in Florida today before heading to the Summit of the Americas in Colombia. “Florida, I think, is both an economic and people-to-people hub in terms of connecting the United States and Latin America,” White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes said, WPLG in Miami reported.
- Republicans hold call to “welcome” President Obama to Florida: While Romney will be in Missouri speaking to the NRA, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi (R) and Speaker Designate of the Florida House Will Weatherford will hold a conference call with reporters to discuss “how [Obama’s] failed policies have hurt the state’s families.”
- Gingrich continues to campaign: Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich continues to campaign, even though both the GOP and Democratic establishments moved into general election mode when former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum dropped out of the race. Gingrich will also speak to the NRA today, and his campaign sent out a fundraising email from his wife saying, “People from all across the country are donating to our campaign and sending us uplifting messages as grassroots conservatives across the country unite behind the last conservative standing.”
Kyle is the Editor of TPM Media’s PollTracker. He graduated from Beloit College (WI) and began working in politics before getting an M.A. in magazine journalism from New York University, where he interned at TPM and the website of The New Yorker.