Here are ten things you need to know today.
- Portman uses celebrity attack on Obama, defends himself: Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), a top contender for Romney’s VP pick, defended himself against critics that say he’s boring. “Well I like to think I am a serious legislator and trying to get things done. That’s my goal in life, to get things done. It’s not about sizzle for me,” Portman said on Fox News Tuesday. He then pivoted into the well-worn “celebrity” attack on President Obama: “I mean, America made a decision in 2008 to go with a president who did have sizzle. And look, he was kind of a celebrity. He also had a very compelling message which was, remember this, I’m going to bring people together to solve problems. Didn’t happen.”
- Romney super PAC makes big buys in swing states: Restore Our Future is upping the ante from the primaries with big ad buys in nine swing states totalling $3.9 million. The ad campaign is set to begin Thursday and is bigger than the Obama campaign’s ad buy this week, which put an anti-Romney ad on the air in three states. Politico has details: “The targets are Ohio ($501,000), Iowa ($395,000), Virginia ($241,000), Colorado ($299,000), Nevada ($275,000), Florida ($857,000), North Carolina ($652,000), Michigan ($452,00) and New Hampshire ($225,000). The flights cover the period from May 3 to May 16 and include both broadcast and cable airtime.”
- Team Romney still working on shoring up social conservatives: A group of Romney’s campaign staff are working hard to reach out to social conservatives in the Republican Party, reports the Boston Globe. Their efforts include outreach to leaders of the religious right. Romney will make his own appeal to these voters when he gives the commencement address at Rev. Jerry Falwell’s evangelical Liberty University on May 12.
- Obama camp pre-empts Newt’s Romney endorsement: The Obama campaign is out with a new video reminding Americans that Newt Gingrich has been a harsh critic of Mitt Romney in anticipation that Gingrich will endorse Romney when he suspends his campaign. Over the course of a nasty primary, Gingrich hit Romney on a host of issues, from Bain Capital to calling him a liar.
- Wealthy communities giving less to Romney: Wealthy enclaves around the country, such as Newport Beach in Orange County, California, are giving less money to help Mitt Romney this cycle than they have to GOP presidential contenders in the past, according to an analysis by Politico.
- Tester up in Montana: A Tuesday Senate race survey from Public Policy Polling shows Sen. Jon Tester ahead of his opponent, Rep. Denny Rehberg, 48 percent to 43 percent. Earlier PPP polls in Montana showed Rehberg with a small lead, but Tuesday’s poll shows Tester has consolidated his base and has a 10-point edge among women.
- Warren goes after Brown on use of ‘Obamacare’ provision: Dem Senate hopeful Elizabeth Warren went after Scott Brown on Tuesday for voting to repeal health care reform while also taking advantage of a key benefit of the law: keeping his 23-year-old daughter on his own plan. Warren has been playing defense for several days over accusations that she used her Native American heritage to further her legal career.
- Ron Paul still working at convention strategy: The Paul campaign remains dedicated to its strategy of influencing the party platform at the Republican convention in Tampa and maybe making a fuss by trying to nominate Ron Paul from the floor. In order to do that, they need successes in state conventions, and recently they’ve had a few.
- Gingrich finally suspending campaign: Wednesday is the day Newt Gingrich will officially suspend his campaign. The announcement will take place in Arlington, Virginia at 3pm ET.
- Romney in the D.C. area: Mitt Romney will hold a campaign rally in Chantilly, Virginia Wednesday and then come into Washington, D.C. to host a fundraiser in the evening.
Pema Levy is a News Writer at TPM covering the 2012 election. Before coming to TPM, Pema was an assistant editor at The American Prospect where she wrote about politics and the economy.