Romney: I tried beer, smoking. Bishop hopes to spare Defense cuts from budget trim. Wimmer: sent 'SWAT to clear Congress.'
Happy Tuesday. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney offers a candid response in a forthcoming issue of People magazine on whether he had ever tried alcohol or smoked: "I tasted a beer and tried a cigarette once, as a wayward teenager, and never did it again." In response the YouTube clip that immediately found its way around the Twitters: [YouTube]. Now, on to real news...
Topping the news: As expect, the so-called SuperCommittee came back with an epic failure on Monday, admitting it can't agree on a way to trim $1.2 trillion from the next decade's federal budget. The New York Times has a nice overview of how the failure happened and how it could bring America back into a recession. [NYTimes]
-> Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, wants to act to spare the Department of Defense from cuts now that the SuperCommittee has failed. [Trib]
-> State Rep. Carl Wimmer's ad saying, "Send SWAT to clear Congress," is raising some eyebrows. [KCPW]
Tweet of the day: From @TheFix: "More predictable: Supercommittee failure or Kim Kardashian divorce? It's damn close."
Happening today: The Republican presidential candidates will be on stage again tonight at the Daughters of the American Revolution building in Washington for a debate on national security. 8 p.m. Eastern/6 p.m. Mountain on CNN.
Utah Dems hit back: After Wimmer released his endorsement list, the Utah Democratic Party shot this out: "It is astounding that Rep. Wimmer accepts and publicizes these endorsements. I think it's just embarrassing," stated State Party Treasurer Rob Miller. "Even after a cursory glance at the list, any other candidate would likely run in the opposite direction, much less tout it as a trophy."
In other news: You may think they're very similar but Wimmer and Rep. Stephen Sandstrom have differed in their votes in the Legislature. [Herald]
-> Microsoft founder Bill Gates is spending a couple of days in Salt Lake City -- testifying at the civil trial in which Novell is accusing Microsoft of anti-trust violations that cost it about $1 billion in lost value. [Trib]
- Midvale City Councilman Wayne Sharp, who just won re-election, pleaded guilty to reduced theft charges. The original felonies, had he been convicted, would have disqualified him from elected office. [Trib]
-> AAA predicts highways to be more crowded for the upcoming holiday weekend as cheaper gas spurs more people to hit the road. [Trib]
-> West Valley City officials are recommending some $5 million in public monies be invested in the overhaul of Valley Fair Mall. [Trib]
-> Salt Lake City is holding public hearings on a couple of big -- and controversial -- projects Tuesday evening: the proposed Broadway-style theater and a new high-tech parking meter system. [Trib]
-> Gary Larcenaire, CEO of the El Paso Mental Health and Mental Retardation agency, has been named head of Valley Mental Health, which provides mental health care for Medicaid recipients in Salt Lake, Tooele and Summit counties. [Trib]
-> SL Co. Councilman Richard Snelgrove is in for the county mayor's race while WVC Mayor Mike Winder is still on the fence. [Trib]
-> An investigation finds no crime committed by federal prosecutors who targeted the late Sen. Ted Stevens, but Sen. Orrin Hatch is none too pleased. [FoxNews]
-> The TSA asks passengers to please not bring weapons to the airport. [KSL]
-> A group that defends the LDS faith has changed the name of its website to MormonVoices.org. [DNews]
-> Mr. Mac -- Mac Christensen -- is honored for his charity work. [DNews]
2012 watch: Newt Gingrich and Romney top the latest national Gallup poll. [CBSNews]
-> Meanwhile, in New Hampshire, Romney holds on to 41 percent of the vote, Ron Paul gathers 14 percent, Gingrich is up to 14, too., and Huntsman chimes in at 9 percent, according to a Suffolk University poll. [Suffolk]
-> Romney goes on the air in New Hampshire. [LATimes]
-> Huntsman pushes term limits and a ban on former members of Congress lobbying. [Telegraph]
-> Slate takes a look at how "Romney became John McCain." [Slate]
-> Romney says President Barack Obama is trying to assassinate his character. [ABCNews]
-> Pat Bagley says Ron Paul can't get any respect. [Trib]
-> Romney says China is cheating with currency manipulation. [Forbes]
-> Huntsman talks to CNN's John King about his SNL appearance. [CNN]
Where are they?
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-- Thomas Burr
with editor Dan Harrie