News roundup: Romney aides feared Iowa anti-Mormon backlash
Published: April 3, 2012 07:18AM
Updated: April 3, 2012 07:18AM
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Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks at a building supply store in Green Bay, Wis., Monday, April 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

New book sheds light on campaign's secrets. Hatch, Liljenquist locked in 'hand-to-hand' combat. Romney half way to nomination.

Happy Tuesday. Politico's Mike Allen and Evan Thomas are out with a new e-book, Inside the Circus, this morning with a behind-the-scenes look at the Republican presidential campaigns, including several interesting tidbits about Jon Huntsman and Mitt Romney.

-> What did Huntsman dislike about the race? "The petty betrayals, the petty political betrayals," Huntsman told the reporters, with his wife, Mary Kaye, adding that Sen. John McCain's endorsement of Romney before the New Hampshire primary stung.

-> Romney's advisers were more worried about an anti-Mormon backlash in Iowa rather then Rick Santorum surging to compete with their candidate. One Romney adviser told the reporters in December that the reason the former governor wasn't polling better than 25 percent was Romney's faith. "Part of the reason for the ceiling, quite frankly, is the Mormon thing. If he was even an Episcopalian, he'd be better off today."

Topping the news: Sen. Orrin Hatch woos his 4,000 delegates one-by-one as he competes with rival Sen. Dan Liljenquist in "hand-to-hand combat" for the nomination. [Trib]

-> Mitt Romney has officially amassed half the delegates necessary to nab the Republican nomination before his party's convention. [APViaDNews]

-> Ben McAdams and Ross Romero are vying for the Democratic nod for Salt Lake County mayor but finding it difficult to show voters their differences without tearing down the party. [UtahPolicy]

Tweet of the day: From @JDavola: "What would Utahns want more? Candidates spending money on TV/Radio ads for a primary or bribing delegates with food like they do now."

Happy birthday: To Politico's Jonathan Martin.

Congrats: To University of Utah student Ashley Edgette, who became became the sixth U. student in six consecutive years to be selected for the Harry S. Truman Scholarship. [Trib] [DNews]

In other news: AG Mark Shurtleff endorses Carl Wimmer in Utah's 4th Congressional District race, calling him better prepared than the rest of the candidates. [DNews]

-> An immigration raid against "criminal aliens" nets 54 people in Utah, and earns praise of Republicans and Democrats. [Trib]

-> Utahns will see a rare convergence of three types of tax days on April 17, and the Beehive State proves to have the nation's 17th-highest overall tax burden. [Trib]

-> Brian Jenkins, a candidate for Utah's third congressional district, hopes to bring Congress a bigger dose of the Constitution. [Herald]

-> A legislative-appointed committee tasked with studying the costs and benefits of illegal immigration voted unanimously to seek bids for a cost-analysis report -- with SUU and Dixie State College at the top of the list for potential donors. [Trib]

-> The legality of mother-in-law apartments, or accessory dwelling, is in question with some residents opposing an additional population density boost. [Trib]

-> Democratic gubernatorial candidate Peter Cooke has an LDS leader on his list of potential candidates for lieutenant governor. [Trib]

2012 Watch: If Newt Gingrich drops out before the convention he could back Santorum in a play to keep the nomination out of Romney's hands. [NewsMax]

-> Conservative commentator Ann Coulter says Rick Santorum is "hurting our chances" to uproot President Barack Obama. [TheHill]

-> Romney and Santorum fare about the same against Obama -- trailing the president by 5 to 10 percentage points. [USAToday]

-> Romney bristles at a question about his Mormon faith at a town hall but then turns to his time as an LDS bishop to illuminate another situation. [NBC] [CNN]

-> While some candidates follow the law strictly on reporting campaign expenses, Ron Paul is going out of his way to list every cent his campaign spends, including the 22 cents forked over at FedEx. The Utah-based pro-Paul Endorse Liberty PAC also seems to go out of its way to file disclosures. [Yahoo]

-> Paul's campaign drops its lawsuit against a YouTube user who posted an anti-Jon Huntsman attack ad claiming to be from the Texas congressman. [Trib]

Where are they?

Got a tip? A birthday, wedding or anniversary to announce? Email us at cornflakes@sltrib.com.

-- Thomas Burr and Laura Schmitz
Twitter.com/thomaswburr