Romney in Utah this weekend. Matheson to skip Dem convention. 18 percent of voters against Mormon candidate.
Happy Friday. Mitt Romney, wealthy donors and (mostly) all the Republican stars will be in Utah this weekend for a retreat at the swanky Deer Valley resort. Karl Rove, Condoleezza Rice, Jeb Bush, John McCain, as well as Utah's own Mike Leavitt will attend the policy/strategy summit with some 700 other guests who either forked over $50,000 or raise $250,000. Noticeably absent: Marco Rubio, who says he doesn't want to be away from his kids. [Trib] [NYTimes]
Topping the news: As he has since being elected, Rep. Jim Matheson plans to skip the Democratic National Convention this summer, joining a growing list of vulnerable Democrats who are shying away from the big gathering. [Trib] [TheDaily]
-> An LA Times columnist says that Romney may not face a Mormon concern this fall and has Harry Reid partly to thank for that. [LATimes]
Happy birthday: On Saturday to Utah County Board of Realtors CEO Taylor Oldroyd and Matt Canham's better half, Leah Bryner. Belated birthday wishes to Jon Huntsman Sr., who celebrated yesterday.
Tune Inn: ABC4's "On the Record" with Chris Vanocur, Robert Gehrke, Bob Bernick and the U.'s Tim Chambless. Sunday, 7:30 a.m.
In other news: In Utah's Republican battle for the Senate seat, Dan Liljenquist says its all about a fresh face while Sen. Orrin Hatch says seniority and experience matters more. [Trib]
-> The Hatch-Liljenquist primary is one of the Top Five to watch this summer. [Politico]
-> KSL's Rich Piatt spends the day with Hatch on the campaign trail. [KSL]
-> The Trib's Mike Gorrell breaks down the Mark Crockett vs. Mike Winder race for the GOP nomination for Salt Lake County mayor. [Trib]
-> A Nevada Super PAC is weighing on the Republican race for Utah attorney general. [DNews]
-> New York Magazine highlights a video by 1st Congressional District Democratic candidate Ryan Combe: Coming out ... as a Democrat. [NYMag]
-> Various groups in southern Utah are working to ensure the air stays clean in Dixie. [Trib]
-> House Speaker John Boehner urges his Republican colleagues not to "spike the football" if the Supreme Court strikes down the Affordable Care Act. [Yahoo]
-> Paul Rolly reports that Jason Powers is the man behind an attack hitting Senate candidate Dan Liljenquist as well as a state House and state Senate contenders. [Trib]
-> Pat Bagley offers his take on the legacy of Egypt's Hosni Murabak. [Trib]
2012 watch: Romney's five sons pull off some good lines in a visit to Conan O'Brien and joke about their dad's chiseled hair. [CSMonitor]
-> In speaking to a Latino group, Romney says he doesn't want to enact temporary measures -- calling out President Barack Obama for his Dream Act-like order -- and would prefer to pursue comprehensive solutions. [Globe] [WaPost]
-> Marco Rubio says Romney's approach on immigration shows he's a serious and mature leader. [LATimes]
-> FreedomWorks says it doesn't plan to endorse Romney. [DailyCaller]
-> Obama calls on Congress to pass legislation to keep interest rates low on student loans -- an issue that resonates with young voters. [WaPost]
-> Romney is apparently a buzz kill on the Internet and news sites say headlines with his name in them don't drive traffic. (Note: That is not the case at The Salt Lake Tribune where Romney stories are click-candy.) [BuzzFeed]
-> Jeb Bush says Romney has "common ground" with Obama. [ABCNews]
-> An evangelican writer says that Romney can talk about his Mormon faith and still win the general election. [FoxNews]
-> The Obama camp puts out a fake Romney memo to governors talking about the economy doing better. [Twitter]
-> Obama's top campaign lawyer demands a retraction from Karl Rove and questions whether his Super PAC is coordinating with the Romney camp. [HuffPost]
-> Obama's strategist are preparing for the possibility of his signature domestic action, the health care law, being struck down. [LATimes]
Where are they?
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-- Thomas Burr