Obama: That was not Romney on stage. Herbert, Cooke fight over Medicaid. 32 days until Election Day.
Happy Friday. While campaigning in Colorado, Obama told the crowd: "When I got onto the stage I met this very spirited fellow who claimed to be Mitt Romney. But it couldn't have been Mitt Romney." The president charged his opponent touted different ideas on stage than he had throughout the lenghty campaign. [BuzzFeed]
-> What Obama failed to mention was the unusually subdued man responding to "Mr. President." It seems both candidates spent 90 minutes out of character. [WaPost]
Topping the news: Gov. Gary Herbert said that an expansion of Medicaid would create injurious dependency, while Democratic challenger Peter Cooke said it would be a "smart business decision." [Trib] [DNews] [UtahPolicy]
-> More than 67 million people tuned into the presidential debate, a steep increase from just four years ago. [LATimes]
-> The September jobs report will be released shortly and it is expected to mirror the ho-hum reports of the last few months. Does that really shake up the presidential race? [WaPost]
Tweets of the day: From @ryanbeckwith: "You know who lost the debate last night? Gingrich, who lost an I-told-you-so moment if Romney had lost."
From @brianstelter: "You know which two candidates out-rated Obama and Romney? Palin and Biden. They attracted 73 million viewers in 2008."
Happy birthday: To Jace Johnson, Sen. Orrin Hatch's former chief of staff, and Trib film critic Sean Means.
Programming alert: Your next serving of Political Cornflakes will be Tuesday, Oct. 9. Enjoy Columbus Day!
In other news: Democratic Salt Lake County mayor candidate Ben McAdams uses a tax lien filed against his opponent as political ammunition. Republican Mark Crockett said he was unaware of the $172.46 he owes in back income taxes from 2009. He has since paid his dues. [Trib]
-> Crockett sent a cease and desist letter to Jeff Bell, who host the radio program "The LEFT Show," for posting information about the tax lien on his website, including a partial Social Security Number that Crockett felt left him open to hackers. Bell said the tax lien was a public document that he already found online. [DNews]
-> Pat Bagley offers his take on Romney's confident debate performance. [Trib]
-> Paul Rolly reports on an ethics questionnaire that Republican candidates for the state Legislature don't seem too keen on answering. [Trib]
-> A legislative task force hears that improving Utah's air quality is not just good for the health of residents but also for the economy. [Trib]
-> Sen. Orrin Hatch warns that Mormonism will soon be under Democratic fire. [HuffPost]
-> Utah's health insurance exchange has been redubbed Avenue H. [Trib]
-> The University of Utah student government hosted an "Impact Day," providing students with an opportunity to meet candidates, learn about the political process and encourage political activism. [Chronicle]
-> Need a little bump in your restaurant's business? Invite a president over. [Trib]
-> Bernick and Schott talk about the presidential debate, Mia Love's improved poll numbers and Utah's rather boring gubernatorial race. [UtahPolicy]
2012 watch: Should Romney lose, former presidential candidate and Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman says the Republican party will be "a little bit like Yugoslavia at the end of communism." [USNews]
-> The former top editor of The New York Times argues that religion should be fair game in a presidential race because it says quite a bit about the candidate and what he believes. [Trib]
-> The Obama campaign works to recover after a sub-par performance by the president at Wednesday's debate. [Reuters]
-> The middle class could feel the squeeze under a Romney tax plan if he caps deductions at the amount he has said publicly. [Globe]
-> Romney told Fox News that his secretly recorded comments calling "47 percent" of the nation victims was "completely wrong." [LATimes]
-> Google summarizes the first debate in four charts. Among its finds: 47 percent (ironic?) say Romney won the first debate and Big Bird found its way into the search engines of far too many. [WaPost]
-> Jim Lehrer's moderator career went out with a bang. [NYTimes]
-> Obama is on track to double his ad spending from 2008. [NatJournal]
-> The Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin asks 10 questions about the fate of the election's final days. [WaPost]
-> A Missouri federal judge ruled Obamacare isn't in violation of religious freedom for requiring employers to cover contraceptives, saying that "plaintiffs remain free to exercise their religion, by not using contraceptives and by discouraging employees from using contraceptives." [HuffPost]
-> Al Gore suggested the altitude may have had something to do with Obama's lethargic debate performance. [PoliticalWire]
Where are they?