Evangelicals wonder about a Mormon president. Bennett inspired Ornstein-Mann book. 54 days to the election.
Happy Thursday. While the Mormon religion isn't an issue for most voters, polls show, there's still some concern in a few sectors of the American electorate, as shown by this story in the Christian Post. Evangelical pastors held a panel discussion yesterday looking at the question of whether Christian voters should back Romney and what would be the consequences of the first Mormon as U.S. president. Interesting read: [ChristianPost].
Topping the news: While critics hit Mitt Romney for politicizing the tragic attacks on the American embassy in Libya, his supporters fire back that President Barack Obama is weak on foreign policy. [WaPost] [NYTimes]
-> The Romney campaign scripted responses for Republicans facing criticism about his Obama-blaming reaction to the attacks. [CNN]
-> Norm Ornstein and Thomas Mann visit Utah and note that their new book about the political dangers of the day was in part prompted by Sen. Bob Bennett's defeat at the hands of the tea party. [Trib]
Happy birthday: to Trib columnist Peg McEntee and former Utah First Lady Norma Matheson.
Tweet of the day: from @HuntsmanAbby: "Few of us knew which political party the courageous victims belonged to. What we do know is that they were AMERICANS who put country first."
In other news: The median household income in Utah for 2011 was $55,493, down 15 percent from four years ago. [Trib]
-> Outdoors enthusiasts team up with an outdoor retailer to protest Gov. Gary Herbert's efforts to turn federal lands into state property, arguing that the public swaths attract outdoor recreation, tourists and jobs. [Trib]
-> Sen. Mike Lee and other House Republicans knock Obama for what they call an abuse of his power. [Trib]
-> House District 37 in Utah could turn out to be one of the more expensive races in the state this year. [UtahPolicy]
-> Democratic Senate candidate Scott Howell presented plans to cut $2.5 trillion off the national debt by implementing a three-year salary freeze for federal workers and reducing congressional and White House budgets by 15 percent. [Trib] [DNews]
-> Gov. Gary Herbert is rethinking his nomination of an executive from EnergySolutions Corp. for the Radiation Control Board after it was reported that 17 canisters of banned radioactive waste were buried at the company's site. [Trib] (Item updated.)
-> Rep. Rob Bishop says the U.S. government owns way too much of the West and that wasn't supposed to be how it worked out. [VernalExpress]
-> Mayor Ralph Becker petitions the City Council for approval to hang large-scale banners advertising special events at Library Square. [Trib]
-> Former Gov. Jon Huntsman lauds the fallen ambassador to Libya. [Trib]
2012 watch: Romney and Obama will participate in back-to-back broadcasts specifically addressing the future of education and opportunity for Latinos. [FoxLatino]
-> While the two presidential candidates spend a day focusing on the North African crisis, Bill Clinton doesn't stray from domestic affairs as he lobbies for the incumbent. [NYTimes]
-> Some Republicans fear that Romney hit his "Lehman moment," a reference to Sen. John McCain's 2008 effort to solve the bank crisis after the matter. [HuffPost]
-> Protesters have now stormed the U.S. Embassy in Yemen, adding to the unrest over a YouTube video. [WaPost]
-> Obama is being offered to voters as your everyday bar-frequenting, beer-wielding man, with the exception of that whole Mr. President thing. [HuffPo]
-> A new Fox News poll shows Obama at 48, Romney at 43, nationally. [Politico]
Where are they?
-- Thomas Burr and Betsy Blanchard
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