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Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama laugh as Romney gets up to address the 67th annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner, a charity gala organized by the Archdiocese of New York, Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012, at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
News roundup: Romney, Obama joke around at Catholic fundraiser

Clinton: the economy is not fixed. Obama, Romney trade jokes. 18 days until Election Day.

Happy Friday. President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney spent Thursday night in the same room, just two days after their tense Tuesday debate -- this time, however, there was less political pandering and more joke telling. This year's Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner comes just four days before the next presidential debate. [href="http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/18/at-a-dinner-political-banter-and-some-familiar-suspicions/" target="_blank">NYTimes] [href="http://photoblog.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/10/18/14544492-obama-romney-swap-jibes-for-jokes-at-alfred-e-smith-dinner?lite" target="_blank">NBCNews] [href="http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444592704578065471960072106.html" target="_blank">WSJournal]

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-> Wearing a white tie and tails, Romney quipped, "It's nice to finally relax and to wear what Ann and I wear around the house." Then he noted, "I was actually hoping the president would bring Joe Biden along this evening. Because he'll laugh at anything." [href="http://www.boston.com/politicalintelligence/2012/10/18/president-obama-and-mitt-romney-poke-fun-themselves-and-each-other-for-charity/9P1iKTFo4pGrqGKDropNbJ/story.html" target="_blank">Globe]

Topping the news: A candidate for the Weber County Commission was part of an alleged network that allegedly bullied employees into voting for a particular Republican sheriff candidate. [href="http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/55099511-90/county-sheriff-bell-perkins.html.csp" target="_blank">Trib]

-> Jay Seegmiller, Democratic candidate for Utah's 2nd district, says his GOP rival Chris Stewart's consulting firm for accepting federal stimulus money and millions in government contracts. [href="http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/55106957-90/government-stewart-federal-contracts.html.csp" target="_blank">Trib]

-> Obama pulls resources out of North Carolina as the race tightens. [href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/18/mitt-romney-north-carolina_n_1982517.html" target="_blank">HuffPost]

Happy birthday: To state Rep. Douglas Aagard and a special birthday shout out to intern extraordinaire Betsy Blanchard. On Saturday, send your birthday wishes to former Rep. Chris Cannon and BYU's David Magelby.

Tweet of the day: From href="http://twitter.com/mckaycoppins" target="_blank">@mckaycoppins: "It feels like the Obama campaign is falling into same trap Romney did over the summer, when they let every Biden 'gaffe' drive their message."

In other news: Notable Republicans, including House Speaker John Boehner, join the final push for Mia Love's campaign. [href="http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/55109634-90/love-matheson-party-rep.html.csp" target="_blank">Trib]

-> Rep. Ron Paul received a warm welcome at Utah Valley University on Thursday. [href="http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865564798/Ron-Paul-given-rock-star-treatment-at-UVU.html" target="_blank">DNews]

-> Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman says Chinese officials worked to cancel an event he was scheduled to speak at, though Huntsman originally claimed it was his visa that was canceled. [href="http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/blogsoutofcontext/55107444-64/huntsman-font-ambassador-china.html.csp?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter" target="_blank">Trib]

-> The state's unemployment rate dropped to 5.4 percent in September from 5.8 percent in August. [href="http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865564763/Utah-unemployment-rate-drops-to-54-percent-down-from-58-percent.html" target="_blank">DNews]

-> Utah's Olympic Exploratory Committee pushes for a 2026 Salt Lake City Winter Games. [href="http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865564757/Olympic-Exploratory-Committee-tells-governor-to-go-after-2026-Winter-Games.html" target="_blank">DNews]

-> Paul Rolly discusses Stansbury High's heroism, a twilight zone moment and the noteworthy 1971 graduating class of East High. [href="http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/55106791-90/former-rolly-utah-class.html.csp?page=1" target="_blank">Trib]

-> Bob Bernick notes the judicial retention issues on your ballot this year. [href="http://utahpolicy.com/view/full_story/20545934/article-Bob-Bernick-s-Notebook--Judicial-Retention-on-November-s-Ballot" target="_blank">UtahPolicy]

-> The Trib's Thomas Burr talks with KCPW's Jeff Robinson about Mia Love's strong fund-raising quarter. [href="http://kcpw.org/blog/local-news/2012-10-18/ad-war-continues-between-matheson-and-love/" target="_blank">KCPW]

2012 watch: Former President Bill Clinton said it's true that the economy is "not fixed" but Obama has a better plan to fix it than Romney. [href="http://politics.blogs.foxnews.com/2012/10/18/clinton-obama-knows-economy-not-fixed" target="_blank">FoxNews] [href="http://washingtonexaminer.com/bill-clinton-the-economy-is-not-fixed.-obama-knows-it./article/2511110" target="_blank">Examiner]

-> Vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan jumped on Clinton's comment. [href="http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2012/10/18/ryan-tries-to-pit-clinton-comment-against-obama/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+rss%2Fcnn_politicalticker+%28Blog%3A+Political+Ticker%29" target="_blank">CNN] [href="http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-250_162-57535684/ryan-we-agree-with-clinton-economy-not-fixed/" target="_blank">CBSNews]

-> Pants on fire: At Tuesday's debate, Obama said Romney called Arizona's handling of immigration a "model for the nation" -- a claim that has since proved false. [href="http://firstread.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/10/18/14539433-fact-check-obama-wrong-on-model-for-the-nation-debate-claim?ocid=twitter" target="_blank">NBCNews]

-> Ann Romney makes a solo appearance on ABC's "The View" after her husband canceled, citing scheduling conflicts. She was grilled on her abortion stance and why none of her sons served in the military. [href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/tv-column/post/ann-romney-visits-view-mitt-less/2012/10/18/62f7e4dc-1932-11e2-aa6f-3b636fecb829_blog.html" target="_blank">WaPost] [href="http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/10/18/ann-romney-defends-husband-record-on-view-following-obama-appearance-last-month/" target="_blank">FoxNews] She told the hosts that her husband would retire from politics if he loses in November. [href="http://www.boston.com/politicalintelligence/2012/10/18/mitt-romney-will-not-run-again-campaign-falls-short-wife-says/TY4y7KS2thg74jqqhMO8ZK/story.html" target="_blank">Globe]

-> It's all about the ladies: The Obama website now features an equal sign in its "FORWARD" logo -- a click will take you to a href="http://www.barackobama.com/womens-issues?source=forward-logo" target="_blank">page on women's issues, "equal pay for equal work" as its headliner. [href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/election-2012/wp/2012/10/18/obama-adds-equal-pay-to-campaign-logo/?wprss=rss_election-2012" target="_blank">WaPost]

-> Registered female voters rank abortion as the top issue for swing state women this election cycle. [href="http://www.gallup.com/poll/158069/women-swing-states-gender-specific-priorities.aspx" target="_blank">Gallup]

-> Graduate students from Utah State University polled Utah voters on their presidential, senatorial and gubernatorial preferences, revealing sizable victories for the Republican candidate in each race. [href="http://utahdatapoints.com/2012/10/usu-pre-election-poll/" target="_blank">UtahDataPoints]

-> An 80-year-old woman was arrested for taking down three posters of Obama adorned with Hitler mustaches. [href="http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1012/82585.html" target="_blank">Politico] [href="http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/woman-80-arrested-removing-obama-hitler-sign-17508835#.UIBCT8VX2jU" target="_blank">APviaABCNews]

Where are they?

  • WVC Mayor Mike Winder attends a Gen X GOP lunch at Hires with Gov. Gary Herbert.
  • President Barack Obama campaigns in New Hampshire.

Got a tip? A birthday, wedding or anniversary to announce? Email us at href="mailto:cornflakes@sltrib.com" cornflakes@sltrib.comtarget="_blank">cornflakes@sltrib.com. If you haven't already, sign up for our weekday email and get this sent directly to your inbox. [href="http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001UEsPtYfvzULWn8N6X-e20NF7cPo-LhaYoIP14eYqfZIxJxnYBxloc-YVfnrU12dE9rct96aKV01pfAfcwxJTkXzQB04KQ8MWDgJGOPsmx7Q50e0e07Yt5zptdXF3CJGt" target="_blank">Trib]

-- Thomas Burr and Betsy Blanchard

href="http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?t=9c4j8xkab.0.wq9l8xkab.g6ylq8dab.2980&ts=S0817&p=https%3A%2F%2Ftwitter.com%2Fthomaswburr" Twitter.com/thomaswburrtarget="_blank">Twitter.com/thomaswburr and href="http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?t=fsl9itkab.0.sqezitkab.g6ylq8dab.2770&ts=S0817&p=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.twitter.com%2Fbetsyblanchard" Twitter.com/betsyblanchardtarget="_blank">Twitter.com/betsyblanchard

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