The Big Conversation:
Mitt Romney appears poised to reap a major windfall from his visit to Texas this week.
Dallas investor Ray Washburne, one of Romney's top Texas donors, on Tuesday told the crowd at a Dallas fundraiser that the candidate would likely raise $15 million during his two-day swing through the state, The Associated Press reports.
Romney has so far raised about $6 million in Texas, according to CNN.
Romney's visit began Tuesday with a campaign event in Fort Worth, where the presumptive Republican presidential nominee riled up a friendly crowd of hundreds. “It’s surprising to me that the president has chosen a campaign slogan of ‘Forward,’” Romney told a crowd at an office warehouse, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “Forward? Forward over a cliff?”
"This is a critical time for America," added Romney, who was introduced by U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth. "I love this country. I love it from sea to shining sea."
Romney also used the campaign event to reach out to Hispanics, a demographic that polls have so far shown largely out of his grasp. "Did you know that the rate of unemployment among Hispanic Americans rose last month to 11 percent?" he said at the warehouse, Southwest Office Systems, a Hispanic-owned company. "And that the people in this country that are poor, living in poverty, one out of three are Hispanic American?"
Romney today will attend more fundraising events in San Antonio and Houston.
- The Legislative Budget Board, headed by House Speaker Joe Straus and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, has asked state agencies to propose 10 percent budget cuts for their next two-year budgets. No programs or services will be cut, as the Tribune's Ross Ramsey reports, but the agencies are expected to show lawmakers what the 10 percent cuts would do.
- Al Armendariz, the Environmental Protection Agency's former regional director for Texas who resigned in April amid controversy, has called off his appearance today before the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee, according to The Hill. Armendariz, who left his post after a two-year-old video surfaced in which he described an effort to "crucify" violators in the oil and gas business, had planned to appear before the committee to address EPA enforcement.
- The Houston Chronicle has Storified Texas politicos' reactions to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's recall victory on Tuesday night. "Stunning landslide by Republicans in Wisconsin imperils #Obama's presidency," Attorney General Greg Abbott tweeted, echoing many other Republicans' glee.
"I’m going to insist we debate in English and let the chips fall where they may." — Ted Cruz to conservative radio host Michael Berry on Tuesday
- Bryan Hughes lays out rationale for speaker run, The Dallas Morning News
- Urban expert touts Texas' growth potential, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
- Pro-Paul anger growing over fair venue, Tampa Bay Times
- Closer Look at UT/TT Poll Shows Partisan Split on Planned Parenthood, The Texas Tribune