The Big Conversation:
Hoping to recover from a week of political stumbles overseas, Mitt Romney got a little help on Thursday from Rick Perry.
Perry and nine other Republican governors joined Romney at a campaign event in Basalt, Colo. Other governors in attendance included Chris Christie of New Jersey, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Nikki Haley of South Carolina, Susana Martinez of New Mexico and Bob McDonnell of Virginia, according to The New York Times.
Perry endorsed Newt Gingrich after dropping his presidential bid in January but threw his support behind Romney in April. And on Thursday, Perry voiced some of his strongest support yet for the presumptive Republican nominee.
"The difference between the current president of the United States and the next president of the United States is that this man trusts you," Perry told of crowd of hundreds, adding, "Barack Obama does not trust you."
The event was in part intended to help the Romney campaign turn the focus away from the candidate's now-infamous week in Israel, Poland and England, which was intended to bolster Romney's foreign policy credentials but instead became a media circus as foreign leaders took umbrage at several of his remarks.
But with several high-profile Republicans in attendance, the campaign rally also inevitably sparked more chatter about Romney's vice presidential pick, which he's expected to announce after the Olympics.
Though several of the governors in attendance — like Christie, Martinez and McDonnell — were reportedly under consideration in the early stages of the selection process, only Jindal is said to be on Romney's current shortlist, along with U.S. Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty.
Asked to give Romney advice on his pick, Perry played coy.
"There are a lot of really capable ones, but I’ll leave that up to Mitt," he said, according to The Washington Post. "He’ll have that all figured out."
- Mexican President Felipe Calderón may take a job at the University of Texas at Austin after his term ends in December. The Dallas Morning News reports that Calderón has also spoken with Georgetown, Harvard and Stanford universities but that the odds favor UT, whose president, Bill Powers, Calderón has met with twice in the last year. Calderón and UT declined the comment on the matter.
- Texas' three biggest metropolitan areas top a new Pew Research Center list of the nation's most economically segregated cities. San Antonio — which contains more upper-income households in upper-income neighborhoods than any other area in the U.S. — ranks highest, followed by Houston and Dallas. Though the report didn't study the cause of the stratification, Texas' large population growth has correlated with the increase in income disparity.
- A federal judge in Texas on Thursday temporarily blocked five of the state's new voter registration provisions, including a law prohibiting third-party voter registrars from working in more than one county and another mandating that registrars in Texas be residents of the state. The district judge, Gregg Costa of Galveston, wrote in his opinion that "Texas now imposes more burdensome regulations on those engaging in third-party voter registration than the vast majority of, if not all, other states." Costa's ruling has blocked the provisions from taking effect until a final decision is issued.
- A Super PAC supporting Democratic candidates for U.S. House has made a major ad buy in the Congressional District 23 race between Democrat Pete Gallego and incumbent Rep. Francisco "Quico" Canseco. As the San Antonio Express-News reports, the group, called the House Majority PAC, has bought $415,000 worth of San Antonio-area airtime for the race, which observers have pegged as one of the state's most competitive congressional duels.
"I’m excited about it. I think it’s an honor if people would say he’s the next Marco Rubio, but, in fact, he’s the next Cruz." — U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., on whether he is threatened by Cruz, who has garnered frequent comparisons to Rubio
- Summer Camp Focuses on Fight Against Abortion, The Texas Tribune
- For Two State Leaders, an Uncomfortable Homecoming, The Texas Tribune
- Chick-fil-A comes with a side of politics, Austin American-Statesman
- Texas and the Tea Party: The looming battle, The Economist