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July 15th, 2012
03:19 PM ET

SOTU Crib Sheet for July 15th

ON STATE OF THE UNION:

When did Mitt Romney leave Bain Capital and why does it matter? Candy spoke to Romney Senior Campaign Adviser Ed Gillespie and Obama Senior Campaign Adviser David Axelrod about the controversy.

Gillespie told Candy that the whole issue is just a distraction from the real issues in the campaign and that “Governor Romney took a leave of absence from his company to go save the Olympics… he ended up not going back at all and retired retroactively to February of 1999 as a result.”

Axelrod defended the campaign’s attack on Romney’s Bain tenure and tax returns, but said "I'm not suggesting that based on what we know that he's done anything illegal. I'm not suggesting that, but what I am suggesting is that he's taken advantage of every single conceivable tax shelter and loophole that we can see.”

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick sparred over state budgets, Medicaid expansion and the trickle down effect of the fiscal cliff.  Plus a little 2012 politics – will Romney win Virginia?  McDonnell said "the president is a good man, a good family man, but he has been an abysmal president. ... Mitt Romney is going to win Virginia because the independent voters don't care about tax returns and Bain Capital."

Plus, 61% of the continental U.S. is experiencing drought conditions - stretching from Nevada to South Carolina. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack talked to Candy about the effects of the worst drought in a quarter century and what it may mean to your grocery bill.

 

 STATE OF THE UNION HIGHLIGHTS

(For more videos check our website)

 Ed Gillespie, Romney Campaign Senior Adviser, on Romney’s tv blitz on Friday:
“There were questions that Governor Romney wanted to address and make sure people understood that he's not a felon. You know, I mean, that's what this campaign on the Obama side, you know, was reduced to. And it's sad to see.”

 Ed Gillespie, Romney Campaign Senior Adviser, on the Obama campaign’s Bain attacks:
“We now know this president will say or do anything to keep the highest office in the land even if it means demeaning the highest office in the land.”

Ed Gillespie, Romney Campaign Senior Adviser, on Romney’s Bain tenure and what year he left the company:
“Governor Romney took a leave of absence from his company to go save the Olympics. … There may have been thought at the time that he could be part time. It was not part time. The Olympics was in a shambles. … He took a leave of absence and, in fact, Candy, he ended up not going back at all and retired retroactively to February of 1999 as a result.”

Ed Gillespie, Romney Campaign Senior Adviser, on Romney’s role in Bain after 1999:
CROWLEY: Are you saying that he holds no responsibility for Bain decisions in those three years?
GILLESPIE: That's correct.

David Axelrod, Obama Campaign Senior Adviser, on Mitt Romney:
"I'm not suggesting that based on what we know that he's done anything illegal. I'm not suggesting that, but what I am suggesting is that he's taken advantage of every single conceivable tax shelter and loophole that we can see.”

David Axelrod, Obama Campaign Senior Adviser, on negative campaigning:
“Governor Romney is the one who has run a campaign that's predicated on the negative. ‘I'm not Barack Obama, therefore elect me. And I'm a businessman, so I know how to fix the economy.’ Well, if that's the experience he's running on, then, of course, that experience is going to be scrutinized.”

Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-Virginia):
"Mitt Romney is going to win Virginia because the independent voters don't care about tax returns and Bain Capital."

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on the droughts effect on crop production:
“We'll probably see less in terms of crop production, but we're still going to be able to meet the food needs of the country.”

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on the drought:
“The real challenge for us though is that the USDA, the Department of Agriculture, does not have the tools it once had to help people through this difficult times. When the disaster programs of the 2008 farm bill expired on September 20 of last year, it left us with very little option in terms of being able to provide help to these folks. And that's why it's just imperative that the House leadership get the food, farm and jobs bill that recently went through the House ag committee on the floor and get it voted on before September 30th so we can provide additional help and assistance to these folks.”

ONLINE LINKS

Gillespie: Romney retroactively retired from Bain Capital

Ed Gillespie: Is Mitt Romney losing the “message” battle?

Gillespie: Romney is narrowing down the VP list

David Axelrod on the battle over Mitt Romney’s record and Bain Capital

We ask David Axelrod: Is Mitt Romney a felon?

Gov. Bob McDonnell and Gov. Deval Patrick: Will the looming defense cuts hurt jobs?

Govs. McDonnell and Patrick: Why are some states worried about Medicaid expansion?

Ag Sec. Tom Vilsack: How will the drought impact the economy?

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