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Romney surrogates to fill in during Olympics. Pawlenty: Would be 'proud to be VP.' Romney: No new gun laws needed.

Happy Thursday. While Mitt Romney is in London for the Olympics, his best friends and supporters will be flooding the swing states to make sure voters don't forget about the Republican presidential candidate. Romney is deploying surrogates to key places while he's abroad. Also, the head of Romney's VP search keeps her secrets even from her own family. Also, II: Tim Pawlenty says he'd be honored to be the veep. [ABCNews]

-> Romney says he doesn't believe the country needs new gun laws and that such restrictions wouldn't have stopped the Colorado theater gunman. [Globe]

Topping the news: The Dallas Morning News profiles Ted Cruz, a tea partyer running for Senate, and compares him to Utah's Mike Lee. In sum, the headline says it all: "Supporters of Tex Cruz's tea party role models Rand Paul, Mike Lee see influence but not results" [DMN]

-> Common Cause, a group fighting against the corporate-sponsored think-tank ALEC, says Utah lawmakers have introduced bills crafted by the conservative organization word-for-word. [Trib] [KCPW] [DNews] The group commends companies and lawmakers who stand with them. [Trib]

-> Watchdog groups say Utah is good when it comes to dealing with Election Day complications. [Trib]

Tweet of the day: From @EricSPeterson: "I was tempted to write a 'gaggle' of politicians just now and then I wondered, is there a collective noun for a group of politicians?" (Feel free to send your own suggestions to cornflakes (at)

Happy birthday: Again, to Ron Fox, who is turning 60 today and whom we prematurely tried to make a day older in yesterday's email. Kari Fox Hardy, his daughter, turns 23 today as well.

Debate schedule: The dates and locations of the presidential debates have been announced. [NationalJournal]

Happening tomorrow: Rep. Jason Chaffetz hosts a town hall meeting on Friday at 6 p.m. at the new West Jordan Library located at 8030 S. 1825 West.

In other news: Traffic congestion is low in Salt Lake City compared to other metro areas, feeding a higher-than-average auto-pedestrian accident rate. [Trib]

-> Peg McEntee says children issues are being ignored by the candidates this election season. [Trib]

-> Pat Bagley offers his take on the ALEC influence on Utah lawmakers. [Trib]

-> Ben McAdams claims some Republican support for his campaign for Salt Lake County mayor. [Trib]

-> Democratic candidate for Congress Jay Seegmiller says Utah businesses are in need of workers — and undocumented guest workers could be the answer. [Trib]

-> Chaffetz met with the Justice Department's inspector general about the Fast & Furious program and says an independent report is due out soon. [WaTimes]

-> Who funds the Alliance For A Better Utah? Robert Gehrke looks into it. [Trib]

2012 watch: After a Romney staffer's alleged comment on how the GOP candidate appreciates the Anglo-Saxon heritage more than Obama, a firefight of accusations fly between the campaigns. [WaPost] [LATimes]

-> The Wall Street Journal looks at the age-old point that Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman were up for the Olympics job at the same time. [WSJ]

-> How much does the DesNews love Romney? Let the paper count the ways in this story of his Olympic successes. [DNews]

-> A poll shows that voters care very little about Bain Capital, but the firm still doesn't help Romney's image. [WaPost]

-> An Obama Super PAC uses images of the Olympics to hit Romney on outsourcing accusations. [CNN]

-> Romney flexes his own star power with veteran actor Robert Duvall hosting a fundraiser for the candidate. [LATimes]

-> It's getting harder for Romney to criticize the president on the economy as swing-state unemployment rates improve; The candidate is instead focusing on staggering national debt. [TheHill]

-> GOP strategists say the Bain attacks are comparable to the Swift Boat Veteran attacks against John Kerry. [CNN]

-> Romney says more gun laws won't curb violence. [NYTimes]

Where are they?

Rep. Jason Chaffetz attends a national security briefing, appears on the Laura Ingraham radio show and then returns to Utah.

Lt. Gov. Greg Bell meets with the Quality Growth Commission.

SL Co. Mayor Peter Corroon sits in on a Salt Lake Chamber International Committee meeting.

SLC Mayor Ralph Becker attends a meeting on the Sugar House streetcar project, speaks at the 300 East track pilot program launch, then meets with the Governor's Clean Air Partnership Coordinator Christine Osborne.

WVC Mayor Mike Winder visits Shriner's Hospital for Children.

President Barack Obama meets with cabinet members throughout the day.

Got a tip? A birthday, wedding or anniversary to announce? Email us at If you haven't already, sign up for our weekday email and get this sent directly to you inbox. [Trib]

— Thomas Burr and Andreas and

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