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Romney: Once signed assault-weapons ban into law

“Mitt Romney said today he believes new gun legislation is unnecessary and defended an assault-weapons ban he signed into law as Massachusetts governor,” USA Today writes of Romney’s interview with CNBC’s Larry Kudlow. Romney said, “With emotions so high right now, this is really not a time to be talking about the politics associated with what happened in Aurora. I still believe that the Second Amendment is the right course to preserve and defend and don't believe that new laws are going to make a difference in this type of tragedy."

Yet, as the paper points out: “As Massachusetts governor in 2004, Romney signed into law an assault weapons ban that was backed by gun owners and gun control advocates. The Massachusetts law banned the AR-15, one of the weapons that police say was used inside the Colorado theater on Friday.”

That’s what CNBC leads with on its web site as well: “As Colorado reels from the mass shooting at a movie theater that left 12 people dead and 58 wounded, Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney reiterated his support for gun ownership on Monday.” Romney: “Our challenge is not the laws. The challenge is the people who are distracted from reality and do unthinkable, unimaginable, inexplicable things.”

But CNBC also points out: “As governor of Massachusetts, Romney signed into law a ban on assault weapons and quadrupled the state’s gun licensing fee.” Romney’s answer to that: “Where there are opportunities for people of reasonable minds to come together and find common ground, that’s the kind of legislation I like. The idea of one party jamming through something over the objections over the other tends to divide the nation, not make us a safe and prosperous place. If there’s common ground, why, I’m always willing to have that kind of conversation.”

So, question: If another assault weapons ban came up, and it had bipartisan support in Congress, would a President Romney sign it?

“Mitt Romney promised ‘complete transparency’ when he took charge of the scandal-plagued Salt Lake City Olympics, a pledge that included access to his own correspondence and plans for an extensive public archive of documents related to the Games,” the Boston Globe reports. “But some who worked with Romney describe a close-to-the-vest chief executive unwilling to share so much as a budget with a state board responsible for spending oversight. Archivists now say most key records about the Games’ internal workings were destroyed under the supervision of a staffer shortly after the flame was extinguished at Olympic Cauldron Park, after Romney had returned to Massachusetts. … Romney and the Salt Lake Organizing Committee had no legal obligation to preserve their records or make them public, even though the state paid $59 million, and the federal government spent $342 million on the Games and contributed roughly $1 billion more in indirect aid for transportation projects and other capital improvements in the Salt Lake region.”

Timing is everything: “According to Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul, ‘Mitt Romney resigned from SLOC in early 2002 to run for governor of Massachusetts and was not involved in the decision-making regarding the final disposition of records.’”

“The United States Olympic Committee agreed Monday to the provisions of a Senate bill that called for ceremonial uniforms worn by US athletes at future Olympics to be made in America,” the Boston Globe writes. “A dozen senators sponsored the bill last week after news reports revealed that American athletes will wear uniforms manufactured in China at the opening ceremony of the London Olympics. The issue gained extra steam in political circles because uniforms for the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City -- organized by Mitt Romney, now the presumptive Republican nominee for president -- were also made outside the country.”

“Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is moving away from his preferred issue -- the economy -- and into military and foreign policy, a realm usually viewed as the home turf of the incumbent,” the AP writes. Romney speaks before the VFW today, where Obama spoke yesterday. “Aides say the former Massachusetts governor will outline to veterans his view that President Barack Obama has relinquished U.S. leadership around the world. Obama sought to raise the stakes for Romney's speech with remarks Monday to the VFW, casting himself as a steady commander in chief tested by two wars and the successful raid on Osama bin Laden's compound.”

Financial Times: “After three months of relentless attention on the economy, Mitt Romney will shift the focus of his campaign this week to foreign policy with a major speech and an overseas trip to three countries.”

Maggie Haberman on “The hidden Mitt”: “The presumptive GOP nominee is known for his abilities as a salesman. But Romney has made a calculation against selling three major elements of his background to voters. To some degree, the Republican’s campaign has walled off three critical aspects of what makes Mitt Mitt — his Mormon faith and good deeds, details of his experience running Bain Capital and his signature achievement as Massachusetts governor.”

Political Wire: “In a Mitt Romney ad last week, a stern Jack Gilchrist of Gilchrist Metal Fabricating tells President Obama that his family -- and not the government -- built his company. But John DiStaso reports Gilchrist ‘did receive some government help for his business’ in 1999 when the company received $800,000 in tax-exempt revenue bonds ‘to set up a second manufacturing plant and purchase equipment to produce high definition television broadcasting equipment.’ In addition, Gilchrist Metal received a U.S. Small Business Administration loan of around $500,000 in the 1980s and has received several sub-contracts from the U.S. Navy.”

GOP 12: “Mitt Romney's campaign has reportedly raised $10 million over just two days of a fundraising swing through California.”