Mitt Romney

President Obama and his Republican challenger, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, engaged Thursday night in a sometimes spirited, but always cordial, debate that got very technical at times.

It was the "corporate executive" (Romney) vs. the "government professor" (Obama) and the GOP nominee appeared to be "full of confidence and full of sales pitch," NPR Senior Washington Editor Ron Elving says, while Obama put pressure on the Republican to explain what he would do as president.

The Planet Money team breaks down the numbers behind the statistic making the news today. Learn more via the link.

(via Flickr/IndofunkSatish)

Romney accuses Democrats of using Akin to attack Republican Party

In the run up to his party's nomination for president this week, Republican Mitt Romney is again distancing himself from embattled Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin.

The presumptive Republican Presidential nominee told Fox News on Sunday morning that Democrats are using the uproar over Akin's comments on rape and abortion to attack the rest of the Republican Party.

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Romney distancing himself from Akin

Republican presidential Mitt Romney is distancing himself from Congressman Todd Akin after comments Akin made during an interview with a St. Louis television station.

During the interview on Fox 2's Jaco Report, Akin was asked if he would support abortion in cases when a woman was raped.

Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan is Mitt Romney's choice for running mate on the 2012 Republican presidential ticket.

The official word, which began leaking overnight, came early this morning from the Romney campaign via a smartphone app and a news release.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Presumptive GOP Presidential nominee Mitt Romney didn’t mince words at a campaign stop in St. Louis on Thursday.

Romney addressed several hundred supporters at Production Products, a military equipment supplier in north St. Louis County.

The former governor railed against the Obama Administration for “undermining the free-enterprise system and over-regulating businesses."

He said the President wasn’t up to the task of solving the economic crisis, all the while recklessly expanding the reach of government.

(Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio)

Speaking in downtown St. Louis at the NRA's Leadership Forum today, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney emphasized his commitment to protecting the Second Amendment.  

But Romney's record on gun control is a tough sell for some members of the influential conservative group.  St. Louis native and NRA member Ed McNees says he can't trust Romney because he supported banning assault rifles while running for office in Massachusetts. 

Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Senator Roy Blunt says he expects most of his fellow Republican congressman will be lining up behind GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney by the end of the month. 

Senator Blunt was handpicked by Romney to garner endorsements for the former Massachusetts governor from his fellow Republican congressmen. He says his task is coming to a close.

With Romney’s primary sweep in Wisconsin, Maryland and Washington, DC this week, Blunt said he expects most GOP lawmakers to make up their minds in the next 30 days.  

(via Flickr/Cast a Line)

Republican presidential contenders to speak at NRA meeting in St. Louis

Thousands of gun enthusiasts will get a chance to hear from three of the four Republican presidential contenders next week when the National Rifle Association hosts its annual meeting and exhibit in St. Louis.

An NRA spokesman says more than 60,000 people have already registered for the convention that runs April 13-15 at the America's Center convention center, but that number is expected to grow with late registrations.

This week the action in the race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination is in Illinois, which holds its primary Tuesday.

In advance of that contest, Public Policy Polling is out with a new survey that it says shows "Mitt Romney is headed for a blowout victory." It has the former Massachusetts governor ahead of former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum 45 percent to 30 percent (with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Rep. Ron Paul trailing far behind).

Romney in Kirkwood in 2012
Bill Greenblatt | UPI | File photo

Updated at 5:04 p.m. with additional information from the event.

Former Massachusetts Governor and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney rallied for support at a park in the St. Louis suburb of Kirkwood Tuesday.

Republican caucuses are underway in Missouri, as the process to select a presidential nominee continues, but  the party's front-runner ignored his Republican rivals. Instead, he attacked President Barak Obama, blaming him for a high gasoline prices.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Good morning! Here are some of the starting headlines of the day so far:

Nixon to hold news conference Tuesday on proposed cut in state aid to the blind

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is taking his case to the public to try to reverse a proposed cut in state aid to the blind. The Democratic governor is holding a news conference Tuesday in Columbia with leaders from organizations for the blind to oppose a cut made by the Republican-led House budget committee.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Rick Santorum is the winner of Missouri's presidential primary. The primary was held Tuesday and is non-binding.

Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul were on the ballot, Newt Gingrich was not.

Early this morning, St. Louis Public Radio's Julie Bierach interviewed University of Missouri-St. Louis political science professor Dave Robertson about the results.

What does a Missouri win mean for Santorum’s campaign?

St. Louis Public Radio file folder

Central Missouri teen sentenced to life with possibility of parole

Eighteen-year-old Alyssa Bustamante has been sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole in the killing of her 9-year-old neighbor.

The Central Missouri teen was sentenced this morning in Cole County Circuit Court. She pleaded guilty in January to second-degree murder and armed criminal action in the October 2009 stabbing and strangling of her neighbor, Elizabeth Olten, in St. Martin’s, a small town west of Jefferson City.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum racked up a sizeable victory in Missouri's Republican primary last night, winning all 114 counties and the city of St. Louis and beating his nearest rival, Mitt Romney, by 30 points. Final unofficial results from the Secretary of State showed Santorum more than doubling Romney's vote total.

(via Flickr/jimbowen0306)

Workers' comp, civil lawsuits top priorities for business groups this legislative session

Missouri business groups are listing changes in workers' compensation, employment law and civil lawsuitsas their top priorities in the legislative session that starts at noon today.

Representatives of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Missouri Merchants and Manufacturers Association and other groups outlined their priorities at a news conference Tuesday.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Presidential candidates can now register to run in Missouri’s primary next year – and even though the Republican primary won’t count, representatives for GOP presidential hopefuls showed up in Jefferson City Tuesday to register.  Missouri U.S. Senator Roy Blunt filed on behalf of Mitt Romney.

“The campaign decided properly and rightly so that Missouri is an important state, " Blunt said. "The primary is going to happen relatively early in the process, but several states will have voted before us…I think the primary will help set the stage for the caucus.”


Special legislative session may end unless consensus found in 2 days

Supporters and opponents of the scaled-down tax credit bill spent more than six hours Monday trying to make their respective cases to a Missouri House committee.  Senate leaders slashed $300 million  from the Aerotropolis proposal before passing it, and say that the Compete Missouri provision in the bill can more than make up for the deleted warehouse incentives. 

David Kerr, who heads the state's Economic Development department, testified in favor of the bill.