Friday’s Talking Points – March 4, 2016

Good Friday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 64th day of the year. There are 302 days left in 2016.

Mitt Romney unloads on Donald Trump. The GOP field debates in Detroit. Details of next year’s budget begin to emerge on the Hill.

The clock:

  • Six days to the final day of the 2016 Utah Legislature – (3/10/2016)
  • 11 days to the Florida, Ohio and North Carolina primaries – (3/15/2016)
  • 16 days to the GOP presidential debate in Salt Lake City – (3/21/2016)
  • 18 days to the Utah Republican and Democratic caucus meetings (3/22/2016)
  • 26 days to the last day the governor may sign or veto bills (3/30/2016)
  • 50 days to the Utah Republican and Democratic State Conventions (4/23/2016)
  • 66 days to the last day a veto override session may begin (5/9/2016)
  • 116 days to the 2016 Utah primary election – (6/28/2016)
  • 136 days to the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland (7/18/2016)
  • 143 days to the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia (7/25/2016)
  • 249 days until the 2016 presidential election – (11/8/2016)

Ten talking points for Friday:

  1. Mitt Romney launches an all-out assault on Donald Trump calling him a “phony” and a “fraud.” Not surprisingly, Trump responded with a crude sex joke [Utah Policy, New York Times, Politico, NBC News, Tribune, Deseret News, Fox 13]. Even though nobody asked, Sarah Palin took to Facebook and urged Trump not to take Romney’s bait, calling the 2012 GOP nominee a “silly man” [Politico]. 
  2. The four remaining GOP candidates took to the stage in Detroit to debate again as Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz launched increasingly desperate attacks on Trump [Washington Post, New York Times, Politico]. In case you were worried, during the debate, Trump assured the nation that his genitalia is just fine [Politico, CNN].
  3. Former presidential candidate, Sen. Lindsey Graham says a brokered convention to deny Trump the nomination would not be fair to the GOP frontrunner [Politico].
  4. A white supremacist group is launching robocalls in Utah supporting Trump’s candidacy [Tribune]. Meanwhile, anti-Trump posters featuring a swastika are popping up around Sugar House [2 News, Fox 13].
  5. Utah lawmakers are close to locking down details in next year’s budget [Utah Policy, Tribune].
  6. Legislators waste little time killing Rep. Lynn Hemingway‘s proposal to hike the minimum wage [Tribune].
  7. Former Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank says the body camera video from Saturday’s shooting of a teenager should be released, but the district attorney says the investigation is “too important” to do that [Tribune, Deseret News].
  8. Salt Lake Community College unveils an ambitious plan to cover tuition and fees for thousands of Utah residents [Deseret News, Tribune].
  9. February’s mild weather didn’t do much to alleviate Utah’s drought conditions, but water watchers say a wet spring could help turn things around [Tribune].
  10. The Salt Lake County GOP plans to meet with County Recorder Gary Ott after reports questioning his fitness to hold office surface [Deseret News].

On this day in history:

  • 1789 – The U.S. Congress met for the first time in New York City.
  • 1801 – Thomas Jefferson became the first president to be inaugurated in Washington.
  • 1861- Abraham Lincoln took the oath of office as the 16th president.
  • 1917 – Jeanette Rankin, a Montana Republican, was sworn in as a member of the House of Representatives. She was the first woman to serve in Congress.
  • 1987 – President Ronald Reagan addressed the nation on the Iran-Contra affair, acknowledging his overtures to Iran had “deteriorated” into an arms-for-hostages deal.