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Notes on the July 22, 2012 Broadcast of Meet The Press

July 22, 2012

(Sorry the notes are late today. I had DVR difficulties this morning.)

All Rights reserved to NBC NewsThis week on Meet The Press, the opening segment was used as part of NBC’s on-going coverage of the Colorado shooting tragedy. It featured Governor John Hickenlooper (D-CO) followed by former LAPD Chief Bill Bratton, Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY), and former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff. While their insights were interesting, no news was broken. They announced nothing new on the shooter’s motive. The suspect is not cooperating with authorities.

This may be one of the rare weeks when the roundtable was actually more engaging than the interview segments. This was due, in part, to the fact that both presidential candidates largely suspended campaigning for the last few days, giving our trusty analysts a bit of breathing room to reflect on the bigger picture of the 2012 election thus far and where things are headed.

Connecting with the news of the day, the roundtable noted that the assault weapons ban and the Brady laws have expired in the United States, and there is no political will on either side to do anything related to gun control. Post-Aurora, neither President Barack Obama nor the Republican presidential challenger, Governor Mitt Romney (R-MA), said a word about gun control. Further, despite right-wing scare comments, President Obama has made no effort to change existing gun laws and regulations during his time in office.

On the big political picture, Governor Romney has been on the defensive for weeks, most recently over his tax returns, yet the poll numbers show President Obama’s slight lead fading away. On the other hand, most agreed that Romney remains a “hidden figure” to the public, and the tax return issue reinforces that narrative.

Republican strategist Steve Schmidt points out that there are 107 days left in the campaign, but not all those days are equal for the Romney campaign. The important moments will be the vice presidential announcement, the convention speech, and the three presidential debates. These days are where Governor Romney will need to make his case to the American people.

On the vice presidential nomination, former head of Washington, DC public schools Michelle Rhee says Romney needs to go for excitement. But leading candidates Governor Bobby Jindall (R-LA), Congressman Rob Portman (R-OH), and Governor Tim Pawlenty (R-MN) don’t really fit that bill. New York Times columnist David Brooks says he wants gravitas in the nominee more than excitement and says he would go for Rob Portman.

Note that Meet The Press will be gone for the next TWO weeks to accommodate NBC’s coverage of the Summer Olympics in London.

Today’s Meet The Press transcript will be here.

Also follow the show on the MTP Facebook page, track Twitter feeds from host David Gregory, Meet The Press, and Executive Producer Betsy Fischer, watch the midweek PressPass interview, and don’t forget Gregory’s blog.

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