The Daily Rundown | July 26, 2012
>>> it's thursday, july 26, 2012 . a special 30-minute edition of "the daily rundown." i'm chuck todd . you have olympic fever, don't you? we have soccer coming up soon, uh i promise. let's get to my first read of the morning. mitt romney has had a busy morning in london on a carefully orchestrated week-long trip. just a short time ago he arrived at 10 downing street for a meeting with deputy prime minister nick clay.
>> thank you.
>> romney has been careful and guarded. in a brief meeting with party leader ed milliband he talked about the special relationship between the united states and great britain.
>> i look forward to our conversation this morning. a number of conversations with leaders of present and past, great ones, and recognize the course, the unique relationship that exists between our nations. the world is a simultaneous wodangerous place. we have interests that we have had as a common effort, seen greater peace and prosperity.
>> while milliband took two questions from the british press --
>> we'll take a quick question from our side.
>> romney answered those, but took no questions from u.s. reporters. press secretary andrea saul said milliband took questions because that was his choice. that's why romney didn't call on american reporters. we said we were doing a photo spray. it's not protocol once you end upstanding next to a leader from another country. the u.s. press corps followed mr. romney a long way. with tony blair romney stuck to pleasantries. he also met with william hague . they faced challenges in europe, syria, egypt, the arab spring and their mutual love of kit-kat bars. romney pressed the point that he doesn't plan to criticize the president abroad. he did so again in the meeting with milliband.
>> while i'm on foreign soil i'm careful not to be critical of my own policies. i would be more remiss if i were to be critical of any other government's policy.
>> that was a response to the question from the british press corps asking romney about the sort of definite-first approach the uk has taken and how it's affected economic growth. in a wide-ranging interview with mr. brian williams , brian asked romney ahead of the trip to israel what assurances he can give to jewish- americans who are disappointed with the administration's policy toward israel.
>> i don't want to be in any way critical of the president or to be fashions foreign policy departure from the president while on foreign soil. i can tell you with regards to any nation that feels security is at risk that they should have a firm conviction that america is securely behind them.
>> brian asked romney why he doesn't talk more about his faith and heritage. he quoted the new york times's david brooks .
>> what's relevant is who the guy is, speaking of governor romney . he has an amazing personal story. his family was an exodus story going across the west. poverty, building an empire. he can't talk about it because it involves mormonism. he's a decent guy. for some reason he's not willing to talk about it. he's a hidden man. are you a hidden man?
>> well, no. as a matter of fact, i'm happy to talk about my heritage. i speak actually regularly about the fact that my dad was born in mexico. that with revolution in mexico, my dad then, i think aged 5 or 6 came back to the u.s. with his family. they went broke multiple times. his dad was a contractor. my dad didn't complete college but was head a of a car company and a governor. it's a remarkable story. i'm very proud of my heritage. without question, i'm a member of the church of jesus christ of latter day saints . some call it the mormon church . fine with me. i will talk about my experiences in the church. they have helped shape my perspective.
>> probably the most expansive answer we have heard from governor romney about his personal story and his faith. a couple other questions asked and answered by mitt romney , one on whether to release more tax returns, governor romney stuck to the same answer he's been giving before which is he's released hundreds of pages, plenty, and said if he releases more it will give democrats to pick through which is an odd answer. that implies there might be something worth picking through. the other thing he did is he confirmed held not make a v.p. selection or announce a pick while traveling abroad.
>>> finally, in just a few hours president obama and mitt romney offered a contrast on another issue. it was on guns in the wake of last week's shooting in colorado. speaking before the national urban league in new orleans, the president spoke more on gun control than he has since he took office.
>> i, like most americans , believe the second amendment guarantees an individual the right to bear arms. i think we recognize the traditions of gun ownership are passed on from generation to generation. that hunting and shooting are part of a cherished national heritage. but i also believe a lot of gun owners would agree that ak-47s belong in the hands of soldiers, not criminals. [ applause ]
>> and though the president said americans , especially those who are mentally ill or have criminal records shouldn't have access to assault weapons , if you are a gun control advocate these comments could hardly have been heartening.
>> as we convene these conversations, let's be clear. we have to understand when a child opens fire on another child there is a hole in that child's heart that government alone can't fill.
>> in his interview with brian williams romney stuck to the answer from guns we have heard saying he doesn't believe america needs new gun laws . then he seemed to leave an opening for stricter background checks . take a listen.
>> you're saying there is no legislative remedy to prevent in advance what we have just seen in aurora?
>> we'll all hear what ideas come forward. i will hear the ideas as well. in the past there has been an effort to say let's do background checks on people who seek to obtain weapons. and those kinds of background checks are often times able to find people who are disturbed or committed crimes in the past. i have indicated that those kinds of background checks are consistent with the law. they can help prevent crime.