The Note: On to Ames

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After demurring at the debate, Romney told ABC News afterward that he was wrong to say in March that Giuliani supports gay marriage. "I was expressing what I thought were his difference of views," Romney told ABC's Teddy Davis and Matt Stuart. "Turned out that I was wrong. I didn't realize he was opposed to gay-marriage but he's in favor of civil unions." Actually, the Giuliani camp says the former mayor supports domestic partnership benefits, but not civil unions that approximate marriage.

Meanwhile, Gov. Deval Patrick, D-Mass., had harsh words for his predecessor -- Romney -- in an interview with Bloomberg TV's Judy Woodruff. He said Romney is hedging his bets on the health care law he helped craft. "If it's a wild success, he will probably claim credit for it," said Patrick. "And if it doesn't work, then he will probably try to put some distance between himself and it."

Clinton is getting more pressure over her lack of a health care plan. "She conveys the impression that there's not much difference between her policy positions and those of the other candidates -- but she's offered few specifics," New York Times columnist Paul Krugman writes. "It worries me that Mrs. Clinton is showing an almost Republican aversion to talking about substance."

Congress squeezed in an approval of an expanded surveillance program just before skipping town, but you almost would have had to tap the Capitol's phone lines to know anything special was going on. The bill was "a sudden victory for the White House despite loud criticism from advocates of civil liberties and privacy rights," per The Boston Globe's Charlie Savage. "Privacy rights groups . . . accused Democratic leaders of 'spinelessness' in the face of Republican threats to blame them for any coming terrorist attack if they did not give the president the new power before leaving for their annual August recess."

It could get really complicated for Democratic congressional leaders when they come back to work in September, with the Iraq war and a looming spending battle set to produce fireworks, The Wall Street Journal's David Rogers reports. "The new Democratic majority is determined to avoid the sort of government shutdown Washington experienced when Republicans took over Congress in 1995 and challenged then-President Clinton," Rogers writes. "But the situation is more unpredictable today because of the relative weakness of both sides, and the Iraq war added to the political equation."

The kicker:

"Vast right-wing conspiracy." -- Clinton, responding to a technical glitch at YearlyKos.

"The State Department, boy, when they start complaining about the things I say, I feel a lot better about the things I say." -- Tancredo, R-Colo., defending his threat to destroy the Muslim holy sites of Mecca and Medina as a way to deter a nuclear attack by Islamic terrorists.

"What's next? The bombing of my religious shrine in the Baptist church: Kentucky Fried Chicken?"-- Huckabee, R-Ark., in response to Tancredo, per M.E. Sprengelmeyer of the Rocky Mountain News.

INTERNS FOR THE ABC NEWS POLITICAL UNIT:

The ABC News Political Unit is now seeking full-time unpaid fall interns in Washington, D.C. There are a few requirements you should know about before applying for the internship.

-- You must be either a graduate student or junior or senior in college. -- You must be able to work long days, starting early, Monday through Friday. -- If your school gives credit for internships, you must receive credit. -- The internship begins Sept. 4 and runs into the middle of December.

Not only do Political Unit interns attend political events and write for the politics page of ABCNews.com, they also help us by conducting research, maintaining contact lists, and building the next day's political schedule.

If you write well, don't mind getting up early, and have some familiarity with web publishing, send a cover letter and resume to teddy.davis@abc.com as soon as possible, with the subject line: "INTERN" in all caps.

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