The general election has unofficially begun between Mitt Romney and President Obama, and it's widely expected that Romney will begin to shift to the center to appeal to independent voters.
But today that effort will be on hold as Romney appears before the NRA - the National Rifle Association - in St. Louis, Missouri. It's somewhat ironic, seeing as Romney once said that he didn't "line up with the NRA." Romney's embrace today highlights his consistent tendency to flip-flop on issues, as well as the enormous influence of the NRA. Case in point, this list of participants in today's conference: Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Scott Walker, Bobby Jindal, Eric Cantor, Darrell Issa, Oliver North, Chuck Grassley, and Rick Perry.
Michael Eric Dyson, Georgetown University/msnbc Political Analyst (@michaeledyson)
Steve Kornacki, Salon.com/msnbc Contributor (@stevekornacki)
Maggie Haberman, POLITICO (@maggiepolitico)
Ben Smith, Editor-in-Chief, BuzzFeed (@buzzfeedben)
Michael Steele, Fmr. RNC Chairman/msnbc Political Analyst (@steele_michael)
Jesse Benton, Paul Campaign Chairman
Adam Sorensen, TIME (@adamsorensen)