Cruz Raises Twice as Much as Rubio

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) raised $12.2 million in the third quarter, Reuters reports.

In contrast, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) “took in just $6 million for his presidential campaign from July to the end of September, a major drop to his fund-raising pace over a summer in which two Republican rivals dropped out because they lacked enough money to continue,” the New York Times reports.

The GOP Is in a Revolution

Chris Cillizza: “There is a revolution happening within the Republican party right now. The establishment’s hold on power is more tenuous than it has been at any time in recent memory. There is no one currently in office that can claim with any credibility that he or she speaks “for” the party as a whole.”

“That’s a remarkable development since, for decades, the GOP was known as the party that, eventually, got in line… No longer. McCarthy’s demise comes hard on the heels of Boehner bowing out of the speakership as a sort of human sacrifice to the tea party right. And it happens as Donald Trump is in the midst of his fourth consecutive month as the Republican front-runner for the party’s presidential nomination — and with Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina, two other people who have never held elected office before, running in second and third place, respectively.”

Another Sign Points to Biden Running

Aides to Vice President Joe Biden “held a meeting this week with Democratic National Committee staffers. They briefed Biden’s aides on arcane but crucial rules that the Vice-President would need to understand if he decides to run,” the Ryan Lizza reports.

“It was the most significant sign the source had seen to indicate Biden’s intentions.”

Said one source: “I think it means he’s running.”

Was Ben Carson Really Held at Gunpoint?

Ben Carson claimed that he once encountered a gunman in a Popeyes restaurant in Baltimore, CNN reports, but when the Daily Beast “pressed Carson’s advisor for more information, he first pointed to a retelling of the stickup in one of Carson’s autobiographies that does not exist, and later attempted to revise when and how the robbery occurred.”

“The stick-up story came days after the retired neurosurgeon came under intense criticism after a Monday interview with Fox & Friends, where he seemed to suggest the victims of the Oregon school shooting could have done more to stay alive.”

Bonus Quote of the Day

“It is total confusion — a banana republic. Any plan, anything you anticipate, who knows what’ll happen. People are crying. They don’t have any idea how this will unfold at all.”

— Rep. Peter King (R-NY), quoted by the Washington Post, as he recounted seeing a handful of House Republicans weeping over the downfall of Kevin McCarthy and the broader discord within the Republican party.

GOP Pleads with Paul Ryan to Run for Speaker

Speaker John Boehner “personally asked House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) to run for speaker over two long phone conversations… Boehner has told Ryan that he is the only person who can unite the House GOP at a time of turmoil,” the Washington Post reports.

Politico: “The Wisconsin Republican is getting bombarded with calls and one-on-one appeals from GOP lawmakers urging him to be the party’s white knight. Boehner has had multiple conversations with the Ways and Means chairman. Even before he dropped his own bid, McCarthy told Ryan he should do it.”

We All Get ‘Free Stuff’

Bryce Covert takes issue with Jeb Bush’s comments that Democrats use “free stuff” to win voters and points out that there’s “a whole treasure trove of government handouts that aren’t dispensed through spending, but rather through the tax code.”

“So while low-income Americans are more likely to get health insurance through Medicaid, well-off Americans are the ones who reap the benefit of health insurance tax breaks. Poor families might be able to get Section 8 apartment vouchers or spots in public housing, but the mortgage interest deduction overwhelmingly helps people who make more than $100,000 a year buy their homes.”

“What the government loses to tax expenditures dwarfs spending on welfare programs. Each year, it spends about $17 billion on assistance to needy families and more than $70 billion on food stamps, compared with more than $900 billion that flows out through the tax code. It expends nearly three times as much on tax subsidies for homeowners as it does for rental assistance for the poor.”

Bush Opposes Re-authorizing the Voting Rights Act

Jeb Bush said he does not support reauthorizing the Voting Rights Act, adding that there’s been “dramatic improvement” in access to voting in the past half century, CNN reports.

Said Bush: “If it’s to reauthorize it to continue to provide regulation on top of states as though we’re living in in 1960 — because those were basically when many of those rules were put in place — I don’t think we should do that.”

McCarthy Never Told Boehner He Would Drop Race

House Speaker John Boehner “seemed to have no inkling on Thursday that his deputy, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, was preparing to withdraw from the speaker’s race,” the Cincinnati Enquirer reports.

Said Boehner, a few minutes before the vote: “I’m confident he’ll win today and I’m confident he’ll win on Oct. 29.”

“But even as he reflected on his 25-year congressional career and what he might do next, his House Republican conference was thrown into a fresh round of turmoil—one that might even delay the Ohio Republicans departure… Boehner immediately postponed the election, as he and his stunned colleagues scrambled to figure out their next move.”

A Republican Party in Total Chaos

Matt Lewis: “The GOP’s presidential primary race legitimately risks nominating Donald Trump and descending into a parody. And now the Republican-controlled Congress is in total chaos. No one wants to be Speaker… All of this comes with the backdrop of a coming debt ceiling deadline in November that comes before another big budget vote in December.”

“What a mess. Could Republicans have imagined a more nightmarish series of political events a year out from a presidential election? Sadly, I doubt it.”

Time for a Bipartisan Speaker?

Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA) said that Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) withdrew from the Speaker’s race “because although he could have won a majority of the Republican Conference, he would not have had 218 votes on the House floor,” the Washington Post reports.

Dent also said it might be necessary to form a “bipartisan coalition” with Democrats to elect the next speaker and avoid having to appease the “rejectionist wing” of his own party, which he said has made the House ungovernable by insisting on “unreasonable demands.”