Hillary Clinton’s Rope-a-Dope

Rick Klein notes “the image of a roped-off, moving press scrum trailing Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire didn’t shatter democracy. But for a candidate whose chief rival is drawing record crowds (and whom nobody thought could be Clinton’s rival to anything), strictly controlled access hardly projects a willingness to engage with voters and the press.”

First Read: “Look, we get that Clinton is the only 2016 candidate so far who has Secret Service protection (because she’s a former first lady), which presents challenges for the candidate and the press in a parade setting. We also get that she was trying to talk to crowd, not to reporters. And we get that Hillary (because she’s the frontrunner and because of her past history with the press) is rarely going to get the benefit of the doubt on this type of story. But come on: This was such an unforced error and bad optics — on an event that was ALL ABOUT the optics.”

Trump Slams Bush Over Immigration

Donald Trump said that Jeb Bush’s immigration stance is not in sync with everyday Americans, The Hill reports.

Said Trump: “Just like the simple question asked of Jeb on Iraq — where it took him five days and multiple answers to get right — he doesn’t understand anything about the border or border security. In fact, Jeb believes illegal immigrants who break our laws when they cross our border come ‘out of love.'”

It’s Nearly Impossible for Democrats to Take House

New York Times: “Republicans hold their largest House majority since the Great Depression, holding 246 of the 435 seats in the House, meaning that Democrats must pick up 30 spots to regain a majority… Yet there are fewer competitive House races — just 29 as of now according to the Cook Report — than Democrats need to gain. With Democrats already holding seven of those, Mr. Wasserman forecasts Democratic gains of no more than 15 seats in November.”

Bush Tax Returns Show He’s Been Planning Run

National Journal: “While Jeb Bush only announced eight months ago that he was ‘actively exploring’ a campaign for president, his tax returns suggest he’s been at least passively considering a White House run for the past eight years – and was willing to fork over possibly millions of dollars to preserve the option.”

“In the process, he has both neutralized the sort of criticism that helped tank Mitt Romney by paying the highest federal rate possible while simultaneously buying the credibility to argue for tax reform that’s born of shared experience with many millions of Americans who believe they’re paying the IRS too much.”

Mexico Unites Against Trump

The Guardian: “Nearly three weeks after the business tycoon announced his candidacy to be US president with a speech in which he claimed Mexican immigrants were criminals whose presence was undermining American greatness, the row refuses to die.”

“Outrage has been widespread among the Mexican people, from those struggling to make a living on the streets to some of the richest businessmen in the world. In a country fraught with divisions over how to create the jobs and security necessary to make mass migration unnecessary, opposition to Trump’s remarks has provided rare unity.”

South Carolina Braces for Confederate Flag Debate

“The South Carolina legislature is expected on Monday to take up the fate of the Confederate battle flag that flies on the State House grounds, responding to demands that it be removed after the June 17 massacre of nine people at Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston,” the New York Times reports.

A survey of lawmakers found last month that there was most likely enough support in the legislature to approve the plan.

Cruz Defends Trump on Immigration

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) “says he won’t attack primary rival Donald Trump for his comments on Mexican immigrants. Quite the opposite, in fact,” Bloomberg reports.

Said Cruz: “I salute Donald Trump for focusing on the need to address illegal immigration. The Washington cartel doesn’t want to address that. The Washington cartel doesn’t believe we need to secure the borders. The Washington cartel supports amnesty and I think amnesty’s wrong, and I salute Donald Trump for focusing on it.”

He added: “I like Donald Trump. He’s bold he’s brash. And I get that it seems the favorite sport of the American media is to encourage some Republicans to attack other Republicans. I ain’t gonna do it. I’m not interested in Republican-on-Republican violence.”

Greek Voters Reject Bailout Terms

“Greek voters were set to resoundingly reject the terms of an international bailout on Sunday, an outcome that would set the country on a collision course with the rest of the eurozone,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“The projected outcome would strengthen the domestic standing of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who campaigned vehemently for Greeks to reject lenders’ terms for further bailout funding.”

Financial Times: “But the result is also likely to plunge Greece deeper into turmoil as it tries to prevent the collapse of a financial system that is rapidly running out of cash.”

BBC: “Given the bad blood of the past two weeks – Greece’s Finance Minister, Yanis Varoufakis, calling the eurozone’s strategy ‘terrorism’ – it will be hard to get back around the negotiating table. And with the banking crisis and tax revenues plummeting amidst the instability, Greece’s economy has weakened again, making a deal even harder to reach.”

Trump Admits Surprise to Backlash Over Comments

Donald Trump admitted he didn’t think the corporate backlash to his inflammatory comments about Mexican immigrants would be “quite this severe,” CBS News reports.

Said Trump: “I knew it was going to be bad because I was told this. All my life I have been told this: If you are successful, you don’t run for office. I didn’t know it was going to be quite this severe, but I really knew it was going to be bad.”