Former New York Gov. George Pataki challenged Donald Trump to a one-on-one debate on immigration, saying he wants to hear a real plan for reform from Trump, not “name calling” and “insults,” CNN reports.
New York Times: “Last Wednesday, Stephen Moore, a scholar at the Heritage Foundation who is an outspoken supporter of an immigration overhaul, described a recent telephone call with Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, in which he said Mr. Walker had assured him he had not completely renounced his earlier support for a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants.”
“On Sunday, after three days of pressure from Mr. Walker’s aides, Mr. Moore said that he had ‘misspoken’ when recounting his call with Mr. Walker — and that the call had never actually taken place.”
Donald Trump doubled down on his recent remarks about Mexican immigrants being “rapists” and criminals, making the additional claim that “tremendous infectious disease is pouring across the border,” TPM reports.
“Accusing his critics of distorting his words, Trump’s statement did nothing to appease them after a days-long mass exodus of business partners and fellow Republicans trying to distance themselves from his comments.”
Rep. Joe Heck (R-NV) “became the leading GOP candidate in the 2016 race to succeed retiring Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), the Las Vegas Review Journal reports.
“And while Reid won’t be on the ballot, Heck’s official announcement made it clear the former majority leader of the U.S. Senate and a force in Nevada politics for decades is still the man to beat.”
Morning Consult: “In Nevada, where Senate races and presidential contests are routinely decided by razor-thin margins, both parties got the candidates they wanted. Heck, who has a proven track record of raising money and winning in a swing district, is likely to face former Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, who would be the first Hispanic woman elected to the U.S. Senate.”
“Democrats can take back the Senate in 2016 after a stinging, nine-seat defeat last year — but their path is narrow, and any gains could be fleeting,” Politico reports.
“The party needs to capture four or five seats — depending on the results of the presidential election — next November. While the 2016 map is favorable, flipping control of the Senate would require winning most of the toss-up races and defeating several well-funded GOP incumbents in pricey swing states that will also be crucial in the race for the White House.”
Carly Fiorina’s presidential campaign “raised $1.4 million in the first fundraising quarter of her presidential campaign,” Politico reports.
“It’s a dismal number compared to those of rival operations. But Fiorina has one more chance to make a better showing: CARLY for America, the super PAC supporting her, is expected to release its numbers later this month. Under an unusual campaign structure, much of Fiorina’s political operation and rapid response team is housed under the umbrella of her super PAC, instead of her official campaign, so the super PAC’s total will be revealing.”
Members of the South Carolina Senate have voted 37-3 to remove the Confederate battle flag from the Statehouse grounds, the Charleston Post and Courier reports.
The Columbia State notes the Senate “must take one more vote Tuesday to send the bill to the House. The final vote requires a two-thirds majority vote for passage, a rule set under set in the 2000 law that moved the Civil War icon off the Capitol dome.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) talked to The Nation: “Now, I’ve known Hillary Clinton for many years. Let me confess: I like Hillary. I disagree with Hillary Clinton on many issues. My job is to differentiate myself from her on the issues—not by personal attacks. I’ve never run a negative ad in my life. Why not? First of all, in Vermont, they don’t work—and, frankly, I think increasingly around this country they don’t work. I really do believe that people want a candidate to come up with solutions to America’s problems rather than just attacking his or her opponent.”
He added: “If you look at politics as a baseball game or a football game, then I’m supposed to be telling the people that my opponents are the worst people in the world and I’m great. That’s crap; I don’t believe that for a second…. I don’t need to spend my life attacking Hillary Clinton or anybody else. I want to talk about my ideas on the issues.”
“The ample crowds and unexpectedly strong showing by Senator Bernie Sanders are setting off worry among advisers and allies of Hillary Rodham Clinton, who believe the Vermont senator could overtake her in Iowa polls by the fall and even defeat her in the nation’s first nominating contest there,” the New York Times reports.
“The enthusiasm that Mr. Sanders has generated — including a rally attended by 2,500 people in Council Bluffs, Iowa, on Friday — has called into question Mrs. Clinton’s early strategy of focusing on a listening tour of small group gatherings and wooing big donors in private settings.”
Said spokesperson Jennifer Palmieri: “We are worried about him, sure. He will be a serious force for the campaign, and I don’t think that will diminish.”
During a debate over the Confederate flag, South Carolina state Sen. Lee Bright (R) lost it over “this gay marriage thing” which he said would cause us to be “one nation gone under,” according to Gawker.
Said Bright: “We can rally together and talk about a flag all we want, but the devil is taking control of this land and we’re not stopping him!”
A must-read: One Man Against the World: The Tragedy of Richard Nixon by Tim Weiner.
“Based largely on documents declassified only in the last few years, One Man Against the World paints a devastating portrait of a tortured yet brilliant man who led the country largely according to a deep-seated insecurity and distrust of not only his cabinet and congress, but the American population at large.”
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) family disagrees with his hardline stance on same-sex marriage, his wife told the Washington Post.
Said Tonette Walker: “That was a hard one. Our sons were disappointed… I was torn. I have children who are very passionate [in favor of same-sex marriage], and Scott was on his side very passionate.”
Gov. Chris Christie (R) stepped up his criticism of Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), telling MSNBC the Kentucky senator should be made to testify before Congress in the event of a future terrorist attack because his opposition to NSA data collection has made the country “weaker and more vulnerable.”
Said Christie: “He should be in hearings in front of Congress if there’s another attack, not the director of the FBI or the director of the CIA.”
Donald Trump appears to have deleted a tweet he quoted that suggested Jeb Bush has to like “Mexican illegals” because of his wife, Columba, who is Mexican, The Wrap reports.
“The tweet appeared to be live for 24 hours before Trump deleted it.”
“The GOP-controlled Senate is on track this year to confirm the fewest judges since 1969, a dramatic escalation of the long-running partisan feud over the ideological makeup of federal courts,” Politico reports.
“The standoff, if it continues through the 2016 elections as expected, could diminish the stamp that President Barack Obama leaves on the judiciary — a less conspicuous but critical part of his legacy. Practically, the makeup of lower-level courts could directly affect a number of Obama’s policies expected to face legal challenges from conservatives.”