June, 2016

Clinton Sees North Carolina Within Reach

President Obama will campaign with Hillary Clinton in North Carolina, instead of Wisconsin as originally planned, Politico reports.

“It’s a reminder of the fluidity within the swing state universe, but also a sign of Trump’s decline in national and swing state polling over the past two weeks. Holding Clinton’s highest-profile rally yet in North Carolina suggests national Democrats see an opportunity to go on the offensive and expand their map there — an investment that could have a higher return than placing it in a battleground state like Wisconsin where Republicans have lost in seven straight presidential elections.”

A new Civitas poll in North Carolina shows Clinton leading 42% to 40%.

Wall Street Journal: Democrats launch push to regain North Carolina

Lee Defends Non-Endorsement of Trump

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) unloaded on a radio show host who wanted to know why he hadn’t endorsed Donald Trump yet, BuzzFeed reports.

Said Lee: “We can get into that if you want. We can get into the fact that he accused my best friend’s father of conspiring to kill JFK. We can go through the fact that he’s made statements that some have identified correctly as religiously intolerant. We can get into the fact that he’s wildly unpopular in my state, in part because my state consists of people who are members of a religious minority church. A people who were ordered exterminated by the governor of Missouri in 1838. And, statements like that make them nervous.”

Lee added that he wanted assurances from Trump that he would defend the Constitution: “I’m sorry, sir, but that is not an unreasonable demand.”

McConnell Says Trump Not Yet Credible

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) told NY1 that he still has reservations about Donald Trump.

Said McConnell: “Trump clearly needs to change, in my opinion, to win the general election. What I’ve said to him both publicly and privately: ‘You’re a great entertainer. You turn on audiences. You’re good before a crowd. You have a lot of Twitter followers. That worked fine for you in the primaries. But now that you are in the general, people are looking for a level of seriousness that is typically conveyed by having a prepared text and Teleprompter and staying on message.’ So my hope is that he is beginning to pivot and become what I would call a more serious and credible candidate for the highest office in the land.”

When asked if Trump met a threshold of credibility, McConnell said: “He’s getting closer. Getting closer.”

Can Trump Reshape the Republican Party?

Nate Cohn: “For decades, Republicans argued for lower taxes, fewer regulations and a smaller welfare state. Democrats took up the opposite view, and voters split along familiar lines.”

“Whatever you think of Donald Trump, it is clear that this election has the potential to reshape the allegiances of many white working-class voters who have traditionally sided with the Democrats, and many well-educated voters who have sided with the Republicans.”

For members: A Massive Education Gap Is Transforming the Parties

Chris Stevens’ Sister Doesn’t Blame Clinton

Anne Stevens, the sister of ambassador Chris Stevens who was killed in Benghazi, Libya in 2012, told the New Yorker that she does not blame Hillary Clinton for his death.

Said Stevens: “I do not blame Hillary Clinton or Leon Panetta. They were balancing security efforts at embassies and missions around the world. And their staffs were doing their best to provide what they could with the resources they had. The Benghazi Mission was understaffed. We know that now. But, again, Chris knew that. It wasn’t a secret to him. He decided to take the risk to go there. It is not something they did to him. It is something he took on himself.”

She added that it is “inappropriate” she to make Benghazi an election issue.

Carson Says His Mother Would Have Shot Reporters

Ben Carson joked that “if his mother did not have Alzheimer’s Disease, she would have likely taken to arms and gone after the ‘dishonest reporters’ covering the campaign herself,” Politico reports.

Said Carson: “She has Alzheimer’s. She’s not really cognizant of that, which is a good thing because my mother is really a fighter. She probably would have taken a gun and gone out and shot some of the dishonest reporters.”

Clinton Heavily Favored to Win

Nate Silver told ABC News that Hillary Clinton has a 79% chance of winning the election, compared to Trump’s 20%.

Said Silver: “We’re at halftime of the election right now. She’s taking a seven-point, maybe a ten-point lead into half time. There’s a lot of football left to be played. She’s ahead in almost every poll, every swing state, every national poll.”

He noted that historically the only candidate to blow a lead like the one Clinton holds now was former Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis in 1988.

Clinton Boxed In On Trade

First Read: “Maybe the most remarkable part of Donald Trump’s anti-trade speech yesterday was the reaction from Republican-leaning big-business groups… There is no doubt that Trump is making a play for some Bernie Sanders supporters… But by doing so, he’s making a break with the modern Republican Party — Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush were all for free trade; so are most Republicans currently serving in Congress.

“Bottom line: Yesterday’s speech by Trump was something that no Republican presidential nominee in the last 60 years would have delivered.”

“But that doesn’t mean that Hillary Clinton can take advantage of that break (beyond the fundraising advantage). Indeed, she’s boxed in on trade — by Trump, by Sanders (who, it appears, continues make opposition to the TPP trade accord a condition for his ultimate endorsement), and by President Obama (who supports TPP and sees it as a final legacy achievement). And then there’s the standard operating procedure for Democratic presidents to oppose trade while on the campaign trail but back it when in the Oval Office, which Trump emphasized yesterday. ”

Greg Sargent: Trump is selling American workers a scam