“The overwhelming majority of violent criminals are Democrats.”
— Sen. Ted Cruz, in an interview with Hugh Hewitt.
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley’s (R) attempt to defund Planned Parenthood of about $4,453 over two years will instead cost the state $51,000 to pay the group’s legal fees, the Montgomery Advertiser reports.
Said Bentley: “Headlines may not show it was a win, but it was a win.”
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Thirteen women Democratic senators endorsed Hillary Clinton at a Capitol Hill fundraising event, the Washington Post reports.
“But one particularly influential female Democratic senator didn’t join her colleagues: Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) — the anti-Wall Street crusader who was courted to run as the darling of very liberal Democrats — has not endorsed Clinton, nor has she promised she will.”
“Her absence served as an awkward reminder of Clinton’s enduring struggle to generate support and enthusiasm among an influential segment of her party’s most liberal members. It also illustrates the leverage that Warren holds in an election that Democrats are calculating will be waged on issues of economic advancement and fairness.”
Gov. Chris Christie rebuked a claim by Donald Trump that “thousands” of Muslims held “tailgate parties” in northern New Jersey on September 11th, NBC News reports.
Said Christie: “It didn’t happen, and the fact is people can say anything but the facts are the facts, that did not happen in New Jersey that day and it hasn’t happened since.”
“We bring people into a frenzy of hate and anger while providing them with easy access to firearms and it has proven disastrous to our country.”
— Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), quoted by Politico, on the Planned Parenthood shootings in Colorado.
Gov. John Kasich took Donald Trump “to task again in a new advertisement that paints the billionaire businessman as too heartless for the presidency and highlights his recent mocking of a disabled reporter,” the New York Times reports.
Former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D) “was found guilty on Monday of federal corruption charges, ending a trial that was the capstone of the government’s efforts to expose the seamy culture of influence-peddling in Albany,” the New York Times reports.
New York Post: “The conviction of Silver — for decades one of the three most powerful politicians in the state — was a huge victory for anti-corruption crusading Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara.”
Donald Trump “met privately on Monday with black pastors and religious figures at Trump Tower in Manhattan, trying to confront skepticism about his candidacy and project sensitivity about minority concerns,” the New York Times reports.
Said Trump: “There was great love in the room.”
Politico: “Instead of endorsements, many black pastors issued Donald Trump demands for an apology for his treatment of racial minorities at a closed-door meeting at Trump Tower in New York on Monday.”
Carrie Dann: “There’s a good chance that if you’re reading this you don’t believe it.”
“It hasn’t exactly been a banner year for truth-telling in the 2016 election, with flubs, rumors, misleading stats and flat-out falsehoods uttered on the campaign trail and ping-ponged around the social media universe with regularity. But in many cases, furious fact-checking from the mainstream media has not only failed to prompt solemn apologies from the worst offenders — it’s made them stronger.”
Ron Brownstein notes the “two demographic trends that may most affect the political landscape in the 11 states that both parties now treat as decisive swing contests. As the charts show, all of these states are simultaneously growing more racially diverse and older. But these twin transformations are operating at very different rates in the states likely to decide the next presidential election. While diversity is the key dynamic in the swing states across the Sun Belt, aging is the defining characteristic of the Rust Belt battlegrounds.”
“The dynamics of these 11 swing states could be complex in 2016. In Hillary Clinton, a white woman who will be 69 years old by next November, the Democrats could pick a candidate who is well positioned to minimize their disadvantages in the aging Rust Belt states, but challenged to fully turn out the minority and youth coalition the party relies upon upon in the growing Sun Belt states.”
“When Marco Rubio speaks, young women swoon, old women faint, and toilets flush themselves.”
— Florida Rep. Dan Gelber (D), quoted by the New Yorker, warning his colleagues of Sen. Marco Rubio’s “innate political skill.”
The Baton Rouge Advocate looks at how Gov.-elect John Bel Edwards (D) unexpectedly prevailed in the Louisiana governor’s race.
“Edwards needed some luck. Lots of luck, in fact. To make the runoff, he had to be the only Democratic candidate. That happened: Bigger names passed up the race because they thought it was unwinnable.”
“And he needed Vitter to emerge from the primary wounded. That happened, too, thanks to a savage war among the Republican candidates, initiated by Vitter, and attacks from an anti-Vitter group.”
“Ted Cruz has built his Senate career and presidential campaign on his willingness to stick it to the Republican establishment. And now that he’s gaining momentum in the primary, his many GOP nemeses in Congress are returning the favor by quietly coalescing behind Marco Rubio,” Politico reports.
“The movement toward Rubio appears to be as much about anxiety over the possibility of Cruz going up against Hillary Clinton as it is affection for the Florida senator. The idea of Cruz as the nominee is enough to send shudders down the spines of most Senate Republicans.”
New York Times: “With the same message, the same style, the same themes and the same aides, Mr. Cruz’s presidential campaign is essentially an extension of his 2012 Senate race.”
“Jeb and his team recognized the threat posed by Rubio nearly a year ago, and took aggressive action to knock him out of 2016 contention — with some in Bush’s circle trying to smear the senator by allegedly circulating lurid, unsubstantiated rumors of infidelity,” BuzzFeed reports.