Monday, August 22, 2016
78 Days Until Election Day 2016
34 Days Until the First Presidential Debate
I'm Gabe Fleisher for Wake Up To Politics, and reporting from WUTP world HQ in my bedroom - Good morning: THIS IS YOUR WAKE UP CALL!!!
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- The Pivot Continues: Trump Floats Policy Change on Signature Issue Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump jumpstarted his campaign on his hardline immigration stance and frequent calls that all 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States “have to go”. In recent days, Trump has sought to reset his campaign: a staff shake-up was followed by a retreat on the center in his rhetoric.
- Now, he may also may shift his position on mass deportation, with BuzzFeed and other media outlets reporting that Trump told his newly-formed National Hispanic Advisory Council in a meeting on Saturday that his support for deportation of all 11 million immigrants could change.
- While his campaign immediately disputed BuzzFeed’s account, surrogates did not rule out a policy shift on the issue.
- In a CNN interview on Sunday, campaign manager Kellyanne Conway characterized his position as “to be determined,” but may have hinted at a change by ensuring that it would be “fair and humane for those who live among us in this country.” On CBS that day, Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, who has advised Trump on immigration since his campaign’s beginning, said Trump is “wrestling” with the issue.
- While appearing on “Fox and Friends” on Monday morning, Trump himself ducked a question on the issue by instead taking aim at BuzzFeed’s credibility. After being pushed by Fox News host Steve Doocy, Trump said he was “working with a lot of people in the Hispanic community to try and come up with an answer” that is “really fair, but firm” – but insisted that he was “not flip-flopping.”
- Changing his stance on such a controversial issue, especially after staking out an extreme position for months, would be challenging. While moderate Republicans may be brought over, it will be difficult for Trump to appease the Hispanic community while also maintain support in his GOP base, which is made up of many Republicans who first supported Trump because of immigration.
- Since announcing his presidential bid in the summer of 2015, Trump has used fairly consistent language: “we either have a country, or we don’t have a country,” the nominee often says, and therefore illegal immigrants “have to go.” He has spent months on the stump detailing the deportation force he would use to “humanely” and “legally” round up undocumented residents; perhaps it is now too late to change track.
- U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Javier Palomarez underlined Trump’s difficult path ahead if he decides to moderate his position, telling MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Monday morning that “you can’t unring the bell with the Hispanic community.”
- “Donald Trump began his political career by denouncing and insulting Hispanics all over this country,” Palomarez continued. “This is a case of too little, too late. This is a very desperate candidate. And no speech is going to change that now.”
- Trump Returns to Personal Attacks Just one day ago, Trump’s campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said the Republican nominee “doesn’t hurl personal insults.” Just last week, he said he regretted past statements that “may have caused personal pain.”
- But Trump has spent Monday morning so far returning to Twitter to personally attack the hosts of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough. Trump tweeted: “Tried watching low-rated [Morning Joe] this morning, unwatchable! [Mika Brzezinski] is off the wall, a neurotic and not very bright mess!” He then followed that with another attack on the show: “Some day, when things calm down, I’ll tell the story of [Joe Scarborough] and his very insecure long-time girlfriend, [Mika Brzezinski]. Two clowns!”
- Trump’s threat to reveal information about Scarborough and Brzezinski, who are not dating, is reminiscent of his widely-criticized threat in March to “spill the beans” on Ted Cruz’s wife Heidi, and is exactly the type of language Conway is hoping to steer Trump away from.
- The problem? For every speech in which he expresses regret, it seems there will always be tweets from Trump the next day in which he reverts to attack.
- Trump also went after his opponent and her family charity on Monday, making a more on-message and less personal attack on the Clinton Foundation. Responding to the foundation’s announcement last week that it will no longer accept corporate or foreign donations if Hillary Clinton is elected president, after speculation that foreign diplomats curried favor with Clinton when she was Secretary of State by donating to the foundation, Trump released a statement denouncing the charity.
- “Hillary Clinton is the defender of the corrupt and rigged status quo. The Clintons have spent decades as insiders lining their own pockets and taking care of donors instead of the American people. It is now clear that the Clinton Foundation is the most corrupt enterprise in political history,” Trump said in his statement. “What they were doing during Crooked Hillary’s time as Secretary of State was wrong then, and it is wrong now. It must be shut down immediately.”
- While Trump’s flight to the center on immigration and other issues is believed to be steered by new campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, the new attacks on the Clinton machine are believed to have a different source: Steve Bannon, Trump’s new campaign CEO, who oversaw many stories on the Clinton Foundation as executive chairman of conservative news website Breitbart and the writing of the book “Clinton Cash.”
- Does Trump’s return to personal attacks turn off establishment Republicans, offsetting his effort to appeal to them? Republican operative Douglas Heye, a former Republican National Committee communications director, who has publicly announced his opposition to Trump, tweeted on Monday after Trump’s “Morning Joe” attacks: “It’s not even 9am and already Donald Trump has reconfirmed to me why I can never vote for him.”
- Fundraising Reports July fundraising reports were filed for presidential candidates, national party committees, and super PACs over the weekend. Here’s how Trump, Clinton, Johnson, and their allies stack up on crucial statistics:
- Raised in JulyRaised in JuneSpent in JulyCash on HandHillary Clinton$52.3 million$36.4 million$38.2 million$58.5 millionDonald Trump$36.6 million$26.7 million$18.5 million$38.4 millionDemocratic National Committee$32.3 million$11 million$30 million$10.1 millionRepublican National Committee$27.2 million$17.2 million$13.8 million$34.5 millionPriorities USA (pro-Clinton super PAC)$9.9 million$12 million$11.4 million$38.7 millionGreat America PAC (pro-Trump super PAC)$2.5 million$2.6 million$2.7 million$983KGary Johnson $1.6 millionN/A$856KN/A
- Today on the Trail Where are the 2016 presidential and vice presidential candidates today?
- The Republican ticket campaigns today in two Midwestern swing states. Presidential nominee Donald Trump holds a rally at the University of Akron in Akron, Ohio; vice presidential nominee Mike Pence will hold an event at Modern Companies, Inc. in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
- According to CBS News/YouGov polls released Sunday, Trump and Clinton are tied in Iowa (40% to 40%), while Clinton has a 6-point lead in Ohio (46% to 40%).
- Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine campaigns in Nevada today, speaking on “jobs and the economy” at Local 525 Plumbers & Pipefitters Training Center in Las Vegas. Kaine will also address the ironworkers’ union annual convention in Las Vegas, where he will be joined by his father Al Kaine, former owner of an ironworking and welding shop.
- Finally, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton spends the day in California, attending two fundraisers for the Hillary Victory Fund, a joint fundraising effort between Clinton’s campaign, the Democratic National Committee, and a number of state parties. One fundraiser will be hosted at the home of Democratic superdonors Cheryl and Haim Saban in Beverly Hills, the other will be at the home of retired NBA star Magic Johnson.
- Later tonight, Clinton will make her third appearance as a candidate on Jimmy Kimmel Live, her first late-night talk show appearance since formally accepting the Democratic nomination last month.
- For the next week, Clinton will largely be fundraising with few public events scheduled, for which she has been criticized by a number of Republicans. Her time away from the spotlight has given rise to criticism of Clinton’s lack of press conferences (the Trump campaign now sends out a daily release, titled “Hiding Hillary Watch” counting the days – now 261 – since her last presser), and renewed rumors of her health on the campaign trail.
- Obama Returns from Vacation for a Quiet Day as Busy Fall Begins The Obama family returned to the White House on Sunday night from a 16-day vacation in Martha’s Vineyard, their eighth and final presidential summer vacation on the island.
- “The Obamas have left their vacation home here for what is likely their last trip with a vast presidential vacation entourage that surrounds, protects and, on occasion, stifles them,” Gardiner Harris of The New York Times wrote upon the Obamas’ departure. “On their next summer vacation, Mr. Obama will be able to make sudden and unplanned coffee runs, something he said he pines for. They will be able to go out to dinner without feeling they are discomfiting every other diner. And they may experience the joys of traffic jams, flight delays and missing sunblock.”
- As Harris detailed in his White House pool report: “The final lap of his presidency before him, POTUS heads back to DC.” According to The Daily Beast’s Eleanor Clift, the entire First Family “had weary end-of-vacation look as they ambled to the residence.”
- President Obama’s Monday schedule includes no public events, just his 11am Presidential Daily Briefing with Vice President Joe Biden in the Oval Office and a 12:30pm lunch with Biden in the Private Dining Room. Although his first day back is light, Obama’s “final lap” is expected to be packed with travel and issues.
- A final push on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, opposed by both presidential nominees and many in the Democratic and Republican Parties, is said to be in the works. Although the Republican Party platform and most lawmakers in his own party oppose a congressional vote on the deal, Obama has the support of many congressional Republicans who he will pressure to bring the 12-nation agreement to a vote.
- Obama is also expected to push Congress to vote on Zika funding and to confirm Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, whose nomination has been in limbo for months. Meanwhile, the president will likely begin campaigning in earnest for Hillary Clinton in October. Obama travels to Louisiana on Tuesday, before leaving on a trip to Asia next week.
- A Vacation in Numbers White House chronicler Mark Knoller of CBS offers his count of what President Obama did in Martha’s Vineyard: 10 rounds of golf, eight dinners out, four beach outings, four social outings, three walks, and one Democratic fundraiser.
- Biden Heads to the Baltic Rim After his briefing and lunch with President Obama (and an afternoon meeting with Costa Rica president Luis Guillermo Solis), Vice President Biden leaves Monday night for a trip to Latvia, Turkey, and Sweden.
- Biden touches down Monday night in Riga, Latvia, where he will meet with the nation’s president and prime minister in the coming days. Also in Latvia, Biden will participate in a summit with leaders of the region, and deliver an address to the Baltic people.
- The Vice President will later continue on to Turkey and Sweden.
- Today’s Top Read Fox affiliate KDVR in Denver writes up this story on a young person getting involved in politics and taking leadership in the Trump campaign. 12-year-old Weston Imer is head of Trump’s office in a key county in a swing state…until school gets back in September, that is:
- “In one of the most important counties in swing state Colorado, Donald Trump is relying on 12-year-old Weston Imer, who runs the Jefferson County operation for the Trump campaign…Imer is in charge of the operation where volunteers will gather and help get out the vote, and while sitting behind a desk may not be the coolest thing to do, he hopes to use the position to inspire others. ‘Get involved,’ Imer said. ‘That's what I'm going to say. Get involved. Kids need to be educated.’”
- “…‘Watch for me – 2040,” Imer said. “And Barron Trump, if you are watching, in 2040 I'll take you as my running mate.” The Constitution requires the president and vice president to be 35 years old. Imer would first be eligible in the 2040 election, but Barron Trump, Donald Trump's 10-year-old son, would be a few months too young.”
- Today’s Trivia While at the University of Akron, Donald Trump will speak at James A. Rhodes Arena, named for the late Ohio governor. Rhodes is tied for the fourth longest gubernatorial tenure since the U.S. constitution. Who is the longest-serving governor in Constitutional U.S. history?
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