U.S. President Barack Obama at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Manila, Philippines on Nov. 19, 2015.
Susan Walsh—AP
By Zeke J Miller
November 24, 2015

President Obama will host French President François Hollande Tuesday at the White House to discuss the campaign against ISIS in the aftermath of the Paris terrorist attacks. Obama will seek to pressure Hollande to stand firm against Russian aggression in Crimea and on strikes behalf of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, as Hollande seeks to unify Russian and American efforts against the group behind this month’s attacks. The downing of a Russian fighter jet early Tuesday by Turkish forces following an incursion into its airspace only heightens the stakes for the meeting. Obama will offer strong words of support for France in a brief joint press conference but remains wary of cooperating with Russia while it backs the embattled Syrian leader, and of expanding the U.S. role in the conflict.

Donald Trump tripled-down on his debunked assertion over the weekend that hundreds of American Muslims cheered the attacks of 9/11 in New Jersey, telling a crowd in Ohio he saw it with his own eyes and that it was like a “tailgate.” Ben Carson initially backed up Trump’s claims, only for a spokesman to later say he didn’t stand by his comments. The incidents highlight the extent to which style has moved substance to the sidelines, with facts taking a backseat as candidates compete for headlines and voters support with ever-more-intense rhetoric.

Marco Rubio‘s new early state ad highlights his father’s story as a Cuban refugee-turned bartender, a narrative central to his campaign. The spot seeks to introduce the charismatic young lawmaker to voters in Iowa and New Hampshire. Ted Cruz is surging in Iowa after the Paris attacks amid questions about Carson’s preparedness for the White House. And Chris Christie is putting his record as a prosecutor front-and-center as he gets a second-look from voters in the Granite State.

Bernie Sanders’ aversion to super PACs has its limits. Democrats condemn corporate inversions. And inside the jostling to secure a Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Here are your must-reads:

Must Reads

Chris Christie’s New Pitch: Elect a Prosecutor-In-Chief
TIME’s Philip Elliott on Christie pitching his credentials on terrorism

Ted Cruz, On the Attack
The conservative firebrand targets rivals and becomes a target himself [CNN]

Marco Rubio’s Dad Takes Center Stage in New Ad
Early state ad seeks to introduce Rubio to early state voters [NBC]

One of the Last Washington Mysteries: How to Get the Medal of Freedom
For allies of Yogi Berra, and less-famous awardees, unconventional campaigns to secure White House recognition [Washington Post]

Obama to Meet France’s Hollande to Discuss Terror Fight
The two presidents meet at a critical moment in the military campaign against Islamic State [Wall Street Journal]

Sound Off

“I saw. I saw on television, and I read about on the internet.” — Donald Trump defending his debunked claim that there was widespread cheering of the 9/11 attacks by Muslims in the U.S.

“He doesn’t stand behind his references and apologizes for the mistaken references. It was a mistake on his part and he clearly wasn’t really thinking about New Jersey, he was thinking about the Middle East.” — A spokesman for Ben Carson, on his comments Monday initially backing up Trump’s claims

Bits and Bites

Cruz Surges in Iowa Poll After Paris Attacks [TIME]

Inside Hillary Clinton’s Beijing Speech [TIME]

Carson Slams ‘Hypocrisy’ of His Doubters on Foreign Policy [NBC]

Democratic Candidates Condemn Pfizer-Allergan Merger [TIME]

Kerry Outlines Process for Vetting Syrian Refugees [Boston Globe]

Marco Rubio Walks Back Comments on Paris Attacks [CBS]

GOP Candidate Marco Rubio’s Tax Plan Has One Big Catch [Wall Street Journal]

Bernie Sanders’s Rejection of ‘Super PACs’ Is Not Universal [New York Times]

Ben Carson Supporters Cite ‘Vulgar’ Attacks in Seeking Donations [New York Times]

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