Donald Trump has announced he will postpone his trip to Israel and meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after the leader criticized his proposed ban on Muslims entering the United States. Meanwhile in an interview with CNN, Trump insisted, “I’m doing good for the Muslims.” And a new survey reveals some of the roots of Trump’s surprising endurance: a shrinking middle class that has become a minority in America.
As much as establishment Republicans have a Trump problem, their candidate problem may be even worse. Trump has both solidified his base of support and hardened the opposition against him, but a fractured field—that has no signs of coalescing—means he’ll remain on top for the foreseeable future. The candidates’ dilemma is as follows: Each believes that if they are the last person standing against Trump they will win the nomination (a fairly safe bet considering Trump’s unfavorables), and the not-Trump field has demonstrated fluidity, so why shouldn’t they just wait it out for a while to see if they can have their moment. This waiting game is all well and good now, but if goes on too long, may drag out the nominating fight for months.
Jeb Bush‘s super PAC has spent vast sums of money boosting its candidate but has little to show for it. Meanwhile, he is leaning on his famous last name for his ground game across the country, tapping a well-organized Bush alumni network.
Congress sent President Barack Obama an education reform bill sending some powers back to the states and reducing the testing burden on students and teachers. But the legislative body is still stuck on a measure to fund the government past this weekend—not to mention its 20-month delay in taking up a measure to authorize the campaign against ISIS.
Ben Carson releases a health plan. Hillary Clinton targets inversions. Carly Fiorina picks up a top aide from Rick Perry. And how many senators can you recognize?
Here are your must-reads:
Trump has hardened his support—and opposition—but there are too many candidates to take him down [TIME]
TIME’s Sam Frizell on his not-so-pure boosters
A calculated plan to offend [Washington Post]
Policies around nation at risk [New York Times]
Only $13 million raised in last five months [Washington Post]
Avoiding ISIS vote, lawmakers play it safe [New York Times]
“My decision, I know, was the right decision…I believed I could win, but that’s not enough. I know myself. And I know it takes time…You’ve got to get through the first Thanksgiving—the first empty chair; the first Christmas, the first smell of spring.” —Vice President Joe Biden on his decision not to run for president and grieving his son
“Remember that our freedom is bound up with the freedom of others—regardless of what they look like…or what faith they practice.” —President Barack Obama marking the 150th anniversary of the abolition of slavery—and knocking Donald Trump
Bits and Bites
Former top Perry staffer joins Fiorina campaign [National Review]
How Many U.S. Senators Can You Recognize by Photo? [National Journal]
Donald Trump Loses Luster When Words Reach the Middle East [New York Times]
America’s Middle Class Meltdown: core shrinks to half of US homes [Financial Times]
Finding Voice Again, Joe Biden Sees Time Left to Make a Difference [New York Times]
Senate Passes Education Bill to Give Control Back to States [Associated Press]
Jeb taps Bush alumni for early-state push [Politico]