Morning Must Reads: January 21
Bernie Sanders talked to TIME about his path to the Democratic nomination and how he would govern in the White House, as he sought to overcome the notion that he’s unelectable in the general election. Sanders released a new ad on the theme Wednesday laying out his foreign policy philosophy, which has drawn scrutiny in recent weeks owing to his limited experience on the issue. Sanders is also gearing up for an elongated contest against Clinton, beginning to deploy staffers to the March 1 Super Tuesday states. Clinton began organizing nationwide soon after she announced, but has yet to re-invest significant resources in those states. The contested Democratic race may prove to be a boon for Donald Trump in New Hampshire, drawing independent voters to the Democratic primary and depriving more moderate GOP candidates of needed votes.
“Thanks, Dad!” Ron Paul says Donald Trump is the most likely GOP nominee, while his son, Rand Paul, continues to struggle to gain traction. Ted Cruz defended and praised Trump for much of the last six months, but with the détente shattered, it’s Cruz who’s reeling. The conservative lawmaker is being forced to rethink his strategy in taking on the bombastic front-runner, who has proven more resilient than the calculating Cruz expected.
With Jeb Bush focusing his candidacy around taking on Trump, his campaign released a new video imagining a Trump nomination handing the election to Hillary Clinton and arguing he’d be the best to take her on in the fall. Meanwhile, Chris Christie told voters in New Hampshire he’s waiting to take on Trump until it’s a more advantageous moment, but says he’s encouraging voters to focus on the practical problems with his policy proposals.
Bush is hitting Marco Rubio and Cruz for “being all over the place” on Syria policy. Paul compares Trump to a Lord of the Rings character. And Cruz stands along in the GOP field with his clear opposition to torture.
Here are your must-reads:
Bernie Sanders Talks With TIME About Winning the White House
Sanders discusses everything from taxes to tuxedos in an interview with TIME’s Sam Frizell
New Hampshire Republicans Calm About Possible Trump Win
TIME’s Philip Elliott on the race for second place
Bernie Sanders Argues He Can Win in November
A Trumpian turn with the primary approaching [TIME]
Cruz Says the ‘Establishment’ Has Bailed on Rubio to Get Behind Trump
Grasping for straws amid a coordinated attack [Washington Post]
Bernie Sanders Could Play Spoiler in New Hampshire GOP Primary
If independents choose the Democratic primary, the moderates in the Republican field lose votes [Politico]
Donald Trump Is Forcing Ted Cruz to Rewrite His Playbook
The Iowa front-runner thought he had Trump contained, now he’s on the defensive [New York Times]
“This race should not be about who can grasp the ring. Electing Gollum should not be our objective. This race should be about which candidate will best protect you from an overbearing government.” — Rand Paul in a Facebook post, referencing the Lord of the Rings character
“I tell everybody who goes to a Donald Trump event, ‘If you get to ask a question, just ask him “How?”.’ I don’t care which of the things he talks about just ask him, ‘How?’ ‘How?’ See I can answer ‘how?’ And I can answer ‘how?’ because I’ve done it. You may not like my ‘how.’ You may disagree with my ‘how.’ We’ve had a few of those tonight. That’s ok. But no one can say, ‘I don’t know how.'” — Chris Christie at a New Hampshire town hall on Thursday, seeking to position himself as a pragmatic alternative to Trump
Bits and Bites
Bush Launching Radio Ad in SC [The State]
The Most Mystifying Lines of Sarah Palin’s Endorsement Speech [New York Times]
On Torture, Cruz Stands Alone [Politico]
GOP Party Elders Aren’t Rallying for Rubio [Politico]