Morning Must Reads: September 2

Mark Wilson—Getty Images The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC.

Carly Fiorina appears certain to make this month’s second GOP debate after CNN amended its rules Tuesday following more than a week of complaints from the former HP CEO and her allies. Fiorina’s team complained that since the CNN rules would average all polls since July 16, and there have been so few polls (three so far) since the Fox debate on Aug. 6, her bump after her well-regarded performance could never overcome her relatively paltry showing in the nine polls prior to the debate. Republican officials and CNN began discussing modifying the rules in earnest last Wednesday, once it became clear that there would be so few polls before the Sept. 16 contest. “No one had any clue,” an official involved with the discussions said of the lack of polling in August. According to the network, there will be only five polls between the two debates, and CNN will include any candidate—and Fiorina appears to be the lone beneficiary—who polls in the top 10 in those polls, but didn’t meet the early criteria. After considering an array of potential rules changes, CNN and the RNC settled on expanding the number of participants in the debate to at least 11, to include Fiorina. The result is that the so-called “happy hour” debate of those who don’t make the cut for the primetime contest is now even less relevant—and may not continue at the third GOP debate in Colorado in October, when CNBC and the RNC may seek to more formally winnow the field.

Jeb Bush is escalating his attacks against Donald Trump has he seeks to reverse a slide in the polls and reassure donors that he has a plan to turn his campaign around. A new social ad campaign Wednesday seeks to highlight Bush’s conservative record at Trump’s expense, and even mocks Trump’s germophobia. Hillary Clinton faces new questions after emails she personally sent on her private server have now been marked classified after the fact. And Rick Perry can’t stop the bleeding.

Here are your must-reads:

Must Reads

Clinton, Using Private Server, Wrote and Sent E-Mails Now Deemed Classified
Latest wrinkle for Clinton in unfolding email saga [Washington Post]

Democrats Scrutinize Jeb Bush’s Record on Florida River
TIME’s Philip Elliot explores Bush’s environmental record

Obama Nears Needed Votes on Iran Nuclear Deal
One vote needed, and it appears within reach [New York Times]

CNN Amends Republican Debate Rules to Include Carly Fiorina
Let the winnowing begin [TIME]

Sound Off

“How’s this? Beats being in the office.” — President Obama to reporters Tuesday as he examined a glacier at Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska

“It doesn’t sound like a campaign speech, because I hope it’s something bigger. It’s about rekindling the flame.” — Ohio Gov. John Kasich making an impassioned case for a renewed focus on citizenship at a New Hampshire house party on Tuesday

Bits and Bites

Bush Gets Personal With ‘Germophobe’ Attack on Trump [TIME]

Why the Undercover Clinton Video Doesn’t Sting Much [TIME]

Hillary Clinton’s Image Is Struggling, But She’s no Donald Trump or Jeb Bush [Washington Post]

The Pentagon’s Dubious Dogfight [TIME]

Why Jeb Bush Is Taking a Right Hook to Donald Trump [TIME]

Rick Perry loses New Hampshire political director to Kasich [CBS News]

Santorum Is First to All 99 Counties, Still Stuck at 1% [Des Moines Register]

Baiting a Hook in Minneapolis, Bernie Sanders Was Torn Between Herring and Bagels [New York Times]

New Christie Ad Focuses on Need to ‘Save Lives’ From Drug Abuse [WMUR]

Hillary Clinton’s Gefilte Fish Email, Explained [Tablet]

John Kasich Takes Presidential Campaign to Snapchat with Bacon Filter Ad [TIME]

TIME jeb bush

Bush Gets Personal With ‘Germophobe’ Attack on Trump

Jeb Bush
Rainier Ehrhardt—AP Republican presidential candidate former Fla. Gov. Jeb Bush speaks during a town hall meeting on Aug. 17, 2015, in Columbia, S.C.

It's part of an interactive attack ad

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is escalating his all-out campaign against GOP front-runner Donald Trump with a new ad campaign and quiz on social media designed to highlight Bush’s conservative credentials in contrast with the businessman’s past embrace of the Democratic Party.

Branded “Which candidate are you?” the quiz notes that Trump once said he thought Hillary Clinton would negotiate a strong deal with Iran, backed an assault weapons ban and expressed support for single-payer healthcare, while highlighting Bush’s opposition on all those fronts.

In a strikingly personal attack, the quiz asks voters whether they would prefer a candidate who “is a germophobe when it comes to shaking hands,” a reference to Trump’s documented phobia, Bush, meanwhile is cast as a candidate who “strives to shake every hand everywhere.”

After collecting users’ email addresses and zip codes, the quiz presents its results. “You have clear Democratic tendencies,” it spits out if too many Trump items are selected. “You’re looking for the candidate who proposed record new tax hikes, supported single-payer health care, and supported an assault weapons ban. You’ve found your man in Donald Trump.”

Meanwhile, those who select pro-Bush options are presented with, “Jeb Bush is a conservative reformer for President who will actually get results. Like you, he supports cutting taxes, reducing spending, and limiting the role of the federal government in your life.”

The quiz follows a biting video from the Bush campaign Tuesday noting Trump’s past support for Democratic principles. Trump fired back with an Instagram video showing Bush presenting Clinton with an award for her career in public service, and calling for an end to Bushes and Clintons in the White House.

The escalation comes as the Bush campaign has determined they believe there is a strategic benefit in attacking Trump, potentially helping their candidate shore up support on his vulnerable right flank. The campaign had previously hoped to ignore Trump’s rise throughout the summer.

The Bush campaign is promoting the quiz on Facebook, targeting people “who have expressed an interest in or like pages related to Donald Trump” in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada, the campaign said.

TIME 2016 Election

John Kasich Takes Presidential Campaign to Snapchat with Bacon Filter Ad

U.S. Republican presidential candidate and Ohio Governor John Kasich speaks at the New Hampshire Education Summit in Londonderry
Brian Snyder—Reuters U.S. Republican presidential candidate and Ohio Governor John Kasich speaks at the New Hampshire Education Summit in Londonderry, New Hampshire Aug. 19, 2015

"Who doesn't love bacon?"

Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s presidential campaign is pioneering a new form of ad on Snapchat, wishing New Hampshire residents a good morning with a bacon-laced filter on the photo and video sharing app.

The ad, which features Kasich’s campaign logo as strips of bacon, is the first Snapchat geofilter ever to be offered by a specific time-of-day, with users from the Granite State seeing the ad from 6 a.m. to noon Wednesday. It is also the first time a campaign has purchased a geofilter ad, the company confirmed. A similar ad by a group opposed to the Iran deal that was ran in Ohio received 2.6 million views last month.

The filter is the latest reflection both of Snapchat’s growing penetration into political advertising, as well as Republican candidates’ efforts to reach out to younger voters who have traditionally spurned the GOP and make up much of the company’s user base.

Scott Milburn, a Kaisch campaign spokesman said in a statement to TIME, “Budget pork isn’t our taste but who doesn’t love bacon and, of course, who doesn’t love Snapchat? You’ve got to have some fun with it all, right?”

Kasich for America
TIME Debates

CNN Amends Republican Debate Rules To Include Carly Fiorina

Carly Fiorina
John Minchillo—AP Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina speaks during a pre-debate forum on Aug. 6, 2015, in Cleveland.

A surprise late change to the polling criteria

Carly Fiorina won’t be excluded from the main stage at this month’s CNN debate after all.

In a victory for the former HP CEO, the cable network announced Tuesday that it is amending its rules for qualifying for the Sept. 16 debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library to include all candidates who are polling on average in the top 10 in surveys conducted after the Aug. 6 Fox News debate.

“We learned this week that there will likely be only two more polls by the deadline of September 10th,” the network said in a statement. “In a world where we expected there to be at least 15 national polls, based on historic precedent, it appears there will be only five. As a result, we now believe we should adjust the criteria to ensure the next debate best reflects the most current state of the national race.”

All those who average in the top 10 on surveys from July 16—the original threshold—with also be included, according to the network.

Fiorina, who has surged in polling after a well-regarded performance in the “happy hour” debate last month, was unlikely to meet the original qualifications because there have been fewer polls meeting CNN’s standards since the Fox News debate than there were before it. Fiorina’s campaign has aggressively lobbied both the network and the Republican National Committee to amend the rules to allow her on stage, frustrating officials at both organizations who said the candidate should have raised objection in May when the qualifications were first set.

But amid mounting pressure from conservative groups and Fiorina supporters, CNN reversed course on its commitment to stand by the initial rules. Instead, 11 candidates will appear in the primetime debate, with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul—each at risk of falling out of the top 10—remaining on stage as well.

Fiorina deputy campaign manager Sarah Isgur Flores, tweeted a statement thanking activists for their help securing a spot for Fiorina.

“I applaud CNN for recognizing the historic nature of this debate and fully support the network’s decision to amend their criteria,” said RNC Chairman Reince Priebus in a statement.

TIME jeb bush

Why Jeb Bush Is Taking a Right Hook to Donald Trump

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush fired back at Donald Trump Tuesday with a video questioning his conservative bona fides.

The 80-second video hits Trump with a hard right hook, showing clips of him talking about living in New York City, calling himself pro-choice, praising single-payer health care and saying that Hillary Clinton is “a terrific woman.”

“I lived in New York City and Manhattan all my life, so my views are a little bit different than if I lived in Iowa,” Trump says at the beginning of the video, a clip from his 1999 appearance on “Meet the Press.”

Bush and Trump have been engaged in a war of words, as the real estate mogul maintains his lead on the GOP field. Trump released a campaign video on Instagram juxtaposing Bush’s assertion that people cross into the U.S. illegally as an “act of love” with photos of criminals in the country without legal status.

For months, the Bush campaign has tried to ignore Trump, but it has now decided to treat him as a legitimate candidate who must be taken down. Attacking from his right flank is an attempt to both weaken the front-runner and bolster Bush’s conservative bona fides.

Some of the attacks draw on Trump’s past statements, which he has since repudiated. While the video shows Trump saying he is “very pro-choice,” he said during the August Republican debate that his views have “very much evolved” on the issue.

Another line in the video draws from that debate to show Trump arguing that single-payer health care “works in Canada” and “works incredibly well in Scotland,” although Trump went on to say that it “could have worked in a different age” in the United States.

Trump responded Tuesday with another Instagram showing Bush praising Clinton.

No more Clintons or Bushes!

A video posted by Donald J. Trump (@realdonaldtrump) on


Morning Must Reads: September 1

Mark Wilson—Getty Images The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Donald Trump are engaged in an all-out war of words, as Trump maintains his lead on the GOP field. Trump released a campaign video on Instagram juxtaposing Bush’s assertion that people cross into the U.S. illegally as an “act of love,” with the photos of several criminals in the country without legal status. Bush’s team fired back with statements all day, and now have released a video with the “greatest hits” of Trump’s time as a Democrat. The 80-second video includes Trump expressing support for partial-birth abortion and single-payer healthcare and praising Hillary Clinton. Meanwhile, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is targeting Bush for his refusal to pledge to abrogate the Iran nuclear deal on his first day in office, drawing fire on himself for suggesting that Bush doesn’t know where he stands on issues. Walker’s campaign was forced to clarify that he does not support building a wall between the U.S. and Canada, despite suggesting he thought it might be an idea worth considering.

Another tranche of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton‘s emails were released late Monday, revealing the lighter side of her life in government. Between asking for the times her favorite shows appeared on television to joking about the time a criminal robbed a bank in a mask with her face on it, Clinton also received a memo outlining a plan to impeach Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and asked aides for details on how many times she voted against raising the federal debt limit.

Super PACs may be raising more than campaigns, but they’re paying a lot more to get on TV. Rick Perry‘s campaign team in Iowa has been decimated amid fundraising woes. And President Obama will run wild in Alaska with Bear Grylls.

Here are your must-reads:

Must Reads

7 Fun Things We Learned From Hillary Clinton’s Latest Emails
The lighter side of the latest release [TIME]

Scott Walker Campaign Clarifies Canadian Wall Comments After Backlash
The campaign plays clean-up for their candidate [Wisconsin State Journal]

As His Term Wanes, Obama Champions Workers’ Rights
Obama administration works to remake labor system in final 18 months [New York Times]

Trump Upends GOP Message on Economy
Raising taxes and rolling back on trade is out of step with the party [Washington Post]

Chaos in Colorado Risks Key Senate Seat for GOP
Party drama threatens control of the Senate [Politico]

How Much for That Political Ad? Depends on Who’s Buying
The super PAC advantage erodes quickly [Concord Monitor]

Sound Off

“I think it was sloppy and unprofessional, that it reflects a lack of understanding about how easy it is for adversaries to tap into communications. She’s an intelligent woman. She spent a lot of time in the White House. You should not operate in the way she did.” — Former Vice President Dick Cheney criticizing Hillary Clinton on her email use

“They had no idea it was YOU, just some random email address so they emailed.” — Top Clinton aide Huma Abedin to the Secretary of State after the State Department technology help desk didn’t recognize her private account

Bits and Bites

Hillary Clinton Sides With Liberals on Anti-Lobbying Bill [TIME]

Karl Rove Thinks Obama Needs a New Way to Honor McKinley [TIME]

Supreme Court Rejects County Official’s Request in Gay-Marriage Case [Washington Post]

Walker Targets Bush on Iran Deal in New Video [TIME]

White House Sidesteps Hubbub About Obama’s Future Role at Columbia [New York Times]

Perry Scales Back Iowa Team to One Paid Staffer [Des Moines Register]

President Obama to Run Wild in Alaska With Bear Grylls [TIME]


TIME Scott Walker

Walker Targets Bush on Iran Deal in New Video

It's the first significant attack ads on the Republican side

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is taking aim at establishment rival Jeb Bush in a new video released Monday, criticizing him for refusing to say he’d rip up the pending Iran nuclear agreement should he win the White House.

The hit on the former Florida governor marks one of the first significant attack ads of the cycle to be produced by a GOP presidential campaign. In the web video, Bush is lumped in with “Republicans who don’t know what they stand for,” and is quoted saying he won’t pledge to rip up the agreement on his first day in office.

Walker, meanwhile, is cast as “a strong leader for dangerous times,” shown promising to “terminate it on day one.”

Abrogating the agreement hours after taking the oath of office has been one of Walker’s key campaign promises in recent weeks, and it’s one of the few foreign policy differences in the GOP field. Ohio Gov. John Kasich, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and real estate mogul Donald Trump have joined Bush in saying they would review the agreement, but couldn’t pledge to end it. Others, like Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, have taken Walker’s position.

“Governor Bush has repeatedly said it’s a terrible deal, that Congress should reject it, and that if elected he would begin the process immediately to responsibly undo the deal and the damage it has done to our national security,” Bush spokeswoman Kristy Campbell said in a statement.


Morning Must Reads: August 31

Mark Wilson—Getty Images The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC.

President Barack Obama will travel to Alaska Monday for a summit on the arctic and climate change. In a victory for Alaskans, Obama announced that Mt. McKinley, the tallest North American summit, will now be called by its local name, Denali. Maintaining the name of the mountain, named after the 25th president, who was assassinated after leading the U.S. to victory in the Spanish-American War, has long been a concern of the Ohio delegation, including Sen. Rob Portman and Speaker of the House John Boehner, who condemned the move.

The Summer of Trump is on the cusp of becoming The Autumn of The Donald. Just don’t expect everyone in the party to like it, TIME’s Philip Elliott reports from New Hampshire, where the state’s political world has been upended by the new GOP front-runner. Bill Clinton made an appearance at a fundraiser for his wife. And Scott Walker’s no good, very bad month shows few signs of abating with the calendar.

Here are your must-reads:

Must Reads

Fear, Loathing and Disbelief as Donald Trump Looms Large Over New Hampshire

TIME’s Philip Elliott captures the state of the race in the Granite State

Crowds flock to Georgia to pay tribute to cancer-stricken Jimmy Carter

The ex-president’s Sunday school classes have become a pilgrimage for supporters [Washington post]

What happened to Scott Walker?

Down in the polls, many supporters are calling for a shake-up—and fast[Washington post]

Even in college, Donald Trump was brash

A look at his time at Wharton [Boston Globe]

What Is the Trump Endgame?

When he fades could determine the next nominee [New York Magazine]

Jeb Bush touts consensus-builder style, but many point to discordant Florida record

Many remember a ‘my way, or the highway’ approach [Tamba Bay Times]

Obama’s Alaska Visit Puts Climate, Not Energy, in Forefront

A shift in focus as energy prices decline and the president looks to his legacy [New York Times]

Sound Off

“I think that that is dead wrong and I have let the leadership of the Democrats know that…I think this country benefits, all people benefit, democracy benefits when we have debates and I want to see more of them,” he added. “I think that debates are a good thing.” —Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders on CNN’s “State of the Union,” on the DNC limiting the number of Democratic Party debates to six.

“Some people have asked us about that in New Hampshire. They raised some very legitimate concerns, including some law enforcement folks that brought that up to me at one of our town hall meetings about a week and a half ago. So that is a legitimate issue for us to look at.” —Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker discussing the notion of a border fence with Canada on NBC’s “Meet The Press.”

Bits and Bites

Graham on Kasich: ‘Not Ready to Be Commander in Chief’ [TIME]

People Are Still Writing Fake Donald Trump Bible Quotes on Twitter [TIME]

In East Hampton, Bill joins Hillary at fundraiser [Politico]

Trump’s deportation idea similar to 1930s mass removals [Associated Press]

Hillary Clinton Secures Backing of Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire [New York Times]

Christie Stands By Plan to Track Immigrants With Help From FedEx [Wall Street Journal]


Morning Must Reads: August 28

Mark Wilson—Getty Images The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio will deliver dueling foreign policy speeches Friday in South Carolina. Rubio, who will focus his remarks on China, followed Walker’s lead this week in calling for the scaling back of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit next month. Walker, who has less experience on foreign policy issues, will deliver broad remarks as he hopes to regain his campaign’s footing amid declining poll numbers.

Democratic presidential candidates will face their party leadership in Minneapolis Friday, but one man, Joe Biden, will be missing, as he continues to ponder launching a bid for the Oval Office. Hillary Clinton faces frustration from many in her party over her seemingly flippant responses to questions about her use of a private email server. On Thursday, Clinton sought to keep the focus on Republicans, comparing them to terrorists on attitudes toward women.

Jeb Bush secured the endorsement of former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who spurned the appeals of some of Bush’s rivals. Ted Cruz and Donald Trump are teaming up to oppose the Iran deal. And Speaker of the House John Boehner had some choice words for Cruz at a recent fundraiser.

Here are your must-reads:

Must Reads

Univision’s Jorge Ramos: Reporters Need to Get Tougher on Donald Trump
The anchor talks to TIME’s Michael Scherer

Hacker Killed by Drone Was ‘Secret Weapon’
U.S. kills ISIS hacker in drone attack [Wall Street Journal]

Democrats Get The Keys To Obama’s Massive Campaign Email List
A long-sought victory for the DNC [BuzzFeed]

Hillary Clinton’s Handling of Email Issue Frustrates Democratic Leaders
They wish she’d take it more seriously [New York Times]

How Huma Abedin operated at the center of the Clinton universe
Overlapping public and private work [Washington Post]

Sound Off

“Now, extreme views about women, we expect that from some of the terrorist groups. We expect that from people who don’t want to live in the modern world. But it’s a little hard to take coming from Republicans who want to be the president of the United States.” —Hillary Clinton at a rally in Ohio Thursday in comments that immediately drew rebuke from Republicans.

“As President, I will send the following message: the retreat is over. American leadership is back and, together with our allies, we will not surrender another inch of ground to terrorists or any other power that threatens our safety.” —Prepared remarks of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on foreign policy Friday at the Citadel in Charleston, S.C.

Bits and Bites

Eric Cantor endorses Bush over Rubio, Walker, and Christie [TIME]

John Boehner Calls Ted Cruz A ‘Jackass’ At Fundraiser [Daily Caller]

Iran Deal Opens a Vitriolic Divide Among American Jews [New York Times]

Hillary Clinton, citing Tamir Rice and Virginia shootings, decries gun violence in Cleveland speech [Northeast Ohio Media Group]

DNC site mistakes foreign vets for former U.S. troops [Military Times]

Hillary Clinton to Coordinate Fundraising with Democratic Party [TIME]

Watch Donald Trump Try to Prove His Hair Is Real [TIME]

Cruz, Trump to hold anti-Iran deal rally in D.C. [Politico]

Rubio: How My Presidency Would Deal With China [Wall Street Journal]

TIME 2016 Election

Former House Leader Eric Cantor Endorses Jeb Bush for Republican Nomination

House Majority Leader Cantor leaves after a news conference
Yuri Gripas—Reuters U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) leaves after a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington June 11, 2014

"America needs a President that can re-energize our nation and recapture our greatness"

Former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor endorsed Jeb Bush Thursday, spurning several rivals who were aggressively courting the former GOP number two.

Cantor, who left Congress last year after a shocking loss in a primary to conservative upstart David Brat, will become co-chair of Bush’s campaign in his home state Virginia, providing the former Florida governor access to his extensive donor base in the finance and Jewish communities.

The endorsement is a blow to several of Bush’s rivals. According to a source close to Cantor, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Sen. Marco Rubio and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie were all striving to earn Cantor’s support.

“They pursued him for months and months,” the source said. “He still has a whole lot of friends in Congress and other prominent folks across the country in the party and the finance and fundraising communities.”

According to the source, Cantor weighed his options over the past several months and came to his decision to back Jeb “relatively recently.”

In a statement, Cantor said, “Governor Bush is a true conservative leader with a long-term vision for this country and the practical know how to implement it. After eight years of anemic growth and declining international relevance, America needs a President that can re-energize our nation and recapture our greatness — Jeb Bush is that man. I look forward to working closely with the Governor and his team as they chart a course to the White House.”

Cantor will appear with Bush at an event in Norfolk, Va., Friday. News of Cantor’s endorsement was first reported by Politico.

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