The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC.
Mark Wilson—Getty Images
August 25, 2015 8:16 AM EDT

Donald Trump‘s rise is causing his GOP rivals to stumble as he pushes issues they’d rather not talk about. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush found himself defending his use of the term “anchor babies” at the U.S.-Mexico border Monday, where he claimed he was referring to Asian immigrants committing “fraud,” an explanation that did little to satisfy his critics. And Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker called on President Barack Obama to rescind his state visit invitation to Chinese President Xi Jinping amid that country’s devaluation of its currency and alleged cyber activities—a move that drew condemnation from Democrats and some Republicans as a diplomatic faux pas. Walker, meanwhile, was busy keeping a top GOP fundraiser in the fold after he discussed a possible defection with Trump.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is once again paying his staffers in the early primary states just 48 hours before a deadline that could have kept him off the CNN debate stage next month. Once again, Perry is expected to participate in the undercard debate. The race is on for the main stage, with candidates on an all-out media blitz in the final weeks of summer to boost their national poll ratings in advance of the Sept. 16 contest.

Here are your must-reads:

Must Reads

Jeb Bush Bungles ‘Anchor Baby’ Explanation
The Republican presidential candidate says he was referring to Asians committing “fraud,” TIME’s Alex Altman reports

Donald Trump Supporters Vent Frustration At Frank Luntz Focus Group
By the end, as Sam Frizell reports, the veteran pollster said, “My legs are shaking.” He was that excited. [TIME]

Scott Walker Calls on Obama to Cancel Chinese State Visit
Getting tough on China as Trump continues to dominate the conversation [TIME]

Deez Nuts Speaks: Meet Brady Olson, The 15-Year-Old Candidate for President
TIME’s Tessa Berenson with the interview we’ve all been waiting for

House GOP leaders desperate to avoid shutdown
With the clock ticking, Republicans have yet to settle on a strategy to resolve a showdown over Planned Parenthood funding [Politico]

A Top Walker Fundraiser Meets With Trump
SkyBridge Capital’s Anthony Scaramucci says he discussed endorsing Trump but is loyal to Walker [Wall Street Journal]

Hillary Clinton to Raise Money With State Parties Amid Nominating Fight
What primary? [New York Times]

Sound Off

“The president has indicated that his view that the decision that he made, I guess 7 years ago now, to add Joe Biden to the ticket as his running mate was the smartest decision that he has ever made in politics. And I think that should give you some sense into the president’s view into Vice President’s aptitude for the top job.” —White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest on a potential Biden presidential campaign.

“I like Donald Trump and I’m glad Donald Trump is in this election.” —Sen. Ted Cruz to reporters before a South Carolina event, thanking Trump for raising the issue of illegal immigration and for bringing debate viewers to TV.

Bits and Bites

Donald Trump Trolls Jeb Bush With a Little Help from Bush’s Mom [TIME]

Lawrence Lessig Thinks a Single Issue Might Make Him President [TIME]

State GOP leaders plot to tie Donald Trump’s hands [Politico]

John Kasich Balances His Blue-Collar Roots and Ties to Wall Street [New York Times]

Perry resumes paying some staffers, but loses Iowa chairman [Associated Press]

Dick Cheney to deliver address on Iran deal [Politico]

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