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Donald Trump is doubling down on his contention in Tuesday’s debate that wages in the U.S. should be lower to better compete in the world. The line goes beyond exposing a rift within the GOP between those candidates who support raising the minimum wage and those who want to get rid of it, providing a powerful cudgel to Democrats and undercutting Trump’s own populist message. Meanwhile his pledge to repeat President Eisenhower’s “Operation Wetback” by deporting the roughly 11 million people in the U.S. illegally has him facing new fire from all corners.

In hopes of selling his controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, President Obama is sending a letter to eBay users highlighting the benefits of the deal to small businesses. Approval will require the White House to assemble a coalition of moderate Republicans and Democrats, especially with liberals and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton now opposed to the agreement.

While conservative candidates have used their debate performances to boost their own brands, establishment candidates have turned to invoking Clinton’s name as a reliable debate applause line and to bolster the case for their candidacies. The differing strategies reflect their opposing visions of the race—whether candidates must truly inspire the GOP base or simply awaken their fears of Clinton.

Bush promises to chest-bump every “convert” to his campaign. Carson warns supporters of “propaganda.” And who Bob Dole can’t stand.

Here are your must-reads:

Must Reads

Vatican Meets with U.S. State Department’s Gay and Lesbian Envoy
TIME’s Elizabeth Dias scoops the a symbolic meeting to open a controversial dialog

Ben Carson Profits From Ties With Convicted Felon
Carson’s friend pleaded guilty to a felony count of health care fraud [Associated Press]

G.O.P. Fight Now a Battle Over What Defines a Conservative
The other fight in Milwaukee [New York Times]

1950s Roundup Fuels Immigration Debate
Donald Trump lauded a controversial deportation program under President Eisenhower that some find deplorable [Boston Globe]

How the Kochs Created Joni Ernst
New details reveal the billionaire brothers’ network efforts to reshape the GOP are more ambitious than previously reported [Politico]

Sound Off

“Our taxes are too high. Our wages are too high. We have to compete with other countries.” — Donald Trump doubling down on his debate comment about wages Wednesday in an interview with MSNBC

“I think he’s the most qualified, and we need somebody with experience and there are a lot of good candidates — I like nearly all of them—except Cruz.” — Former Sen. Bob Dole after endorsing Jeb Bush Wednesday

Bits and Bites

What Donald Trump Got Right—and Wrong—About the History of Deportation [TIME]

The G.O.P. Tax Debate: Low or Lower; Flat or Flatter? [The Upshot]

Charles Koch Has No Plans to Back a Candidate in Republican Primary [USA Today]

Here’s How Long Each Candidate Spoke at All the GOP Debates [TIME]

Jeb Bush Offers a Chest Bump ‘for Every Convert’ [New York Times]

How One Man Pranked the Presidential Race [CNN]

This One Chart Shows Which Republicans Bashed Hillary Clinton in Tuesday Night’s Debate [Washington Post]

Fact Check: Hillary Clinton’s Claim That She Tried to Join the Marines [Washington Post]

Poll Shows Hillary Clinton Maintaining Lead Over Bernie Sanders [New York Times]

Carson Warns Backers of ‘Propaganda’ [New York Times]

Bush Plans Major D.C. Fundraiser [Politico]


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