Rubio for President in 2024 or 2028?
Senator Marco Rubio’s days in the U.S. Senate are numbered. The question is, will the junior senator from Florida run for a third term in 2022?
In an interview with the Washington Post’s Bob Acosta, Rubio was asked about his future in politics. Rubio’s answer was a little bit different than what he has told reporters in the past, reporters who’ve asked him numerous time about his future political plans.
Rubio’s “I hope to have the opportunity to continue doing it (public service) in some form or fashion down the road” remark appears to have left the door open for either another run for Senate or a more probable run for President. READ MORE
The category 1 storm is moving at a snail’s pace, towards Pensacola, and that’s not good for the area as sustained winds and storm surge will hover over the region longer than anticipated. Still waiting to see if Rep. Matt Gaetz will live-tweet when the storm makes landfall later in the day on Wednesday.
Democrat Heads Continue to Explode Over Trump’s Peace Deals
President Trump welcomed the Prime Minister of Israel and the Foreign Ministers of Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to the White House on Tuesday as he presided over the signing over the historic agreements formalizing diplomatic relations between Israel and two Gulf Arab nations. READ MORE
Jimmy Patronis @JimmyPatronis –With Hurricane #Sally bringing storm surge & flooding to parts of the Panhandle, we’ve mobilized FL’s Urban Search & Rescue Task Forces 3 & 5 from the Tampa & Jacksonville areas in support of storm recovery efforts. Thanks to @FLSERT for their assistance. http://bit.ly/35CXPvR
Debbie Wasserman Schultz @DWStweets – From day one, Trump made his goal clear: repeal the #AffordableCareAct. We stopped him, but @GOP meddling still caused 1 Million+ people to lose coverage in the last year alone. @JoeBiden will fight for universal coverage, just like he did with the #ACA.
Rick Scott @SenRickScott –Thank you to @realDonaldTrump for quickly approving Florida’s request for an emergency declaration due to Hurricane #Sally. As Florida’s Panhandle braces for landfall, we must make sure that we are ready to respond with all the resources necessary following the storm.
Rep. Ted Deutch @RepTedDeutch –For thousands of Floridians, Bright Futures Scholarships are the only tool available for making higher ed affordable. I support the Governor’s decision to change course and extend the deadline for the Class of 2020 to earn their test scores for these scholarships to Dec 1, 2020
Rep. Donna E. Shalala @RepShalala– I hope that increased cooperation between Israel, UAE & Bahrain will not only lead to greater stability, but also enhance the possibility of a peaceful end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with the establishment of a viable Palestinian state, living side-by-side with Israel.
Byron Donalds @ByronDonalds–President @realDonaldTrump has once again accomplished something that other presidents have tried and failed. These peace deals represent unprecedented cooperation and partnership in the Middle East and a more secure region to better protect our allies.
Anna Paulina Luna @realannapaulina-Unlike the crooks in D.C., I won’t just tell you what you want to hear. I survived poverty, shootings, & gangs. I joined the USAF & owe everything to America. I’m fiercely independent, and we won’t always agree.But unlike career politicians, I’ll serve YOU…not myself.
Congressman Charlie Crist @RepCharlieCrist–Proud to join #PeoplesHouse in passing the Strength in Diversity Act, taking an important step in fulfilling the promises of our nation – that all children will have access to the resources and opportunities they need to succeed regardless of race or socioeconomic status.
Dr. Leo Valentín @drleovalentin–US House candidate, FL-7 It was great to kick off #HispanicHeritageMonth w/ @GOP! For too long, votes in the Hispanic community have been taken for granted. We all have the opportunity to achieve the American Dream, but we can’t do that with big government. That’s why this election is so important. #FL07
Rep. Stephanie Murphy @RepStephMurphy-U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico will soon hold a simple, fair, yes-or-no vote on statehood. Today I joined @RepDarrenSoto @RepJenniffer & many of my FL colleagues in filing a bipartisan resolution emphasizing that Congress must act if the people of PR confirm they want statehood.
“Rubio Warns of China Interfering in 2020 Elections” by The Floridian’s Daniel Molina – With the 2020 presidential election fast approaching, one topic that both sides of the aisle have been concerned of is whether or not there would be any foreign interference in the election. Although some ears would perk up at the sound of Russia, Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R) discussed another likely threat while speaking to Bob Costa as part of a Washington Post event in partnership with the Texas Tribune Festival. In the interview, Senator Rubio expressed that China was on his radar as its been for a while, saying that “when it comes to China, their tactics and their goals are a little different.” He added that he has “no doubt in my mind that China doesn’t want Donald Trump to be reelected,” and “they measure that against a concern that if their involvement is revealed, that’ll be counter productive for them.” Moreover, Rubio argued that “the Chinese goal ultimately is to try to influence American policy towards China’s preferred position,” noting that it “could eventually extend to going after individual candidates in any election.” In terms of the threat level they pose, Rubio warned that “they have the capability of doing everything Russia does and more so” because “they have hack and leak capabilities.” And, he stressed that he wouldn’t put it past China to see “them using that against individuals who they view as China hardliners.”
“Rubio may have signaled a future run for president” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – Senator Marco Rubio’s days in the U.S. Senate are numbered. The question is, will the junior senator from Florida run for a third term in 2022 and then run for president in 2024? In an interview with the Washington Post’s Bob Acosta, Rubio was asked about his future in politics. Rubio’s answer was a little bit different than what he has told reporters in the past, who’ve asked him numerous times about his future political plans. Rubio’s “I hope to have the opportunity to continue doing it (public service) in some form or fashion down the road” remark appears to have left the door open for either another run for Senate or a more probable run for President. “I enjoy very much being in public office because I wake up every morning, I can see something in the world that I think needs to be addressed, and I’m in a place where I can actually try to do something about it. I’ve enjoyed doing that a lot, and I hope to have the opportunity to continue doing it in some form or fashion down the road.” Rubio has told close friends and supporters that running for president is not off the table looking down the road, but that running for re-election to the Senate would be a little bit of a stretch. Rubio is now the acting-Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee and continues to be the go-to guy in the Senate when it comes to anything Hispanic, or on issues that involve the Western Hemisphere. In other words, Rubio is in the driver’s seat and commands significant political capital on the hill.
“CNBC Host Calls Nancy Pelosi ‘Crazy Nancy’ During Interview” by The Floridian’s Mona Salama – CNBC’s Mad Money host Jim Cramer called House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) “Crazy Nancy” to her face during a live interview Tuesday morning when discussing the stalemate in coronavirus stimulus talks. Cramer was questioning the House Speaker about an interview she did a few days ago with CNN in which she stated she remains optimistic for a deal despite talks between Trump administration officials and congressional Democrats remain stalled over a new round of coronavirus relief measures. “Really?” Cramer asked. “I mean, I thought I’d take it right off the table right this very minute. You’ve got Mark Meadows going and saying he was the skunk at the party. He didn’t really — you know, he’s gotten in the way between you and, I think Secretary Mnuchin.” “What deal can we have, Crazy Nancy?” Cramer added, echoing the nickname President Trump has frequently employed to mock Pelosi on Twitter. The CNBC host quickly attempted to apologize after catching himself using the taunting nickname, saying he was imitating Trump’s insult and “would never use that term.” “I’m sorry, that was the president, I have such reverence for the office I would never use that term,” Cramer responded. “But you just did,” Pelosi shot back while in shock hearing the host use the nickname to her face. “Oh come on, you know what I mean, the reverence I have for the office is so great that I think it’s a travesty to ever call, look, you’re,” the CNBC anchor replied before the House Speaker interrupted.
“Israel, UAE, Bahrain Sign Historic U.S-Brokered Normalization Peace Accords” by The Floridian’s Mona Salama – President Trump welcomed the Prime Minister of Israel and the Foreign Ministers of Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to the White House on Tuesday as he presided over the signing over the historic agreements formalizing diplomatic relations between Israel and two Gulf Arab nations. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signed the agreements with United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan and Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al Zayani during a ceremony at the White House. The agreements, dubbed the “Abraham Accords,” in honor of the three religions represent the first time an Arab country has normalized relations with Israel in more than 25 years. It includes the establishment of the first embassies in one another’s countries and the start of the first commercial flights between Israel and UAE. The last peace treaties with Israel were signed by Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994. Trump said the agreements would serve as “the foundation for a comprehensive peace across the entire region.” “We’re here this afternoon to change the course of history. After decades of division and conflict, we mark a dawn of a new Middle East,” Trump said at the ceremony in the South Lawn of the White House. “Thanks to the great courage of the leaders of these three countries, we take a major stride towards a future in which people of all faiths and backgrounds live together in peace and prosperity.”
“Wasserman Schultz outraged over Trump’s NOAA appointment” by The Floridian’s Daniel Molina – With the hiring of David Legates, a University of Delaware Professor of climatology who has been criticized for being a climate science denier, to a top position at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Florida Democrats are expressing outrage. Taking to Twitter to share her disapproval of the appointment, Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D) argued that President Trump (R) “continues to promote the worst of the worst,” adding that “the appointment of climate denier David Legates to help lead” the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration “puts FL at risk in the middle of hurricane season.” Wasserman Schultz did not clarify exactly how Florida would be put at risk. Wasserman Schultz concluded that “we need facts, not fiction, to solve” the growing issue of climate change. With Legates stepping into position, Florida Democrats are warning that he is putting the United States and the world as a whole in danger. In 2007, Legates was an author of a paper that questioned numerous findings regarding the role that climate change plays in destroying the habitat of polar bears. The funding for the paper came in part by grants provided by Koch Industries.
“Trump threatens Iran with massive counter-attack if they attack U.S.” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – President Donald Trump has drawn a line in the sand with the Islamist Iranian government after it was reported that the Iranians were planning to assassinate the U.S. Ambassador to South Africa, Lana Marks. Trump tweeted that “Any attack by Iran, in any form, against the United States will be mee with an attack on Iran that will be 1,000 times greater in magnitude!” The Iranian threat is in response to the Trump-sanction assassination of Qassem Soleimani, the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ elite Quds Force, which has been designated as a terrorist organization. According to U.S. officials, the credible threats against Marks began shortly after Solemani’s death, but recent intelligence points to the specificity of the threats in the past month or so.
“Biden Appeals to Florida Latinos as Polls Show Trump Gaining” by WSJ’s Sabrina Siddiqui and Alex Leary – Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is stepping up his outreach to Florida Latinos, a key voting bloc in a battleground state where polls show President Trump has made gains. In his first trip to Florida since securing the nomination, Mr. Biden held a campaign event near Orlando on Tuesday tied to the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month. Mr. Trump won Florida by slightly more than 1 percentage point in 2016, and polls there show a close race this year. “What I have to do is make the case why it will be so much better [for] the Hispanic community, the Latino community, if in fact Trump is no longer president,” Mr. Biden, who said his numbers with Latino voters needed to improve, told reporters between events in Florida. “That case is an easy one: Education, healthcare, immigration, the whole notion of dealing with Covid in a way that doesn’t so damage the Hispanic community, which is hurt very badly, much worse than the Caucasian community.” Latinos make up about 20% of Florida’s electorate, according to the Pew Research Center. In 2016, exit polls showed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton beat Mr. Trump among that group by about 27 percentage points. Last week, an NBC News/Marist poll showed Mr. Trump with a narrow edge over Mr. Biden among Latino voters in Florida, earning 50% of their support compared with 46% for Mr. Biden. An August survey of Latino voters by Equis Lab, a Democratic polling firm, found Mr. Biden with a 16-point lead over Mr. Trump among that group in the state, substantially less than Mrs. Clinton’s exit-poll advantage in 2016.
“DeSantis’ appointee to Florida Supreme Court belongs to Christian group using law to ‘spread the Gospel’” by Tampa Bay Times’ Mary Ellen Klas and Kirby Wilson – Jamie R. Grosshans, the last-minute choice of Gov. Ron DeSantis to the Florida Supreme Court, is an anti-abortion defender who has been active in a number of Christian legal groups, including a powerful national organization whose mission is to “spread the Gospel by transforming the legal system.” Grosshans, from the Orlando suburb of Winter Garden, was named Florida’s seventh justice Monday, filling the vacancy created last year when President Trump named two of DeSantis’ previous appointees, Barbara Lagoa and Robert Luck, to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. This was the second time in Grosshans’ meteoric rise as a judge that she became a finalist for the state’s highest court. She first applied in December 2018, when there were three vacancies on the court, but DeSantis chose Lagoa, Luck and Carlos G. Muñiz instead. Both times Grosshans applied to the state’s high court, she left out some details on her application: specifically her membership in the Alliance Defending Freedom, her work as a Blackstone Fellow, a prestigious but secretive national award that trains rising star lawyers in the conservative teachings of the Alliance Defending Freedom, and her 2011 work with Orlando attorney John Stemberger to prevent a young woman from having an abortion. The Alliance Defending Freedom is a national organization that, according to its website “exists to keep the doors open for the Gospel by advocating for religious liberty, the sanctity of human life, freedom of speech, and marriage and family.”
“OPINION: Mike Bloomberg’s investment in Florida could decide the election outcome” by Arick Wierson – Operating from the sidelines using his near-bottomless war chest and political savvy, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg could become more powerful than he had been as a billionaire, elected official or presidential candidate. Bloomberg’s announcement that he is stepping in to help former Vice President Joe Biden win Florida came as welcome news to many Democrats who had been left wondering when — or even if — the former mayor would make good on the promises he had made to help beat Trump, no matter the cost. On Sunday, The Washington Post revealed that Bloomberg, who made a brief run for the Democratic nomination himself earlier this year, will spend at least $100 million of his own fortune to support Biden’s campaign in Florida, mainly through television ad buys. By injecting such an enormous amount of financial resources into the Sunshine State so close to the election, Bloomberg has the potential ability to single-handedly determine the outcome of the 2020 election and alter the course of American history. Bloomberg’s investment in Florida is key because of its weight in the electoral college. Florida, now Donald Trump’s home state after transferring his residency from New York last year, figures heavily in both the Biden and Trump camps’ calculus for winning the November election. If Biden were to secure the state’s 29 electoral votes, Trump’s pathway to winning another term could become nearly impossible, given a battery of recent polls in so-called “swing states” favoring Biden.
“Puerto Rican voters, battered by crisis, could be pivotal for Biden in Florida” by NBC News’ uzanne Gamboa and Carmen Sesin – Jimmy Torres-Veléz, who hosts the Boricua Action Network radio program in Kissimmee, Florida, said he’s voting for Joe Biden because, under the Trump administration, the country with the largest military force in the world allowed thousands of people “to die in Puerto Rico” following Hurricane Maria in 2017. “People suffered so much on the incompetency — you should know better,” he said, speaking as if he were addressing President Donald Trump. “You are the perfect guy to manage it. That’s what you told people. People will never forget.” The estimated 600,000 people of Puerto Rican descent living along the Interstate 4 corridor from Daytona Beach to Tampa, as well as some of the 350,000 or more who live in South Florida, could be pivotal in deciding the presidential race. Hurricane Maria and Trump’s response, some of it preserved in a record of tweets, is not far from the mind of many of those voters, who are also grappling with more economic woes from the coronavirus. Torres-Veléz, who worked for months after the hurricane coordinating aid for the island, is trying to connect Florida’s Puerto Rican communities through his nonprofit, Boricua Vota. Feeling the urgency, Biden’s campaign unveiled a plan for Puerto Rico at the start of his Hispanic Heritage Month visit to Florida on Tuesday. The plan, which accuses Trump of worsening the island’s crises, calls for investing in Puerto Rico’s recovery and elevating the island’s needs by creating a group that would answer directly to Biden.
“Florida’s elected state cabinet is finally meeting again, after nearly four months without” by News Service of Florida’s Jim Turner – Spending more than $9 million to keep 5,200 acres across five counties from development and replacing the chief judge of the state Division of Administrative Hearings are on tap for the first in-person Florida Cabinet meeting in more than seven months. An agenda released Tuesday for the Sept. 22 meeting doesn’t include a request by Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried to discuss state plans for spending federal stimulus money received because of the coronavirus pandemic. In a letter Friday to Gov. Ron DeSantis, Fried asked for a discussion of state plans to spend federal “CARES Act” dollars and her push to use some of the money for school nutrition programs. Fried, the only Democrat on the Cabinet, has argued for months that the four statewide elected officials —- also including Attorney General Ashley Moody and Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis —- should have been jointly coordinating the response to the coronavirus pandemic. She estimated state government has received $4.58 billion from the federal government. DeSantis and the Cabinet have not met in person since Feb. 4, though they held a meeting by phone on May 28. The governor’s office has pointed to the Capitol being closed to visitors amid the pandemic and a need to keep a safe workplace as reasons for canceling other scheduled Cabinet meetings. Next week’s agenda includes acquiring conservation easements on five agricultural properties totaling 3,367 acres. Such easements restrict future development while allowing landowners to continue using property for such things as agriculture.
“Two-thirds of Florida voters support $15-an-hour minimum wage ballot measure, poll finds” by CNBC’s Jacob Pramuk – About two-thirds of Florida voters back a 2020 ballot initiative to gradually hike the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour, which would be enough support for the measure to pass, a new poll released Tuesday found. In the Sunshine State, 67% of registered voters said they would vote to raise the pay floor to $15 an hour, according to the Monmouth University survey. Only 26% responded that they would oppose the initiative. The measure needs 60% of the vote for approval. If voters pass it in November, Florida would increase its $8.56-an-hour minimum wage to $10 next year. The state would then hike it by $1 an hour every year until it hits $15 in 2026. Previous surveys have also found the minimum wage initiative clearing the 60% support threshold for passage. Seven states and Washington, D.C., have approved a $15-per-hour pay floor as labor advocates push for what they call a living wage. Florida, if it approves the ballot measure, would become the second most populous state to take that step. Workers’ rights groups have cheered state and local policies to increase the minimum wage, as the federal government has not increased the $7.25 an hour pay floor in more than a decade. Democrats have almost universally embraced raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour, and the House passed a bill to do so at the federal level last year. Republican leaders in the GOP-held Senate have opposed the legislation.
“Judge Napolitano predicts mail-in voting issues will make Florida recount ‘seem like child’s play’” by Fox News’ Joshua Nelson – The 2000 election dispute in Florida between George W. Bush and Al Gore will look like “child’s play” compared to the challenge of resolving mail-in voting issues for the upcoming 2020 presidential election, Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano said on Tuesday. “It is normal for [campaigns] to get their legal forces in order. We have the example, of course, in 2000 of Bush against Gore in which the legal forces were amassed after Election Day when it became apparent that the Florida count and recount would be disputed. That would seem like child’s play compared to what may be coming in November this year,” Napolitano told “Fox & Friends.” Napolitano referred to the 2000 Bush versus Gore presidential race, which led to a decision by the United States Supreme Court that settled a recount dispute in Florida. “With the voting by mail, there is going to be a dispute over whether or not the signature on the document containing the ballot — you sign the envelope that you put the ballot in — whether that signature matches the voter signature registered with the voting officials — that’s what the dispute will be this year,” Napolitano said. Napolitano reacted to the Biden campaign building a massive “election protection program,” including former Attorney General Eric Holder and hundreds of other lawyers in preparation for a legal battle in the event of a contested election. The former vice president’s campaign told Fox News Monday that over the past several months they have created the largest election protection program in presidential campaign history, involving integrated legal, communications and political strategies for what they anticipate to be an unprecedented election.
“Refugees from socialist countries warn Americans: Don’t let it happen here” by Fox News’ Maxim Lott – One of the most memorable moments from the Republican National Convention came when Cuban-born Maximo Alvarez cautioned Americans against creeping socialism. “I’ve seen movements like this before,” he warned last month. The Florida businessman is hardly alone among those who fled socialist countries. On social media and in interviews with Fox News, other immigrants who settled in the U.S. say that recent political shifts here – including class warfare, riots and language policing, not to mention calls for expansive government programs – are starting to remind them of what they left behind. And they carry the same message as Alvarez, urging Americans not to repeat history. “The millionaires, and anyone that was rich, were ‘the enemy of people’ in Venezuela,” Elizabeth Rogliani, a young woman who left Venezuela for America in 2008 and lives in Florida, said of her former country (though she cited a term that President Trump now controversially uses against the media). She has been using her TikTok channel to try to tell people about that history. Rogliani says she sees a parallel in politicians’ frequent attacks on “millionaires and billionaires.” “Division between the classes was something that Hugo Chavez wanted — to make sure that poorer sectors of society hated anyone that was wealthy,” she said. Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez often declared that being rich is bad. He defined capitalism as the “kingdom of the egoism of inequality” and socialism as the “kingdom of love, equality, solidarity, peace and true democracy.” Once, before Chavez became president in 1999, Venezuela was the wealthiest country in South America. Venezuela also has more untapped underground oil than any country in the world, even Saudi Arabia.
“Kushner on Middle East peace deals: ‘The people in the region are tired of war’” by CNN’s Paul LeBlanc – President Donald Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, hailed the US brokered peace treaties between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain on Tuesday as the beginning of “a new Middle East” and signaled that the Trump administration is making progress in getting more countries in the region, including Saudi Arabia, to recognize Israel. His comments came hours after a White House ceremony, dubbed the Abraham Accords, marked the first Middle East White House peace signing in more than two decades. “I think we had a very good breakthrough. What’s happened is in the Middle East, the deals have been so well received. That’s what helped Bahrain go quickly. They saw how well the deal was received in the United Arab Emirates and throughout the Muslim world. The people in the region are tired of war,” Kushner told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on “The Situation Room.” “They’re tired of conflict. They want to move forward, and they see bridging this gap and getting a better understanding between countries as a way to move forward.” Asked specially about the prospect of Saudi Arabia recognizing Israel, Kushner pointed to Trump’s relationship with the country’s leadership and touted “a lot of changes” in the last three years. “Quite frankly, also, when we put out our vision for peace you saw the Palestinian leadership reject it before it even came out — before they knew what was in it,” he said. “So people are getting a little tired with the tactics played by the Palestinian leaders. They want to help the Palestinian people, but they’re not going to allow them to hold back the national interest of all these different countries.”
“U.S., Israel, U.A.E., Bahrain Sign Peace Accord” by WSJ’s Gordon Lubold and Felicia Schwartz – President Trump presided over the signing of a Middle East peace agreement between Israel and two Gulf nations Tuesday, calling it the foundation for a broader alignment against Iran that would fundamentally change the geopolitical dynamic in the region. The so-called Abraham Accords, brokered by the U.S. and signed by the U.S., Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, normalizes relations between the nations and further isolates Tehran. The agreement also leaves out the Palestinians, who have not engaged with the Trump administration and its peace efforts since Washington recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. On the South Lawn at the White House, the president cast it as a historic deal. “I think Israel isn’t isolated anymore,” President Trump said in the Oval Office before the signing alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He said “at least five or six countries will be “coming along very quickly.” The signing upends nearly a century of regional politics and business and brings together top U.S. allies in the turbulent Middle East. In remarks just before the signing, Mr. Netanyahu said the day “heralds a new dawn of peace.” Praising Mr. Trump, the Israeli leader said the agreements would have been unimaginable a few years ago. Mr. Trump in his comments noted the practical nature of the accords, which allow the countries to establish embassies in one another’s countries and begin to cooperate economically, politically and socially. “They’re going to work together, they are friends,” Mr. Trump added. The president has repeatedly said the benefits of the peace deal will encourage other countries to join.
“McConnell warns Dems would ‘run roughshod’ over country by changing Senate rules” by Fox News’ Tyler Olson – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell warned on Tuesday that if the Democrats win the Senate in November that they will change the rules of the chamber so that they can “run roughshod over the country” — stark comments that came on the same day multiple Republican senators opined on protecting Senate norms. “I think the American people should know what it means if the Senate shifts control, and you’ve heard it,” McConnell, R-Ky., told reporters at the Capitol. “Eliminating the filibuster, D.C. statehood, Puerto Rican statehood, and packing the courts. That’s what you get if you change the Senate.” If Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico become states, they would each get two U.S. senators, adding four legislators who would almost certainly be Democrats to the 100-member body. He added: “Who do they want to run the Senate? Do [voters] want to enable the Democrats to run roughshod over the country by changing the basic structure here? … What [Democrats are] saying is they don’t want to win the argument, they want to change the rules in order to guarantee the outcome, and I think the American people need to be aware of that before they vote on Nov. 3.” McConnell wasn’t the only Republican senator to raise procedural concerns on Tuesday. Another was Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., who cited reports that some Democrats are setting up a strategy to get rid of the filibuster if Democrats win the presidential election and take control of the Senate. He pointed out that Democrats have filibustered multiple bills in recent months — including the GOP’s “skinny” coronavirus proposal last week. “So the very mechanism that they used repeatedly here in just the last year … they are now talking about getting rid of that very rule. Think about that. The irony of that is pretty rich,” Thune said.
“Kamala Harris makes trip to California as wildfires rage” by CNN’s Kate Sullivan – Sen. Kamala Harris on Tuesday returned to her home state of California for the first time as the Democratic vice presidential nominee as historic wildfires rage across the state. Harris was joined by California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, and met with emergency officials. This was the senator’s first trip back to her home state since early March, campaign aides say, before the coronavirus pandemic halted all in-person campaigning and states put restrictions in place to stop the spread of the virus. The wildfires burning in the western part of the United States have killed at least 35 people, displaced thousands and burned millions of acres. Standing in front of a burnt playground at an elementary school, Harris said, “Sadly, these wildfires and the devastation they cause are utterly predictable.” Harris described the desolate residential areas where the fires swept through. “Everything is gone except the chimne. … Those chimneys remind me of tombstones,” Harris said. “This is not a partisan issue,” Harris said. “Ideology should not kick in. It’s just a fact. This is just a fact,” Harris said, motioning toward the burnt playground behind her. “And we have to do better as a country,” the senator said. Harris noted that California, like other states, has experienced extreme weather conditions. “And it is incumbent on us, in terms of the leadership of … our nation, to take seriously the extreme changes in our climate, and to do what we can to mitigate against the damage.” Harris praised the firefighters working tirelessly to put out the fires. Harris’ visit comes a day after President Donald Trump traveled to California and received a briefing on the wildfires in McClellan Park. Trump on Monday baselessly asserted that climate change is not playing a role in the catastrophic wildfires, as an official briefing him pleaded for the President to listen to the science.
“U.S. Sanctions Chinese Firm Helping Build Military Base in Cambodia” by WSJ’s Gordon Lubold and Ian Talley – The U.S. imposed sanctions against a Chinese company that it said is responsible for helping to build a military base for Beijing in Cambodia, a new phase in a U.S. effort to pressure companies helping in China’s military expansion around the world. The Treasury Department blacklisted China’s state-owned Union Development Group Co., or UDG, responsible for work on behalf of a formerly secret Chinese base described by The Wall Street Journal last year, for corruption allegations. The Chinese and Cambodian embassies in Washington and UDG didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. Tuesday’s action was described by officials as an effort by the Trump administration to more aggressively target companies that are helping Beijing to globally expand its military reach. The penalties marked the first time the U.S. has sanctioned a company for doing work beyond China’s bases in the South China Sea, officials said. A senior U.S. official said it is no longer the case that China’s military ambitions are considered regional in nature. “That’s a truism that has lost its useful shelf-life,” the official said. “Their ambitions are global.” The Chinese have use of a large portion of a Cambodian naval base known as Ream, near Sihanoukville. An agreement between the two countries enables Chinese armed forces to operate there, store weapons and berth warships, according to senior administration officials familiar with the agreement. UDG is active in the work to develop the base, officials said. The effort is expected to contribute to growing tensions between Washington and Beijing as the Trump administration challenges China across a broad array of issues, including trade, state-orchestrated industrial espionage and cyberhacking and expansion of its naval presence in the South China Sea.
“Biden says he’s worried about Trump’s ‘insurrection’ talk in Spanish-language interview” by Fox News’ Morgan Phillips – Joe Biden said he’s worried about President Trump’s talk of “insurrection” after President Trump threatened to invoke the Insurrection Act to quell racial injustice protests across the country. “What is worrying is the way he talks about ‘insurrection’ and people taking up arms. Have you ever heard a Democratic president of the United States speak like this?” Biden said during an interview with Telemundo’s José Díaz Balart. Trump in June controversially threatened to use the Insurrection Act to send the military to cities that do not control rioting. But in the case of intense rioting in Portland, the “law and order” White House cited 40 U.S. Code 1315, which gives DHS the ability to deputize officers in any department or agency “in connection with the protection of property owned or occupied by the federal government and persons on that property.” In the Telemundo interview, Biden said “I don’t take anything for granted,” on his chances of winning the Hispanic vote. “I’m going to work really hard for every vote.” Biden told reporters as he headed to Florida this week that his mission in the state would be to court Spanish-speaking voters. “I will talk about how I am going to work like the devil to make sure I turn every Latino and Hispanic vote,” Biden said when asked by reporters what his message would be in the country’s largest traditional general election battleground state. Polls in Florida have tightened up to a virtual tie between Biden and President Trump as Biden plans his trip to the Sunshine State. Recent surveys have indicated that Biden is underperforming with Latino voters amid a bunch of negative headlines regarding his outreach to Spanish-speaking voters in the state.
“New York Times: Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation into Bolton’s book” by CNN’s Devan Cole – The Department of Justice has launched a criminal investigation into the possibility that former national security adviser John Bolton “unlawfully disclosed classified information” in a memoir he published earlier this year, The New York Times reported Tuesday. Citing conversations with three people familiar with the matter, the Times said DOJ “has convened a grand jury, which issued a subpoena for communications records from Simon & Schuster, the publisher” of Bolton’s book, “The Room Where It Happened,” which was released in June. The Trump administration had previously tried to block the book’s release in court, arguing Bolton did not complete required pre-publication of the manuscript to make sure classified information was not contained in it. A federal judge rebuffed the administration’s attempts, but left open the possibility that Bolton could face criminal charges or be forced to hand over profits related to the book. The Times reported that two of the people familiar with the issue said Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe referred the matter to DOJ last month. The move prompted the head of the department’s national security division to open the criminal investigation, a person briefed on the case told the newspaper. Bolton, who served for a time as President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, has said he has complied with all of the revisions requested by the White House. Attorney General William Barr declined to comment on the matter when asked about it on Tuesday by CNN.
“Trump Goes Unmentioned in Most TV Ads for House, Senate Campaigns” by WSJ’s Julie Bykowicz – President Trump dominates television news coverage, but there is one corner of the media where he’s almost completely absent: advertisements in Senate and House elections. Mr. Trump is mentioned or shown in just 6% of the more than 771,000 general-election ads on broadcast television stations so far in those races, according to an analysis by ad tracker Kantar/CMAG. It marks a change from the last time an incumbent president was on the ballot. By the same point in 2012, then-President Obama was featured in about one out of five general-election ads, the CMAG analysis found. Almost all of those mentions were negative, with many Republican candidates criticizing Mr. Obama for the health-care legislation that they dubbed “Obamacare.” The new analysis shows that, while most Democrats will bash Mr. Trump in interviews and at public appearances, they are sticking with a strategy they believe has worked in the past of campaigning on policy promises rather than focusing on the president. Republicans, meanwhile, largely voice support for Mr. Trump but aren’t touting him in TV ads that could reach swing voters. “The ads are the ultimate tell,” said Ken Goldstein, a University of San Francisco professor who has studied political ads for about three decades. “There’s a realization that in a general election, very few people don’t have their minds made up about Trump. For Democrats, there is nothing they can do to fuel Trump anger, and for Republicans, there is nothing they can do to mitigate it.” The CMAG analysis for The Wall Street Journal included the content of all TV ads on broadcast television paid for by candidates, parties and outside groups in all Senate and House races. Many ads air hundreds or even thousands of times. The analysis separated primary and general-election ads that aired through Sept. 9 in the 2012, 2018 and current election cycles.
President Donald Trump @realDonaldTrump–HISTORIC day for PEACE in the Middle East — I am welcoming leaders from Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and the Kingdom of Bahrain to the White House to sign landmark deals that no one thought was possible. MORE countries to follow!
Nancy Pelosi @SpeakerPelosi–Our Latino community has always been a central part of our American story. This #HispanicHeritageMonth and every month, House Democrats are committed to lifting up our Latino community and opposing the Trump Admin’s campaign of hatred & xenophobia