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• Warren warms up her backhand: Hillary’s ‘terrific’
• Tax firms get bounties for ObamaCare signups
• Florida House primary today
• Dem downplays ties to Weather Underground
WARREN WARMS UP HER BACKHAND: HILLARY’S ‘TERRIFIC’
Elizabeth Warren isn’t running for president… yet. In an interview with ABC News to promote her new book, the freshman senator from Massachusetts was sticking closely to her non-denial denial of a potential 2016 run: “I’m not running for president.” The liberal icon stayed on script, talking about the need for left-wing activists to mobilize for this falls’ midterm elections until confronted with this question: “Do you think Hillary Clinton would make a good president?” Warren quickly swatted it aside: “I think Hillary Clinton is terrific. We’ve gotta stay focused on these issues right now.”
[Esquire’s Charles Pierce examines Warren’s influence and why many want her to run in 2016. Does he dig it? Try this line: “She has come to remind us who we are, or at least who we once were.” Quite so, Mr. Pierce.]
Ouch - Even as Warren was deflecting questions about calls for her to block Clinton’s coronation as the Democratic nominee, Warren alluded to the main concern members of their party have about the Clintons, who amassed an enormous fortune through their political clout and are famously cozy with Wall Street and other business patrons. From Warren’s ABC interview: “Look, Washington works for those who have lots of money and lots of power. It concentrates it. All we've got on the other side are our voices. And we need to make our voices heard. And we need to make them heard now. We’re runnin’ outa time. That’s where I’m gonna stay focused.”
[Politico: “[Former President] Bill Clinton will be the featured guest at a New York City fundraiser this week for former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’s gun-control group.”]
Not smoking the peace pipe - Republican strategist Brian Walsh isn’t dropping the controversy over Warren’s claim of American Indian ancestry that erupted during the 2012 campaign: “Warren ducked, dodged and stonewalled subsequent questions, eventually wearing-out the press, and succeeded in winning an election without ever releasing any records that might substantiate those claims. So her decision to revisit this controversy in a new book re-opens the issue and reminds us that there is a very simple way for Warren to answer the many still outstanding questions, and it begins with finally releasing her records.”
[Watch Fox: Chief Political Correspondent Carl Cameron looks at Warren’s growing clout within her party.]
TAX FIRMS GET BOUNTIES FOR OBAMACARE ENROLLMENTS
Daily Caller: “Tax-preparing companies are getting paid by an Obamacare exchange to enroll people in Obamacare plans…At least 79 tax service providers, including offices of major companies like Liberty Tax Service and Jackson Hewitt Tax Service, are listed as certified Obamacare enrollment entities in the state of California, according to state exchange records. California’s Obamacare exchange, Covered California, pays enrollment entities for signing people up for Obamacare. ‘Certified Enrollment Entities are paid a flat-fee of $58 per successful application and $25 per successful annual renewal,’ according to California Health Benefit Advisers. ‘The Enrollment Entities compensate the individual Enrollment Counselors.’”
Planned Parenthood, too – Daily Caller: “Thirty-eight different Planned Parenthood clinics in [California] are listed as certified enrollment entities, according to state exchange records…Enrollment counselors earn an additional $58 fee if their enrollee adds a dependent, such as a child.”
[NYT’s Abby Goodnough tells the stories of five uninsured Americans and their own personal struggles with ObamaCare.]
OBAMACARE ON A WINNING STREAK? NOT SO MUCH
Despite a massive publicity push by Obama Democrats to claim that the president’s 2010 health law is on “a winning streak” because of administration claims about meeting its own enrollment targets, the message doesn’t seem to be filtering through to voters. A new Fox News poll says that support for the law remained stuck at 39 percent, one point lower than last month. Republicans retook the lead on voters’ preference on a generic ballot. Perhaps most telling: 51 percent of respondents said the troubled law would be remembered in 20 years as President Obama’s “worst accomplishment” compared to 37 percent who opted to say it would be remembered as his “best accomplishment.”
Johnson unites GOP against Congress’ ObamaCare exemption - Washington Times: “Thirty-eight Republican lawmakers, including such unlikely bedfellows as [Sen.] John McCain of Arizona and [Sen.] Ted Cruz of Texas, have joined to support a lawsuit challenging the legality of [ObamaCare] and accusing the president of repeatedly ignoring the law he signed for political reasons. The lawmakers have signed onto a legal brief in support of a lawsuit filed by Sen. Ron Johnson, the Wisconsin Republican who is asking a federal court to overturn Obamacare’s special treatment for members of Congress and their staffs. ‘The unlawful executive action at issue in this case is not an isolated incident,’ the brief states.”
[Maybe try Gmail? - Free Beacon: “The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) spends roughly $123.2 million per year to provide ‘email services’ for its 70,000 employees, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO)…”]
MINISTRY OF TRUTH
The Supreme Court will hear arguments today on a challenge to the authority an Ohio commission that renders judgments on the truth or falsity of campaign ads. The case in question relates to the claim from pro-life groups that ObamaCare would provide federal funding for abortions. Watch Fox: Fox News Correspondent Shannon Bream will follow the Supreme Court discussion.
KELLY FILE: HACKING THE CONSTITUTION
Ten states and the District of Columbia have signed on to a plan to scrap the Electoral College in favor of a direct popular vote. The move by the all-blue states would focus future presidential campaigns and national politics on maximizing turnout in urban centers, not building broad coalitions. “This is disempowering to rural America and empowering to urban America,” Chris Stirewalt told Megyn Kelly, explaining that it amounts to a “hack” of the Constitution to subvert the Framers’ intention of preventing the consolidation of power. New York most recently joined the effort, for a total of 165 of the 270 electoral votes necessary to circumvent the Constitution. Watch the interview on “The Kelly File.”
WITH YOUR SECOND CUP OF COFFEE...
After last week’s announcement that scientists have found “Earth’s cousin,” David Berreby questions “What makes an alien intelligent?” for the New Yorker. “…it’s kind of discouraging to think the human race could spend so much hope and effort on the search for life only to find roving wave-lattices and other beings that won’t, or can’t, talk with us. But you can also see the expansion of our quest for intelligence as exhilarating. It raises the possibility that life out there will be interestingly, perhaps shockingly, different.”
Got a TIP from the RIGHT or LEFT? Email FoxNewsFirst@FOXNEWS.COM
Real Clear Politics Averages
Obama Job Approval: Approve – 41.1 percent//Disapprove – 50.9 percent
Direction of Country: Right Direction – 31 percent//Wrong Track – 61.3 percent
Generic Congressional Ballot: Democrats – 41.8 percent// Republicans 40.2 percent
FLORIDA PRIMARY TO PICK RADEL REPLACEMENT
Voters head to the polls today in southwestern Florida for a special primary election for the House seat formerly held by scandal-scarred Trey Radel, R-Fla. The GOP hopefuls vying to replace Radel: state Senate Majority Leader Lizbeth Benacquisto, businessman Curt Clawson, and former state Rep. Paige Vanier Kreegel and businessman Michael Dreikorn. Outside endorsements have been a big part of the hotly contested race in the heavily Republican district. Benacquisto is backed by former Govs. Sarah Palin, R-Alaska, and Mike Huckabee, R-Ark. Clawson, meanwhile, touts his backing from Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and tea party groups. An expensive and at times sordid ad war has highlighted divisions in the party. Whichever GOP candidate emerges on top in the primary is expected to win in the heavily conservative district election on June 24. Mitt Romney won more than 60 percent of the vote in the district, which includes Naples and Ft. Myers, in 2012.
Costly contest - Roll Call: “Three of Radel’s potential successors boast at least $1 million in airtime behind each of their efforts — both from their own campaigns and outside groups boosting them… The spending leader is businessman Curt Clawson, who has loaned $2.65 million of his own funds to his campaign, according to his most recent campaign fundraising report. But outside groups have helped two other GOP candidates, state Senate Majority Leader Lizbeth Benacquisto and former state Rep. Paige Kreegel, stay in the game.”
LIGHTS OUT IN KENTUCKY PRIMARY?
As Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell goes up with another high-volume ad buy, this time touting him as a ‘genuine Kentucky workhorse,’ the campaign of his primary challenger, Matt Bevin, lost a top staffer. Rachel Semmel, a former aide to now-Gov. Mike Pence, R-Ind., told WFPL that she had left the campaign after rumors of her departure swirled online. Semmel’s arrival last year was an early signal of Bevin’s viability. Her departure just weeks before the May 20 primary indicates serious problems for a campaign that has struggled. Neither she nor the campaign told the station the reason for the rift.
[Oops – Democratic candidate Allison Lundergan Grimes sent an email attacking a McConnell gaffe but made a “suprise” typo.]
CONSERVATIVE PAC BACKS PERDUE IN GEORGIA RACE
WaPo: “A conservative super PAC that has begun airing an ad attacking Rep. Jack Kingston (R) in the crowded Republican primary for U.S. Senate in Georgia says its strategy is to help one of his opponents, businessman David Perdue (R), according to a disclosure form that lays out its plans. In a letter authorizing a media company to handle its ad placements in the race, Citizens for a Working America PAC says such communications with the public ‘will independently advocate for the election of David Perdue and/or for the defeat of his opponents.’ The letter, dated April 16, is posted on the Federal Communications Commission's Web site. The super PAC recently went up with a $500,000 ad buy against Kingston that dubs him a "career politician" and hits him for supporting earmarks and voting to raise the debt ceiling… Citizens for a Working America PAC was formed in 2010, when it devoted six figures to defeating then-Rep. John Spratt (D-S.C.). In 2012, it supported Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) in the presidential primary then later backed Mitt Romney.
The group likely received a recent infusion of cash. According to its campaign finance report, it had just $91 on hand at the end of March.”
ROBERTS BACKED BY TWO PRO-LIFE GROUPS
The National Right to Life Committee and Kansans for Life Political Action Committee endorsed Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan. Monday. The NRL press release touted Roberts for his “100% pro-life voting record,” and that he is “has consistently hammered against a very dangerous aspect of Obamacare – how it limits the right to use one’s own money to get health coverage for expensive life-saving care.” Challenger Milton Wolf has so far struggled to gain traction ahead of the August 5 primary.
SHERIFF JOE KEEPS IT REAL
Washington Examiner reports on a fundraising email for Vice President Joe Biden: “‘If Republicans hold on to their majority in the House and win back control of the Senate in November -- and believe me, that's a real possibility -- then I can guarantee you that we'll see more backwards proposals like this one coming out of a Republican Congress for the rest of this president’s time in office.’”
PICK SIX: CAN GOP MAKE IT TO A ‘SUCCESSFUL SEVEN’?
Republicans need to gain six seats to take control of the Senate. Which six Democrat-held seats are the most vulnerable? The current consensus among Fox News First readers: Arkansas, Montana, Louisiana, South Dakota, North Carolina and West Virginia. Reader Michael McNally says Fox News First should “add Alaska for a ‘Top Successful Seven.’” We’re sticking with six, but Alaska may return to the top tier if others add their votes!
NEW MEXICO DEM DOWNPLAYS TIES TO WEATHER UNDERGROUND
KRQE: “One of New Mexico’s candidates for Governor is downplaying his ties to a co-founder of the radical anti-government Weather Underground. Democrat Alan Webber has raised the most money out of the five candidates vying for the party’s nomination and the right to take on Governor Susana Martinez in the November election. From the late 1960′s to the mid 1970′s, the anti-war group the Weather Underground planted and detonated bombs at targets across the country. The group’s manifesto called for the violent overthrow of the United States government. One of its founders was Mark Rudd…A week and a half ago, Rudd’s wife Marla Painter hosted a campaign event for Webber at the couple’s Albuquerque home. One day later, announced he was endorsing Webber in an email…Both Hillary Clinton and the [Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.,] campaign criticized then-candidate Barack Obama’s ties to another Weather Underground founder, Bill Ayers, during the 2008 race.”
SCOTT HABLA ESPAÑOL
Miami Herald: “[Florida] Gov. Rick Scott will start airing his 2014 campaign’s first Spanish-language TV commercial this week, an earlier-than-usual Hispanic-outreach effort that reflects Florida’s changing demographics as well as the depth of the Republican’s aggressive $6 million ad blitz. No other Florida governor has advertised so heavily — especially in Spanish — nearly seven months before his election. The ad’s title and message, ‘Oportunidad [opportunities],’ jibes with two English-language positive spots Scott began running in mid-March. It’s all about jobs, which have increased on his watch.”
[GOP launch more Spanish ads - WSJ: “Florida Gov. Rick Scott…became the fourth Republican gubernatorial candidate to announce a Spanish-language commercial, joining New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez and Republican nominees Bruce Rauner in Illinois and Greg Abbott in Texas. None of their opponents have begun advertising on television yet.”]
RGA hits Haley foe - The Republican Governors Association released a new ad on behalf of Gov. Nikki Haley highlighting South Carolina Democratic gubernatorial candidate Vincent Sheheen’s career as a trial lawyer. “Trial lawyer Vincent Sheheen made money off criminals...Defended a child abuser… Sheheen defended violent criminals who abused women and went to work setting them free. So next time Sheheen says he’ll protect women from violent criminals, ask him: What about the ones who paid him? Vincent Sheheen protects criminals. Not us.”
ROMNEY ENDORSES IN ARIZONA HOUSE RACE
Roll Call: “[Former Massachusetts Gov.] Mitt Romney threw his support behind Arizona state Speaker Andy Tobin on Monday, marking the latest candidate Romney has endorsed in the midterm elections. ‘I am proud to support Andy Tobin for Congress,’ Romney said in a statement. ‘Andy is a proven conservative whose leadership in Arizona has been crucial to cutting state government spending, lowering taxes and fighting to stop ObamaCare.’ Tobin is one of a handful of Republicans looking to oust Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick in Arizona’s 1st District. Tobin will face state Rep. Adam Kwasman and businessman Gary Kiehne in the Aug. 26 primary, one of the latest primaries in the country.”
[#winning - WaPo: “Congressional Republicans are winning at Twitter in 2014”]
Auburn University fans were all high-fiving online when the football powerhouse program landed prized offensive line recruit Marquel Harrell. But when the Fairburn, Ga. high school senior took to Twitter to announce his decision, he fumbled. “@HarrellMarquel: I’m officially committed to the University of Auburn.” The Internet, especially the SEC precincts, can be a rough neighborhood for making such a mistake. Harrell turned down several schools, including Auburn’s archrival, the University of Alabama, so War Eagle devotees were quick to forgive.
AND NOW A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“The real objective of ObamaCare is … a semi nationalization – using the insurers as the middle man – but that’s what it’s about. That is what the objective in the first place. And that’s why all the numbers are obscured and hidden, and why you only get them after we kick and scream and demand them” – Charles Krauthammer on “Special Report with Bret Baier.” Watch here.
Chris Stirewalt is digital politics editor for Fox News. Want FOX News First in your inbox every day? Sign up here.
Chris Stirewalt joined Fox News Channel (FNC) in July of 2010 and serves as politics editor based in Washington, D.C. Additionally, he authors the daily Fox News Halftime Report political news note and co-hosts the hit podcast, Perino & Stirewalt: I'll Tell You What. He also is the host of Power Play, a feature video series on FoxNews.com. Stirewalt makes frequent appearances on network programs, including America’s Newsroom, Special Report with Bret Baier and Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace. He also provides expert political analysis for FNC’s coverage of state, congressional and presidential elections.