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• Obama invites veto override on Iran deal
• Power Play: Will Hillary toe Obama’s line?
• Hillary in Canada: What pipeline?
• Kasich tour touts balanced budget amendment
• Wild rabbits have more fun
OBAMA INVITES VETO OVERRIDE ON IRAN DEAL
The Hill: “President Obama pledged to veto any new sanctions on Iran during his State of the Union address on Tuesday night. ‘New sanctions passed by this Congress, at this moment in time, will all but guarantee that diplomacy fails, alienating America from its allies, and ensuring that Iran starts up its nuclear program again,’ the president warned lawmakers. ‘It doesn’t make sense,’ he continued. ‘That is why I will veto any new sanctions bill that threatens to undo this progress. The American people expect us to only go to war as a last resort, and I intend to stay true to that wisdom.’ Sens. Bob Menendez [D-N.J.] and Mark Kirk [R-Ill.] have recently drafted legislation that would impose sanctions on Iran if it walks away from international negotiations or violates the terms of any deal…The international community fears Iran is seeking to develop a nuclear weapon. The talks have been extended twice, but June 30 is expected to be the final deadline.”
[The Senate Foreign Relations Committee holds a hearing today about the status of the Iran Nuclear Negotiations.]
“[It was] a liberal speech by a liberal president, no surprises there. A lot of things I didn't agree with, some things I did. I thought it was kind of a repeat of the greatest hits of the Obama administration lines.” --Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., on in an interview with Bret Baier. Watch here.
Iran bill may prompt Obama’s first veto override - National Journal: “A potential showdown is looming between Senate Democrats and the White House over Iran, one that could lead to the first successful veto override of President Obama’s tenure. On one side are Hill Democrats who, along with Republicans, want to weigh in on Iran's nuclear program. On the other is the White House, which has said that any statement from Congress would jeopardize a long-term deal to dismantle the country's nuclear capabilities. Obama has vowed to veto any legislation that imposes sanctions, urging Congress to ‘hold your fire’ while talks continue. Twelve Democrats in the Senate have in the past cosponsored legislation to impose sanctions on Iran. If they all continue to call for the sanctions, it would put the Senate close to the two-thirds majority necessary to override Obama's veto; supporters would need just one more vote if all 54 Republicans support the bill. Obama has vetoed only two bills in six years, and neither was overridden.”
“The greatest threat to our national security is Iran acquiring a nuclear weapons capability. Yet, the president is dug in on a negotiation strategy making it more likely that Iran acquires nukes.” --Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, on “The Kelly File” Watch here.
Immigration raised twice in 6,500 word speech - The Hill: “President Obama on Tuesday amplified his threat to veto GOP efforts to undermine his executive actions easing deportations. But unlike years past, the president stopped short of using his annual State of the Union speech to press Congress hard for the comprehensive immigration reform legislation that’s been a campaign promise since 2008. Indeed, Obama’s speech, as written, mentions ‘immigration’ only twice in almost 6,500 words. In the first instance, the president threatened to veto any GOP bill that rehashes ‘past battles on immigration when we've got a system to fix’ - a reference to recent Republican efforts to use legislation funding the Homeland Security Department selectively to undo his executive actions halting deportations for millions of illegal immigrants. The remarks drew Democrats out of their seats in applause, while Republicans looked on in silence. The second reference is also brief, as the president called broadly for Congress to resist policies that would tear families apart.”
“He was talking about the fact Republicans, on Capitol Hill, some of them are threatening to defund the Department of Homeland Security unless they can use that bill as a vehicle for turning back reforms with immigration.” --Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., on “The Kelly File” Watch here.
Ditches Mitch - The Hill: “President Obama made no mention Tuesday night of Sen. Mitch McConnell’s [R-Ky.] recent ascension to Senate Majority Leader, even though he will likely play a major role in congressional negotiations this year. Obama made a point of congratulating John Boehner [R-Ohio] for taking over the speaker’s gavel at the start of his 2011 State of the Union address, weeks after Republicans ousted Democrats from the House majority…While Obama has golfed with Boehner, he hasn’t had much of a relationship with McConnell. He joked two years ago at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner that he couldn’t imagine having a beer with the Senate Republican leader, who once declared his top political priority was to limit Obama to one term.”
Healthcare.gov is MIA - The Hill: “President Obama did not mention HealthCare.gov or ObamaCare’s current enrollment period in his State of the Union address, a major departure from last year's speech. Obama made scant reference to the healthcare law on Tuesday night, never mentioning it by name or acknowledging the details of Republican attacks. The general remarks skipped over the federal health insurance enrollment site, which remains open for sign-ups until Feb. 15. Federal health officials have devoted significant energy to urging people in the United States to buy plans, hoping to reach an enrollment goal of 9 million for 2015. Obama did not mention the goal or the deadline in his speech. It was a far cry from last year, when Obama's address came after a dramatic turnaround at HealthCare.gov.”
Whoops - The federal government didn’t vet contractors for healthcare.gov website according to a new HHS inspector general report.
Obama’s Hawaii dinner bill outpaces tax credit for families - WashEx: “Among the highlights of President Obama’s State of the Union address plans to pull the American family out of economic plight is a $500 tax credit for two-earner families…The provision is included in his effort ‘to help middle class families get ahead.’ Like who? Administration officials said families earning up to $210,000 would get a piece of the tax credit. That is four-times the earning of the ‘typical’ middle class income of $51,939 calculated by the Obama-supporting Center for American Progress…Put another way, the credit wouldn't even cover the tab for two at Hawaii’s Vintage Cave restaurant where the president and first lady dined on New Year's Day. It costs $295 per person, and doesn't even include wine.”
WITH YOUR SECOND CUP OF COFFEE...
Welcome to the Five Guys future. New Yorker examines the rise of “fast-casual” dining establishments. First emerging in the 1990s, these restaurants use more fresh and natural ingredients than the average fast-food place. Though just a small portion of the food industry, fast-casual is rapidly growing and accounts for $34 billion in annual sales. And consumers are hungry for more. “These aren’t people with unlimited resources, but they have plenty of disposable income. One of the things they’re willing to spend money on is food away from home,” according to Michael Silverstein of the Boston Consulting Group. As a result gourmet food and drink consumers grew meteorically in the 1990s. Food-service consultant Darren Tristano said, ‘Consumers didn’t really know what they wanted until they could get it.’”
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Real Clear Politics Averages
Obama Job Approval: Approve – 44.7 percent//Disapprove – 50.1 percent
Direction of Country: Right Direction – 32.3 percent//Wrong Track – 58.2 percent
POWER PLAY: WILL HILLARY TOE OBAMA’S LINE?
On the heels of the State of the Union one highly charged question is how closely 2016 frontrunner Hillary Clinton will hew to the president’s proposals. Can President Obama lash Clinton to his vision for the future of Democratic party and does she have to listen? Chris Stirewalt has the answer in just 60 seconds. WATCH HERE.
@BarackObama #SOTU pointed way to an economy that works for all. Now we need to step up & deliver for the middle class. #FairShot #FairShare – Hillary Clinton’s Twitter response.
“President Obama said it right: ‘This country does best when everyone gets their fair shot, everyone does their fair share and everyone plays by the same set of rules.’…Families just need a level playing field, and if they can get it, we can rebuild America's great middle class. It's time to get started.” –Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., in a Facebook statement.
“It’s unfortunate President Obama wants to use the tax code to divide us - instead of proposing reforms to create economic opportunity for every American. We can do better. My friend Joni Ernst offered a great contrast, outlining a positive, conservative vision for reform. I hope President Obama will be mindful of the strong message American voters sent in November and will work with our new Congressional majority on achieving solutions we know have broad-based appeal.” –Former Gov. Jeb Bush, R-Fla., responds in a Facebook statement.
“True to form, the President in his State of the Union speech is more interested in politics than in leadership. More intent on winning elections than on winning progress, he ignores the fact that the country has elected a Congress that favors smaller government and lower taxes. Rather than bridging the gap between the parties, he makes ‘bridge to nowhere’ proposals. Disappointing. A missed opportunity to lead.” – Former 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney responds in a Facebook statement.
HILLARY IN CANADA: WHAT PIPELINE?
Saskatoon [Canada] Star Phoenix: “Audience members hoping presumptive U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will reveal her long-awaited position on the Keystone XL pipeline during [today’s] Saskatoon appearance will likely leave disappointed. Clinton’s failure to stake out a clear position in support of or opposition to the proposed pipeline to deliver Canadian oil to America has been the focus of recent coverage as speculation increases about her intent to pursue the Democratic nomination for the 2016 U.S. presidential race. While Clinton is not likely to reveal her stance Wednesday, a professor of international relations at the University of Saskatchewan’s St. Thomas More College said this week she is more likely to support it than current U.S. President Barack Obama, who is expected to veto a bill in support of the pipeline. Prof. Bohdan Kordan said the issue will be key in a potential Clinton presidency for both oil-producing Saskatchewan, Premier Brad Wall ardently supports the project, and Canada. ‘That’s the $64,000 question,’ Kordan said…. Kordan speculated that Clinton would be more motivated to support the project because she is less inclined to be influenced by the left wing of the Democratic Party than Obama.”
Hillary raises eyebrows speaking to bank investigated for offshore tax evasion - Wash Free Beacon: “Hillary Clinton will give two speeches [today]…in Canada and is co-hosted by the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. The bank has recently come under investigation from the United States for helping wealthy Americans offshore money in the bank’s Caribbean accounts to avoid paying federal taxes. The Elizabeth Warren-supporting wing of the Democratic party has not been quiet in reminding people that Hillary Clinton has connections to Wall Street and big banks. These poorly timed paid speeches will raise some eyebrows and show misgivings of Hillary Clinton’s connections.”
[Iowa Ethanol mogul Bruce Rastetter announced the first-ever Iowa Agriculture Summit, a forum for likely presidential candidates to discuss major issues, a full slate of 2016 contenders from both parties have been invited.]
MITT’S SPEAKING FEE PALTRY BY HILLARY STRANDARDS
WaPo: “Mitt Romney will charge Mississippi State University $50,000 to deliver a lecture on campus next week, most of which will go to charity - a dramatically lower fee than the $250,000 to $300,000 Hillary Rodham Clinton requires for her university lectures. Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee who is weighing a third run for the White House, will speak as part of the university’s Global Lecture Series, a speaking series administered by the student government, a university official said. Romney has directed that most of his $50,000 fee go to Charity Vision, a nonprofit organization that partners with doctors to provide free eye surgeries that is led by one of Romney’s sons, according to a contract obtained Monday by The Washington Post under a public records request to the university. The remaining portion of the amount will be set aside to cover Romney’s travel, according to the contract.”
[One Night in Salt Lake - Romney is slated to speak about the economy today in Salt Lake City at “A Night with Mitt Romney,” an event hosted by Diversify, an investment consulting firm.]
RANDS STAYS RIPPING
“Objective evidence is that in 2012 it didn't work so well. I like Governor Romney but it wasn't something there to attract new people. I don't understand what will be different this time. So I think everybody has their time and place. And sometimes, we might do better with something new.” --Sen. Rand Paul , R-Ky., on “The Kelly File” Watch here.
[Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., will address the Ripon Society today in Washington D.C. discussing the State of the Union address and the Senate’s upcoming agenda.]
JEB ANNOUNCES FLOOD OF FUNDRAISERS
WashEx: “Jeb Bush on Tuesday met with Republican lobbyists in Washington to provide an update on his expected run for president and let supporters know how they could boost his budding campaign. Bush operatives who joined the former Florida governor at the afternoon event announced that 60 events in cities across the country have been scheduled to raise money for his federal leadership political action committee…According to one attendee, Bush talked about how the expected campaign of Democrat Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of state under President Obama, would ‘be a campaign of the past dating back to what happened in the 1990s’ and that his ‘will be candidacy of future’ focusing on positive immigration reform, among other issues. ‘His whole message is going to be that you’ve got to lift people up,’ this source said. ‘You can’t have a successful campaign that is focused on people who are doing well economically.’”
[Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., will speak at today’s Christian Science Monitor breakfast in Washington D.C.]
CHRISTIE BOUND FOR BRITAIN
AP: “New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will travel to London early next month for a trade mission that will double as another opportunity to bolster his foreign policy credentials ahead of a potential run for president. The three-day trip to England, beginning February 1, will be the Republican’s third foreign trip in recent months and his first outside of North America during his second term …There will also be a cultural aspect, with Christie potentially catching a soccer match.”
[Ed Note: Are the Cowboys playing?]
Blue State Buddies - WaPo “Maryland Gov.-elect Larry Hogan will be introduced at [today’s] inauguration by another blue-state Republican governor, New Jersey’s Chris Christie, whose enthusiastic embrace of Hogan during the campaign helped propel his underdog victory.”
KASICH TOUR TOUTS BALANCED BUDGET AMENDMENT
Ohio governor and potential 2016 GOP contender John Kasich is in Montana today selling a key element of his economic plan. Cleveland Ohio Plain Dealer: “Kasich [went] West…to advocate in six states that they support a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The trip follows up on one the governor made in December to Arizona to woo support for a constitutional convention to discuss the idea. Getting to a convention would require support from two-thirds of the states. Kasich plans to appear in Idaho, Montana, North and South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming over the rest of the week.”
GRAHAM CALLS ON SOUTH CAROLINA DONORS TO CHILL
WashEx: “Lindsey Graham is trying to put a southern freeze on the presidential field. The senator from South Carolina, the latest Republican to lean into a White House bid, is asking top donors and political consultants in his state to hold off from joining other campaigns.”
CROSSROADS HONCHO LAUNCHES GOP SENATE SUPER PAC
WSJ: “A former chief of staff to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell [R-Ky.] on Tuesday launched a super PAC aimed at preserving the party’s control of the Senate in a challenging 2016 election landscape. The group, called the Senate Leadership Fund, will serve as a counterweight to the Democratic Senate Majority PAC, whose formidable fundraising kept Democrats competitive in several key races in 2014. The former staffer is Steven Law, who also heads the conservative super PAC American Crossroads and its nonprofit arm Crossroads GPS, which were founded by GOP strategist Karl Rove. The new committee will be based in American Crossroads’ Washington, D.C. office, and the groups will coordinate messaging, advertising and fundraising.”
WILD RABBITS HAVE MORE FUN
The Telegraph reports that Pope Francis’ recent comment about family planning has some people hopping mad. On his trip back from the Philippines, the Pope said that followers should practice responsible and natural methods of birth control, saying, “Some people think – excuse the expression – that to be good Catholics we must be like rabbits. No. We need responsible parenthood, this is clear.” Those remarks have raised the ire of the German Rabbit Breeders Association. Association president Erwin Leowsky says that contrary to popular opinion, rabbits do not have a rampant sex drive and the pontiff should leave the clichés alone. “He should really think harder about giving up expressions like that and allow people to use contraception instead. I think it would be much more appropriate than saying such stupid things.” Leowsky says that the randy reputation is for those in the wild rather than animals bred in captivity. Pope Francis is scheduled to visit Philadelphia, New York City and Washington D.C. later this year.
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.