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• Bush brothers bash their senators
• Ryan, holdouts may start speaker talks tonight
• Webb to walk out on Dems, ponder indy run
• Polls show shrinking support for Biden bid
• So, not a high-speed chase
BUSH BROTHERS BASH THEIR SENATORS
Neither former President George W. Bush nor his younger brother, Jeb, seems particularly satisfied with their representation in Congress these days.
The former president reportedly unloaded on his home state senator and former policy adviser, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in weekend remarks to Denver donors. “I just don’t like the guy,” the elder Bush said, according to Politico.
While the former president’s spokesman disputed a claim from an attendee that the 43rd president viewed Cruz as a serious threat to his brother’s so-far beleaguered bid for the GOP nomination, the spokesman did not quibble with the characterization of Dubya’s dislike.
Cruz tried to keep it classy in his rejoinder, with a statement to Fox News: “I have great respect for George W. Bush, and was proud to work on his 2000 campaign and in his administration It’s no surprise that President Bush is supporting his brother and attacking the candidates he believes pose a threat to his campaign. I have no intention of reciprocating. I met my wife Heidi working on his campaign, and so I will always be grateful to him.”
The Cruz, ahem, missiles in Denver follow weeks of attacks from Jeb Bush on his former protégé and current senator, Marco Rubio. The most recent being a Sunday accusation from the former Florida governor that Rubio misled the public with his claim to have more cash on hand than Bush by including general election funds.
While Rubio’s campaign responded on background on the claims, appearing on “The Kelly File” Monday, Rubio himself would not rise to the bait. “We didn’t mislead,” Rubio said. “The numbers are there and show what we’ve raised.”
The new WSJ/NBC News poll shows Bush, Rubio, Cruz and Carly Fiorina in what amounts to a four-way tie for third place, though Rubio leads the quarrelsome quartet with 13 points, 5 points better than Bush.
Jeb seeks to shift 9/11 blame back to Clinton after Trump’s accuses his brother - WaPo: “Jeb Bush, under fire from Republican rival Donald Trump over his brother’s anti-terror policies, launched an attack on the same subject against Bill Clinton Monday night, charging that the 42nd president’s administration did not pursue Osama bin Laden aggressively enough.
“The comments, made in an interview on Fox News Channel, marked the latest instance of Bill Clinton or George W. Bush surfacing as an issue in a campaign featuring candidates with the same last names. On his show, Fox’s Sean Hannity…[asked] ‘If Bill Clinton knew [bin Laden] wanted to commit crimes against America and was offered him and he didn’t take him, isn’t that in and of itself a legal basis to take the guy?’ [Bush responded]…I think the Clinton administration made a mistake of thinking bin Laden had to be viewed from a law enforcement perspective.”
Murphy says money will get Jeb through - Jeb Bush’s longtime political shaman, Mike Murphy, who now leads the super PAC that has taken a lead role in pushing the former Florida governor through the GOP primary gave a long, long interview to Bloomberg. Murphy’s emphasis was on financial firebombing he plans for the early nominating states. Murphy said in part, “We’re at a point now where we’re significantly funded for those 45 days [between the Iowa caucus and Super Tuesday], cash in the bank today. Nobody else is in that situation in this race. Nobody’s close.”
Hello! McFly! - As everyone knows, Wednesday marks the date that Marty McFly arrived in the future – Oct. 21, 2015 – in the hit movie “Back to the Future” 30 years ago. The super PAC backing Carly Fiorina’s candidacy is getting on the bandwagon with a date specific fundraiser.
RYAN, HOLDOUTS MAY START SPEAKER TALKS TONIGHT
WaPo: “Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is more open than ever to becoming the next House speaker, following a contemplative week at home with his family. But before he makes a final decision, friends say, he will seek assurance from Republican hard-liners that he will have their full support should he win the gavel. Those discussions will begin Tuesday evening at the Capitol when House Republicans gather for a closed meeting. It is unclear when Ryan, the 45-year-old chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee and 2012 vice-presidential nominee, will openly discuss his intentions. At the top of Ryan’s list, his associates said, is a desire to lead the House GOP as its spokesman and agenda-setter without the threat of revolt from the right…”
WITH YOUR SECOND CUP OF COFFEE…
How many pairs of Bean Boots have you owned in your life? The durable duck boots with the lifetime warranties have been staples for the outdoorsy set (as well as indoorsy types looking to affect the perfect prepster look) for a century. Little did you know that you were being fashion forward this whole time. The Atlantic tells: “The answer to why the signature Bean Boot has sold out every year since 2011, even as the company has been ramping up production significantly, surely is in part due to the demand generated by the fashion world. But the answer also lies in the decisions the company has made back in Maine… The rubber bottom of the Bean Boot is made by a machine, but after that it’s handmade by 200 people who split their time between three shifts. All in all, making the boot takes about 85 minutes’ worth of labor (not including the breaks in between stations).”
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Real Clear Politics Averages
Obama Job Approval: Approve – 45.3 percent//Disapprove – 50.3 percent
Directions of Country: Right Direction – 26.9 percent//Wrong Track – 63.1 percent
WEBB TO WALK OUT ON DEMS, PONDER INDY RUN
Fox News: “Former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb will announce today that he is dropping out of the Democratic presidential race, Fox News has learned. Webb is said to be disillusioned with the Democratic Party – as well as the Republican Party – and how the political parties are being pulled to allegedly extreme positions by the huge amounts of loosely regulated money fueling the campaigns. Webb has a press conference scheduled for 1 p.m. ET. While Webb is thought to be weighing a possible independent bid, he is not expected to launch an independent campaign for president Tuesday. Rather, he’s expected to take some time after his announcement to talk with people from across the political spectrum before making a decision.”
Polls show shrinking support for Biden bid - Two new polls show shallow waters may await Joe Biden if he does dive into the pool of Democrats vying for the White House. The NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll says only 30 percent of Democrats want to see Biden run, compared to 38 percent who want him to stay out. Another poll out today from WaPo/ABC News shows frontrunner Hillary Clinton gaining strength. Clinton jumped 12 points from last month, and now leads Vermont socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders 54 percent to 23 percent. Biden clocked in at 16 percent, down 5 points from last month.
Big Dog off porch - USA Today: “Bill Clinton will join Hillary Clinton in Iowa on Saturday for the Iowa Democratic Party’s Jefferson-Jackson Dinner, one of the major campaign events of the Iowa caucuses season. The former president will attend a Clinton campaign rally in downtown Des Moines before the dinner, appearing with his wife and pop star Katy Perry.”
Why Hillary will be humming ‘O Canada’ today - National Post: “The Liberal Party steamrolled to a stunning political comeback Monday night, forming a new, majority government and creating Canada’s first family dynasty at the highest level of national … As the results began streaming in from the last polls to close in British Columbia, it appeared leader Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, whose father Pierre was one of Canada’s most legendary leaders, had achieved the majority that even the most recent polls indicated would be impossible.…[Liberals] also surged way ahead in the popular vote, with just under 40%, versus 32.1% for the Tories, 19.4% for the NDP and 4.8% the Liberals.”
SOUND OFF: READERS RESPOND TO 2016 POWER INDEX
“Biden’s best bet, if not his/the Dem’s plan, is to be ‘drafted’ by his party when H. Clinton is sullied beyond repair. I originally thought this would be a February thing (post investigation of H. Clinton) but perhaps he knows something about Benghazi others (I) do not...” – Melene R. Dodson
“When will Jeb give up the ghost and get out. All that’s proven so far is he is not a serious candidate, and is clueless as to where a major part of the American electorate wants this country to go. He has BIG money and not a lot of voters backing him and he will be dead in the water.” – James Murphy
“I have not made a decision for the Republican candidate that I will support yet…The power index is another way in which you are trying to influence. I am not for Trump at all but you have never stopped trying to bring him down. Just report the news and let people decide.” – Phyllis Vickers
“Trump is a cry baby. If things don’t go his way, he insults his opposition, refuses to go on news shows if they don’t ‘treat him right’…I also do not understand why Fox News, which I love, continues to have him on the morning show. I can’t stand the man and turn the radio, or TV, off when he comes on. To be fair, I never liked the man even before he got in the race.” – Richard Maier
SO, NOT A HIGH-SPEED CHASE
ABC 15: “After finding a wandering tortoise Monday morning, the Mesa Police Department successfully located the owner and reunited them. The tortoise was first spotted walking along Guadalupe Road between Crismon and Signal Butte roads and appeared to be in good health. Police posted a photo to Facebook to ask the public’s help in locating the owner. Police report that the tortoise was temporarily fostered by a Mesa Animal Control employee. But after numerous calls, police were able to identify the owner within a matter of hours. According to Mesa police, a surprising number of calls from owners of missing tortoises, revealed that the humorous problem may not be that rare.”
AND NOW A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“I think the reason [Vice President Joe Biden] wants to be in there is if lightning strikes. In other words, if [Hillary Clinton] is struck by something else, an act of God, meaning an act of the FBI, some indictment, something just truly destructive, from which she can’t recover.” – 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.