On the roster: - Trump camp hits one year as discussion turns to guns - Bernie not considered for Hillary’s running mate - Dem senators gun filibuster goes late into the night - The Judge’s Ruling: Defending self-defense - Talk about embarrassing
TRUMP CAMP HITS ONE YEAR AS THE DISCUSSION TURNS TO GUNS
One year ago today, Donald Trump descended from the glass escalator in Trump Tower to announce his presidential launch. At the time, Jeb Bush and his much rumored big-money super PAC was going to clobber all other Republican hopefuls with maybe a challenge from young Sen. Marco Rubio or popular Gov. Scott Walker.
On Day 365 of Trump’s bid, another new poll (taken before the deadly shootings in Orlando) puts Hillary Clinton on top of Trump by 6 points. My, this is a far, far cry from the pre-convention general election scenario Republicans envisioned a year ago.
It is especially true for party conservatives, as their now presumptive nominee hints at a new stance on a core issue for Republican voters: gun rights.
On Wednesday, Trump said that he’d like to discuss with the National Rifle Association, which has already endorsed him, the possibility of preventing gun sales to those on the government’s terror watch list. This coincides with legislation proposed by Senate Democrats that would put such a measure in place, a measure which the NRA has already opposed on the grounds that it gives the government too much power over people who haven’t even been charged with a crime.
Some Senate Republicans, however, seem more open to the possibility of restricting gun sales to those suspected of terrorist ties, but the implementation of the Republican-led ban is much different than what Democrats have proposed.
Although they agree those on the terror watch list should not be sold weapons, Republicans believe that in order to justify not selling the firearm the government must provide evidence for why the sale could not go through within 72 hours.
In the past, Trump has shown openness to banning assault weapons and imposing a waiting period on gun sales. But similar to his switch on abortion, another crucial GOP issue, Trump has fully embraced the Second Amendment right since entering the presidential race.
Trump said at his rally in Atlanta on Wednesday, “By the way, I’m going to save your Second Amendment,” after arguing that if someone else in the Orlando nightclub had a firearm other than the shooter the devastation wouldn’t have been as severe.
Where Trump ultimately comes down on the issue remains to be seen, as his only mention so far was in a single tweet. If he supports a measure on a restriction akin to that proposed by the Democrats and strongly opposed by the NRA however, it would mean a big break with his core constituents and the party as a whole.
And for a man who relies heavily on polling to make his decisions, Trump will find no help here. The country has been split for years: a Gallup survey of recent polling on gun issues shows that there is always a slight uptick in favor of restrictions immediately after a mass shooting followed by a dip as time goes on.
Republicans will have to wait and see how Trump decides to proceed, but it’s a sure bet that one year ago today the party never thought they’d face a possible challenge on a key issue from their own party’s candidate. Or that the candidate in question would be the man descending from the glass escalator.
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Average of national presidential polls: Clinton vs. Trump: Clinton +5.6 points
Generic congressional vote: Democrats +2.2
BERNIE NOT CONSIDERED FOR HILLARY’S RUNNING MATE
WSJ: “Hillary Clinton’s campaign isn’t considering primary rival Bernie Sanders as her running mate, but is actively looking at Sen. Elizabeth Warren, whose populist politics line up closely with Mr. Sanders, people familiar with the process said. The vetting remains in its early stages. So far, potential candidates have been scrutinized using publicly available information. The Clinton team hasn’t asked anyone to submit tax returns or other personal information, one of the people said. Conversations with Mrs. Clinton herself about options are just now beginning.”
Trump accuses DNC of oppo leak - The Hill: “Donald Trump on Wednesday accused the Democratic National Committee of “hacking” itself in order to leak its opposition research on the likely GOP nominee. ‘We believe it was the DNC that did the ‘hacking’ as a way to distract from the many issues facing their deeply flawed candidate and failed party leader,’ Trump said in a statement to Politico. ‘Too bad the DNC doesn’t hack Crooked Hillary’s, 33,000 missing emails.’”
DEM SENATORS GUN FILIBUSTER GOES LATE INTO THE NIGHT
Fox News: “A Democratic senator ended a nearly 15-hour-long filibuster on the Senate floor early Thursday, part of an effort to force a vote on gun control legislation following Sunday’s terror attack in Orlando. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., yielded the floor at 2:11 a.m., 14 hours and 50 minutes after he began speaking. Murphy kept up his filibuster to a mostly empty chamber, save for 38 Democratic senators who joined him and made their own speeches throughout the day. Two Republican senators, Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, also made remarks. Democrats were seeking a vote on two amendments to an underlying spending bill. One, proposed by Murphy, would expand background checks. The other, proposed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., would let the government bar sales of guns and explosives to people it suspects of being terrorists.”
THE JUDGE’S RULING: DEFENDING SELF-DEFENSE
On the heels of the Orlando massacre, Senior Judicial Analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano observes that advocates of further government restrictions on gun rights are building on a failed record: “We have a government that, in its lust to have us reliant upon it, has created areas in the U.S. where innocent folks living their lives in freedom are made defenseless prey to monsters -- as vulnerable as fish in a barrel….There are thousands of crazies in the U.S. who are filled with hate -- whether motivated by politics, self-loathing, religion or fear. If they want to kill, they will find a way to do so. The only way to stop them is by superior firepower. Disarming their law-abiding victims not only violates the natural law and the Constitution but also is contrary to all reason.” More here.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich not ready to endorse Trump, unsure about RNC participation - NBC News
Oprah endorses Hillary - Politico
Ed Brookover to be liaison between Trump camp and RNC - The Hill
New poll shows Sen. Ron Johnson behind in Wisconsin - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“Mr. Trump is on the right road with the middle ground. If you’re on a no fly list, if you’ve got to go through extra screening because of your behavior you present a danger or a threat you shouldn’t be allowed to buy a gun but you should have a way to challenge the government’s accusations against you.” – Sen. Lindsey Graham talking about Trump’s gun control position on “Fox & Friends” this morning.
TALK ABOUT EMBARRASSING
Denver Post: “Bee Anantatho was very proud when her restaurant, Thailicious in Edgewater [Colorado], received a $1,088 tip from a customer this weekend…She heard about it when the server who cleared the table picked up the checkbook, where customers usually put extra money for tips when they pay in cash…Relying on her instincts as a business owner, Anantatho told her crew they should hold on to the money, just in case he came back. And he did, the very next day, the moment the restaurant opened. ‘He said, ‘I’m sorry, I was drunk,’ she said. ‘He didn’t know he put all the money he had in the checkbook.’ Some of the bills were $100 bills, and she suspected he might have thought they were $1 bills. She gave the money back to him, and he gave her $100 to cover the dinner, about $60, and the rest for a tip…‘I think he will come back,’ she said”
Chris Stirewalt is digital politics editor for Fox News. Sally Persons contributed to this report. Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.