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On the roster: Trump placates donors, establishment with Pence - RNC pummels anti-Trump effort - Power Play: Swing-a-ding-ding - Audible: Stahp - Cutting it close
TRUMP PLACATES DONORS, ESTABLISHMENT WITH PENCE
CLEVELAND – There have been all kinds of running mate selections in American political history, but one of the most popular has been the blank space.
And that seems to be Donald Trump’s preference with Indiana Gov. Mike Pence to be his number two.
Trump tweeted out the news today that, despite lots of drama, it would in fact be the first-term Indiana governor and former longtime member of Congress from the Hoosier State.
It is a highly conventional move for a candidate that has followed an unconventional path to this point.
Four years ago, another socially moderate businessman from the Northeast chose his own socially conservative, Midwestern, Chamber of Commerce Republican. Eight years ago, the Republican nominee did the same thing in reverse, as the Washington insider picked an outsider from Alaska.
So in that way Pence is par for the course.
But it does tell us something significant about where Trump finds himself in this cycle and in his effort to subsume the Republican Party.
The GOP establishment helped Trump obliterate the effort at the RNC rules committee to unbind delegates to allow them to vote for candidates other than Trump. Trump even bragged about the lopsided loss for his foes declaring “they were crushed last night in Cleveland.”
And today is the next step in consummating the marriage between Trump and his adopted party.
Trump’s selection of Pence was quickly praised by Trump critics like Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and other anti-Trump conservative stalwarts like the folks at the Club for Growth.
Despite some rhetorical wreckage of late, the Pence pick looks like the kind of concession that the conventional Republican Party that will satisfy – for the span of the next week at least – the GOP establishment.
Pence is mostly a hindrance when it comes to reaching the kinds of voters who Trump needs most now: crossover Democrats and center-left independents. If there was one way to turn off the Bernie Sanders voters and Perotists it would be to pick Pence.
But as we have discussed before, Trump is in dire need of the GOP donor class and party apparatus. Picking Pence, a longtime donor favorite, may help get Wall Street and big-business Republicans to start stroking checks. It’s something like creditors placing a receiver in a struggling business.
It’s important, to remember how little a vice presidential pick can be.
Yes, if Trump gets too far outside Republican orthodoxy, Pence could choose to stop defending him or even start disagreeing with him. Unless it’s an extreme case, though, Pence will have to do and say what he’s told. Remember how little Paul Ryan was heard from in 2012? It’s easy to imagine Pence playing even less of a role.
Trump can put Pence up on the shelf and then proceed mostly as if it never happened.
Trump, Clinton react to Nice attacks - Politico: “The attack in Nice, France tonight has upended the pre-convention media plans for both presidential candidates. Donald Trump announced that he was postponing his vice presidential announcement, originally scheduled for Friday morning. Additionally, Trump told Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly he was likely also postponing a planned joint interview with his vice presidential nominee on the CBS newsmagazine ‘60 Minutes’…O’Reilly had, for the first time, both presidential candidates on tonight, with Hillary Clinton also calling into O’Reilly’s show to respond to the Nice attacks.”
History: “On this day in 1789, only one day after the fall of the Bastille marked the beginning of a new revolutionary regime in France, the French aristocrat and hero of the American War for Independence, Marie-Joseph Paul Roch Yves Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, becomes the colonel-general of the National Guard of Paris by acclamation. Lafayette served as a human link between America and France in what is sometimes known as The Age of Revolutions.”
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Average of national presidential polls: Clinton vs. Trump: Clinton +3.6 points
Generic congressional vote: Democrats +2.8
RNC PUMMELS ANTI-TRUMP EFFORT
Zeke Miller explains how the effort to thwart Trump’s nomination was defeated Thursday. Time: “A last-ditch effort by anti-Trump delegates to unseat the presumptive nominee failed late Thursday by an overwhelming margin, assuring Trump’s position atop the Republican Party’s ticket. After a marathon session of behind-the-scenes wrangling and technical votes, delegates to the Republican National Convention voted down changes to the party rules to unbind themselves at the convention by a margin seemingly large enough to avoid a floor showdown in Cleveland on Monday. Such a move was necessary to preserve even a hope of replacing Trump as the party’s nominee, and its failure marked the unification of pro-Donald Trump delegates and Republican National Committee loyalists.”
NEW ROUND OF SWING STATE POLLS SHOW HILLARY AHEAD
WSJ: “Democrat Hillary Clinton leads Republican Donald Trump in four of the nation’s most racially diverse battleground states, new Wall Street Journal/NBC News/Marist polls show. Mrs. Clinton holds comfortable single-digit leads over her presumptive Republican rival in Colorado, Florida, North Carolina and Virginia, the polls found. The results from the polls conducted July 5-11 suggest that Mr. Trump has a fairly steep hill to climb in a quartet of states that often decide presidential races. He trails Mrs. Clinton by 6 percentage points among registered voters in North Carolina, 7 in Florida, 8 in Colorado and 9 in Virginia, the surveys found. In all four states, more than one voter in 10 didn’t pick either candidate, saying they would back neither one, another candidate or were undecided.”
POWER PLAY: SWING-A-DING-DING
A slew of new polling in a variety of key swing states shows mixed news for both 2016 candidates. But these polls taken individually show opposite results for candidates in the same state, making things a bit confusing in the political sphere ahead of the busiest weeks since the primary season kicked off. Here to interpret it all for you is WashEx’s David Drucker and WashTimes’ Charles Hurt with Chris Stirewalt who are all already on the ground in Cleveland. WATCH HERE.
Fox News Sunday - Kicking off in Cleveland with RNC Chairman Reince Priebus joining Mr. Sunday in the Buckeye State ahead of the opening of the much-anticipated convention. Watch “Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace.” Check local listings for broadcast times in your area.
[#mediabuzz - An all-star lineup from Cleveland! Watch #mediabuzz Sundays at 11 a.m. and a re-airing at 5 p.m. ET.]
Matthew Continetti explains the divorce of conservatism and the modern GOP ahead of the party’s convention - Free Beacon
Sanders launching organization to spread message, writing a book - USA Today
Peggy Noonan talks to Tim Scott, others about race relations - WSJ
Ryan raises nearly $5 million a month - WashEx
“I don’t know who created Pokémon Go, but I am trying to figure out how we get them to have Pokémon go to the polls.” – Hillary Clinton at a campaign rally.
FROM THE BLEACHERS
“I have to say Pence, if the news reports are right, is just another scoop of Vanilla Veep. Pity. I’m with the (Kraut)Hammer; Gingrich was the inspired choice. Much more cerebral than the Donald, who operates from the gut.” – Jeff Smith, Statesboro, Ga.
“It is imperative that the Republicans emphasize one major point during this election campaign. To vote against Donald Trump (if he is in fact the nominee) is to vote for a liberal dominated Supreme Court in the near and long term future.” – Bill Norwood, Ozark, Mo.
CUTTING IT CLOSE
KZRG: “The Jasper County [Mo.] Sheriff’s Office doesn’t usually get calls like this. ‘We received a call that there were two individuals driving down the road on a lawnmower naked.’ Jasper County Detective Tim Williams tells News Talk KZRG that report Tuesday afternoon (7/12) turned out to be true and the lawnmower had been stolen. 55-year-old Larry Webster and 40-year-old Tanya Hopper, both of Joplin, were arrested for felony stealing and indecent exposure. Williams says the two had an alibi: ‘According to their statements, they went skinny dipping and someone stole their clothing.’ The incident took place near a residence on Pleasant View Lane.”
AND NOW A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“This is what was said 10, 15 years ago after 9/11. We have a choice, we have to fight them there or we will fight them here. Obviously, it’s happening here.” – Charles Krauthammer reacting to the Bastille Day attack in France on “Special Report with Bret Baier.”
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.
Chris Stirewalt joined Fox News Channel (FNC) in July of 2010 and serves as digital politics editor based in Washington, D.C. Additionally, he authors the daily "Fox News First" political news note and hosts "Power Play," a feature video series, on FoxNews.com. Stirewalt makes frequent appearances on the network, including "The Kelly File," "Special Report with Bret Baier," and "Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace." He also provides expert political analysis for Fox News coverage of state, congressional and presidential elections.