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On the roster: Blizzard of bad coverage a predictable hazard for Trump - Emails show ties between State Dept., Clinton Foundation - Ryan humbles primary challenger - Polls show swing to Hillary in key states - Stop being such a blowhole
BLIZZARD OF BAD COVERAGE A PREDICTABLE HAZARD FOR TRUMP
Did Donald Trump urge his supporters to kill Hillary Clinton? Certainly not.
Did he even suggest violence might befall her personally? Not at all.
Did he suggest an armed insurrection might follow a Supreme Court decision to “essentially abolish” the Second Amendment? It sure sounded like it.
But it sure didn’t seem, as he and his campaign have claimed, that the Republican nominee was talking about action at the ballot box and getting out the vote.
It was a gaffe, no doubt.
A presidential candidate publicly pondering the question of civil unrest in the event of his defeat is some banana republic business. Trump was certainly right that gun confiscation would provoke at least some violence and potentially general unrest. That’s one thing to discuss if you’re a sociologist. It’s another when you’re talking about it as a potential consequence of your defeat.
And whatever else it was, Trump’s Second Amendment aside was way, way off message for a candidate who has been trying for days to get back on script and focus on the economy and his attacks on Clinton.
Let’s be real, here, though. In the universe of Trump provocations, openly musing about the potential for future civil war if he loses is kind of plain vanilla. The Chunky Monkey and rocky road of the Trump ice cream stand are well known servings like implicating Ted Cruz’s father in the Kennedy assassination and mocking a disabled reporter.
So what’s with all the hubbub, bubs?
On that point, the Trump campaign is quite right. The media slants left. It’s not because of a conspiracy, but rather accidents of demography and career choices. Reporters don’t become liberal because of what they do, but rather it’s that the people who become reporters tend to be from subcultures that see the world from the left.
That’s true in a normal year. And this year is like Pixy Stix washed down with Mountain Dew. The media was biased when the political press spent a week hyperventilating over Mitt Romney’s “binders of women” and it sure is for Trump, whose conduct, controversies and contretemps have invited even many Republicans to declare him unfit for office.
But Trump knew that going into the race, and in fact, uses it to his advantage. In Trump’s demonology, the press ranks right up with Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, the leaders of the Republican Party, illegal immigrants, Muslim migrants and multi-national corporations.
And yet, somehow, he fails to take precautions against the most obvious pitfalls. His campaign showed new verve with its response on Tuesday, moving swiftly and of one voice to knock down the false narrative that Trump was calling for Clinton to be assassinated.
But the key in politics, as you know, is not what you say, but what you don’t say. On a day when reporters would have been forced to cover a twin bill of misery for Clinton -- scuzzy sounding emails between the State Department and her family foundation and the endorsement from the father of the perpetrator of the worst terror attack since 9/11 -- reporters were let off the hook and allowed to pick through a fresh bushel of Trump gaffes.
Popular wisdom holds that Napoleon Bonaparte’s invasion of Russia failed because of the severity of the Russian winter. But they always have winter in Russia. It’s kind of their thing. It wasn’t the weather that did Bonaparte in, but rather his failures of planning and organization.
For Republicans, a hostile press is the Russian winter. If you’re not prepared for it, go back to Corsica.
TIME OUT: INCREASED AND DIFFUSED, INDEED
History: “After a decade of debate about how best to spend a bequest left to America from an obscure English scientist, President James K. Polk signs the Smithsonian Institution Act into law. In 1829, James Smithson died in Italy, leaving behind a will with a peculiar footnote. In the event that his only nephew died without any heirs, Smithson decreed that the whole of his estate would go to ‘the United States of America, to found at Washington, under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, an Establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge.’ Smithson’s curious bequest to a country that he had never visited aroused significant attention on both sides of the Atlantic…. After considering a series of recommendations…Congress agreed that the bequest would support the creation of a museum, a library, and a program of research, publication, and collection in the sciences, arts, and history.”
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Average of national presidential polls: Clinton vs. Trump: Clinton +9 points
Generic congressional vote: Democrats +2.8
EMAILS SHOW TIES BETWEEN STATE DEPT., CLINTON FOUNDATION
WSJ: “A conservative watchdog group on Tuesday released 296 pages of emails from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s personal server, including many exchanges that weren’t handed over to the government as part of the Democratic nominee’s archive. The new emails, released by the group Judicial Watch, offer fresh examples of how top Clinton Foundation officials sought access to the State Department during Mrs. Clinton’s tenure. The documents were obtained through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch against the State Department. A spokesman for the Clinton Foundation, a nonprofit organization established by former President Bill Clinton, didn’t immediately return a request for comment. Mrs. Clinton had attached her name to the foundation after she left the U.S. government and subsequently removed it when she started her presidential campaign.”
Clinton ‘disavows’ Orlando shooter’s father’s support - Fox News: “The Hillary Clinton campaign disavowed support from the father of ISIS-inspired Orlando nightclub gunman Omar Mateen late Tuesday. A campaign official told Fox News Clinton disagrees with the views of Seddique Mateen, who made a startling appearance at a Clinton rally in the Orlando area Monday. Mateen was seen cheering her on and waving an American flag in the background as she paid tribute to victims of his son’s terror rampage. WPTV first noticed Mateen’s presence in the crowd. He told the station that Clinton was “good for national security” and ‘gun control laws.’ Though Mateen claimed he had been “invited” to the rally in Kissimmee, he also suggested the invitation may have come in the form of a mass email. The Clinton campaign said earlier Tuesday they were not aware of his presence.”
RYAN HUMBLES PRIMARY CHALLENGER
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “House Speaker Paul Ryan routed political newcomer Paul Nehlen Tuesday in a lopsided GOP primary that was overtaken in its closing days by the endless drama and discord around Republican nominee Donald Trump. Ryan was leading Nehlen by almost 70 points in Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District with most of the ballots counted. He will face Ryan Solen, who won the Democratic primary over Tom Breu. The outcome was an affirmation of Ryan’s home-state popularity within his own party, amid the turbulence surrounding the GOP presidential nominee and Ryan's own public differences with Trump. Ryan said the results were a vote for a politics that is ‘inclusive, not divisive,’ and not ‘mean.’ ‘It’s easy to resort to division,’ he said at a press conference in Janesville after the race was called. ‘It is simple to resort to people’s fears. That stuff sells, but it doesn't stick.’”
POLLS SHOW SWING TO HILLARY IN KEY STATES
Two new sets of swing state polls seem to confirm the national trend of a widening advantage for Hillary Clinton.
Quinnipiac University polls show Clinton ahead in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida, places where Trump had previously been ahead or at least tied. In Pennsylvania, where Trump outpaced Clinton by two points last month, the poll now has her walloping him with a 10-point lead. In Ohio, Clinton holds a 4-point advantage. The most competitive state in the poll seems to be Florida where the two are only separated by one point with Clinton in the lead, a flip from last month where Trump led by 3 points.
A WSJ/NBC News/Marist College poll seems to confirm Clinton’s lead in Pennsylvania and Ohio with an 11- and 5-point lead, respectively. Although their swing state poll had Clinton leading these two states last month, her margins have widened in wake of the party conventions. The poll did not include Florida, but another key state this cycle: Iowa. Clinton also maintained her advantage there, outpacing Trump by 4 points.
Christie aide says governor ‘lied’ about staff not being involved in bridge lane closures - WSJ
Clinton looks to make Arizona and Georgia battleground states - WaPo
Bush’s Iraq, UN ambassador Negroponte endorses Clinton - Fox News
Clinton up by 6 points in new poll - Bloomberg
Progressive groups urge Clinton to denounce Obama’s TPP in effort to prevent passage - The Hill
Jonah Goldberg explains the GOP’s ‘Catch 44’ on Trump support - NRO
Trump books TV ads, but the tally so far: Clinton $52 million, Trump $0 - NBC News
Who writes which Trump tweets? Science knows! - Variance Explained
Pence tells fellow Republicans to ‘check the box’ and vote for Trump - USA Today
Portman, Strickland escalate attacks in Ohio - WashEx
Kaine says he’ll reinstate the Kansas-Missouri football rivalry - SB Nation
AUDIBLE: IN THE WORST WAY?
“I want to debate very badly.” – Donald Trump in an interview with Time.
FROM THE BLEACHERS
“Aristotle remarked that Republics decline into Democracies and Democracies degenerate into Despotisms. I have long thought it was becoming increasingly difficult to tell the difference between Republicans and Democrats. I think that the pebbles are leaning toward the end game. Do you buy into his game plan and if so where do you place the ball marker?” – Margy Gangl, Pasco, Wash.
[Ed note: History would certainly suggest that old Ari was quite right. It’s not always the case, though, no republic has ever had a better start than ours and no republic has been more plainly founded on guarding the liberty of the people against the Scylla and Charybdis of aristocracy on one side and the rule of the mob on the other. That, combined with this nation’s disproportionate share of blessings, ought to give us a better chance than anyone who came before.]
“I have felt for the past weeks that any prominent Republican that interferes with Trumps election should be on a maintained list so that the public can and will vote them out of office when they come up for reelection as well. Pave the road nicely for us! Turncoats all of them and they are likely behind the one world view as well. Thank you, thank you.” – Jan Fellows, Clarkston, Wash.
[Ed note: You are in luck! There are already many lists being kept. Here’s one of those Republicans voting for Clinton and surely by the end of the election there will be a complete list of those who simply don’t support Trump. But the word you used was “interferes.” That one’s a little trickier. Becoming the leader of a political party is traditionally not about conquest but rather, conjugation. Trump at first seemed to be staging a hostile takeover bid of the GOP, but when faced with the need for fundraising and organization sought to make it more of a merger. Mergers mean partners and partners have voices. I tend to agree with what I think your sentiment is and I argue that Trump should ditch the GOP as much as possible to preserve his best chance for victory. But as long as he keeps asking for their help, they will continue to be able to make demands of him.]
“The Cardinals will make it to the playoffs. Why? Because as we say here in Arch City, they ALWAYS make it to the playoff! I have faith in those Redbirds.” – Susan Williams, St. Louis
[Ed note: Well, please tell that to the boys in the bullpen! But of course, and always, viva El Birdos.]
STOP BEING SUCH A BLOWHOLE
KTLA: “A SeaWorld Orlando parkgoer captured video of a dolphin reaching out of its tank and snatching a visitor’s iPad. WTVT reports that season ticket holder Kuadiel Gomez caught the incident on video and still cannot believe it happened. ‘That dolphin just lunged and reached the lady, which was unbelievable,’ said Gomez. The video shows the dolphin splashing around with the iPad in its mouth, while the woman reaches into the tank in an effort to get the tablet back. After a few tries, she was able to successfully retrieve the iPad. ‘As you can see, the dolphins can reach your loose items,’ a SeaWorld worker can be heard saying on the video.”
AND NOW A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“This is somebody on advance team who screwed up and should be now peddling fruit in lower Miami. It’s nothing to do with her.” – Charles Krauthammer on “Special Report with Bret Baier” discussing the appearance at a Clinton rally of the father of the perpetrator of the Orlando massacre. Watch the panel here.
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 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.