2020 hopefuls butter up food & voters in Iowa


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On the roster: 2020 hopefuls butter up food & voters in Iowa - Texas shaping up as house battleground - Administration clamps down on green cards - Don’t toss the bouquet

2020 HOPEFULS BUTTER UP FOOD & VOTERS IN IOWA

Politico: “There was a moment of silence, friendly candidate-to-candidate photo bombs, even an extended exchange of hugs between candidates. On Friday, the same crowd of 2020 Democrats that ripped each other apart on the national debate stage in Detroit transformed into paragons of ‘Iowa nice’ at the Wing Ding — making their best pitches to Iowa caucusgoers without eviscerating each other. Instead, the 22 candidates unloaded on President Donald Trump in a parade of speeches that framed the fight for the White House as a battle against hate and bigotry. Invoking last weekend's mass shootings, they joined in calling for stronger gun laws. And they called for different approach to immigration. The event came as the primary season in the first-in-the-nation caucus state kicked into high gear with start of the annual state fair. Caucusgoers' enthusiasm was palpable: thousands packed into the historic venue, which at times grew so loud that speakers had to yell to be heard.”

Biden - 1994 crime bill was a success – NYT: “Each time a mass shooting strikes one of our communities we grieve. We gather our loved ones. We reach for answers and clamor for action. Each time, for a moment, it feels as if this time will be different. … Anyone who pretends there’s nothing we can do is lying – and holding that view should be disqualifying for anyone seeking to lead our country. I know, because with Senator Dianne Feinstein I led the effort to enact the 1994 law that banned assault weapons and high-capacity magazines for 10 years. Those gun safety reforms made our nation demonstrably more secure…. The 1994 assault weapons and high-capacity magazines bans worked. And if I am elected president, we’re going to pass them again – and this time, we’ll make them even stronger.”

More Biden blunders - Bloomberg:Joe Biden said he was vice president when the deadly high school shooting in Parkland, Florida, took place. Except, it happened in 2018, more than a year after he left office -- the latest gaffe by the Democratic presidential front-runner. Biden told reporters in Iowa on Saturday that ‘those kids in Parkland came up to see me when I was vice president.’ But when they visited Capitol Hill to talk with members of Congress, lawmakers were ‘basically cowering, not wanting to see them. They did not want to face it on camera.’ The former vice president was making a point about the changing conversation around gun violence in this country, and how as more and more ordinary people are touched by mass shootings, they are more likely to call for action. An official with the Biden campaign said the former vice president was thinking of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, when he misspoke.”

Warren draws big crowds in Iowa - AP: “The chant – ‘2 cents, 2 cents, 2 cents’ – started in the back of a crowd that packed sidewalks at the Iowa State Fair. Elizabeth Warren, basking in the spontaneous adulation of her proposed wealth tax, prompted roars with her call for the ultra-wealthy to ‘pitch in 2 cents so everybody gets a chance to make it.’ A night before, the Massachusetts senator enjoyed similar treatment when Democrats at a party dinner jumped to their feet  – some beginning to dance – at the opening bars of Dolly Parton’s ‘9 to 5,’ the song that would usher Warren on stage. For someone whose White House ambitions were dismissed by some Democrats earlier this year, Warren’s reception in Iowa this weekend was a clear warning sign to other 2020 candidates that hers is a campaign to be reckoned with in the state that kicks off the race for the party’s nomination.”

Will Harris’s Iowa focus cost her in South Carolina? - NYT: “As Ms. Harris trundles her way across Iowa on a five-day bus tour that is her longest trip yet to any early primary state, the California Democrat’s embrace of Iowa’s quirky political traditions has delivered the unmistakable message that the state’s kickoff caucuses are increasingly central to her 2020 calculations after months of focus on South Carolina. By the end of her tour on Monday, Ms. Harris will have made more stops in Iowa on this trip than she did in the entire first half of 2019, according to the Des Moines Register’s candidate tracker. She did not once venture farther west than the Des Moines suburbs until July, as her one planned trip there was scratched because of Senate votes. ‘You can’t fake showing up,’ said Jim Eliason, the Democratic county chairman in Buena Vista in northwestern Iowa, who happily introduced himself to Ms. Harris, outside the Storm Lake taqueria on Friday.”

Buttigieg pulls new staff from old establishment - Politico: “Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign has brought on a new senior adviser to connect with Democratic Party leadership and help lead the campaign’s African American support. The new senior adviser, Brandon Neal, has served as the Democratic National Committee’s national political director and has previously done stints working for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Democratic Governors Association, Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, and Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.), the chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus. Neal’s portfolio will cover strategy across the campaign. Neal is the latest in a string of senior-level hires the Buttigieg campaign has made. It recently added veteran Democratic campaign manager Michael Halle as senior strategist and Jess O’Connell, formerly DNC chief executive officer, as a senior adviser.”

Andrew Yang gets emotional over gun deaths - Fox News: “Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang shed tears at an Iowa town hall about gun safety, when a mother recalled how her 2-year-old daughter was fatally shot by a stray bullet while the girl's twin brother watched. The woman referred to statistics of unintentional shootings by children and asked how Yang would address the problem if elected president. Before answering, Yang asked if he could give the woman a hug, then appeared to fight back tears when he returned to the stage. ‘I have a 6- and 3-year-old boy, and I was imagining,’ Yang began before choking up. ‘I was imagining it was one of them that got shot and other saw it,’ he continued. ‘I’m so sorry.’ Yang quickly collected himself and suggested a method of reducing the number of such tragic accidents.”

THE RULEBOOK: THE CHOICE
“The President is indirectly derived from the choice of the people, according to the example in most of the States. Even the judges, with all other officers of the Union, will, as in the several States, be the choice, though a remote choice, of the people themselves…” – James Madison, Federalist No. 39

TIME OUT: YOU CAN’T STOP THE BEAT!
The Atlantic: “In 1998, two teams of cosmologists observed dozens of distant supernovas and inferred that they’re racing away from Earth faster and faster all the time. This meant that—contrary to expectations—the expansion of the universe is accelerating, and thus the fabric of space must be infused with a repulsive ‘dark energy’ that comprises more than two-thirds of everything. … Fast-forward to July of this year. On a Monday morning three weeks ago, many of the world’s leading cosmologists gathered in Santa Barbara, California, to discuss a major predicament. [Adam] Riess, now 49, strolled to the front of a seminar room to give the opening talk. A bulldog of a man in a short-sleeved box-check shirt, Riess laid out the evidence, gathered by himself and others, that the universe is currently expanding too fast—faster than theorists predict when they extrapolate from the early universe to the present day.”

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SCOREBOARD
Trump job performance
Average approval
: 42.4 percent
Average disapproval: 53.6 percent
Net Score: -11.2 points
Change from one week ago: no change 
[Average includes: IBD: 40% approve - 56% disapprove; Gallup: 42% approve - 54% disapprove; Quinnipiac University: 40% approve - 54% disapprove; Fox News: 46% approve - 51% disapprove; NPR/PBS/Marist: 44% approve - 53% disapprove.]

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TEXAS SHAPING UP AS HOUSE BATTLEGROUND
Politico: “The rash of recent House GOP retirements is just the latest sign of a state party in distress: In last year’s midterms, Democrats flipped a pair of longtime GOP districts, a Democrat came within striking distance of a Senate seat, and more than 50 elected Republican judges lost their jobs. Democrats also gained ground in state legislative races. … ‘Republicans need to be very concerned about Texas,’ said Texas Republican Rep. Brian Babin. … [The] Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee opened an office in Austin in April and put six Republicans in the state on its 2020 target list. The DCCC has placed 10 staffers on the ground in Texas. The campaign arm is treating Texas much the way it did California in 2018 — ripe for pickups. Democrats see the increasing diversity in the state, and frustrations with Trump in the suburbs over health care and immigration, as catalysts of a changing political landscape that could play in their favor.”

Edwards leads re-election run, but his party’s a mess - The [Baton Rouge, La.] Advocate: “The Louisiana Democratic Party continues to decline under a Democratic governor, John Bel Edwards. The one bright spot for the party is that Edwards is the frontrunner heading into the Oct. 12 gubernatorial primary against two Republican challengers, U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham and businessman Eddie Rispone. But the number of registered Democrats in Louisiana has continued to shrink since Edwards became governor in January 2016, and the Republicans’ majority in the state Legislature continues to widen. Last week, no Democrat even qualified to try to replace three rural House Democrats who are leaving the lower chamber because of term limits. As a result, Republicans are now within striking distance of winning two-thirds of the seats in the House and Senate in the upcoming elections.”

Trump to boost struggling Bevin in Kentucky - WKYT: President Donald Trump is headlining a fundraiser for Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin in Louisville. The fundraiser will take place Aug. 21. The campaign has not released details about the event. Bevin's campaign looks to continue to highlight the ties between the governor and the Trump administration. Bevin was with Vice President Mike Pence during a visit in Manchester earlier in August. Campaign manager David Paine highlighted Kentucky's low unemployment and cites the leadership of President Trump and Gov. Bevin as key factors. ‘The governor looks forward to furthering that partnership as they continue to work together to move Kentucky forward,’ Paine said.”

Collins frontrunner in GOP primary despite insider trading rap - Spectrum News: “Republican Congressman Chris Collins may still be the favorite in a 2020 GOP primary for New York’s 27th Congressional District despite the cloud of a federal insider trading trial hanging over his office. … Collins has yet to make a decision about whether he will seek another term and his trial is scheduled for February 2020. Meanwhile, two GOP candidates so far, state Senator Chris Jacobs and attorney Beth Parlato, have officially announced their candidacy. If the incumbent faced just those candidates in a primary today, 34 percent of those polled said they would vote for Collins with another 11 percent saying they would lean toward him. Twenty-one percent said they would vote for Jacobs with another 6 percent leaning toward him, while only 4 percent said they’d vote for Parlato.”

ADMINISTRATION CLAMPS DOWN ON GREEN CARDS
Fox News: “The Trump administration on Monday issued a long-awaited rule strengthening the ability of federal officials to deny green cards to immigrants deemed likely to rely on government aid. Officials described the so-called ‘public charge’ rule as a way to ensure those granted permanent residency are self-sufficient -- and protect taxpayers in the process. ‘The principle driving it is an old American value, and that’s self-sufficiency,’ U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Acting Director Ken Cuccinelli told Fox News in an interview. ‘It’s a core principle -- the American Dream itself -- and it’s one of the things that distinguishes us, and it's central to the legal history in the U.S. back into the 1800s.’... The updated rule will better define, and expand, the factors that can be considered to deny an applicant on these grounds.”

Homeland boss says immigration raids poorly timed - USA Today: “President Donald Trump's acting secretary of Homeland Security expressed regret Sunday for the timing of immigration raids that netted 680 workers at food processing plants in Mississippi, an operation that took place after a mass shooting that targeted Hispanics in El Paso, Texas. ‘The timing was unfortunate,’ acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan said on NBC's ‘Meet The Press.’ McAleenan said the long-planned raid received court approval before the operation that led to the arrests of 680 people, the majority of them Hispanic. ‘That means those employers are just ignoring the law entirely in what they do,’ McAleenan said. ‘That's why a judge gave us a warrant to go after them.’ McAleenan said the administration is aware that Hispanics feel targeted in the wake of the mass shooting Aug. 3 in El Paso that claimed at least 22 lives, days before the raids in Mississippi.”

Harris calls out the ICE raids - Fox News: “2020 presidential hopeful Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., accused President Trump of terrorizing his political detractors with immigration raids by the Department of Homeland Security and said his actions have petrified innocent families. ‘This administration has directed DHS to conduct these raids as part of what I believe is this administration's campaign of terror,’ she said Sunday on NBC News' ‘Meet the Press.’ ‘To make whole populations of people afraid to go to work. ‘Children are afraid to go to school for fear that when they come home, their parents won’t be there,’ Harris continued. The California Democrat also commented on what motivates Trump voters and said most of them voted for the president because of promises he made, but that he's failed to deliver on. ‘Here’s the thing. There are people who voted for him for a variety of reasons,’ she said earlier in the interview. ‘And a lot of it had to do with the promises he made, which he has not delivered on because they were false promises.’”

PLAY-BY-PLAY
Anthony Scaramucci
says he is no longer supporting Trump for re-election - WaPo

Good news for Sen. Mike Rounds’ wife in battle with cancer - Roll Call

AUDIBLE: I CAN SEE IOWA FROM MY PORCH 
“I once asked one of the diary princesses what she does with her butter carving when she’s out of the fair and she says that she brings it home and they use it in the corn fest.” – Sen. Amy Klobuchar at the Iowa state fair.

Share your color commentary: Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM and please make sure to include your name and hometown.

DON’T TOSS THE BOUQUET
Southern Living:Amanda and Edwin Acevedo were planning a beach wedding when Amanda unexpectedly went into pre-term labor. When their son Oliver was born on June 14, he was 30 weeks and three days old and weighed just three pounds and 14.6 ounces. During their time in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at WakeMed Hospital in Raleigh, North Carolina, the couple revealed to a nurse that they had decided to forgo a beach ceremony and get married at a courthouse instead. When WakeMed family navigator Mallory Magelli McKeown heard the news, she suggested that Amanda and Edwin have their wedding in the hospital chapel so that Oliver could be there. … Neonatologist Dr. Stephen DeMeo cleared little Oliver’s journey from the NICU to the chapel, but with one condition: that he could attend as well. On the big day, Oliver was 37 weeks and three days and weighed nearly eight pounds. Amanda carried her son, who was wearing a suit, down the aisle as her bouquet.”

AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“I don’t see or expect or wait for the next great figure. But over the years we have seen extraordinary spontaneous popular reactions against government overreach and in support of constitutional principles, and they are further signs of hope.” – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) writing for his book, “The Point of It All” published in 2018.

Chris Stirewalt is the politics editor for Fox News. Liz Friden contributed to this report. Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.