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On the roster: Bernie, Warren clamber for Ocasio-Cortez nod - Trump campaign takes aim at ‘socialist organism’ - Primary day for scandalized N.C. House race - Audible: A tough old Tom - ‘This particular collection of crusts’
BERNIE, WARREN CLAMBER FOR OCASIO-CORTEZ NOD
Politico: “The Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez primary is heating up. For the second time in five days, the star freshman congresswoman is appearing alongside Bernie Sanders at a high-profile event. Rep. Ro Khanna, co-chairman of Sanders' campaign, is talking with Ocasio-Cortez's staff about the primary. And Sanders' team told POLITICO that he and Ocasio-Cortez ‘have had phone calls.’ Ocasio-Cortez's work on Sanders' 2016 campaign — and the fact that several staffers from that bid went on to work for her and the pro-Ocasio-Cortez group Justice Democrats — suggest the Vermont senator has the inside track for her coveted endorsement. But Sen. Elizabeth Warren is making an aggressive pitch for Ocasio-Cortez's nod, too: She’s met with her privately and wrote a gushing essay about her for Time magazine. An aide to Warren said their teams have been in touch.”
Bernie tries to keep his outsider status - WSJ: “Bernie Sanders, the independent Vermont senator who came up through that state’s democratic socialist party, launched his insurgent campaign for president four years ago as an outsider challenging the Democratic machine. Now, in this early stage of the 2020 presidential race, Mr. Sanders is a Democratic front-runner and newly minted millionaire, with high name recognition and $18 million raised in the first six weeks of his campaign, so far outpacing his rivals.”
Dems approach two dozen candidates as Montana governor joins fray - HuffPost: “Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D) is running for president, he announced on Tuesday. ‘We need to defeat Donald Trump in 2020 and defeat the corrupt system that lets campaign money drown out the people’s voice, so we can finally make good on the promise of a fair shot for everyone,’ Bullock said in a campaign launch video. Bullock … is the only Democratic candidate who has won a statewide office in a state that went for the president in 2016: In his reelection that year, Bullock won by 4 percentage points even as Trump took Montana by 20. The two-term governor, who has served in that office since 2013, would not be able to run for reelection next year due to term limits. The Montana native and former state attorney general formed a political action committee, Big Sky Values PAC, in 2017, according to MTN News.”
While others talk college, Castro zeroes in on pre-kindergarten - AP: “Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro on Monday unveiled an education plan that joins other 2020 candidates in calling for tuition-free higher education, universal prekindergarten and raising teacher pay. The rollout follows the former Obama Cabinet member’s immigration plan that was more detailed than many of his rivals in the sprawling Democratic field. This time, Castro is getting behind education reforms that other candidates have also embraced ahead of the first debates in June that he believes will offer his slow-building campaign a new chance to stand out. Expanding prekindergarten was arguably Castro’s signature mark during his five years as mayor of San Antonio… Castro has also come around to eliminating tuition at public colleges. He had previously stopped short of championing the idea during his campaign launch in January, instead proposing to make the first two years of college ‘affordable’ and accessible.”
THE RULEBOOK: PROMISES MADE, PROMISES KEPT
“As long, therefore, as the existing republican forms are continued by the States, they are guaranteed by the federal Constitution.” – James Madison, Federalist No. 43
TIME OUT: DEEPER MEANING TO MODERN ART
NatGeo: “When the Tetraeder was built in 1994, many residents of Bottrop, a post-industrial city in western Germany, thought it a waste of public money. But now there is no ignoring the 200-foot-tall, walkable steel pyramid rising out of a mine dump, with 400 stairs leading visitors close to the top. … When you first glimpse the Tetraeder—or the Tetrahedron—you might not know what to make of the weird and wonderful structure, one that looks like a colossal piece of modern art plucked from a mathematician’s laboratory. The higher you climb the staircase within, the more it creaks and sways. This is not by accident, notes Wolfgang Christ, the Tetraeder’s architect. The feeling of being unsafe is meant to remind visitors what it was like for miners descending deep into the coal mines. By the time you clamber to the top, you feel exactly what he means. The view is worth the climb.”
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Trump job performance
Average approval: 43.6 percent
Average disapproval: 52 percent
Net Score: -8.4 points
Change from one week ago: up 0.4 points
[Average includes: IBD: 43% approve - 50% disapprove; NBC News/WSJ: 46% approve - 51% disapprove; Quinnipiac University: 41% approve - 55% disapprove; Gallup: 46% approve - 50% disapprove; NPR/PBS/Marist: 42% approve - 54% disapprove.]
TRUMP CAMPAIGN TAKES AIM AT ‘SOCIALIST ORGANISM’
Fox News: “Inside the Trump re-election campaign offices overlooking the Potomac River, a rapidly growing operation is confronting a challenge of historic proportions – how to run against a field of nearly two-dozen candidates, all of whom are hurling rhetorical bombs at the incumbent on a daily basis. Communications Director Tim Murtaugh, whose job is to help shape that strategy, boils it down. The field, he says, is ‘one big socialist organism with 22 heads.’ It’s a message voters can expect to hear often as the Democratic primary field settles into place, with just a few more stragglers left to join. The Trump re-election team sees a target-rich environment emerging, especially with the rise in popularity of democratic socialist Bernie Sanders and policies like ‘Medicare for All’ and the ‘Green New Deal.’ While stitching that counter-‘socialist’ theme into the fabric of their message, the campaign is now starting to hit back more at the ensemble cast of potential 2020 foes after waiting and watching for months.”
PRIMARY DAY IN DO-OVER FOR SCANDALIZED N.C. HOUSE RACE
Roll Call: “The race for North Carolina’s 9th District is the 2018 election that just won’t end. Tuesday’s Republican primary will go a long way toward determining where this competitive special election is headed next. It all started with Republican Rep. Robert Pittenger. … He lost his primary to Mark Harris… Harris then faced Democrat Dan McCready, a solar energy financier and Marine veteran. … By the end of counting in November, Harris had beaten McCready — by just 905 votes. But the North Carolina State Board of Elections delayed certifying the results in the face of election fraud allegations. … Harris declined to run for the redo contest, citing health issues. Other big names, including former Gov. Pat McCrory and Pittenger, also passed on the race, which gave way to a crowded field of 10 Republican candidates. If none of them receive more than 30 percent of the vote, the runner-up may request a runoff, which would be held on Sept. 10, followed by a general election on Nov. 5. If there’s no runoff, the general election will be held on Sept. 10.”
House Dems who make a plan to keep the seats they won from Republicans - NYT
Pergram: ‘Why the US-China trade war could settle the 2020 election in 2019’ - Fox News
Report: California will likely lose one congressional seat after 2020 Census - Sacramento Bee
Report: U.S. attorney John Durham has been reviewing origins of Russia probe 'for weeks’ - Fox News
AUDIBLE: A TOUGH OLD TOM
“He hopes the State of Georgia will allow him to roll over the unused limit to next year.” – Deanna Congileo, spokeswoman for former President Jimmy Carter, in a statement on the 94-year-old’s successful hip surgery following a fall. Carter was on his way to go turkey hunting when he fell and was concerned that he had yet to reach his limit for spring gobbler season.
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‘THIS PARTICULAR COLLECTION OF CRUSTS’
BBC: “A confused ‘crust-omer’ opened a loaf of bread only to find the bag was full of crusts. Timea Ganji was hoping to make sandwiches for her children's lunch when she made the unlikely discovery. … Kingsmill said it was investigating how it happened and had posted Mrs. Ganji a ‘more conventional loaf.’ ‘It just looked like a normal loaf when we bought it,’ said the 41-year-old, from Radcliffe-on-Trent in Nottinghamshire. ‘Because of the yellow packaging, you can't see it properly.’ … The mum-of-two posted photos of the find on Facebook and friends shared ways to use the crusts and old sayings about the benefits of eating them. ‘Maybe I'd like curly hair but I don't want a hairy chest,’ she added.… A spokeswoman said [Kingsmill] was investigating ‘to find out how this particular collection of crusts found its way into Mrs. Ganji's shopping.’”
AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“For America today, decline is not a condition. Decline is a choice.” – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) writing for The Weekly Standard on Oct. 19, 2009.
Chris Stirewalt is the politics editor for Fox News. Brianna McClelland contributed to this report. Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.