**Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.**
On the roster: Biden denies one-term promise - I’ll Tell You What: Do you G what I.G. - House Judiciary fracas as impeachment vote looms - Brits vote - ‘These f---ing birds have hats on, bro!’
BIDEN DENIES ONE-TERM PROMISE
Fox News: “Joe Biden is shooting down a report claiming he signaled to top aides that he would only serve one term as president if he wins the 2020 election. ‘No, I never have. I don’t have any plans on one-term. I’m not even there yet,’ the top-tier Democratic presidential candidate told Fox News during a campaign stop Wednesday in Las Vegas. The report -- published hours earlier by Politico -- suggested that the former vice president’s top advisers and prominent Democrats outside of Biden’s campaign ‘have recently revived a long-running debate whether Biden should publicly pledge to serve only one term’ … Biden, who turned 77 last month, is the second oldest candidate in the 2020 presidential campaign… Biden deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield took to Twitter a couple of hours before Fox News spoke with the former vice president. ‘Lots of chatter out there on this so just want to be crystal clear: this is not a conversation our campaign is having and not something VP Biden is thinking about,’ Bedingfield wrote, as she dismissed the report.”
Bloomy butters up House Dems with fat checks - WaPo: “Presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg will donate $10 million Thursday to defend vulnerable Democratic House members against paid Republican attacks on their support for impeachment proceedings against President Trump. The money, which is meant to even an arms race on the 2020 congressional battlefield, was cheered by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who has been fielding concerns from some of her members over a costly Republican advertising offensive as the House moves toward an impeachment vote next week. ‘In 2018, Mayor Bloomberg was a critical ally in helping House Democrats regain the majority,’ Pelosi said in a statement. ‘Now, the stakes are even higher as we work to make health care more affordable by reducing the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs, increase wages and root out corruption. We welcome and thank Mayor Bloomberg for his support.’”
Burn rate approaches $4 million per day - Fox Business: “Michael Bloomberg has outspent almost every other Democratic presidential candidate on TV and digital ads since he entered the 2020 race less than one month ago. In the weeks since the former New York City mayor announced his presidential campaign launch on Nov. 24, he’s poured more than $100 million into advertising, according to new figures published by Advertising Analytics. That's an average of $3.72 million per day. Fellow 2020 billionaire Tom Steyer, the Silicon Valley hedge fund manager, had spent an estimated $60 million on ads as of Dec. 2, according to separate data published by the ad-tracking firm. Although Bloomberg is not participating in the Iowa caucuses and won't be on the ballots of other early-voting states, including New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada, data shows he's pouring millions into local ads focused on New York and Los Angeles, as well as Texas.”
Four debates for January and February announced - ABC News: “Democrats will kick off 2020 with four Democratic primary debates in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina, the Democratic National Committee announced Thursday. The debates will take place in January and February. ABC News, in partnership with ABC's New Hampshire affiliate WMUR-TV and Apple News, will hold the first debate after voting begins on Friday, Feb. 7, at St. Anselm College in Manchester. … CNN and The Des Moines Register will host a debate on Jan. 14 at Drake University ahead of Iowa’s caucuses. NBC News and MSNBC, in partnership with The Nevada Independent, hosts a Feb. 19 debate in Las Vegas prior to Nevada's caucuses. CBS News and the Congressional Black Caucus Institute co-host the debate before South Carolina's primary on Feb. 25 at The Gaillard Center in Charleston, South Carolina and Twitter will be a debate partner.”
California knotty - CNN: “Likely Democratic primary voters in California are about evenly split among the top three candidates -- Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren -- in the race for the Democratic nomination, while Texas Democrats tend to favor Biden, the nationwide frontrunner, according to new CNN polls conducted by SSRS in two of the largest early states to cast ballots next year. California and Texas are the most delegate-rich states out of the 15 to hold primaries or caucuses on March 3, meaning they will play an outsize role in determining who will win the Democratic nomination. In California, former vice president Biden (21%), Vermont Sen. Sanders (20%), and Massachusetts Sen. Warren (17%) are closely bunched at the top of the field with no other candidate reaching double digits. South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg holds 9%, followed by businessman Andrew Yang at 6% and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg at 5%. In Texas, Biden tops Sanders by 20 points, 35% to 15%, with Warren almost even with Sanders at 13%. Buttigieg follows at 9% and Bloomberg at 5%.”
The unbearable whiteness of being… in the Nevada caucus - Politico: “Nevada has for months functioned as something of a hedge in the primary calendar, the first nominating contest where the Democratic presidential field’s diversity would be measured by a state with a sizable non-white voting population. Now it’s looking like a reminder of the monochromatic nature of the party’s leading candidates. With Sen. Kamala Harris exiting the contest last week and Sen. Cory Booker and Julián Castro failing to qualify for next week’s presidential debate, the landscape has shifted in Nevada. The chances of a breakthrough here by a candidate of color are fading. And the front-runners are mounting an increasingly urgent effort to piece together pockets of the electorate in the first test of their appeal before a diverse electorate. Appearing at the influential Culinary Workers Union on Wednesday — after Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders visited on Monday and Tuesday — former Vice President Joe Biden touted the immigration plan he released that day promising to reverse many of President Donald Trump’s policies.”
Judge rules S.C. GOP can rig primary for Trump - AP: “A judge on Wednesday upheld the South Carolina Republican Party’s decision not to hold a 2020 presidential primary, a move taken by several states in erecting hurdles for the long-shot candidates challenging President Donald Trump. In her order, Circuit Judge Jocelyn Newman wrote the law ‘does not give Plaintiffs a legal right to a presidential preference primary, and the Court will not substitute its own judgment for that of the General Assembly or the SCGOP.’ Earlier this year, former South Carolina congressman Bob Inglis sued state Republicans, saying the party’s decision to skip a primary deprives him and others ‘of the ability to vote for the candidate of their choice in South Carolina’s famous (and particularly influential) ‘First in the South’ primary.’”
THE RULEBOOK: IT’S IN THERE
“No axiom is more clearly established in law, or in reason, than that wherever the end is required, the means are authorized; wherever a general power to do a thing is given, every particular power necessary for doing it is included.” – James Madison, Federalist No. 44
TIME OUT: BRRRRRRING
Writer Julia Cho looks at what else we lost when America cut the cord. The Atlantic: “My tween will never know the sound of me calling her name from another room after the phone rings. She'll never sit on our kitchen floor, refrigerator humming in the background, twisting a cord around her finger while talking to her best friend. I'll get it, He's not here right now, and It's for you are all phrases that are on their way out of the modern domestic vernacular. According to the federal government, the majority of American homes now use cellphones exclusively. ‘We don't even have a landline anymore,’ people began to say proudly as the new millennium progressed. But this came with a quieter, secondary loss—the loss of the shared social space of the family landline. … With smartphones [Professor Luke Fernandez] says, ‘we have gained mobility and privacy. But the value of the home has been diminished, as has its capacity to guide and monitor family behavior and perhaps bind families more closely together.’”
Flag on the play? - Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM with your tips, comments or questions.
DEMOCRATIC 2020 POWER RANKING
Biden: 27.6 points (↑ 1.6 points from last wk.)
Warren: 18.4 points (↓ 1 point from last wk.)
Sanders: 18.2 points (↑ 1 point from last wk.)
Buttigieg: 8.6 points (↓ 1.6 points from last wk.)
[Averages include: Quinnipiac University, Monmouth University, CNN, NBC News/WSJ and ABC News/WaPo.]
TRUMP JOB PERFORMANCE
Average approval: 43.4 percent
Average disapproval: 53 percent
Net Score: -9.6 percent
Change from one week ago: ↑ 0.2 points
[Average includes: Quinnipiac University: 41% approve - 55% disapprove; Monmouth University: 46% approve - 52% disapprove; CNN: 43% approve - 53% disapprove; NPR/PBS/Marist: 44% approve - 51% disapprove; Gallup: 43% approve - 54% disapprove.]
WANT MORE HALFTIME REPORT?
You can join Chris and Brianna every day on Fox Nation. Go behind-the-scenes of your favorite political note as they go through the must-read headlines of the day right from their office – with plenty of personality. Click here to sign up and watch!
I’LL TELL YOU WHAT: DO YOU G WHAT I.G.
This week Dana Perino and Chris Stirewalt discuss Inspector General Horowitz's report, analyze recent changes in the 2020 Democratic front-runners and the differences between New Joe Biden and Old Joe Biden. Plus, see how Chris does this week in trivia. LISTEN AND SUBSCRIBE HERE
HOUSE JUDICARY FRACAS AS IMPEACHMENT VOTE LOOMS
AP: “The House Judiciary Committee launched a lively, marathon session Thursday ahead of voting on articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump. A historic step as the deeply partisan panel prepares to send the charges to the full House. Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., immediately asked for a full reading of the nine-page resolution, airing the two articles against the president introduced by Democrats for the live TV cameras. They charge Trump with abuse of power for asking Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden while withholding aid as leverage and with obstruction of Congress for stonewalling the House’s investigation. … Thursday’s hearing picked up where Wednesday’s late-night session left off. Into the night, Democrats and Republicans delivered sharp, poignant and, at times, personal arguments for and against impeachment. Both sides appealed to Americans’ sense of history — Democrats describing a strong sense of duty to stop what one called the president’s ‘constitutional crime spree’ and Republicans decrying the ‘hot garbage’ impeachment and what it means for the future of the country.”
Suit against Pompeo over Russia records may continue, judge rules - McClatchy: “Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is being sued over allegedly failing to preserve official notes about President Donald Trump’s meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and a court ruled on Wednesday that the case could move forward. That means Pompeo must either provide evidence he complied with the Federal Records Act, which requires the State Department to collect and preserve interpreter notes, or else argue that he is not obligated to do so. Democracy Forward and American Oversight, two progressive watchdog organizations, filed the lawsuit in June after public reporting emerged claiming that Trump had collected notes from interpreters and directed them not to discuss the contents of the meetings. The court filing called it ‘unusual, and in some cases extreme, measures to conceal the details of these meetings.’”
The Judge’s Ruling: FISA is unconstitutional - This week Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano explains why he believes the problem with FISA is it’s secrecy and standards that conflict with the Constitution: “FISA established probable cause of foreign agency as the standard that government lawyers must meet. That morphed into probable cause of foreign personhood. That morphed into probable cause of speaking to a foreign person. And that morphed into probable cause of speaking to any person who has ever spoken to a foreign person. All of this happened in secret. This slow but persistent destruction of the right to be left alone, which is ostensibly guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment, came about not only by secrecy and the absence of adversaries but also by judicial gullibility and constitutional infidelity.” More here.
WaPo: “The United Kingdom goes to the polls Thursday to decide the fate of vexatious, divisive, gridlocked Brexit. … This snap election was called because Britain is broken over Brexit. If Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the Conservatives achieve a solid majority in Parliament, they will assuredly plow forward with Brexit. Dreams of a second referendum — of remaining in the E.U. — will be dashed. And by January, one of the dominant partners in the long, lucrative, peaceful, postwar order, manifested by Europe’s political and trade bloc, will go off on its own. A Conservative majority has been widely anticipated, as opinion polls through much of the six-week campaign have showed the party with a lead of 10 points or more. But that advantage may be diminishing.”
House passes big spending plan, goodies for federal workers - AP
Lawsuits linger for Trump - NPR
Former N.C. Gov McCrory may try for comeback - The Charlotte Observer
A look back at 2019 in photos - WaPo
AUDIBLE: THE NIGHT SHE DROVE OLD DIXIE DOWN
“Today’s outrage culture insists that everyone who holds a view that’s different from our own is not just mistaken. They must be evil and shunned. That’s wrong. … The tragedy of all of this is that it makes compromise far less possible.” – Nikki Haley, in an op-ed published in the Washington Post, discussing the removal of the Confederate flag in South Carolina in today’s political climate.
Share your color commentary: Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM and please make sure to include your name and hometown.
‘THESE F---ING BIRDS HAVE HATS ON, BRO!’
The Guardian: “Two pigeons have been spotted in Las Vegas wearing tiny cowboy hats. While many have been amused by the sight of the birds, with social media users excitedly reporting sightings since a video was first posted to Facebook in early December, there are concerns for the welfare of the animals. The birds have been seen between McCarran international airport and the University of Nevada. Mariah Hillman, who works with the local animal rescue charity Lofty Hopes, said the hats were glued on to the pigeons. ‘When we saw them today, you could see some loose feathers in the glue around the hat. It’s definitely a concern,’ she said. Opening with the exclamation: ‘These f---ing birds have hats on, bro!,’ a repost of Bobby Lee’s Facebook video of the pair has already garnered 2m views on Twitter. Observers have named the two birds Cluck Norris and Coo-lamity Jane.”
AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“The oddest thing about the current national crusade against tobacco is not its frenzy – our culture lives from one frenzy to the next --but its selectivity. Of course tobacco is a great national killer. It deserves all the pummeling it gets. But alcohol is a great national killer too, and it has enjoyed an amazingly free ride amid the fury of the New Prohibitionism.” – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) writing in Time magazine on Oct. 6, 1997.
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.