Dems toy with Bernie as Hillary sees swing state drop

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Buzz Cut:
• Dems toy with Bernie as Hillary sees swing state drop
• Gowdy: Hillary’s Libya source was funneling ‘intel’ from potential profiteer
• Trade still looms
• Jeb wouldn’t resume ‘enhanced interrogation’
• Good old Regulation 27, Section 37

The bad news for Hillary Clinton today comes in two polls.

One is from New Hampshire that shows Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders getting to within 10 points of Clinton and another that shows her trailing in must-win Ohio and knotted up against less-known potential GOP rivals in swing states Florida and Pennsylvania.

The New Hampshire poll tells us that Democrats are thinking this election is in the bag and are indulging themselves with the idea of offering symbolic support for a self-described socialist who favors a policy list that would make swing and independent blanch. Trillions of spending and new taxes on everything from free college to global warming are not winners for debt-averse, economically insecure suburbanites.

Republican voters, after two heartbreaking quadrennial elections, are kicking old habits with an eye on retaking the White House. Democrats, though, may be trying to get back on the Hopium in a misplaced belief that their victory is inevitable. If Democratic voters get Sanders into the discussion with Clinton and potentially even force her to adopt even more of his far-out positions, the party will be badly damaging its chances.

Driven substantially by her falling trustworthiness, Clinton finds herself in trouble compared to three months ago in Quinnipiac University’s swing-state poll. Clinton does best on Florida (not good news for either of the favorite sons running there) but in all three, the results are fairly consistent.

Take Ohio. In March, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush was trailing Clinton by 9 points. This week, it’s down to 1 point.  Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker trailed in a head-to-head matchup by 11 points. Now it’s 4 points. Sens. Marco Rubio and Rand Paul improved by 6 points and 5 points, respectively. And the state’s Gov. John Kasich went from a 1-point deficit in January to a 7-point advantage today.

Some if this is a result of Clinton’s policy changes and efforts to identify herself as a partisan figure and a very liberal one at that, but another part is that voters increasingly distrust her. But the net effect is to damage her standing with general-election voters.

And herein we see another problem with “inevitable” candidates: They struggle to get their parties in line because they lack the powerful political motivator of fear.

Fox News: “Longtime Clinton insider Sidney Blumenthal was ‘merely a conduit’ and did not write the numerous memos about Libya he forwarded to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the chairman of the House panel investigating the deadly 2012 Benghazi attacks said Tuesday. Blumenthal was forwarding information from someone who may have had business interests in Libya, Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C. told Fox News’ Megyn Kelly after Blumenthal spent nearly nine hours at the Capitol as Gowdy’s committee met in closed session…. ‘Not only was [Blumenthal] providing unvetted, uncorroborated, unsubstantiated intelligence to our top diplomat, he was just simply forwarding on intelligence that somebody by the name of Tyler Drumheller was sending him,’ Gowdy said.”

“[Clinton] used the word ‘unsolicited’…When these emails are released, I want you to count the number of times she says ‘keep ‘em coming’ ‘this is great’ ‘useful information.’ I don’t know what her definition of unsolicited is, but it is very strikingly different from my own.”— Benghazi committee chairman, Trey Gowdy on “The Kelly File.” Watch the interview here.

Gate crasher - The Hill: “Former House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) tried to crash former Hillary Clinton adviser Sidney Blumenthal’s deposition before the House Select Committee on Benghazi on Tuesday. Issa marched into the closed-door deposition and remained inside for about a minute before he was escorted out by the panel’s chairman, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.). The pair briefly exchanged hushed words in a nearby hallway before Issa stormed off, throwing an empty soda can into a nearby trash bin.”

[Incomplete accounting - WSJ provides the documents’ current state of play and why it matters.]

Trade still looms for Dems - Fortune: “The House is giving itself until the end of July to reconsider denying President Obama the negotiating authority he needs to wrap up a 12-nation Pacific Rim trade pact…Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) told reporters Tuesday the decision came after several conversations with Obama about the way forward.”

Dems fume over new Obama/GOP trade plan - WashEx reports that the idea that Obama might accept a GOP plan to pass a narrower trade bill is creating an uproar in Democratic ranks. “I think he would really, really piss off the majority of his party” if he went along with such a scenario, said Rep. David Scott, D-Ga., one of the most conservative members of the Congressional Black Caucus who sometimes votes with Republicans, but opposes fast track.

Dems waffle on Defense - National Journal: “Senate Democrats were against defense authorization before they were for it. Or maybe it’s the other way around. Either way, their message is mixed: They fully support the troops, but they really don’t like how Republicans are supporting the troops with contingency war funds.”

Christopher Lee
’s iconic villains may have some inspiration from real life horror. Lee, who died at age 92 earlier this month, was witness to the last public execution in France done by guillotine. The executed that day was Eugène Weidmann, a man convicted of several murders and kidnappings in the area. Women waited after his execution to dip their handkerchiefs in his blood. Authorities realized that instead of creating a public deterrent for crime, public executions riled public passions. Lee witnessed Weidmann’s beheading 76 years ago today.

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Real Clear Politics Averages
Obama Job Approval:
Approve – 44.0 percent//Disapprove – 51.0
Directions of Country: Right Direction – 28.0 percent//Wrong Track – 62.2 percent

“I think it was appropriate at the time, given what we—you know, the uncertainty.  We were under attack.  I think it was appropriate. It was also appropriate to change the policies once…we had enough history.” — Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush on “Hannity” saying that as president he would not permit the use of interrogation techniques authorized by his brother, George, and deemed “torture” by critics.

[National Journal: “…The amendment divided the four Senate Republicans intent on winning the White House in 2016. Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Marco Rubio of Florida were against it, while Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ted Cruz of Texas voted for it.”]

Team Jeb escalates Florida fight with Rubio - Bloomberg: “[Jeb Bush] backers…heavily emphasized his executive experience… [and] Rubio’s lack of it… Even as they hail Rubio’s charisma and political talents, some Florida Republicans worry that the 44-year-old senator and former speaker of the Florida House—whose campaign declined to comment for this story—is unready for the task of taking on Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton and leading the country.”

[Feeling good again - Wash Ex: “…Some Bushies … were momentarily nervous. Jeb Bush’s well-executed opening campaign rally and sharply written, succinctly orated speech calmed jitters and left the governor's backers in about as confident a position as they were when he shook up the race in December when he signaled his intention to seek the nomination.”]

But does he have a Harley? - Scott Walker filed for president Tuesday, according to the Federal Elections Commission. No, not that one. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s camp says he is still un-declared. Instead a same-name candidate joined the nearly 100 Republicans who have who have made their intention known to the FEC.

Carly takes ‘The View’- Legal Insurrection’s Amy Miller gives analysis of Carly Fiorina’s performance on all ladies talk show. Miller writes, “At around the 3:40 mark, the lovely ladies steered the conversation toward the problem of Fox and CNN using polling data to decide which candidates will be allowed to participate in the initial debates. It didn’t feel like a malicious question, but it did put her in a vulnerable position. This would have been a perfect opportunity for Fiorina to knock Fox, or white male presidential candidates, or the polling system in general, but she didn’t do it. Instead, she dropped a ‘started from the bottom now I’m here’ nugget, and looked confident when she said, ‘I’m kind of used to being underestimated, so I’m sort of assuming I might make it to those first [debates].’”

[Fiorina’s campaign Carly for America came under fire earlier this year due to the F.E.C. rule that PAC names cannot contain the name of a candidate. This week, the PAC changed the name to Conservative, Authentic, Responsive Leadership for You and for America, or CARLY for America.]

Back to bros? - Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and fellow Bluegrass stater Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., have joined op-ed in the Lexington Herald-Leader on how the EPA’s Clean Water Act is just another example of government overreach.

Perry takes Hillary to the movies - Former Gov. Rick Perry, R-Texas, released an ad that has Hillary Clinton in the front row seat of her own flick. Throwback images of her Benghazi hearing testimony, new tidbits of foreign donations, and a shadow of Hillary in a van make for an intensely comical spin.

#CruzCrew hits Twitter record - Wash Ex: “…The independent grassroots support group ‘Cruz Control’ blasted out nearly 75,000 tweets on the candidate’s behalf under the #CruzCrew hashtag…[an unnamed spokesperson said] by midnight on June 16, ‘74,532 tweets, yielding 1.1 billion impressions, had been dispatched by the army of #Cruz Crew volunteers.’”

Goldilocks Graham  - “If you think Marco is too young, and Bush is one too many, and you think Scott Walker is not quite ready for the job then over time  you start looking at a guy like me.” — Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., to Fox News

Ayotte knocks Fox News, CNN debates - Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., is decrying the debate criteria used by Fox News and other networks in establishing participants for presidential debates. In a statement, she called for more influence for New Hampshire’s first in the nation primary saying, “the debate criteria should be based on candidates’ early state performance.”

[Former Gov. George Pataki, R-N.Y., told the New Hampshire Union Leader he would participate in the paper’s forum on the same day as the Fox News Channel debates in Ohio. “I’ll put my trust in the voters,” Pataki told the newspaper “especially here in New Hampshire.” Pataki registered zero support in this week’s Monmouth University’s New Hampshire poll.]

Carson hires neophyte finance chairman - Wash Ex’s David Drucker writes that Ben Carson is picking other non-politicos to run his presidential campaign in a new way. Read more from Carson’s interview here.

Schake warns GOP on electoral quagmire - Hoover Institution’s Kori Schake writes that Republicans can’t win on their foreign policy platform alone. Despite President Obama’s dive in popularity for his foreign policy agenda Schake says the Republicans also don’t have a coherent strategy. As she writes, “Many candidates are allowing themselves to be drawn into debating troop levels for Iraq without explaining either the political objective that military force would achieve…”

Germany is famed for its orderly towns and cities, but sometimes it gets a little, um, verrückt. The Local tells the tale of a traffic light in Germany that never changes to green. Why? Well, according to the local authorities, “Because on [that street] one is only allowed to turn right, in accordance with regulation 27, section 37 of the transport regulations, we can do without using the traffic signal’s green light.” Then why not just have a stop sign? “Stop signs do not correspond to traffic light systems and do not fulfill the same set of regulations.” The orderliness even continues to the finances: the annual budget includes amber and green replacement bulbs, just in case.

“…It would be analytic overkill to go, to parse the actual things [Donald Trump] said. I think it was great showmanship, it was stream of consciousness. I think single most important statement was ‘I am very rich.’ That’s the basis for the campaign...I can assure you one thing: the mainstream media who wished the Republicans no good will lavish upon him enormous coverage.” — Charles Krauthammer on “Special Report with Bret Baier” Watch here.

Chris Stirewalt is digital politics editor for Fox News. Want FOX News First in your inbox every day? Sign up