Grimes escalates Obama bashing ahead of Hillary visit

**Want FOX News First in your inbox every day? Sign up here.**

Buzz Cut:
• Grimes escalates Obama bashing ahead of Hillary visit
• Top doc nixes Dem claim of GOP Ebola blame
• Cotton, Pryor ready for round two tonight
• Wall Street Dems pump cash to Orman
• Who are you calling Nigel, culo?

If one race reveals the depth of the divisions between Democrats this cycle it is in Kentucky, where the party’s Senate nominee still refuses to say whether she voted in 2012 for President Obama, whom she endorsed and served as a convention delegate. But on Monday, Alison Lundergan Grimes took the next step forward into the chasm when a debate moderator asked her the difference between her, a self-styled “Clinton Democrat” and an “Obama Democrat.” Grimes was quick to respond: “It’s growing the middle class in the right way.” Whoa. And this is a woman who is hosting Obama’s longtime intra-party rival Hillary Clinton at a rally on Wednesday – an appearance that was announced the same day last week that the story of Grimes’ Obama denials blew up. It is no wonder that liberal outlets are among the most exercised about Grimes’ treatment of the president. As a segment on Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC televisions show Monday said: “Democrats at a crossroads.”

[Watch Fox: Campaign Carl Cameron has the latest on the Kentucky race from the Bluegrass State]

Grimes apparently a very recent convert to vote secrecy - In the first and only Kentucky Senate debate, Grimes offered a new defense for her decision to continue to refuse to say whether she voted for Obama: Ethics. The commonwealth’s secretary of state said she was defending the “right for privacy at the ballot box,” and that her deflection was not made out of reluctance. “I am not going to compromise a constitutional right provided here in Kentucky in order to curry favor on one or other side or for members of the media,” said Grimes in her acrid faceoff with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. But her zeal for ballot secrecy is apparently that of a new convert. Sam Youngman of the Lexington Herald-Leader reported that in a soon-to-air television interview that was taped before the debate, Grimes disclosed her 2008 primary vote for Hillary Clinton.

[Flashback - In 2006, Sen. Lincoln Chaffee, R-R.I., claimed amid a punishing re-election campaign that he had not voted for then-President George W. Bush two years before, having instead written in the name of Bush’s father. Chaffee lost by 7 points.]

Clintons get itchy trigger fingers - NYT: “Until recently,  [2016 Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton] was expected to announce around Feb. 15, 2015, which would give her campaign plenty of time to staff up and raise money. But that timing is now being reconsidered as Democrats contemplate a scenario in which they suffer significant losses. Mrs. Clinton could feel pressure to at least file the requisite paperwork to start an exploratory committee before the end of this year. The committee would allow her to start to raise money, and she could still delay an official announcement until early next year.”

[Wait. What? - Fox News: “Hillary Clinton called for businesses to collaborate with universities to make higher education more affordable at a $225,000 speech Monday night at the annual University of Nevada Las Vegas Foundation dinner.”]

Detroit News: “Hillary Rodham Clinton will arrive in Michigan Thursday to help boost two high-profile Democrats in their election campaign pushes … gubernatorial candidate Mark Schauer and U.S. Senate candidate Gary Peters.”

‘You put your weed in there’ - AP: “Clinton held a closed-door fundraiser for Udall, who is facing a tough challenge from Rep. Cory Gardner [R-Colo.]. They ordered coffee at Denver's refurbished Union Station… Clinton also marveled at the barista's ability to draw a pattern in the foam atop their beverages – she got a smiling pig in honor of the shop's name and Udall, a well-known environmentalist, a leaf. ‘Is that a marijuana plant?’ Clinton asked, laughing, a reference to Colorado's newly legalized recreational marijuana industry.”

Warren puts Iowa on agenda - Des Moines Register: “Sen. Elizabeth Warren [D-Mass.] will campaign on Sunday in Des Moines and Iowa City for Democrat Bruce Braley, who is locked in one of the nation's closest Senate races… The rallies are intended to encourage Iowans to cast their votes early in person or by mail because it is the easiest way to cast a ballot, the Braley campaign said.”

[Warren also announced in a blog post that she plans to campaign for Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., this week]

Teammates - AP: “Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren is coming to Minnesota to campaign for fellow Democrat Sen. Al Franken. Warren and Franken plan a Saturday morning campaign event at Carleton College in Northfield. Warren will also help Franken rally campaign volunteers in St. Paul Saturday afternoon.”

WaPo: “The American Crossroads super PAC and its nonprofit arm are unlikely to engage in the GOP presidential primaries in 2016, opening the door for another chaotic fight akin to what happened in 2012. Final plans for the super PAC and its sister group, Crossroads GPS, are not yet firm. After this year’s midterms, Crossroads will engage in a ‘fresh assessment of how we fulfill our goals and targets,’ chief executive Steven Law said in an interview last week. But, he added, ‘I think it’s unlikely we would be involved in the presidential primary.’’’

But Koch-backed group ramping up for 2016 - AP: “It’s a strategy playing out in New England diners, Midwest truck stops and West Coast cafes: conservative organizers train and send out thousands of volunteers holding an iPad and an interest in helping fellow activists shift America’s politics to the right. They are the backbone of Americans for Prosperity, the flagship organization of the political network backed by industrialist billionaires Charles and David Koch. While the group’s spending in Senate races has attracted national attention, it’s these less noticed field efforts that could have greater impact and help reshape the Republican Party heading into the 2016 presidential election.”

Bolton’s bigger footprint - Former U.N. ambassador John Bolton’s political action committee is boasting a $2.5 million cash haul for the third quarter of 2014, bringing its total raised for the midterm to $6.5 million. “With more than $415,000 given so far and backing 76 candidates to date, I’m providing support and resources so the right candidates can best communicate their vision to constituents,” Bolton said in a statement.]

The Democratic establishment is tentatively embracing a strategy of blaming Republicans for the arrival of Ebola in the United States, echoing a blood-flecked horror spot from a party fringe group. The spot features a clip of Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testifying on the effects of budget caps imposed in 2011. But Fauci told Megyn Kelly that the ad is misleading. “I think what others have said is that certainly the NIH funding has been flat, which means functionally, because of inflation, it has gone down,” said Fauci. “I don't think you could point and say it's because of that that we're having a problem with Ebola.” Watch

[A new Gallup poll finds Republicans have the advantage on five of the six top issues among voters. According to the survey, respondents say the GOP is better suited to tackle the economy, the availability of good jobs, the way the federal government is working, Islamic extremism in Iraq and Syria, and the federal budget deficit. More worrisome for Democrats ahead of November is the 11-point Republican lead on their handling of the economy is similar to the 12-point lead they had in the 2010 election that secured their majority in the House.]

What used to be invasive and tenuous procedures could be solved with new printing technologies. Take the case of an 18-month old baby who was literally printed a new tracheal implant. Wired looks what the future of 3D printing could mean for mending broken bones: “A few years ago, if a horrific infection ate your jawbone, doctors had to build makeshift mandibles from your fibula, a process that left you sliced open as surgeons painstakingly whittled away at replacement bone. Yech. Today they can just hit Control-P: Based on MRI and C scans of your busted-up body parts, hyperspecialized 3-D printers produce custom replacements, no sculpture skills required. As biomedical engineer Scott Hollister says: ‘We don't all have to be Michelangelos anymore.’ And in October, engineers, medical device makers, and doctors will meet at the FDA in Maryland to discuss regulations for an industry that's growing—one printable bone at a time.”

Got a TIP from the RIGHT or LEFT? Email FoxNewsFirst@FOXNEWS.COM

Real Clear Politics Averages
Obama Job Approval
: Approve – 42.6 percent//Disapprove – 52.3 percent
Direction of Country: Right Direction – 28.8 percent//Wrong Track – 63 percent
Generic Congressional Ballot:  Democrats – 43.5 percent// Republicans – 45.3 percent

-- 21 days until Nov. 4 --

AP: “Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton repeatedly tried to tie Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor to President Barack Obama, while Pryor accused his rival of being beholden to billionaire backers as the two squared off Monday for their first debate in Arkansas' heated Senate race… ‘Barack Obama has said his policies are on the ballot, every single one of them. I agree,’ Cotton said. ‘In Arkansas, those policies are called Mark Pryor. Pryor, a two-term Democrat, accused Cotton of putting his ambition ahead of the state and voting more for conservative outside groups that have backed his bid. ‘They are investing in Tom Cotton just like they would invest in a company. Why? They want to get a payback on their investment, and they will,’ Pryor said. ‘If he's elected to the Senate, they will get six years of paydays.’’’

[Ad war continues - Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., is hitting Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., cut money for the state children’s hospital  despite voting “to give billionaires huge tax breaks.” Meanwhile, Cotton highlights his military experience while tying Pryor to President Obama’s underestimation of Islamic militants in Syria and Iraq in a new ad.]

Just warming up for the main event tonight - Arkansas News: “On Tuesday, Cotton and Pryorwho are locked in a tight race that could help determine which party controls the Senate — are scheduled to meet for a one-one-one debate in Fayetteville that will air live on television stations KHBS/KHOG, KATV and KAIT.”

[You can watch the debate live online via C-Span starting at 8 p.m. ET.]

AP: “The three main contenders in Louisiana's U.S. Senate race are squaring off in a TV debate for the first time, with only three weeks to go until Election Day. Democratic incumbent Mary Landrieu, Republican U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy and Republican retired Air Force Col. Rob Maness will take questions Tuesday night in Shreveport at Centenary College. Landrieu and Maness participated in a debate last week in New Orleans, but Cassidy refused to attend. His two opponents have repeatedly criticized his unwillingness to agree to more than two TV debates before Nov. 4 in the tight race. Tuesday's debate is being held by the Council for A Better Louisiana and Louisiana Public Broadcasting. It will be aired live from [6 p.m. ET to 8 p.m. ET] on public broadcasting stations statewide.”

[Three Republican CEOs are featured in a new ad for Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La. The business heads praise Landrieu for the work she has done for the state and her role on the Senate’s energy committee.]

RNC chairman urges voters not to get ‘haircut’ - Today at Fox News Opinion, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Prebius pleads with voters not to fall prey to what Democratic mega-patron Tom Steyer’s group calls its “Republican Haircut Programs” designed to tamp down GOP turnout by targeted media campaigns that alienate Republican voters. Prebius writes: “They want you to stay home. They want you not to vote. Show this liberal billionaire you can’t be bullied. Show Democrats how much money they, and their extreme allies, have wasted on a losing strategy.”

Washington Examiner: “Incumbent Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va. denied offering a job to a retiring Virginia state senator's daughter in the hopes of keeping him in the State House during contentious debates over expanding Medicaid, the Virginia Senator said Monday. ‘I did not offer her a job, nor would I offer her any kind of position,’ Warner said during the debate Monday night against Republican challenger Ed Gillespie… The issue dominated much of the hour-long debate, however the two candidates also sparred over other issues like energy, tax increases and campaign spending.”

Warner touts work for vets - Virginia veterans appear in a new spot supporting Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., thanking him for the work he has done to help those who have served in the military.

Washington Free Beacon: “Kansas Senate hopeful Greg Orman insists that he is not beholden to the Democratic Party, but a major Democratic donor is hosting a fundraiser for his campaign to unseat Republican incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts [R-Kan.]. Jonathan Soros, son of billionaire Democratic donor George Soros, will host a New York City fundraiser this week for Orman, who is running as an independent candidate, according to an invitation obtained by America Rising.” The invitation from the Orman campaign also lists several other prominent Democratic patrons as hosts.

A matter of trust - Byron York is in Kansas with the latest: “It’s probably safe to say that after all that has come out in this campaign – the last-minute Democratic pullout, the Democratic support, Orman’s own history – most Republicans simply don’t believe Orman when he lays out positions that they might otherwise support.”

Roberts catches Express - Wichita [Kan.] Eagle: “Eight months later, Sen. Pat Roberts [R-Kan.] and the Tea Party Express are traveling the same road. The California-based tea party group, best known for its national bus tours in support of conservative Republican candidates, endorsed Roberts’ re-election bid on Monday. In February, the group had been critical of the senator and endorsed his Republican primary opponent, Johnson County physician Milton Wolf. In a news conference Monday punctuated with the Pledge of Allegiance and a prayer for a Roberts victory, the Tea Party Express threw its support behind the senator.”

Following its endorsement of Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., for Senate, a new Denver Post Poll gives Gardner a slight lead over Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo. The survey finds Gardner leading Udall 45 percent to 43 percent. A Denver Post poll from mid-September had Udall with a four point advantage, with Gardner cutting the incumbent Democrat’s lead among women in half.

Washington Examiner: “[A] survey, by the Republican-leaning firm Harper Polling, shows Republican Mike Rounds, a former governor, leading Democrat Rick Weiland by just four points, 37 percent to 33 percent. Meanwhile, the poll shows Independent Larry Pressler with 23 percent.”

N.H. Journal: “The television ad that the conservative American Crossroads super PAC will unload on Sen. Jeanne Shaheen [D-N.H.] beginning [Tuesday], in a $3 million buy, features a child at a spelling bee – and she spells ‘Shaheen’ as ‘O-B-A-M-A.’ ‘Close enough,’ the three judges tell the young girl… ‘Spelling Bee’ is American Crossroads’ first ad of the campaign in New Hampshire.”

A new High Point University Poll shows a statistical dead-heat between Republican Thom Tillis and Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C.  The survey is the first in nearly two months to give Tillis a nominal lead, 40.4 percent to 39.5 percent.

Republicans turn it up for Tillis - Washington Examiner: “Republicans plan to invest about $6.5 million more in television advertising to boost Thom Tillis in the heated North Carolina Senate contest. The new infusion of money, on top of $3 million the National Republican Senatorial Committee planned to spend in North Carolina before Election Day, will pay for ads on cable and network television ‘in all the major North Carolina markets,’ confirmed Ron Bonjean, a consultant to the NRSC independent expenditure committee.”

Pick Six: Will Baronial rule bury Hagan? - Republicans need six more Senate seats to take control of the upper chamber. Which blue seats are the most vulnerable in this year’s midterms? Here are the top picks among Fox News First readers: Arkansas (13.8%), Montana (13.2%), West Virginia (12.4%), South Dakota (12%), Louisiana (11.8%), and Alaska (8.8%). Reader Hank Steenstra of North Carolina, is applying the “Baroinial Rule” to the latest polling out of the Tar Heel State. Steenstra writes, “Given propensity of undecideds to break against incumbent, this bodes well for [Republican Thom Tillis].  Also, trend since the debates has been toward Thom.  If [Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C.] is only at 40%, the ‘rule’ will kill her.”

Share your top six picks. Email them – just your top six, please – to FOXNEWSFIRST@FOXNEWS.COM or tweet @cstirewalt.

The National Republican Congressional Committee is out with a slew of ads today aimed at House races. Twelve of the 15 ads go on offense: targeting seats currently in Democratic hands (AZ-01, AZ-02, FL-26, GA-12, IL-12, ME-02, MN-07, MN-08, NH-01, NY-21, TX-23, WV-03). The remaining three ads defend Republican-held seats (FL-02, FL-02, IA-03). The NRCC has reserved just shy of $34 million for ads in the districts. Some samples:

On offense - Citing her votes for Obama’s stimulus, ObamaCare and raising the debt ceiling, the ad targeting Arizona Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick asks, “What’s the problem with Ann Kirkpatrick? She spends too much money.”

On defense – Florida GOP Rep. Steve Southerland gets a boost on Medicare, protecting victims of violence and opposing regulations that threaten jobs in this ad: “There’s really only one choice: Steve Southerland. Fighting for North Florida, fighting for us.”

Outside game, too - The Hill: “A pair of Republican-aligned groups are dropping an additional $1.6 million into TV spending on House races, their latest large investment targeting vulnerable House Democrats. The Congressional Leadership Fund, a super-PAC with ties to House GOP leadership, and its sister organization American Action Network are adding major buys to target Reps. Ron Barber (D-Ariz.), Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Ariz.), Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.) and Pete Gallego (D-Texas)…That brings total spending by the groups to over $16 million for the election cycle. They are spending $1.8 million against Barber, $1.6 million against Gallego, $1.5 million against Bishop and $1.2 million against Kirkpatrick.”

You can credit President Obama for being a pretty good sport about his diminished status in his party. Tonight, he will appear tonight at a Virginia fundraiser aimed at helping Democrats recapture the House in 2016, when Nancy Pelosi said the party will be able to regain the majority once it is Hillary Clinton,and not him, at the helm.

Fox News: “Cylvia Hayes, the fiancée of Oregon [Democratic] Gov. John Kitzhaber, jointly bought land intended to be used for an illegal marijuana growing operation in 1997, according to a published report. KOIN-TV reported late Monday that Hayes bought the $245,000 property in Washington state with another man using a $15,000 down payment in November of that year. The man who sold the couple the land told the station that they soon stopped making payments and records showed that Hayes gave up her interest in the property in April 1998. She moved to Oregon three months later…Last week, Hayes admitted that she was paid to enter a fraudulent marriage to help an Ethiopian immigrant remain in the United States, also in 1997. She’s also under fire for earning money from organizations seeking to influence state policy.”

[A new Oregon Public Radio/KPTV Poll finds Gov. John Kitzhaber, D-Ore., with a commanding lead over Republican Dennis Richards. Kitzhaber leads Richards 50 percent to 29 percent. The poll does not reflect the latest incident with Kitzhaber’s fiancée.  In the same survey, Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., holds a comfortable lead over Republican Monica Wehby, 47 percent to 26 percent.]

AP: “A pet parrot that spoke with a British accent when it disappeared from its home four years ago has been reunited with its owner - and the bird now speaks Spanish. The reunion was brought about by a Southern California veterinarian who mistook Nigel, an African gray parrot, for her own missing bird. Teresa Micco tracked Nigel’s microchip to Darren Chick… He said his bird went missing four years earlier. Little is known about Nigel’s whereabouts the past four years, but Chick says the bird’s British accent is gone, and it now chatters in Spanish… Julissa Sperling found Nigel outside her home and brought him to Micco after seeing one of her ads. But first, she took Nigel to her dog-grooming business. ‘He was the happiest bird. He was singing and talking without control,’ Sperling said. ‘He was barking like the dogs. I’m from Panama and he was saying, ‘What happened?’ in Spanish.’’’

“There’s this argument we keep having, whether we should have boots on the ground or not. That is totally irrelevant. [President Obama] is not going to do it. He certainly isn’t going to do it with a month to go until election day…So it’s not an issue of if we should have boots on the ground. The issue right now, are we going to have a serious air campaign or not? It looks as if Obama is not serious about this at all.” – Charles Krauthammer on “Special Report with Bret Baier.” Watch here.

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