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On the roster: Trump visits shooting scenes amid acrimony - Warren bounces into solid second place - Castro feels heat for posting Trump donor info - Mississippi GOP heading to runoff for governor - Are you feeling it now, Mr. Krabs?
TRUMP VISITS SHOOTING SCENES AMID ACRIMONY
WaPo: “The grief and sorrow in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso have begun to give way to anger and frustration in advance of President Trump’s planned visits Wednesday, with local leaders and residents increasingly vocal in their assertions that presidential condolences, thoughts and prayers will not be enough. People are signing petitions, planning protests and, in Dayton, organizing a demonstration featuring an inflated ‘Baby Trump’ to express their discontent with a president whose anti-immigrant rhetoric was echoed by a gunman who killed 22 people in El Paso. And while the motive of the man who killed nine people in Dayton remains unclear, Trump’s silence on the issue of guns has been criticized by local officials who want action to prevent future massacres. … The open repudiation of a visiting president in the aftermath of a mass tragedy was striking Tuesday as a growing chorus of critics made clear that Trump would not be universally welcome…”
Trump and Beto squabble amid mourning - Fox News: “President Trump on Tuesday ripped into 2020 presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke, telling him to ‘be quiet’ ahead of his visit to the Democrat's hometown of El Paso, Texas, following last weekend's shooting that left 22 dead. Over the past several days, O'Rourke has slammed the president, whom he has partially blamed for the massacre, pointing to his rhetoric about Hispanic immigrants that was echoed in the killer's manifesto. The former congressman declared that Trump is a ‘racist’ and compared his language to Nazi Germany's Third Reich. He also compared Trump's North Carolina rally-- where the ‘send her back’ chant took place-- to ‘Nuremberg.’ … Trump responded to O'Rourke and claimed the candidate is using a ‘phony name’ in an attempt to appeal to voters.”
Shootings, response jeopardize Trump’s efforts to sway Texas Latinos - WaPo: “The political differences among Hispanics [in El Paso] are often generational and ideological, a contrast between longtime Mexican American citizens who tend to embrace a traditional Republican message of self-reliance and a younger group dismayed by the president’s broad disparagement of Latinos. … Trump won Texas in 2016 but lost in El Paso County to Hillary Clinton by more than a 2-to-1 margin. His visit to El Paso in February still resonates with many Latinos here for the image of lawlessness along the border that Trump described, one that few who live in El Paso recognized. … A recent Telemundo poll, for example, found that a quarter of Texas Latinos support his reelection — a figure that mirrors his national approval rating among adult Hispanics, according to Gallup. That figure has remained largely constant since his election…”
Red flag bills pick up support - NYT: “Congressional Republicans, under intense pressure to respond to this weekend’s massacres, are coalescing around legislation to help law enforcement take guns from those who pose an imminent danger… Such ‘red flag’ laws might not be as momentous — or controversial — as the now-expired assault weapons ban or the instant background check system… But in the Senate, where a background checks bill failed in 2013 … red flag laws may be the only gun-related measure that could squeeze through. President Trump endorsed the idea on Monday in a speech from the White House, giving skittish Republicans cover to embrace it. The laws authorize courts to issue orders allowing police to temporarily confiscate firearms from a person deemed by a judge as posing a risk of violence. Often, requests for the orders come from relatives and friends concerned about a gun owner who expresses suicidal thoughts or threatens to harm others.”
THE RULEBOOK: LOLZ
“The prepossessions, which the members themselves will carry into the federal government, will generally be favorable to the States; whilst it will rarely happen, that the members of the State governments will carry into the public councils a bias in favor of the general government.” –James Madison, Federalist No. 46
TIME OUT: HAPPY HEARTS
In honor of Purple Heart Day, some happy news. The [New London, Conn.] Day: “The lost Purple Heart medal of Private First Class Bennie Nordgaard now has a home in Gales Ferry, [Conn.] thanks in part to an American Legion post in North Dakota and American Pickers. Nordgaard’s medal was recently returned to his great-nephew Michael Nyberg, a veteran who lives in Gales Ferry with his wife Jill and son Dominic. The medal was reunited with the family in a ceremony hosted by the nonprofit Purple Hearts Reunited, which works to return medals of valor to veterans and their families. According to a release, Nordgaard … enlisted in the Army in May 1942, serving as a rifleman until he was killed in action near Dornot, France, in September 1944. He was buried in Kidder County, but his medal was lost and eventually turned in at American Legion Post 231 in Dawson, N.D. With some help from the staff of the History Channel show ‘American Pickers,’ the post contacted Purple Hearts Reunited to connect Nordgaard’s lost medal with his family in Gales Ferry.”
Flag on the play? - Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM with your tips, comments or questions.
Trump job performance
Average approval: 42.4 percent
Average disapproval: 53.6 percent
Net Score: -11.2 points
Change from one week ago: down 2.8 points
[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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WARREN BOUNCES INTO SOLID SECOND PLACE
Quinnipiac University: “Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren is the big winner in the second round of Democratic presidential debates, but former Vice President Joseph Biden retains his front-runner status with 32 percent of Democrats and independent voters who lean Democratic, according to a Quinnipiac University National Poll released [Tuesday]. Sen. Elizabeth Warren has 21 percent among Democrats, with 14 percent for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and 7 percent for California Sen. Kamala Harris. This compares to results of a July 29 survey by the independent Quinnipiac University National Poll, showing Biden with 34 percent, Warren with 15 percent, Harris with 12 percent and Sanders with 11 percent. In [Tuesday’s] results: Biden gets 47 percent of black Democrats, with 16 percent for Sanders, 8 percent for Warren and 1 percent for Harris; Women Democrats go 31 percent for Biden, 24 percent for Warren, 10 percent for Sanders and 7 percent for Harris…”
Looks to build Nevada firewall - Politico: “…[Of] the two dozen Democrats running for president, none matches Elizabeth Warren when it comes to the size of her campaign operation, the crowds at her rallies and the buzz among activists and operatives in Nevada. … ‘There are counties all over rural areas where some campaigns are just doing tours, but she has staff there. And that was a strategy President Obama had in 2008 when he won Nevada.’ [Laura Martin, executive director of Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, said.] Another Democratic operative put it more bluntly: ‘Warren has built a monster.’ Among 17 Democratic strategists, activists and experts interviewed by POLITICO for this story, Warren’s campaign was mentioned most often as the most impressive of the field, followed by Harris’.”
Hickenlooper opens the door to Senate run - [Colorado Springs] Gazette: “Former Gov. John Hickenlooper has left the door open a crack to running against Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, even while insisting he's fully committed to pursuing the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. In an interview Sunday on satellite radio, Hickenlooper said he would ‘be a fool’ to continue running for president if his standing in the polls doesn't improve. ‘I've never ruled out anything,’ he told SiriusXM's Chris Frates — a former Denver Post reporter — when the Politics Inside Out host pressed him on a Senate bid. But the Democrat insisted his attention is ‘still 100% right now focused on being president.’ … At last count, 10 Democrats were running in the Senate primary, but national and some local Democrats have been urging Hickenlooper to bring his outsized approval rating and unbroken record of electoral success to a contest that Democrats consider crucial to winning the majority in the GOP-controlled chamber.”
Fair warning: Iowa State Fair offers pitfalls for frontrunners - WaPo: “In 2003, then-Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) arrived at the [Iowa State Fair] just days after he’d been labeled snooty for ordering a Philly cheesesteak with Swiss cheese instead of the usual Cheez Whiz. Robert Gibbs, a former White House press secretary working for Kerry at the time, recalled going ballistic when he spotted the senator buying a strawberry smoothie with an umbrella in it. ‘Somebody get a [expletive] corn dog in his hand now!’ Gibbs yelled to an aide. But Kerry got into trouble anyway. During his tour of the fair, he met a man who had just moved to Iowa from Massachusetts. ‘Why?’ the senator asked, in what aides later insisted was a dry attempt at a joke. The man didn’t laugh. ‘You can’t come to the fair and fake it,’ said former senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa). ‘People here have what they call their ‘phony antenna.’ Are you real or are you just putting on a show?’”
CASTRO FEELS HEAT FOR POSTING TRUMP DONOR INFO
Fox News: “Democratic Rep. Joaquin Castro is facing a mounting backlash – and not just from Republicans – for posting the names and employers of dozens of Trump campaign donors in the San Antonio area, even as the Texas congressman defends his actions. Prominent figures from outlets including MSNBC and The New York Times have called out Castro for the potentially dangerous post. … The Texas congressman's original tweet included a list of San Antonio residents who had donated large amounts to the Trump campaign, along with the names of their employers. It is unclear who actually compiled the list. ‘Sad to see so many San Antonians as 2019 maximum donors to Donald Trump,’ Castro tweeted… MSNBC’s Willie Geist pointed out the risk during a Wednesday morning interview with Castro, who is the campaign chairman for his brother, 2020 presidential hopeful Julian Castro. … Castro said his intention was not to put anyone in danger, claiming, ‘I don’t want anybody harassed.’”
Trump sues to keep tax returns hidden - LAT: “California’s first-in-the-nation law requiring presidential primary candidates to release their tax returns or be kept off the ballot was challenged in federal court Tuesday by President Trump, the man who inspired its passage and whose attorneys argued that state Democratic leaders had overstepped their constitutional authority. The lawsuit, filed in Sacramento, came exactly one week after Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the legislation. … A separate effort by the state and national Republican parties and several California GOP voters was also filed in federal court on Tuesday. All of the lawsuits struck a similar theme by insisting California cannot impose limits on ballot access for presidential hopefuls. … Senate Bill 27 … imposes the tax disclosure rule on presidential and gubernatorial candidates, and stipulates that only the names of candidates who comply will be printed on the statewide primary ballot. Because the state has moved up its presidential primary to early March, the deadline for submitting the tax documents is in late November.”
MISSISSIPPI GOP HEADING TO RUNOFF FOR GOVERNOR
[Jackson, Miss.] Clarion- Ledger: “Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves and former state Supreme Court Justice Bill Waller Jr. are headed to a runoff for the Republican nomination for Mississippi governor. Reeves, long considered the heir apparent to the governorship, received nearly 49 percent of votes, according to unofficial election results early Wednesday morning. Waller picked up more than 33 percent, and first-term lawmaker Robert Foster finished with almost 18 percent. Reeves had tried to ignore his primary opponents, but will now face off with Waller in an Aug. 27 runoff election. In the Democratic race, Attorney General Jim Hood easily advanced to the general election, garnering 69 percent of votes. … The race was expected to be a shoo-in for Reeves, but it turned into a heated — though largely civil — primary race. Reeves had the most name recognition statewide, having served eight years as treasurer, followed by eight years as lieutenant governor. He also far outstripped his Republican opponents in fundraising, with about $5 million still in his campaign coffers.”
Kraushaar: The Democrats’ Texas-sized opportunity - National Journal
U.S. stocks plunge Wednesday over worsening U.S.-China trade war - WaPo
AUDIBLE: OUTLOOK UPDATE
“He’s the president of the United States. He does his calendar, I do mine.” – Dayton, Ohio Mayor Nan Whaley when asked if the president’s visit was too soon after the shooting.
FROM THE BLEACHERS
“Hey Chris, I call upon on your Halftime report to understand my father, and brothers, and others that see the world differently than I. I appreciate your insight. This following line spoke as partisan, which is outside your usual coverage. How do you know this? ‘Many Democrats, meanwhile, secretly admire Trump’s protectionism and are unlikely to pipe up.’ I admire your journalism, and look forward to reading the Halftime Report. Keep up the great work.” – Matt McLaughlin, Everett, Wash.
[Ed. note: Maybe “secretly” wasn’t the right word here. Many Democrats make no secret of their support. Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, have backed the president on much of his agenda. Remember that this is a longstanding plank of the Democratic policy platform, one ardently sought by labor unions. I was referring here to the fact that Democrats generally don’t like to advertise their agreement with a president so intensely despised by their party’s rank and file. Thanks for reading and taking the time to write!]
“As a Christian Libertarian, I can only say, ‘wow,’ with respect to the last line in Wooten excerpt: ‘We now can see that a society devoted to self-gratification may, in the end, destroy the conditions of its own existence.’” – Rev. John A. Johnson, Tucson, Ariz.
[Ed. note: Then I’d sure say you’re in the right line of work for this moment, reverend!]
“I have noticed the media refer to the President as Donald Trump and Mr. Trump and even Trump. Is this proper?” – Karen Morrow, Tampa, Fla.
[Ed. note: Quite so, depending on the context. I have a little beef with the Associated Press on the matter, but the Stylebook has held since 2009 that one should “use the first and family name on first reference to a current or former U.S. president or the president-elect.” The rule from time immemorial prior to that had been to simply refer to the leader of our government by his title and family name, e.g. “President Clinton.” I believe that unless we have a third father-son presidential dynasty to follow former Presidents John Adams, John Quincy Adams, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush – this is sort of a moot matter. If I write “President Trump” you know exactly who I mean without his first name, so I flout the AP style here to avoid unnecessary words. You also have latitude about there to put his title. You could refer to “Donald Trump, the president” and still be just as correct. But all are in agreement on what you do on second reference: Family name alone. You never need to repeat a title for anyone on subsequent references once their titles are established, not the president, not the pope, not the queen of jolly old England. This is America and we don’t do titles of nobility. On subsequent references you might also refer to Trump as “the president” or “the chief executive” or “the current occupant of the Oval Office” or whatever descriptor you like just to avoid repetition. Also, we don’t capitalize “president” unless it’s before the name as a title.]
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ARE YOU FEELING IT NOW, MR. KRABS?
Fox 35: “A video recorded by Stuart, Florida resident Abriel Arnel shows a massive amount of crabs crawling around her neighborhood. ‘We've lived here for a few years and this is the worst we've seen them!’ Arnel told Fox 35. In the video posted to Arnel's Facebook page, hundreds of blue land crabs are seen scurrying across the street and into bushes. Some, unfortunately, appear to get crunched under a passing car. Arnel told Fox 35 that some of them even greet her outside her front door! … According to researchers at the University of Florida, blue land crab mating and female migrating season runs until December, peaking in October and November. This isn't the first time we've seen a crab invasion in Florida. A Port St. Lucie man witnessed hundreds of land crabs crawling up his screen porch and all over his yard in a video that went viral.”
AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“I love to see anything done beautifully, whether it is ballet or music or baseball or walking the four-inch balance beam in gymnastics.” – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) said according to an article for Fox News by his son Daniel Krauthammer written on April 20, 2019.
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.