Trump cools on background check push in recent lawmaker conversations
- Washington (CNN) - President Donald Trump has been cooling to the idea of supporting new legislation for stricter firearm background checks in recent conversations with lawmakers, congressional and Republican sources tell CNN.
- After a week at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, and with the conversation around Dayton and El Paso shrinking, Trump has -- at least publicly -- scaled back his emphasis on even modest reforms to the nation's gun laws.
- Trump's shift away from background checks comes amid conversations with Republican Rep. Mark Meadows and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin over the last week, as well as the National Rifle Association head Wayne LaPierre, the sources said.
- One Republican operative close to the White House said the issue is likely to reemerge when Congress returns from its recess in September, noting that some GOP lawmakers in swing districts are hearing from voters who want to see action on the gun issue.
Here are all the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates who have qualified for the September primary debates
- And unlike the first two sets of debates in June and July, candidates will have to meet both the polling and donor minimums, instead of being able to qualify but meeting just one of them.
- So far, 10 candidates have met both thresholds to qualify for the September debate, which will be hosted by ABC News in Houston on September 12.
- Tulsi Gabbard so far has met the fundraising requirement and has picked up two qualifying polls, giving her a decent chance of making the stage in October, too.
- Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota got her fourth qualifying poll from a Fox News survey in late July, and her campaign announced she had obtained 130,000 donors on August 2, shortly after the second round of Democratic debates.
- Cory Booker of New Jersey surpassed both the polling and fundraising criteria in July, securing a spot in the fall debates.
Julián Castro qualifies for September debates with new poll
- In order to make the stage in September, candidates must receive 2% or more in at least four separate polls released between June 28 and August 28 that are conducted by pollsters approved by the Democratic National Committee.
- Candidates must also receive donations from at least 130,000 individual donors distributed across multiple states.
- Ten candidates have now met the qualification for the September debate: former Vice President Joe Biden, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Castro, California Sen. Kamala Harris, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, former Rep. Beto O'Rourke, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and businessman Andrew Yang.
- Billionaire Tom Steyer is still one poll away from qualifying and New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has one poll.
- Steyer has met the fundraising threshold while Gillibrand has not.
Biden regains double-digit lead over 2020 Dem field
- Aside from Biden's increase, the only statistically meaningful change in the candidate standings is a 12-point decline in support for California Sen. Kamala Harris, who stood at 17% support in the June poll but now has the backing of 5% of potential Democratic voters.
- The June CNN poll was conducted in the days immediately following the first round of Democratic National Committee-sanctioned debates among the presidential candidates.
- Biden's advantage in the poll is boosted by stronger support from self-identified Democrats (31%) than from independents (23%), older voters (34% among those age 45 and older) than younger ones (23% among those under age 45) and from moderate and conservative voters (34%) than liberals (22%).
- Asked which candidates they'd most like to hear more about, Democratic and Democratic-leaning registered voters are largely focused on the people who will appear on September's debate stage.
Pompeo warned Trump would be an 'authoritarian president' in 2016. Now he's one of Trump's most loyal and trusted advisors
- At the time, Pompeo had endorsed Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida for president.
- On the day of the Kansas caucus, Pompeo delivered remarks characterizing then-President Barack Obama as an "authoritarian" and warning Trump would be the same.
- GOP Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas ultimately won the 2016 Kansas Republican caucus, with Trump in second and Rubio in third.
- But the secretary of state is hardly the only senior member of Trump's administration who's been critical of the president in the past.
- The president has turned a number of former critics into key allies, including lawmakers like GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who in 2015 referred to then-candidate Trump as a "race-baiting, xenophobic religious bigot." Today, Conway and Graham, much like Pompeo, are among the first to stand-by Trump when he sparks controversy with his rhetoric or policies.
The drama over Mitch McConnell’s Twitter account, explained
- McConnell’s campaign account appears to have tweeted the video in response to uproar over a photo of a group of young men in Team Mitch shirts posing with a cutout of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
- The decision was not related to Twitter’s June announcement of a new policy on tweets from government officials or political figures that break its rules, in which the social media platform said it would put a warning label on tweets but wouldn’t take them down because they’re relevant to the public interest.
- Republicans, who have long insisted there’s widespread anti-conservative bias baked into social media algorithms, say Twitter’s decision on the Team Mitch account is just another example of Big Tech being out to get them.
Two men rescued a wheelchair-bound woman who fell off a dock into the ocean
- The 34-year-old Donovan jumped about 10 feet down off the dock into the ocean.
- Then Hamilton, 33, says he jumped in to help his friend, who was holding up the young woman, kicking furiously to keep the two of them afloat.
- Hamilton said the water was about 35 or 40 feet deep where they jumped in, making it more than deep enough for the woman weighted down by her wheelchair to sink.
- Together with onlookers atop the dock, Hamilton and Donovan pulled the young woman back up to safety.
- If the ship had shifted a few yards, the three could have been crushed against the dock, Hamilton said.
- Vialet, who represents the area in the legislature, lauded the young men, writing, "Everyday heroes with unassuming personalities live among us!" Vialet also said he gave a tribute to their bravery on the Senate floor.
Don't try to winnow the Democratic field too quickly
- Then there's Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Sen. Cory Booker and former Congressman Beto O'Rourke jostling in the second tier.
- I have no favorites, but I bristled when I read the Houston Chronicle editorial urging Beto O'Rourke to drop out, return to Texas, and run for Senate against Republican John Cornyn instead.
- The Democrats already have several impressive candidates running to challenge Cornyn: war hero MJ Hegar, progressive organizer Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez, veteran Dallas state Senator Royce West, activist Sema Hernandez, Houston city council member Amanda Edwards, and former congressman Chris Bell.
- Even a candidate who can't win can still have an impact on the presidential race, as I argued back in 2016 in urging Bernie Sanders not to drop out (despite my strong support for Hillary Clinton).
Black Democrats are split along generational lines
- Poll of the week: A new national Fox News poll finds that among black Democratic primary voters, former Vice President Joe Biden is their first choice for the party's presidential nomination at 37%.
- The Fox New poll is the latest to show that Biden holds a large lead among black voters in the Democratic primary.
- It also suggests that the former vice president's support is likely closer to 60% among black voters age 70 and older.
- Using the modeling technique that we did with Biden, we can estimate that Sanders likely has somewhere between 15% and 20% support with black voters under the age of 30.
- Younger black Democratic primary voters are much more likely to call themselves independents than older ones, according to an aggregate of the last three CNN polls.
Trump's public mention of background checks is vanishing
- While Trump also addressed mental health issues late last week, the disappearance of background check legislation in the President's rhetoric was reminiscent of his slow walk away from gun legislation reforms in the wake of the shooting in Parkland, Florida, last year.
- Ueland briefed Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, on the gun legislation talks on Thursday, according to an administration official, but Ueland is not yet expected to come to Bedminster to brief the President.
- Scott Jennings, a longtime McConnell adviser who has recently called for action on gun legislation, said he believes Trump can get Republican lawmakers behind measures to reform the nation's gun laws -- but only if he makes his position on specific legislation known.