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Which method will Castro play it?

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On the roster: Which method will Castro play it? – Trump defends need for international dust – Buttigieg, Warren comply with Trump’s lead on TV – Tillis might keep away from nasty Senate major – Dine and sprint

WHICH WAY WILL CASTRO PLAY IT?
TEMPE, ARIZ. – Democrats usually are not unreasonably afraid of what’s beginning to occur of their presidential major. However they need to attempt to cease worrying. It’s inevitable. 

Fox six months, the Blue Staff’s presidential contenders have been shadowboxing. Reasonably than immediately attacking one another, they’ve been taking indirect, contoured swipes, usually structured round pie-in-the sky coverage provisions.

However that part has apparently ended.

Take into account the previously beatific Beto O’Rourke. Showing on MSInternet right this moment, he went on a tear in opposition to frontrunner Joe Biden that might make even Donald Trump proud. O’Rourke, struggling to carry his spot within the second tier and supply some rationale for his in any other case aimless candidacy, tore into not simply Biden, but in addition the preferred dwelling Democrat, Barack Obama.

Calling Biden a “return to the past,” the previous Texas congressman defined that Democrats “cannot go back to the end of the Obama administration and think that that’s good enough.” 

Complaining of Obama’s failure to enact “meaningful” gun management and of the excessive variety of deportations within the earlier Democratic administration, the sixth-place candidate for the nomination declared, “We cannot simply be about defeating Donald Trump.”

Hoo boy.

The joke is on O’Rourke as a result of that’s precisely what Democrats are about. The very best, best good for no less than a plurality of his fellow partisans is thrashing the incumbent president. What they’ve to this point principally not been about is moody Texans who get their hair reduce on the web.

There are a few methods for O’Rourke and the 18 different candidates who’ve been staring on the vanishing level to consider the race.

One is to determine that, as historical past would counsel, Trump might be exhausting to beat and that it’s crucial to keep away from a bloodletting over the subsequent 12 months. Not solely would inevitable private and character assaults weaken the eventual nominee, however the policy-oriented fights would are inclined to yank that very same nominee towards positions unattractive to the suburban and small city voters on which the celebration should pin its 2020 hopes.

The opposite is to determine that, as present opinion polls would point out, Trump is already irretrievably capsized and that the eventual nominee might be made stronger and extra ideologically sound by a severe scourging. On this state of affairs, Democrats don’t have to hurry via the first or blunt their assaults on one another as a result of the overall is just about within the bag.

Guess which one of many B and C flights the Democratic area have a tendency to ascribe to? However are they keen to face the results of going unfavorable when most major voters are strongly against knife-fight techniques?

We get why O’Rourke, dated and ill-fated, is buying and selling in his Boy Scout kerchief for a pointy knife. However what about the remainder of them? Significantly, what concerning the proto Beto, former San Antonio Mayor and Housing and City Growth Secretary Julian Castro?

You couldn’t name Castro’s candidacy up to now a flash within the pan as a result of there’s been no flash. That’s to not say there isn’t some flamable materials. He’s whip good, skilled on the nationwide stage, related to a deep-pocketed community of donors, hails from a delegate-rich early major state and, in an enormous major area notable for its excessive pallor, the one Hispanic-American candidate.

Castro is not any radical, so there’s little level for him to hitch the sideshow of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren combating over who’s the most liberal senator from New England born within the 1940s. So does he comply with O’Rourke and begin attempting to hobble Biden on the danger of Chris Christie-ing himself or does he lay again and wait to attempt to profit if Biden goes stomach up?

We’ll discover out at 6:30 pm ET when he faces voters and our colleagues Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum right here tonight.

THE RULEBOOK: SUPPORT SYSTEM
“The State government will have the advantage of the Federal government, whether we compare them in respect to the immediate dependence of the one on the other; to the weight of personal influence which each side will possess; to the powers respectively vested in them; to the predilection and probable support of the people; to the disposition and faculty of resisting and frustrating the measures of each other.” – James Madison, Federalist No. 45

TIME OUT: PLAYING THE BLUES  
St. Louis Publish-Dispatch: “Weave them collectively, and the tapestry of your Stanley Cup champions inform an much more highly effective story. ‘Character,’ proprietor Tom Stillman mentioned, tears in his eyes. ‘That’s how they are going to be remembered.’ The workforce with the fewest factors within the NHL on the morning of Jan. three turned the primary workforce in any of the 4 main sports activities leagues to rise from final place within the league standings after greater than 1 / 4 of the season, then nonetheless qualify for the league championship. And on Wednesday night time at TD Backyard, the Blues did what their predecessors couldn’t: End. For the primary time since their chase started within the 1967-68 season, the Blues stand alone, unequalled of their relentlessness and inspiration. … The Blues taught us that generally heroes are simply ready to listen to their names referred to as. {That a} true workforce can obtain the inconceivable. That the previous solely holds you again in the event you let it.”

Flag on the play? – E mail us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM along with your suggestions, feedback or questions.

SCOREBOARD
Trump job efficiency 
Common approval: 
42 p.c
Common disapproval: 51.four p.c
Web Rating: -9.four factors
Change from one week in the past: up 2 factors
[Common consists of: Quinnipiac College: 42% approve – 53% disapprove; NPR/PBS/Marist: 43% approve – 49% disapprove; IBD: 42% approve – 52% disapprove; CNN: 43% approve – 53% disapprove; CInternet: 40% approve – 50% disapprove.]

WANT MORE HALFTIME REPORT? 
You possibly can be part of Chris and Brianna daily on Fox Nation. Go behind-the-scenes of your favourite political notice as they undergo the must-read headlines of the day proper from their workplace – with loads of persona. Click on right here to enroll and watch!

TRUMP DEFENDS DESIRE FOR FOREIGN DIRT
Fox Information: “A defiant President Trump pushed again Thursday in opposition to the outrage over his feedback that he can be open to accepting opposition analysis from people from international international locations, arguing he should not have any obligation to name the FBI in sure instances whereas attempting to show the tables on Democratic lawmakers over their very own international contacts. ‘I meet and talk to ‘foreign governments’ daily,’ the president tweeted Thursday. Citing current conversations with leaders in the UK and Ireland, France and Poland, Trump mentioned, “We talked about ‘Everything!’’ … The president was combating again amid the backlash over his interview with ABC Information on Wednesday, the place Trump was requested what he would do if a international energy provided dust on his 2020 opponent. ‘I think I’d want to hear it,’ Trump mentioned, including… The feedback revived calls from 2020 Democratic presidential candidates for Congress to start impeachment proceedings in opposition to Trump, together with from Sens. Elizabeth WarrenBernie Sanders and Kirsten Gillibrand and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke.”

Particular Counsel recommends firing Conway for Hatch Act violations – Fox Information: “The Workplace of Particular Counsel beneficial Thursday that Kellyanne Conway be fired from the federal authorities for violating the Hatch Act on ‘numerous occasions.’ The Hatch Act is a federal legislation that limits sure political actions of federal staff. The OSC, which is separate from the workplace with an identical title beforehand run by Robert Mueller, mentioned in a scathing report launched Thursday that White Home Counselor Conway violated the Hatch Act by ‘disparaging Democratic presidential candidates while speaking in her official capacity during television interviews and on social media.’ … However the White Home confirmed no signal of taking motion in opposition to Conway in response, calling the OSC ruling ‘unprecedented’ and suggesting it was politically influenced.”

Home held contempt vote in opposition to Barr, Ross – Politico: “The Home Oversight Committee voted to carry Lawyer Basic William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt of Congress on Wednesday for defying the panel’s subpoenas for paperwork concerning the choice so as to add a citizenship query to the 2020 census. The vote got here hours after President Donald Trump moved to dam Congress’ entry to the subpoenaed paperwork by asserting govt privilege. Trump issued the broad privilege declare on the urging of the Justice Division on Wednesday morning because the committee was starting contempt proceedings in opposition to Barr and Ross for not complying with the panel’s subpoenas, which have been issued in April.”

Amash breaks from celebration on contempt vote – The Hill: “Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), the one Republican in Congress to come back out in favor of beginning impeachment proceedings in opposition to President Trump, broke along with his celebration once more on Wednesday with a committee vote to carry Lawyer Basic William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt. Amash joined Democrats to vote in favor of the contempt decision, which was in relation to subpoenaed paperwork on the Trump administration’s addition of a citizenship query to the 2020 census. Amash had additionally sided with Democrats in votes over which amendments so as to add to the contempt decision.”

BUTTIGIEG, WARREN FOLLOW TRUMP’S LEAD ON TV
NYT: “…Mr. [PeteButtigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., has cracked the code of the early months of the presidential marketing campaign, embracing TV appearances whereas mastering the artwork of making moments for social media and cable information. … He’s not alone: Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has inundated reporters with coverage proposals, prompting hours of cable information protection and forcing fellow candidates to answer her concepts throughout stay interviews. Over the primary six months of the presidential marketing campaign, Mr. Buttigieg and Ms. Warren have out-maneuvered the opposite 21 Democratic candidates, demonstrating an innate understanding of the worth of viral moments and nonstop publicity that drives politics within the Trump period. … In contrast to a lot of their rivals, who constructed their political careers within the period of rigorously chosen, less-is-more press interplay, the 2 have positioned their destiny within the palms of TV bookers and the gods of on-line viral content material.”

Bullock, shut out of debate, complains about debate standards – Politico: “Montana Gov. Steve Bullock submitted paperwork to the Democratic Nationwide Committee asserting that he has certified for the primary major debate on the finish of June, establishing a showdown between the celebration committee and red-state governor. ‘Governor Bullock has met the threshold for qualification for the first debate,’ Bullock marketing campaign supervisor Jenn Ridder wrote in a letter to DNC Chairman Tom Perez, obtained first by POLITICO. However that’s an evaluation the DNC probably disputes. At difficulty is whether or not Bullock has crossed the polling threshold to qualify for the primary debate. Candidates wanted to earn no less than 1 p.c in three polls performed by qualifying organizations and launched by the top of Wednesday. However Bullock’s case hinges on the principles surrounding a single ballot launched in January by ABC Information and The Washington Publish.”

Inslee nonetheless needs local weather change debate – Fox Information: “Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee is stepping up his push to power the Democratic Nationwide Committee to carry a major debate solely on the difficulty of local weather change. ‘This planet is on fire and we have to have a debate on how to put it out,’ the Democratic presidential candidate and longtime champion of combating local weather change informed reporters. And Inslee warned that if the DNC doesn’t drop its opposition to a local weather change-only debate, he’ll ‘be talking to the other candidates’ who agree with him and ‘we will pursue what other options we can make.’ Inslee made his feedback Wednesday whereas campaigning in New Hampshire, which holds the primary major within the race for the White Home. … [DNC Chairman TomPerez reportedly informed activists who confronted him at a celebration gathering in Florida this previous weekend that holding such a debate was ‘just not practical.’”

Schultz declares summer time marketing campaign convalescence – HuffPo: “Starbucks billionaire Howard Schultz informed marketing campaign workers that he’s making important cuts to his workforce, as he suspends his political plans for the summer time. Schultz got here into the workplace Wednesday for the primary time in months and met with the workers, in response to an individual within the room. He introduced that he was letting everybody go besides these in senior management positions, including he wouldn’t decide about operating for president till after Labor Day. Shortly thereafter, Schultz despatched an e mail to supporters, saying that medical causes had taken him out of fee for months, and he nonetheless wanted time to recuperate.”

Dem candidates’ religion changing into extra central in 2020 – Politico: “After years of taking part in down and even ceding the message of religion and values to Republicans, Democratic presidential candidates are attempting to reclaim it within the 2020 election… Whereas previous Democrats have shared their religion on the path, celebration strategists and observers say it’s taking part in a extra central position within the 2020 marketing campaign than they’ve seen in a very long time. However the Democratic deal with faith comes with a brand new twist: Whereas some earlier Democratic candidates have used their religion to attach with conservative or traditionalist voters, 2020 hopefuls like Pete Buttigieg, Kirsten GillibrandCory Booker and others are utilizing their faith to justify liberal positions on same-sex marriage, abortion and different coverage areas which have historically animated the conservative non secular proper within the different path.”

TILLIS MAY AVOID NASTY SENATE PRIMARY 
Politico: “Rep. Mark Walker has determined to not launch a major problem in opposition to Sen. Thom Tillis in North Carolina, in a reduction to senior Republicans who feared a scorched-earth battle in a key state. Walker has been severely contemplating a run for Senate however was desperate to first safe President Donald Trump’s blessing. He met with Trump on the White Home final month to debate the race and was attempting to lock down a second assembly this week as he weighed a bid. Prime Republicans, nevertheless, had expressed concern to Trump concerning the potential penalties a nasty major race may have on GOP management of the Senate and his personal re-election prospects, and a inexperienced mild from the president was unlikely to be coming. … Walker met with Tillis in his Senate workplace Wednesday afternoon to ship the message that he wouldn’t problem him, in response to Jack Minor, a Walker spokesman.”

After failing first, Maine standard vote hack – Portland Press Herald: “House lawmakers reversed course Wednesday and voted to add Maine to the growing list of states pushing to switch to a national popular vote in presidential elections. The 77-69 vote in the Maine House came roughly two weeks after the national popular vote bill had failed by a 10-vote margin but after the Maine Senate had reaffirmed its support for the measure. The fate of the bill remains unclear, however, because it faces additional procedural votes in both the House and Senate. The bill would add Maine to the growing list of states pledging to use the national popular vote, rather than the Electoral College system, to choose a president. … Maine has four Electoral College votes.”

THE JUDGE’S RULING: TRASHING THE CONSTITUTION AGAIN
This week Fox Information Senior Judicial Analyst Decide Andrew Napolitano explains how the Division of Justice is trying to disregard the Structure by maintaining American citizen Lyman Faris in jail as a result of he may probably commit against the law sooner or later: “Under the doctrine of the separation of powers — which is integral to the Constitution — only Congress can prescribe penalties for violations of federal law, not the executive or judicial branches. And under basic principles of due process in America, people are not punished because of what the government fears they might do. They may only be constitutionally punished for crimes for which they have lawfully been convicted — once real crimes, but in post-9/11 Orwellian America, regrettably, false crimes as well. … The day we move to punish people — citizens or not — because of what the government fears they might do is the day all liberty will be lost.” Extra right here.

PLAY-BY-PLAY
McConnell pushes exhausting for finances deal – The Hill

Home passes 9/11 victims fund invoice – CBS Information

Dems battle to succeed in remaining settlement on invoice to fund the migrant disaster – Politico

Trump unveils new pink, white and blue Air Pressure One paint job – Fox Information

AUDIBLE: ZING
“Effectively, you may ask Sen. [MarkUdall that query.” – Sen. Cory Gardner’s, R-Colo., joking concerning the incumbent senator he unseated in a long-shot bid in 2010, when requested by KDVR why Colorado voters who’re writing him off are unsuitable.

Share your coloration commentary: E mail us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM and please be sure to incorporate your title and hometown.

DINE AND DASH 
Fox Information: “The Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office in Louisiana said on Facebook a deputy spotted an 8-foot alligator Monday in the middle of Highway 1, but before the call was through, the cops learned the gator just wanted to eat and run. Deputies tried to contain the gator on the roadway north of Caddo Parish while awaiting the arrival of wildlife removal experts. But this gator was not going to be captured. The reptile ended up escaping the long arm of the law after taking a bite out of a deputy’s patrol vehicle. Photos posted to the sheriff’s Facebook show the gator lurking in tall grass and the damage to the vehicle afterward. A piece of the bumper that was torn away from the vehicle could be seen lying on the roadway. ‘The one that got away…’ the sheriff’s office wrote. The sheriff’s office said no one was injured during the incident.”

AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“When I inform mates that three of us as soon as drove from Washington to New York to see Garry Kasparov play a sport [of chess], it elicits a glance as uncomprehending as if we had pushed 200 miles for an egg-eating contest.” – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) writing within the Washington Publish on Dec. 27, 2002.

Chris Stirewalt is the politics editor for Fox Information. Brianna McClelland contributed to this report. Need InternetNews Halftime Report in your inbox daily? Enroll right here.

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