“After years of deriding Democrats for dividing Americans into hyphenated subgroups, Republicans face a tantalizing and vexing prospect this year. With two sons of Cuban immigrants,” Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ted Cruz (R-TX), “joining a famed African American” retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson (R), “near the top of the polls, they have a unique opportunity to reach out to minorities as the party has long wanted to.”
“Some party officials say the Republicans’ more diverse field of candidates — especially in contrast to the Democrats’ all-white list — is evidence of conservatism’s broadening appeal. But others, loath to adopt the identity politics they associate with liberalism, maintain that the focus must stay on conservative ideas rather than the ethnicity of the people touting them.”
Former Rep. J.C. Watts (R-OK): “The fact that you have Latinos and a black among the leading candidates is just coincidence. … It doesn’t speak to what’s beneath the surface. We’re still not talking about the concerns of that young black couple starting a business or that young Hispanic family. … Where are our solutions to deal with incarceration reform, unemployment, the trouble blacks and Hispanics have getting home mortgages? Republicans who ignore Ferguson and Baltimore and Black Lives Matter are refusing to hear the depths of what people are experiencing.” (Washington Post)
CONDEMNING THE SHOOTING. Several presidential candidates “condemned the attack on a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado Springs but stopped short of agreeing with liberal critics who say that fiery antiabortion rhetoric contributed to the shooting.”
Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina (R): “It’s obviously a tragedy. Nothing justifies this. … Any protesters should always be peaceful. Whether it’s Black Lives Matter or pro-life protesters.” Carson and real estate mogul Donald Trump (R) both called it an act of extremism.
Fiorina went on to reject comments from pro-choice activists that the pro-life movement’s rhetoric caused the shooting: “This is so typical of the left to immediately begin demonizing a messenger because they don’t agree with the message.” (Washington Post)
FILING FOR IDAHO. Five Republicans - Trump, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R), Rubio, Carson, and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) - have filed for Idaho’s March 8 primary.
The deadline for the remaining candidates to file is Dec. 9. (Twin Falls Times-News)
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"After a long delay, the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals confirmed Thursday a March decision to strike down the Labor Department's fiduciary rule. The court issued a mandate making effective the March 15 split decision that vacated the DOL regulation. The court majority held that the agency exceeded its authority in promulgating the rule, which would have required brokers to act in the best interests of their clients in retirement accounts. In the mandate, the court also said the Labor Department has to pay the financial industry plaintiffs the costs related to the appeal."
"The European Union fought back on Friday against the Trump administration’s tariffs, slapping penalties on an array of American products that target the president’s political base, like bourbon, motorcycles and orange juice. The European counterattack on $3.2 billion of goods, a response to the administration’s measures on steel and aluminum imports, adds another front to a trade war that has engulfed allies and adversaries around the world."
"The United States is preparing to shelter as many as 20,000 migrant children on four American military bases" in Texas and Arkansas, "as federal officials struggled to carry out President Trump’s order to keep immigrant families together after they are apprehended at the border."
"The House narrowly approved a five-year farm bill on Thursday that would impose new work requirements on people who receive food stamps. The legislation initially failed after conservatives demanded a vote on a conservative-backed immigration bill in exchange for their support last month. But the House was able to push the bill forward on Thursday in a 213-211 vote."
"House Republican leaders are further delaying a vote on a compromise immigration bill, planning to make changes to the legislation for a vote next week. The news comes after a two-hour Republican Conference meeting Thursday, in which authors of the bill walked through its contents and members raised concerns about issues the bill doesn’t address, multiple GOP lawmakers said. Many members requested the addition of a provision to require employers to use the E-Verify database to cheek the legal status of their employees."