“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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"House Republicans on Thursday will consider changes to their internal conference rules, with several amendments targeting the process for selecting committee leaders. The biggest proposed change comes from Wisconsin Rep. Mike Gallagher, who wants committee members to be able to choose their own chairmen or ranking members," rather than leadership or the steering committee.
"Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office is exploring whether longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone tried to intimidate and discredit a witness who is contradicting Mr. Stone’s version of events about his contacts with WikiLeaks, according to people who have spoken to Mr. Mueller’s investigators. In grand jury sessions and interviews, prosecutors have repeatedly asked about emails, text messages and online posts involving Mr. Stone and his former friend, New York radio personality Randy Credico, the people said. Mr. Stone has asserted that Mr. Credico was his backchannel to WikiLeaks, a controversial transparency group, an assertion Mr. Credico denies."