The Club for Growth PAC, the political arm of the conservative group, “is stepping up its involvement in the 2016 White House race, formally steering donations to five top Republican presidential contenders supported by its board,” including Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Rand Paul (R-KY) and Marco Rubio (R-FL); Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R); and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R).
“This marks the first time the influential conservative group has called on its members to write checks to presidential candidates and coincides with a separate effort to curb the progress of celebrity real-estate mogul Donald Trump (R) by drawing attention to its concerns with his past statements.”
David McIntosh, president of the Club for Growth, “lauded the three senators for their records on ‘pro-growth issues,’” and “also hailed Walker’s fight with Wisconsin’s public-sector unions “¦ and he said Bush ‘amassed a solid record on tax cuts as governor of Florida.’” (Wall Street Journal)
GOP DEBATE. The Peace Center in Greenville, South Carolina, was named the location of the “Republican presidential primary debate scheduled for seven days before South Carolina’s ‘First in the South’ primary” on February 13. (Greenville News)
MORE DEBATES. “Former First Lady Nancy Reagan is inviting 16 Republican presidential candidates to participate in the CNN/Reagan Library presidential debate on September 16. “¦ Former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore (R) “¦ has not yet been invited. Candidates must achieve an average of at least 1 percent of support in three recognized national polls before September 10 to be included in the debate.” (CNN)
CLINTON ATTACK. Both Rubio and Bush attacked former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s (D) $350 billion student loan plan, decrying it as a tax hike. “Rubio proposed creating more alternatives to traditional four-year college programs that award people based on what they have learned rather than how many hours they spent in the classroom. He argued that more competition and greater flexibility is needed for working-class people to get the kinds of degrees they need.”
Rubio: “All that she’s talking about is ‘let’s raise taxes and let’s pour a bunch of money into a 20th-century outdated model.’ This is the thing they always do on the left — she has to figure out who to raise taxes on.”
Bush: “We need to change the incentives for colleges with fresh policies that result in more individualization and choices, drive down overall costs, and improve the value of a college degree, which will help lead to real, sustained four-percent economic growth.” (New York Times)
What We're Following See More »
"Saudi Arabia said Saturday that Jamal Khashoggi, the dissident Saudi journalist who disappeared more than two weeks ago, had died after an argument and fistfight with unidentified men inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. Eighteen men have been arrested and are being investigated in the case, Saudi state-run media reported without identifying any of them. State media also reported that Maj. Gen. Ahmed al-Assiri, the deputy director of Saudi intelligence, and other high-ranking intelligence officials had been dismissed."
"Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is scrutinizing how a collection of activists and pundits intersected with WikiLeaks, the website that U.S. officials say was the primary conduit for publishing materials stolen by Russia, according to people familiar with the matter. Mr. Mueller’s team has recently questioned witnesses about the activities of longtime Trump confidante Roger Stone, including his contacts with WikiLeaks, and has obtained telephone records, according to the people familiar with the matter."
"Special Counsel Robert Mueller is expected to issue findings on core aspects of his Russia probe soon after the November midterm elections ... Specifically, Mueller is close to rendering judgment on two of the most explosive aspects of his inquiry: whether there were clear incidents of collusion between Russia and Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, and whether the president took any actions that constitute obstruction of justice." Mueller has faced pressure to wrap up the investigation from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, said an official, who would receive the results of the investigation and have "some discretion in deciding what is relayed to Congress and what is publicly released," if he remains at his post.
"The Justice Department on Friday charged a Russian woman for her alleged role in a conspiracy to interfere with the 2018 U.S. election, marking the first criminal case prosecutors have brought against a foreign national for interfering in the upcoming midterms. Elena Khusyaynova, 44, was charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States. Prosecutors said she managed the finances of 'Project Lakhta,' a foreign influence operation they said was designed 'to sow discord in the U.S. political system' by pushing arguments and misinformation online about a host of divisive political issues, including immigration, the Confederate flag, gun control and the National Football League national-anthem protests."