President Trump “is trying to turn the debate over a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border back to his political advantage as his signature pledge to American voters threatens to become a model of unfulfilled promises.
“Trump will hold his first campaign rally since November’s midterm elections in El Paso, Texas, on Monday as he faces a defining week for his push on the wall—and for his presidency and his 2020 prospects. Weakened by the disastrous government shutdown and facing a fresh deadline Friday, Trump is trying to convince people that that he’ll continue to push to build his long-promised wall, even though there’s no way it would be anywhere near complete by the time voters have to decide whether to give him another term.
“A Trump campaign adviser said the Trump team sees the El Paso rally as less about winning over voters ahead of the 2020 election and more an opportunity to reshape the debate around the wall. The campaign views the rally, which is to take place just a few hundred yards from El Paso’s border fence, as an opportunity for Trump to make the case that border barriers work, said the adviser, who was not authorized to discuss campaign strategy by name and requested anonymity.” (AP)
TRUMP’S 2020 CAMPAIGN ON WARREN’S LAUNCH: Trump’s re-election campaign message on Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA): Warren “has already been exposed as a fraud by the Native Americans she impersonated and disrespected to advance her professional career, and the people of Massachusetts she deceived to get elected. The American people will reject her dishonest campaign and socialist ideas like the Green New Deal, that will raise taxes, kill jobs and crush America's middle-class. Only under President Trump's leadership will America continue to grow safer, secure and more prosperous." (release)
GREEN NEW DEAL. “Prominent Democrats have rushed to embrace the Green New Deal—and Republicans couldn't be happier about it. As liberal groups pressure presidential candidates and lawmakers to back the ambitious climate proposal, Republicans hope their opponents may drift so far to the left that they will be more vulnerable in 2020. Since the election of ... Trump—who dismisses the link between carbon emissions and rising temperatures— Republicans have mostly steered clear of climate change, but in the Green New Deal they see a chance to pivot the argument back towards economics as growing majorities accept the underlying science.
“Republicans quickly bashed the concept as technologically impossible, unimaginably costly and a ‘socialist fever dream’ that they said would ultimately cost Democrats moderate seats across the country.” (Politico)
HALEY. Former UN ambassador “is reportedly slated to be the star guest at a dinner this month with New York’s top Republican donors. Haley is expected to be honored at the Feb. 27 dinner organized by hedge fund manager Paul Singer, Axios reported Sunday. The event is part of a series designed to highlight surrogates ahead of the 2020 House and Senate elections.
“Singer aims to recruit female candidates to support Republicans’ efforts to keep control of the Senate and take back the majority in the House, which the GOP lost after the November midterm elections. The hedge fund magnate is also backing E-PAC, a new political action committee started by Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) designed to find female candidates for office.” (Washington Examiner)
NEW MEXICO. "Republicans say New Mexico Democrats, emboldened by big gains in November, are pushing through contentious and liberal-leaning legislation, including bills on abortion and guns, and completely ignoring their GOP counterparts. The frustration boiled over late Friday night as Republicans accused Democrats of breaking House rules to stifle debate and ram through a bill that would make it a crime to sell virtually any firearm in New Mexico without a background check."
"Worse for Republicans, they have a thin bench heading into the 2020 presidential year, and they're grappling with the likelihood that President Donald Trump, who is unpopular in New Mexico, will seek re-election." (Las Cruces Sun News)