In recent elections, primary challengers against GOP incumbents have come almost exclusively from the right. But in the House, we’re seeing signs of an establishment backlash, challenging tea party and iconoclastic members from the middle.
— The center of the opposition is in the suburbs of Michigan, where the business community has been dissatisfied with Rep. Justin Amash, a Ron Paul acolyte, and Rep. Kerry Bentivolio, a part-time reindeer rancher who bumbled into a House seat. Bentivolio already faces a primary challenge from attorney David Trott. Businessman Brian Ellis is expected to run against Amash. And former Bush aide Taylor Griffin just announced a campaign against anti-war North Carolina Rep. Walter Jones.
— There are signs these challengers will be credible. Trott reported raising more money in the third quarter than Bentivolio did in the first half of the year. Amash represents an urban Grand Rapids district where the business community holds more sway than the tea party. Jones has beaten back primary challenges before, but Griffin should run a better-organized campaign than his predecessors.
— While the GOP’s internal divisions over Obamacare tactics could spark more tea party primary challenges, they haven’t emerged yet. The Club for Growth has only endorsed one challenger, Bryan Smith, running against Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson. (Other incumbents to watch: Reps. Bill Shuster, Frank Lucas and Renee Ellmers.) That’s a testament to conservative success in shaping the GOP caucus, but there aren’t many battles left to be won.
There’s long been a divide between the GOP’s business wing and populist factions, with the former usually winning out. But with the business wing losing sway, they’re showing signs of emulating the tactics of the feisty opposition.
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After spending a few minutes re-litigating the Democratic primary, Donald Trump turned his focus to Obamacare. “I inherited a mess, believe me. We also inherited a failed healthcare law that threatens our medical system with absolute and total catastrophe” he said. “I’ve been watching and nobody says it, but Obamacare doesn’t work.” He finished, "so we're going to repeal and replace Obamacare."
Donald Trump lobbed his first attack at the “dishonest media” about a minute into his speech, saying that the media would not appropriately cover the standing ovation that he received. “We are fighting the fake news,” he said, before doubling down on his previous claim that the press is “the enemy of the people." However, he made a distinction, saying that he doesn't think all media is the enemy, just the "fake news."
"The FBI rejected a recent White House request to publicly knock down media reports about communications between Donald Trump's associates and Russians known to US intelligence during the 2016 presidential campaign, multiple US officials briefed on the matter tell CNN. But a White House official said late Thursday that the request was only made after the FBI indicated to the White House it did not believe the reporting to be accurate."