PI firm claims Hunter Biden is subject of criminal probes, whistleblower was on ex-VP’s secret Ukraine flight

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Media plays defense for Joe Biden amid Ukraine scandal

Reaction and analysis from Fox News contributor Charlie Hurt and Women for Trump national co-chair Gina Loudon.

A private investigation firm made a bizarre intervention in an Arkansas court case concerning custody of Hunter Biden's alleged love child Monday, claiming in an explosive filing that former vice president Joe Biden's son is dodging their discovery requests and is "the subject of more than one criminal investigation involving fraud, money laundering and a counterfeiting scheme."

On the same day that D&A Investigations filed its "Notice of Fraud and Counterfeiting and Production of Evidence", which was first reported by The Daily Mail and obtained by Fox News, Lunden Alexis Roberts authored her own motion seeking "primary physical and legal custody" of the child she said she had with Biden. Lunden also demanded attorneys' fees and a hearing concerning visitation rights.

READ THE PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR REPORT ON BIDEN'S ALLEGED 'CRIMINAL' INVOLVEMENT

The court in Independence County, Ark. quickly struck the D&A filing from the record, saying it violated state procedural rules for joining an ongoing case as an intervening party. Ordinarily, the rules require that intervening parties share a "question of law or fact in common" with the existing case.

Hunter Biden, in his own motion to strike the firm's claims, told the court that the allegations were false and scandalous, and a transparent attempt to garner media attention.

D&A told Fox News Tuesday to expect an additional filing soon — and hinted that more incriminating details concerning Hunter Biden's business dealings would soon come to light.

READ LUNDEN ROBERTS' MOTION FOR CUSTODY

The firm, which worked with Casey Anthony's defense team, separately told Fox News that its investigators have found that the intelligence community whistleblower at the center of the Democrats' impeachment against President Trump accompanied Joe Biden when he traveled to Ukraine in March 2016 and pressured the country's government to fire its top prosecutor by threatening to withhold $1 billion in U.S. aid.

"I said, I’m telling you, you’re not getting the billion dollars," Biden boasted at a conference after leaving office. "I said, you’re not getting the billion. I’m going to be leaving here in –, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money. Well, son of a b–ch. He got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time."

However, publicly available records show that Joe Biden did not officially travel to Ukraine in 2016.

Hunter Biden and Joe Biden pictured in April 2016. (Photo by Teresa Kroeger/Getty Images for World Food Program USA)

Hunter Biden and Joe Biden pictured in April 2016. (Photo by Teresa Kroeger/Getty Images for World Food Program USA)

In its filing, D&A investigations asserted that Hunter Biden and his business associates "established bank and financial accounts with Morgan Stanley et al" for the Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma Holdings Limited for a "money laundering scheme," among other ventures.

One alleged scheme "accumulated $156,073,944.24," according to the document.

D&A claimed its filing was necessary because Biden was failing to answer "reasonable" and "basic" questions, and said it had been "actively investigating" Biden and his partners "since 8 August 2016."

Hunter Biden was a board member of Burisma, which had been under investigation before then-Vice President Joe Biden pressured Ukraine to fire its top prosecutor. In his July 25 call with Ukraine's president that ultimately led to his impeachment, President Trump suggested the Ukrainians look into the circumstances of the prosecutor's termination, including Joe Biden's boast that he had the prosecutor fired.

"Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution, so if you can look into it…It sounds horrible to me," Trump said on the phone call. State Department officials flagged Hunter Biden's apparent conflict of interest at the time but were shrugged off by the vice president's office.

Joe Biden has denied knowing anything about his son's business dealings. Fox News has obtained a photograph showing the former vice president golfing with Hunter and a Burisma executive, and Hunter Biden has previously said he discussed his business dealings on one occasion with his father.

JOE BIDEN SAYS HE WON'T APPEAR VOLUNTARILY AT GOP-LED SENATE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL

The 28-year-old Roberts, in her filing, said Hunter Biden has "had no involvement in the child's life since the child's birth, never interacted with the child, never parented the child," and "could not identify the child out of a photo lineup."

DNA tests have allegedly confirmed "with scientific certainty" that Hunter Biden is the biological father of Roberts' baby, according to court documents filed in November.

Joe Biden tangled with a Fox News reporter when asked about that development.

Joe Biden on son Hunter's paternity case: 'That's a private matter, I have no comment'Video

“I’m wondering if you have a comment on this report, and court filing, out of Arkansas that your son Hunter just made you a grandfather again,” Fox News’ Peter Doocy asked.

“No, that’s a private matter and I have no comment,” Biden fired back before attacking the reporter.

“Only you would ask that,” Biden said. “You’re a good man. You’re a good man. Classy.”

Earlier this month, Hunter Biden's private life again spilled out into the public sphere when Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., brought up his admitted past substance abuse issues.

The Florida lawmaker referenced an article published this past July in The New Yorker, which included interviews with Hunter Biden and reported on a 2016 car accident the younger Biden was involved in. According to that story, employees at a rental car agency claimed they found a crack pipe inside the vehicle. It also quoted Hunter Biden describing his attempts to buy crack cocaine in a Los Angeles homeless encampment.

WATCH: GAETZ HAMMERS BIDEN DRUG USE, AND DEM REP RESPONDS IN KIND

“I found this very extensive profile in The New Yorker,” Gaetz said before detailing some of the article’s more sordid details on Biden. “I don’t want to make light of anybody’s substance abuse issues, I know the president is working real hard to solve those throughout the country, but it’s a little hard to believe that Burisma hired Hunter Biden to resolve their international disputes when he could not resolve his own dispute with Hertz rental car over leaving cocaine and a crack pipe in the car.”

Republican lawmakers have questioned why Hunter Biden was being paid upwards of $50,000 a month by Burisma at the same time his father was leading the Obama administration's diplomatic dealings with Kiev. Though the timing raised concerns among anti-corruption advocates, neither the former vice president nor his son has been formally accused of breaking the law.

Fox News' Brian Flood contributed to this report.

Original Article

Biden: ‘I’m not willing to commit one way or another’ to running for 2nd term if elected

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One-term plan? Biden denies talking to aides about re-election

Former Vice President Joe Biden denies planning for one-term presidency; Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy reports.

Former Vice President Joe Biden said on Thursday that he is unwilling to commit to running for a second term if he is elected president next November.

Biden, who if elected would become the oldest sitting American president in history at the end of his first term, would not answer Democratic primary debate moderator Tim Alberta’s question about whether he would pursue a second term in the White House.

“No, I’m not willing to commit one way or another,” Biden said during Thursday’s debate at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

BIDEN CAMPAIGN RELEASES DOCTOR STATEMENT CALLING HIM 'HEALTHY, VIGOROUS 77-YEAR-OLD'

Biden’s comment comes following a media report that his campaign is mulling a public pledge to serve only one term in office if elected — something his campaign denied.

Politico reported last week that advisers close to Biden say he is seriously considering only running for one term.

“If Biden is elected, he’s going to be 82 years old in four years, and he won’t be running for reelection," one adviser told Politico.

Could Biden take 2020 if he promised to only serve one term?Video

The adviser said that if Biden only served one term, he could select a younger running mate and have a young and more diverse staff — thus positioning himself as the candidate who can both defeat President Trump next November and help bring the party’s fresher faces into power.

“This makes Biden a good transition figure,” the adviser said. “I’d love to have an election this year for the next generation of leaders, but if I have to wait four years [in order to] to get rid of Trump, I'm willing to do it.”

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The question about Biden’s age came as candidates were grilled about the lack of diversity among the 2020 Democratic primary hopefuls on stage for the debate. Of the seven candidates who qualified for the debate, businessman Andrew Yang was the only minority and, if elected, Biden and Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Bernie Sanders of Vermont would become the oldest sitting presidents in U.S. history.

Biden on rumors of single-term pledge: I don't have any plans on one-term, I'm not even there yetVideo

Warren, however, joked that she would be the “youngest woman president,” as well.

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Biden says ‘yes’ when asked about sacrificing blue-collar jobs for clean energy

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Swamp Watch: Did Joe Biden use his influence to get his son a job in Ukraine?

Breaking down the links between Joe Biden, Ukraine and Hunter Biden working for Burisma

Former Vice Preisdent Joe Biden made clear at Thursday night’s Democratic presidential primary debate that he’d sacrifice economic growth due to a boom in oil and natural gas production and potentially risk displacing hundreds of thousands of blue-collar workers in order to combat climate change.

Moderator Tim Alberta asked: "Three consecutive American presidents have enjoyed stints of explosive economic growth due to a boom in oil and natural gas production. As president, would you be willing to sacrifice some of that growth, even knowing potentially that it could displace thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of blue-collar workers in the interest of transitioning to that greener economy?”

PBS MODERATOR AWKWARDLY CORRECTED AFTER CONFUSING ANDREW YANG FOR TOM STEYER: 'I'M OVER HERE!'

“The answer is yes,” the former vice president said.

But Biden — the front-runner in national polling in the Democratic nomination race — emphasized that “the opportunity for those workers to transition to high-paying jobs … is real.”

“We’re the only country in the world that’s taken great, great crises and turned them into enormous opportunities,” Biden added.

Polling: Biden support grows, Warren's numbers tankVideo

The former vice president provided an example of how in moving to a green energy economy, new jobs would replace lost jobs.

“We shouldn’t build another new highway in America that doesn’t have charging stations on it. We have an opportunity to put 550,000 charging stations so that we own the electrical vehicle market, creating millions of jobs for people installing them, as well making sure that we own electric vehicle market,” Biden explained.

But he insisted that “we have to make sure we explain it to those people who are displaced that their skills are going to be needed for the new opportunities."

The pro-Republican America Rising PAC quickly picked up on Biden’s answer, comparing it to a line Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton made during the 2016 debates with then GOP nominee Donald Trump.

“The Biden line sounds familiar, doesn't it?,” wrote America Rising Press Secretary Joe Gierut.

He then highlighted Clinton’s line from 2016 when she said “we're going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.”

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Biden — along with every other Democratic presidential contender — is calling for transforming the nation’s economy off fossil fuels and toward clean energy in order to dramatically lower carbon emissions. Their stances stand in sharp contrast with President Trump, a climate change skeptic who once called it a “hoax.” Trump emphasized earlier this year that America’s wealth is built on energy and that “I’m not going to lose it on dreams, on windmills.”

Original Article

Obama’s former doc says Biden ‘not a healthy guy’ after reviewing medical info: Report

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Could Biden take 2020 if he promised to only serve one term?

'The Daily Briefing' host Dana Perino reacts to the Biden campaign's bold strategy.

One of President Obama's former doctors reportedly disputed a letter released by former Vice President Joe Biden's campaign in which the former vice president's own doctor praised the 77-year-old presidential candidate as a "healthy, vigorous" man.

“He’s not a healthy guy,” said Dr. David Scheiner, who previously served as Obama's physician. According to the Washington Examiner, Scheiner read Biden's medical history and said the presidential candidate "has a lot of issues."

“He’s not in bad shape for his age, but I wouldn't say he’s in outstanding health. Could I guarantee he won't have issues for the next four years? He has a lot of issues that are just sort of sitting there," Scheiner said.

Scheiner previously told the Examiner that Biden "looked frail" during the first Democratic primary debate. "I sort of got the feeling he wasn’t very strong. It was similar to the feeling I got when Republicans started attacking Mueller so fiercely," he said.

BIDEN CAMPAIGN RELEASES DOCTOR STATEMENT CALLING HIM 'HEALTHY, VIGOROUS 77-YEAR-OLD'

Dr. David Scheiner and former Vice President Joe Biden. (Getty/AP).

Dr. David Scheiner and former Vice President Joe Biden. (Getty/AP).

Questions about Biden’s health and age have repeatedly come up since even before the former vice president declared his candidacy in April. In September, Biden committed to publicly releasing his medical records before the Iowa caucuses, to try and put to rest concerns over whether he was fit enough to take on President Trump in a general election campaign — and whether he would be up to the rigors and stress of serving as president.

On Tuesday, the Biden campaign released a statement from Dr. Kevin O'Connor, who served as White House physician to Biden for several years.

"Vice President Biden is a healthy, vigorous 77-year-old male, who is fit to successfully execute the duties of the presidency, to include those as chief executive, head of state and commander in chief,” Dr. Kevin O’Connor said.

In his report, O’Connor said that Biden is currently being treated for non-valvular atrial-fibrillation, better known as Afib, which is an irregular heartbeat. He said Biden is also being treated for hyperlipidemia, which is an abnormally high concentration of fats or lipids in the blood, as well as gastroesophageal reflux, a digestive disorder that occurs when acidic stomach juices, or food and fluids, back up from the stomach into the esophagus. And he noted that Biden – as many Americans do – suffers from seasonal allergies.

BLOOMBERG RELEASES LETTER FROM DOCTOR SAYING HE'S IN 'OUTSTANDING HEALTH'

“For these, he takes three common prescription medications and two common over-the-counter medications,” O’Connor said.

His report listed Biden's weight as 178 pounds and his height as 5 feet, 11.65 inches.

Biden's campaign did not immediately respond to Fox News' request for comment.

Scheiner also commented on former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's health. Bloomberg, also 77, threw his hat into the 2020 race late and provoked speculation that he thought 2020 frontrunners like Biden couldn't cut it.

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Bloomberg previously released his medical history with his doctor describing his health as "outstanding."

“'Outstanding health'? With that history, I wouldn’t call it outstanding health,” Scheiner said, referring to the description as "hyperbole."

Bloomberg's doctor had disclosed that the former mayor was receiving treatment for arthritis and heartburn. The letter added that Bloomberg takes a blood thinner to treat atrial fibrillation and another medication to control his cholesterol.

Fox News' Paul Steinhauser and Kelly Phares contributed to this report.

Original Article

Bloomberg jabs at Biden: ‘He’s never been the manager of an organization’

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Bloomberg on 2020 Democrats: Trump would eat them up

Bloomberg takes swipe at fellow Democratic candidates; Republican political strategist Ashlee Strong and Democratic strategist Kevin Chavous react.

Mike Bloomberg is once again taking aim at his rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination. But this time, he’s specifically criticizing former Vice President Joe Biden, the front-runner in national primary polling.

BLOOMBERG ON HIS 2020 DEM RIVALS: 'TRUMP WOULD JUST EAT THEM UP'

"He's never been the manager of an organization, he's never run a school system,” the former New York City mayor and multi-billionaire business and media mogul said of Biden during an interview recorded Wednesday with MSNBC.

"The presidency shouldn't be a training job," Bloomberg added. "You need somebody who comes in and knows how to run an organization."

Referring to the entire field of roughly 15 remaining Democratic White House hopefuls, Bloomberg said: "I don't think any of them have the experience.”

Bloomberg regularly touts his private and public sector resume, which includes co-founding the business media giant Bloomberg LP, serving three terms as mayor of the nation’s largest city, and funding and organizing advocacy efforts in battling gun violence and trying to combat climate change.

Biden – who like Bloomberg is 77 – also highlights his experience, which includes nearly four decades in the U.S. Senate and eight years serving as vice president under President Barack Obama.

Fox News reached out to the Biden campaign, but they declined to respond to the verbal sniping from Bloomberg.

THE LATEST FROM FOX NEWS ON THE 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN

Bloomberg flirted with a White House bid at the beginning of the year — but with Biden gearing up for a presidential run, he decided against launching a campaign at the time because he felt he and the former vice president would split the center-left Democratic vote.

But with Biden now battling other top-tier contenders Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts as well as South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Bloomberg jumped into the race late last month. He said that he was concerned none of the current candidates could defeat President Trump in next year's election.

Explaining two weeks ago in an interview with CBS' This Morning why he launched a White House bid with just two months to go until the start of the primary and caucus nominating calendar, Bloomberg said: “I watched all the candidates and I thought to myself, 'Donald Trump would just eat them up'.”

“Let me rephrase it. I think that I would do the best job of competing with him and beating him,” added Bloomberg, who’s already spent more than $100 million of his own money to run TV ads for his presidential campaign.

Original Article

Biden campaign releases doctor statement calling him ‘healthy, vigorous 77-year-old’

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Polling: Biden support grows, Warren's numbers tank

John Sununu, former New Hampshire Governor, weighs on new polling that shows Elizabeth Warren has fallen behind Bernie Sanders while Biden still leads

The doctor who treated Joe Biden during his eight years as vice president is giving the Democratic presidential candidate’s health a thumbs-up.
"Vice President Biden is a healthy, vigorous 77-year-old male, who is fit to successfully execute the duties of the presidency, to include those as chief executive, head of state, and commander in chief,” Dr. Kevin O’Connor said Tuesday in a statement released by the Biden campaign.

O’Connor, who served in the Army, was assigned as White House physician to the vice president from 2009 to 2017.

BIDEN, SANDERS NECK AND NECK IN NEW 2020 DEMS POLL

Questions about Biden’s health and age have repeatedly come up since even before the former vice president declared his candidacy in April. In September, Biden committed to publicly releasing his medical records before the Iowa caucuses, to try and put to rest concerns over whether he was fit enough to take on President Trump in a general election campaign — and whether he would be up to the rigors and stress of serving as president.

Biden is one of five septuagenarian candidates in the race for the White House. Democratic nomination rivals Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont is 78, former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg is 77, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts is 70, and President Trump is 73.

Biden has repeatedly downplayed scrutiny over his health, at times challenging skeptics to such physical tests as arm wrestling or pushups.

The release of his medical history was the first for Biden since 2008, when he was the running mate on the Democratic ticket headed by Barack Obama. At the time, doctors found that he had an irregular heartbeat.

THE LATEST FROM FOX NEWS ON THE 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN

In his report, O’Connor said that Biden is currently being treated for non-valvular atrial-fibrillation, better known as A-fib, which is an irregular heartbeat. He said Biden is also being treated for hyperlipidemia, which is an abnormally high concentration of fats or lipids in the blood, as well as gastroesophageal reflux, a digestive disorder that occurs when acidic stomach juices, or food and fluids back up from the stomach into the esophagus. And he noted that Biden – as many Americans do – suffers from seasonal allergies.

“For these, he takes three common prescription medications and two common over-the-counter medications,” O’Connor said.

His report listed Biden's weight as 178 pounds and his height as 5 feet, 11.65 inches.

Last week, Warren released a note from her doctor regarding her health. Dr. Beverly Woo said that the Massachusetts senator was in "excellent health" and shared that Warren’s "only medical condition" was an under-active thyroid gland.

Bloomberg also made public a letter from a physician last week, which said he was "in outstanding health" and "great physical shape."

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In February, President Trump had his second full physical exam since winning the White House. His physician, Dr. Sean Conley, said in a statement that a team of 11 doctors had examined Trump and that he was in “very good health.”

Last month there was speculation regarding the president’s health due to an unannounced trip to Walter Reed Medical Center. But Conley said that “despite some of the speculation, the president has not had any chest pain, nor was he evaluated or treated for any urgent or acute issues.”

Sanders was briefly sidelined from the campaign trail in October after suffering a heart attack. Sanders later admitted to missing warning signs of his medical condition.

Original Article

Fox News Poll: Biden still leads Democratic race as Warren drops

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One-term plan? Biden denies talking to aides about re-election

Former Vice President Joe Biden denies planning for one-term presidency; Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy reports.

Former Vice President Joe Biden remains Democratic primary voters’ preferred presidential candidate, as a Fox News Poll released Sunday shows more think he is capable of beating President Trump than feel that way about any of his main competitors — and he performs best in potential 2020 matchups. In addition, Biden has the largest number of Democrats, as well as voters overall, saying his positions on the issues are “about right.”

Seventy-seven percent of Democratic primary voters think Biden can beat Trump in next year’s presidential election, up from 68 percent in October. Smaller majorities say the same about Bernie Sanders (60 percent), Elizabeth Warren (59 percent), and Mike Bloomberg (55 percent). Forty-eight percent think Pete Buttigieg can win — an 18-point jump from 30 percent in October.

More Democratic primary voters think Biden’s “about right” on issues (64 percent) than Buttigieg (56 percent), Warren (53 percent), Sanders (49 percent), and Bloomberg (47 percent). Seventy-eight percent of Republicans say Trump’s positions are “about right.”

CLICK HERE TO READ THE POLL RESULTS

Running down the Democratic race: Biden leads with 30 percent, followed by Sanders at 20 percent. Warren returns to third with 13 percent, down from a high of 22 percent in October.

Next, it’s Buttigieg (7 percent), Bloomberg and Amy Klobuchar (5 percent each), Tulsi Gabbard and Andrew Yang (3 percent apiece), and Cory Booker (2 percent). The remaining candidates garner 1 percent or less.

Biden’s lead comes mostly from voters ages 45 and over (up by 26 points), moderates/conservatives (+20), and non-whites (+13). Sanders wins among voters under 35 (+19) and white men (+1).

But don’t place any bets just yet. Nearly half of those currently backing a candidate, 49 percent, say they could change their mind.

"Biden's support has been the consistent feature of this race," says Republican pollster Daron Shaw, who conducts the Fox News Poll with Democrat Chris Anderson. "It's time for consultants and pundits to seriously consider the possibility his backers aren’t simply being strategic and may be more committed than we heretofore suspected."

Sanders and Warren have experienced fairly significant swings in support, while Biden’s numbers have barely budged since March, staying between 29-35 percent. At the same time, his current 10-point edge over Sanders is down from a 19-point lead in June.

Democratic primary voters divide when choosing between a candidate who will “restore the political system” to the way it was before Trump (48 percent) and one who will “fundamentally change how the political system works” (45 percent).

Those wanting to restore the system go for Biden (39 percent) over Sanders (14 percent) and Warren (11 percent). Those wanting big changes put Sanders (26 percent) and Biden (23 percent) on top, while Warren trails (14 percent).

Fewer Democratic primary voters are satisfied with their field of candidates now (63 percent) than were in late October (69 percent). Since then, Bloomberg and Deval Patrick joined the race, while Steve Bullock, Kamala Harris and Joe Sestak dropped out.

Since late October, support for Warren is down across the board, with the notable declines among those with a college degree (-13 points), those ages 45+ (-12), and women (-11 points).

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“The most likely explanation for Warren’s drop is some primary voters souring on 'Medicare-for-all',” says Anderson. “The issue could be a real drag for the Democratic nominee in the general election. The more it’s debated, the more voters who care most about beating Trump seem to realize her push for 'Medicare -for-all' is bad politics at this moment in time.”

Currently, 54 percent of Democratic primary voters favor moving to a government-run system in lieu of private health insurance, down from a high of 65 percent in October. Large numbers like the idea of allowing every American to buy into Medicare if they want (78 percent) and making minor changes to Obamacare (67 percent).

Among all voters, majorities favor "Medicare-for-all" who want it (66 percent) and Obamacare (53 percent). Over half (53 percent) oppose an entirely government-run health care system. In addition, 68 percent favor Warren’s proposed 2 percent “wealth tax,” including 83 percent of Democrats and 51 percent of Republicans.

About 4 voters in 10 think Biden’s (42 percent), Buttigieg’s (37 percent), and Trump’s (39 percent) positions on the issues are “about right,” while over half think Sanders’ (56 percent) and Warren’s positions (52 percent) are “too liberal.”

In hypothetical head-to-heads, Biden tops Trump by 48-41 percent and has the only lead outside the poll’s margin of sampling error.

However, Biden’s 7-point lead is his narrowest since March; this is the first time he’s been below 50 percent since July, and Trump’s 41 percent support is a record high for him in a ballot test against the former vice president.

Sanders is preferred over Trump by six points (49-43) and Bloomberg is ahead by five (45-40). Warren (46-45) and Buttigieg (43-42) are each up by one point.

Biden’s advantage over Trump is driven largely by double-digit leads among women (+15 points) and non-whites (+36). Whites with a college degree go for Biden by 6 points, while whites without a degree back Trump by 12. Rural whites prefer Trump over Biden by 18 points, while suburban women favor Biden by 21.

The electorate is paying attention: 58 percent of voters are extremely interested in the presidential election, including 64 percent of Democrats and 55 percent of Republicans. At this point in the election cycle four years ago, far fewer, 32 percent of voters, said they were extremely interested (November 2015).

Conducted December 8-11, 2019, under the joint direction of Beacon Research (D) and Shaw & Company (R), this Fox News Poll includes interviews with 1,000 randomly chosen registered voters nationwide who spoke with live interviewers on both landlines and cellphones. The poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points for all registered voters and 4.5 points for Democratic primary voters (453).

Original Article

Biden confronted on Ukraine but doesn’t answer, later links Trump to El Paso massacre

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Fox News Flash top headlines for Dec. 14

Fox News Flash top headlines for Dec. 14 are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com

Joe Biden performed his own version of a Texas two-step at a campaign stop in San Antonio on Friday night, letting a crowd of supporters drown out a protester who confronted him on Ukraine — before the ex-vice president could answer — and then continuing his rhetorical attack on President Trump.

It happened while Biden was assailing Trump’s record on immigration and veteran care.

“America can overcome four years of Donald Trump’s chaos and corruption, but if re-elected it will forever fundamentally change the character of who we are as a nation," Biden told the crowd. "We can’t let this happen. This election is about the soul of our nation and Donald Trump has poisoned our soul.”

JOY BEHAR ACKNOWLEDGES HUNTER BIDEN BENEFITED FROM 'NEPOTISM': 'CALL IT WHAT IT IS'

Soon a man in the crowd – not shown on camera – interjected to ask: “What about corruption in Ukraine?”

The reference was to Biden's past dealings in the country, where his son, Hunter Biden, reportedly held a seven-figure job with Ukraine’s largest natural gas company, Burisma Holdings. At the same time, the elder Biden — as vice president under Barack Obama — was leading an effort to oust a Ukrainian prosecutor who was investigating the company, raising concerns about a possible conflict of interest.

The Bidens' history in Ukraine has been a growing concern for the White House and Republicans as Democrats in Congress pursue the possible impeachment of President Trump over a July phone call in which the president allegedly tried to make an announcement of a Ukraine investigation into the Bidens a condition for the country's new administration to receive military aid from the U.S.

But before Biden could address the Ukraine question on Friday, the crowd booed the protester and began to chant, “We want Joe!”

Biden seemed to follow the crowd's lead.

“This man represents Donald Trump very well. He’s just like Donald Trump,” Biden said of the protester, who appeared to leave the event, with the crowd waving goodbye to him — though it was unclear if he chose to leave or if he was forced out either by security or other attendees.

“A great American,” Biden continued. "Just let him go. … Don’t hurt … Just let him go. … This is not a Trump rally. This is a real rally.”

With Texas considered a battleground state in the 2020 presidential race, Biden refrained from side-swiping any other top-tier Democratic rivals despite tightening polls ahead of February’s primary and caucus in New Hampshire and Iowa, respectively, the first times voters will actually help determine the party’s nominee for the White House.

With the protester gone, Biden resumed his verbal attack on Trump.

“As my mother would say, God bless me. Bless me, Father, for I have sinned,” Biden said, making the sign of the cross before continuing his rebuke of the president.

Biden then seemed to imply that Trump was responsible for the Aug. 3 shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, that left 22 people dead.

“Remember in '18, {Trump] claimed there was an invasion of Latinos coming across the border? 'They’re going to invade and pollute America,'" Biden said. "Well guess what? The words presidents say matter. It didn't take long after that, that a guy down in El Paso walked into a parking lot and gunned down a lot of innocent people and he says, 'I’m doing it to prevent the invasion of Texas by Hispanics.'”

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Authorities said the suspect, Patrick Crusius, 21, of Allen, Texas, had written a manifesto that said the shooting was fueled by fear of an "invasion" by illegal immigrants, adding that the city's large Hispanic population played a part in their targeting. In October, Crusius pleaded not guilty in connection with the shooting and is due to return to court Nov. 7.

Trump condemned the shooting as “an act of cowardice” on Twitter, adding, “I know that I stand with everyone in this Country to condemn today’s hateful act. There are no reasons or excuses that will ever justify killing innocent people.”

San Antonio, where Biden spoke Friday, is the city where long-shot Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro served as mayor before joining Obama's administration as secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

Original Article

Biden slams Warren, claims she’d rule by ‘executive order,’ refuse to work with GOP to unite country if elected

closeCould Biden take 2020 if he promised to only serve one term?Video

Could Biden take 2020 if he promised to only serve one term?

'The Daily Briefing' host Dana Perino reacts to the Biden campaign's bold strategy.

Former Vice President Joe Biden said Thursday that Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., would take the unorthodox approach of ruling “by executive order,” if elected president after she scoffed at the idea of working together with Republicans to unite the country on a slew of her progressive policy proposals.

Top-tier Democratic rivals have begun swiping at each other amid tightening polls ahead of February's presidential primary and caucus in New Hampshire and Iowa, respectively, when the 2020 election season — and the battle to take on President Trump next November — gets underway in earnest.

HOLDING BACK NO MORE, WARREN SLAMS TOP RIVALS BIDEN AND BUTTIGIEG

Biden, who trailed Warren and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., in a University of California at Berkeley poll released this week, made the remarks about Warren at a fundraiser in the San Francisco Bay Area — one of three such events he had scheduled for the day in one of the Democratic Party's stronghold regions. He took aim at Warren without mentioning her by name.

“I read a speech by one of my — good person — one of my opponents, saying that, you know, 'Biden says we’re going to have to work with Republicans to get stuff passed,’” Biden said in Palo Alto. “I thought, ‘Well, OK — how are you going to do it, by executive order?’”

“This particular person said, ‘He thinks he can actually unify the country. You can’t unify the country.’ Well, guys, if we can’t unify the country you all ought to go home now, because nothing’s going to happen except by executive order,” Biden continued.

“And last time I knew it, a president is not allowed to say, ‘This is how I’m changing the tax structure; this is how I’m changing the environment.’ … You need to actually get a consensus in the constitutional process,” Biden said. “And we can unify the country.”

"Last time I knew it, a president is not allowed to say, ‘This is how I’m changing the tax structure; this is how I’m changing the environment.’ … You need to actually get a consensus in the constitutional process.”

— Joe Biden

Biden seemed to react to a comment made earlier in the day in New Hampshire by Warren who — also without naming her targets – took aim at Biden before refocusing her remarks on an opponent they have in common, South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

“We know that one Democratic candidate walked into a room of wealthy donors this year to promise that ‘nothing would fundamentally change’ if he’s elected president,” Warren said of Biden during her address at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College.

Referring to Buttigieg, she continued: “Unlike some candidates for the Democratic nomination, I’m not betting my agenda on the naive hope that if Democrats adopt Republican critiques of progressive policies or make vague calls for unity, that somehow the wealthy and well-connected will stand down.”

Elizabeth Warren critiques rivals in New Hampshire policy speechVideo

Warren — who has eschewed fundraisers with top-dollar donors during her presidential bid as she instead focuses nearly entirely on small-dollar grassroots contributions — once again criticized Biden and Buttigieg for mingling with wealthy donors.

Though ranking third in California, Biden remains the narrow Democratic front-runner in national polls, according to the Mercury News of San Jose. Biden also is capitalizing on big-money donors in Silicon Valley after their home-state Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., dropped out of the primary race, according to a report in Politico this week.

On Thursday, Biden appeared at an event at the home of Sarah and Greg Sands, founder of the venture capital firm Costanoa Ventures. He then attended a fundraiser in San Francisco hosted by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and her husband, financier Richard Blum, before heading to a third event across the city hosted by attorney Joe Cotchett, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

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Biden took heat from Warren and Sanders in October for forming a super PAC to accept unlimited donations from billionaires and corporate elites to cure his fundraising woes. He had previously promised not to accept super PAC donations when he first announced his candidacy in April.

According to the Federal Election Commission, Biden raised $38 million from April through September. That figure means Biden falls in fifth place when it comes to fundraising dollars among Democratic presidential candidates. He has only raised about half as much as Sanders, who does not accept super PAC donations.

Biden’s campaign also has struggled with shortcomings in available cash on hand. The most recent federal fundraising report said he has just $8 million in cash on hand compared to Sanders’ $33 million, Warren’s $25 million and Buttigieg’s $23 million.

Democrats are also now contending with the seemingly limitless potential funding of campaign newcomer Michael Bloomberg, a multibillionaire who joined the race in late November — though the former New York City mayor has struggled in the polls.

Fox News' Paul Steinhauser and Tara Prindiville contributed to this report.

Original Article

Holding back no more, Warren slams top rivals Biden and Buttigieg

closeQuestions mount as Elizabeth Warren slips in national pollsVideo

Questions mount as Elizabeth Warren slips in national polls

Did Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren's gamble on Medicare for all fail? Reaction and analysis from former Republican Congressman Connie Mack and Fox News contributor Jessica Tarlov.

MANCHESTER, N.H. – In some of Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s most pointed remarks in her nearly year-long bid for the White House, the Democratic presidential candidate — who in recent weeks has seen her poll numbers slip — fired away on Thursday at two of her top-tier rivals for her party’s nomination.

And while she didn’t name names, it was crystal clear the progressive senator was taking aim at the two leading center-left candidates — former Vice President Joe Biden and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

WARREN SHAKES UP CAMPAIGN ROUTINE AS POLL NUMBERS SLIP

“No other candidate has put out anything close to my sweeping plan to root out Washington corruption," the Massachusetts Democrat touted as she gave a major address on the issue in New Hampshire, the state that holds the first primary in the race for the White House.

“Unlike some candidates for the Democratic nomination, I'm not counting on Republican politicians having an epiphany and suddenly supporting the kinds of tax increases on the rich or big business accountability that they have opposed under Democratic presidents for a generation,” Warren said in her speech.

The comment was an indirect jab at Biden, who has repeatedly highlighted on the campaign trail that if elected, he can work with Republicans to reach compromise.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts gives an address at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College, on Dec. 12, 2019

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts gives an address at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College, on Dec. 12, 2019

Warren also took aim at Biden and Buttigieg over their repeated attacks on her push for a government-run "Medicare-for-all" health care system, as well as other progressive policies the populist senator has pushed as she runs for the White House.

“Unlike some candidates for the Democratic nomination, I'm not betting my agenda on the naive hope that if Democrats adopt Republican critiques of progressive policies or make vague calls for unity that somehow the wealthy and well-connected will stand down,” Warren said during her address at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College.

WARREN PUSHES BACK ON NEW ANALYSIS THAT MATH ON HER WEALTH TAX DOESN'T ADD UP

Warren — who has eschewed fundraisers with top-dollar donors during her presidential bid as she instead focuses nearly entirely on small-dollar grassroots contributions — once again criticized Biden and Buttigieg for mingling with wealthy donors.

"They are spending their time in fundraisers with high-dollar donors, selling access to their time for money. Some of them have spent months blocking reporters from entering those fancy, closed-door affairs,” she said.

THE LATEST FROM FOX NEWS ON THE 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN

And pointing to Buttigieg without naming him, she said the candidate “calls the people who raise a quarter-million dollars for him his ‘National Investors Circle,’ and he offers them regular phone calls and special access. When a candidate brags about how beholden he feels to a group of wealthy investors, our democracy is in serious trouble.”

Asked after her speech if she’s the only Democratic White House hopeful who can fix what she says is a broken system of government, the senator — again pointing to her rivals — told reporters: "We know how bad the problems are right now. No one is proposing the kinds of solutions that address those problems."

The increased aggressiveness in going after her top-tier rivals appears to be part of Warren’s shaking up of her routine, which also includes altering her format on the campaign trail to include more interaction with voters. The moves come as the one-time co-front-runner in the Democratic nomination race has seen her poll numbers deteriorate the past month in national surveys and, more importantly, in polls in New Hampshire and Iowa, the state that kicks off the primary and caucus presidential nominating calendar.

Thanks to repeated pressure from Warren in recent days, Buttigieg announced on Sunday that he would open up his closed-door fundraisers to media coverage, similar to what the Biden campaign has done this election cycle.

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Following Warren’s address, the Buttigieg campaign returned fire.

“Senator Warren's idea of how to defeat Donald Trump is to tell people who don’t support her that they are unwelcome in the fight and that those who disagree with her belong in the other party. We need to move beyond the politics and divisiveness that is tearing this country apart and holding us back,” Buttigieg senior advisor Lis Smith said in a statement.

Fox News reached out to Biden’s campaign, but they declined to respond to Warren’s criticisms.

Original Article

Biden campaign acknowledges ‘pain’ caused by Obama-era deportations

closeCould Biden take 2020 if he promised to only serve one term?Video

Could Biden take 2020 if he promised to only serve one term?

'The Daily Briefing' host Dana Perino reacts to the Biden campaign's bold strategy.

Former Vice President Joe Biden's presidential campaign attempted to respond to other Democrats' criticisms of former President Obama's deportations when rolling out Biden's immigration plan on Wednesday.

“Joe Biden understands the pain felt by every family across the U.S. that has had a loved one removed from the country, including under the Obama-Biden administration,” his campaign wrote.

It added that the country "must do better to uphold our laws humanely and preserve the dignity of immigrant families, refugees, and asylum-seekers."

Biden's fellow Democratic candidates have used his former boss's deportation record as an attack line in an attempt to knock the frontrunner down a peg. Last month, Biden was confronted by a protester who cited Obama's massive number of deportations.

DE BLASIO BLASTS BIDEN OVER OBAMA ADMINISTRATION'S DEPORTATION RECORD

“You should vote for Trump. You should vote for Trump,” Biden told the protester at the time. He also refused to apologize following a similar confrontation in June.

Biden's campaign has positioned his immigration plan as a stark contrast to President Trump, with priorities that include ending family separations at the border, rolling back Trump’s travel limits on citizens from certain Muslim-majority countries and providing a path to citizenship for about 11 million people in the U.S. illegally, including immediately shielding immigrants who were brought to the country illegally as children from deportation.

BIDEN HECKLED OVER OBAMA-ERA DEPORTATIONS, TELLS PROTESTER 'YOU SHOULD VOTE FOR TRUMP'

While speaking in Las Vegas, Biden promised to spend "literally, a billion dollars a year" on stabilizing Central American governments and economies, a reference to his proposal to spend $4 billion in four years to help those nations.

The former vice president also pledged to enforce existing asylum law by reversing the Trump administration’s moves that have made claiming asylum extremely difficult and end the national emergency that Trump has declared to divert Pentagon funding to the construction of a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border.

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Biden joins progressive senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, along with South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg, as Democratic White House hopefuls promising to close for-profit detention centers. The U.S. government contracted for such facilities under Obama, drawing criticism from civil rights groups at the time. But the practice has gained new scrutiny under Trump’s hard-line approach to immigration, especially his administration’s practice of separating families in the facilities.

Fox News' Danielle Wallace, Nick Givas, and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Original Article

Tensions flare as GOP Rep. Gaetz brings Hunter Biden’s drug past into impeachment debate

closeGaetz: Hard to believe Burisma hired Hunter Biden with his drug problemsVideo

Gaetz: Hard to believe Burisma hired Hunter Biden with his drug problems

Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz targets Joe Biden's son during the House Judiciary Committee markup hearing on impeachment articles, questioning why Burisma hired Hunter Biden considering his issues with substance abuse.

The House Judiciary Committee's impeachment proceedings turned deeply personal and acrimonious on Thursday as Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., brought up Hunter Biden’s admitted past substance abuse issues and Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., shot back by alluding to Gaetz’s own past arrest for drunk driving.

The verbal scuffle between the two lawmakers came after Gaetz introduced an amendment to the articles of impeachment against President Trump to add a reference to former Vice President Joe Biden’s son and his work with Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma Holdings.

Speaking during the all-day committee session, Gaetz specifically called out Hunter Biden for his past run-ins with the law and for his struggles with drugs and alcohol.

The Florida lawmaker referenced an article in The New Yorker, which included interviews with Hunter Biden and reported on a 2016 car accident the younger Biden was involved in. According to that story, employees at a rental car agency claimed they found a crack pipe inside the vehicle. It also quoted Hunter Biden describing his attempts to buy crack cocaine in a Los Angeles homeless encampment.

IMPEACHMENT NEEDLE NOT MOVING, MAJORITY OF VOTERS OPPOSE IMPEACHMENT

“I found this very extensive profile in The New Yorker,” Gaetz said before detailing some of the article’s more sordid details on Biden. “I don’t want to make light of anybody’s substance abuse issues, I know the president is working real hard to solve those throughout the country, but it’s a little hard to believe that Burisma hired Hunter Biden to resolve their international disputes when he could not resolve his own dispute with Hertz rental car over leaving cocaine and a crack pipe in the car.”

Republicans during the impeachment inquiry have questioned why Hunter Biden was being paid upwards of $50,000 a month by the Ukrainian company at the same time his father was leading the Obama administration's diplomatic dealings with Kiev. Though the timing raised concerns among anti-corruption advocates, neither the former vice president nor his son has been accused of breaking the law.

Hunter Biden breaks silence on Ukraine business dealingsVideo

Gaetz’s comments about Hunter Biden didn’t sit well with Johnson, who took the opportunity Thursday to remind Gaetz of his own past dealings with driving under the influence.

“The pot calling the kettle black is not something we should do,” Johnson said. “I don’t know what members, if any, have had any problems with substance abuse, been busted in DUI. I don’t know, but if I did I wouldn’t raise it against anyone on this committee.”

Johnson added: “I don’t think it’s proper.”

In 2008, Gaetz was arrested for driving under the influence while driving back from a nightclub on Okaloosa Island, Fla. Charges against him were ultimately dismissed amid a controversy over whether the then-lawyer refused to take a breathalyzer test.

The tussle between Gaetz and Johnson comes as the House Judiciary Committee debates the articles of impeachment leveled against the president.

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In the formal articles announced this week, the Democrats said Trump enlisted a foreign power in corrupting the U.S. election process and endangered national security by asking Ukraine to investigate his rivals while withholding U.S. military aid. That benefited Russia over the U.S. as America's ally fought Russian aggression, the Democrats said.

Nadler: Zelensky has a 'gun to his head'Video

Trump then obstructed Congress by ordering current and former officials to defy House subpoenas for testimony and by blocking access to documents, the charges say.

The House is expected to vote on the articles next week, in the days before Christmas. That would send them to the Senate for a 2020 trial.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Original Article

Biden denies one-term promise

closeOne-term plan? Biden denies talking to aides about re-electionVideo

One-term plan? Biden denies talking to aides about re-election

Former Vice President Joe Biden denies planning for one-term presidency; Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy reports.

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On the roster: Biden denies one-term promise – I’ll Tell You What: Do you G what I.G. – House Judiciary fracas as impeachment vote looms – Brits vote – ‘These f—ing birds have hats on, bro!’
BIDEN DENIES ONE-TERM PROMISE

NBC News: “Joe Biden denied Wednesday that he’s discussed making a pledge to serve only one term if elected president, rejecting a published report that it remained a consideration. ‘I don't have plans on one term,’ Biden told reporters between campaign stops in Nevada. ‘I'm not even there yet.’ Politico, citing ‘four people who regularly talk to Biden,’ reported that the campaign had revived discussions about whether the 77-year-old should publicly make such a pledge, and that Biden himself had signaled to aides he would not seek re-election. The Biden campaign had earlier pushed back on the speculation. ‘Lots of chatter out there on this so just want to be crystal clear: this is not a conversation our campaign is having and not something VP Biden is thinking about,’ deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield tweeted.”
Bloomy butters up House Dems with fat checks – WaPo: “Presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg will donate $10 million Thursday to defend vulnerable Democratic House members against paid Republican attacks on their support for impeachment proceedings against President Trump. The money, which is meant to even an arms race on the 2020 congressional battlefield, was cheered by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who has been fielding concerns from some of her members over a costly Republican advertising offensive as the House moves toward an impeachment vote next week. ‘In 2018, Mayor Bloomberg was a critical ally in helping House Democrats regain the majority,’ Pelosi said in a statement. ‘Now, the stakes are even higher as we work to make health care more affordable by reducing the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs, increase wages and root out corruption. We welcome and thank Mayor Bloomberg for his support.’”
Burn rate approaches $4 million per day – Fox Business: “Michael Bloomberg has outspent almost every other Democratic presidential candidate on TV and digital ads since he entered the 2020 race less than one month ago. In the weeks since the former New York City mayor announced his presidential campaign launch on Nov. 24, he’s poured more than $100 million into advertising, according to new figures published by Advertising Analytics. That's an average of $3.72 million per day. Fellow 2020 billionaire Tom Steyer, the Silicon Valley hedge fund manager, had spent an estimated $60 million on ads as of Dec. 2, according to separate data published by the ad-tracking firm. Although Bloomberg is not participating in the Iowa caucuses and won't be on the ballots of other early-voting states, including New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada, data shows he's pouring millions into local ads focused on New York and Los Angeles, as well as Texas.”
Four debates for January and February announced – ABC News: “Democrats will kick off 2020 with four Democratic primary debates in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina, the Democratic National Committee announced Thursday. The debates will take place in January and February. ABC News, in partnership with ABC's New Hampshire affiliate WMUR-TV and Apple News, will hold the first debate after voting begins on Friday, Feb. 7, at St. Anselm College in Manchester. … CNN and The Des Moines Register will host a debate on Jan. 14 at Drake University ahead of Iowa’s caucuses. NBC News and MSNBC, in partnership with The Nevada Independent, hosts a Feb. 19 debate in Las Vegas prior to Nevada's caucuses. CBS News and the Congressional Black Caucus Institute co-host the debate before South Carolina's primary on Feb. 25 at The Gaillard Center in Charleston, South Carolina and Twitter will be a debate partner.”
California knotty – CNN: “Likely Democratic primary voters in California are about evenly split among the top three candidates — Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren — in the race for the Democratic nomination, while Texas Democrats tend to favor Biden, the nationwide frontrunner, according to new CNN polls conducted by SSRS in two of the largest early states to cast ballots next year. California and Texas are the most delegate-rich states out of the 15 to hold primaries or caucuses on March 3, meaning they will play an outsize role in determining who will win the Democratic nomination. In California, former vice president Biden (21%), Vermont Sen. Sanders (20%), and Massachusetts Sen. Warren (17%) are closely bunched at the top of the field with no other candidate reaching double digits. South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg holds 9%, followed by businessman Andrew Yang at 6% and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg at 5%. In Texas, Biden tops Sanders by 20 points, 35% to 15%, with Warren almost even with Sanders at 13%. Buttigieg follows at 9% and Bloomberg at 5%.”
The unbearable whiteness of being… in the Nevada caucus – Politico: “Nevada has for months functioned as something of a hedge in the primary calendar, the first nominating contest where the Democratic presidential field’s diversity would be measured by a state with a sizable non-white voting population. Now it’s looking like a reminder of the monochromatic nature of the party’s leading candidates. With Sen. Kamala Harris exiting the contest last week and Sen. Cory Booker and Julián Castro failing to qualify for next week’s presidential debate, the landscape has shifted in Nevada. The chances of a breakthrough here by a candidate of color are fading. And the front-runners are mounting an increasingly urgent effort to piece together pockets of the electorate in the first test of their appeal before a diverse electorate. Appearing at the influential Culinary Workers Union on Wednesday — after Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders visited on Monday and Tuesday — former Vice President Joe Biden touted the immigration plan he released that day promising to reverse many of President Donald Trump’s policies.”
Judge rules S.C. GOP can rig primary for Trump – AP: “A judge on Wednesday upheld the South Carolina Republican Party’s decision not to hold a 2020 presidential primary, a move taken by several states in erecting hurdles for the long-shot candidates challenging President Donald Trump. In her order, Circuit Judge Jocelyn Newman wrote the law ‘does not give Plaintiffs a legal right to a presidential preference primary, and the Court will not substitute its own judgment for that of the General Assembly or the SCGOP.’ Earlier this year, former South Carolina congressman Bob Inglis sued state Republicans, saying the party’s decision to skip a primary deprives him and others ‘of the ability to vote for the candidate of their choice in South Carolina’s famous (and particularly influential) ‘First in the South’ primary.’”
THE RULEBOOK: IT’S IN THERE
“No axiom is more clearly established in law, or in reason, than that wherever the end is required, the means are authorized; wherever a general power to do a thing is given, every particular power necessary for doing it is included.” – James Madison, Federalist No. 44
TIME OUT: BRRRRRRING
Writer Julia Cho looks at what else we lost when America cut the cord. The Atlantic: “My tween will never know the sound of me calling her name from another room after the phone rings. She'll never sit on our kitchen floor, refrigerator humming in the background, twisting a cord around her finger while talking to her best friend. I'll get it, He's not here right now, and It's for you are all phrases that are on their way out of the modern domestic vernacular. According to the federal government, the majority of American homes now use cellphones exclusively. ‘We don't even have a landline anymore,’ people began to say proudly as the new millennium progressed. But this came with a quieter, secondary loss—the loss of the shared social space of the family landline. … With smartphones [Professor Luke Fernandez] says, ‘we have gained mobility and privacy. But the value of the home has been diminished, as has its capacity to guide and monitor family behavior and perhaps bind families more closely together.’”
Flag on the play? – Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM with your tips, comments or questions.
SCOREBOARD
DEMOCRATIC 2020 POWER RANKING
Biden: 27.6 points (↑ 1.6 points from last wk.)
Warren: 18.4 points (↓ 1 point from last wk.)
Sanders: 18.2 points (↑ 1 point from last wk.)
Buttigieg: 8.6 points (↓ 1.6 points from last wk.)
[Averages include: Quinnipiac University, Monmouth University, CNN, NBC News/WSJ and ABC News/WaPo.]
TRUMP JOB PERFORMANCE
Average approval: 43.4 percent
Average disapproval: 53 percent
Net Score: -9.6 percent
Change from one week ago: ↑ 0.2 points
[Average includes: Quinnipiac University: 41% approve – 55% disapprove; Monmouth University: 46% approve – 52% disapprove; CNN: 43% approve – 53% disapprove; NPR/PBS/Marist: 44% approve – 51% disapprove; Gallup: 43% approve – 54% disapprove.]
WANT MORE HALFTIME REPORT?
You can join Chris and Brianna every day on Fox Nation. Go behind-the-scenes of your favorite political note as they go through the must-read headlines of the day right from their office – with plenty of personality. Click here to sign up and watch!
I’LL TELL YOU WHAT: DO YOU G WHAT I.G.
This week Dana Perino and Chris Stirewalt discuss Inspector General Horowitz's report, analyze recent changes in the 2020 Democratic front-runners and the differences between New Joe Biden and Old Joe Biden. Plus, see how Chris does this week in trivia. LISTEN AND SUBSCRIBE HERE
HOUSE JUDICARY FRACAS AS IMPEACHMENT VOTE LOOMS
AP: “The House Judiciary Committee launched a lively, marathon session Thursday ahead of voting on articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump. A historic step as the deeply partisan panel prepares to send the charges to the full House. Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., immediately asked for a full reading of the nine-page resolution, airing the two articles against the president introduced by Democrats for the live TV cameras. They charge Trump with abuse of power for asking Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden while withholding aid as leverage and with obstruction of Congress for stonewalling the House’s investigation. … Thursday’s hearing picked up where Wednesday’s late-night session left off. Into the night, Democrats and Republicans delivered sharp, poignant and, at times, personal arguments for and against impeachment. Both sides appealed to Americans’ sense of history — Democrats describing a strong sense of duty to stop what one called the president’s ‘constitutional crime spree’ and Republicans decrying the ‘hot garbage’ impeachment and what it means for the future of the country.”
Suit against Pompeo over Russia records may continue, judge rules – McClatchy: “Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is being sued over allegedly failing to preserve official notes about President Donald Trump’s meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and a court ruled on Wednesday that the case could move forward. That means Pompeo must either provide evidence he complied with the Federal Records Act, which requires the State Department to collect and preserve interpreter notes, or else argue that he is not obligated to do so. Democracy Forward and American Oversight, two progressive watchdog organizations, filed the lawsuit in June after public reporting emerged claiming that Trump had collected notes from interpreters and directed them not to discuss the contents of the meetings. The court filing called it ‘unusual, and in some cases extreme, measures to conceal the details of these meetings.’”
The Judge’s Ruling: FISA is unconstitutional – This week Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano explains why he believes the problem with FISA is it’s secrecy and standards that conflict with the Constitution: “FISA established probable cause of foreign agency as the standard that government lawyers must meet. That morphed into probable cause of foreign personhood. That morphed into probable cause of speaking to a foreign person. And that morphed into probable cause of speaking to any person who has ever spoken to a foreign person. All of this happened in secret. This slow but persistent destruction of the right to be left alone, which is ostensibly guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment, came about not only by secrecy and the absence of adversaries but also by judicial gullibility and constitutional infidelity.”More here.
BRITS VOTE
WaPo: “The United Kingdom goes to the polls Thursday to decide the fate of vexatious, divisive, gridlocked Brexit. … This snap election was called because Britain is broken over Brexit. If Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the Conservatives achieve a solid majority in Parliament, they will assuredly plow forward with Brexit. Dreams of a second referendum — of remaining in the E.U. — will be dashed. And by January, one of the dominant partners in the long, lucrative, peaceful, postwar order, manifested by Europe’s political and trade bloc, will go off on its own. A Conservative majority has been widely anticipated, as opinion polls through much of the six-week campaign have showed the party with a lead of 10 points or more. But that advantage may be diminishing.”
PLAY-BY-PLAY
House passes big spending plan, goodies for federal workers AP
Lawsuits linger for Trump NPR
Former N.C. Gov McCrory may try for comebackThe Charlotte Observer
A look back at 2019 in photosWaPo
AUDIBLE: THE NIGHT SHE DROVE OLD DIXIE DOWN
“Today’s outrage culture insists that everyone who holds a view that’s different from our own is not just mistaken. They must be evil and shunned. That’s wrong. … The tragedy of all of this is that it makes compromise far less possible.” – Nikki Haley, in an op-ed published in the Washington Post, discussing the removal of the Confederate flag in South Carolina in today’s political climate.
Share your color commentary: Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM and please make sure to include your name and hometown.
‘THESE F—ING BIRDS HAVE HATS ON, BRO!’
The Guardian: “Two pigeons have been spotted in Las Vegas wearing tiny cowboy hats. While many have been amused by the sight of the birds, with social media users excitedly reporting sightings since a video was first posted to Facebook in early December, there are concerns for the welfare of the animals. The birds have been seen between McCarran international airport and the University of Nevada. Mariah Hillman, who works with the local animal rescue charity Lofty Hopes, said the hats were glued on to the pigeons. ‘When we saw them today, you could see some loose feathers in the glue around the hat. It’s definitely a concern,’ she said. Opening with the exclamation: ‘These f—ing birds have hats on, bro!,’ a repost of Bobby Lee’s Facebook video of the pair has already garnered 2m views on Twitter. Observers have named the two birds Cluck Norris and Coo-lamity Jane.”
AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“The oddest thing about the current national crusade against tobacco is not its frenzy – our culture lives from one frenzy to the next –but its selectivity. Of course tobacco is a great national killer. It deserves all the pummeling it gets. But alcohol is a great national killer too, and it has enjoyed an amazingly free ride amid the fury of the New Prohibitionism.” – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) writing in Time magazine on Oct. 6, 1997.
Chris Stirewalt is the politics editor for Fox News. Brianna McClelland contributed to this report. Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.

Original Article

Biden rebound continues, Warren falls to third

closeJoe Biden rebounds, Pete Buttigieg knocks Elizabeth Warren to third in new pollVideo

Joe Biden rebounds, Pete Buttigieg knocks Elizabeth Warren to third in new poll

New national Quinnipiac poll finds billionaire Michael Bloomberg is starting toward the bottom with 3 percent national support; Peter Doocy reports from Des Moines, Iowa.

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On the roster: Biden rebound continues, Warren falls to third – Inspector general scathes FBI – Audible: Slam what now? – Axe yourself why
BIDEN REBOUND CONTINUES, WARREN FALLS TO THIRD

Quinnipiac University: “In the Democratic primary race for president, former Vice President Joe Biden is in the best position that he has been since the end of the summer, with 29 percent of the vote among Democratic voters and independent voters who lean Democratic, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released [Tuesday]. Biden is followed by Sen. Bernie Sanders with 17 percent, Sen. Elizabeth Warren with 15 percent, and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg with 9 percent. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has 5 percent, businessman Andrew Yang receives 4 percent, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar gets 3 percent. No other candidate tops 2 percent. In a November 26 poll, Biden received 24 percent, Buttigieg got 16 percent, Warren had 14 percent, and Sanders got 13 percent.”
Head-to-heads show Dems with steady, decisive advantage – Quinnipiac University: “If the general election for president were being held today, 51 percent of registered voters say they would vote for Joe Biden, while 42 percent say they would vote for President Trump. When Trump is matched against other Democratic contenders the race remains in single digits: Bernie Sanders gets 51 percent, while Trump has 43 percent; Elizabeth Warren receives 50 percent and Trump gets 43 percent; Michael Bloomberg gets 48 percent to Trump's 42 percent; Pete Buttigieg has 48 percent, while Trump receives 43 percent; Amy Klobuchar receives 47 percent, while Trump has 43 percent.”
Buttigieg leads in another New Hampshire poll – WBUR: “Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and former Vice President Joe Biden are leading the crowded Democratic presidential primary race in New Hampshire, according to a new WBUR poll. With the first-in-the-nation primary less than nine weeks away, Buttigieg is running slightly ahead of Biden, followed by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who is in fourth place. … According to the WBUR survey (topline, crosstabs) of 442 likely New Hampshire Democratic primary voters, 18% say Buttigieg is their top choice. … His rise to the top of the field in the Granite State has come as support for Warren appears to have slipped. Both are competing for highly educated voters, so it's not surprising they are now taking shots at each other.”
Biden considers making single-term pledge – Politico: “Former Vice President Joe Biden’s top advisers and prominent Democrats outside the Biden campaign have recently revived a long-running debate whether Biden should publicly pledge to serve only one term, with Biden himself signaling to aides that he would serve only a single term. While the option of making a public pledge remains available, Biden has for now settled on an alternative strategy: quietly indicating that he will almost certainly not run for a second term while declining to make a promise that he and his advisers fear could turn him into a lame duck and sap him of his political capital. According to four people who regularly talk to Biden … it is virtually inconceivable that he will run for reelection in 2024, when he would be the first octogenarian president. ‘If Biden is elected,’ a prominent adviser to the campaign said, ‘he’s going to be 82 years old in four years and he won’t be running for reelection.’”
Biden won’t back up campaign diversity claims – Politico: “Former Vice President Joe Biden claims to have ‘the most diverse staff of anybody running’ but his campaign won't prove it. Biden made the sweeping assertion in an interview with NPR this week while campaigning in Iowa. But when presented with staff diversity figures from other campaigns, Biden's campaign declined to release its own numbers. Jamal Brown, Biden’s national press secretary, emailed a statement that did not address the question but instead emphasized Biden’s support among voters of color. The campaigns of Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders’ campaigns all said that about 40 percent of their full-time campaign employees are people of color. … The Biden campaign's refusal to provide evidence backing the former vice president’s claim could provide an opening for his rivals to attack his veracity, as candidates work to create contrasts and score points ahead of the Feb. 3 Iowa caucuses.”
Yang qualifies for December debate, stage likely set at seven – NPR: “Businessman Andrew Yang has qualified for the sixth Democratic primary debate next week. The upstart entrepreneur and nonprofit executive becomes the seventh — and likely final — candidate to make the Dec. 19 debate cut. He reached the polling threshold after a Quinnipiac University poll was released Tuesday. Yang will join former Vice President Joe Biden, South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, billionaire businessman Tom Steyer and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren in the PBS NewsHour/Politico debate at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. The Asian American candidate also brings some needed diversity to the debate stage amid criticism that the event could feature only white candidates after California Sen. Kamala Harris, who had already qualified, dropped out last week.”
THE RULEBOOK: IMPETUOUS VORTEX, INDEED
“The legislative department is everywhere extending the sphere of its activity, and drawing all power into its impetuous vortex.” – James Madison, Federalist No. 48
TIME OUT: HAPPY HANUKKAH, Y’ALL
Garden & Gun: “April McGreger, who for eleven years ran the beloved pickle and preserve business Farmer’s Daughter outside of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, is in a mixed marriage. She was raised a Christian in Mississippi. Her husband, the illustrator Phil Blank, grew up in a Jewish family in Pennsylvania. Anyone who has been in one of those relationships knows that cooking for two sets of holidays can bring on what McGreger calls ‘celebratory cooking overload.’ The cultural crush can be even more difficult when a Southern cook who made her name with hyperlocal products such as Bradford watermelon rind pickles and scuppernong chutney wades into hundreds of years of Eastern European culinary tradition. All of this helps explain why McGreger will spend Hanukkah frying dozens of sweet potato latkes for her husband’s extended family. … She hopes sweet potato latkes will help her son stay close to his Southern roots.”
Flag on the play? – Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM with your tips, comments or questions.
SCOREBOARD
DEMOCRATIC 2020 POWER RANKING
Biden: 27.6 points (↑ 1.6 points from last wk.)
Warren: 18.4 points (↓ 1 point from last wk.)
Sanders: 18.2 points (↑ 1 point from last wk.)
Buttigieg: 8.6 points (↓ 1.6 points from last wk.)
[Averages include: Quinnipiac University, Monmouth University, CNN, NBC News/WSJ and ABC News/WaPo.]
TRUMP JOB PERFORMANCE
Average approval: 43.4 percent
Average disapproval: 53 percent
Net Score: -9.6 percent
Change from one week ago: ↑ 0.2 points
[Average includes: Quinnipiac University: 41% approve – 55% disapprove; Monmouth University: 46% approve – 52% disapprove; CNN: 43% approve – 53% disapprove; NPR/PBS/Marist: 44% approve – 51% disapprove; Gallup: 43% approve – 54% disapprove.]
WANT MORE HALFTIME REPORT?
You can join Chris and Brianna every day on Fox Nation. Go behind-the-scenes of your favorite political note as they go through the must-read headlines of the day right from their office – with plenty of personality. Click here to sign up and watch!
INSPECTOR GENERAL SCATHES FBI
Fox News: “Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz on Wednesday decried what he called ‘failure’ by the entire ‘chain of command’ involved in the FBI’s initial Trump-Russia investigation, saying they made ‘so many basic and fundamental errors’ on ‘one of the most sensitive FBI investigations.’ Horowitz appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday to testify on his report on the origins of the FBI’s Russia investigation and alleged misconduct related to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). He also criticized FBI leadership for the ‘inaccuracies’ and ‘omissions’ in their FISA applications for former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, among other things. ‘We are deeply concerned that so many basic and fundamental errors were made by three separate, hand-picked investigative teams; on one of the most sensitive FBI investigations; after the matter had been briefed to the highest levels within the FBI; even though the information sought through the use of FISA authority related so closely to an ongoing presidential campaign’ … Horowitz said in his opening statement before the committee.”
Senate GOP may skip impeachment witnesses altogether – WashEx: “Senate Republicans do not expect to call witnesses President Trump might want to hear from most in an impeachment trial, conceding there are not the votes to summon key figures such as Hunter Biden and the unidentified government whistleblower whose complaint sparked the process. Senate impeachment rules require a majority vote to call witnesses, and with just two out of 53 votes to spare, there is no ‘appetite’ among Republicans to pursue testimony from people that Democrats blocked Republicans from subpoenaing during the House investigation. Indeed, Republicans might forgo calling witnesses altogether, saying minds are made up on Trump’s guilt or innocence and that testimony at trial on the Senate floor would draw out the proceedings unnecessarily. ‘Here’s what I want to avoid: this thing going on longer than it needs to,’ Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina told the Washington Examiner. ‘I want to end this.’”
PLAY-BY-PLAY
Trump to sign executive order targeting anti-Semitism on college campusesNYT
Trump paid $2 million in damages for misuse of charity fundsWaPo
AUDIBLE: SLAM WHAT NOW?
“We put it in, slam it in the oven, take it out and there it is — get Brexit done.” – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson campaigning at a caterer as pies were being made on the eve of Thursday’s parliamentary elections.
FROM THE BLEACHERS
“My wife wants to give a generous donation to Biden, believing Biden to be the weakest candidate. I keep waiting for Warren and Sanders to forge an alliance that would vault one of them into ‘first place’ with a combined 35% backing of Democrat voters. What are your thoughts? Can Liz and Bernie make peace with one another (probably with Warren at the top of the ticket) and win the contest to be the Democrat nominee?” – Lois and Jack Conrad, Thousand Oaks, Calif.
[Ed. note: I will say this for you guys: You’ve elevated strategic voting to the next level! As for your second question, I think any such alliance to be highly unlikely. There’s real antipathy there. Remember that people treat adversaries better than heretics. Sanders is pretty clearly banking on taking his fight to Milwaukee. As for the matter of where to make a donation to do the most harm to Democratic chances, I would only remind you of all the Republicans who voted for Barack Obama in 2008 primaries on the grounds that it would weaken Hillary Clinton or deliver an Obama nomination, making it easier for the GOP. The future is not a straight-line projection, certainly when it comes to politics.]
“During the past few ‘I'll Tell You What’ podcasts, I've had the delightful experience of taking in (and laughing roundly at) the recap of Dana's take on and your reaction to her pronunciation of the word ‘raccoon.’ I missed the original episode the first time around, but I'm heartily glad I have experienced the highlight reel the second. Dana's blueblood-ish pronunciation made me think of a pet belonging to the nouveau riche summering in Newport in an Edith Wharton novel (not that I believe the Vanderbilt’s would have ever made social calls with raccoons in tow). Yours was the pragmatic take: RAC-coon. As a native Tennesseean, I can tell you our pronunciation draws out both syllables equally and longer with a bit more liquid in the second vowel sound: rac-cooon. Regardless, I think we all know what's to be done when it's confirmed there's a raccoon out back somewhere.” – Cari Shanks, Argyle, Texas (by way of Cleveland, Tenn.)
[Ed. note: But did you know that the Coolidges kept a pet raccoon at the White House? Maybe not the cottages at Newport, but pretty darned swishy for a ringtail!]
“I want to commend you for writing a courageous and uplifting article in Monday’s Halftime Report. You are right, that the world is not addicted to the awful, but to the hopeful. It seems nowadays that the media at large seems to have taken the old adage ‘if it bleeds, it leads,’ and pushed it to our breaking point. … I think the remedy is in part one that you constantly (in a good way) proclaim, that the news needs to be more local, as does the politics. Yet in this information (overload) age, I don’t see how that will ever be a profitable venture.” – Joshua A. Biggs, Susanville, Calif.
[Ed. note: I so much wish I knew the answer to that conundrum. And I promise that if I knew it, I would be out there doing it. We are watching now as the new owners of Gannett, the largest newspaper publisher in the land, looks for another $300 million in cuts. One suggestion on the table is loosening anti-trust restrictions to allow news outlets to collectively bargain with social media providers on rates, etc. But given the demand, I have to believe someone is going to find a new way to make it work. I just hope they hurry! ]
Share your color commentary: Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM and please make sure to include your name and hometown.
AXE YOURSELF WHY
WFTS: “A middle school in Manatee County evacuated its students after someone sprayed too much Axe body spray. According to school officials, the bus carrying Buffalo Creek Middle School students had to remove students off the bus because of the strong odor. The bus stopped at the intersection of 119th Avenue East and Erie Road near Parrish. Another bus arrived at the smelly scene to pick up the students. A local EMS came to check out the students but thankfully, no one was transported to the hospital from having too much Axe body spray.”
AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“First, how naive we are about what constitutions are and what they mean around the world. And the second thing, the reason for the first, is how much reverence we have — in the United States and very few other countries — for this document.” – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) in a column from his posthumous book, “The Point of It All,” on Nov. 29, 2018.
Chris Stirewalt is the politics editor for Fox News. Brianna McClelland contributed to this report. Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.

Original Article

Warren slips as Buttigieg, Biden, Sanders battle for lead in latest New Hampshire poll

closePundits say Warren slippingVideo

Pundits say Warren slipping

Medicare plan finally draws spotlight.

MANCHESTER, N.H. – A new poll in New Hampshire — the state that holds the first primary in the race for the White House — indicates an airtight contest among South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Vice President Joe Biden, and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

And the MassINC Polling Group survey for WBUR released Wednesday also points to a deterioration of support for another top-tier contender for the Democratic presidential nomination – Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

WARREN SHAKES UP CAMPAIGN ROUTINE AS POLL NUMBERS DECLINE

Buttigieg, a one-time longshot who’s soared in polls in Iowa and New Hampshire this autumn, stands at 18 percent among those likely to vote in the Granite State’s Feb. 11 Democratic presidential primary, with Biden at 17 percent and Sanders at 15 percent. Taking into account the survey’s margin of error of plus or minus 4.7 percentage points, the three candidates are basically all tied up for the top spot.

Democratic presidential candidate and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg shakes hands with voters after filing to place his name on New Hampshire's primary ballot, in Concord, NH on Oct. 30, 2019

Democratic presidential candidate and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg shakes hands with voters after filing to place his name on New Hampshire's primary ballot, in Concord, NH on Oct. 30, 2019

"What's remarkable about this is how close it remains," MassINC president Steve Koczela noted. “We've got three candidates, all within three points of each other — and Elizabeth Warren not that far behind, right there in that top tier.”

Koczela emphasized that the race for the New Hampshire primary “could go in any direction."

Warren – who like Sanders hails from a neighboring state to New Hampshire – stands at 12 percent in the poll. Since this is the first time the pollsters put out a survey this cycle in the New Hampshire presidential primary, no direct comparisons can be made. But her standing in the new poll is in line with her support in other surveys the past month in the New Hampshire primary. Warren registered from the upper teens to around 30 percent in most Granite State polling conducted from September through early November.

Warren has also seen her standing in the polls in Iowa and nationally deteriorate over the past month. The drop came after increased scrutiny of Warren's plans to pay for and implement a government-run, "Medicare-for-all." The populist senator continued to swear off raising middle-class taxes to pay for the high price tag attached to the single-payer health care system (roughly $20 trillion in new spending over a decade). And she broke with fellow progressive champion and 2020 rival Sanders — who wrote the "Medicare-for-all" bill in the Senate — over implementation. Warren's transition play would delay the immediate end of privately held insurance.

THE LATEST FROM FOX NEWS ON THE 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii and tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang – who’ve both spent a lot of time meeting voters in New Hampshire – each register at 5 percent in the poll.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and billionaire environmental and progressive activist Tom Steyer each stand at 3 percent, with former New York City mayor and multi-billionaire media mogul Mike Bloomberg at 2 percent. Bloomberg – who jumped into the race late last month – is skipping Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina, the first four states to hold contests in the presidential nominating calendar. Instead, he’s campaigning in the delegate-rich states that vote on Super Tuesday in early March, and beyond.

Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey and best-selling spiritual author Marianne Williamson are each at 1 percent in the survey, with everyone else in the still large field of Democratic White House hopefuls registering less than 1 percent. That includes former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, who last month declared his candidacy.

The poll also indicates that President Trump remains the overwhelming favorite to win New Hampshire’s Republican presidential primary. Trump grabs the backing of 74 percent of those saying they’re likely to vote in the state’s GOP primary. Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld – who’s been campaigning in New Hampshire nearly every week since launching his long-shot primary challenge to Trump in April, stands at 9 percent. Former Rep. Joe Walsh of Illinois – a very vocal Trump critic – registers at 4 percent.

The MassINC Polling Group survey for WBUR was conducted Dec. 3-8, with 442 likely Democratic presidential primary voters in New Hampshire questioned by live telephone operators.

Original Article

After Trump’s 9th Circuit pick confirmed, Biden warns of 2nd term ‘death grip’ on federal courts: report

closeFox News Flash top headlines for Dec. 11Video

Fox News Flash top headlines for Dec. 11

Fox News Flash top headlines for Dec. 11 are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com

While Democrats in Congress have been conducting impeachment hearings in recent weeks, President Trump has been filling judicial vacancies in the federal court system at a rapid clip – and that appears to have potential 2020 opponent Joe Biden worried.

“Look at how the federal court system is changing,” Biden told a group in Las Vegas on Tuesday night, according to a reporter for ABC News. “Four more years of the same kind of appointments, you’re going to see a court system that is fundamentally, for two generations, locked in a way that’s a death grip that does not make any sense.

“It’s as if Robert Bork would be the chief justice, God rest his soul,” Biden added, referring to the Ronald Reagan Supreme Court nominee whose appointment Democrats blocked in 1987. Bork died in 2012 at age 85.

TRUMP NOMINATES WAVE OF CALIFORNIA JUDGES, IN FRESH BID TO RESHAPE COURTS

In a 53-40 vote Tuesday, the U.S. Senate confirmed Trump appointee Patrick Bumatay, a San Diego federal prosecutor, to a seat on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, making him the 49th circuit appointee to be confirmed under the Trump administration, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

Trump was able to get Bumatay confirmed to the San Francisco-based court despite opposition to the nomination from California’s two Democratic U.S. senators, Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris.

Bumatay, 41, a son of Filipino immigrants, is openly gay and is raising twin daughters with his husband, the newspaper reported.

The Senate is expected to vote on another 9th Circuit nominee — Lawrence Van Dyke, a former solicitor general for Nevada – on Wednesday, potentially giving Trump another appointee on the traditionally liberal-leaning court, the Union-Tribune reported.

TRUMP-SHAPED 9TH CIRCUIT HANDS WHITE HOUSE MAJOR WIN ON ASYLUM POLICY

When the Senate confirmed a Trump pick for the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in late November, that court became the third to shift to a Republican-appointed majority since the president took office in January 2017.

In an 80-15 vote, the Senate confirmed Barbara Lagoa to the 11th Circuit seat previously held by Judge Stanley Marcus, a Clinton appointee who sat on the appeals court that handles cases from Florida, Georgia and Alabama since 1997.

Trump administration secures another judicial victoryVideo

Lagoa, the first Cuban-American woman confirmed to the 11th Circuit, tilted that court, which was previously split between six Republican appointees and six Democratic appointees, to a GOP-appointed majority.

Trump's nominees alone now hold five of the 12 seats on the 11th Circuit.

During the previous week, confirmation of Steven Menashi, Trump’s pick for the 2nd Circuit, flipped that court to a Republican majority.

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Trump has also flipped the 3rd Circuit.

Lagoa was Trump's 48th nominee confirmed to a circuit court seat, giving the president double the number of circuit judges then-President Barack Obama had gotten through by the same point in his presidency, according to a count by the Heritage Foundation.

Fox News’ Tyler Olson contributed to this story.

Original Article

Biden blames staff, says nobody ‘warned’ him son’s Ukraine job could raise conflict

closeBiden says he won't appear as impeachment witness in potential Senate trialVideo

Biden says he won't appear as impeachment witness in potential Senate trial

2020 Democrat hopeful Joe Biden tells Fox News' Peter Doocy he will not voluntarily appear if called to testify in a Senate impeachment trial for President Trump.

Former Vice President Joe Biden claimed in a new interview that when his son Hunter was a board member of Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings while he was in office, no one informed him that it could pose a problem.

Biden insisted again that Hunter did nothing wrong, but this time appeared to fault his staff for not cluing him in that there could be concerns about his son's involvement with the foreign company that had been under investigation while Biden was in office and dealing with Ukraine policy.

FORMER VP BIDEN DISMISSES CLAIMS THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY IS TURNING HARD LEFT

"Nobody warned me about a potential conflict of interest. Nobody warned me about that," Biden told NPR in a story posted Monday.

State Department official George Kent addressed this during his testimony as part of the impeachment inquiry of President Trump, acknowledging that he told staff members there was concern over the appearance of a conflict of interest, but that no one told the vice president because his older son Beau was suffering from what was ultimately a fatal battle with brain cancer.

"They should have told me," Biden says now. Hunter's dealings and the elder Biden's role ousting a prosecutor looking into Burisma are being used by Trump and his supporters against the now-2020 presidential candidate, even as Trump's effort to press for an investigation into that conduct has spurred the impeachment inquiry.

"The appearance looked bad and it gave folks like Rudy Giuliani an excuse to come up with a Trumpian kind of defense, while they were violating the Constitution," Biden said.

Trump's impeachment inquiry has focused primarily on his request for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate the Bidens, as well as Democratic activities during the 2016 election. Democrats have accused Trump of using a White House visit for Zelensky and the delay of military aid to Ukraine as leverage.

JOE BIDEN GETS JOHN KERRY 2020 ENDORSEMENT

Trump insists he did nothing wrong and that he never called for any quid pro quo with the investigations. His administration claims that Trump was simply concerned about corruption within the Ukrainian government, asserting that is part of why he delayed the aid. Trump has also hammered the Bidens for alleged impropriety, blasting the former vice president for pressuring Ukraine to fire a prosecutor who was investigating Burisma.

In the past, Biden has bragged publicly about threatening to withhold money from Ukraine in order to force the prosecutor's termination, but he claims it was due to suspicions of corruption, not because of his son's role with Burisma.

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Former Secretary of State John Kerry, who recently endorsed Biden for president, also claimed following a Biden campaign event Sunday that he "had no knowledge" of Hunter's involvement with Burisma while he was secretary.

This, despite Kerry's stepson Christopher Heinz reportedly notifying two of Kerry's aides after Hunter Biden became a Burisma board member. Heinz and Hunter Biden had been business partners, co-owning the private equity firm Rosemont Seneca. According to the Washington Examiner, an email from Heinz to Kerry's aides distanced Heinz from Burisma, saying "there was no investment by our firm in their company," and claiming ignorance as to why Hunter became involved in the Ukrainian firm.

Fox News' Rob DiRienzo contributed to this report.

Original Article

For Biden, it’s always Iowa

closeWill Biden's confrontation with Iowa voter help or hurt his campaign?Video

Will Biden's confrontation with Iowa voter help or hurt his campaign?

2020 Democrat hopeful Joe Biden calls an Iowa voter a liar after being questioned about his son Hunter's Ukraine ties. Robert Wolf and Kristen Soltis Anderson react.

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On the roster: For Biden, it’s always Iowa – How Harris drove Democrats off a cliff – Boffo jobs report boosts GOP hopes – Trump faces deadline today on hearings – Honked off
FOR BIDEN, IT’S ALWAYS IOWA

It’s always Iowa.
Joe Biden has thrice sought the presidency and each time, Iowa has been a rocky shoal. In 1988 it was at the Iowa State Fair where he plagiarized the lines of a British politician and it was a fifth-place finish in the Iowa Caucuses in 2008 that drove Biden from the race.
This time it is Biden’s “No Malarkey” tour of the Hawkeye State that threatens to at last strip him of front-runner status.
We are not here talking about Biden chomping on his wife’s digits or even his bouts of confusion. Those things are status quo for Biden who is unquestionably a weird dude. Whether you find them endearing or disturbing, Biden’s penchants for unusual physical contact and ginormous gaffes are well known.
Biden’s real boo-boo in Iowa this time was lashing out at a voter who was trying to troll the former vice president at a campaign event in New Hampton.
When the man accused Biden of corruption related to the lucrative contract with a Ukrainian energy company his son, Hunter, won by trading on his family name, Biden blew his top. “You’re a damn liar, man,” Biden said.
But Biden, 77, took particular umbrage at his questioner’s suggestion that he was too old. “You want to check my shape?” Biden demanded. “Let's do push-ups together, man. Let's run. Let's do whatever you want to do. Let's take an IQ test.”
A little bit of righteous anger is a good thing for a candidate. South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg does well, for example, when he lets his goody-two-shoes shtick drop a bit. Nobody wants a president who’s that Episcopalian. But Biden has a different set of problems.
In 1987 Biden had a similar run-in with a voter who asked him how he had placed in his law school class. “I think I probably have a much higher IQ than you do, I suspect. I went to law school on a full academic scholarship,” Biden snapped. “I'd be delighted to sit down and compare my IQ to yours if you'd like.”
Almost no voter alive today would remember much, if anything, about Biden’s woe-begotten past presidential runs. They’re more likely to remember the kindly, folksy, avuncular character that the Obama campaign and administration helped create.
The Joe Biden America knew before 2008, insofar as it knew him at all, was a quick-tempered, vain politician. They remembered the guy from the Anita Hill hearings.
Biden has worked hard in his 2020 run to maintain his “Uncle Joe” persona. He is Barack Obama’s friend, and your friend too, America. But as we draw closer to the election and as threats to his candidacy multiply – first from Buttigieg and now from former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg – Biden has had to leave the bubble a bit.
And now Biden faces the additional threat from potentially being one of six on this month’s debate stage rather than part of the cast of thousands that have appeared in what have passed for debates so far this cycle.
If Biden finally does founder it would be fitting that it would, as ever, be because of Iowa.
HOW HARRIS DROVE DEMOCRATS OFF A CLIFF
Politico: “Kamala Harris was hosting a town hall in her hometown of Oakland, Calif., two years ago when she made an announcement that set off a mad scramble in the U.S. Senate. ‘Here, I’ll break some news,’ Harris told hundreds of people packed into the sanctuary at Beebe Memorial Church on Aug. 30. ‘I intend to co-sponsor the ‘[Medicare] for All’ bill because it’s just the right thing to do,’ she said… By Sept. 13 – just two weeks after Harris’ town hall – all of them… surrounded Sanders at a Capitol Hill news conference and talked about how ‘proud’ they were to co-sponsor his legislation to upend the health care industry. … Harris equivocated after her initial declaration, reinforcing nagging questions about her core beliefs. She dropped out of the race on Tuesday. The only person who hasn’t budged is Sanders himself. The story of the embrace and then retreat from single-payer closely tracks the arc of the Democratic Party since Donald Trump’s election.”
Continetti: Medicare for All, the campaign killer – Free Beacon: “Once thought to be the fulfillment of the age-old dream of universal health care, Medicare for All is more like one of those ingenious Acme devices Wile E. Coyote uses to catch the Road Runner. It's a catapult that launches you into the stratosphere. And right into a wall.”
Booker, Castro complain about not being in debate – Politico: “Cory Booker and Julián Castro are taking aim at the Democratic National Committee over a primary process they say is excluding them from debates but allowing a billionaire to buy his way on to the stage. California Sen. Kamala Harris’ abrupt departure from the 2020 race Tuesday has exposed the lack of diversity among the remaining group of top candidates. Despite falling from the top tier, Harris was the leading candidate of color and the only minority candidate to qualify for the Dec. 19 debate in Los Angeles. … The Booker and Castro campaigns say Harris’ announcement triggered an outpouring of financial support for them. … But that momentum is unlikely to earn them a lectern at the upcoming debate, as both candidates have little chance of reaching the 4 percent threshold in four approved polls before next Thursday’s deadline.”
Dems face impeachment balancing act – WaPo: “Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker are considering tele-town halls so they can beam into early-voting state campaign events. Advisers to Bernie Sanders hope his star supporter, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), will stand in for him in Iowa. And Amy Klobuchar is preparing to scramble onto late-night flights while sending a small army of supporters to campaign in her stead. The likely Senate impeachment trial of President Trump, expected to dominate the first half of January, is scrambling plans for the sizable number of Democratic presidential candidates who, as senators, will be required to sit as jurors — taking them away from the final sprint of campaigning before voting begins Feb. 3 in Iowa. The convergence of impeachment proceedings and presidential politics is without precedent, with five of the 15 contenders for the Democratic nomination looking for creative ways to remain in the mix in early-voting states while spending most of their time back in Washington.”
THE RULEBOOK: IF YOU KNOW, THEN YOU KNOW
“Those who can best discern the intrinsic difficulty of the thing, will be least hasty in condemning that opinion, and will be most inclined to allow due weight to the arguments which may be supposed to have produced it.” – Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 65
TIME OUT: ‘SINCE WE’RE TOGETHER, WE MIGHT AS WELL SAY…’
Psychologist Adelia Moore on what parents can learn from Fred Rogers. The Atlantic: “Children’s demands for attention can be grating, especially in the middle of the night or as a work deadline nears. … But as Mister Rogers knew, attention is at the heart of human relationships. Children benefit from the attention grown-ups give them in ordinary, everyday ways as well as harder moments when they are struggling. … The ubiquity of screens has made attention scarcer than ever, but children need it just as much as they always have. When parents pay attention to their children as Mister Rogers did — with genuine curiosity — they tend to focus more on what is happening between them and their children, and less on their own stresses and to-do lists. If they can establish a pattern of responsiveness, they can do what Mister Rogers did with his sweater, shoes, and song, and build up the sense of security that kids need to thrive.”
Flag on the play? – Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM with your tips, comments or questions.
SCOREBOARD
DEMOCRATIC 2020 POWER RANKING
Biden: 26 points (no change in points)
Warren: 19.4 points (no change in points)
Sanders: 17.2 points (no change in points)
Buttigieg: 10.2 points (no change in points)
[Averages include: Quinnipiac University, CNN, Monmouth University, NBC News/WSJ and ABC News/WaPo.]
TRUMP JOB PERFORMANCE
Average approval: 43 percent
Average disapproval: 52.8 percent
Net Score: -9.8 percent
Change from one week ago: no change in points
[Average includes: Quinnipiac University: 40% approve – 54% disapprove; CNN: 43% approve – 53% disapprove; NPR/PBS/Marist: 44% approve – 51% disapprove; Gallup: 43% approve – 54% disapprove; Monmouth University: 45% approve – 52% disapprove.]
WANT MORE HALFTIME REPORT?
You can join Chris and Brianna every day on Fox Nation. Go behind-the-scenes of your favorite political note as they go through the must-read headlines of the day right from their office – with plenty of personality. Click here to sign up and watch!
BOFFO JOBS REPORT BOOSTS GOP HOPES
WaPo: “The United States added 266,000 jobs in November as the jobless rate decreased to 3.5 percent, reflecting a surge of strength in the labor market that has muscled through recession fears that flared over the summer. The data, released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, beat expectations. Analysts had forecast roughly 180,000 new jobs for the month. The 3.5 percent unemployment rate is back at a 50-year low. The jobs data offer the latest snapshot into an economy that appears to have lost some steam from 2018 but continues to grow. Heading into President Trump’s fourth year in office, the labor market remains one of the economy’s biggest engines, and Trump regularly touts the low unemployment rate as one of his top achievements. ‘Looking at the high number of jobs that were added in November, you might forget that the story for most of this year was that the economy was slowing down,’ Indeed Hiring Lab research director Nick Bunker wrote in an analysis of the data Friday.”
SENATE GOP PUMPS BREAKS ON WILD TRIAL IDEAS
Politico: “Senate Republicans are beginning to deliver a reality check to the president and House Republicans that there are limits to what they can do. ‘You got two different bodies here,’ [Lindsey Graham], a stalwart Trump ally, told reporters on Thursday. ‘Are we going to start calling House members over here when we don’t like what they say or do? I don’t think so.’ Senate GOP leaders have signaled they intend to defend Trump wholeheartedly, but they’re also loath to let the upper chamber descend into chaos or divide their caucus ahead of a tough 2020 cycle. And even if Senate Republicans wanted to embrace the hard-line posture of the House, the party’s narrow majority makes that all but impossible under Senate rules. Calling controversial witnesses will require near lockstep party unity from 51 of the 53 Senate Republicans to make any procedural maneuvers, a tough task given the diverse views in the GOP, according to senators and aides.”
Trump faces deadline today on hearings – WaPo: “President Trump faces a 5 p.m. deadline Friday to announce whether he intends to have a lawyer participate in the remaining impeachment proceedings before the House Judiciary Committee, as Democrats accelerate their attempt to remove him from office. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) directed committee chairmen Thursday to begin the process of drafting articles of impeachment against Trump, with many Democrats anticipating that a full House vote could come before Christmas. At the heart of the Democrats’ case is the allegation that Trump tried to leverage a White House meeting and military aid, sought by Ukraine in the face of Russian military aggression, to pressure President Volodymyr Zelensky to launch an investigation of former vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden… In a bid to bolster the argument that Trump is facing a ‘partisan impeachment,’ his campaign manager, Brade Parscale, tweeted a two-decade-old video of Biden protesting Republican efforts to oust then-President Bill Clinton.”
Pelosi’s impeachment leap NYT: “For months, Ms. [Nancy] Pelosi had resisted calls for impeachment. … People close to the speaker say that she has said privately what she often says publicly: She has never been eager to impeach the president. She worried that vulnerable moderates would lose their seats, that it would tear the country apart. And it was a distraction from the poll-tested agenda Democrats had campaigned on: lowering the cost of prescription drugs, raising the minimum wage, fighting corruption and gun violence. … How Ms. Pelosi got to ‘where we are today’ is in part the story of her sense of timing, her methodical approach to decision making and her ability to read the sensibilities and political needs of her fractious and often unruly caucus. As Washington’s most powerful Democrat, she is the only lawmaker in the Capitol who can, and routinely does, go toe to toe with the president.”
DEMS SWOON FOR BULLOCK SENATE RUN
Politico: “Washington Democrats are no longer pining for Beto O’Rourke. They’re far more infatuated with another ousted presidential candidate: Steve Bullock. O’Rourke has just three days before the Texas filing deadline to decide whether he wants to run against incumbent GOP Sen. John Cornyn. Yet many Senate Democrats aren’t sure O’Rourke would even be the strongest Senate candidate at this point after running to the left in his presidential run… Instead, Democrats are all about Bullock, even though the Montana governor has tried to squash talk of a Senate run every chance he gets — the latest on Wednesday when he said in Montana, ‘that’s just not what I want to do.’ But even as party officials are desperate for Bullock to run, they’re taking a soft approach for fear going too hard would backfire. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said he hasn’t talked to Bullock or O'Rourke… Still, Democratic senators are publicly encouraging Bullock to join their club.”
AUDIBLE: ANSWER THE PHONE!
“Let me be more blunt: When your caller ID says it's a pollster calling, pick up.” – Cory Booker said to supporters in Iowa, per Politico. Booker still hasn’t qualified for the next Democratic debate.
ANY GIVEN SUNDAY
This weekend Mr. Sunday will sit down with Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., live from the Reagan National Defense Forum in Simi Valley, California. Watch “Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace.” Check local listings for broadcast times in your area.
#mediabuzz – Host Howard Kurtz has the latest take on the week’s media coverage. Watch #mediabuzz Sundays at 11 a.m. ET.
FROM THE BLEACHERS
“Is it possible the Dem’s rush to impeach has as much to do with Biden as Trump? Could it be they know he is a weak, tainted candidate and exposure is better before early primaries than later – leaving space for a more viable candidate to gain ground? Locking in to Biden could be very damaging to their 2020 prospects.” – Sheila Willis, Toronto, Canada
[Ed. note: Without delving into the particulars of your accusation, Ms. Willis, let me offer this general advice for political observers: We all, regardless of party or sect, tend to attribute excessive wickedness and competency to our rivals. The misperception of wickedness is understandable since we would like to always think of ourselves and our fellows as the most virtuous. But the misperception of excessive cunning is because we never would like to think of our team losing in a fair fight. It is true that sometimes politicians pull off complicated, strategic maneuvers informed by great foresight. But that almost never happens. Almost everything you see in politics and government is the result of short-term thinking born of necessity.]
“…yesterday you wrote the word 'allegation' when referring to Dems impeachment push, but wrote 'unfounded theory' (not that I myself am a believer) when it comes to the Ukraine interference possibility. That is the definition of an allegation. Unsubstantiated yes, but an allegation. My God, with the absence of an actual witness, it is the impeachment accusations that are unfounded theories. … By this time last election cycle Halftime was providing updates on the various races for house and senate. Although I skimmed these then, where are they now?” – Anthony LoRe, Whitestone, N.Y.
[Ed. note: Oh how we would rather be doing Senate race ratings, Mr. LoRe! We love maps and charts and lists. It’s kind of our jam. But a couple of things: First, impeachment is just a huge, massively consequential story. We don’t have any idea what the near or long-term political ramifications will be (and neither does anyone else), so we have to stay on the story. Second, in a quadrennial presidential election, down-ballot races tend to be much more dependent on the national political climate. It’s almost impossible to say with useful exactitude which races will be competitive – beyond a few obvious ones – until we know the shape of the presidential contest. We will soon enough be doling out plenty for you to skim, though. As for the word choices you find objectionable, those were from the WaPo. When you’re trying to lead with breaking news, sometimes you have to accept imprecision from sources. I wouldn’t have used the loaded ‘unfounded theory,’ but c’est la vie.]
“I haven’t seen you discuss Sturgill's new record that just came out. ‘Sound and Fury’ is by far his most rock-n-roll album to date. I can't stop listening to it. I remember you discussing ‘A Sailor's Guide to Earth,’ a few years ago. I thought your readers may want to check out this amazing record to take their collective minds off of the absolute sh*t-show that is happening in Washington right now. Right or Left, it's just depressing to see what's going on in our Capital. However, we're Americans and this too shall pass. Merry Christmas.” – Patrick Wittbrodt II, Flint, Mich.
[Ed. note: A battlefield commission for the Army of the Level-Headed for you, Brevet Col. Wittbrodt of the Old Northwest Division. Tippecanoe would be proud. As for Sturgill Simpson’s roadhouse rockabilly turn, I am a fan! “Sing Along” kicks ass. But I also thing he’s making a point. Listen to “Make Art Not Friends.” He sings, “Think I'm gonna just stay home and make art, not friends. I love saying ‘No’ to all the ‘Yes’ men just to see the look on their face.” Great artists sometimes have to defy expectations and conventions in order to retain their creative power. I think of David Bowie, the Coen brothers and Dave Chappelle and so many other great creators who were willing to blow up their brands rather than seek commercial success by replicating past successes. There’s a lot to be said for giving the people what they want, but for a handful of truly gifted artists, the quest for creativity outstrips the need to please. My hat is off to Mr. Simpson in a big way.]
Share your color commentary: Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM and please make sure to include your name and hometown.
HONKED OFF
KSL: “Utah Department of Transportation spokesman John Gleason had never seen anything like it. A video taken on I-15 in Lehi shows a man playing a trumpet while he’s behind the wheel, with both of his hands on the instrument and both eyes looking at the sheet music in his lap, with the car speeding forward the entire time. The video is only a few seconds long but has gone viral on social media. … Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Nick Street said there is technically no law against what the man was doing, but officers do have discretion to pull over unsafe drivers and would most likely advise him not to do it. Street also said there is a way the driver could have been arrested. ‘If they commit one or two moving violations while playing the trumpet with two hands going down the roadway, they would be in violation of the careless driving statute,’ Street says.”
AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“But there is a problem with a clone. It is not really you. It is but a twin, a perfect John Doe Jr., but still a junior. With its own independent consciousness, it is, alas, just a facsimile of you.” – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) writing in Time magazine on June 24, 2001.
Chris Stirewalt is the politics editor for Fox News. Brianna McClelland contributed to this report. Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.

Original Article

Biden says AOC doesn’t represent views of most Democrats: You ‘got it all wrong’

closeJoe Biden has heated exchange with Iowa voter over Hunter Biden's work in UkraineVideo

Joe Biden has heated exchange with Iowa voter over Hunter Biden's work in Ukraine

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden calls Iowa voter 'a damned liar' at campaign event; reaction from Ford O'Connell, former adviser to the McCain-Palin campaign, and Jose Aristimuno, former deputy national press secretary for the DNC.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, in an interview to air this Sunday, said that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., is out of step with the mainstream of the Democratic Party and that media outlets reporting that the party has moved to the left have misjudged the political situation.

Biden was asked in an interview with “Axios on HBO” what he thought of “Medicare-for-all” plans being pushed by 2020 presidential rivals Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. While Biden has called for health care reform, he has warned against a full-blown government-run takeover.

BIDEN LASHES OUT AT TOWN HALL QUESTIONER IN HEATED EXCHANGE: 'YOU'RE A DAMN LIAR, MAN'

“The party’s not there, the party’s not there at all,” he said.

He went on to accuse to the media of misjudging what the ascension of Ocasio-Cortez to the House of Representatives meant for the direction of the Democratic Party.

"You guys got it all wrong about what happened," Biden said.

Ocasio-Cortez, along with other radical left-wing freshman who have grouped together as the “Squad,” has proved highly influential since being sworn in and has helped move once-fringe proposals such as the Green New Deal into the Democratic mainstream.

But Biden pushed back against the claim that she represents a broader shift to the left by the Dems.

AOC CALLED OUT AFTER CLAIMING TRUMP FOOD-STAMP REVISIONS MIGHT HAVE LEFT HER FAMILY 'STARVED'

AOC's star power 'galloping' party to the left: Chris PlanteVideo

"It's just bad judgment. You all thought that what happened was the party moved extremely to the left after Hillary. AOC was a new party, She's a bright, wonderful person. But where's the party? Come on, man," Biden said.

The comments tap into what is the central ideological debate as the Democrats pick who will face off against President Trump in 2020. Biden represents the most prominent more centrist Democrat, while Warren and Sanders — two of the Democrats behind him in the polls — represent a more radical left-wing shift. Warren, in particular, has made "Medicare-for-all" a centerpiece of her campaign.

Neither Ocasio-Cortez's office nor Warren's campaign immediately responded to requests for comment on Biden's remarks.

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Warren has been struggling in the polls, however, since the release of her "Medicare-for-all" plan last month, with a recent Quinnipiac poll showing her numbers slashed in half from 28 percent to 14 percent from the month before.

That poll showed her now relegated to fourth place, with Sanders dropping to fifth as South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg — who has also been critical of some "Medicare-for-all" plans — has surged into second place.

Fox News' Alex Pappas contributed to this report.

Original Article

Biden ripped for hitting Iowa trail with Obama alum making $1M-a-year off dairy farmers

closeBiden nears end of eight day Iowa bus tourVideo

Biden nears end of eight day Iowa bus tour

The trip comes as Biden tries to regain lost momentum in the Hawkeye State.

Rural farmers are panning Joe Biden’s decision to hit the Iowa campaign trail this week with former Obama Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, who’s been under fire over his $1 million-a-year job with a group that is funded by mandatory fees from struggling dairy farmers.

Vilsack, the former Iowa Democratic governor, endorsed Biden and joined the former vice president on his “No Malarkey” bus tour of Iowa in an appeal to rural voters. But some farmers said the move shows that Biden is tone deaf to the harsh realities of dairy farmers who are suffering from closures and bankruptcies.

“Vice President Biden clearly didn’t think through the ramifications of having someone like Secretary Vilsack on the bus tour and writing your agriculture policy when the former secretary is taking a million dollars out of the pockets of dairy farmers across the country,” said Jake Davis, national policy director at Family Farm Action, a non-profit progressive advocacy group aimed at curbing corporate agribusiness growth.

JOHN KERRY ENDORSES BIDEN FOR PRESIDENT, SAYS TRUMP HAS 'BROKEN APART' COUNTRY

Davis, a farmer from Missouri who hasn’t endorsed in the 2020 race, called Biden’s tag-team with Vilsack this week a “clear misstep.”

“It just seems like a risk that one didn’t have to take,” Davis said.

Vilsack has been in the hot seat in recent months for earning nearly $1 million in salary in 2018 as the highest paid executive at Dairy Management Inc., a nonprofit responsible for promoting milk goods and funded directly by mandatory fees from dairy farmers. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel earlier this year exposed the bloated salaries of the top 10 dairy executives that topped $8 million at a time when many dairy farmers are on the brink on financial ruin amid a downturn in milk prices.

Under federal law, farmers are required to pay 15 cents for each 100 pounds of milk they sell into a so-called “checkoff” program to promote and advertise their products. Ten cents goes to local and regional programs and 5 cents goes to fund national programs, such as Dairy Management where Vilsack is executive vice president.

Checkoff fees in various agricultural sectors have helped fund catchy campaigns like “Got Milk?” "Pork. The Other White Meat", "The Incredible, Edible Egg", and "Beef: It's What's for Dinner."

But the dairy market has been especially tough recently with farmers blaming an oversupply of milk, reduced demand and more alternatives like soy and almond milk.

In 2017, 1,600 dairy farms shuttered nationwide, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. Conditions are so bad that Dean Foods, America’s largest dairy producer filed for bankruptcy last month. And a milk co-op last year sent Northeast dairy farmers a list of mental health services and a suicide prevention hotline number.

With money so tight, dairy farmers are fuming that their checkoff fees are padding the pockets of people like Vilsack.

“When we see that the funds that we’re mandated to pay through the checkoff are going to these really high salaries, it kind of just kicks you in the stomach,” said dairy farmer Sarah Lloyd from Wisconsin Dells.

Lloyd, a Bernie Sanders supporter and director of special projects at the Wisconsin Farmers Union, said Biden’s choice to campaign with Vilsack at this time “clearly shows me that Biden is out of touch.”

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A spokesman for Biden did not respond to a request for comment. Vilsack, through a representative, declined a request for an interview. Previously, Vilsack snapped at a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter when confronted about his pay.

“It’s insulting to me to be asked this question,” Vilsack said. “The dairy industry came to me and offered me the job – I didn’t seek the job. I didn’t ask for the job.”

Vilsack endorsed Biden and joined him on the Iowa bus tour to help the former VP appeal to rural voters and the agriculture community in the run up to the Iowa caucuses Feb. 3. He made several stops with Biden on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

His $1 million salary didn’t come up. Iowa attendees said they generally respected Vilsack during his time as governor from 1999 to 2007 but it wasn’t necessarily enough to sway them to support Biden.

“Right now Tom Vilsack could be a liability for anybody taking that big wage. In my opinion, he hasn’t earned it,” Chris Petersen, a hog and hay farmer in Clear Lake and backer of Bernie Sanders.

“I think many farmers who are struggling, especially dairy farmers, really frown upon that,” Petersen added.

BIDEN LASHES OUT AT TOWN HALL QUESTIONER IN HEATED EXCHANGE

Doug Errthum, who farms dairy, corn, soybeans and hay in Holy Cross, Iowa, said he used to think of Vilsack as a “great guy,” but he wondered why Vilsack would make $1 million through fees out of his pocket.

“Obviously, seeing the money going to them is difficult when we have bills to pay ourselves,” said Errthum, who supports President Trump.

“It’s been a rough four years,” Errthum said of his dairy business. “I have a lot friends who used to milk and they don’t do it anymore. They can’t handle it anymore. It’s emotionally draining.”

While Vilsack declined comment, Dairy Management Inc. released a statement to Fox News from its chair Marilyn Hershey, a Pennsylvania dairy farmer.

“We hired Secretary Tom Vilsack to expand U.S. dairy’s presence in key global markets,” the statement said. “Under his leadership over the last three years, U.S. dairy exports reached an all-time high in 2018, with 16 percent of U.S. dairy being sold to global markets."

The statement continued: "His relationships across the public and private sectors internationally are opening new doors and new opportunities for U.S. dairy products. And his ability to proudly represent U.S. dairy farmers’ commitments around sustainability to global leaders is unmatched. We wouldn’t be able to achieve these kinds of results, which are critical to the ongoing strength and viability of the U.S. dairy sector and farmers, without Secretary Vilsack’s vision and leadership.”

Joe Maxwell, a hog and hay farmer in Missouri and sharp critic of the mandatory checkoff fees, said the high salaries might be warranted for a successful ad campaign. Instead, reporting revealed that Dairy Management paid $9.1 million to Domino’s and more than $5 million for McDonald’s USA LLC to help the mega-companies with their promotions.

“Dairy farmers are having that money extracted to ensure Domino’s and these executives are living fat and happy,” said Maxwell, who is policy advisor for the Organization of Competitive Markets, a family farm advocacy organization.

“We would suggest that Vice President Biden take a hard look at getting advice from others who are not opposed to taking on that corporate power.”

Fox News' Madeleine Rivera contributed to this report.

Original Article