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The Lid: Why 2016 Candidates Are Getting Serious

Welcome to The Lid, your afternoon dose of the 2016 ethos…POLITICO reports that SoulCycle devotees can attend a fundraiser spin class with Chelsea Clinton later this month, with $2700 earning donors a “premium reserved bike” because having someone yell at you to pedal faster only gets more fun the more you pay for it.

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‘16 from 30,000

GOP 2016 hopefuls and their allies on Monday unleashed a series of attacks accusing their rival candidates of being unserious. And the strikes weren’t aimed at Donald Trump! Ted Cruz’s super PAC blasted Marco Rubio for talking about fantasy football; Rubio staffers went after Cruz for a Buzzfeed video; Rick Santorum mocked Cruz’s Dr. Seuss reading on the Senate floor. (Chris Christie did allude to Trump’s “showmanship” during a campaign appearance, although it was a fairly general swipe.) Attacks on Trump’s seriousness seem to have failed to date, but so has every other attack against the GOP frontrunner. The takeaway: If you’re a leading non-Trump candidate for president who has ever attempted to be funny on camera, your light-hearted moment may become ad fodder as all the candidates jostle to be this cycle’s Serious Candidate for Serious Times.

POPPING ON NBC POLITICS

  • Politifact found that footage used in Trump’s first ad is from Morocco and not the southern U.S. border with Mexico. “"No sh-- it's not the Mexican border,” Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski told NBC News. “That's what our country is going to look like. This was 1,000 percent on purpose."
  • NBC’s Danny Freeman looks at the role that candidate fatigue can play in the hectic weeks before the Iowa caucus.
  • NBC’s Hallie Jackson sat down with Ted Cruz for an exclusive interview. The Texas senator said that his rivals are “panicking” but he will not “get drawn into that muck.”
  • NBC also got an exclusive “tour” of Cruz’s bus and a look at a day in the life.
  • Donald Trump is out with his first TV ad, which highlights his immigration plan and his proposed ban on Muslim immigration.
  • NBC’s Perry Bacon has more analysis on why the ad is so striking.
  • Ted Cruz called for the armed protesters in Oregon to “stand down peaceably,” while Marco Rubio said of the occupiers “you cannot be lawless.”
  • Rick Santorum is mocking Ted Cruz in a new ad that targets the Texas senator’s reading of “Green Eggs and Ham” on the Senate floor.
  • NBC’s Alex Jaffe reports on Marco Rubio’s efforts to frame the GOP primary contest around national security in a speech in New Hampshire. And Jaffe also sums up how the larger foreign policy feud between Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz is playing out.
  • January will be a pivotal month in the 2016 election. NBC’s Dante Chinni has the details.

FOR THE RECORD…

"No sh--, it's not the Mexican border but that's what our country is going to look like.”

  • Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, asked about the campaign’s use of video of Moroccan migrants in an ad about Trump’s Mexican immigration plan

TOMORROW’S SKED

Jeb Bush campaigns in New Hampshire

Marco Rubio holds a series of events in Iowa.

Hillary Clinton campaigns in Iowa and sits down with Chris Matthews for an interview.

Donald Trump holds a campaign rally in Claremont, NH.