USA Today writes of Paul Ryan’s appearance on Meet the Press, “Rep. Paul Ryan defended conservative outside groups who objected to the budget deal he helped craft as ‘indispensable’ to holding the federal government accountable to taxpayers. The House Budget Committee chairman, however, expressed frustration over the groups' public criticism of the bipartisan deal approved last week by the House of Representatives.”
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee tells First Read that it raised $5.1 million in November -- its best off-year November in the committee's history. So far this cycle, the DSCC says it has raised $48.6 million.
“Hillary Rodham Clinton looms large as a potential 2016 presidential candidate, but she could be a major factor in the 2014 elections too,” USA Today writes. “Ready for Hillary, the group organizing supporters nationwide for a potential Clinton presidential campaign, says it will ask its members to support candidates endorsed by Clinton in the 2014 midterm elections, and to push her policy agenda over the next two years.” And she could do some campaigning.
Mitch McConnell’s making a pitch to defense contractors to get off the sidelines to protect Republicans who will protect military spending. (H/T: Political Wire.)
Republicans are upset with the budget deal because it’s for two years, meaning Senate Democrats up for reelection in red states won’t have to take “tough votes” that would have been used against them.
Some Republicans may want to switch to “fix” language instead of “repeal,” but primaries won’t let them. Politico: “Republican primary candidates are caught in an Obamacare fix. Even the slightest hint that a GOP contender might support anything besides all-out repeal of the health care law is drawing attacks from the right. So, increasingly, in races across the country, proposals to fix the existing law or retain any of it are being ruled out by Republicans eager to further burnish their conservative credentials.” It looks at what’s happened in Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Kentucky, and Kansas.
Problems with American institutions… you bet: Lobbyists rank below members of Congress on honesty and ethics. TV and newspaper reporters aren’t far behind, and clergy have dropped below 50% for the first time, since the question has been asked by Gallup, since 1977.
IOWA: An Ann Selzer poll tested fav/unfavs of potential 2016ers – Hillary Clinton and Paul Ryan are the favorites among Democrats and Republicans, respectively. Among Democrats, Clinton gets an 89/7 rating. Overall, she’s a 50/45. Ryan among Republicans is 73/10. Overall, he’s 40/32. Des Moines Register story.
FLORIDA: Florida Republicans believe Trey Radel will be a short-timer in Congress. The Hill: “The consensus among Florida Republicans is that Radel will either not run for reelection or lose in his 2014 primary.”
NEW YORK: Donald Trump is flirting with running for governor. He says he’ll decide “soon” if he runs.
NORTH CAROLINA: So far, the Senate race here has been the most expensive race, costing more than $8 million already, per Roll Call. Republicans have spent $5.7 million to $2.6 million for Democratic groups.
TEXAS: A GOP poll finds John Cornyn up 50%-6% over Rep. Steve Stockman.
First published December 16 2013, 6:12 AM