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First Read's Morning Clips: Trump's Vulgar Attack

A roundup of the most important political news stories of the day.
Image: Supporters hold signs for U.S. Republican presidential candidate Trump at a campaign event at the Veterans Memorial Building in Cedar Rapids
Supporters hold signs for U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at a campaign event at the Veterans Memorial Building in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, December 19, 2015.Scott Morgan / Reuters, file

OFF TO THE RACES: Trump’s vulgar attack

So this happened. From Ali Vitali: "Donald Trump launched a vulgar attack on Hillary Clinton late Monday, including a sexually derogatory comment about her being "schlonged" by President Barack Obama in 2008."

A new Quinnipiac poll shows Cruz gaining on Trump -- but 50 percent of registered voters say they would feel embarrassed if Trump served as the country's leader.

And Politifact's "lie of the year" is: "the campaign misstatements of Donald Trump."

BUSH: Reuters: "Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush has moved quickly to pick up some key members of Lindsey Graham's financial network in South Carolina after Graham suspended his campaign...Former U.S. Ambassador to Canada David Wilkins, a veteran fundraiser who was Graham's state finance chairman, has signed on to help Bush, a campaign official said. Nine other members of Graham's operation have also chosen to help Bush, including three co-chairs of Graham's state finance operation. These include Eddie Floyd, Anita Zucker and Bob Royall, the official said."

Writes the Wall Street Journal: "Republican Jeb Bush started off his presidential campaign describing himself as a “joyful tortoise.” As voters leaned toward political outsiders, he dubbed himself a “disrupter.” Then he emphasized competence and went on the “Jeb Can Fix It” tour. Mr. Bush’s latest incarnation: Trump slayer."

CARSON: Oof. The Wall Street Journal: "Internal campaign budget documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal show a political operation hemorrhaging cash. Mr. Carson’s team raised $8.8 million in October and spent $9.5 million—putting the retired neurosurgeon’s effort under water months before the first early-state voters caucus and cast ballots."

Asked about his foreign policy credentials, he told "You know you’ve gotta get out of your mind that because this guy is a doctor he doesn’t know what he’s talking about and listen to what he’s saying."

CLINTON: The big picture, from the New York Times: "Hillary Clinton Embraces Bill Clinton’s Economic Legacy"

Chelsea Clinton announced yesterday that she's pregnant again.

The war of words over her Clinton's comments about Trump continues.

The news from the Clinton campaign this morning: They’re proposing a $2 billion annual commitment to prevent, effectively treat and make a cure possible for Alzheimer’s disease by 2025.

CRUZ: POLITICO writes that talk radio is circling the wagons for him.

GRAHAM: The New York Times notes: "Presidential politics have not been too friendly to the “Three Amigos” of the United States Senate."

RUBIO: NBC's Alex Jaffe reports on Rubio's attempts to counter the impression that he's not doing enough retail politicking.

SANDERS: NBC's Danny Freeman has a great look at how Bernie Sanders is trying to emulate Obama's 2008 playbook in Iowa.

PROGRAMMING NOTES. *** Tuesday’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” line-up: MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, the Washington Post’s Robert Costa, the Wall Street Journal’s Jeanne Cummings, the Des Moines Register’s Jennifer Jacobs, Col. Jack Jacobs, and NBC’s Jim Miklaszewski, Tom Costello, Hallie Jackson and Kasie Hunt.