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First Read's Morning Clips

A roundup of the most important political news stories of the day

OFF THE RACES: Breaking down the IA/NH races

From one of us(!): Here's all you need to know from our NBC/Marist polls of Iowa and New Hampshire.

The exodus of Puerto Ricans to Florida could change the swing state's political dynamics, writes the Washington Post.

From the New York Times: "With help from a well-funded, well-researched and invigorated anti-abortion movement, Republican politicians have refined how they are talking about pregnancy and abortion rights, choosing their words in a way they hope puts Democrats on the defensive."

Reince Priebus, to NBC's TODAY: "Certainly, I think our candidates should pledge not to run as a third-party candidate. I don’t see that happening. I think everyone understands that if Hillary Clinton’s going to get beat, she’s going to get beat by a Republican. And most people that run for president run to win, and if our candidates want to win, then they’ll have to run as a Republican."

BUSH: From Bloomberg: "Bush takes as many questions, if not more, than other candidates. The strategy is a double-sided sword: His candidness often earns him support from crowds and favorable stories in the media, but also one that can also lead to more confusion than clarity, and reinforce one of his biggest problems on the trail."

CHRISTIE: He had a contentious back-and-forth with a gun rights activist in Iowa, CNN reports.

CLINTON: A new batch of emails are scheduled to be released on Friday amid concerns that classified material could be among them.

She unveiled her climate change plan over the weekend -- but she didn't weigh in on the Keystone pipeline.

CRUZ: He's not backing off his claims that Mitch McConnell lied to him.

HUCKABEE: He told Breitbart News of the Iran deal: "This president’s foreign policy is the most feckless in American history. It is so naive that he would trust the Iranians. By doing so, he will take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven. This is the most idiotic thing, this Iran deal."

JINDAL: From NBC News: "The gunman who opened fire in a Louisiana movie theater should not have been allowed to legally buy the gun he used to kill two people and injure nine because of his mental history, Gov. Bobby Jindal said Sunday."

More: "On CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Mr. Jindal called for states to adopt laws similar to Louisiana’s that feed information about mental illness into a federal background check system for potential gun buyers."

KASICH: He told one of us(!) that presidential candidates need to "grow up." "If we're running for these offices just to get elected, I mean, we're not running for class president. We're running to be the commander-in-chief and the leader of the United States of America. Grow up."

PERRY: He says he's not going to "go quietly" on Donald Trump.

RUBIO: POLITICO notes that he leads the pack in missing Senate votes

SANDERS: He said on "Meet the Press" that economic inequality and institutional racism are "parallel problems."

The Times-Picayune reports on his rally in Kenner, La. "Racial divisiveness, income inequality and the ills of Wall Street were familiar touchstones for presidential candidate Bernie Sanders Sunday (July 25) as he whipped up a thunderous crowd of 4,500 at a rally in Kenner."

TRUMP: The Wall Street Journal talks to Iowans who are drawn to his message. "I am the silent majority. He talks for me," said one Oskaloosa retiree.

He targeted Scott Walker during an appearance in Iowa, saying "Wisconsin is doing terribly. First of all it's in turmoil. The roads are a disaster because they don't have any money to rebuild them. They borrow money like crazy. They projected a $1 billion surplus and instead of a $1 billion — I wrote this stuff all down, although I don't need it because I have a really good memory — but they projected a $1 billion surplus and it turns out to be a deficit of $2.2 billion."

And around the country...

"The governing board of the Boy Scouts of America is expected Monday to lift its ban on openly gay employees and adult volunteers, a decision that is likely to keep the massive youth organization out of court but could divide it further," writes the Washington Post.

OBAMA AGENDA: Obama fires back at Huckabee’s “oven” comments

The president responded to Mike Huckabee's assertion that the Iran deal "is marching Israelis to the door of the oven,” saying that the comments are "ridiculous" and "part of a general pattern that would be considered ridiculous if it weren’t so sad."

CONGRESS: Watching Jeff Flake on the Iran deal

The Wall Street Journal looks at how Jeff Flake could be the key vote in the Iran deal.

Roll Call has all the details of Sunday's Ex-Im bank vote: " In a pair of losses for conservatives, the Senate voted overwhelmingly Sunday to revive the Export-Import Bank while failing to overcome a filibuster of an attempt to repeal Obamacare — with more fireworks to come. The rare Sunday votes set the stage for the Senate to send a long-term highway bill tied to the Ex-Im Bank to the House later this week, but not before facing other gambits by conservatives, including a procedural vote forced by Sen. Ted Cruz regarding the Iran deal and an effort to deploy a maneuver akin to the “nuclear option."


*** Monday’s “News Nation with Tamron Hall” line-up: Tamron Hall speaks with Sandy and Lonnie Phillips, who lost their daughter Jessica Ghawi in the tragic shooting in a movie theater in Aurora Colorado in 2012, having to pay legal fees to gun manufacturing companies that sold ammunition to James Holmes, Political analyst and Daily Beast Columnist Jonathan Alter on the latest poll numbers for Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, and NBC’s Kerry Sanders on the two teenage boys missing during fishing trip in Florida

*** Monday’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” line-up: NBC’s Andrea Mitchell has exclusive interviews with Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. She’ll also interview Rep. Mike Pompeo, Capt. Mark Kelly and the Washington Post’s Robert Costa and Anne Gearan.

*** Monday’s “Live with Thomas Roberts” line-up: Fmr. RNC Chair Michael Steele on 2016 Politics, Fired Boy Scout Leader Greg Bourke about the Boy Scouts being expected to end ban on gay scout leaders today, Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL) about the investigation into Sandra Bland’s death and E! Chief News Correspondent Melanie Bromley about Bobbi Kristina’s death.