First Read's Morning Clips

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OFF TO THE RACES: Team Biden pushes back on Politico report

A new Quinnipiac poll of Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania shows that Ben Carson and Joe Biden are the strongest general election candidates in the three swing states. But they also show Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump leading the primary horseraces in those three states.

BIDEN: ICYMI, his team is pushing back on that POLITICO report suggesting that he leaked the story of his son's deathbed wishes to Maureen Dowd.

Draft Biden is up with its first ad.

BUSH: He's the latest candidate to participate in a guest Skimm.

CLINTON: From McClatchy: "Hillary Clinton hired a Connecticut company to back up her emails on a “cloud” storage system, and her lawyers have agreed to turn whatever it contains over to the FBI, a personal familiar with the situation said Tuesday."

She'll make a decision soon on the newly finalized Trans Pacific Partnership.

The New York Times, on how aggressively she's exploiting Kevin McCarthy's comments on the Benghazi panel.

Via the AP: "As Clinton looks for ways to distinguish her ideas from those of her former boss, the relationship between the man in the White House and the woman who hopes to replace him has grown increasingly complicated."

Notes Alex Seitz-Wald: "Hillary Clinton’s campaign is flexing its political and organizational muscle with the announcement Tuesday of leadership councils in Colorado, Minnesota and Virginia that feature virtually every major Democratic elected official in the three key states."

CRUZ: He's searching for votes all around the country, with an eye on the current RNC Rule 40.

FIORINA: The Wall Street Journal does a deep dive into Fiorina's HP career. "Ms. Fiorina indeed saved jobs by keeping H-P afloat, but had to trim the company’s workforce by about 30,000. Dell, about a third the size of H-P in 2005, cut roughly 1,700 jobs during the same period, according to people familiar with the matter. H-P’s workforce grew from 84,400 to 150,000 during her tenure, taking into account Compaq and other acquisitions."

NBC’s Shaquille Brewster: “Wrapping up her three day trip through the first-in-the-nation primary state, Carly Fiorina was feeling the momentum that has propelled her to second place here in the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll, declaring at her final stop "I'm a frontrunner."... But Fiorina's rise in the polls has been matched by the increased pressure and scrutiny of a frontrunner -- as her business record, previous campaign, and comments on the trail have come under fire from rivals and news organizations”.

KASICH: He offered to buy Bibles for critics of his Medicaid expansion.

RUBIO: NBC's Frank Thorp did the math on Rubio's missed Senate votes.

TRUMP: The Washington Post reports on his attempts to stage a second act, including ads from a Florida media company that's new to politics and a renewed focus on women's health issues.

On Twitter, he defended Ben Carson's comments about tackling an active shooter. "Ben Carson was speaking in general terms as to what he would do if confronted with a gunman, and was not criticizing the victims. Not fair!"

CONGRESS: Chaffetz = Cinnabon?

NBC's Alex Moe has all the latest on the candidates for House Speaker and their efforts to woo conservatives.

The New York Times, on Jason Chaffetz: "Representative Jason Chaffetz of Utah admits he is not the best candidate to become speaker of the House. He fully expects to lose when his Republican colleagues pick their nominee on Thursday. But opportunity for Mr. Chaffetz is like the scent of an airport Cinnabon, and he has a habit of racing to its smell."

OBAMA AGENDA: Obama makes his pitch for TPP

"The American commander in Afghanistan now believes that United States troops probably did not follow their own rules in calling in the airstrike that decimated a Doctors Without Borders hospital when no American and Afghan troops were in extreme danger, according to officials with direct knowledge of the general’s thinking," reports the New York Times.

Reuters reports on Obama's pitch to win support for the Pacific trade pact.


*** Wednesday’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” line-up: NBC’s Andrea Mitchell interviews Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), NBC Justice Correspondent Pete Williams, NBC Campaign Reporters on the trail with the candidates Kristen Welker, Hallie Jackson and Katy Tur, Former Congressman Patrick Kennedy on his new book “Common Struggle,” Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza and Ruth Marcus and NBC’s Luke Russert.

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Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.