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OFF TO THE RACES: Debate Day! With a heavy focus on the economy

One of us(!) writes this preview of tonight’s CNBC debate: The large field of GOP candidates have divergent views on some critical issues — and some candidates have yet to take positions on some of them — making this third GOP debate focusing on the economy will be a critical forum where differences are likely to be on display.

At the debate in Colorado, where marijuana is legalized, Mother Jones offers “A Blunt Guide to How Republican Candidates Feel About Pot.” Ha. We get it.

BUSH: His campaign “is promising a sharper, more nimble and aggressive candidate and is looking to (John McCain’s 2008 campaign) for encouragement,” CNN reports.

“Meet the Press” snagged Bush for an exclusive interview Sunday.

CARSON:The Des Moines Register notes that Carson “has surpassed Hillary Clinton as the top fundraiser in Iowa,” raising $153,000 from 900 Iowans through September 30.

The former pediatric neurosurgeon who has compared abortion and Obamacare to slavery said he won’t tone down his rhetoric. “I don’t buy the PC stuff,” Carson told the Associated Press.

PAUL: In a preview of his appearance on the Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore next week, Paul said a Trump presidency would be an “absolute disaster.” He also said finished Wilmore’s joke of “Your momma’s so stupid she things pound case is: “a vegetable” Paul responded.

RUBIO: Rubio’s home-state newspaper wrote a scathing editorial calling on the Florida senator to quit his day job. “Sorry, senator, but Floridians sent you to Washington to do a job,” the editorial board wrote.

TRUMP: He’s having a hard time being in second place in fresh polls. Our Trump embed Ali Vitali writes that Trump asked Iowans at a rally Tuesday, “Will you get these numbers up? I promise you I will do such a good job.”

And Trump’s traditional playbook might not work against Carson.

Politico writes that Trump and CNBC have a long history together.

CONGRESS: Ryan to back budget deal

Paul Ryan will back the deal, he announced Wednesday morning, according to NBC’s Alex Moe. “What has been produced will go a long way toward relieving the uncertainty hanging over us, and that’s why I intend to support it,” Ryan said.

Last week, the DCCC made this argument against Ryan: Him being the face of the GOP will benefit Democrats. “Most Americans don’t know who the Speaker of the House is, and it would take a multi-million dollar ad campaign to educate voters about who they are and what they stand for. Thankfully for Democrats, this happened in 2012. As VP, Ryan was subject of millions of dollars of television advertising showing voters exactly where he stood on key issues.”

To the chagrin of conservatives, the House voted to reinstate the Export-Import Bank.

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