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By Andrew Rafferty and Carrie Dann

Welcome to The Lid, your afternoon dose of the 2016 ethos… Lindsey Graham says that Brad Pitt would have a better shot of being on the debate stage than real candidates for president, which makes sense considering that the Republican primary is pretty much “Fight Club” anyway.


It’s some thousand miles from the United States, but Puerto Rico is becoming a 2016 campaign issue. A week after its governor told the New York Times that its $72 billion public debt “isn’t payable,” Hillary Clinton weighed in, saying that Congress should change the law to make the commonwealth able to file for Chapter 9 bankruptcy. And she wasn’t the first: Martin O’Malley’s camp pointedly said that the Maryland Dem supported the same move last month, saying “Governor O'Malley has once again led and not followed.” Jeb Bush, who hails from a state with a Puerto Rican population of something just shy of a million, by the way, also agrees. But he’s likely to get pushback from other Republicans who view changing the law as a “bailout.” Here’s Bobby Jindal, to the Union Leader earlier today: “We all know what’s next. We all know there’s going to be an appeal for U.S. taxpayer dollars for a bailout. We can’t do that. We shouldn’t do that.”


  • One poll number shows what could be Bernie Sanders’ biggest general election challenge, Mark Murray explains
  • Hillary Clinton said she welcomes a competitive Democratic primary, telling reporters in Iowa “the more, the better” even as rival Bernie Sanders continues to get headlines for his crowd sizes and improving poll numbers, one of us wrote.
  • Marco Rubio outlined his domestic policy agenda in Chicago and took a swipe at “Hillary Clinton’s time machine to the past,” Alex Jaffe writes.
  • One of us(!) writes about how Puerto Rico’s financial problem is becoming a 2016 issue.
  • In NBC’s First Read, the political unit notes that the rise of Donald Trump could help -- but also hurt -- Jeb Bush.


The New York Times looks at just how much voter outreach is being outsourced from campaigns to super PACs.

CLINTON: The Washington Post writes that super PAC Correct the Record is conducting talking-point tutorials and media training to make sure Clinton supporters are reading from the same script.

JINDAL: He writes in Time Magazine that Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton would turn the U.S. into Greece.

BUSH: Edward Snowden should not be granted leniency, Bush said Tuesday in response to an interview with former Attorney General Eric Holder.


“Brad Pitt would have a better shot of being on the debate stage than real candidates for president.”

  • Lindsey Graham, in an email to supporters urging them to petition to change the rules for the first GOP debate.


Jeb Bush, Martin O’Malley, and Carly Fiorina all make stops in New Hampshire.

Marco Rubio is in Iowa.

Lindsey Graham delivers a speech on “America’s Role in the World” in Washington, D.C.