Welcome to The Lid, your afternoon dose of the 2016 ethos… Today we learned “You’re Fired” jokes are even less funny than they were before Donald Trump actually got fired.
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’16 AT 30 THOUSAND
Here’s a contrast for the day: As one GOP presidential candidate stood in Chicago defending his belief that Mexican immigrants are largely rapists and drug dealers, another was in South Carolina calling for the elimination of “barriers that create disagreements.”
After news that NBC would be ending its business ties with Donald Trump, a defiant Donald said his views on immigrants crossing the southern border “happen to be correct.” At nearly the same time, Jeb Bush was speaking in South Carolina about the “racist” symbolism of the Confederate flag. “If you're trying to lean forward rather than live in the past, you want to eliminate the barriers that create disagreements,” Bush said. The former Florida governor also reiterated his comments about the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage ruling, saying there should “be room for allowing people” to act on their conscience and maintain “a just society.”
As we’ve (exhaustively) written, Trump is still way, wayyyy underwater when it comes to whether Republican primary voters might even consider voting for him, but he’s still polling well enough to make it into the first 2016 debate in just a few weeks. And while Bush’s comments on issues like the flag and on gay marriage are well-calibrated for a general election audience, GOP rivals - including Trump - will be happy to call him weak and unprincipled in the primary. One big question is just how much Trump’s damaged brand with Latinos rubs off on the other GOP candidates on stage, even those who are actively trying to court them? And another thing we’ll be watching: Will Trump’s attempts to make Bush look like a squish get under the former Florida governor’s skin enough to actually cause damage -- and will other more bombastic 2016 candidates decide it’s worth the risk to give The Donald an assist in beating up the establishment frontrunner?
POPPING ON NBC POLITICS
- NBC is ending its business relationship with Donald Trump over his comments about Mexican immigrants.
- Jeb Bush called the Confederate flag a “racist” symbol while campaigning in South Carolina for the first time since the racially motivated church shooting in Charleston.
- Ted Cruz told TODAY that a majority of Supreme Court justices “violated their judicial oath” last week.
- Today’s Supreme Court decision on lethal injection caused a flurry of unusually passionate discussion from the justices.
- Chris Christie’s campaign website is live, highlighting his “telling it like it is” message.
- In today’s NBC First Read, the political unit looks at the divide between rural and urban America.
CAMPAIGN QUICK READS
CLINTON: From the New York Times: “Hillary Rodham Clinton told reporters last month that the memos about Libya she received while secretary of state from Sidney Blumenthal, a longtime adviser whom the Obama administration had barred her from hiring, had been “unsolicited.” But according to officials briefed on the matter, email records that Mrs. Clinton apparently failed to turn over to the State Department last fall show that she repeatedly encouraged Mr. Blumenthal to “keep ’em coming,” as she said in an August 2012 reply to a memo from him, which she called “another keeper.
RUBIO: The Washington Post looks at how the name he made for himself in the Florida legislature also meant a big boost in his personal income.
SANDERS:ICYMI: His online haul is at least $8.3 million so far.
WALKER: Liberal groups are out with an online ad attacking Scott Walker as “the worst governor in America for the student debt crisis,” the Cap Times reports.
FOR THE RECORD…
“I love Mexico. But every time I talk about it, they accuse me of being a racist.”
- Donald Trump, in Chicago
Gov. Chris Christie is expected to jump into the 2016 race with an announcement at Livingston High School at 11am. He’ll also do a 6pm event in Sandown, NH.
Dr. Ben Carson and Jim Webb give remarks at the National Sheriffs Association presidential forum.
Donald Trump makes remarks in Bedford, NH.