Welcome to The Lid, your afternoon dose of the 2016 ethos… In an interview with Rolling Stone this week, Dave Matthews voiced support for Bernie Sanders -- which will definitely lock up the key voting bloc of your freshman year roommate in 1997 and that other dude who was always on the Quad with his acoustic guitar playing “Crash Into Me."
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’16 AT 30 THOUSAND
The first rule of Fight Club is: You don’t talk about Fight Club. And for Republicans, until yesterday, the first rule of the House Benghazi committee was that you don’t talk about the potential political impact of the House Benghazi committee. Then enter Kevin McCarthy, who told FOX News “We put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she's untrustable.” Talk about ammunition for a Clinton campaign that’s been trying to make the case that the Benghazi/email controversy is a fabrication of political foes. McCarthy tried to walk that statement back slightly Wednesday, saying through a spokesman that “these inquiries have nothing to do with politics and everything to do with the consequences of what the former Secretary has done and her confusing, conflicting, and demonstrably false responses.”
The comments almost certainly aren’t going to impact McCarthy’s drive to be Speaker. In fact, there’s a case to be made that the conservatives who are wary of him might LIKE his apparent gusto for using every tool available to fight Democrats. But for establishment types who are eying the fate of their 2016 presidential nominee, McCarthy’s gift of an attack ad-ready quote will underscore existing questions about whether the California Dem is really ready for - quite literally - primetime. (As one leadership aide told our colleague Luke Russert: “Yikes.”)
POPPING ON NBC POLITICS
- NBC’s Perry Bacon Jr. reports on just how long the vice president - and the people around him - were under the impression that he wouldn’t be running for president.
- Kevin McCarthy is getting tough pushback from Democrats after he linked the Benghazi investigation to Hillary Clinton’s falling poll numbers.
- More than 6,000 more pages of Clinton emails were released Wednesday afternoon.
- We now know the filing deadlines for the all-important state of New Hampshire.
- A new NBC/WSJ/Telemundo poll shows that 67 percent of Latinos have a “very negative” view of Donald Trump.
- All 15 GOP candidates met South Carolina’s hefy $40,000 filing fee, but just barely, NBC’s Leigh Ann Caldwell reports.
CAMPAIGN QUICK READS
The Donald has strengthened his lead in a new USA TODAY/Suffolk poll, while Carson and Fiorina have gained ground.
CLINTON: Former Texas state senator and unsuccessful gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis is endorsing Clinton, the Houston Chronicle reports.
FOR THE RECORD…
“Think of how ridiculous it is to think that the main qualifier is, 'I have no idea what I'm getting into.’”
Mike Huckabee bashing on the rise of political outsiders in an interview with the Washington Examiner.
Hillary Clinton speaks at a substance abuse community forum in Massachusetts.
Marco Rubio and Bobby Jindal campaign in Iowa.
Jeb Bush will be on the TODAY show.