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Mitch McConnell: Republicans will drop Trump ‘like a hot rock’ if he wins the nomination

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In private meetings in Washington, Republicans are preparing for their latest worst case 2016 election scenario: Donald Trump might be their presidential nominee.

Normally at this point in the election cycle the GOP would be gearing up for attacks on their anticipated Democratic rival for the White House. But party leaders are so distraught at the idea of the blustery businessman heading the ticket, that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has taken to advising candidates to keep their distance from Trump.

According to the New York Times, McConnell is assuring Senate candidates running for reelection that they should feel free to run ads against Trump if they feel he is hurting their own campaigns. According to senators attending private lunches with the Majority Leader, McConnell is taking the approach that Trump will lose badly in the general election and that senators should sell themselves as a bulwark against a Hillary Clinton presidency.

Pointing out that he still won easily when President Bill Clinton was reelected, McConnell reportedly told colleagues that the party will drop Trump “like a hot rock” if he is the nominee.

News of the party’s preemptive rejection of the potential nominee comes after a luncheon meeting attended by Republican governors and donors in Washington on Feb. 19 where political guru Karl Rove warned that Trump may be unstoppable for the GOP — and that his nomination could destroy other Republican candidate’s chances in November.

According to people who attended a private presentation hosted by the conservative billionaires Charles G. and David H. Koch,  Trump’s record was deemed utterly unacceptable, causing high profile donors to hold back on donations out of fear it will be money that will be wasted.

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As for stopping Trump from becoming the face of the party come November, Republicans are flummoxed.

“There is no mechanism,” said Former Gov. Michael O. Leavitt of Utah. “There is no smoke-filled room. If there is, I’ve never seen it, nor do I know anyone who has. This is going to play out in the way that it will.”

 

 

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Senator Elizabeth Warren leads Democrats in spirited first 2020 debate

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Ten Democrats clashed in the first debate of the 2020 presidential race Wednesday with Elizabeth Warren cementing her status as a top-tier candidate and several underdogs using the issue of immigration to clamor for the limelight.

The biggest American political debate since the 2016 presidential campaign is occurring over two nights in Miami, climaxing Thursday with former vice president Joe Biden squaring off against nine challengers, including number two candidate Bernie Sanders.

But Wednesday's first take was a spirited encounter between Democrats like ex-congressman Beto O'Rourke, Senator Cory Booker, former San Antonio mayor Julian Castro and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio on subjects as varied as health care, economic inequality, climate action, gun violence, Iran and immigration.

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Here are 4 winners and 9 losers from the first 2020 Democratic primary debate

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With ten candidates on stage Wednesday, the opening debate of the 2020 Democratic primary in Miami was a packed mess. And this was only the first course in a two-part event — 10 more candidates will debate on the following night.

A crowded field makes it difficult to stand out, and that means that even after a big night like a debate, the most likely result is that not much changes. But the debate was still significant, giving candidates the chance to exceed, meet, or fall below expectations for their performances.

Here's a list — necessarily subjective, of course — of the people who came out on the top when the dust was settled, and those who came out on the bottom.

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Here are 3 ways Julián Castro stood out in the first Democratic Debate

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There were many predictions going into the first Democratic debate on MSNBC, but no one predicted that Julián Castro would break out from the crowd.

Check out the top three ways Castro stood out from the crowd.

Immigration:

The former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development was the outright winner of the immigration section of the debate

It should "piss us all off," Castro said about the father and his little girl who were found face-down in the shores of the Rio Grande River this week. “It’s heartbreaking."

Castro is a second generation American who got into specifics on immigration policy, calling for an outright "Marshall Plan" style of action for Guatemala and Honduras. He joined with other Democrats calling for an end to President Donald Trump's family separation policy, but he then suggested ending the "metering" of legitimate asylum seekers.

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