fighting-words

The Iowa State Fair: Why do you have to come here to be president?
Political Theater, Episode 87

Iowa State Fair mascots walk by the Administration Building at the Iowa State Fair on Monday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Iowa plays a big role in presidential politics because of its first-in-the-nation presidential caucuses. Even by that standard, though, the Hawkeye State this time feels busier, more significant.

There are more than 20 Democrats running for president, and unlike in previous years, no one is writing the state off. There are also several competitive congressional races here. That means a very busy Iowa State Fair, because all these politicians want to meet voters, make their case at The Des Moines Register’s Political Soapbox, flip pork chops at the pork tent and eat.

Rep. Cleaver: ‘Forget’ Trump's tweets... ‘We can't continue to react to this’
Missouri Democrat abandoned House presiding chair amid partisan bickering over vote to condemn Trump’s racist tweets

Democratic Rep. Emanuel Cleaver abandoned the presiding chair of the House Tuesday amid partisan bickering over a resolution to condemn President Donald Trump’s racist tweets against four Democratic congresswomen. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A day after Rep. Emanuel Cleaver abandoned his post presiding over House proceedings in frustration over bickering between Republicans and Democrats, the Missouri Democrat urged lawmakers and the American people to ignore President Donald Trump’s online antics as he “tweets away his presidency.”

“We can’t continue to react to this,” Cleaver said Wednesday on CNN’s “New Day” about the chaos that ensued as Democrats tried to hold a vote to condemn racist tweets the president posted over the weekend attacking four minority female congresswomen.

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Trump suggests Rep. Omar, other Dems cheered 9/11 attacks and ‘should leave’
‘If you're not happy here, you can leave,’ president says amid backlash over comments criticized as racist

President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media prior to his departure from the White House on July 5. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump on Monday, for the first time in front of television cameras, suggested four freshman House Democratic congresswoman who have harshly criticized him should leave the United States.

Trump, very much in reelection mode during almost every public appearance, suggested the House freshmen congresswoman prefer the al Qaeda terrorist group over the United States and alleged they “hate our country.”

‘Sex-starved males’ comment sets off House floor kerfuffle
Rep. Norma Torres stirs GOP colleagues with comments during debate

Rep. Norma Torres, D-Calif., referred to some GOP colleagues as "sex starved males" on the House floor, setting off a brief spat. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A routine House debate nearly exploded Wednesday when California Democrat Norma J. Torres implied her Republican colleagues were “sex-starved males” for opposing abortion.

“Mr. Speaker, it is tiring to hear from so many sex-starved males on this floor talk about a woman’s right to choose,” Torres said as lawmakers debated a rule setting up amendment consideration for a four-bill spending package that includes funding for public health programs.

For 2020 Democrats, a bull market for bashing Wall Street?
Sanders, Warren hope bashing big banks still resonates with voters

Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., are among the Democrats running for president who made curbing Wall Street excesses cornerstones of their campaigns. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In 2016, a New York City real estate developer who inherited hundreds of millions of dollars managed to win the presidency after convincing thousands of Rust Belt voters that the daughter of a textile salesman was an untrustworthy elitist because she gave a few paid speeches to a Wall Street investment bank. Four years later, some of the nearly two dozen Democrats running for president are retreading the populist path that runs roughshod over Wall Street.

The candidates hope bashing big banks still resonates with voters, but they’re also broadening the message to include other economic issues that divide the haves from the have-nots. “The last three presidential elections have all been Main Street versus Wall Street, and — increasingly — about the Rust Belt versus Wall Street,” said Andy Green, managing director of economic policy at the Center for American Progress.

Mistrial for man who allegedly threatened Rep. Brian Mast’s kids over immigration policy
Miami jury hung in case of 68-year-old Laurence Key

A federal judge this week declared a mistrial for a man who allegedly threatened the children of Rep. Brian Mast, R-Fla., last year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A mistrial was declared Thursday in the case of a man from Stuart, Florida, who was charged last year for threatening to kill Rep. Brian Mast’s children over the Trump administration’s family separation immigration policy.

Laurence Key, 68, is charged with one count of communicating a threat to kidnap or injure a person. But the trial that began Monday in Miami was declared a mistrial after the jury was hung, TCPalm reported, citing court documents and a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of Florida.

HR 1 debate gets under way as GOP sharpens attacks
McConnell predicts electoral disaster for supporters, but will not allow vote

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are seen after a news conference in the Capitol on Wednesday to oppose the House Democrats’ government overhaul package. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — who has led opposition to House Democrats’ campaign finance, elections and ethics overhaul, HR 1 — said Wednesday he believed lawmakers who support the measure may imperil their re-election chances.

Yet, the Kentucky Republican again pledged to give the measure, which the House is expected to pass along party lines on Friday, zero floor time in his chamber, declining then to give senators an opportunity to test his theory in their 2020 campaigns.

A Jewish Republican accused a Muslim Democrat of anti-Semitism, she accused him of Islamophobia
Twitter spat appears to end after Rep. Omar offers Rep. Zeldin an olive branch

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., is one of two Muslim women in the House. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A Twitter spat between New York Rep. Lee Zeldin and Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar appeared to conclude at about midnight Friday, after a work week of back-and-forth accusations between the two lawmakers of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.

Omar, who is Muslim, invited Zeldin, who is Jewish, to meet with her in her office “over Somali tea” to “share notes on how to fight religious discrimination of all kinds.” The heated Twitter exchange began after Omar felt a tweet by Zeldin was an “Islamophobic dogwhistle,” and crested when Zeldin challenged Omar to condemn a voicemail left for his office by an unidentified caller who derided him, unironically, as a “Nazi Jew.”

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