PRIORITIES USA FRIDAY HOT TAKES!

GOP PANIC AS VOTING NEARS — TRUMP WAS AT LAST NIGHT’S DEBATE — BERNIE SANDERS EARNS ESTABLISHMENT SUPPORT..FROM REPUBLICANS — PRIORITIES RELEASES 2 NEW DIGITAL ADS IN IOWA — THIS WEEK IN TRUMP — A SPECIAL LOOK AT HILLARY IN IOWA

Hello and welcome to another Friday Hot Takes! As Republican finger pointing intensifies over Trump’s ascension, angry GOP establishment operatives and elected officials need to look in the mirror. Years of establishment support for right-wing candidates who are indistinguishable from Donald Trump are responsible for the state of today’s GOP. Many of these candidates are currently running for President, and many of them were on stage in last night’s debate. To the week that was…

TRUMP WAS AT LAST NIGHT’S DEBATE. How’s that you say? You were incredibly bored last night so there’s no way Trump could’ve been there? It’s true that with Trump missing the only semi-exciting moment was when Ted Cruz said “I’m a maniac and everyone on this stage is stupid, fat and ugly,” but his Donald Trump impression wasn’t necessary. Why?

OUR VIEW: Donald Trump was on that stage tonight. You heard him when Ted Cruz proudly declared he would take away healthcare from millions of Americans, when Marco Rubio sweated his way through a dangerous and misguided foreign policy, when Chris Christie bragged about defunding Planned Parenthood despite the millions of women who depend on it, and when the entire field argued over just who hated immigrants the most. Watching this debacle one can understand exactly why right-wing special interests are doing everything they can to interfere in our primary process and stop Hillary Clinton from becoming the Democratic nominee. Republicans don’t want to run against Hillary Clinton because they know she’s the only one who will stand up to the anti-middle class, misogynistic, fear-mongering that spewed forth from GOP candidates tonight and they know she’s the only one who can beat them in November.”

GOP’S UGLY WEEK. And never fear, the laid back debate was predicated by an ugly week of sniping and mud-slinging from Republican candidates panicked as Iowa draws near.

NBC: Pro-Bush SuperPAC Hammers Rubio for Credit Card Controversy
Tampa Bay Times: Hard feelings, negative ads build up between Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio
Washington Post: Donald Trump just dragged Jeb Bush’s ‘mommy’ into their fight
New York Times: Chris Christie Warns New Hampshire Against Voting for Donald Trump
Politico: Cruz super PAC goes negative on Trump
Washington Post: Ben Carson: Donald Trump ‘was very dishonest’ about my past
New York Times: Chris Christie Ratchets Up Attacks on Marco Rubio

GOP ESTABLISHMENT ALL IN…FOR BERNIE SANDERS. With Hillary already the recipient of almost $6 million in attacks from GOP outside groups, it’s clear Republicans would much rather run against Bernie Sanders, but as Bloomberg reports, the GOP establishment might as well have endorsed him at this point: “Add Republican operatives to the list of strong Bernie Sanders supporters in the Democratic primary…’It’s exactly the same thing we did with Todd Akin,’ said Caitlin Legacki, who served as communications director to Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill’s during her successful campaign in 2012. ‘They’re clearly trying to use the exact same playbook…’ The escalated efforts represent a broad consensus among Republican strategists that they would rather face Sanders in a general election.”

The Hill: Sanders avoids being target of negative advertising
MSNBC: Anti-Sanders attack ad isn’t quite what it seems to be
Bloomberg: Republicans Take Their Sanders Advocacy to the Next Level

MEET THE LATEST RIGHT-WING GROUP ATTACKING HILLARY: ENDING SPENDING

PRIORITIES RELEASES TWO NEW DIGITAL ADS IN IOWA. In response to multiple recent attempts by Karl Rove and other Republican outside groups to interfere in the Democratic primary process by attacking Hillary Clinton, Priorities continued its six-figure digital buy in Iowa this week with two new ads titled “Profit,” & “Conviction.”

“Profit,” first reported by The Hill highlights the difference between Donald Trump, Ted Cruz & the rest of the GOP field who want to help the rich get richer, with Hillary Clinton’s fight for the middle class. “Conviction,” first reporter by the Huffington Post tells the “powerful” story of Peter Read, one of too many parents who have suffered in a way that no one ever should and makes the powerful argument that Hillary Clinton isn’t afraid to stand strong against powerful special interests like the NRA and politicians who do their bidding in the face of these senseless acts of violence. Watch both ads below:

Huffington Post: Father Of Virginia Tech Victim Makes Case For Hillary Clinton In New Super PAC Ad
The Hill: Clinton super-PAC frames closing arguments on economy

THIS WEEK IN TRUMP. Not a week goes by where Donald Trump doesn’t produce a litany of outrageous headlines…here’s the best of the bunch from the GOP frontrunner this week.

Politico: Trump retweets neo-Nazi’s insult of Jeb Bush
Politico: Trump: I could ‘shoot somebody’ and I wouldn’t lose voters
Washington Post: S.C. Republican who called Nikki Haley ‘a raghead’ to endorse Trump
Washington Post: Evangelical leader Jerry Falwell Jr. endorses Trump
New York Times: Sheriff Joe Arpaio to Endorse Donald Trump in Iowa

A SPECIAL LOOK AT HILLARY CLINTON IN IOWA. Please take a minute and (and a half) to watch a new video from Priorities titled “Make A Difference” for a special look at Hillary’s message across Iowa.

DON’T MISS:

Bloomberg: Ted Cruz Finds Out He Has Health Insurance After All (whaddya know!?!)
Des Moines Register: Endorsement: Hillary Clinton has needed knowledge, experience
NBC: Marco Rubio Reduces Ad Buy in New Hampshire, South Carolina (Probably found cheaper rates elsewhere)
Concord Monitor: Clinton is Democrats’ best choice
Boston Globe: Hillary Clinton deserves Democratic nomination
The Keene Sentinel: We endorse Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination for president
Politifact: Ted Cruz ridiculously says Blue Cross Blue Shield ‘cancelled’ all individual health plans in Texas
Washington Post: Bernie Sanders’s fiction-filled campaign

TWEET OF THE WEEK: This week’s tweet of the week goes to conservative author/CNN commentator S.E. Cupp, who tweeted this about Ben Carson:

https://twitter.com/secupp/status/692899685242023936

LAST BUT NOT LEAST: HOT TAKES VIDEO!

Have a great weekend. And don’t forget to caucus for Hillary Clinton on Monday if you’re in Iowa or this guy’s coming after you:

Justin Barasky
 @JustinBarasky |

Courtney Rice

@Court_Rice |

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