Good morning and welcome back to Friday Hot Takes 2016 — the year we elect Hillary Clinton President of the United States! We hope you enjoyed the holidays because over the last few weeks it doesn’t seem like the GOP field did, and this week didn’t get any better for them. To the week that was…

BEGUN, THE GOP PRIMARY WARS HAVE. It is a dark time for the GOP field. As Jonathan Martin reported “Some Christmas trees may still remain up, but the already contentious Republican presidential campaign is on the verge of entering a new phase, decidedly lacking in the holiday spirit.” Consider the new phase entered. It was almost hard to keep up with Christie hitting Rubio, Rubio hitting Cruz, Kasich hitting Rubio, Jeb hitting Christie, etc. In fact, it was enough to make you sit back and open a big bag of popcorn.

MSNBC: GOP establishment race gets ugly

New York Times: G.O.P. Presidential Hopefuls Gird for a Month of Mud-Flinging

New York Times: Chris Christie Says Hillary Clinton Would Cut Marco Rubio’s ‘Heart Out’

Tampa Bay Times: John Kasich says GOP has ‘amnesia’ in elevating Marco Rubio
Politico: Rubio tears into Cruz, Paul as he pledges to take on ISIL

Politico: Cruz and Rubio collide over foreign policy

Politico: Pro-Rubio super PAC aims attack ads at Christie

NBC: Knives Out: Establishment GOP Takes Fight to NH Airwaves

National Journal: Kasich’s Super PAC Attacks Christie in New Hampshire Mailer

Washington Post: In interview, Jeb Bush hits Chris Christie’s fiscal record

Bloomberg: Republicans Get Nasty in New Hampshire With Even Boots Fair Game

Washington Post: Cruz super PACs portray Rubio as a distracted, fantasy-football devotee

TRUMP’S FIRST TV AD DOESN’T DISAPPOINT. At this point nothing Trump says or does is surprising, and his first television ad was more of what we’ve come to expect from the GOP frontrunner. The Washington Post reports ‘the narrator, a deep-voiced man, speaks ominously: “That’s why he’s calling for a temporary shutdown of Muslims entering the United States, until we can figure out what’s going on.”’ Classic Trump right? But that’s not the only tried and true Trump staple that appeared in his spot…he also included a massive factual error when he claimed to show migrants at the southern border…except the footage showed Morocco. Politifact gave him a Pants On Fire.

Of course, Trump’s campaign said they did it on purpose. What do you think?

OUR TAKE: Donald Trump’s new ad is more of the same disgusting and offensive demagoguery we’ve come to expect from the GOP frontrunner, but even in a new year the Republican field is giving us the same old refusal to disavow their pledge to support him if he’s the nominee. The political cowardice by Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and the rest of the GOP field is breathtaking. Why would anyone believe you’re strong enough to lead America when you can’t even stand up to Donald Trump?

MO’ MONEY, MO’ PROBLEMS FOR MARCO RUBIO. Marco Rubio probably would have preferred if his pricy high-heels were the biggest distraction of the week for him, but once more he was plagued with credit card scandal stories and blatant hypocrisy when it comes to finances. First, Politico reported that “after spending most of 2015 bragging about his thriftiness when it came to flying commercial and coach, Marco Rubio quietly has been using a private jet almost exclusively for his campaign travel for nearly two months and plans to continue to do so through the primaries.”

MO PROBLEMS. Then a National Journal report revealed that “despite the campaign’s suggestions that all of his credit card statements are now open to inspection, two months’ worth are not — the two biggest spending months, as it turns out. Rubio’s charges between mid-October and mid December 2006 totaled $25,481, according to a National Journal review of the billing state­ments that are avail­able and the Rubio campaign’s $182,073 tally of his total spending over the four years. The dark period also includes Rubio’s single biggest personal expense on his party card, a $10,000 family reunion that he later said was charged by mistake.”

Politico: Rubio ditches thrift and flies private jets almost exclusively

National Journal: Rubio’s Campaign Says All of His GOP Credit-Card Spending Is Now Open to Inspection. That’s Not True.

National Journal: 5 Unanswered Questions About Marco Rubio’s GOP Credit Card

PRIORITIES USA LAUNCHES NEW WEB AD: “WRONG ON NATIONAL SECURITY.” First reported in Politico, Priorities USA “launched a new web video today contrasting clips from remarks on national security by Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio with one of Clinton’s speeches.” Watch below!

POLL VAULTING: More good news for Donald Trump, and Ted Cruz emerges as the current GOP runner-up while Hillary maintains her lead on the Democratic side.


Wall Street Journal: Chris Christie’s Absences From New Jersey Are Being Noticed

Buzzfeed: Jeb Bush Has “Mistaken And Conflated” Story About Receiving NRA Award, Campaign Admits (Is Jeb even trying?)

CNN: Ben Carson campaign Chairman Robert Dees decries ‘social engineering’ with gays, women in military (Remember Ben Carson?)

New York Times: Planned Parenthood, in Its First Primary Endorsement, Backs Hillary Clinton

The Daily Beast: The Media Are Bored, but Below the Radar, Clinton Is Connecting

Boston Herald: Hillary Clinton hails economy boost for everybody

Bloomberg: Clinton’s Shrewd Plan to Stop Inversions

The Guardian: Hillary Clinton’s autism platform is transformational and empowering

Huffington Post: Chris Christie’s Million-Dollar Problem

Washington Post: Marco Rubio, angry young man

Washington Post: Marco Rubio’s claim that Obama wants to ‘take away our guns’ (Another day, another Rubio lie)

TWEET OF THE WEEK: This week’s tweet of the week goes to the Huffington Post’s Igor Bobic who after this, doesn’t have to delete his account.

AND OF COURSE…HOT TAKES VIDEO 2016 DEBUT! Check out the very first HOT TAKES VIDEO of 2016!

Have a great weekend.

Justin Barasky
 @JustinBarasky |

Courtney Rice

@Court_Rice |

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