- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Democratic presidential candidates may want to trim their lofty sound bites into flavorful tasty bits.

“Politicians tend to be long-winded, but brevity will be the name of the game on the crowded stage in the first Democratic presidential debate in Miami on Wednesday and Thursday. Candidates will have 60 seconds to answer questions and 30 seconds to respond to follow-ups. And there will be no opening statements, though candidates will have a chance to deliver closing remarks,” advises Alex Seitz-Wald, a political reporter for host network NBC.

“The two-hour debates will zip by quickly, with five segments each night separated by four commercial breaks,” she adds.


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Predictions about the event have already arrived.

“Democratic bigwigs fear debates will devolve into horror show,” noted Politico, while veteran liberal commentator Bill Press warned that the debate would turn into a “circular firing squad” among rival Democrats.



Former White House adviser Corey Lewandowski had his own equation for the event in a Fox News op-ed.

“Here come the Democratic debate: 20 candidates, 2 nights, 1 giant mess,” he said.

“Who thinks the debates just won’t be the same without Donna Brazile working on them behind the scenes?” investigative broadcast journalist Sharyl Attkisson asked in a tweet — recalling the days when the former Democratic National Committee chair revealed the contents of a Democratic debate question to then-candidate Hillary Clinton.

Is America interested in all this? Uh, perhaps not. A new Politico/Morning Consult poll finds that 46% of all voters say they are not particularly “motivated” to watch the event — and that includes 25% of Democrats. More numbers in the Poll du Jour at column’s end.

SCALISE CUTS TO THE CHASE

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise has had it with the fancy footwork across the aisle — and delivers a reminder for Speaker Nancy Pelosi regarding the 300 child migrants who arrive daily at the southern border with nowhere to go.

“It’s time for Speaker Pelosi to stop playing political games with these young kids that are coming across our border,” Mr. Scalise told his peers on the House floor Tuesday.

“You’ve got Border Patrol agents right now that are spending their money, out of their own pockets, to buy diapers for these young kids because the agency is out of money. And Speaker Pelosi won’t bring a bill to the floor to address this crisis? Stop playing games,” the Louisiana Republican continued.

“You might have disagreements with the president. We’re not even talking about the broader issue of solving this problem and ending the magnet that’s bringing these kids here illegally or the asylum loopholes that everybody knows are a problem,” Mr. Scalise said.

“We’re talking about the humanitarian crisis. Just the basic money to take care of these young kids who are coming over every single day. The agency will go into shutdown next week if they don’t solve the problem now — not with a partisan bill that they know will get vetoed.

THE YOUNG AND REALLY RESTLESS

An event of note on Wednesday: “Panic Attack: Young Radicals in the Age of Trump” by Robby Soave, associate editor of Reason, will be the topic of discussion at a live event in the nation’s capital.

“For young progressive activists, the election wasn’t just a surprise or disappointment: it was a declaration of war, an act of outright violence, a hate crime,” Mr. Soave writes.

On hand for the event; Jane Coaston, senior politics reporter for Vox; and Greg Lukianoff, president and CEO of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. The moderator is Jason Kuznicki, editor of Cato Books.

“Although these budding radicals are politically inexperienced and often poorly organized, they have already redrawn the lines of political debate around speech and censorship,” the organizers say.

Watch the 90-minute discussion at 12 p.m. EDT via Cato.org.

TRUMP’S FAITH COMMITMENT

As he has for the past three years, President Trump will appear at the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s annual “Road to Majority” conference, which opens Wednesday in the nation’s capital.

The three-day event is expected to draw more than 2,000 grassroots activists intent on mobilizing voters of faith and ultimately bringing a pro-family majority to Washington. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell; Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson; Republican Sens. David Purdue of Georgia, Ted Cruz of Texas, and Rand Paul of Kentucky; plus House Minority Whip Steve Scalise are among the many scheduled speakers.

“On the key issue priorities of the faith community, President Trump has delivered on his promises, including the confirmation of two Supreme Court Justices and over 100 lower court judges, protecting the sanctity of unborn life, defending religious freedom, passing historic criminal justice reform and supporting the state of Israel,” says Ralph Reed, chairman of the 1.8 million member organization.

The president, Mr. Reed says, will receive “an enthusiastic welcome from thousands of Faith & Freedom activists.”

“This will be our largest policy conference ever by attendance,” notes Tim Head, executive director of the group.

FOXIFIED

For the 24th week in row, Fox News Channel remains the most-watched cable network, trumping the competition, whether it is HGTV, ESPN, MSNBC or CNN, according to Nielsen ratings. And speaking of news rivals, Fox News remains the most popular cable news channel, as it has for more than 17 years straight: Fox News draws 2.6 million prime-time viewers, MSNBC 1.5 million and CNN 853,000. In addition, Fox garnered 5 million viewers during President Trump’s 2020 campaign launch last week.

Fox Business Network, meanwhile, delivered the top three programs on business television: “Lou Dobbs Tonight,” “Varney & Co” and “Trish Regan Primetime.”

POLL DU JOUR

28% of voters say they are “not motivated at all” to watch to Democratic presidential debates; 48% of Republicans, 29% of independents and 10% of Democrats agree.

28 % say they are “somewhat motivated” to watch; 21% of Republicans, 28% of independents and 34% of Democrats agree.

21% say they are “very motivated”; 9% of Republicans, 13% of independents and 38% of Democrats agree.

18% say they are “not very motivated”; 19% of Republicans, 20% of independents and 15% of Democrats agree.

5% are undecided; 4% of Republicans, 10% of independents and 3% of Democrats agree.

Source: A Politico/Morning Consult poll of 1,991 registered U.S. voters conducted June 21-24.

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