At the Races

President Trump can’t stop slamming his reelection campaign team
Stump speech’s syrupy ending is ‘getting a little obsolete,’ gripes candidate in chief

President Donald Trump concludes a rally at the Williamsport Regional Airport in Montoursville, Pa., on May 20. At its still-sunny start, he questioned why his staff had the stage lights turned to such a bright setting - and he just keeps publicly bashing them. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

ANALYSIS — First, it was the lights. Next, it was the price of — perceived — bad advice. And Wednesday night, it was the months-old end to his canned campaign stump speech.

President Donald Trump, the New York-based real estate executive whose penchant for delegating has faded since taking office, isn’t exactly hiding his annoyance with his reelection campaign advisers.

GOP campaign chairman: There's ‘no place’ for ‘send her back’ chant
Tom Emmer slams ‘the squad’ as socialists, but says ‘send her back’ chant at Trump rally went too far

Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn., leads the NRCC. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The National Republican Congressional Committee chairman said it was not acceptable that the crowd at President Donald Trump’s rally Wednesday chanted “send her back” about a Muslim congresswoman who was born in Somalia.

But Rep. Tom Emmer declined on Thursday to say whether Trump’s rhetoric could damage GOP efforts to win back the House next year. He also said Republicans were unprepared for health care attacks last year, but next year will be focus on the impact of Democrats’ calls to expand Medicare to cover more people.

With racist tweets and comments, Trump signals bare-knuckle reelection fight
“He’s willing to go as far as he wants and needs,” GOP strategist says

President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media over the roar of Marine One's engines on the South Lawn of the White House on Friday. (Photo by Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

“Quiet! Quiet! Quiet! Quiet!” With those four words, President Donald Trump threw onto the 2020 canvas the political boxing gloves he ripped off Sunday with two racist tweets.

An animated-then-aggressive Trump was demanding silence of a reporter, under an intense July sun during an impromptu Monday press conference. The reporter had agitated the president by asking if he was “OK” with people viewing his tweets about four Democratic freshmen — Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna S. Pressley of Massachusetts — as “racist.”

Sen. Amy Klobuchar lays out 100 actions for first 100 days if she wins White House
Minnesota Democrat would undo Trump actions on environment, go further than Obama on wages

Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota used an appearance at the National Press Club to  outline both “sprints” and marathon efforts her administration would undertake if she won the presidency. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Laying out 100 actions she would take in the first 100 days if she were elected president, Sen. Amy Klobuchar pledged Tuesday to reverse President Donald Trump’s rollback of environmental agreements and regulations and go further than former President Barack Obama in battling high drug prices and raising federal contractors’ wages.

“On day one, we will get back into the International Climate Change Agreement and restore the Clean Power Plan and work to bring back the gas mileage standards. Those are things you can do without passing a law,” Klobuchar said at the National Press Club.

Targeted House members boost fundraising, as Democrats’ dominance continues
On average, targeted Democrats raised $100,000 more than targeted GOP members

California Rep. Katie Porter raised the most of any Democratic lawmaker whom Republicans are targeting in 2020. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Targeted House members in both parties generally improved their second-quarter fundraising compared to the same period two years ago, but Democrats continued to outpace their Republican counterparts as they worked to protect their majority.

The fundraising reports, which cover the three-month period of April through June and were filed on Monday, will likely quiet questions about whether the wave of cash that bolstered Team Blue in the midterms would return for Democratic lawmakers facing tough reelections in 2020. 

Mark Sanford considering primary challenge to Donald Trump
Sanford lost his primary in 2018 after Trump came out against him

Former Rep. Mark Sanford is considering a run for president. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former South Carolina Rep. Mark Sanford, who lost in a 2018 Republican primary after President Donald Trump endorsed his opponent, is contemplating challenging the president.

Sanford will make his decision about running for president over the next month, he told the Charleston Post and Courier Tuesday. He said his goal is to drive a conversation about the national debt and government spending. 

When Kamala Harris lost on election night, but won three weeks later
Her nail-biting 2010 victory for California attorney general raised her national profile

Kamala Harris, here campaigning in Los Angeles in September 2010, came under fire in her race for state attorney for her record as San Francisco district attorney. (Jason Redmond/AP file photo)

This is the fourth installment in “Battle Tested,” a series analyzing early campaigns of some Democrats seeking the 2020 presidential nomination. Earlier pieces focused on Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Sen. Cory Booker and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

In November 2008, Kamala Harris was sprinting through Burbank airport with her campaign adviser, Ace Smith.

Health care continues to define, divide 2020 Democratic field
As candidates debate plans and GOP preps attacks, some early voters just tuning in

Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden said he would build on the 2010 health insurance overhaul enacted by President Barack Obama instead of creating a new system, a clear line of demarcation between him and several other Democrats running for the nomination. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Declaring that “starting over makes no sense,” former Vice President Joe Biden said Monday that he would build on Democrats’ signature 2010 health insurance overhaul and that plans offered by rivals for the presidential nomination would reverse gains made under President Barack Obama.

Biden released his plan ahead of a speech that Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont is to give Wednesday to promote a government-run “Medicare for All” system. It is the first of several forums hosted by AARP in Iowa, where 2020 hopefuls will talk about how to lower prescription drug prices.

Letters in Amy McGrath campaign launch video were postmarked the same day
Three-minute video announcing challenge to McConnell was titled ‘The Letter’ about her own unanswered plea

The campaign launch video for Amy McGrath included four Kentuckians writing letters to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. (Screenshot)

Kentucky Senate candidate Amy McGrath’s three-minute campaign launch  video retells her personal story of getting no answer to letters to members of Congress, then features four Kentuckians writing to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for help with personal crises.

The video implies that McConnell never responded, but it appears the letters were sent Tuesday, the same day that McGrath announced her bid for the Democratic nomination to challenge him. 

Trump endorses Hagerty in Tennessee Senate race
President’s early involvement could keep other Republicans out

President Donald Trump on Friday endorsed Bill Hagerty, his ambassador to Japan, for an open Senate seat in Tennessee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump on Friday tweeted his endorsement of Bill Hagerty, the U.S. ambassador to Japan, for the open Senate seat in Tennessee, likely limiting what could have been a crowded GOP field for the seat.  

Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander is not running for fourth term.

Lummis running for Senate in Wyoming, predicts ‘barn burner’ if Cheney runs too
Once the only female member of House Freedom Caucus, Lummis chose not to seek fifth term in 2016

Former Wyoming Rep. Cynthia Lummis is running for the Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 2:57 p.m. | Former Rep. Cynthia Lummis announced Thursday she is running for the open Senate seat in Wyoming, officially jumping into what could turn into a crowded Republican primary.

Longtime GOP incumbent Michael B. Enzi announced in May he would not run for re-election. Whoever wins the GOP primary would be the favorite to replace him given the state’s strong Republican lean.

Competitive Tennessee Senate primary likely after Haslam decision not to run
Hagerty and Kustoff could run, while Green and Black have passed on the race

Former Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam will not be running for Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam announced Wednesday he will sit out the race for Senate this cycle, teeing up a competitive Republican primary in the contest to succeed retiring GOP incumbent Lamar Alexander.

Haslam, 60, described his choice to forgo another bid for public office as “the hardest vocational decision of my life” in a letter published in The Tennessean

Amy McGrath walks back remarks on Kavanaugh confirmation
Kentucky Democrat is challenging Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in 2020

Amy McGrath is running for U.S. Senate in Kentucky.  (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 7:53 p.m. | Kentucky Democrat Amy McGrath reversed course Wednesday night on whether she would have voted for Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh, just a day after launching her campaign to unseat Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

McGrath tweeted that she would have voted against Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the high court, after saying in an interview with the Louisville Courier-Journal earlier in the day that she “probably would have voted for him.”

North Carolina gears up for competitive special election in 9th District
Voters in the 9th and 3rd districts head to polls on Sept. 10

Voters in two North Carolina districts head to the polls on Sept. 10, but only the race in the 9th District is expected to be competitive. (Courtesy Bishop for Congress and Jeff Siner/The Charlotte Observer/AP file photo)

With the Republican drama in North Carolina’s 3rd District primary runoff now settled, attention in the Tar Heel State shifts to the more competitive of the two House special elections to be held on Sept. 10. 

Voters in the 9th District will choose a new representative in a redo election of last fall’s contest, which was never certified because of ballot fraud connected to the GOP nominee’s campaign. 

End Citizens United names first 12 Republican targets for 2020
Liberal PAC is going after GOP incumbents in House and Senate

End Citizens United has named Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, left, and Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst, right, as two of initial targets for 2020. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

End Citizens United, a liberal PAC that was a major player in last year’s midterms, announced Wednesday its top targets for 2020. 

The initial list of targets, dubbed the “Big Money 20” and obtained first by CQ Roll Call, includes 12 Republican incumbents — five senators and seven House members.