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Republicans are running against Hillary Clinton — again

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A new spot for Rep. Evan Jenkins, one of the Republicans challenging Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin in West Virginia, opens with recent comments Clinton made at a conference halfway around the world. President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, she said last month in Mumbai, India, was all about looking “backwards,” while she won big cities and other places that are “optimistic, diverse, dynamic, moving forward.”

It was a line guaranteed to strike a sour note in West Virginia, which voted for Trump over Clinton by more than 40 points.

“It’s Hillary who’s got it backwards,” Jenkins says in the ad as undated images of urban riots flash on screen. “The big cities she won are the places flooding our state with heroin — where lawlessness, looting and liberalism rule.”

In Missouri, Republican Attorney General Josh Hawley, who is running against Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, is airing an ad that shows a long clip of Clinton’s “backwards” comments before concluding, “This is what Claire McCaskill and her ‘president’ think of you.”

And a new digital ad from the National Republican Senatorial Committee opens by telling viewers Clinton “called you deplorable,” adding that “Florida won’t forget” Sen. Bill Nelson’s 2016 endorsement of her White House bid. It’s one of several state-specific spots being released by the GOP’s Senate campaign arm that ties vulnerable Senate Democratic incumbents to their party’s most recent presidential nominee.

Rick Wilson, a Florida-based Republican strategist and ad-maker, said the GOP’s strategic bet is that shifting the focus back to Clinton “lets Republicans and Donald Trump pretend like the 2016 campaign is still going on.”

“If I were advising Hillary Clinton,” he added, “I would raise a gigantic s— ton of money for people and stay out of the news.”

Whatever Clinton does, that’s unlikely to happen in at least one corner of the media: Conservative news outlets have never stopped covering her with election-year intensity.

Some 17 months after Election Day 2016, Fox News is still devotes roughly equal time to Trump and Clinton, according to an analysis by the liberal media watchdog Media Matters — despite the fact that one is now a private citizen, and the other president of the United States.

Red-state Democrats run for cover

Democratic campaign officials say the GOP’s throw-back message reflects the lack of an effective new one in what promises to be a tough year for Republicans.

But candidates on the receiving end of the Clinton attacks aren’t dismissing their potential potency. Some are laying low, avoiding the issue entirely: Of half a dozen red state Senate Democrats asked to comment for this article, only one responded for the record.

That lawmaker, Sen. Joe Donnelly of Indiana, a Trump-state Democrat facing a bumpy road to re-election, replied to NBC’s question about what he thought Clinton’s 2018 role should be with a statement that didn’t mention her and said the midterms weren’t about “rehashing the tired political arguments of past elections.”

Nelson, who’s expected to face Florida GOP Gov. Rick Scott in November, avoided giving The Tampa Bay Times a direct response about whether he would campaign with Clinton. “I’m not going to answer that,” he told the paper. “Obviously when she was a candidate, I campaigned with her. That’s like you asking me, ‘Would I campaign with Robert Redford?’ … We’ll take that up when we get there.”

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Nigel Farage issues stern warning to Boris Johnson – 'You need to sack them!'

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NIGEL FARAGE has issued Boris Johnson a stern warning about his cabinet as he told the Prime Minister to “sack a few people”.

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A Mark Kelly win in Ariz. Senate race could spoil McConnell’s plans to replace Ginsburg

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WASHINGTON — Arizona’s critical Senate race has suddenly taken on extra weight since Democrat Mark Kelly could potentially be sworn in early enough to vote on a replacement for the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg if he wins.

Kelly, a former astronaut and the husband of ex-Rep. Gabby Giffords, is favored to prevail over appointed Republican Sen. Martha McSally. And Arizona law indicates he could be sworn in by Nov. 30, during the lame-duck session of Congress when Republicans may try to push through a Ginsburg replacement if they are unable to do so before the election.

That could potentially narrow Senate Republicans’ current 53-to-47 majority as they rush to fill the vacancy on the high court before January when a new Congress and possibly new president will be sworn in. Right now, four Senate Republicans would have to defect to block an appointment, but if Kelly is in office, then only three would need to bolt. And all eyes are currently focused on three possible GOP defections — Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Mitt Romney of Utah.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has already vowed to move ahead with a vote on President Donald Trump’s yet-to-be-named nominee and McSally is on board with the plan.

“This U.S. Senate should vote on President Trump’s next nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court,” the Republican former fighter pilot said on Twitter Friday. She also praised Ginsburg as someone who “broke barriers for all women.”

The Arizona race, while occurring on Election Day Nov. 3, is technically a special election to fill the seat vacated by the late Republican Sen. John McCain. McSally was appointed to fill the seat until the election, and lawyers from both parties told the Arizona Republic the winner of that election could be sworn in early under state law.

It’s unclear, however, if McConnell or Arizona GOP Gov. Doug Ducey could delay Kelly’s induction to the Senate.

“Justice Ginsburg dedicated her life to making our country more just,” Kelly said on Twitter. “She fought cancer with the same ferocity she fought for civil rights and left a legacy that impacted women’s rights and equal protection under the law — she will continue to be a role model for so many.”

Kelly has outraised McSally $46 million to $30 million and both campaigns are now likely to be inundated with a flood of money.

Progressives exhorted their followers on Twitter to open their wallets for Kelly and give as much as possible, while liberal and conservative groups have already started running ads to try to influence the outcome in Arizona and other critical Senate races.

A recent New York Times/Sienna College poll showed Kelly leading 50-42 percent, while a Monmouth University poll showed a narrower lead for Kelly of 50-46 percent among likely voters.

“This race was already as high stakes as it could possibly get,” said Andy Barr, a Democratic strategist with the firm Saguaro Strategies, which works in Arizona. “It was already going to potentially determine the majority of the Senate. It was already going to potentially determine the success or failure of the next Supreme Court nominee. And Joe Biden needs Mark Kelly to do well to help him win the state.”

Both presidential campaigns are competing vigorously for Arizona — Vice President Mike Pence visited the state Friday — and Barr said the airwaves are already approaching saturation with political ads.

“It might be that it’s just not even possible to buy a television ad in Arizona in October,” he said.



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Scotland flag row: Campaign to fly Commonwealth flag rather than EU’s SHUT DOWN

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A CAMPAIGN to take down EU flags outside buildings owned by the Scottish Government because of Brexit – and replace them with Commonwealth ones – has failed.

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