Rand Paul’s offering to “kiss and make up” with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie over a beer. But Christie’s not exactly jumping at the offer, saying he doesn’t “really have time for that.”
Paul said on Fox: "I think with Governor Christie it's gotten a little too personal, so we're ready to kiss and make up. I'm inviting him for a beer. Any time he would like to come down and sit down at the pub right around the corner from the Senate, we'll have a beer."
In response, Christie told a New Jersey radio station: "I'm running for re-election in New Jersey. I don't really have time for that at the moment. You know, if I find myself down in Washington, I'll certainly look him up. I don't suspect I'll be there anytime soon. I've got work to do here."
Roll Call: “House Democrats face a conundrum in 2014: They can’t run with the president, but they don’t want to run without his campaign organization either. On the surface, vulnerable Democrats in conservative districts will likely be aided by President Barack Obama’s absence from the ballot in 2014. But in some districts, Democrats will miss the president’s campaign organization and robust turnout operation.”
On the Senate side… “Senate Democrats’ campaign chief urged patience with the party’s recruitment progress as Republicans picked up a top challenger this week in a key race,” Roll Call writes. Said DSCC Chairman Michael Bennet: “Everyone wants the races to be jelled today. They’re not, and they never are.”
NBC’s Jessica Taylor: At a briefing with reporters Wednesday, DSCC Chairman Michael Bennet acknowledged that the Democrats had a difficult task in defending seats in 2014 – opening with a slide titled “The Hand We Were Dealt” – but reminded that Republicans had been favored in past elections and lost very winnable races before – in Nevada and Delaware in 2010, and in Indiana and Missouri in 2012. He said they’re still “actively recruiting” candidates in South Dakota, Montana and West Virginia – all Democratic-held open seats in red states that the party must now defend and hasn’t had recruiting success so far. Republicans have a thin bench in Montana too, and Rep. Steve Daines, the most likely candidate, hasn’t made his bid official yet.
Arguing that the fields weren’t set in those open seat contests yet and refusing to write them off, Bennet said the majority would be won or lost in North Carolina, against first term Democrat Kay Hagan; in Louisiana against Democrat Mary Landrieu; in Alaska against Democra Mark Begich; in Arkansas, where Democrat Mark Pryor is about to get a top challenger in Rep. Tom Cotton, and in Georgia’s open seat contest and Kentucky against Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
The Hill: “Republican Govs. Bobby Jindal (La.), Rick Perry (Texas) and Scott Walker (Wis.) will travel to early primary state South Carolina in August to help fundraise for Gov. Nikki Haley (R-S.C.) who could be facing a tough reelection fight.
Walker, Jindal, and Perry will be ‘special guests’ at a fundraiser for Haley in Greenville, S.C. on Aug. 26.”
ARKANSAS: AP: “Arkansas Republican Rep. Tom Cotton plans to announce his bid next week to challenge two-term incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor in next year’s elections, according to a person familiar with the congressman’s plans. … The freshman congressman has scheduled an event Tuesday with supporters in his hometown of Dardanelle.”
CALIFORNIA: Former Mayor Jerry Sanders, the man who preceded Bob Filner, told the San Diego Union-Tribune: “I don’t care if it’s a recall. I don’t care if it’s a resignation. It’s simply paralyzed (San Diego) right now and the city can’t tolerate that. He’s got to go.”
KENTUCKY: USA Today looks at how Rand Paul’s support for Mitch McConnell over a Tea Party-backed primary opponent is putting him in a tough spot: “The Paul-McConnell alliance doesn't sit well with many in Paul's tea party base because they see Paul's endorsement of McConnell as turning his back on the anti-establishment principles on which his campaign was based.”
MASSACHUSETTS: Ed Markey (D) far outspent Gabriel Gomez (R) in the special election for the Senate. “Through Election Day, June 25, Markey spent $10.7 million, far outpacing Gomez, a Republican, who spent just under $3.8 million in his effort, according to the Federal Election Commission,” the Boston Globe reports.
NEW YORK: The latest in the Weiner saga… “Anthony Weiner doesn’t care what Eliot Spitzer has to say about him, but he really wants to clear the air with the Clintons,” the New York Daily News writes. “After being asked if the Clintons could persuade him to leave the mayor’s race, Weiner on Monday had said that he wasn’t ‘terribly interested in what people who are not voters in the City of New York have to say.’ A day later he took a more contrite tone. ‘There was no intent to disrespect,’ he insisted, saying he had ‘enormous respect’ for the couple. ‘They’ve been enormous friends to my wife and my family,’ said Weiner at a Bronx small business forum for mayoral candidates. ‘But what I've been trying to make clear is that what is important to me in this race is the ideas that animated me to run.’”
And he’s not firing his communications director, who delivered “a profanity-laced rant on Tuesday” about a former intern on the campaign to a reporter.
VIRGINIA: “There are some bells you can’t unring.” First Read DMV: “Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli says he's glad Gov. Bob McDonnell is returning all the gifts he received from a major political donor. But he has no plans to repay the more than $18,000 in gifts he received from the same benefactor. Cuccinelli told reporters Wednesday that Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams didn't give him the kind of gifts that can be returned. Among the gifts from Williams listed in Cuccinelli's financial disclosure statements are a $1,500 catered Thanksgiving dinner, private jet trips and vacation lodging. Cuccinelli said, ‘There are some bells you can't unring.'”
Cuccinelli “gubernatorial campaign released two Internet video ads Wednesday that use Terry McAuliffe’s memoir to try to prove he is insensitive to women and a quid-pro-quo politician,” the Washington Post writes. “The ads, which the Republican’s campaign is paying to pop up on Web sites in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads, are based on a 2007 book by the prodigious fund-raiser and longtime friend of Bill and Hillary Clinton, ‘What A Party!: My Life Among Democrats: Presidents, Candidates, Donors, Activists, Alligators, and Other Wild Animals.’ … One of the ads, titled “Terry’s Woman Problem,” shows the former Democratic National Committee chairman chuckling in an interview over how he left his crying wife and newborn son in the car on the way home from the hospital so he could stop at a fund-raiser. The 80-second spot also features McAuliffe reading that account for the audio version of his book.”
Cuccinelli release: “Unlike Terry McAuliffe, whose positions on energy issues can only be called consistent in their political expedience, Attorney General Cuccinelli is a reliable advocate for Virginia’s coal communities and the development of offshore energy to fuel Virginia’s future.”
The Roanoke Times scolds both candidates: “We can only hope that by the time the summer ends, Cuccinelli and McAuliffe will offer voters something more than attacks and gimmicks. … The voters of Southwest and Southside Virginia deserve more in this election than silly web videos and overwrought press releases. Either Cuccinelli or McAuliffe will be Virginia’s next governor. It’s about time for them to run campaigns worthy of the title.”