--CLINTON DEFENDS DAUGHTER’S ATTACKS AGAINST BERNIE SANDERS: Hillary Clinton this morning defended her daughter’s attacks against her Democratic challenger Bernie Sanders’ single-payer health care plan, despite criticism the remark was inaccurate. “You know, I adore my daughter and I know what she was saying,” Clinton told ABC’s GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS on “Good Morning America” about Chelsea Clinton. “Because if you look at Senator Sanders’ proposals going back nine times in the Congress, that’s exactly what he’s proposed. To take everything we currently know as health care, Medicare, Medicaid, the CHIP Program, private insurance, now of the Affordable Care Act, and roll it together.” Chelsea Clinton yesterday joined in on her mother’s jabs against Sanders, saying during a campaign event in New Hampshire that the Vermont senator wants to “dismantle Obamacare, dismantle the CHIP program, dismantle Medicare and private insurance.” The Sanders campaign responded by saying that Chelsea Clinton was “wrong.” “A Medicare-for-all plan will save the average middle class family $5,000 a year,” a spokesman for Sanders’ campaign said. “The Clinton campaign is wrong.” ABC’s LIZ KREUTZ has more: http://abcn.ws/1Q4UsiX
--BACKSTORY: Until now, Chelsea Clinton has shied away from directly naming Sanders in her speeches, ABC’s MATTHEW CLAIBORNE notes. Yesterday she also said she believes her mother has a “more robust" record on health care than anyone else in the race. The Clinton campaign has said that Chelsea Clinton will continue stumping for her mother on the campaign trail. She will join her father, former President Bill Clinton, in Iowa for a joint campaign event this weekend. http://abcn.ws/1OgEmjP
--CRUZ AND CHRISTIE GAIN IN POPULARITY AS TRUMP, CARSON AND BUSH STUMBLE: Ted Cruz has reached top-rank popularity among Republicans and Chris Christie’s favorability rating is most improved in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, while Donald Trump, Ben Carson and Jeb Bush all have stumbled in the battle for GOP hearts and minds, ABC’s GARY LANGER and GREGORY HOLYK write. On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton continues to far surpass Bernie Sanders in favorability among party regulars, and she’s vastly more popular within the Democratic Party than are any of the Republican candidates within the GOP base. Still, gender and racial gaps mark Clinton’s standings, and Sanders pushes back among young adults, independents and the better-off. Movement is greatest among Republicans. Trump’s favorability rating within the GOP has dropped by 12 percentage points, from a high of 69 percent in November to 57 percent now; the decline has occurred almost exclusively among Republican women. Cruz, +7 points to 60 percent favorable, is +13 points among strong conservatives overall, a core GOP group; 76 percent now rate him favorably. http://abcn.ws/1Q3ts3q
--ANALYSIS -- ABC’s RICK KLEIN: As surely as it’s President Obama’s Democratic Party until it won’t be, it’s Paul Ryan’s Republican party until it can’t be any longer. The new House speaker made that clear in Obama’s last State of the Union and Ryan’s first as speaker, new poker (and beardless) face and all. Ryan’s choice of South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley to deliver the GOP response was borne out by a strong national-debut speech that, notably, took on Donald Trump-style rhetoric (“angriest voices”) as strongly as it did Obama-style policy. And Ryan took a stand of his own by applauding the president’s call to reject “any politics that targets people because of race or religion” – another clear Trump reference. Coming from Ryan, this is more than the establishment trying to rid itself of Trump. It’s a vision of a future of the GOP, in a House chamber with a different vibe than it had just a few months ago.
DISPATCH FROM ABC’s IOWA CAUCUS BUREAU with ABC’s JOSH HASKELL: It was a busy day in freezing Iowa Tuesday where I covered Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump who many thought, just over a month ago, had the Iowa Caucuses nearly rapped-up. But, with 19 days to go that couldn’t be farther from the truth. A fiery Hillary Clinton hit Bernie Sanders on guns, healthcare, and Wall Street saying “now if that’s the kind of revolution he is talking about, I am worried folks.” And Donald Trump continued his attacks on Cruz’s opposition to ethanol subsidies and whether he can be President because he was born in Canada. “You know, a lot of people say that natural born means you have to be born to the land, and you know, on the land in this country, so you know, we have to see,” Trump told 1300 in Cedar Falls. There’s no doubt we’re in for an unpredictable ride as nothing is inevitable and nobody is safe.
TODAY ON THE TRAIL with ABC’s SHUSHANNAH WALSHE: Donald Trump holds a rally in Pensacola, Florida tonight at 7PM Eastern. Tomorrow is the next GOP debate in Charleston and several candidates will be in South Carolina today, including Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, John Kasich, and Mike Huckabee. Cruz holds a 6pm rally tonight in Dorchester while Rubio holds a noon rally in Mt. Pleasant. Kasich has an afternoon meet and greet in Charleston. Huckabee will also stop in Charleston this afternoon. Jeb Bush and Carly Fiorina are in Iowa. Bush stops by the Conservative Breakfast Club in the Des Moines suburb of Urbandale this morning. Fiorina will meet with the Des Moines Register Ed Board this morning. Bill Clinton campaigns for his wife in New Hampshire. Chris Christie is also in the state holding three events. Rand Paul, who is boycotting tomorrow’s debate, will appear on the Daily Show with Trevor Noah tonight.
YESTERDAY ON THE TRAIL with ABC's VERONICA STRACQUALURSI and PAOLA CHAVEZ
DONALD TRUMP: PRESIDENT OBAMA’S STATE OF THE UNION WAS ‘REALLY BORING.’ Republican frontrunner Donald Trump summed up his response to President Obama's final State of the Union address with a 140 character tweet -- calling the president's speech “really boring.” Trump wasn’t the only Republican presidential candidate to bash the president’s speech, according to ABC’s JORDYN PHELPS. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who opted to skip the speech and instead held his own State of the Union-themed campaign event, also took to Twitter with a scathing review of the presidential address. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who decided not to attend the president’s address, expressed his relief at not being in attendance. http://abcn.ws/1W5L4vW
2016 STATE OF THE UNION IN UNDER TWO MINUTES. Miss President Obama’s State of the Union address? Watch all the big moments here: abcn.ws/1OhlZvb
ANALYSIS: PRESIDENT OBAMA SEEKS TO PUT HIS LEGACY ON 2016 BALLOT. President Obama used a political spotlight he may never command to the same degree again to bring the nation’s focus to his legacy -– with a hope of reclaiming a spirit he long ago saw vanish. Coming at a moment of national angst and anger, with a loud campaign raging to replace him, the president used his final State of the Union address to remind the nation of his achievements, even if many of those are less than popular. He was calm in comparison to the overheated politics outside the House chamber, ABC’s RICK KLEIN writes. One of his last big speeches as president, though, will go down not for its unifying tones but for the challenges he offered for Americans to join him in his vision all over again, for posterity’s sake. http://abcn.ws/1N6mnZi
NEW POLL SHOWS CLINTON’S NATIONAL LEAD AT NARROWEST YET. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's national lead over rival Bernie Sanders has dwindled to just 7 percentage points, according to a new CBS News/New York Times poll released Tuesday. The new numbers come as the Vermont senator claims his first slim lead in the crucial state of Iowa and extends his lead in New Hampshire -- posing a threat to the Democratic frontrunner in the two first crucial contests. The former Secretary of State's national lead has narrowed from 20 points in the same poll in early December. Earlier on Tuesday, a Quinnipiac poll showed Sanders leading Clinton for the first time in the Hawkeye state. ABC’s RYAN STRUYK and VERONICA STRACQUALURSI have more. http://abcn.ws/1ngS6lR
HILLARY CLINTON SHARPENS ATTACKS ON BERNIE SANDERS, 'WORRIED' ABOUT HIS 'REVOLUTION'. A day after Hillary Clinton called for a "spirited debate" with Bernie Sanders, Clinton sharpened her attacks in Iowa Tuesday just as a new poll was released showing the Vermont senator ahead in the Hawkeye State. Discussing their differences on health care, guns and Wall Street, Clinton said "now if that’s the kind of revolution he is talking about, I am worried folks." During the event in Ames in which Clinton was endorsed by the Brady Campaign, Clinton called Sanders out for voting against the Brady Bill five times. ABC’S JOSH HASKELL has more. http://abcn.ws/1SMScxv
CHRIS CHRISTIE BLAMES HIS SPOKESMAN FOR ‘MISQUOTE’ ABOUT PLANNED PARENTHOOD. Denying that he ever donated money to Planned Parenthood, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Tuesday that he is certain that a quote of him saying he did donate to the group in 1994 is a “misquote.” “Listen, this is a quote from 21 years ago. I’m convinced it was a misquote,” Christie told the Washington Post in an interview Tuesday. The only problem with Christie blaming the journalist for getting the story wrong is that the journalist to blame for the alleged misquote now works for him, ABC’s JORDYN PHELPS notes. Brian Murray, who wrote the 1994 story while working as a journalist for the Star-Ledger, now works as the governor’s press spokesman. http://abcn.ws/1RKAvxP
NOTED: CHRISTIE ANNOUNCES CLOSING NEW JERSEY PRISON TO BECOME DRUG TREATMENT FACILITY. It may not have been a campaign speech, but the overtures of Chris Christie’s 6th State of the State address Tuesday were easily transferable to the New Jersey governor’s presidential bid. The biggest announcement of Christie’s address came on the same issue that has been instrumental in reviving his presidential campaign, especially in New Hampshire: the drug epidemic. Christie announced that a closing state prison will be transformed into a drug abuse treatment facility for prison inmates, ABC’s JORDYN PHELPS reports. http://abcn.ws/1OZUJVr
@ArletteSaenz: WH Chief of Staff Denis McDonough said @POTUS is prepared to take "audacious executive action" in 2016
@carenbohan: Trump wasn't in the room for Obama’s State of the Union but he held center of attention nonetheless @jamesoliphant http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-obama-politics-trump-idUSKCN0UR0LF20160113 …
@maggieNYT: Once upon a time, Jeb advisers would have been horrified if reporters wrote about/asked about his daughter's addiction history
@mowers: When you have protestors from your GOP opponents and the NH Dems then you must be doing well.