By MICHAEL FALCONE (@michaelpfalcone)
- IN THE SHADOW OF OBAMACARE: Distaste for one of President Obama’s priorities seems to be offering a lifeline to a second, ABC’s JIM AVILA and SERENA MARSHALL note. One is already law; the other is working its way through Congress. One is Obamacare; the other, immigration reform. As Congress enjoys its remaining two weeks at home over the August recess, Obamacare is dominating the attention of Republican constituents, while immigration reform seems to have few riled up. Jenny Beth Martin, president and co-founder of Tea Party Patriots, said her group is interested in what she calls “amnesty” and the “IRS scandal,” but, “Our primary issues are the economy and government spending, and Obamacare.” http://abcn.ws/152XTPa
- UNDER PRESSURE: Meanwhile, pro-immigration groups are using the recess to mobilize nationwide, AVILA and MARSHALL note, pressuring Congress to support of comprehensive reform that includes a pathway to citizenship. Some of the pressure seems to be working. A number of Republicans have come forward in support of a pathway to citizenship: Reps. Daniel Webster of Florida, Aaron Schock of Illinois and David Reichert of Washington, as well as House GOP Whip Kevin McCarthy of California, who announced support for legal status but stopped just short of supporting full citizenship. There have been push-backs by the anti-immigration crowd too. A new commercial in Bakersfield, Calif., KBAK/KBFX reported, accuses Rep. McCarthy of favoring undocumented immigrants over American workers. In Corpus Christi, Texas, in early August, a group of pro-reform advocates were delivering a 10,000-signature petition to Rep. Blake Farenthold and a group of anti-reform advocates were protesting outside his office. http://abcn.ws/152XTPa
- TAKE COVER: The Senate’s immigration bill would add nearly 14,000 new jobs on average in each congressional district over the next decade, according to a new report, FUSION’s JORDAN FABIAN reports. The new analysis is from the center-right American Action Network (AAN), which backs an overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws. It’s being distributed to lawmakers’ offices as pro-reform groups seek to convince GOP congressmen to vote for immigration reform proposals this fall. District-by-district data is available through this web tool. No district would see fewer than 7,000 jobs created by 2023, and an average of 13,992 new jobs would be created in each. The figures were compiled using data from a Regional Economic Models, Inc. (REMI) study of economic data and new worker visas and a Congressional Budget Office report on the impact of the Senate bill. The figures could provide more cover for Republican House members who are considering backing reform. http://abcn.ws/1annZjC
ABC’s RICK KLEIN: Being Chris Christie sounds rarely boring, and perhaps a little dizzying. Bring on today, when Christie endorses and campaigns with Republican Senate nominee Steve Lonegan. Lonegan, as we know (and Christie knows), stands about zero chance of defeating Newark Mayor Cory Booker. And Christie has a closer relationship with Booker than with Lonegan – a relationship that benefits the governor in the long term, as he knows very well. This all comes just a day after the zigzagging of governing led Christie to sign a bill banning “gay conversion” therapy in his state. The conservative base needs no more reasons to be skeptical of Christie. That’s why today’s event is worth watching: How far does Christie go (or not go) in aligning himself with a candidate who could easily grab the wrong kind of headlines in the run-up to Christie’s own Election Day?
ABC’s SHUSHANNAH WALSHE: The Mitch McConnell campaign is out with a new ad today going after his conservative opponent, businessman Matt Bevin. The 30-second ad with a six figure buy, titled M.I.T., again calls him “Bail Out Bevin,” but focuses on a story in The Hill which revealed Bevin was claiming to be a graduate of M.I.T. on his LinkedIn profile when he actually just attended a short seminar there with no official ties to the school. The ad starts with the narrator saying, “Can you believe bail out Bevin on anything?” and goes on to say Bevin was “dishonest about his resume” and ends with the narrator intoning “Bailout Bevin, not a Kentucky conservative.” The Bevin campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but Bevin said in a recent interview with ABC News McConnell’s “desperation is so beneath the dignity of his office. What he is doing, his approach to getting reelected is beneath the dignity of” senate minority leader. WATCH: http://bit.ly/19uXkyq
WHAT WE’RE WATCHING
THE WHITE HOUSE’S LONGEST-SERVING BUTLER: FROM EISENHOWER TO OBAMA. Lee Daniels’ new movie, “The Butler,” shines a spotlight on the employees who serve the presidents and their families through the years, regardless of who wins an election. And in this episode of “Top Line,” ABC’s RICK KLEINsits down with one White House employee who has worked for every president since Dwight Eisenhower. William Hamilton, who recently retired from his job procuring groceries and other personal items for the first family after 55 years—making him the longest serving White House staff member ever—says he’ll never forget his first day on the job. “I went into the White House and my boss said, ‘Well, look, I want you to wait here.’ And this was in the Diplomatic Reception Room,” Hamilton says, not knowing at that time that the first family enters and exits through that room. But he soon learned when the White House’s chief usher came in and introduced himself to Hamilton. “He said, ‘Well, you can’t wait here. Mrs. Eisenhower’s coming through.’” Hamilton says with a laugh. “So, I had to move into the China Room because I didn’t know the first lady was coming through at the time.” http://yhoo.it/14XIqCw
BIDEN’S SON UNDERGOING MEDICAL EVALUATION IN HOUSTON. Beau Biden, son of Vice President Joe Biden, is undergoing medical evaluations in Houston, Texas after suffering from “disorientation and weakness” last week while on family vacation, the vice president’s office said in a statement Monday night, ABC’s ARLETTE SAENZ notes. The vice president traveled to Houston on Monday morning to be with his son and remains in Houston today. “This morning, the Vice President accompanied his son Beau Biden to Houston, Texas, where Beau is being evaluated to determine the cause of an episode of disorientation and weakness that he experienced while on vacation with his family last week,” the vice president’s office said in a statement Monday. Beau Biden first felt weak and disoriented while driving to Indiana for a family vacation on Wednesday and was admitted to Northwestern University Hospital. He traveled to Philadelphia the next day and was examined by his doctor there before spending the weekend at home in Wilmington. Biden, the attorney general of Delaware, suffered from a mild stroke in 2010 at the age of 41.
TED CRUZ: ‘I WILL RENOUNCE ANY CANADIAN CITIZENSHIP’. Here are the facts: Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who may run for president in 2016, was born in Canada and his mother was a U.S. citizen, ABC’s ABBY PHILLIP reports. Most legal scholars and Cruz agree that he’s an American. And if Cruz chooses to run for president in 2016, his technical Canadian citizenship shouldn’t matter, either. But it seems to matter to Cruz. After a spokesman initially denied that Cruz was a dual citizen, the senator said in a statement that he will renounce his Canadian citizenship. “Now the Dallas Morning News says that I may technically have dual citizenship,” Cruz said. “Assuming that is true, then sure, I will renounce any Canadian citizenship. “Nothing against Canada, but I’m an American by birth and as a U.S. senator, I believe I should be only an American.” http://abcn.ws/16DMWWA
–BACKSTORY: Why would Sen. Cruz duck his Canadian birth? Here’s a clue: Billionaire-turned-political-agitator Donald Trump, arguably the only voice of the birther conspiracy theorists, also believes that being born in Canada is a problem for Cruz. When asked whether he thought Cruz was eligible to run for president, Trump told ABC News’ Jonathan Karl: “If he was born in Canada, perhaps not. I don’t know the circumstances. I heard somebody told me he was born in Canada. That’s really his thing.” Incidentally, Trump also doubts whether President Obama, who was born in Hawaii to an American mother, is eligible to be president. Trump has not yet responded to an ABC News request for comment on the latest revelations.
CONGRESSMAN TEACHES 11-YEAR-OLD GIRL A HARSH LESSON IN IMMIGRATION POLITICS. A young girl received her first harsh lesson in politics last week, after receiving a very blunt answer to her question on finding a way for her undocumented father to stay in the United States, ABC’s SERENA MARSHALL notes. “I have a dad and he’s undocumented, and what can I do so he can stay with me?” 11-year old Josie Molina asked Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn., at his town-hall meeting in Murfreesboro, Tenn., on Aug. 12, according to a video posted to YouTube on Friday. DesJarlais praised the young girl for coming forward in the “big, intimidating crowd” but that’s where his compassion seemed to end. He told the adolescent that “the answer still kinda remains the same.” “We have laws and we need to follow those laws, and that’s where we are at,” DesJarlais said to loud applause. Josie, who was born in the United States, said she is “scared and worried every day” that her father may get deported. “It really worries me that he might go to jail. Sometimes, I’m afraid they’ll take him, make him go to El Salvador,” Josie told ABC News. “Every time I’m in the car with him I’m scared they will take him. I don’t want to see that happen.” The young girl, who lost her best friend two years ago to deportation, said she decided to ask the question because she heard two other audience members asking about immigration reform. First, a young man who aspires to be a Marine asked how he could join the military though he is undocumented. Then, a young woman who wanted to become a dental hygienist. Both questioners received answers similar to the one Josie got. http://abcn.ws/170MY98
AS REPUBLICANS FEUD, OTHERS WONDER: IS THAT A PROBLEM? Are family feuds good for the family? Republicans got the chance to debate that question at the Republican National Committee summer meeting last week after some recent clashes between some of the party’s biggest stars, ABC’s SHUSHANNAH WALSHE notes. One of those feuding stars, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, actually spoke to the party chairmen and activists explaining why his way of doing things will bring victory, while jabbing some of his potential 2016 rivals along the way. RNC Chairman Reince Priebus also brought it up in his closing speech to the attendees, telling the GOP, “We can disagree at times, but we don’t have to be disagreeable. Even here, at this meeting, we’ve had our debates, but we see the same big picture.” Priebus added that there are “people who want to turn the healthy conversations we’re having into headlines. They want to make a family discussion look like division. But we’re not going to let that happen, either. “I think it’s a good thing that we can have honest discussions on policy,” Priebus said at the event in Boston. “A robust party should take time to debate the right solutions and the right tactics. But there shouldn’t be any question: We’re united on our principles. … We’ve got a healthy, energized party. And that’s threatening to some people. So they label debate as division and they call a conversation a civil war. But they should save the tabloid headlines. We’re a party that believes in the exchange of ideas anchored by the values of freedom and opportunity. Not a party of top-down conformity.” http://abcn.ws/16EnGPQ
MEET SUNNY, THE OBAMAS’ NEW PUPPY. The Obamas have welcomed another member to the family: Sunny, their new 1-year-old puppy, ABC’s MARY BRUCE reports. Bo’s new baby sister, also a Portuguese water dog, made her public debut this evening. “So excited to introduce the newest member of the Obama family — our puppy, Sunny!” Michelle Obama personally tweeted. The White House introduced Sunny in a blog, complete with photos and a slow-motion video of Bo and the puppy playing on the South Lawn. “Sunny is the perfect little sister for Bo — full of energy and very affectionate — and the First Family picked her name because it fit her cheerful personality,” the White House notes. Bo now assumes the role of big brother, in addition to his many official duties, which include helping to host the annual Easter Egg Roll, serving as a muse for the holiday decorations, and acting as an Obama family ambassador. He’s one busy pooch. http://abcn.ws/1am5uw0
TODAY AT THE WHITE HOUSE: DOLPHIN DAY. This afternoon, President Obama welcomes the undefeated 1972 Miami Dolphins to the White House to honor their historic season and Super Bowl Championship, according to ABC’s MARY BRUCE. The Dolphins achieved the only perfect season in NFL history but were never honored at the White House because Nixon was immersed in the Watergate scandal. More than 40 years later, President Obama is finally welcoming them to the White House. This is the second time in recent memory that Obama will have honored a forgotten team. The 1985 Bears finally got their visit to the White House two years ago.
@amychozick: Clinton aides’ message to Politico: Haters gonna hate. “Thus it was, thus it is and thus it shall be,” Carville said. http://www.politico.com/story/2013/08/hillary-clinton-foundation-bill-weiner-95693.html#ixzz2cVlgZfyghttp://www.politico.com/story/2013/08/hillary-clinton-foundation-bill-weiner-95693.html …
@RealClearScott: Great @robertcostaNRO look at the GOP establishment congealing around Christie again, w/ a Henry Kissinger cameo: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/356215/christie-establishment-darling-robert-costa …