The Take with Rick Klein
If this is a moment to be heard, we’ll find out soon who’s listening.
El Paso’s own Beto O’Rourke has pulled himself from the campaign trail to focus on his hometown, with some explicit language carrying his voice a bit further. He’ll take that message across the border into Juarez soon, to meet with the family members of victims of the shooting.
O’Rourke’s fellow Texan, Julian Castro, could see a surge in interest around his candidacy as the only Latino in a race where race is now front and center.
Now the rest of the field gets a shot, too. The parade of Democrats through the Iowa State Fair starts with Biden’s appearance on Thursday. Much of the field will converge at the fairgrounds at a Friday night Iowa Democratic Party dinner, and at a quickly scheduled gun safety forum to be held in Des Moines on Saturday.
The issues raised by the awful events of recent days are undeniably raw and urgent. We may learn soon if they turn out to be motivating issues for voters and differentiators among Democrats.
The RUNDOWN with MaryAlice Parks
The president went to visit two American cities ravaged by gun violence on Wednesday, but his staff managed to make the trips largely about him.
The White House Director of Social Media Dan Scavino tweeted midday about the president's first stop in Ohio, "The President was treated like a Rock Star inside the hospital, which was all caught on video. They all loved seeing their great President!"
Scavino then called two local politicians, "disgraceful," and accused them of lying. But, the two Ohio politicians named in the series of tweets had actually thanked the president for his visit, though they did later speak with great frustration about the his refusal to consider gun control proposals.
And, in El Paso, the president claimed Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown was a failed 2020 candidate, though Brown never ran. He also called Brown's remarks a "fraud."
Yes, several Democrats this week have accused the president of racist rhetoric and even blamed him for the uptick in white nationalist-inspired violence. O'Rourke was asked on MSNBC Wednesday if he believed the president was a white supremacist and said, “He is. He has made that very clear.”
But Wednesday morning, when departing on these visits to meet grieving families and first responders, Trump said both sides of the political aisle need to tone down the rhetoric. But it seems clear he wants someone else to go first.
The TIP with Zohreen Shah
Sen. Kamala Harris is approaching Iowa hard from the ground, and the air (waves) as multiple presidential candidates descend on the Hawkeye State for the unofficial start of the 2020 campaign season at the state fair. On Thursday, she becomes one of the first candidates to kick off a multi-day bus tour through the state and will launch an ad emphasizing her "3 a.m. agenda" -- tackling the issues she believes keep Americans up at night.
The commercial starts with a picture of Harris as a 5-year-old, with her younger sister Maya, their mother and a deeply personal story narrated by the senator from California.
"She'd work all day, then pour her whole heart into Maya and me when we got home," Harris says, before describing how her mother stayed up nights wondering how to make finances for their family work. She explains that this was an inspiration for the plans she has for the American people: the biggest middle class tax cut in a generation by repealing Donald Trump's tax cut, Medicare for All and equal pay for women.
The six-figure ad buy in Iowa comes as multiple polls following the second debate showed Harris' support sliding. But Harris and her more than 60 Iowa staffers hope the five-day bus tour and one of the first with ads in the state -- from one of the party's most reputable admakers, Jim Margolis -- will help turn some of those numbers around.
ABC News' "Start Here" podcast Thursday morning’s episode features a conversation with Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, about Trump’s visit to the city following last weekend’s shooting. Then, ABC News Senior Investigative Reporter Aaron Katersky compares the suspected ideologies of the two shooters. And, ABC News’ Sophie Tatum explains why a recent ICE raid in Mississippi was so significant. http://apple.co/2HPocUL
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