**Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.**
On the roster: Bernie’s last stand? – Poll: Hickenlooper looking good for Senate run – Audible: it is ‘international’ – Neigh
BERNIE’S LAST STAND?
Boston Globe: “While most Democratic presidential candidates are worried about how they can build support, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders may face a different task: how to retain as many supporters as he can from last time. In 2016, Sanders easily won the New Hampshire primary, defeating the eventual nominee, Hillary Clinton, with more than 60 percent of the vote. Given the current field of candidates, the math is clear: If he can convince just half of those voters to stick with him he could pull off another win. This might be why attending a Sanders campaign event in 2019 in some ways mimics a Donald Trump rally: lots of media-bashing, a reprisal of popular topics from his last campaign, and a lot of preaching to the converted.”
Bernie à la Trump, blames Bezos for WaPo coverage - WaPo: “Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Monday took aim at The Washington Post at two separate town hall meetings, accusing the newspaper of being biased against his campaign due to his criticism of Amazon’s labor practices and tax record. Sanders, who is running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, did not cite any evidence for his claims. Amazon raised its minimum wage to $15 an hour last year after Sanders and others called on the company to pay its workers a living wage. The senator has also argued that Amazon should pay more federal income tax, after the Wall Street Journal reported in June that it’s unclear whether the online retailer paid taxes last year. The Post is owned by Jeff Bezos, the founder and chief executive of Amazon, and operates independently of Amazon.”
Bennett: free pre-school but not free college – Des Moines Register: “Speaking to hundreds of potential Democratic caucusgoers during the Iowa State Fair on Sunday, U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado used some of his time to talk about the presidential candidate who would take the stage next. Bennet, responding to questions from the crowd at the Des Moines Register Political Soapbox, said he doesn’t believe in completely eliminating college debt as proposed by U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Instead, Bennet said he wants to make it easier for people to pay off their student loans by reducing the amount paid back each year. ‘Well, I don’t (support it),’ he said, responding to scattered boos. ‘You gotta make choices. I would rather have free preschool in this country than free college in this country. That’s my feeling. ‘You know why politicians don’t talk about free preschool and do talk about free college? Because preschool kids can’t vote.’”
Steyer closing in on debate qualification - The Atlantic: “Qualifying for the Democratic debates has become a game, and Tom Steyer has more than enough money to play it. In the span of five weeks, the San Francisco–based billionaire activist has channeled millions of dollars of his own money into trying to win a spot on the stage in September. If the effort works – and he’s getting close – Steyer could beat out many major candidates who have been running for president for months. One major investment: His campaign bought 8 million voter files compiled by the group Need to Impeach and is renting data from NexGen America, two advocacy organizations that Steyer himself founded and still funds. The move gives his team access to information on scores of people. But his ability to get this close to qualifying so quickly is also a reflection of the system set up this cycle by the Democratic National Committee.”
Not winning any bingo here - Fox News: “Presidential primary candidate Kamala Harris was confronted on Monday by an upset Iowa resident over the California senator’s plan to overhaul health care in the United States. The Democrat was speaking to voters at the Bickford Senior Living Center in Muscatine, Iowa, when one of the center’s residents challenged her on how she planned to pay for ‘Medicare for All’ and told her not to ‘mess with’ health care. ‘Leave our health care alone,’ Roberta Jewell, a 91-year-old resident at the senior living facility, told Harris as she was describing her campaign’s health care proposal. ‘We don’t want you to mess with it.’”
THE RULEBOOK: YA BURNT
“Those who have carefully attended to [the Articles of Confederation’s] vices and deformities as they have been exhibited by experience or delineated in the course of these papers, must feel invincible repugnancy to trusting the national interests in any degree to its operation ” – James Madison, Federalist No. 30
TIME OUT: ‘LOVE AND SUCCESS, ALWAYS IN THAT ORDER.’
WaPo: “He is best known for what he meant to children. That was, after all, what Fred Rogers’s life and career were all about – every song he sang, every puppet he voiced, every considered word he spoke on his beloved television program, ‘Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.’ Mister Rogers was for kids. But he was for parents, too. For the adults who sat beside their little ones and watched the soft-spoken man in his handmade cardigan sweater model what communication with children should look like. For the grown-ups who turned to his words time and again for advice about how to help their children through difficult times in their lives, or in the society around them. Which might explain why Rogers has been having a moment recently – or, maybe, why his moment never really ended. ‘Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood’ emerged in 1968 as a subtly radical and resonant new force in children’s television programming, and its influence has carried through to the present day.”
Flag on the play? - Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM with your tips, comments or questions.
Trump job performance
Average approval: 42.4 percent
Average disapproval: 53.6 percent
Net Score: -11.2 points
Change from one week ago: no change
[Average includes: IBD: 40% approve – 56% disapprove; Gallup: 42% approve – 54% disapprove; Quinnipiac University: 40% approve – 54% disapprove; Fox News: 46% approve – 51% disapprove; NPR/PBS/Marist: 44% approve – 53% disapprove.]
WANT MORE HALFTIME REPORT?
You can join Chris and Brianna every day on Fox Nation. Go behind-the-scenes of your favorite political note as they go through the must-read headlines of the day right from their office – with plenty of personality. Click here to sign up and watch!
POLL: HICKENLOOPER LOOKING GOOD FOR SENATE RUN
Denver Post: “If former Gov. John Hickenlooper runs for U.S. Senate, he will immediately have a large lead over current front-runners in the Democratic field, according to a new poll. Six hundred likely Democratic primary voters in the state were polled and 61% preferred Hickenlooper, compared to 10% for Mike Johnston and 8% for Andrew Romanoff. Fifteen percent were undecided and 6% favored Secretary of State Jena Griswold, who said Friday that she isn’t running in 2020. The poll was conducted July 25-28 by the Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group, which has a B+ pollster rating from FiveThirtyEight. The poll was conducted on behalf of a national Democratic group involved in Senate races. It has a 4% margin of error.”
Cornyn, Tillis, Daines and Graham get Don Jr.’s blessing - Politico: “For Republican candidates who can’t get President Donald Trump, there’s always the next best thing: Junior. Donald Trump Jr. will hold a series of fundraisers and events in the coming months for Senate Republicans running for reelection. And like his father, who prizes loyalty, he’ll be appearing for some of his fiercest defenders on Capitol Hill, including Sens. John Cornyn, Lindsey Graham, Thom Tillis and Steve Daines. ‘Everyone knows he is the president’s son,’ said Cornyn (R-Texas), who Trump Jr. will be holding an event for this year. ‘All the Trump voters would be pretty fired up. I guess all the Never Trump people would be pretty mad but that’s kind of where we are.’ It’s not the first time the president’s eldest son has campaigned for others. During just six months of the 2018 midterms, a source says, Trump Jr. did 70 events for Republican candidates and state parties.”
Abrams looks for bigger stage with voter group - Atlanta Journal Constitution: “Stacey Abrams is set to announce an expansion of her voting rights group on Tuesday, with plans to help train staffers in 20 states this year who will seek to combat voter suppression in the 2020 elections. The Georgia Democrat is expected to unveil the plans during a speech to a labor union in Las Vegas, then follow it up with an event this weekend at a Gwinnett County elementary school where technical issues triggered hours-long lines in November. The new initiative increases the likelihood that she will prepare for a rematch in 2022 against Republican Gov. Brian Kemp rather than run for president, an idea she hasn’t publicly ruled out.”
Florida Dems build legal team for 2020 vote - Politico: “The 2020 presidential election is still 18 months off, but in Florida the legal battle over voting is already well underway. Despite being outgunned and outspent in past legal battles, Florida Democrats have established a standalone ‘election protection’ team led by an attorney whose job will be to build a network of lawyers ready to spring into action between now and Election Day. Democrats are framing the move as a reaction to ongoing Republican efforts that the left claims are designed to suppress the vote. Their most recent example is the GOP-controlled Legislature’s passage of a bill this spring that would restrict the voting rights of ex-felons despite a voter-approved amendment that ended Florida’s long-standing disenfranchisement of convicted felons.”
A fourth NRA board member resigns amid spending scandal - WaPo
Tyler Cowen: What America’s indifference to the Hong Kong protests says about us – Bloomberg
NRA check further clouds group’s story about $6 million mansion for boss LaPierre – WSJ
AUDIBLE: IT IS ‘INTERNATIONAL’
“I honestly thought it was the health department or something.” – Rachel Yoakum, manager of the IHOP in Overland Park, Kansas, on her thoughts when State Department security officers showed up at the restaurant to scout for a visit by Secretary of State and potential Kansas Senate candidate Mike Pompeo.
FROM THE BLEACHERS
“Can you provide one, just one, reason why I should give a tinker’s damn about what Anthony Scaramucci has to pontificate. He dresses well, but other than that, I can’t possibly think of a reason. Help me out here.” – James W. Herzog, Spartanburg, SC
[Ed. note: I think you can safely ignore the matter, Mr. Herzog. The president, however, does not seem to be able to do the same. We’ll keep an eye on, though, so you don’t have to.]
“Chris, I know I am a slow reader, but I just finished the last book of the three you recommended (1776, Founders’ Son & American Colossus). Three excellent reads. After reading them I have to agree with Solemn, nothing new under the sun. Thanks for the recommendations.” – Michael Strader, Toccoa, Ga.
[Ed. note: Huzzah! If you’d like something a little lighter, you can join Dana Perino and me next week for our “I’ll Tell You What” book club as we, ahem, take flight with Beryl Markham’s “West With the Night.” It’s a heckuva fun summer read.]
Share your color commentary: Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM and please make sure to include your name and hometown.
WZTV: “Miniature horses have been approved as service animals approved to take on flights according to new guidance by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Under the guidance, miniature horses, cats, and dogs have been approved for flight, with up to three service animals being allowed per passenger. Passengers will have to provide proof the animal is a service animal provided their disability is not clear according to the guidance. Airlines can also require up to 48 hour’s notice and may issue their own rules on weight restrictions based on safety. The guidance notes one airline has already announced it would not accept service animals over 65 pounds and other factors, such as posing a threat to others or causing significant cabin service disruption could also be taken into account. As for other types of service animals such as snakes, spiders, ferrets, or reptiles, airlines have deemed them ‘unusual service animals’ and they will be considered in another rulemaking process.”
AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“It is no accident that when boat people are found floating on some distant sea their preferred destination is almost invariably North America. Not just because of its prosperity. Not just because of its democracy. But because of its ethnic harmony. We have figured out how to live together without raging ethnic strife.” – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) delivering a commencement address at McGill University June 14, 1993.
Chris Stirewalt is the politics editor for Fox News. Liz Friden contributed to this report. Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.