Friday Filibuster: The Field Narrows

Posted: Jan 15, 2016 2:27 PM

The Friday Filibuster: The one-stop-shop for everything you need to know about this week in politics.

Closing Numbers

- Three polls out of Iowa have Cruz and Trump neck-and-neck. Fox: Cruz 27, Trump 23; NBC/Marist: Cruz 28, Trump 24; Quinnipiac: Trump 31, Cruz 29.

- Three polls from New Hampshire all have Trump in the lead. Fox: Trump 33, Rubio 15; NBC/Marist: Trump 30, Rubio 14; Monmouth: Trump 32, Cruz 14.

-$31.41—the price of oil per barrel this week, the lowest its been since 2003.

-14--the number of points Sen. Bernie Sanders leads Hillary Clinton by in New Hampshire.

-100—the number of people shot in Chicago in the first 10 days of the new year.

-29—the percentage of self-identifying Democrats, an all-time low in Gallup polling history. 

Endorsements: endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders by record numbers

-Sen. Lindsey Graham endorsed Gov. Jeb Bush

-Duck Dynasty family patriarch Phil Robertson endorsed Sen. Ted Cruz

-Sen. Jim Inhofe endorsed Sen. Marco Rubio 

Obama's Final SOTU Address & the Iran Situation 

Hours before President Obama took to the podium to give his last State of the Union address Iran had detained 10 U.S. Navy sailors and the president failed to mention it at all during the speech. President Obama called for ‘a better politics’ in a very unmemorable lecture. DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz criticized the GOP’s decision to have Gov. Nikki Haley give the GOP response because according to her, the party has a diversity problem.  The Tea Party also issued a rebuttal to the president’s address, and Ted Cruz had a short and sweet summary of it as well.

The next day Iran released the sailors, whose capture likely violated the Geneva Convention because they published propaganda photos of them. And how did our Secretary of State respond? He thanked them for their compassion. Unreal. 

Fight Night

First, the undercard debate. Sen. Rand Paul was so upset he didn’t make the polling cut for the main stage that he flipped off the media. During the actual debate Carly Fiorina performed well and wasted no time slamming Hillary Clinton. Leading up to the main event all eyes were on Ted Cruz and the birtherism charges against him, which Sen. Paul says the Supreme Court has to decide his eligibility. He took the charges head on. The NYT also had a ‘hit piece’ on Cruz for not disclosing a Goldman Sachs loan…but it turns out he actually did. Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio pulled away from the pack this week at the Charleston debate, making it increasingly feel like a three-man race, Guy notes in his analysis.  Trump stood by his position of temporarily banning Muslims from entering the U.S., saying ‘we can’t be the stupid country anymore.’ He also had a shining moment when he responded to Cruz’s ‘New York values’ accusation by reminiscing about 9/11 and who New Yorkers really are. Here are 12 tweets that perfectly capture the Cruz/Trump back and forth. Rubio, for his part, slammed Obama on guns. Cruz also addressed the Iran controversy, saying that no one will be forced to their knees before an enemy if he’s president. Finally, here are 23 can’t-miss quotes from the debate. 

HRC Happenings

Lots of Hillary updates this week. Team Clinton is getting pretty nervous about Iowa and New Hampshire (see Bernie’s poll numbers above). Thus, it seems the gloves are off between the two. Hillary slammed the Vermont senator over universal healthcare while the Sanders campaign accused Hillary of using ‘Karl Rove’-like tactics. Bernie isn’t all she should be worried about, however. The FBI’s probe into her email scandal has expanded, as they’re now investigating public corruption. Meanwhile she continued to brush off the email problem as a fake controversy. Among her emails was an interesting discovery that the former U.S. ambassador to Israel urged her to push for ‘game changing’ protests against Israel. She also promised Jorge Ramos this week that she’ll never again use the term ‘illegal immigrant.’ Speaking of which, the mother of a copy murdered by an illegal immigrant questioned whether she was running for president of the U.S. or Mexico.

Safety & Security

European nations that welcomed refugees with open arms may now be thinking twice. In Germany alone the number of alleged New Year’s eve sexual assaults and attacks by Muslim refugees reached 500. And Swedish Police are reportedly covering up Muslim teen sex attacks. It’s probably not surprising then that Germany is seeking to make it easier to deport Migrants who commit crimes. In the U.S., terrorism is still a top concern. Obama’s release of a Gitmo detainee who vowed to kill as many Americans as he could upon release isn’t helping allay fears either.

TH Exclusives

Cortney O’Brien was in Miami last week for a press junket for the newly released film “13 Hours.” She did a review on the movie and also caught up with John Krasinski and Annex Security Team members Kris “Tanto” Paronto, Mark “Oz” Geist, and John “Tig” Tiegen to discuss how the politicization of Benghazi has overshadowed the real heroes, and the frustrating 30 minutes when the secret soldiers were told to stand down. Oddly enough, a Democrat on the Benghazi Select Committee is questioning the soldiers' 'stand down' account. 

Matt Vespa also ventured down south to The Palmetto State for a poverty forum hosted by the Jack Kemp Foundation. A number of GOP presidential candidates attended and discussed how America can fight poverty. Sen. Marco Rubio and Gov. John Kasich both outlined their strategies during one in-depth panel, despite heckling from immigration protesters. 

In Other News

Planned Parenthood is suing the Center for Medical Progress over the videos that exposed them for selling baby parts. The CMP founder’s response? Bring it on.

In case you missed it, Obamacare is so wonderful that Americans are paying to remain uninsured because it’s cheaper.

Finally, you better brace yourselves in Obama’s last year in office. He’s reportedly planning to issue “audacious” executive orders during the remainder of his tenure in office.