Class clash: Hillary tries to head off Walker

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Buzz Cut:

  • Class clash: Hillary tries to head off Walker
  • 2016 GOP Power Index: Trumping Carly
  • Ready to ;take five?
  • Gee, wonder if anyone will mention Trump?
  • ‘This aggression will not stand, man’

CLASS CLASH: HILLARY TRIES TO HEAD OFF WALKER

Hillary Clinton gave a speech today calling for new regulations and hundreds of billions of dollars in new spending to fight income inequality. The topic was a reaction to the rise of Bernie Sanders, whose socialist platform is catching fire among Democratic activists.

But the timing is about someone else: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

Walker, finally having birthed a budget in Wisconsin, is making his candidacy officially-official today with a rally in Waukesha. That location is no accident and neither is the fact that Walker’s announcement video starts with him in dungarees and a Harley t-shirt.

The message is that Walker is a middle-class guy with a blue collar background. Much as Clinton’s husband endlessly touted his roots in Hope, Ark., Walker is running as the man from Waukesha. Maybe not so poetic, but not every top-tier presidential candidate gets a shout-out on the sign at the McDonalds where they used to work. (Plus, Bubba really grew up in Hot Springs…)

As Clinton sizes up the Republicans who mean trouble in the general election, she has to account for the name identification and enormous fundraising of Jeb Bush, the generational and historical appeal of Marco Rubio and now, the middle-class message of Scott Walker, the Kohl’s candidate.

Clinton is looking to bracket Walker’s rollout with an appeal to the frustrations of workers left behind by the changing economy: a federal surge aimed at shoring up the battered middle class. Walker, not surprisingly, is expected to attack Washington elitism and centralization of power.

Policy particulars do matter, especially as Walker tries to up his credibility quotient with a skeptical GOP intelligentsia. And Walker faces a double challenge as he tries to win the esteem (or at least acceptance) of the GOP elite: that he is ever more open to claims from other conservatives that he is flip-floppish. Advisers dropping blind quotes to National Journal about prospective pivoting to the center will be great fodder for those who call Walker inconstant. It’s not quite “Etch-a-sketch” but it reflects the same kind of lunk-headedness on the part of process-obsessed advisers.

Biography and attitude, though, generally matter more in politics. Walker’s electability argument is that he as an outside Washington, blue-collar guy can best take on a Democratic candidate seen by many voters as of Washington and-out-of-touch.

But to do that, he will have to face down a full field of Republicans, many whom have little to lose in their attacks on him.

[Watch Fox: “Special Report with Bret Baier” will have full coverage of Walker’s kick-off at 6 p.m. ET.]

2016 GOP POWER INDEX: TRUMPING CARLY1) ;Jeb Bush; 2) ;Scott Walker; 3) ;Marco Rubio; 4)Ted Cruz [+1]; 5) ;Ben Carson [+2]; 6) ;Donald Trump, [+4]; ;7) ;Rand Paul [-1]; 8) ;Carly Fiorina [-4]; 8) ;Rick Perry [-1]; ;10) ;John Kasich [previously unranked]

On the Radar – ;Mike Huckabee, Chris Christie, ;Rick Santorum, ;Bobby Jindal, Lindsey Graham, ;George Pataki, Jim Gilmore

After a one-week hiatus, the 2016 GOP Power Index returns with a scrambled field. The biggest upheaval comes from, who else but Donald Trump. While Trump’s media super-saturation soaked many in the GOP field, hardest hit was the other prominent businessperson in the race, Carly Fiorina. Fiorina has much of the message and attitude that admirers of the current version of Trump have praised: tough on illegal immigration, breaking the back of the federal bureaucracy, bringing business-style accountability to government, etc.

But Fiorina, who manages to state these positions without being accused of racism, is relatively little known while Trump started from a position of fame and has become a media omnipresence in the last three weeks. He will certainly do damage to other candidates in the race, and potentially to the eventual nominee. But the greatest harm will come to those, like Fiorina, who find themselves passed over for media coverage and stand the risk of missing out on the first debate next month on Cleveland. With Trump in the race, a rising star like Fiorina can’t.

Returning to the top 10 this week is Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who has ramped up his early-state and media presence ahead of a July 21 announcement.

[Watch Fox: ;Chris Stirewalt ;joins “The Real Story” in the 2 p.m. ET hour with the latest on who’s up and who’s down in the 2016 Power Index.]

What would you say? ;- ;Give us your take on the 2016 Power Index we will share the best and brightest with the whole class. Send your thoughts toFOXNEWSFIRST@FOXNEWS.COM

Jeb praises energy in Louisiana – [Monroe, La.] News Star: “Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush had barely touched down at Ruston Region Airport before he began touting Louisiana as one of the states leading what he calls an ‘American energy revolution.’”

[Bush delivers the keynote speech at the Story County GOP dinner in Ames, Iowa today.]

Rubio comes in third for fundraising – Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., reported a total of $12 million raised at the end of June. This puts in him behind both Jeb Bush, and Ted Cruz who took the top two spots for fundraising. Combined with his super PACs Rubio’s total financial package is around $44 million.

No evidence of “bulk purchases” for Cruz book – Amazon spokesperson told the blog On Media that their data shows no evidence of bulk purchasing for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s book “A Time for Truth,” which the NYT said was the reason the book couldn’t be on the bestseller list. No word on whether Cruz’s memoir will be considered for the list.

Carly talks tough on immigration – While campaigning in New Hampshire this weekend Carly Fiorina touted her credentials as a former CEO of a technology company, and how her skills transfer to policy issues like immigration. Fiorina said, “For heaven’s sake, this is 2015. I’ve run the largest technology company in the world. Let me assure you we know how to build an employer verification system that would work. We can solve this. We just need to do it.”

Kasich says moderates will win again – “#mediabuzz” host Howard Kurtz talked with Ohio Gov. John Kasich on whether his brand of conservatism can hold with today’s Republican Party. Distancing himself from being a “compassionate conservative,” Kasich told Kurtz his image as a moderate will not be a detriment towards the nominating saying, “We haven’t had a right-wing nominee since Goldwater.”

WITH YOUR SECOND CUP OF COFFEE…

American pop culture will never fall out of love with the Mafia – the organized crime syndicate that emerged from the late 19th century Italian tenements of New York. But how about the real thing? We still see La Cosa Nostra in the news, so Vice checked in with the experts on the state of America’s most famous organized crime syndicate. ; Former mobster Louis Ferrante explains that in addition to the supply of potential wise guys being limited by threat of incarceration, breached loyalty oaths and cultural assimilation of Americans of Sicilian ancestry, the need for the Mafia’s services has declined: “Moreover, gambling is legal. Alcohol is legal. And just about anyone can get a loan from a bank. Ordinary people no longer need the Mafia. And with no demand, the organization is unnecessary.”

Got a ;TIP ;from the ;RIGHT ;or the ;LEFT? Email ;FoxNewsFirst@FOXNEWS.COM

POLL CHECK

Real Clear Politics Averages

Obama Job Approval: Approve – 46.3 percent//Disapprove – 49.7 percent

Directions of Country: Right Direction – 31.2 percent//Wrong Track – 60.0 percent

READY TO ;TAKE FIVE?

Can the GOP keep the Senate? While most of the talking heads are talking about the presidential race, the contest for control of the Senate is heating up. And we want you to have your say. Democrats need to flip five seats from red to blue (and avoid losses on their own turf) to retake the Senate after the 2014 wave election swept the blue team into the minority. But which ones are the most vulnerable?

There are 13 Republican seats up for grabs, but several, like the one from bright-red Louisiana look like a long shot for Democrats. Others, like the one from President Obama’s home state of Illinois, look like low-hanging fruit for the minority party. But for the ones in between, it’s hard to tell, especially so early in the cycle.

That’s why we’re asking for your help.

Pick the five Republican-held seats you think are the most vulnerable to a Democratic takeover and send them to FOXNEWSFIRST@FOXNEWS.COM– we’ll tally the votes and report back to you this Thursday and every week thereafter. Please send along any analysis you’ve and we will share the best bits with the whole class.

To get you going, we have an expert opinion from Lara Brown, director of the Political Management program at George Washington University. She joins Chris Stirewalt to deliver her assessment of the five seats are most likely to flip from red to blue. WATCH HERE.

GEE, WONDER IF ANYONE WILL MENTION TRUMP?

Kansas City Star: “Three Democratic presidential candidates — former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont — will attend Monday’s conference at Bartle Hall in an attempt to reach Hispanic voters…Outside groups are entering the fray. The ;Libre Initiative, a group affiliated with the conservative Koch brothers, is actively conducting Hispanic outreach in battleground states…No Republican presidential candidates decided to attend, despite invitations…In a statement to The Star, Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus said his party’s nominee will compete for Hispanic votes in 2016.”

Webb compares Trump talk to Confederate Battle Flag haters – “This kind of divisive, inflammatory rhetoric by people who want to be commander-in-chief is not helpful, and we have seen from the liberal side as well this kind of rhetoric as it goes to Southern white cultures.” – Former Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., talking about Donald Trump on “Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace.”

[Watch Fox: Correspondent Peter Doocy is live from Kansas City, Mo., with the latest on the day’s events.]

Decision time for Biden – National Journal tallies up the pros (e.g. “connects with working class and middle class voters”) and cons (e.g. “too many people can’t take him seriously”) of a third presidential run for Vice President Joe Biden. ; With less than two months to make up his mind, what he choose?

Bernie says White House needs to expand Social Security – The Hill: “In a letter to be delivered to the White House Monday, the lawmakers say evolving trends surrounding employer retirement packages have put a financial squeeze on the nation’s retirees. They want the president to fill the gap by expanding Social Security…The letter is spearheaded by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee and a 2016 presidential contender, and Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.). They join Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and 68 other House Democrats in endorsing the letter.”

2016 Democratic Power Index: ;1) ;Hillary Clinton; 2) ;Bernie Sanders; ;3)Martin O’Malley; ;4) ;Joe Biden; 5) ;Jim Webb; ;6) ;Elizabeth ;Warren; 7) ;Lincoln Chaffee

‘THIS AGGRESSION WILL NOT STAND, MAN’

Courier-Journal: “As sweater-clad Dudes and jumpsuit-donning Jesuses made their way to the 14th annual Lebowski Fest, the celebration’s founder left the scene in cuffs. About 5 p.m. Saturday, Will Russell — owner of two WHY Louisville stores and the recently reopened Funtown Mountain — was arrested at Executive Strike & Spare on charges of possession of marijuana, resisting arrest and menacing…Police reported Russell took a challenging stance with clenched fists, leading them to believe he may be capable of causing physical injury. As he was arrested, the report stated Russell ‘apologized for acting like a savage.’ Russell was taken to Metro Corrections and has since been released. On his public Facebook page, he wrote, ‘Don’t worry. Be happy for me.’”

Chris Stirewalt joined Fox News Channel (FNC) in July of 2010 and serves as digital politics editor based in Washington, D.C. Additionally, he authors the daily “Fox News First” political news note and hosts “Power Play,” a feature video series, on FoxNews.com. Stirewalt makes frequent appearances on the network, including “The Kelly File,” “Special Report with Bret Baier,” and “Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace.” He also provides expert political analysis for Fox News coverage of state, congressional and presidential elections.

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