Trump goes too low for Fox
First CNN refused to run the Donald Trump ad featuring a Mexican cop killer and crowds of Central American migrants, labeling it "racist." NBC aired it during "Sunday Night Football," but on Monday decided no more.
“After further review we recognize the insensitive nature of the ad and have decided to cease airing it across our properties as soon as possible,” NBCUniversal said in a statement. Facebook also pulled it down, and Trump's 2020 campaign manager was incensed.
"The #FakeNewsMedia and #PaloAltoMafia are trying to control what you see and how you think. STOP THE CARAVAN!" Brad Parscale tweeted. But he left out an embarrassing detail: Fox News, which along with Trump has hyped the migrant caravan "invasion," also decided the ad was too inflammatory and pulled the plug on it.
“Upon further review, Fox News pulled the ad yesterday and it will not appear on either Fox News Channel or Fox Business Network,” said Marianne Gambelli, the network’s president of ad sales.
Trump seemed surprised and irritated when he learned that the ad had been squelched from reporters, who noted that critics found it "offensive." The president retorted: "A lot of things are offensive. Your questions are offensive a lot of times." He said his ads "certainly are effective, based on the numbers that we're seeing."
CNN reports Trump wasn't happy with a closing ad his campaign unveiled last week celebrating gains in the economy. "He hated it" and insisted on sticking to a hard-line immigration message to fire up his core supporters, two Republican officials told the network.
Fox News, after pulling the ad, opened up space on its website for an op-ed under Trump's name. Its one and only subject: the economy.
You don't hear the saying "All politics is local" much lately. It was coined before the era of Trump, whose conduct of the presidency is the transcendent question of the midterm elections for Congress. His final burst of rallies — three of them Monday — have been mostly about himself, sprinkled with name-drops of the Republican candidates he's trying to boost and calumnies about his Democratic foes.
Trump has vacillated on just how much the results will be a verdict about him.
“Even though I’m not on the ballot, in a certain way I am on the ballot,” Trump said during a tele-town hall with supporters. “The press is very much considering it a referendum on me and us as a movement.”
How much Trump will own it almost certainly depends on whether Republicans can beat expectations. He has floated alibis for a bad night in advance — the midterms are historically tough for the party in power, the media is against him and — without evidence as usual — the potential of massive voter fraud.
"All you've got to do is go around, take a look what's happened over the years and you'll see," Trump said. Democrats say voter suppression, not fraud, is the genuine issue.
The betting, the hedging
Democrats remain favored to gain enough seats — they need at least 23 — for control of the House, and late polls and analysis suggest more tight races tilting their way. A Democratic win of the Senate would still be an upset, but it's not out of reach.
But there are X factors that make predictions perilous, including massive turnout — 36 million — in early-voting states, a trend expected to continue on Election Day, Politico reports. There's no sure way to know which party will benefit more from heightened enthusiasm.
Pollsters have tried to learn from the lessons of their miscalculations in 2016 and improve their methods, but there are no guarantees of getting it right, HuffPost's polling editor, Ariel Edwards-Levy, writes.
Polls in Nassau and Suffolk counties are open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday for voters to cast ballots for governor, state attorney general and comptroller, all local seats for the U.S. Congress and State Legislature, plus a U.S. Senate seat, report Newsday's Rick Brand and David M. Schwartz.
Those seeking voting information or the location of their polling places can call the Nassau County Board of Elections at 516-571-2411, or the Suffolk Board of Elections at 631-852-4500.
His tone's not so def?
In an interview with the Sinclair Broadcast Group, Trump expressed second thoughts, and then third ones, about his "tone."
Asked if there was anything he would have done differently during his first two years in office, the president said, "I would like to have a much softer tone. I feel to a certain extent I have no choice, but maybe I do."
Or maybe he doesn't. He might have been "swamped" by his opposition if he lightened up, Trump said.
Remember the Mercers?
Long Island billionaire Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah aren't enjoying as much influence over Trump as they did in 2016, when they persuaded Trump to hire Steve Bannon and Kellyanne Conway to rescue his campaign, The Wall Street Journal reports.
They have also taken a lower profile as backers of conservative causes. But they tell friends they are pleased with Trump's policies.
Why shouldn't they be? An investigation by Yahoo News and the nonprofit Project on Government Oversight found that Trump's immigration policies have been a boon for investments by Robert Mercer's hedge fund in two companies, CoreCivic and GEO Group, which are the biggest Department of Homeland Security contractors operating immigrant detention centers.
What else is happening:
- What's Trump's reaction to Democratic vows to get a look at his tax returns if they take control of the House? "I don't care. They can do whatever they want, and I can do whatever I want," he said
- Bowing to global economic realities, Trump agreed to exceptions to the economic sanctions reimposed on Iran Monday. Eight countries including China can continue importing Iranian oil without penalty. "I could get the Iran oil down to zero immediately, but it would cause a shock to the market," Trump said.
- Trump cast doubt on the future of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, saying he might "not be happy” with the outcomes of the investigations into Zinke’s business dealings. The Washington Post reports Zinke involved himself in real estate negotiations in 2017 despite a pledge to recuse himself from such matters.
- Trump said he will announce his nominee to succeed Nikki Haley as UN ambassador before the end of the week.
- Trump said he probably won't meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin when they're in Paris next week to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. It's more likely to happen at the Nov. 30-Dec. 1 G-20 summit in Buenos Aires, he said.
- An Axios poll found just 51% of Americans said they have faith in democracy, down from 60% two years ago.
- Rihanna has joined a long list of recording artists objecting to their music being played at Trump's rallies. Her single "Don't Stop the Music" was on the PA system in Tennessee Sunday. Other artists who have complained include Axl Rose of Guns N' Roses, Pharrell Williams, The Rolling Stones, The O'Jays, Adele, and Queen.