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Overnight Campaign: Low and high profile debates

Welcome to OVERNIGHT CAMPAIGN, your daily rundown from The Hill on all the latest news in the White House, Senate and House races.

Democrats will meet for their third debate of the cycle in New Hampshire on Saturday night.  

Come back to The Hill to read about the ongoing controversy over allegations the Democratic National Committee has sought to bury party’s debates to benefit front-runner Hillary Clinton. 

Unlike the Republicans, half of the Democratic debates will take place on the weekend, depriving the candidates of prime-time weekday billings. Saturday’s debate could miss out on even more potential viewers, as it takes place a day after the release of the new Star Wars movie and during a National Football League game only six days before Christmas. 

Whether you watch it live or want to know what happened, come back to The Hill for full coverage of the debate. 

Also, The Hill’s Alexander Bolton reports on fallout from the nuclear dispute between Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz over who is more pure on the issue of immigration. 

In Las Vegas today, Cruz defended his 2013 amendment to the Gang of Eight bill that would have provided a path to legalization, saying it was a political move meant to show that the bill’s supporters were disingenuous. The Hill’s Jonathan Swan reports from Nevada. 

This is the final overnight campaign email of the year, but be sure to visit The Hill throughout the  holiday season for year-end lists and our ongoing campaigns coverage. 

Merry Christmas, happy New Year and thanks for reading. See you in 2016.



SECURITY THREAT: The Hill’s Jonathan Easley reports: Ben Carson has cancelled planned trips to Israel and Africa citing “significant” security concerns. 

BLOCK: The Hill’s Sarah Ferris reports: Marco Rubio is threatening to delay passage of the $1.8 billion government spending bill, but Congressional leaders say he’s already missed his chance. 

ENDORSEMENTS PART I: The Hill’s Jonathan Easley and Ben Kamisar report: Bernie Sanders picked up the support of another national union on Thursday, as well as the backing of a major progressive organization. It was a good day for Sanders, whose campaign also announced it reached 2 million donations faster than any non-incumbent candidate ever. 

ENDORSEMENTS PART II:  The Hill’s Bradford Richards reports: Ted Cruz landed another major endorsement from a prominent Evangelical, landing the backing on Thursday of Focus on the Family founder James Dobson.



PLANNING AHEAD: The Hill’s Bradford Richards reports: Bernie Sanders says he’s already working on his inaugural address. 

KIDS THESE DAYS: The Hill’s Jonathan Easley reports: Ted Cruz blasted “pampered teenageers” he said are obsessed with political correctness, singling out the student protesters at his alma mater looking to scrub evidence from the campus of evidence of former President Woodrow Wilson. 

BREAK: The Hill’s Bradford Richardson reports: Hillary Clinton criticized President Obama’s signature legislative achievement, saying the healthcare law was forcing some workers into part-time jobs. 

JUST KIDDING: The Hill’s Julian Hattem reports: A top Hillary Clinton aide joked with reporters about avoiding “Freedom of Information Act” requests. 

INCONCEIVABLE: The Hill’s Judy Kurtz reports: Hillary Clinton is accusing Ted Cruz of misinterpreting the classic movie “The Princess Bride.” 

21st CENTURY CAMPAIGNING: In a release, John Kasich’s campaign directed supporters to his new mobile campaign app, which is available through Apple and Google Play stores. 

FOR THE PERSON WITH EVERYTHING: The Hill’s Lisa Hagen reports: If you’re stumped about what to buy someone for Christmas, presidential campaigns are offering everything from stocking stuffers to calendars in hopes of filling their campaign coffers.



INDEPENDENT: The Hill’s Lisa Hagen reports: A new poll finds that a third-party run by Donald Trump would help Hillary Clinton in Iowa. 

AZ SENATE: Strategies 360 reports: Sen. John McCain (R-Az.) has a double-digit lead over Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Az.) in the Arizona Senate race.



COVETED STRONGMAN ENDORSEMENT: The Hill’s Neetzan Zimmerman reports: Russian president Vladmir Putin has glowing things to say about Donald Trump. That’s a match made in heaven, says Sen. John McCain

LATE NIGHT DEFENSE: The Hill’s Mark Hensch reports: Donald Trump had to defend his proposal to ban all Muslims from entering the country against criticism from Jimmy Kimmel. Filmmaker Michael Moore is also weighing in. 

FOX HIT: The Hill’s Mark Hensch reports: Donald Trump went on Fox New to inform Bill O’Reilly that CNN treats him better. 

A SCENE OUT OF GOLDILOCKS: The Hill’s Mark Hensch reports: Donald Trump would swap out his signature 757 for Air Force One if he’s elected president. He explained how he had to search and search for a place that could accommodate his own jet. One was too small, one was too large and one was . .  . 

IN THE LAND OF THE HANGING CHADS: The Palm Beach Post reports: Donald Trump will headline the Palm Beach County GOP’s Lincoln Day dinner on March 11 — just days before voters will cast ballots for the state’s winner-take-all primary.



“It is always a great honor to be so nicely complimented by a man so highly respected within his own country and beyond.”

— Donald Trump on Vladmir Putin, as quoted by Reuters.



DEMS ON OFFENSE: The Hill’s Jonathan Easley reports: A prominent Democratic super-PAC has launched a new $1.5 million ad campaign targeting vulnerable Republican senators, starting with Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Penn.). 

VIRAL: The Associated Press reports: The Florida man famous for crashing a gyrocopter onto Capitol Hill is mulling a run for the House. 

NOT BACKING AWAY: reports: Sen. Rob Portman, who faces a tough reelection battle, is standing by his 2002 vote to authorize war in Iraq.



THANKS, BUT NO THANKS: The Hill’s Jonathan Easley reports: A former adviser to Donald Trump’s campaign has launched a super-PAC aimed at taking down Marco Rubio and other GOP contenders. Trump’s campaign is calling the group a “big league scam.” 

VANQUISHED: Milwaukee Public Radio reports: Scott Walker has signed into law a bill that will dismantle Wisconsin’s Government Accountability Board, which was created in 2008 to oversee lawmaker campaign finances in the wake of several scandals.



(All times Eastern) 

Bernie Sanders is one of Barbara Walters’s most fascinating people of the year in a program airing at 9:30 p.m. today on ABC. He will campaign in Iowa on Saturday and Sunday. 

Donald Trump is a guest of “Hannity” at 10 p.m. today on Fox News and holds a rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on Saturday. He has a rally scheduled for Monday Grand Rapids, Mich.

Democratic presidential contenders Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley will debate from St. Anselm College in New Hampshire at 8 p.m. on Saturday. 

Martin O’Malley will hold 10 campaign events in New Hampshire between Sunday and Monday. 

Marco Rubio will hold town hall events in Iowa and Missouri on Friday. On Saturday and Sunday he’ll campaign in South Carolina. 

Chris Christie will kick off a bus tour across New Hampshire on Saturday that will take him through eight cities in three days. 

Jeb Bush visits New Hampshire on Saturday for five town hall events. 

Hillary Clinton meets with students at a high school in Iowa on Tuesday.

Rand Paul campaigns in New Hampshire on Friday and Saturday. 

John Kasich will hold a town hall meeting in Waterloo, Iowa at 6 p.m. on Thursday. On Sunday, he’ll hold two campaign events in New Hampshire and one there on Monday.

Mike Huckabee heads to South Carolina on Thursday and North Carolina on Friday for meet and greets.

Carly Fiorina travels to Iowa on Friday and Saturday for several town halls. On Monday and Tuesday she’ll move on to South Carolina. 

Lindsey Graham will campaign with Sen. John McCain in New Hampshire on Friday and Saturday. 

Ted Cruz campaigns in Virginia, Georgia and Alabama this weekend. He has two events in Tennessee and one in Arkansas on Tuesday. On Wednesday, he’ll be in Oklahoma.




Write us with tips, suggestions and news: Jonathan Easley, Ben KamisarJonathan Swan, Lisa Hagen.

Sign up to receive The Trail | 2016 overnight newsletter here.

Tags Ann Kirkpatrick Bernie Sanders Donald Trump Hillary Clinton John McCain Lindsey Graham Marco Rubio Rand Paul Rob Portman Ted Cruz

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