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July 24, 2014

Hillary Clinton has yet to say whether she will get in the 2016 White House race, but if she does, another poll shows she would be a formidable candidate. The former secretary of state tops every Republican matched against her in the key state of Florida — including a couple of GOPers with strong ties to the Sunshine State.

Clinton tops Sen. Marco Rubio 53 percent to 39 percent, and leads former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush 49-42, according to a Quinnipiac poll out Thursday. Clinton also leads Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) 51 percent to 38 percent, and thumps New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie by a whopping 21-point margin, 54 percent to 33 percent. Jon Terbush

9:04 a.m. ET
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In an interview Friday with Fox & Friends, Donald Trump shut down Ben Carson's suggestion that he would consider a Democrat or an independent to join his presidential ticket. "I would rule him out. Or her out," the presumptive Republican nominee said, denying Carson's comment to The Wall Street Journal Thursday that they were considering people who "are Americans," rather than just Republicans.

"I want to have a great ticket," Trump said. "The Democrats have been in there a long time, the economy is terrible. The real unemployment rate is probably 20 percent. Jobs are leaving. Look at Carrier, look at so many companies. They're leaving."

Instead, Trump says, he is "going to pick a great Republican" to sail towards a "tremendous victory" with him. "We're going to win," he said.

Watch the exchange below. Becca Stanek

8:32 a.m. ET
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April saw gains of only 160,000 jobs, which disappointed expectations that had hoped for 200,000. The gains are the weakest in seven months. "Worries of transmission from [economic weakness around] the rest of the globe are correct," Dreyfus Opportunistic Midcap Value Fund manager David Daglio said in an analysis before the report was released. The unemployment rate in April also stayed at 5 percent despite predictions it would dip back down to 4.9. Jeva Lange

8:01 a.m. ET
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Just a year after calling Donald Trump a "cancer on conservatism," former Texas Gov. Rick Perry threw his support behind the presumptive GOP nominee, who he now says is "one of the most talented people who has ever run for the president I have ever seen." "He is not a perfect man," Perry told CNN Thursday, explaining his endorsement. "But what I do believe is that he loves this country and he will surround himself with capable, experienced people and he will listen to them."

Perry, once a GOP presidential candidate himself, says he is willing to do anything it takes to get Trump elected, including serving as his vice president. "I am going to be open to any way I can help. I am not going to say no," Perry said. "We can't afford the policies and the character of Hillary Clinton."

Perry was previously a big critic of Trump's character when he was still in the running, and after he dropped out, he endorsed Sen. Ted Cruz and briefly considered the possibility of a third-party run. But, Perry contends, the people have spoken. "He wasn't my first choice, wasn't my second choice," Perry said, "but he is the people's choice." Becca Stanek

7:33 a.m. ET

Hollywood has a women problem — even besides the poor lack of representation in directorial roles, it is hard to find dynamic, complicated female characters on screen, much less in lead roles. Amy Schumer eviscerated the system on Inside Amy Schumer Thursday night with the help of real life Oscar-winners Julianne Moore and Jennifer Hudson as well as nominees Maggie Gyllenhaal and Laura Linney.

In the skit, Steve Buscemi introduces the award for Best Actress, where each woman has been nominated for a part in which she plays someone's wife bawling helplessly on the phone. As if that wasn't searing enough, Buscemi quips, "Without the five beautiful, talented women we're honoring now, their movies would only have five names on the poster, instead of six."

The worst part, though? While the fake movies are clearly jokes, the roles for women seem depressingly realistic. Watch below. Jeva Lange

7:04 a.m. ET

Donald Trump told a crowd of 12,000 people in Charleston, West Virginia, on Thursday night that he is disappointed the Republican primary is over, because "it's no fun this way." His campaign had invited hundreds of coal miners to stand behind him for his first rally as presumptive Republican nominee, and Trump touted an endorsement from the West Virginia Coal Association, criticized Hillary Clinton for saying she wants to phase out coal energy, and said, "We need to put our miners back to work!" He then put on a mining helmet the coal association had given him, fussed with his hair, and went on an extended riff about hair spray.

"You know, you're not allowed to use hair spray any more because it affects the ozone — you know that, right?" Trump said. "Hair spray is not like it used to be. It used to be real good ... In the old days, when you put on the hair spray on, it was good. Today you put the hair spray on, it's good for 12 minutes, right? ... So I said, 'If I take hairspray, and I spray it in my apartment — which is all sealed — and you're telling me that affects the ozone layer? Yes. I say, no way, folks." (Unless he buys his hair spray from a developing country, he's right — ozone-depleting CFC aerosol sprays were banned in the U.S. during the Reagan administration.)

Trump didn't just go after Clinton on coal. He said the Clinton Foundation is "disgusting," talked about the FBI investigation into her emails, and in criticizing NAFTA and other trade deals signed by Bill Clinton, alluded to Bill Clinton's extramarital dalliances. "The Clinton administration, of which Hillary was definitely a part — she was a part of almost everything. Almost, I say, not everything. Almost," Trump said, pausing for comic effect. Then he pretended to scold the crowd's dirty minds: "Terrible. I didn’t think the people of West Virginia thought about that. You should be ashamed of yourselves. Terrible, terrible people." Peter Weber

5:47 a.m. ET

An recent CNN/ORC poll has Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump by 13 percentage points nationally, which is obviously not great news for Donald Trump. But at CNN's magic wall on Thursday night, John King found some silver linings in Trump's gray clouds. In the upper Midwest, for example, Trump holds a big advantage over Clinton on handling of the economy, a common issue people base their votes on. If Trump wins Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida, King pointed out, and won every other state Mitt Romney took in 2012, he will be the next president. If he wins all those states but Pennsylvania, it's an electoral college tie.

"Yes, Hillary Clinton enters with an advantage, but if Donald Trump can do some business across the Rust Belt, he can make this a very competitive election," King told Anderson Cooper. The Clinton and Trump campaigns are playing out all sorts of scenarios on which states they might be able to flip from 2012 — the Clinton camp is eyeing Arizona, for example. "They think the map is going to be different this year, because this year is very different, Anderson." Watch some of the 2016 scenarios play out on CNN's magic wall below. Peter Weber

5:13 a.m. ET
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As soon as he became the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump dropped his opposition to large donations and super PACs, and started working to build up a war chest with the Republican National Committee. He got some good financial news on Thursday night, when fellow Republican billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson said he will support Trump. "Yes, I'm a Republican, he's a Republican," Adelson told The New York Times at a World Value Network gala in New York City. "He's our nominee. Whoever the nominee would turn out to be, any one of the 17 — he was one of the 17. He won fair and square."

Trump wasn't Adelson's first choice for GOP nominee, but the two men met in December, and Adelson said they discussed Israel and he found Trump "very charming." Trump is winning over other deep-pocketed Republicans, too, either through charm or lack of other options. Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts (R), whose family bankrolled an anti-Trump super PAC, Our Principles, will endorse Trump at a rally on Friday, his aides said. In February, Trump threatened the governor's family, tweeting: "I hear the Rickets family, who owns the Chicago Cubs, are secretly spending $'s against me. They better be careful; they have a lot to hide." But Ricketts "has said for months that he would support the Republican nominee," said spokesman Taylor Gage. Peter Weber

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