Sarah Palin and Paul Ryan have some things in common. Among other things, they were the GOP's last two vice presidential nominees. But competing profiles out today on each of them seem to demonstrate a clash of visions for the future of the Republican Party.
Over at the Washington Post, Robert Costa argues that Palin is a "diminished figure in the Republican Party" who has glommed onto some of the Tea Party populists she helped elect in the past:
With near-constant internal conflicts roiling the GOP, Palin has veered right, siding with [Ted] Cruz and [Mike] Lee, who were vocal proponents of last year's government shutdown and popular figures among the conservatives who read [Erick] Erickson's RedState blog and donate to the Heritage Foundation. [Washington Post]
Meanwhile, BuzzFeed's McKay Coppins writes about Paul Ryan's "inner-city education," noting that "Ryan is doing something rather unprecedented for a Republican: He is spending unchoreographed time with actual poor people."
Something they both have in common? While Palin panders and Ryan reaches, both say things that might not play well outside of red-state America. Palin joked that "waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists," while Coppins' profile cites Ryan joking that "usually when I get up this early, I get up to kill something."
Still, one gets the sense that the last two Republican veep nominees represent opposing visions for the future of the GOP — visions whose trajectories appear to be widening.
Just last week, I wrote about how some conservatives pine for rural America, seeing it as the traditional and "real" America — and why this poses a problem for a GOP facing a demographic time bomb.
Along those lines, Palin and Ryan may be symbolic surrogates in this great struggle for the heart and soul of conservatism. Palin looks backward and plays to the rural-embracing base. Ryan, on the other hand, is heading to the cities and spending time with Americans who don't traditionally vote GOP. In that sense, Ryan is reaching for the stars. Matt K. Lewis
Marco Rubio apologized to Donald Trump for making fun of his hand size, the former Republican candidate said in an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper that aired Sunday.
"I actually told Donald — one of the debates, I forget which one — I apologized to him for that," Rubio explained on State of the Union. "I said, 'You know, I'm sorry that I said that. It's not who I am and I shouldn't have done it.' I didn't say it in front of the cameras. I didn't want any political benefit." Rubio recently indirectly indicated he will support Trump this November.
The Trump-Rubio tiff dates to February, when the Florida senator hit back at Trump after the presumed GOP nominee began calling him "Little Rubio." "You know what they say about guys with small hands," he quipped, adding after a pause, "You can't trust 'em!" Trump has been sensitive to suggestions that his hands are small since a 1988 magazine article called him a "short-fingered vulgarian." Bonnie Kristian
Top Donald Trump adviser Paul Manafort is gently walking back his Wednesday assertion that the presumptive Republican nominee wouldn't choose a male person of color or a woman as a running mate because that would be "pandering."
In an interview with ABC's This Week on Sunday, Manafort clarified that candidates from those groups wouldn't be omitted from Trump's list of potential running mates; rather, they just won't earn spots on the list solely because of their race or gender.
"If a female is qualified, that's a totally different story," he said. "And there are many Republican women who are qualified, and several who might be on the list."
Manafort also confirmed that Trump is seeking a vice president with Washington, D.C., experience. Julie Kliegman
Paula Broadwell, the biographer of former CIA Director Gen. David Petraeus, with whom he had an affair, opened up to The New York Times in an interview published Saturday.
"I'm the first to admit I screwed up," Broadwell said. "Really badly, I know that. But how long does a person pay for their mistake?"
Petraeus resigned from his CIA post in 2012 after an FBI investigation revealed he had shared confidential information with Broadwell. The biographer told the Times she has received rape and death threats in the years since the news came to light. Read more about her life in the aftermath of the scandal here. Julie Kliegman
Bernie Sanders is pushing for the ouster of two high-ranking Democrats who support his rival, Hillary Clinton, but his party isn't sympathetic to his cause.
Former Rep. Barney Frank and Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy co-chair the Democratic National Convention rules and platform committees, respectively, placing them in key positions to frustrate Sanders' plan to reshape his party — perhaps by getting rid of the superdelegate system — even if he does not win the nomination.
Sanders alleged the two cannot perform their duties in an unbiased fashion, but the convention's Rules and Bylaws Committee dismissed his complaint Saturday, the Connecticut Post reports. Frank, however, has promised to recuse himself from any committee matters that could affect the party's choice of presidential nominee. Bonnie Kristian
Around 700 migrants from Libya may be dead after the three small boats they were using to cross the Mediterranean capsized on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, the United Nations' refugee agency reported Sunday.
The largest boat was carrying some 670 migrants and did not have an engine. So far, only about 100 of its passengers have been rescued, while 15 bodies have been found.
All three boats were attempting to cross from North Africa to the southern shores of Italy. Libya has remained in chaos since the NATO-assisted overthrow of dictator Moammar Gadhafi in 2011, a power vacuum which permitted the Islamic State terrorist organization to set up shop in the seaside city of Sirte. Bonnie Kristian
A federal judge ordered the release of internal Trump University documents as part of an ongoing lawsuit against the presumptive Republican presidential nominee's company, The Washington Post reported Saturday. Donald Trump's attorneys had argued that the documents, including "playbooks" for salespeople, revealed trade secrets.
Judge Gonzalo Curiel issued the ruling hours after Trump disparaged his Latino heritage and called him a biased "hater" at a San Diego rally. In the order, Curiel said Trump "has placed placed the integrity of these court proceedings at issue."
With 7 in 10 Americans reporting they are "frustrated" with the 2016 presidential election, this year could be the Libertarian Party's big chance — and America's largest third party is holding its national convention in Orlando, Florida, this weekend.
On the agenda: picking a presidential nominee from among three contenders. Though the contest is considered close, greatest name recognition belongs to former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, who was the Libertarian nominee in 2012, when he picked up more than 1 million votes. Johnson recently polled at 10 percent nationally against Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, and he would need 15 percent support to make it into the general election debates.