March 4, 2014
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Furious with the GOP leadership, conservatives and Tea Party types have vowed to unseat entrenched Republican lawmakers in divisive primary campaigns across the country this year. And Tuesday, the Tea Party gets its first shot at doing just that, with Rep. Steve Stockman vying to dump Sen. John Cornyn, the Senate's second-ranking Republican.

Yet as voters head to the polls, the most intriguing question is not whether the Tea Party will win, but rather how badly it will lose. Stockman entered the race as a huge underdog, and his campaign has since been a rolling disaster. He ditched the campaign trail for a bit — he claimed he snuck off to Egypt and Russia — fended off allegations he'd been charged with a felony, and got hammered by a local Tea Party coalition for running the "laziest statewide campaign to date."

If Cornyn fails to crack 50 percent — there are a handful of other candidates in the race too, so that's not an unrealistic possibility — there will be a runoff in May. But even then, Cornyn should have no trouble coasting to a comfortable reelection, which would be an embarrassing blow to the Tea Party — on Sen. Ted Cruz's own turf, no less. Jon Terbush

12:29 p.m. ET

Much has been made about Donald Trump's historic refusal to release his tax returns — but apparently the presumptive Republican nominee requires similar IRS documents from charities before he releases donations to them.

Trump's campaign has been criticized for being slow to gift money to veterans groups, to which he had promised $6 million after a fundraiser in January. Trump excused his tardiness by saying his team needed the proper paperwork to be in order before donations could be released. However, by the time he finished naming recipient organizations at his press conference on Tuesday, Trump said his campaign was still waiting to release $10,000 to Project for Patriots because "they have to give us that final document" — an "IRS determination letter."

The irony, apparently, was lost on Trump. Watch below. Jeva Lange

11:49 a.m. ET

Donald Trump took on the press during a news conference on Tuesday, slamming the media for being "dishonest" and made up of "not good people." Trump had appeared in order to account for charitable contributions his campaign said it made toward veteran organizations during an Iowa fundraiser in January, but he repeatedly lashed out at the press in attendance for requiring him to do so.

The press returned fire, with CNN's Jim Acosta accusing Trump of not being able to cope with the scrutiny it takes to run for president.

"I've seen you on TV, you're a real beauty," Trump replied.

Trump later pivoted to calling ABC reporter Tom Llamas, who was in attendance, "a sleazy guy."

"He's a sleaze, in my book." Trump said.

"Is this what it is going to be like covering you, if you are president?" another reporter finally asked.

"Yeah," Trump said. "Yeah, it is." Jeva Lange

11:43 a.m. ET
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Conservative commentator Glenn Beck's radio program won't be airing on SiriusXM this week, the satellite radio company announced Tuesday. Though a lot can be said on the radio, SiriusXM says that it draws the line at what guest Brad Thor said about Donald Trump last week on Beck's program. The fiction writer hypothesized that it might be necessary to break the law to oust Trump from the presidency:

If Congress won't remove him from office, what patriot will step up and do that if, if, he oversteps his mandate as president, his constitutional-granted authority, I should say, as president.

If he oversteps that, how do we get him out of office? And I don't think there is a legal means available. I think it will be a terrible, terrible position the American people will be in to get Trump out of office because you won't be able to do it through Congress. [Thor, via Breitbart News]

A vocal supporter of Ted Cruz's run for the GOP nomination, Beck "did not immediately admonish or distance himself from the comments," Politico reports. SiriusXM says the comments "may be reasonably construed by some to have been advocating harm against an individual currently running for office," which it says it can't "condone."

Beck has yet to comment on the suspension, but he denied last week that anyone on his show threatened the presumptive GOP nominee. "NOBODY stated or implied any harm coming to Trump, that's not something we joke about," he wrote on Facebook.

His usual slots on both the Patriot channel and The Blaze have already been filled with other programming. Becca Stanek

11:12 a.m. ET
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The Democratic Party likes to see senators tapped for vice president. In fact, if this year's VP candidate hails from the Senate, Democrats will have chosen senators in 16 out of 17 elections going back to 1948. (The one exception was 1972, when George McGovern named former Ambassador Sargent Shriver to replace his first choice, who was — you guessed it — a senator.)

Republicans have no such affinity for the Senate. Six of their veep picks since 1964 were former members of the House of Representatives, and three were governors (Spiro Agnew twice and Sarah Palin once). The GOP also went with a senator in three elections (Dan Quayle in 1988 and 1992 and Bob Dole in 1976).

This year, with Donald Trump as the presumptive Republican nominee, an unpredictable campaign season combines with an inconsistent Republican record to leave the GOP's veepstakes wide open. Trump's campaign has indicated that its VP list is quite short at this point, and one Trump adviser said it may include women — after previously commenting that selecting anyone other than a white man would be "pandering." Bonnie Kristian

10:48 a.m. ET
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In September, President Obama directed his administration to vet and admit 10,000 Syrian refugees to the United States over the course of a year. Now, eight months later, just 2,500 have made it to America, a pace which makes it unlikely that Obama's goal will be realized on time.

Combined with the White House's program of accelerated deportations of undocumented Central American immigrants, this slow approach to refugee admissions has brought the administration under criticism for its migrant policy more broadly, especially within the Democratic Party. "The world notices when we talk a good game but then we don’t follow through in our own backyard," said Kevin Appleby of the Center for Migration Studies to The New York Times.

Obama himself has expressed frustration at the delay in refugee processing, and Amy Pope of the Department of Homeland Security suggested to the Times that blame should be placed on the "dynamics within Congress." Bonnie Kristian

10:15 a.m. ET

If someone told California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) back in 1992 that he'd someday endorse Hillary Clinton for president, he likely wouldn't have believed it. As evidenced by this video of Bill Clinton and Brown debating each other during the 1992 Democratic presidential primary, Brown and the Clintons used to really, really dislike each other:

Back then, Brown criticized the Clintons for allegedly funneling public money into Hillary's law firm and said that Bill put his corporate loyalties ahead of environmental safety. Bill wasn't much friendlier. He hit Brown right back, accusing him of reinventing himself "every year or two" and being nothing more than somebody's "mouthpiece."

The threat of a Donald Trump presidency, however, has proved enough for the former combatants to bury the hatchet. On Tuesday, Brown endorsed Hillary ahead of California's state primary on June 7. With Trump as the presumptive Republican nominee, Brown wrote in an open letter Tuesday, "this is no time for Democrats to keep fighting each other." Becca Stanek

9:47 a.m. ET
Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images for Parker Media)

California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) announced Tuesday that he will support Hillary Clinton in the state's upcoming primary on June 7. Though Brown admitted in an open letter to Democrats and independents that he is "deeply impressed with how well Bernie Sanders has done," he wrote that he thinks the "only path forward to win the presidency and stop the dangerous candidacy of Donald Trump" is to vote for Clinton.

Brown's endorsement comes in spite his rocky history with the Clintons, dating back to his 1992 presidential run against Bill Clinton. While he once slammed the Clintons for "corruption," in his open letter Tuesday, Brown commended Hillary Clinton for having "convincingly made the case she knows how to get things done" and having "the tenacity and skill to advance the Democratic agenda."

"The stakes couldn't be higher," Brown wrote of the upcoming general election. "Our country faces an existential threat from climate change and the spread of nuclear weapons. A new cold war is on the horizon. This is no time for Democrats to keep fighting each other." Becca Stanek

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