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Clinton, Sanders In Fierce Debate

Clinton, Sanders debate who can best bring change. WSJ: “She described herself more as a battle-scarred veteran who has learned the hard way that it is best to do the work within the real world without, as she said, ‘making promises that I cannot keep.’ … ‘No, you just can’t negotiate with Mitch McConnell,’ he said. ‘Mitch is gonna have to look out the window and see a whole lot of people saying, “Mitch, stop representing the billionaire class. Start listening to working families.”‘”

At debate, Clinton again challenged on Goldman Sachs ties. Bloomberg: “Clinton was asked if she would release transcripts of the paid speeches she’s made. Clinton declined to say yes or no. ‘I will look into it,’ she said. ‘I don’t know the status.’ Some of her contracts for paid speeches included confidentiality agreements that would complicate their release.”

Clinton charges Sanders with trafficking in smears. NYT: “…she challenged her opponent to identify even one example of how her Wall Street contributions or paid speaking fees resulted in a favor from her, calling the implication an ‘artful smear’ by Mr. Sanders. ‘If you’ve got something to say, say it directly’ … [He] returned to his old refrain: Wall Street is too big, too powerful, and no one in their right mind believes they contribute to politicians out of the goodness of their hearts…”

“Sanders outraised Clinton in January” reports W. Post: “The Clinton campaign brought in roughly $15 million in January … about $5 million less than Sanders … Clinton raised an additional $5 million for the Democratic National Committee and state parties during January, but that money cannot be used [for the primary] …”

“Democratic establishment starts to gang up on Sanders” reports The Hill: “‘I believe it could have real serious down-ballot consequences,’ [Rep. Gerry] Connolly told The Hill. Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.), who is one of the biggest Republican targets in the 2016 election cycle, [said] ‘He certainly wouldn’t match my district very well.'”

GOP Debate Tomorrow

ABC to host Republican debate in NH, Sat. at 8 PM ET: “The network will extend invitations to the following candidates: Donald Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Marco Rubio, Dr. Ben Carson, former Gov.Jeb Bush, Gov. Chris Christie and Gov. John Kasich.”

NH Republicans may embrace Trump’s anti-immigrant message. NYT: “In New Hampshire, concerns about immigration have long been a potent weapon. [In 1996, presidential primary winner Pat] Buchanan talked about building ‘the Buchanan fence’ along the southern tier of the country.”

Marco Rubio tries to defend lack of major accomplishments. CNN: “Sen. Marco Rubio is defending his record in Congress after Rick Santorum, now a Rubio backer, struggled to name any legislative accomplishments by the Florida senator … Rubio then pointed to a veterans affairs measure, sanctions on Hezbollah, killing an Obamacare provision and a measure to prevent human trafficking … his role in pushing to kill the Obamacare provision, which let the government provide a key backstop for insurance companies, has been the subject of sharp dispute.”

Chris Christie gets endorsement from MA Gov. Charlie Baker. Politico: “Baker provides a window into what Christie is counting on if he can achieve a strong showing in New Hampshire: the support — and access to — the finance networks of the governors he helped win election or re-election during his time atop the RGA.”

Key Senator Turns Against TPP

GOP Sen. Rob Portman expresses opposition to TPP. W. Post : “The announcement is a significant but not fatal blow to the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, which is protected by fast-track rules that ensure it cannot be filibustered in the Senate. ‘I cannot support the TPP in its current form because it doesn’t provide that level playing field,’ Portman said in a statement. ‘I will continue to urge the Obama administration to support American workers and address these issues before any vote on the TPP agreement.'”

NYT adds: “The lawmaker, Senator Rob Portman of Ohio, who was a trade ambassador under President George W. Bush, objects to the accord’s provisions on currency manipulation, auto parts and pharmaceutical industry protections. Lawmakers in both parties have raised the same issues, but Mr. Portman’s authority on trade is certain to carry extra weight with colleagues.”

Flint Scandal Deepens

“Emails Reveal Early Suspicions of a Flint Link to Legionnaires’ Disease” reports NYT: “Michigan state officials were aware of an increase in Legionnaires’ disease cases and a possible tie to Flint’s troubled water supply at least 10 months before Gov. Rick Snyder informed the public of the situation last month, newly obtained emails show.”

Clinton to visit Flint Sunday. Detroit Free Press: “Clinton will leave the campaign trail in New Hampshire — the first state to hold a primary election next week — to make the stop in Flint. Her main purpose, according to the Clinton campaign, is to urge action on an energy bill in the U.S. Senate that the Democrats blocked in order to make sure that the $600 million in funding for Flint was added to the bill.”

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