Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* Ben Carson publicly addressed the idea of running outside the Republican Party yesterday, telling a radio host, “If I had to, I would, but I don’t think it’s necessary.” When the host pressed further, asking whether he’d run as an independent if he failed to win the GOP nomination, Carson replied, “No, I didn’t say that at all. That’s not what I’m saying. I have no intention of running an outside campaign. Zero.”
* Hillary Clinton’s new TV ad shines a light on her prescription-drug plan, but pay particular attention to its reference to Turing Pharmaceuticals’ controversial CEO, Martin Shkreli.
* Clinton also went after Jeb Bush yesterday, slamming the Republican’s “free stuff” remarks last week as “deeply insulting.”
* For his part, as was noted on last night’s show, Team Jeb is starting to invest heavily in TV ad time in early nominating states, “setting aside $4.6 million in New Hampshire alone. The campaign was also placing $1 million in ads in Iowa and $2.2 million in South Carolina.”
* Despite the controversy surrounding his extramarital affair North Dakota Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley (R) said he planned to run for governor next year. Yesterday, he changed his mind, and withdrew from consideration.
* CNN made a point of letting Vice President Biden know that if he chooses to run for president, he will qualify for the upcoming debate for Democratic candidates. That event is just two weeks from tonight.
* In Virginia yesterday, state Sen. Mark Obenshain (R) announced he’ll skip the 2017 gubernatorial race, clearing the way for Ed Gillespie (R), who very nearly won a U.S. Senate seat last year.
* And in Arizona, does Rep. David Schweikert (R) intend to take on Sen. John McCain (R) in a primary next year? According to a local report, “Schweikert’s not saying yes, but he isn’t exactly saying no.”