First Read Flash: Hurting, not helping

Updated

King remarks on immigrants draw strong rebuke. “Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa drew rebukes from Democrats and Republicans alike Tuesday after claiming that most young undocumented immigrants are involved in the drug trade,” NBC News reports. “In an interview with Newsmax, King said that – out of the population of young undocumented immigrants – ‘for every one who’s a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there that weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.’ That remark from the noted immigration reform foe prompted a sharp response from Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who is working on legislation to offer a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children. ‘I strongly disagree with his characterization of the children of immigrants and find the comments inexcusable,’ Cantor said.”

One for the history books? “As the White House tried to pique interest in President Obama’s plan to speak Wednesday about the economy, aides promised a ‘big speech’ that would be a sequel to the president’s 2011 remarks in Osawatomie, Kan., where Teddy Roosevelt delivered an economic speech with similar themes a century earlier,” the Los Angeles Times reports. “If that weren’t pedigree enough, the White House also noted Obama would be returning to Knox College in Galesburg, Ill.. The school, the site of a Lincoln-Douglas debate, is where he delivered his first major address — also on the economy — after he was elected to the U.S. Senate. The billing for the speech reflects this White House’s fondness for burnishing Obama’s remarks with historical and self-referential flourishes. Whether to add gravitas, context or hype, the White House has ensured that much of Obama’s oratory comes with a prologue from the past.”

The GOP pushback. “Congressional Republicans are moving to gut many of President Obama’s top priorities with the sharpest spending cuts in a generation and a new push to hold government financing hostage unless the president’s signature health care law is stripped of money this fall,” the New York Times reports. “As Mr. Obama prepares to deliver a major economic address on Wednesday in Illinois, Republicans in Washington are delivering blow after blow to programs he will promote as vital to a more robust economic recovery and a firmer economic future — from spending on infrastructure and health care to beefing up regulatory agencies. While Mr. Obama would like to keep the economic conversation lofty, his adversaries in Congress are already fighting in the trenches.”

First Read Flash: Hurting, not helping

Updated