Fox News 2024-04-04 10:03:31


Biden set to finalize major cigarette ban despite widespread opposition

The Biden administration is preparing to soon finalize highly anticipated standards targeting menthol cigarettes despite heavy opposition from small business, civil rights, law enforcement and free market consumer groups.

The regulations, which would broadly ban the product, were first proposed by the Food and Drug Administration two years ago and have sparked a contentious debate between health advocates and civil liberties and business groups. The FDA has repeatedly missed target dates for finalizing the proposed ban, the latest of which was earlier this week.

“The FDA remains committed to issuing the tobacco product standards for menthol in cigarettes and characterizing flavors in cigars as expeditiously as possible; these rules have been submitted to the [Office of Management and Budget] for review, which is the final step in the rulemaking process,” an FDA spokesperson told Fox News Digital. “As we’ve made clear, these product standards remain at the top of our priorities.”

The spokesperson said the agency, which handed the regulations off to the White House Office of Management and Budget for final approval months ago, is limited from discussing the process further since the proposal remains pending. White House spokesperson Kelly Scully declined to comment, also noting the rulemaking process is ongoing.

BIDEN ADMIN FACING CONGRESSIONAL PROBE OVER PROPOSED BAN ON MENTHOL CIGARETTES

But the Biden administration’s continued delays in finalizing the regulations has caused angst among proponents of banning menthol cigarettes, many of whom have argued such an action is vital for achieving goals laid out in President Biden’s “Cancer Moonshot” initiative. The administration was first expected to finalize the ban in August 2023, meaning its delays have stretched more than seven months.

“This continued inaction is a shocking deference to the tobacco industry, which has repeatedly demonstrated its willingness to profit from products that result in death,” said Karen Knudsen, the CEO of the American Cancer Society and its affiliate Cancer Action Network.

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Opponents of the ban expressed optimism that their advocacy has resonated with White House officials, potentially prompting them to reconsider the ban. Associations representing convenience stores, police, consumers and minority groups have warned a ban on menthol cigarettes could foster a black market while punishing small business owners and minorities who are the largest consumers of the product.

According to OMB filings, the White House and FDA have convened a flurry of meetings on the proposal with a wide range of stakeholders, including proponents, such as the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network and American Lung Association, and opponents, such as the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), National Organization of Black Law Enforcement and National Action Network.

“The proposed ban would have the exact opposite results that proponents have championed,” NACS said in a statement to Fox News Digital. “We hope that FDA is reconsidering its policy in light of the evidence that these types of bans simply don’t work.”

“The proposed ban, while well-intentioned, could have had far-reaching economic consequences for convenience stores by cutting 30% of sales and the livelihoods of over 600,000 workers,” said Javier Palomarez, the president and CEO of the U.S. Hispanic Business Council (USHBC).

BIDEN ADMIN’S PROPOSED MENTHOL CIGARETTE BAN COULD BECOME LIABILITY IN 2024: ‘UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES’

NACS, USHBC and other opponents of the regulations have pointed to data from states that have banned menthol cigarettes, arguing such policies don’t work.

According to NACS, the rule would lead to a reduction of $72,285 a year in non-tobacco sundry sales and $160,107 a year in tobacco product sales for the typical convenience store nationwide. The organization claims the convenience store industry could collectively lose $2.16 billion in sales because of the new regulations. 

Groups representing minorities, like the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement and the nonprofit National Action Network, the latter which was founded by civil rights leader Rev. Al Sharpton, argue that banning menthol cigarettes while not restricting non-menthol cigarettes “puts a microscope on minority communities.” They say it could increase the probability of negative interactions between police and minorities.

The National Organization of Black Law Enforcement, National Action Network, National Newspaper Publishers Association and civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump met with Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, FDA Commissioner Robert Califf and Domestic Policy Advisor Neera Tanden to discuss the proposal in November.

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The FDA first issued the product standards to prohibit menthol as a characterizing flavor in cigarettes and prohibit all characterizing flavors other than tobacco in cigars in April 2022. The agency said the move would reduce disease and death from tobacco product use by reducing youth experimentation and addiction, while increasing the number of smokers that might quit.

Tobacco smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death nationwide, according to the FDA. In proposing the rules, the FDA cited its congressional authority to adopt tobacco product standards.

Voters in six battleground states have a clear favorite in the Trump-Biden rematch

With seven months to go until the presidential election, former President Donald Trump tops President Biden in all but one of the crucial battleground states that will likely decide their 2024 rematch, according to new polling.

A Wall Street Journal survey released Tuesday indicated Trump with the edge over the president in six of the seven states polled: Pennsylvania, Michigan, Arizona, Georgia, Nevada and North Carolina.

According to the survey, Trump holds a six-point lead over Biden in North Carolina in a ballot that also includes third-party and independent candidates. Trump has a five-point lead in Arizona, a four-point edge in Nevada, and three-point advantages in Michigan and Pennsylvania. The former president edges the White House incumbent by a single point in Georgia, with the two tied in Wisconsin.

Trump held similar leads when those questioned were given a head-to-head matchup between the former president and Biden.

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Biden narrowly edged Trump in all the battlegrounds tested, other than North Carolina, to win the White House four years ago.

According to the survey, along with coming in second to Trump among most voters, Biden also had a negative job performance rating in all seven battleground states. On the flip side, voters in every state except Nevada had a favorable opinion of Trump’s time in the White House.

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When asked about specific issues, respondents said they trust Trump to handle the economy and immigration over Biden. The Democrat president, however, was the preferred candidate to deal with the issue of abortion.

The polling results also mirror recent concerns over the president’s physical fitness. About 48% of voters believe Trump is more fit to serve as president over only 28% who see 81-year-old Biden as having the mental and physical fitness to serve another four-year term as president.

First lady Jill Biden was asked about Biden’s dismal WSJ polling results on “CBS Mornings” on Wednesday, but dismissed the dismal results, saying, “No, he’s not losing in all the battleground states. He’s coming up.”

The WSJ poll was conducted March 17 to 24 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.5 percentage points.

A national survey from NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist on Wednesday showed Biden leading Trump by two percentage points on the general election ballot. When asked who they would vote for if the election were held today, 50% of likely voters said Biden, while 48% support Trump in his third straight presidential bid. 

While Biden secured a narrow lead in the poll, four in 10 of those surveyed said their minds could change ahead of the November election.

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Among independent voters, however, Trump led Biden by seven points, 52% to 45%.

“The presidential contest remains close, but there are some interesting twists which run counter to the conventional wisdom,” Lee M. Miringoff, Director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, said alongside the polling results. “Three points to note: first, about four in 10 voters are not rock solid in their choice for president; second, Biden supporters are slightly more locked in; and third, Democrats are more cohesive in their positions on the issues.”

The NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll was conducted from March 25 to 28 with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.

Trump and the Republican National Committee announced hauling in $65.6 million in fundraising in March and ended the month with $93.1 million in cash on hand, Fox News Digital confirmed news first reported by Politico.

Biden’s campaign has not yet announced its March fundraising haul, but reported raising $53 million in February and ending the month with $155 million cash on hand. 

Fox News’ Andrew Mark Miller contributed to this report.

Get the latest updates from the 2024 campaign trail, exclusive interviews and more at our Fox News Digital election hub.

Texas mayor makes offer to Kansas City Chiefs after home town rejects stadium measure

Although the NFL’s Chiefs have spent the past six decades in Kansas City, the franchise originated in Texas.

And the future of the two-time defending Super Bowl champions has become somewhat murky after voters in Kansas City rejected a measure that would have backed proposed renovations to the franchise’s home at Arrowhead Stadium. 

The measure would also have helped fund a new stadium for the city’s Major League Baseball team, the Royals.

Shortly after the effort failed to gain approval, Dallas Mayor Eric L. Johnson took to social media to lobby for the Chiefs to relocate to Texas.

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“Welcome home, Dallas Texans!,” Johnson wrote on X, formerly Twitter. 

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The franchise was originally named the Dallas Texans and competed in the American Football League before rebranding in 1963 and moving to Missouri.

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Johnson ended the post with #CottonBowl, suggesting the Chiefs could play home games at the Cotton Bowl, which has undergone and estaimted $140 million in renovations.

Although the Dallas Cowboys play in nearby Arlington, Johnson was confident the city has the demand for another NFL franchise.

“Dallas was named the top sports city in the United States because we play to win,” Johnson told the Dallas Morning News.

“As I have said previously, our market is big enough, growing enough and loves football more than enough to support a second NFL team — especially a franchise with deep roots here.”

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was born in Texas and played college football at Texas Tech. Chiefs CEO Clark Hunt has a home in Dallas.

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The Chiefs still have several years remaining on their lease at Arrowhead Stadium.

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Raven Symone sets the record straight on telling Oprah she’s not African American

“That’s So Raven” star Raven Symoné revisited viral comments she made about her racial identity a decade ago, claiming she still stands by them and sees herself as simply “an American,” and unattached to other labels.

Symoné brought up the subject during a recent episode of her podcast “Tea Time With Raven and Miranda,” which she co-hosts along with her wife, Miranda Maday. The former Disney Channel star introduced the topic and claimed she’s “haunted” by it because of how people misunderstood her comments.

“A lot of people on the internet thought I said that I wasn’t Black, and I never said that,” she declared on the podcast.

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Symoné made the controversial remarks during a 2014 interview with Oprah Winfrey, in an attempt to explain that she doesn’t want to be viewed or identified with sexual or racial labels. 

She told the legendary TV host at the time, “I’m tired of being labeled. I’m an American, not an African American.”

Oprah predicted the backlash the actress would get, warning her as soon as she made the comments, “Oh girl, don’t go set Twitter on fire.”

“I don’t know where my roots go,” she said elsewhere in the Oprah interview, adding “I don’t know how far back [they go] and I don’t know what country in Africa I’m from, but I do know that my roots are in Louisiana. I’m an American. That’s a colorless person, because we are all people. I have lots of things running through my veins.”

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During the podcast, Symoné clarified that view to her audience, especially those who may have thought she was trashing her heritage and ethnicity. She said, “When I say that ‘African-American’ doesn’t align with me, that label, it doesn’t mean that I’m negating my Blackness or I’m not Black. It means I am from this country. I was born here.”

She couched it as more of her simply being proud to see herself as a “free” and “happy” American.

“I understand my history. I understand where my ancestors come from. I also understand how much blood, sweat and tears they’ve soaked into this earth in order to create the America that I live in today: free, happy, tax-paying American citizen,” she said. 

She also pointed out how people in other countries don’t identify her race, saying, “I also know that when I visit another country, people don’t say like, ‘Hey, look at that African American over there!’ They say, ‘That’s an American.'”

Maday agreed, noting, “I don’t go around introducing myself as a Welsh American or as an Italian American. My mom was born here, so I’m an American, for all intents and purposes.”

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Son of prominent politician shot and killed outside of Texas gas station, police say

The son of a prominent Dominican politician was shot and killed at a Houston gas station Monday, and three suspects are being sought, police said. 

The Houston Police Department identified the victim as Luis Alfredo Pacheco Rojas, 34, the son of Alfredo Pacheco, the president of the Chamber of Deputies of the Dominican Republic, the country’s lower chamber of congress. 

“We have spoken with Mr. Pacheco about his son’s death and advised him detectives continue efforts to determine possible motives for the shooting,” an HPD statement said. 

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Rojas worked in the music industry in Houston and went by the name “El Pikante,” according to reports. 

Fox News Digital has reached out to the Dominican Republic’s embassy for comment.  

Rojas, a 29-year-old victim, and two other men were leaving a gas station in the 2400 block of South Wayside Drive about 7:25 p.m. and got into a black SUV. 

At the same time, a Dodge Charger and a Mercedes-Benz approached the SUV. Two males got out of the Dodger and one exited the Mercedes. 

All three open fired on the SUV and fled the scene, police said.

Rojas was taken to Ben Taub General Hospital where he was pronounced dead. The other victim was taken to a hospital in critical condition.  

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“With great regret, I announce the unexpected death of my son LUIS ALFREDO PACHECO ROJAS, who lived outside the country,” Alfredo Pacheco posted Tuesday on X. “This fact is currently under investigation. I sincerely thank friends and colleagues for their solidarity in this difficult time.”

Detectives released surveillance images of the three suspects being sought. 

Two are seen with what appeared to be firearms.

Actress was stunned by male director’s ‘inappropriate question’ at 16

For the majority of her time as a young actress, Kirsten Dunst says she was able to evade the “predatory side” of the entertainment industry, crediting her own mother’s cognizance. 

“I was only able to avoid that predatory side of the business because wherever I went, my mother was literally always right there,” she told The Telegraph of her protective mother, Inez.

In the industry as a youngster, Dunst’s breakout role came in 1994, starring opposite Hollywood heartthrobs Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt in “Interview with the Vampire.” She was 11 years old and “treated like a princess” on set.

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“Yes, it was a virtually all-male set, but everyone was very gentle and kind, and nothing ever felt weird. Brad was like an older brother to me,” she said of Pitt, whom she actually kissed in the film. “And then Tom — well, one morning around Christmas, I remember going into my dressing room at Pinewood, and he’d set up a beautiful tree in there for me, covered in ornaments.”

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But when Dunst turned 16, she was subjected to a discomfort she’d previously been able to avoid.

“A male director had me in his office, by myself, and was asking me about this movie he wanted me for, and then, completely out of the blue, asked me this inappropriate question,” she shared. 

“Honestly, I’m not even sure he’s still working anymore,” she admitted, declining to name the individual or expand on his commentary. “It’s not something I like to reflect on.”

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“But I will say what he said was nothing to do with acting,” the “Bring It On” star continued. “And it wasn’t that what he said was just ‘a bit off,’ It was totally improper. And I remember sitting there and knowing that something was wrong, but with no idea what I should do.” 

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Dunst told her mother about the incident and says there weren’t any more issues. 

“That was the end of it. She withdrew me from the process and told them I wouldn’t be making the film,” the actress revealed.  

A representative for Dunst did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.

Millennials are fleeing blue states in droves — where are they going

A new study finds most millennials stayed put in 2023, but those who did move typically chose red-leaning states and cities over blue locations.

HireAHelper, an online marketplace for finding moving services, recently released its Millennial Migration study, analyzing Census Bureau data to determine how many millennials moved in 2023, where they were moved to, and why. 

Over the past 10 years, the share of millennials who moved has dropped from 21% in 2013 to just under 11% in 2023, which is a sharper drop than the overall national decline in moving.

Economic reasons and lifestyle changes topped the list of reasons for why millennials chose to move, including wanting new or better housing (16%), changing jobs (13%) wanting to establish a household (11%), and wanting to own a home or to find cheaper housing (both 9%).

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The number of millennials moving for more affordable housing is the highest it’s been since 2011, HireAHelper claimed, as mortgage rates and rental prices continue to climb.

The desire for more affordable housing coincides with the study’s findings that millennials typically chose red states and locations over blue states and cities for their big move in 2023. 

Texas attracted the highest number of millennials from out-of-state, according to the study, with about 400,000 from this generation settling down in the Lone Star state.

Montana had the highest net positive migration than any other state, with 95% more millennials moving in than moving away, followed by Connecticut at 56% and Maine at 54%.

Oklahoma, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Florida, Tennessee and Arizona were the next top locations that enjoyed positive net migration from this generation.

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HireAHelper spokesperson and consumer advocate Miranda Marquit believes these locations are attractive to those seeking a slower pace of life while still being able to access the amenities major cities nearby offer.

“I think the thing that holds both Montana and Connecticut in common is you have these mid-sized cities that offer some amenities, but also offer what a lot of people would consider a little bit of a slower pace of life. Right?” she remarked.

“So if you’re moving out to Connecticut, you’re moving out for that kind of suburban feel to get a little way away from the hustle and bustle while still having access to maybe a city close by. Now, if you’re moving to Montana, you’re looking for something else, a different kind of lifestyle, I’m sure,” she added. “And so I think that it really depends on what kind of lifestyle are you looking for, what matters to you…”.

Deep blue locations, however, like New York, California, Massachusetts and Illinois saw the highest negative migration rate, with 52%, 39%, 28% and 25% more millennials leaving than moving in, respectively.

Washington, D.C., Iowa, Louisiana, Wisconsin, North Dakota and Arkansas also saw more millennials leave than come in.

At the metropolitan level, Tampa, Florida, topped the list of desirable locations, with nearly twice as many people moving there than leaving. Las Vegas, Nevada, and Austin, Texas, were also two top locations for positive millennial net migration. 

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More millenials fled New York, San Jose, Los Angeles, Detroit, San Francisco, El Paso, Milwaukee, Chicago and Miami metro areas than came in, the study found.

HireAHelper’s research also found 60% of millennials who wanted to move in 2023 said they couldn’t because of financial strain. Marquit believes the decline is mostly due to a normal life stage shift for this generation, but also reflects current economic challenges. 

Looking ahead, she believes many young adults will continue to stay put as interest rates remain sky-high.

“Right now, I think, though with millennials, with half of them owning their homes, I don’t expect to see a huge jump in millennials moving in 2024. I think many of them are going to stay put, wait and see if mortgage rates come down. Wait and see if the housing prices moderate a little bit. We haven’t seen housing prices come down quite as much as we would have expected them to come down in the last year or two,” she said.

Alarming warning on the threat of a new pandemic — what you need to know

As avian influenza (bird flu) continues to spread among wild birds in the European Union, officials are warning of the potential for a future human pandemic.

On Wednesday, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) issued an alert noting that “transmission between bird and mammal species has been observed, particularly in fur animal farms, where outbreaks have been reported.”

Although it is rare for infected birds to pass along the virus to humans, the agency warned that new strains could pose a danger in the future.

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“These viruses continue to evolve globally, and with the migration of wild birds, new strains carrying potential mutations for mammalian adaptation could be selected,” the alert stated.

“If avian A (H5N1) influenza viruses acquire the ability to spread efficiently among humans, large‐scale transmission could occur due to the lack of immune defenses against H5 viruses in humans.” 

In other words, humans don’t have immunity against bird flu — which means it could potentially spread quickly.

The flu has been found to spread between birds and mammals, the EFSA noted — “particularly in fur animal farms, where outbreaks have been reported.”

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To prevent the risk of a bird flu pandemic, the agency recommended taking steps to limit exposure and prevent the spread to mammals and humans. 

“Key options for actions include enhancing surveillance targeting humans and animals, ensuring access to rapid diagnostics, promoting collaboration between animal and human sectors, and implementing preventive measures such as vaccination,” the EFSA wrote.

“Effective communication to different involved target audiences should be emphasized, as well as strengthening veterinary infrastructure, enforcing biosecurity measures at farms, and reducing wildlife contact with domestic animals.”

The agency also called for “careful planning of poultry and fur animal farming,” particularly in locations with large numbers of waterfowl (aquatic birds like ducks and geese).

Human cases in the U.S.

On Monday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that a person in Texas tested positive for H5N1 bird flu.

“This person had exposure to dairy cattle in Texas presumed to be infected with HPAI A(H5N1) viruses,” the CDC’s statement said. 

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“The patient reported eye redness (consistent with conjunctivitis), as their only symptom, and is recovering. The patient was told to isolate and is being treated with an antiviral drug for flu.”

The CDC said this is the second case of a human testing positive for H5N1 in the U.S., after a previous case was observed in Colorado in 2022.

“This infection does not change the H5N1 bird flu human health risk assessment for the U.S. general public, which CDC considers to be low,” it added. 

“However, people with close or prolonged, unprotected exposures to infected birds or other animals (including livestock), or to environments contaminated by infected birds or other animals, are at greater risk of infection.”

“At present, it does not transmit readily from person to person.”

The CDC said it is “working with state health departments to continue to monitor workers who may have been in contact with infected or potentially infected birds/animals and test those people who develop symptoms.” 

Human symptoms can range from mild (e.g., eye infection, upper respiratory symptoms) to severe illness (e.g., pneumonia), according to the CDC.

Infectious diseases expert weighs in

Erica Susky, a Toronto-based medical microbiologist certified in infection control, said she believes there is generally “not a high risk” of human-to-human transmission, given that “the natural reservoir” of H5N1 and other strains of avian influenza is birds and not humans.

“Cases of H5N1 in humans usually occur in people who have had contact with birds (slaughter, de-feathering, butchering or preparing),” she told Fox News Digital. 

While bird flu has a 60% fatality in humans, Susky noted, it rarely occurs.

“At present, it does not transmit readily from person to person,” she said.

The primary concern involves the influenza virus, she said, which is “excellent at mutating and recombining.” 

“If there are repeated contacts between species that are the natural reservoir for one type of influenza viral strain — like birds and H5N1 — and humans, the chances of this novel strain adapting to spread in this different species increases,” Susky told Fox News Digital.  

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“As there are more cases of H5N1, there are more chances for a crossover event into humans.”

Some of the biggest sources of spread, Susky said, are industrial agriculture and modern cities, where a virus like influenza can pass readily through human and bird populations.

“Currently, birds share influenza strains less often with humans, though that can change — it is how past influenza pandemics have arisen,” she said.

To prevent spread, Susky recommended practicing proper infection prevention techniques, which is important not only for bird flu, but also for seasonal influenza

Those techniques include following proper and frequent hand hygiene before preparing food, eating or touching one’s face, and after using the washroom or coming in contact with animals.

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Other mitigation strategies include receiving the annual influenza vaccine for those who qualify, and not going out among other people while feeling ill. 

“The best way to minimize one’s risk of coming in contact with novel influenza strains is to avoid contact with birds and wild animals, if possible,” Susky added.  

Fox News Digital’s Greg Norman contributed to this report.

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HUGH HEWITT: Will Democrats trade in Biden for a newer model in Chicago?

“US election: Donald Trump 7/4 favourite for White House return.”

That was the headline at the United Kingdom’s Ladbrokes’ betting emporium —in July of last year! I have to think the line there is moving in Donald Trump’s favor every week. President Joe Biden isn’t exactly a “dead candidate walking”—he was a 2:1 bet in the same bookie forum at the same time—but between the Wall Street Journal and Fox News polls this week, you have to love 45’s odds over 46.

I think Trump enters “mortal lock” territory if he picks a “normie Republican” as his running mate. People simply don’t vote for the second name on the ticket, but they do factor it in, especially when the contrast will be with Vice President Harris. If Trump picks Senator Tom Cotton, Senator Joni Ernst or former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo—all veterans, all disciplined campaigners and serious voices on national security—I think Trump can order the drapes for the Oval the second time. Give the establishment GOP, the RINOs, the independents and even the old school Democrats who believed in national defense something to cling to and Trump wins most of them. These three are all conservative but they are conservatives with whom most “normies” are very comfortable.

The issues are set and they favor Trump. An easy way to remember them is with the mnemonic AABCDEII: Afghanistan and appeasement, border, crime, “DEI” and inflation. You could add another “E” for “education” and make it AABCDEEII, but some folks remain queasy over “school choice.”

I don’t. “Choice” is established and working in Arizona, Iowa, Ohio, Florida and elsewhere, but is still blocked in Texas. I think “school choice” is a winner with parents, but haven’t heard much yet from the former president on saving kids from broken public schools where the expansion of administrators at the expense of classroom teachers is mind-boggling.

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There is also the endless “lawfare” being waged against Trump, and any fair-minded American is repulsed by it. The absurd circus in the New York civil “fraud” case alerted the center-right and center-left voters that the Empire State is no place for Republicans or even moderate Democrats to do business if they fall afoul of the political interest of that state’s Attorney General Leticia James and end up in the courtroom of a judge from the left. That charade was bad for every business in New York.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is about to increase Trump’s lead with Bragg’s joke of a criminal prosecution. Listen to former Southern District of New York Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew McCarthy’s podcast, “The McCarthy Report,” to get the honest-to-goodness assessment of this ridiculous prosecution. Now, I don’t think Trump can get a fair trial from the presiding judge there either or from the Manhattan jury pool, so I expect a conviction unless one courageous juror with a brain gets on the jury and simply refuses to be part of this Big Apple witch-hunt.

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But I also don’t think a conviction in Manhattan will in any way hurt Trump. Legacy media is betting everything on a conviction arriving on the bizarre theory Bragg cooked up actually hurting Trump, but they don’t get out much from their Blue Bubbles. “Normies” know what’s going on here. And they don’t like it, no matter how often NBC and MSNBC hosts and “analysts” scream at them that they must DQ the former president if he’s convicted, even if it is a show trial in a kangaroo court. They are all lefties—all of them—and they don’t understand that the public generally understands—and loathes—”lawfare.”

7-4 is a good line for Trump right now. I suspect it will even be better in May and then pop more with his VP choice. Which leads to the key question.

When do Democrats panic (if they haven’t already?) The obviously infirm president who can’t even do an interview with Stephen Colbert without former presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton flanking him and propping him up, is fading in real time. But no one has stepped out yet asking for an “open convention” which will be the “Go!” signal to California Governor Gavin Newsom and many others in the wings. (The GOP’s nightmare is Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro as the Democratic nominee, with VP Harris sticking in the #2 position.)

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The polls are great for Trump and awful for Biden. The cake seems baked absent some extraordinary event and a Manhattan show trial isn’t going to be such an event no matter the result.

Democrats gavel in their Chicago convention on August 19. I don’t know if Ladbrokes has opened a line yet on whether somebody other than Biden is the actual Democrat nominee come, but if I was in England, I’d be stopping by to place some quid on “somebody else” right now. 

Hugh Hewitt is one of the country’s leading journalists of the center-right. A son of Ohio and a graduate of Harvard College and the University of Michigan Law School, Hewitt has been a Professor of Law at Chapman University’s Fowler School of Law since 1996, where he teaches Constitutional Law. Hewitt launched his eponymous radio show from Los Angeles in 1990, and it is today syndicated to hundreds of stations and outlets across the country every Monday through Friday morning. Hewitt has frequently appeared on every major national news television network, hosted television shows for PBS and MSNBC, written for every major American paper, authored a dozen books and moderated a score of Republican candidate debates, most recently the November 2023 Republican presidential debate in Miami and four Republican presidential debates in the 2015-16 cycle. Hewitt focuses his radio show and this column on the Constitution, national security, American politics and the Cleveland Browns and Guardians. Hewitt has interviewed tens of thousands of guests from Democrats Hillary Clinton and John Kerry to Republican Presidents George W. Bush and Donald Trump over his 40 years in broadcast, and this column previews the lead story that will drive his radio show today.

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