The Hill's 12:30 Report

The Hill's 12:30 Report

If you'd like to subscribe to The Hill's midday political newsletter, please click here:


The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump drops out of CPAC | Record-breaking debate ratings | Trump's new attack on Romney | What's next for Carson? | Canada thinks you are too self-centered, America

BREAKING – TRUMP WON'T ATTEND CPAC: CPAC tweeted: Very disappointed Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpIvanka Trump pens op-ed on kindergartners learning tech Bharara, Yates tamp down expectations Mueller will bring criminal charges Overnight Cybersecurity: Equifax security employee left after breach | Lawmakers float bill to reform warrantless surveillance | Intel leaders keeping collusion probe open MORE has decided at the last minute to drop out of #CPAC – his choice sends a clear message to conservatives. 

TRUMP'S STATEMENT: The gist: He'll be in Kansas and Florida instead. Here's the full story:

WHAT TRUMP IS MISSING: Thousands of conservatives have descended on National Harbor, right outside of Washington, D.C for the Conservative Political Action Conference. Your authorhas been counting elephant attire. I'm up to 8 outfits IN just a few hours in. Send me photos ofany crazy outfits you see there or on Twitter! 

–– Fox News's Sean Hannity interviewed Republican National Committee chair Reince Priebus and mentioned Mitt Romney's Trump rebuttal yesterday. The crowd angrily booed at the mention of the 2012 Republican nominee.  And here's Priebus explaining why the possibility of a contested convention is "unlikely" from The Hill's Ben Kamisar:

LAST NIGHT'S RECORD RATINGS: The Fox News presidential debate in Detroit had an 11.5 household rating, which will likely translates to 15 million viewers when the numbers are finalized. 

It's FRIDAY! Starting tomorrow, there is a primary, caucus, debate or town hall every night through Thursday. Laughs nervously. So in the words of any college freshman girl's Instagram caption, ~live for today and don't worry about tomorrow~. I'm Cate Martel with a quick recap of what you missed this morning and what's on tap for the rest of the day. Send comments, story ideas and caffeinated beverages to and on Facebook.

WINNERS AND LOSERS: The Hill's Jonathan Easley broke down the winners and losers from the debate.

Winners: Fox News's Megyn KellyDonald TrumpHillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonChris Murphy’s profile rises with gun tragedies DNC, RNC step up cyber protections Gun proposal picks up GOP support MORE and Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzWhatever you think the Alabama special election means, you’re probably wrong This week: Congress gets ball rolling on tax reform Week ahead: Senators work toward deal to fix ObamaCare markets MORE

Mixed: John Kasich

Losers: Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioOvernight Defense: Tillerson, Trump deny report of rift | Tillerson says he never considered resigning | Trump expresses 'total confidence' in secretary | Rubio asks Army to kick out West Point grad Rubio asks Army to kick out West Point grad with pro-communist posts GOP establishment doubts Bannon’s primary powers MORE and the GOP establishment

THIS IS ONE WEIRD, WEIRD ELECTION: Last night's debate had some rather odd moments including, oh, I don't know, Republican presidential candidates discussing penis size on stage and a screaming brawl over who's a bigger liar. America, it was a good run.  ¯\_(")_/¯ Anyway, here are some of the notable moments:

WHAT A CLASSY FIGHT: Donald Trump is telling his supporters how much richer he is than Mitt Romney. "He's an elitist, but I don't consider him elite because I'm much richer than he is," Trump said this morning.

SCREEECH ON THE PLANS: Secretary of State John KerryJohn Forbes KerryFor the sake of national security, Trump must honor the Iran deal Bernie Sanders’s 1960s worldview makes bad foreign policy DiCaprio: History will ‘vilify’ Trump for not fighting climate change MORE said last month he had planned to go to Cuba in March for a human rights dialogue. Well, now he's not going ahead of President Obama's visit later this month. 

IF AT FIRST YOU DON'T SUCCEED ... REPACKAGE AND TRY AGAIN!: Via The Hill's Peter Sullivan, senators are quietly negotiating a bipartisan healthcare reform bill. Timeline: Mid-March. The players: Sen. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderChildren’s health-care bill faces new obstacles Overnight Health Care: Schumer calls for tying ObamaCare fix to children's health insurance | Puerto Rico's water woes worsen | Dems plead for nursing home residents' right to sue Schumer calls for attaching ObamaCare fix to children's health insurance MORE (R-Tenn.), is drafting a bill with Sens. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayChildren’s health-care bill faces new obstacles Overnight Health Care: Schumer calls for tying ObamaCare fix to children's health insurance | Puerto Rico's water woes worsen | Dems plead for nursing home residents' right to sue Schumer calls for attaching ObamaCare fix to children's health insurance MORE (D-Wash.) and Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyChris Murphy’s profile rises with gun tragedies Murphy faces criticism from GOP challenger over fundraising email Democrat: Republicans who believe in more gun control afraid of being 'politically punished' MORE (D-Conn.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.). The Obama administration is also involved in negotiations. What's in the bill: Unclear, but it will include parts of a Murphy-Cassidy bill from last summer. More details:

TRUMP COULD WIN THIS THING WITHOUT OHIO OR FLORIDA: Via the Upshot's Nate Cohn, Donald Trump could amass the delegates needed for the GOP presidential nomination even without winning Ohio or Florida. Here's how:

JUST ANNOUNCED – SCOTUS IMMIGRATION CASE DATE: The Supreme Court will hear the legal challenge to President Obama's executive actions on immigration on April 18.

THE AWKWARD 'WOULD YOU RATHER,' SCOTUS EDITION: Via The Hill's Alex Bolton, the decision by Senate Republicans to block President Obama's Supreme Court nominee is becoming a bigger political gamble as Donald Trump comes closer to clinching their party's nomination. But hush: Senate Republicans are hesitant to admit that when asked if they'd prefer Obama or Trump to pick. Well, this is awkward.

THINGS THAT MAKE ME SCRATCH MY HEAD: Sen. Marco Rubio's (R-Fla.) campaign website was selling "fake" #DumpTrump bright red yoga pants. The campaign has since deleted the webpage, but here's what they looked like:

CANADA TO AMERICA: "LOVE US!": Via The Hill's Jesse Byrnes, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his country wishes Americans paid more attention to what's happening around the world, including with their neighbors to the north.



The Boston Globe's Matt Viser
This debate: My hands are big (wink, wink). Poll, polls, polls. "The Season." Trump University! Little Marco! Are they doing yoga?

Arianna Huffington
Actually, yoga would be a #yugeimprovement



Today through tomorrow: The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Notable speakers included below; full agenda here:

1 p.m. EST: Donald Trump campaigns in Michigan.

1:15 p.m. EST: Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) speaks at CPAC.

1:30 p.m. EST: Mitt Romney's interview on Bloomberg TV airs live.

2:30 p.m. EST Saturday: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) campaigns in Jacksonville, Fla.

2:30 p.m. EST Sunday: Arnold Schwarzenegger campaigns with Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) in Columbus, Ohio.

2:30 p.m. EST: Hillary Clinton will deliver a speech on the economy in Detroit.

3:40 p.m. EST: Heritage Foundation president and former Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) speaks at CPAC.

4:10 p.m. EST: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) speaks at CPAC.

4:45 p.m. EST: Ben Carson speaks at CPAC after saying he saw no "political path forward." He has signaled he could end his campaign.

9:15 p.m. EST: Cruz campaigns in Mandeville, La.

6 p.m. EST Saturday: Trump holds a rally in New Orleans. 

7:30 p.m. EST: Former presidential candidate Carly Fiorina delivers the keynote at CPAC.

8 p.m. EST Sunday: Hillary Clinton and Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersChris Murphy’s profile rises with gun tragedies Clip shows Larry David and Bernie Sanders reacting after discovering they're related For now, Trump dossier creates more questions than answers MORE debate in Flint, Mich.



Today is National Pound Cake Day! What a way to kick off a wild throw-your-diet-out-the-window weekend. 

THE AGE OLD (?) DEBATE – THE ONION RING OR THE FRY?: Becky Krystal of The Washington Post's "Going Out Guide" has started a heated debate over which is better: the french fry or the onion ring. That's like picking which of your children you love more!

HOPE YOU DIDN'T HAVE ANY PLANS THIS WEEKEND!: Netflix has released season four of "House of Cards." Here are five things to remember before watching:

And because you made it this far, here are some English bulldogs fighting over a treadmill.

Have a great weekend! Monday. Same time. Same place. 


To view past editions of The Hill's 12:30 Report, click here:

To receive The Hill's 12:30 Report in your inbox, please sign up here: