The Hill's 12:30 Report

The Hill's 12:30 Report

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The Hill's 12:30 Report -- New Hampshire Edition: Dem debate ratings tank | Barbara Bush says Jeb's 'too polite' | GOP debate at 8 p.m. Saturday, followed by Larry David hosting SNL | Happy National Nutella Day!

JUST RELEASED – DEM DEBATE RATINGS TANKED: Via CNN's Brian Stelter, Last night's Democratic debate between Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Hill's Campaign Report: Biden, Harris make first public appearance as running mates Trump campaign spox rips GOP congressman over rejection of QAnon conspiracy Biden hits back after Trump's attacks on Harris MORE and Bernie SandersBernie SandersOcasio-Cortez's 2nd grade teacher tells her 'you've got this' ahead of DNC speech Trump and allies grapple with how to target Harris Chris Wallace: Kamala Harris 'not far to the left despite what Republicans are gonna try to say' MORE had the lowest ratings of the 2016 election cycle. The debate had a 3.3 household rating according to Nielsen. The prior low was 6.0 for the debate the Saturday night before Christmas. The people have clearly spoken: they must want Martin O'Malley back.

A happy, snowy Friday in N.H. -- and four days until the New Hampshire primary! Candidates are making their final pitches to voters, and their events are even more packed. In D.C., there are some flurries and snow on the way, so plan accordingly. I'm Cate Martel, on the campaign trail in New Hampshire with a quick update of what you've missed, what's going on for the rest of the day and insider tidbits from the Granite State. Send comments, story ideas and questions you'd want to ask the candidates to and on Facebook



MAILER TALLY UPDATE: In the past 4 days at my family's house in New Hampshire, we have received 31 mailers (!) from campaigns and super-PACs. Here's a photo of the full count today. And for reference, here's a photo of mail from just the last two days:

NEW POLLS -- MOMENTUM GROWS ON BOTH SIDES: Hillary Clinton is gaining some ground against Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire, cutting his lead to 55 to 40 percent in one poll. Another poll, though, shows Sanders cutting into her national lead. On the Republican side, Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpNew Bob Woodward book will include details of 25 personal letters between Trump and Kim Jong Un On The Money: Pelosi, Mnuchin talk but make no progress on ending stalemate | Trump grabs 'third rail' of politics with payroll tax pause | Trump uses racist tropes to pitch fair housing repeal to 'suburban housewife' Biden commemorates anniversary of Charlottesville 'Unite the Right' rally: 'We are in a battle for the soul of our nation' MORE continues to lead in the Granite State with 30 percent support, but Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioDemocrats ramp up warnings on Russian election meddling Davis: The Hall of Shame for GOP senators who remain silent on Donald Trump Lincoln Project expands GOP target list, winning Trump ire MORE has gained more than 5 points in the last week, now at 17 percent. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzFiorina: Biden picking Harris for VP 'a smart choice' Russian news agency pushed video of Portland protestors burning a Bible: report After trillions in tax cuts for the rich, Republicans refuse to help struggling Americans MORE polls at 15 percent, and Jeb Bush is at 9 percent.

FINAL DECISION -- CARLY IS CUT: Via The Hill's Ben Kamisar, Carly Fiorina just missed the cut in the ABC News Debate and will not be on stage, according to the lineup the network released. Because of candidate dropouts, ABC News will also not be hosting an undercard debate. The requirements to appear were placing in the top three in the Iowa caucuses or polling in the top six in either national or New Hampshire polls. Fiorina did not make the cut.

Mitt Romney tweeted: Hey ABC: put Carly Fiorina on the debate stage! She got more Iowa votes than John and Chris. Don't exclude only woman.

GLOVES OFF, FULL BRAWL: Last night's debate needed the child of the divorce (Martin O'Malley), who had kept everything civil. Hillary Clinton stormed out of the gate during last night's presidential debate, taking the offensive against Bernie Sanders, who holds a big lead in New Hampshire polls. The Hill's Ben Kamisar has a full analysis of last night's debate and what it means for Tuesday's first-in-the-nation primary.

ANOTHER SATURDAY NIGHT, ANOTHER DEBATE: I remember a simpler time, when the weather was warm and Saturday nights were for relaxation. But we're in full election mode! (Eek!) Tomorrow is the ABC News Republican debate, the last before the New Hampshire primary. 

When: 8 p.m. EST

Where: Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H. 

Participants: Donald Trump stands center-stage. To his left, Marco RubioJeb Bush and John Kasich spanning out. To Trump's right are Ted CruzBen Carson and Chris Christie in that order. Notably missing: Carly Fiorina.

Moderators: David Muir and Martha Raddatz

Jonathan Easley and Yours Truly will be at the debate. Follow us at @JonEasley and @CateMartel for behind-the-scenes tidbits, photos and information on the ground. 

ANECDOTE FROM THE TRAIL: Ted Cruz held a town hall at a sports bar in rural Weare, N.H., yesterday. Beforehand, campaign staff called the media outside for a brief press conference in which Cruz touted his strong finish in Iowa, ground game in New Hampshire and the news of day. A few seconds in, a gust of wind caught the makeshift wall and backdrop behind Cruz and shifted it uncomfortably close to the candidate. Staff readjusted it and without skipping a beat, Cruz brought it full circle saying, "Such overwhelming force behind the campaign! This is the rising grassroots on display before you!"

NEW ENGLANDERS AREN'T ALL THIS WAY: Ernie Boch Jr., the Massachusetts car dealership magnate who was an early supporter of Donald Trump's presidential campaign, explained on CNN why he's supporting Trump. "It's 2 o'clock in the morning and there's a few girls at the bar. You have to go home with one of 'em," Boch said ... on live TV. (?) "So you have to pick who you're with, and I think Mr. Trump is the best qualified."

WHAT EVERYONE ON MY FACEBOOK FEED IS SHARING: The New Hampshire Department of Transportation posted on Facebook a link to a piece from The Onion titled "Plows Working Around Clock To Keep New Hampshire Roads Clear Of Campaign Signs." Good work with Photoshop, Onion.

MINI BREAK FROM THE SLOG -- CHRISTIE HITS THE TOWN: Via's Perry Eaton, Chris Christie took a brief break from the campaign trail to catch the Bruce Springsteen concert in Boston, Mass. Can ya blame the guy?



NEW TODAY -- JOBS, JOBS, JOBS: Via The Hill's Vicki Needham, it's the first Friday of the month and finance peeps know what that means: the jobs numbers are out! The U.S. economy added 151,000 jobs in January, below the pace at the end of 2015. But the unemployment rate ticked down to 4.9 percent from 5 percent, the lowest level since February 2008.

ISIS IS BACK IN THE HEADLINES: Via The Hill's Bradford Richardson, ISIS fighters have slipped into Europe disguised as Syrian refugees, the head of Germany's domestic spy agency said.

WHEN YOUR MOM'S EVEN TELLING YOU YOU'RE BEING TOO POLITE...: Via The Hill's Mark Hensch, during an interview on CBS "This Morning," former First Lady Barbara Bush told her son Jeb Bush he is being too polite.

KELLY LAYS IT OUT: Fox News host Megyn Kelly discusses her "rival" Donald Trump on The Tonight Show. Watch: 

PLUS, KELLY JUST GOT A BOOK DEAL!: Megyn Kelly signed a book deal with HarperCollins, the publisher announced Thursday. 

WIKILEAKS UPDATE: A United Nations working group has concluded that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been "arbitrarily detained" by Sweden and the United Kingdom. The group has called on both countries to let him move around freely and give him compensation.


DEBATE AND CAMPAIGN TRAIL TWEETS: Here's a selection of tweets from the people who cover these candidates every day:

Salon's Simon Maloy
CHUCK TODD: [pulls off goatee] [is actually Martin O'Malley] 

CNN's Dylan Byers
The press corps covering this debate has no wifi. So turn off your computer and just watch.

CNN's Manu Raju 
Will Hillary release transcripts of her paid speeches? @chucktodd asks. Clinton says she will look into it. (Sounds like that's a 'no.') 

Fox5's Van Applegate
Larry David better be ready to go HAM on SNL

The Boston Globe's Matt Viser
Most frequent word for Hillary Clinton in this debate: Absolutely

Darth (HAHA)
"martin it is over ok" 

The New York Times's Nick Confessore (The night in one screenshot)
Pretty much:

CNN's Manu Raju
Jeb saying on morning shows that he won't drop out after New Hampshire, no matter how he does.



Congress is out of session because ... FRIDAY.

12:30 p.m. EST: President Obama is making a statement on the economy, followed by a press briefing. Live stream:

12:30 p.m. EST: Donald Trump's town hall in Londonderry, N.H., has been canceled because of snow.

12:30 p.m. EST: Ohio Gov. John Kasich holds a town hall in Hollis, N.H.

5 p.m. EST: Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and N.H. Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) speak at the New Hampshire Democratic Party's McIntyre Shaheen 100 Club Celebration in Manchester, N.H.

5:30 p.m. EST: Jeb Bush holds a town hall in Concord, N.H.

6 p.m. EST: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) holds a rally in Derry, N.H.

6 p.m. EST: Kasich holds a town hall featuring former New England Patriot Mike Vrabel in Bedford, N.H.

6 p.m. EST: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) holds a town hall in Salem, N.H.

6 p.m. EST: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie holds a town hall in Salem, N.H.

6 p.m. EST: Carly Fiorina holds a town hall in Merrimack, N.H.



8 p.m. EST tomorrow: The last Republican presidential debate before the New Hampshire Primary, live from Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H. 

11 p.m. EST tomorrow: Larry David (aka Bernie Sanders's spirit animal) hosts "Saturday Night Live."

6:30 p.m. EST Sunday: THE SUPER BOWL!! And in honor of it, meet the five friends who have attended every single Super Bowl (hat tip to Public Knowledge's Courtney Duffy

3 p.m. EST next Friday: President Obama will join Ellen DeGeneres in-studio.



Today is National Nutella Day and National Frozen Yogurt Day! And in honor, here's a list of 14 easy Nutella-related desserts you can make.

WHOA, WHOA, WHOA, WHOA: A wife crashed her own funeral, horrifying her husband, who had paid to have her killed. I literally couldn't have made that up if I wanted to. "Is it my eyes? Is it a ghost?" she recalls him saying when he left her funeral. "Surprise! I'm still alive!" she said.

OK, YOU'VE PIQUED MY INTEREST: Trending on Facebook is a new phenomenon of replacing the filling of a Reese's peanut butter cup with ... OREO CREAM. Video or it didn't happen: 

And with that, the Columbus Zoo has released a 30-second time lapse of its new polar bear cub's growth. 


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