Jeb Bush moves fast to clean up comment on women's healthcare

Welcome to Trail Guide, your daily tour through the peaks and valleys of the 2016 presidential campaign. It's Tuesday, Aug. 4, and this is what we're watching:

  • Jeb Bush  rushed to try to limit the damage after saying he was 'not sure we need' to spend $500 million on women's healthcare
  • Leading candidates including Donald Trump, Bush and Scott Walker will headline the field at Thursday's Republican debate.
  • Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry was one of the on-the-bubble contenders who failed to make the cut, based on an average of recent polls.
  • Rounding out the field: Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee, Chris Christie, John Kasich and Ben Carson .
  • We all have our weaknesses. This week candidates are being coached to overcome theirs in Thursday's prime-time debate. Lisa Mascaro has this look at the GOP field and its foibles.  
  • Mark Z. Barabak  talked to Donald Trump fans and foes  in Nevada and found people had much to say about the GOP front-runner

Bush backtracks fast on women's healthcare comment

 (Mark Humphrey / Associated Press)

(Mark Humphrey / Associated Press)

Jeb Bush's campaign wasted little time before trying to recast comments he made questioning the amount of federal money that goes to women's healthcare. The campaign says Bush was referring only to funding for Planned Parenthood, which he wants to cut off.

Likewise, Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign wasted little time before seizing on the remark, as it aims to bolster its support among women. The Times' Seema Mehta has the back-and-forth and the back story.

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#moderncampaigning: Clinton and Bush spar on Twitter

Lineup announced for Thursday's first Republican debate

Fox News has announced the lineup for the first Republican presidential debate, one that will probably be dominated by the figure standing at center stage, Donald Trump, whose attention-grabbing skills have allowed him to leap to the front of a crowded GOP field over the last six weeks.

Flanking Trump in the 10-candidate debate lineup will be Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida and onetime front-runner, and Scott Walker, the governor of Wisconsin.

Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida, Ted Cruz of Texas and Rand Paul of Kentucky, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Govs. Chris Christie of New Jersey and John Kasich of Ohio and Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, will round out the field. The remaining seven announced GOP candidates will be invited to participate in a separate forum earlier in the day.

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Perry: I look forward to 'serious' forum

It's not just your imagination. Donald Trump really has been the only topic of discussion this summer

That's according to a new study out with some interesting findings:

Trump dominates the conversation in social media and traditional news sources.

He's done little to leverage that into support. "Trump is making a lot of noise, but he's not necessarily doing the work" that would be needed "to turn that share of voice into actual votes," said Lara Brown, associate professor at George Washington University's Graduate School of Political Management, a co-author of the study.

Hillary Rodham Clinton is a pro on social media, using it to bring in supporters.

And perhaps most surprising at all, at least for those of us inside newsrooms: The public is even more focused than the media are on Trump.

Details on the study from The Times' David Lauter:

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What not to do on the debate stage: A guide to each candidate's potential pitfall

 (Darren McCollester / Getty Images)

(Darren McCollester / Getty Images)

Sen. Marco Rubio has to watch the brat factor. Jeb Bush can't float too high above it all and Gov. Scott Walker doesn't want a repeat of "Cheesegate."

The Times' Lisa Mascaro walks us through the top Republican candidates and their biggest weaknesses ahead of Thursday's first GOP debate.

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New Donald Trump biography due out Oct. 6

 (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Our colleagues over at Jacket Copy, the L.A. Times blog on all things bookish, are reporting that a new Donald Trump biography is being rushed into print.

"Never Enough: Donald Trump and the Pursuit of Success," by journalist Michael D'Antonio, draws on interviews with Trump's adult children, ex-wife Ivanka and the never-shy Donald himself. Jacket Copy has more at the link below.

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Hillary Clinton, deviating from early states, will be in Ohio this month

 (Gaston De Cardenas / Associated Press)

(Gaston De Cardenas / Associated Press)

Republicans aren't the only ones flocking to Ohio in August.

Hillary Rodham Clinton will travel to Cleveland this month in an effort to bolster grass-roots support, according to her campaign.

Ohio, a highly competitive swing state in the general election, has tilted toward Democrats the last two election cycles, with President Obama carrying the state in 2008 and 2012.

Though Democratic and Republican candidates have spent much of the summer darting across the early-nominating states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, some candidates are focusing elsewhere.

On Tuesday, Clinton will travel to Colorado for a grass-roots event and attend fundraisers.

In recent days, Clinton, the former secretary of State, released a pair of campaign television ads that highlight her mother and look to help Clinton better connect with voters.

As the Democratic front-runner, Clinton is certain to be the focus of attention Thursday night in Cleveland when 10 of the 17 Republicans vying for the GOP presidential nomination will be onstage for the first debate of the election cycle.

Activists welcome GOP to Cleveland with questions on race and police brutality


With the full flock of GOP presidential candidates heading to Cleveland this week for their debate, advocates and interest groups are seizing the chance to get their attention.

The group says it has purchased nine billboards around the city to post messages meant to call attention to issues of racism and police brutality, reports.

Three billboards reference the deaths of Tanisha Anderson, John Crawford and Tamir Rice. Crawford and Rice were killed by white police officers. Anderson died in police custody.

Six electronic billboards will carry messages aimed at Megyn Kelly, one of three Fox News debate moderators, all under the hashtag “#heyMeg.” One asks, "Will the GOP support the right to vote for citizens who have served their time?"

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I would get the best guys. Carl Icahn is a friend of mine. I'd say Carl, congratulations, handle China. I'd get other guys like Carl. I'd say, good luck, here's Japan. Believe me, we will do so well. We will make so much.
Donald Trump explains on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" how as president he would tap his network of corporate moguls to negotiate "the best" trade deals.

Who will make the cut for the debate stage?

 (Jim Cole/AP)

(Jim Cole/AP)

A blitz of new polling shows the Republican top 10 firming up as Fox News prepares to announce the candidates who've earned a spot in Thursday night's debate.

The Times' David Lauter has the rundown on the numbers and what it means for the three candidates who've been on the bubble -- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

The Bloomberg poll released Tuesday has Perry lagging just behind the other two, Lauter notes, along with this nugget about front-runner Donald Trump's surprisingly broad support:

"Trump's support ranged broadly across subgroups within the GOP. Bush beat him barely among self-described moderates, the poll found, but he won among conservatives. He did less well with those earning over $100,000 and with evangelicals, the poll found."

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Biden Watch: VP's sister says family 'not gathering around' to decide on White House bid

The money: Who's got it and where they're getting it


On Friday, the "super PACs" supporting presidential candidates filed financial disclosure reports, providing the first full look at the funds candidates have amassed early in the race.

Republican candidate Jeb Bush has raised $120 million in total, about $50 million more than Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton. Most of that money came from his super PAC, which can accept donations of any amount. In contrast, Clinton has raised most of her $70 million from her official committee, to which regulations limit the amount an individual can give.

Check out this breakdown of who has raised the most money so far and from where.

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Like Donald Trump, people have a lot to say about Donald Trump

The Times' Mark Barabak recently spent some time talking Trump with Nevadans. He came back with this report on what fans and foes alike see in the tycoon-turned-candidate. Barabak also came back with a full notebook. He sends along these top three voices that didn't make it into his story:

"Trump's got a very big horn and he blows it. I just figure he's trying to laugh all the way to the bank. I don't think he's a serious candidate.... He says things that alienate a whole group of the citizenry. He couldn't be elected in a general [election] saying the crazy things he says, either about [Arizona Sen. John] McCain or about illegal aliens." -- Todd Torvinen, 55, a Democrat and estate and trust attorney in Reno.

"I can tell you what [Trump is] saying is true. He may not be the most graceful in the way he puts out his ideas, but he's not telling lies. When I was down there, the people that were coming across the border, probably the majority of them were decent folks that were trying to find a better life. But at the same time the Mexicans were notorious for cleaning out their prisons and sending them across the border." -- Michael Jack, 61, a Republican and former FBI agent who runs a private investigative firm in Reno. His FBI stint included work along the U.S.-Mexico border.

"There's a part of me that would welcome [Trump] to make an independent run [in the fall of 2016] because it just destroys the Republican side of the ticket. But my biggest problem with it is that I don't think it enables this country to have a serious debate about the issues." --Marc Picker, 58, a Democrat and attorney in Reno.

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