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Ryan to tell House GOP that PA race should be a wakeup call

Paul Ryan
House Speaker Paul Ryan on Capitol Hill. Photo: Aaron P. Bernstein / Getty Images

House Speaker Paul Ryan is expected to tell House GOP members Wednesday morning that last night's special election in western Pennsylvania was much closer than it should have been — and that continued Democratic enthusiasm should serve as a wakeup call, according to a person familiar.

What to watch: Ryan is also expected to argue that Democrat Conor Lamb's strategy —
which Ryan will frame as campaigning as a conservative in a conservative-leaning district — is why the race was razor thin. But the suggestion that Lamb was unique could be a hard message for Ryan to sell, as the GOP has consistently fallen short in key elections in Virginia, Alabama, and New Jersey over the past year.

  • Ryan will say Lamb employed a strategy that will be very tough for other Democrats to replicate in the fall, arguing that Lamb actively distanced himself from Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic brand.
  • He'll also reiterate the importance of selling the tax cuts and note that every single Democrat opposed what he views as an increasingly popular law. 
Axios 3 hours ago
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LIVE: A conversation on guns in America featuring Parkland student David Hogg

Axios hosts a conversation on guns in America, featuring Stoneman Douglas High School student David Hogg, Sen. Richard Blumenthal and SVP at the National Shooting Sports Foundation Lawrence Keane.

Jonathan Swan 5 hours ago
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Bolton bombshell: the clashes to come

John Bolton
John Bolton speaks at CPAC in 2016. Photo: Andrew Harrer / Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sources close to President Trump say he feels John Bolton, hurriedly named last night to replace H.R. McMaster as national security adviser, will finally deliver the foreign policy the president wants — particularly on Iran and North Korea.

Why it matters: We can’t overstate how dramatic a change it is for Trump to replace H.R. McMaster with Bolton, who was U.S. ambassador to the U.N. under President George W. Bush.