Afternoon Fix: Boehner raises stakes in debt fight

at 05:30 PM ET, 05/09/2011

John Boehner talks debt limit and spending cuts in New York, Ed Martin is out of the Senate race, Jan Brewer is going to the Supreme Court and Erick Erickson is attacking Jon Huntsman as disloyal.

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WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED:

* Ed Martin (R) is dropping out of the Missouri Senate race to run in the state’s redrawn 2nd district. The change of heart is a sign that some Republicans are trying to clear the field for Rep. Todd Akin (R) to run against Sen. Claire McCaskill (D). Akin has yet to announce his plans. Martin, the former chief of staff to former Gov. Matt Blunt, lost a 2010 race against Rep. Russ Carnahan in the state’s 3rd district. Carnahan’s district has basically been eliminated by redistricting.

* Arizona will take its immigration fight to the Supreme Court. Gov. Jan Brewer (R) is challenging a court order that prevented key parts of the state’s controversial immigration law from being enforced. An appeals court refused to overturn that order. Federal officials say that the law infringes on federal authority over immigration regulation.

* EMILY’s List endorsed Rep. Shelly Berkley (D-Nev.) Senate candidacy today, even as now-Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) was being sworn in to the seat. “Shelley Berkley has a great chance to be the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate from Nevada,” said EMILY’s List president Stephanie Schriock. “The EMILY’s List community was proud to support her in the past, loves her fighting spirit, and is thrilled to help her make history now.” Heller was appointed by Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) to finish out ex-Sen. John Ensign’s term.

* Rep. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) insisted in a conference call with reporters today that his Senate campaign has nothing to do with redistricting. It’s just a “unique opportunity” to represent more of the state, he says. As for the primary between Sen. Dick Lugar and Treasurer Richard Mourdock, Donnelly expects a “real strong scrap” but won’t speculate on how it would help him: “I’m not a big pundit, I’m not smart enough to know the best pathway to this or that,” he said. He has “great respect” for Lugar.

WHAT YOU SHOULDN’T MISS:

* House Speaker John Boehner will speak to the Economic Club of New York at 7 P.M. tonight. “It’s true that allowing America to default would be irresponsible,” he plans to say. But he won’t budge without spending cuts and budget reform: “Without significant spending cuts and reforms to reduce our debt, there will be no debt limit increase. And the cuts should be greater than the accompanying increase in debt authority the president is given.” You can watch the speech streamed live here. Boehner also stopped in upstate New York to campaign with Assemblywoman Jane Corwin, who is facing an unexpectedly tough race against Democrat Kathy Hochul and third party candidate Jack Davis in the 26th district special election.

* RedState’s Erick Erickson, an influential conservative blogger, published a broadside against Jon Huntsman today for planning a 2012 run while serving as President Obama’s ambassador to China. “This calls into question his loyalty not just to the President of the United States, but also his loyalty to his country over his own naked ambition,” Erickson writes. “I cannot tolerate a man serving as our ambassador to our chief strategic adversary in the world plotting, while in that capacity, to run against the President of the United States. It is unseemly and disgusting.”

* Newt Gingrich will finally roll out his campaign on Wednesday morning — for real this time. The announcement is to take place on Facebook and Twitter (where Gingrich has well over a million followers). The former House speaker intended to launch an exploratory committee in March but has struggled to untangle himself from various business interests.

* Bristol Palin has her own reality television series coming up, a docu-series for BIO Channel that will chronicle her move from Alaska to Los Angeles. Palin will work at a small charity and live with Kyle Massey of Disney Channel fame (whom Palin befriended on "Dancing With the Stars") and his brother Christopher.

* Politics and Pints is tonight! Cancel whatever else you were planning to do (including watching Boehner’s speech — you can read it later) and come to the Capitol Lounge at 7 P.M. for beer, political trivia, and general merriment.

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