Democratic governors offer some friendly advice to Biden

Happening this Tuesday: Immigration talks collapse, jeopardizing aid to Israel and Ukraine… President Biden travels to Massachusetts for a trio of Boston-area fundraisers… Doug Burgum suspends his presidential campaign… And GOP debate stage for Wednesday night shrinks to four candidates.

But FIRST… As Democratic governors gathered in Phoenix last weekend to take a victory lap following Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear’s win in a deep-red state, 2024 was on everyone’s mind — including President Joe Biden’s own re-election. 

And the assembled Dem governors offered friendly advice to Biden, who’s battling tough poll numbers and facing a potentially competitive rematch versus Donald Trump 11 months from now.  

“It’s going to be really important for the president to show how he has worked hard to improve people’s lives in very tangible ways,” Beshear told reporters, citing the bipartisan infrastructure and CHIPs legislation that Biden signed into law.  

“See, people love the announcements and love the groundbreaking, but the ribbon-cutting is the reality,” he added. 

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly agreed. “Ribbon-cuttings and groundbreakings are energizing, because it’s all good news and everybody’s happy. So, if I were him, I would spend a lot of time doing those,” she said.  

Beshear also said that it’s important for Democrats to have a positive message — even if running against Trump. 

“I just believe the partisanship — the gross partisanship and the negativity are turning a lot of people off. How do you communicate with them about what that positive future can be? So, I think — I think in the end, whatever the messages are, we need to convince people that we are gonna create a better world or at least going to show up every day and do our best,” he said. 

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy also had advice for Biden when it comes to the president’s age. “How do you own his age? I would be joking about it and I’d talk about the wisdom and Warren Buffett and countless other examples who are 15 years older than he is.” 

And California Gov. Gavin Newsom stressed the importance of the entire Democratic Party helping Biden make his case with the American public. 

“It’s not the guy on the white horse who saves the day anymore,” he said. “We have to — we, the Democratic Party — need to get out there on behalf of the leader of the Democratic Party, Joe Biden and make the case anew with pride and with the principles of unprecedented accomplishment.”

Headline of the day

The number of the day is … $6 million

That’s how much North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum’s campaign spent on ads, per AdImpact, during his GOP presidential primary campaign, which Burgum suspended on Monday.

The bulk of the money was spent on TV markets in and around Iowa and New Hampshire, but Burgum, who was relatively unknown to the GOP primary electorate before he ran, never caught much momentum among voters in either state.

He also used his personal wealth to fund much of his campaign. As of Sept. 30, $12.2 million of the total $15.2 million he raised came from loans from Burgum himself, according to his latest campaign finance report.

In the most recent NBC News/Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll, only 12 of 404 likely GOP caucusgoers surveyed (3%) said Burgum was their first choice in the primary.  

Per pollster Ann Selzer, five of those 12 selected former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley as a second choice, three selected South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott (who has since dropped out of the race) second, two selected former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as a second choice and one person selected former President Donald Trump. The 12th person did not select a second choice. 

Eyes on 2024: And then there were four

Four Republican presidential hopefuls have qualified for the next primary debate, the Republican National Committee announced Monday night, making Wednesday’s debate the smallest stage yet. 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie all met the donor and polling thresholds to qualify (although Christie barely met the polling threshold, thanks in part to a poll released shortly before Monday’s deadline). 

Donald Trump once again will not attend the debate.

 The candidates will face off in Alabama and the debate will be hosted by NewsNation, “The Megyn Kelly Show” on SiriusXM and The Washington Free Beacon.

The announcement came hours after Burgum ended his campaign, and he slammed the RNC’s debate requirements in the process, saying, “None of their debate criteria relate to the qualifications related to actually doing the job of the president.”

Meanwhile, the RNC is considering ending its requirement that candidates only participate in debates that the party sponsors, and the committee could make a decision to lift that prohibition on unsanctioned debates this week, per the New York Times.  

 In other campaign news … 

Pressure mounts on Christie: The New York Times reports that “Republican donors, strategists and pundits” opposed to Trump are pushing Christie to drop out of the race and back Haley.  

Staffing up: Biden’s campaign announced his campaign team in South Carolina, which NBC’s Mike Memoli writes is “part of a broader ramp-up as voting rapidly approaches and the incumbent faces a last-minute primary opposition from Rep. Dean Phillips, D-Minn.” 

Cheney’s warning: Former Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., warned in a TODAY show interview that “there’s no question” Trump will refuse to leave the White House if he is elected for another term, and she said the country would be safer if Democrats controlled the House. 

Trump trial: It appears that potential jurors in Trump’s federal election interference trial have received notices about their availability to serve during the proceeding, per NBC’s Jonathan Allen. 

Ballot push: A super PAC supporting Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s independent presidential run is planning to spend up to $15 million to put Kennedy’s name on the ballot in 10 states, per the New York Times. 

Spoiler alert: Citizens to Save our Republic has a new TV ad arguing how third-party candidates are spoilers and could help Donald Trump in 2024, NBC’s Katherine Koretski reports. 

Maura’s mission: Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey is leading the Democratic Governors Association’s effort to elect more women governors, looking to build on the record number of women serving in governors’ mansions. 

ICYMI: What ELSE is happening in the world

The gold bars found through an FBI search at Sen. Bob Mendenzez’ home have been linked to a 2013 robbery at the home of Fred Daibes, a businessman accused of bribing the New Jersey Democrat, NBC’s Jonathan Dienst, Courtney Copenhagen, Tom Winter and Zoë Richards report.

Special counsel David Weiss opposed Hunter Biden’s request to subpoena Trump and former Justice Department officials, imploring a judge overseeing the case to deny the request.