On Tuesday’s broadcast of “The Five,” Fox News Channel host Greg Gutfeld stated that GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump may be “the right-wing Obama,” but that maybe Trump can “speak to the America currently held captive by liberal media and entertainment.” Although he added Trump “must convince us that he’s actually more than just a pretty, red persona.”
Gutfeld said, after playing a montage of Trump’s speech in Dallas “so this is the historical first, Republican style. Forget the first female in Hillary, or the first African-American in Obama. No, this historical first is celebrity. Entertainment is the new black. Do this exercise, imagine some politician saying what Trump just said, he’d be toast. But Trump has a bubble of immunity. He says, I’m ‘an entertainer,’ declaring himself a member of a new identity group that affords a protection. True, it has some drawbacks. It’s creepy watching starry-eyed men in the media fawn over him, but who does that remind you of?” Gutfeld then played clips of various media figures praising President Obama.
He continued, “So maybe Trump is the right-wing Obama, attracting both fan boys, but impervious to gaffes. How did this happen? Why? To quote the late Andrew Breitbart, ‘Politics is downstream from culture,’ meaning culture influences politics, not the reverse. And may be that culture candidate. He’s the guy from TV, not DC. His impact flows downstream to politics, so it’s less a campaign, and more a comedic crusade appealing to the bored and fed up. The fact is, the right’s been apart from culture for so long, that maybe it takes a TV star to build that bridge, and speak to the America currently held captive by liberal media and entertainment. Trump’s got problems. He can be crass, repetitious. I wish he would say something deep for once about terrorism. I wish he would read more and riff less. He’s a gamble. One that must convince us that he’s actually more than just a pretty, red persona. Or not, he could win as is. Well, unless the Dems wise up and run Clooney.”
Gutfeld later added, that while he agreed Trump does appeal to frustration with DC, “he’s going to have to talk about actual issues and specifics.” And that he thought Trump’s Dallas speech was “very repetitious,” and that he wants “depth.”
Gutfeld also argued, “you’re having the most ideological component of the Republican Party supporting the least ideological candidate in history,” but that he’s [Gutfeld] “not ideological,” and that Trump is a “warts and all” candidate.
He further stated that “it’s hard to square off with an entertainer as a policy person or a politician, because you can’t say those things, and he can. It’s just like Barack Obama.”
Gutfeld concluded that Trump’s comments about Senator John McCain (R-AZ) 43%
“drove me crazy,” and wondered “what does it say about us?” That Trump could survive it. Although he agreed that everyone who goes after Trump sees their popularity suffer.
Hillary Clinton argued today that as president she would be as much a political outsider as any other candidate given that she would be the first female president.
“I cannot imagine anyone being more of an outsider than the first woman president, I mean really, let’s think about it,” the Democratic presidential candidate said during an interview on CBS News’ “Face the Nation.”
“All these mothers and fathers bring me the place mats with all the presidents, and they bring their daughters and they say, ‘My daughter has a question for you,'” the former senator and secretary of state explained Sunday. “And then the daughter says, ‘How come there are no girls on this place mat?’ So, I think that is a pretty big, unconventional choice.”
When pressed further, Clinton acknowledged that “political outsiders” could refer to candidates who have never held public office. But, she argued, those people would not be as effective as she would be as president.
“I know what you’re asking, ‘Do we want people who have never been elected to anything, who have no political experience, who’ve never made any hard choices in the public arena?’ Well, voters are going to have to decide that,” she said.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, however, is also admired for being a political outsider by progressives. He is seeing massive support, gaining steadily in the polls, and even leading Clinton in New Hampshire.
During her interview today, Clinton also brushed aside the notion that she isn’t authentic and doesn’t show her “real” self out on the campaign trail.
“I can’t possibly do that,” Clinton said when asked to name three adjectives that describe her. “Look, I am a real person. With all the pluses and minuses that go along with it.”
Walker was in asterisk territory in one recent poll. REUTERS/Chris Keane
By Jenna Johnson, Robert Costa and Dan Balz September 21 at 4:23 PM
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is suspending his presidential campaign today, effectively ending a once-promising GOP presidential bid that collapsed over the summer, according to several Republicans briefed on his plans. He planned to deliver the news at a 5 p.m. CT press conference in Madison, Wis.
Walker, who tumbled from top-tier status amid tepid debate performances and other missteps, had pulled back from other early-voting states in favor of a heavy focus on Iowa, where he once led the field and has strong roots as a Midwesterner.
Many backers had directed their ire at campaign manager Rick Wiley, who some Walker supporters believe expanded the staff too quickly and failed to calibrate spending during the summer fundraising season. A recent count put the number of full-time Walker campaign staff at around 90.
Earlier this month, campaigning in New Hampshire, he was hammered with questions about how his campaign would handle falling poll numbers, and the rise of Donald Trump. “We just have to stay constant, stay who you are,” he told one supporter in Rochester.
Staying constant, however, was one of his biggest challenges. On key issues of the day — from calls to end birthright citizenship to the jailing of a Kentucky county official who refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses — Walker struggled more than other candidates to clearly explain where he stands.
His performance contributed to mounting questions about the trajectory of his campaign. His verbal missteps — often the result of answering questions on the campaign trail with responses that he was forced to amend and later clarify — had been a topic of concern among his own loyalists. Last month, he twice found himself forced to clarify something he had said, first on whether he supported an end to birthright citizenship and again after an offhand answer suggesting he favored building a wall on the U.S.-Canadian border.
Walker had been urged repeatedly to be far more careful in answering unexpected questions, which have overshadowed positive reviews he’s gotten from conservative media and commentators about some of his policy proposals.
On Wednesday, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady publicly endorsed GOP candidate Donald Trump.
Well, at least Tom Brady had made it a few consecutive days without being at the crux of a controversy. But that’s over now.
On Wednesday, Brady entered the political ring again when he threw his support behind his “good friend” Donald Trump.
The New England Patriots quarterback — who spent much of the summer both in the headlines and in the courtrooms — raised the blood pressure of his PR team last week when a hat featuring Trump’s campaign slogan was seen in his locker.
At the time, Brady dodged giving a direct answer as to whether he would vote for the controversial candidate. But today, the equivocation was axed — Brady wants Trump in 2016.
In a way, it makes sense. Both figures are charismatic but oft-caricatured, and popular within their respective bases while being polarizing to the rest of the nation.
Brady, however, should be a better friend to his 69-year-old golf buddy, and should perhaps reconsider his public vote of confidence in Trump. Why?
Friends don’t let friends make an ass of themselves by running for president.
11:10 p.m. Another lighthearted question for the candidates: What would your Secret Service code name be?
Christie: “I’ve been called a lot of names by a lot of different people…I would just say true heart.”
Kasich: “My detail, they called me Unit One.”
Bush: “High energy, Donald” (a nod to Trump’s insult that he’s low energy)
Carson: “One nation”
Cruz: “Cohiba” (a Cuban cigar brand)
Huckabee: “Duck hunter”
Paul: “Justice never sleeps”
11:04 p.m. A lighthearted question for the candidates: In light of the fact that the Treasury Department plans to put a woman on the $10 bill, who would the candidates put there?
Paul: “I think Susan B. Anthony might be a good choice.”
Huckabee: “That’s an easy one I’d put my wife on there.”
Rubio: “Rosa Parks.”
Cruz; “I wouldn’t change the $10 bill, I’d change the $20…I’d leave Alexander Hamilton right where he is…I very much agree with Marco that it should be Rosa Parks.”
Carson: “I’d put my mother on there.”
Trump: “I think my daughter Ivanka…other than that we’ll go with Rosa Parks.”
Bush: “I would go with Ronald Reagan’s partner, Margaret Thatcher.”
Walker: “I’d put Clara Barton. I once worked for the American Red Cross.”
Fiorina: “I wouldn’t change the $10 bill or the $20 bill, I think honestly it’s a gesture, I don’t think it helps to change our history. What I would think is that we ought to recognize that women are not a special interest group, women are the majority of this nation, we are half the potential of this nation and this nation will be better off when every woman has the opportunity to live the life she choses.”
Kasich: “It’s probably not maybe legal but I would pick Mother Theresa.”
Christie: “I think the Adams family has been shorted in the currency business, our country wouldn’t be here without John Adams and he wouldn’t be able to do it without Abigail Adams.”
10:50 p.m. Tapper brings up the fact that Trump has linked vaccines to autism and asks Carson, a pediatric neurosurgeon, to weigh in on whether he should stop saying that.
“There have been numerous studies and they have not demonstrated that there’s any correlation between vaccinations and autism. This is something that was spread widely 15 or 20 years ago and it has not been adequately revealed to the public what’s actually going on,” he said. But, he said, there are some vaccinations which don’t prevent diseases that would kill people and said there should probably be some discretion. He blamed the concerns about vaccines on the fact that they are supported by “big government.”
As to whether Trump should stop making the link, he said he can read more and will make an intelligent decision.
Trump said, “I am totally in favor of vaccines” but said they should be spaced farther apart and given in smaller doses. He cited the case of an employee whose child got vaccines and then two weeks later got a fever and then autism.
“The fact of thematter is we have extremely well-documented proof that there’s no autism associated with vaccinations but it is true that we are probably giving way too many in way too short period of time,” he said, saying he would support cutting down on the number and frequency of vaccinations.
Paul, the other doctor on stage, was also asked to respond.
“I’m all for vaccines but I’m also for freedom. I’m also a little concerned about how they’re all bunched up,” he said.
10:35 p.m. The candidates spent several minutes discussing the issue of marijuana legalization by states, and Paul repeated his position that enforcement of drug laws has produced uneven outcomes among white and black Americans.
Christie said that New Jersey has medical marijuana laws, but “I am against the recreational use of marijuana.” He spoke about another policy in New Jersey, which is that nonviolent, non-dealing drug users go to mandatory treatment rather than jail for the first offense.
“I’m pro life, and I think you ned to be pro life for more than just the womb,” he said. But he said that victims of recreational marijuana include employers (who suffer from lost productivity) and people’s families.
Fiorina weighed in with an emotional story about her daughter’s death from drug addiction.
“We are misleading young people when we tell them that marijuana is just like having a beer. Its not,” she said. She added, “The marijuana kids are smoking today is not like the marijuana that Jeb Bush smoked 40 years ago.”
She called for criminal justice reform as well.
10:30 p.m. A confession from Bush as the discussion turns to marijuana legalization: “Forty years ago I smoked marijuana and I admit it, I’m sure other people might have done it and don’t want to admit it…my mom’s not happy that I just did.”
10:18 p.m. Though Bush has defended his brother through much of the debate, he sought some daylight on the issue of 43’s nomination of John Roberts to the Supreme Court.
“John Roberts has made some really good decisions for sure but he did not have a proven extensive record that would have made clarity the important thing. And that’s what we need to do,” he said. Later, he added, “I think he is doing a good job, but the simple fact is going forward what we need to do is to have someone that has a longstanding set of rulings that consistently makes it clear that he is focused exclusively on upholding the constitution of the United States, that they won’t try to use the bench as a means by which to legislate.”
Cruz said Roberts’ nomination was a “mistake” and that he changed the law to uphold Obamacare. Bush pointed out that he had supported Roberts’ nomination.
“That was a mistake and I regret that,” he said. He said Bush nominated Roberts because it was politically expedient.
10:10 p.m. After Jake Tapper brings up Carson’s statement that the U.S. would not have gone to war in Afghanistan if he had been president, Christie said that’s not what he would have done and told the story of worrying about his wife on 9/11 because she worked two blocks from the World Trade Center.
“We lost friends htat day, we went to the funerals, and I will tell you that what those people wanted and what they deserved was for America to answer back against what had been done to them and I support what President Bush did at the time.”
Carson said that instead of war, Bush could have used the bully pulpit to “galvanize everybody behind a national goal” the way former President John F. Kennedy did during the space race.
“While that might have been a fine idea that Dr. Carson had, these people were about to kill us,” he said.
Rubio chimed in as well.
“Radical terrorism cannot be solved by intellect,” he said.
10:04 p.m. Defending former President George W. Bush was a popular position for the audience in the Reagan Library Wednesday night. Trump went after the 43rd president when arguing with Bush over foreign policy, saying, “Your brother and your brother’s administration gave us Barack Obama. It was such a disaster those last few months Abraham Lincoln couldn’t’ have been elected,” he said.
Bush retorted, “When it comes to my brother…he kept us safe,” getting applause.
Walker chimed in with another defense after Trump said he didn’t feel safe.
“It’s not because of George W. Bush, it’s because of Barack Obama,” he said, also to applause.
9:51 p.m. Clinton becomes the main target for a few minutes as the candidates discuss the merits of attacking her:
Kasich usually avoids it. “People still have to get to know me so I want to spend my time talking about my experience,” he said.
Fiorina, who frequently attacks Clinton without being prompted, said, “Mrs. Clinton is going to have to defend her track record…lying about Benghazi..lying about her emails…she does not have a track record of accomplishment.
“If you want to stump a Democrat, ask them to name an accomplishment of Mrs. Clinton’s,” she said.
And Christie said he would be best poised to “prosecute” Clinton because of his role as as former federal prosecutor.
9:35 p.m. Fiorina and Trump get in an extended back and forth about their business successes after Fiorina is asked to respond to attacks by Trump about her tenure at Hewlett Packard.
“I led Hewlett-Packard through a very difficult time. The worst technology recession in 25 years. The NASDAQ stock index fell 80 percent. It took 15 years for the stock index to recover. We had very strong competitors who literally went out of business and lost all of their jobs in the process. Despite those difficult times, we doubled the size of the company, we quadrupled its topline growth weight, we quadrupled its cash flow, we tripled its rate of innovation,” she said.
“Some tough calls are going to be required,” she said of massive layoffs. “But as for the firing” — her firing, which Trump has criticized — “I have been very honest with this from the day it happened. when you challenge the status quo, you make enemies. I made a few. Steve Jobs told me that when he called me the day I was fired to say ‘hey, been there, done that, twice.'”
Then she hit Trump for his multiple bankruptcies in Atlantic City.
“You filed for bankruptcy four times, a record four times, why should we trust you to manage the finances of this nation any differently than you managed the finances of your casinos?” she said.
“Atlantic City is a disaster and I did great in Atlantic City. I knew when to get out, my timing was great and a got a lot of credit for it,” he said. He said he, like other businessman, have just “used the laws of the land” to help his companies.
Then Christie laid into both of them for arguing about their careers, saying Americans who are struggling or out of work “could care less about your careers. They care about theirs.”
When Fiorina started to interrupt him, he said, “You interrupt everybody else on this stage; you’re not going to interrupt me.”
“Stop this childish back and forth,” Christie said.
“After we seal the borders, after we turn off the spigot that dispenses all the goodies…people who had a pristine record we should consider allowing them to become guest workers primarily in the agricultural sphere.”
“If they don’t do it within that time period then they become illegal and as illegals they will be treated as such,” he said.
He said his plan is not amnesty because farmers cannot find American workers to do the labor they need, and he would not allow guest workers to become American citizens or enjoy the rights of citizens.
9:16 p.m. Trump and Bush spar again over whether Trump went too far by saying that Bush has a soft spot for Mexicans because his wife, Columba Bush, was born in Mexico.
Bush said he went too far, the comment was “completely inappropriate” and he should apologize.
“I hear phenomenal things,” Trump said of Bush’s wife.
“Why don’t you apologize to her?” Bush asked.
“No I won’t do that because I’ve done nothing wrong,” Trump said.
9:10 p.m. Will Trump put a number on how much his immigration plan will cost? No, but he did reiterate his plan to build a wall and deport immigrants like gang members from all over the country on his first day in office.
9:08 p.m. Fiorina was given the opportunity to respond to comments Trump had made insulting her appearance. He later said he was talking about her persona.
“Mr. Trump said to me that he heard Mr. Bush very clearly and what Mr. Bush said. I think women all over this country heard very clearly what Mr. Trump said,” she said, getting applause from the crowd.
“I think she’s got a beautiful face and I think she’s a beautiful woman,” Trump responded.
9:02 p.m. The candidates get into the issue of whether the Congress should shut down the federal government in order to defund Planned Parenthood.
Kasich said, “The president of the United States is not going to sign this and all we’re going to do is shut the government down…the American people are going to shake their heads and say what’s the story with these Republicans?”
Cruz, on the other hand, said his fellow Republicans were “preemptively surrendering” to Obama. “You know, Obama’s committed to his principles,” he said. “Republicans surrender, we need to stop surrendering and start standing for our principles.”
Christie avoided a direct question about whether he would shut down the government, urging his fellow Republicans to stop fighting with each other and put the question to Clinton instead. Finally, after repeated questioning, he said, “We should be doing these things and forcing the president to take action,” referring to cutting Planned Parenthood funding out of the budget.
Fiorina delivered an impassioned speech and said “I dare” Clinton and Mr. Obama to watch the videos of officials discussing the transfer of fetal body parts.
“This is about the character of our nation, and if we will not stand up and force Barack Obama to veto this bill, shame on us,” she said.
8:50 p.m. The candidates debate the merits of whether the U.S. should have intervened in Syria militarily after dictator Bashar Assad used chemical weapons.
Rubio said the Congress didn’t want to authorize use of force because the military was not in a position where they could win. Cruz said President Obama hadn’t answered the question of what if chemical weapons had ended up in the hands of radical Islamic groups.
Paul had a different reason for believing there shouldn’t have been any U.S. intervention.
“Had we bombed Assad at the time…I think ISIS would be in Damascus today, I think ISIS would be in charge of Syria,” he said. “Sometimes intervention makes us less safe.”
8:45 p.m. Walker finds no support for his call to cancel an upcoming state visitby Chinese President Xi Jinping. Paul said the U.S. should always talk to people it considers enemies, pointing to the Cold War. Bush also passes on the idea of canceling, but said the U.S. should be tough on China.
8:43 p.m. Cruz doubles down on his promise to rip up the Iran nuclear deal after being asked to respond to criticism from Kasich that it shows his inexperience and that he’s just playing to a crowd.
“No president of the United States…has the authority to give away our sovereignty,” he said, referring to President Obama working with the United Nations to implement the deal.
8:41 p.m. Candidates weigh in on how they’d deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Trump said, “I will get along I think with Putin, and I will get along with others and we will have a much more stable, stable world.” Fiorina said the U.S. shouldn’t be talking to Putin at all and instead should be building up its military presence in the region.
8:33 p.m. Bush and Trump tangle after Bush was asked about whether special interests controlled his campaign. As an example, Bush said that he turned down Trump when the businessman sought casino gambling in Florida. Bush said he turned Trump down.
“I promise if I would have wanted it, I would have gotten it,” Trump said.
Later, as Bush continued to press Trump over his past donations to Democrats, Trump showed some appreciation for his feistiness.
“More energy tonight, I like that,” he said, prompting laughter from the audience.
8:31 p.m. One person who’s not that interested in beating up on their fellow candidates by name: Carson. Asked who he was referring to when talking about politicians who do things that are politically expedient, he said, “I don’t want to really get into describing who’s a politician and who’s not a politician but I think the people have kind of made that decision for themselves already.”
Fiorina jumped into the discussion of outsiders.
“If someone’s beein in the system their whole life, they don’t know how broken the system is…its not that politicians are bad people, its that they’ve been in that system forever,” she said.
8:27 p.m. Kasich scolds his fellow candidates for the infighting.
“If I were sitting at home watching this back and forth, I’d be inclined to turn it off. People at home…want to know what we’re going to do to fix this place,” he said.
8:24 p.m. Walker joins in the fray hitting Trump.
“Mr. Trump, we don’t need an apprentice in the White House, we have one right now…we don’t know who you are or where you’re going.”
8:21 p.m. As with the lower tier debate, the first question has to do with Trump. It went to Carly Fiorina, who was asked if she trusted Trump to be in control of the nuclear launch codes.
“I think Mr. Trump is wonderful entertainer, he’s been terrific at that business,” she said. She added that she believed a long campaign process would be beneficial in revealing character.
Pressed for an answer to the nuclear code question, Fiorina said, “That’s not for me to answer, it’s for the voters of this country to answer.”
In Trump’s response, he took aim at Paul, who hadn’t even spoken yet.
“Rand Paul shouldn’t even be on this stage,” he said referring to Paul’s polling.
After Paul criticized Trump for attacking people’s looks in the manner of a junior high debate, Trump said, “I never attacked him on his look, and believe me there’s plenty of subject matter right there.”
8:10 p.m. The 11 Republican candidates doing best in the polls have begun the main debate at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California. On stage: businessman Donald Trump, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, neurosurgeon Ben Carson, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, businesswoman Carly Fiorina, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
The presidential race looms large in the Senate, House and governors contests.
Down-ballot races are increasingly decided by who wins the White House. To grasp this fact, it’s best to focus on two numbers: 6 percent and .781.
The first number is the total percentage of House districts that voted for different parties for president and for U.S. House in 2012. It was the lowest percentage in nearly a century. The second number is thecorrelation between the presidential results and the Senate race results in 2012. (Zero indicates no relationship, while one would indicate a perfect, exact relationship between two variables.) The correlation between presidential and Senate voting in 2012 was higher than it had been in more than half a century.
In other words, the presidential race looms very large down the ballot. And, as we examine the state of the Senate, House and gubernatorial races coming up this year and next, the presidential outcome may be especially important in the highest-profile category: the Senate.
#1.To win the Senate, win the White House
The key to Senate control in 2016 will be the state-by-state presidential results. If the GOP presidential ticket wins, even if by a hair, it will be exceptionally difficult for Democrats to take back the Senate. On the other hand, a Democratic squeaker for the presidency might not capture the Senate, but a victory of a couple percentage points may well do the trick.
Most analysts acknowledge that Democrats have a plausible but narrow path to a minimal Senate majority, requiring a net gain of four seats if a Democratic vice president is elected, or five seats if the GOP wins the White House. But this will be a heavy lift because Democrats need to capture the lion’s share of the small number of truly competitive Republican seats on 2016’s map (Florida, Illinois, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin). Moreover, Democrats have to hold their shaky seats in Colorado and Nevada. Other than Illinois, these are all states that should also be competitive in the race for the White House, which will make presidential coattails all the more important.
Because the route to a Democratic majority is difficult, the Republicans are still more likely to keep the majority than the Democrats are to grab it. At least a small net loss for the GOP is expected, though. Not losing any net seats probably requires the Republican nominee to not only win the presidency, but capture more than 300 electoral votes — something no Republican has done since George H.W. Bush in 1988.
#2. The year’s most important Senate primary
One reason Democrats have won Senate seats they should have lost in recent years is because the party has generally been able to select stronger candidates than Republicans in critical contests. Several Republican candidates, like Richard Mourdock (Ind.), Todd Akin (Mo.), Sharron Angle (Nev.), Ken Buck (Colo.) and Christine O’Donnell (Del.) kicked away winnable seats in 2010 and 2012. Democrats have had some duds of their own in recent years, but they will be saddled with their own Akin if Rep. Alan Grayson beats Rep. Patrick Murphy in the Florida Democratic Senate primary.
Democrats fear they cannot capture the Florida seat if the bomb-throwing Grayson wins, whereas they think they have a good shot with Murphy, a former Republican who has positioned himself as a centrist. Republicans understand this too, and some outside conservative groups have already run ads attacking Murphy to help Grayson, a tactic popularized by Sen. Claire McCaskill’s (D-Mo.) maneuvering to aid the weakest GOP primary candidate, Akin, in 2012. (It’s worth noting that the Republican primary in Florida is very much unsettled as well.)
There’s a larger question at work here, too. The old trope, popularized by Bill Clinton, is that Democrats fall in love while Republicans fall in line, but the opposite has been truer in down-ballot primaries over the past few cycles. A Grayson nomination, won by tarring Murphy as a faux Democrat, would suggest that the Democratic establishment could be having problems with party unity, just like the Republicans have, as President Barack Obama leaves the scene.
#3. Will any incumbents face primary trouble?
The old adage about there being only two ways for an incumbent to run for reelection — scared or unopposed — remains as apt as ever. But at this point in the 2016 cycle, few senators are trembling. In fact, it’s hard to identify a single senator who might fall victim to an intraparty challenge. The most common names bandied about are Sen. Lisa Murkowski, the Alaska Republican who won reelection in a write-in campaign after losing a 2010 primary, as well as Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.). However, none of them have attracted a high-level challenger yet.
After the turbulence of 2010 and 2012, when three sitting Republican senators failed to win renomination, every Senate incumbent (on both sides) who sought renomination won it in 2014. But the topline success hides some creakiness, particularly among the Republicans. Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) came within inches of losing, and others, like Sens. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) didn’t even clear 50 percent against weak challengers. It’s possible that the 2016 Senate incumbents will have an easier path to renomination, but there’s also discontent in the air, particularly on the Republican side, which should keep the incumbents on their toes.
On the House side, five representatives lost renomination in the 2014 cycle (this includes “kissing Congressman” Vance McAllister, who failed to advance out of Louisiana’s jungle primary). That total was slightly higher than other recent non-redistricting cycles: four lost renomination in the 2010 cycle, three in 2008, and two in both 2006 and 2004. Nonetheless, 387 of 392 incumbents seeking renomination in 2014 successfully advanced to the general election, so it wasn’t exactly an incumbent bloodbath. This far out, about the only thing we can say is that it’s likely that at least someone will lose renomination in the House: Going back to the 1974 cycle, there has always been at least one sitting representative who lost his or her party’s nomination.
#4. More retirements are coming
So far, six representatives and four senators have announced that they won’t be seeking reelection in 2016, a total of 10. This doesn’t include members who are running for other offices or those who have resigned from office during the 114th Congress. Based on Roll Call’’s handy “Casualty List,” history suggests that at least a few other members of Congress will also be leaving Capitol Hill by choice in the coming months: Since the 93rd Congress in 1973-1974, the lowest total number of retirements was 13 in the 1984 election cycle. Over the past 40 years, the average number of congressional retirements is about 29—close to 23 in the House and a little over six in the Senate.
Despite the historical average, it’s possible that there will not be any more Senate retirements. After all, during the 2014 cycle, every senator who decided to retire did so by March 2013, except for appointed Sen. John Walsh (D-Mont.), who was forced out under unusual circumstances. These early decisions make sense: Statewide campaigns are expensive, especially in competitive races, so many retirees opt to give their party and potential successors plenty of time to figure out plans for the next election. However, Sens. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) announced their exits much later on in the 2012 cycle (December 2011 and February 2012, respectively), so perhaps another senator will decide against running again in 2016. Should only four senators retire, it would be the lowest number since the 2006 election cycle (also four).
On the House side, only two representatives had announced they weren’t running again by this time in the 2014 cycle. As 22 others eventually joined them, we can be confident that at least a few more members will hang up their spurs in the coming months.
#5. New candidates will emerge
There’s still plenty of time for candidates to surface in key races. Now-Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) didn’t announce his campaign until February 2014, and former Massachusetts Republican Sen. Scott Brown, who almost beat Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen last year in New Hampshire, didn’t officially jump into that race until April. During the 2012 cycle, now-Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, a Democrat, didn’t enter the North Dakota Senate race until November 2011. Though some primaries were moved up this year on account of the presidential race, down-ballot filing deadlines are months away. That leaves plenty of time for both parties to shuffle their lineups, including in places where the parties lack top-tier challengers, such as Republicans in Colorado’s Senate race and Democrats in North Carolina’s.
#6. Could the House Republicans’ big majority actually get bigger?
Given that Republicans have their biggest House majority since the start of the Great Depression—247 seats—one might think that they are dramatically overextended in the House. Instead, it’s not out of the question that Republicans could make a tiny addition to their majority if they win the White House by a few percentage points.
The more likely outcome is a small Democratic gain regardless of the presidential result simply as a correction against the large Republican majority now. But Republicans are not nearly as overextended as Democrats were after the 2008 election, when they won 256 seats. In the subsequent 2010 midterm, Democrats were defending 48 seats won by John McCain in the previous presidential election, and they ended up losing 36 of them. By contrast, Republicans now hold just 26 seats that Obama won in 2012, and of those, Obama won only 14 by a greater margin than he won nationally in 2012. And some of those seats are held by entrenched GOP incumbents.
Since Democrats need to net 30 seats to win the House, Democrats reclaiming the majority isn’t likely unless they win the presidency in a landslide and put many Republican seats that now appear safe into play.
#7. Democrats on defense in gubernatorial races
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the 2014 midterms was that Republicans, despite having to defend 22 of 36 governorships, ended up building on their governorship total, going from 29 to 31.
Unfortunately for Democrats, they may have to wait until 2018 to cut into that GOP edge: Of 15 races being contested this year and next, Republicans are defending just six seats, while Democrats will try to hold on to nine seats, or half of all the 18 governorships they currently hold.
Of the three races being held this year, Republicans should easily hold Louisiana and Mississippi, while Democrats are struggling to defend their open seat in Kentucky. Though Kentucky businessman Matt Bevin is a weak Republican candidate who has struggled to reunite his party after his unsuccessful challenge to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in last year’s primary, his opponent, state Attorney General Jack Conway, a Democrat, does not have an enviable reputation as a campaigner and is burdened with Obama’s severe weakness in the Bluegrass State. We see Bevin as a tiny favorite, thanks to Obama’s unpopularity in the state, but this is a tight race.
Moving to next year, Democrats have good prospective candidates but face difficult holds in Missouri, West Virginia, and maybe Montana and Vermont. To make matters worse, New Hampshire could come into play if Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) decides to challenge Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R). Meanwhile, Democrats have a marquee pickup opportunity in North Carolina, which should be a very competitive election between Gov. Pat McCrory (R) and state Attorney General Roy Cooper (D). Beyond that, Democrats could have an outside shot against Gov. Mike Pence (R) in Indiana and at an open seat in North Dakota, although Sen. Heitkamp’s (D) decision to stay in the Senate makes the Republicans a strong favorite to hold the Flickertail State.
Ultimately, it’s more likely than not Republicans begin 2017 with more governorships than they hold now. But keep in mind that presidential coattails and other factors will undoubtedly affect some 2016 races in ways we cannot yet predict.
#8. The historic power of incumbency
In a large majority of elections, incumbency is a powerful, often dominant, factor. Historically, 75 percent of senators have won renomination and the general election; the success rate for House incumbents is about 90 percent. When looking only at the general election, the winning percentages rise to a little over 80 percent for senators and 94 percent for representatives. Gubernatorial incumbents have also been very formidable, with about three-fourths winning both renomination and the subsequent general election over the past 70 years.
The power of incumbency could be particularly pivotal in the 2016 Senate cycle, where there could be as many as 29 incumbents seeking reelection. Republicans are defending seven seats in states that Obama won in both 2008 and 2012 at the presidential level; six feature GOP incumbents (Marco Rubio’s presidential run opens up Florida). Although Iowa’s Chuck Grassley is effectively unbeatable, the others are likely to have tough reelection battles, particularly in Illinois and Wisconsin, the two most Democratic states of this group at the presidential level. But if Republican incumbents in states such as New Hampshire, Ohio, and Pennsylvania can hold on in a presidential cycle, it will be very difficult for Democrats to win back control of the upper chamber. And the lack of a Democratic incumbent in Nevada may boost Republican chances of winning one of the GOP’s few opportunities on the Senate map.
This summer’s election season has been dominated by Donald Trump and, to a lesser extent, other outsider presidential candidates like Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina and Bernie Sanders. We do think there is a generic desire for unscripted voices in American politics. But as the elections for president and other offices draw closer, history tells us that betting on the insiders over the outsiders in most contests is safer. Nothing better illustrates this than the consistent, towering success of incumbents of both parties in primaries and general elections.
This is the second of a two-part series updating both the race for the White House and the battle for Congress and leadership of the states. Part one, on the presidential race, is here.
Donald Trump didn’t mean any harm when he criticized fellow GOP 2016 presidential candidate Carly Fiorina’s face. He says he was just being the showman he is.
“Many of those comments are made as an entertainer because I did The Apprentice and it was one of the top shows on television,” he told Greta Van Susteren on Thursday night. “Some comments are made as an entertainer and as everybody said, as an entertainer is a much different ball game.”
Trump who is leading in Republican polls has said comments that would have buried many other candidates.
A Rolling Stone story Wednesday illustrates a scene where Trump watches Fiorina come onto the TV screen.
“’Look at that face!’ he cries. ‘Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?!’ The laughter grows halting and faint behind him. ‘I mean, she’s a woman, and I’m not s’posed ta say bad things, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious?’”
On Thursday night, he reiterated what he told CNN earlier — that the face comments were actually about her persona.
“We’re really talking about not a physical thing, we’re talking about the persona. This is a women that gets tremendous publicity,” he said. “I don’t know why…her past doesn’t go along with the publicity she’s getting.”
But it didn’t take long before he was back on his favorite punching bag: Jeb Bush. “When somebody knocks me like Jeb Bush or anybody else, I at least decide that I think it’s appropriate to fight back.”
Van Susteren pointed out this wasn’t his first time saying controversial comments about women.
Trump responded that he was leading with women, and many other groups.
“I’d like to say that nobody understands and nobody wants to do more for women,” Trump said, a favorite line of his. “My wife was talking to me and she said you cherish women you really have to talk about it a little bit more.”
Trump also addressed his spat with Dr. Ben Carson. Earlier Thursday he said Carson, who is the first person to successfully separate conjoined twins, was an “OK doctor.”
Trump backtracked a bit, saying he’s sure some people will disagree with his views.
“I’m sure he’s a good doctor, I think that he’s overrated as a doctor,” Trump said. Read more:
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during a press conference at Des Moines Area Community College in Ankeny, Iowa in this August 26, 2015 file photo.
The U.S. State Department plans to move about 50 workers into temporary jobs to bolster the office sifting through Hillary Clinton’s emails and grappling with a vast backlog of other requests for information to be declassified, officials said on Tuesday.
The move illustrates the huge administrative burden caused by Clinton’s decision to use a private email address for official communications as secretary of state and a judge’s ruling in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit that they be released.
Clinton on Tuesday for the first time apologized for her use of private email, telling ABC News: “That was a mistake. I’m sorry about that.” The news channel reported the comment before broadcast of the full interview at 6:30 p.m. ET.
The extra staff will not work on the monthly, court-ordered release of Clinton emails, which are being handled by about 20 permanent, and 30 part-time, workers, officials said. The new staff will fill in for those workers and may also handle other Clinton FOIA requests.
The front-runner to be the Democratic presidential candidate in the 2016 election has been heavily criticized since it emerged in March that she used the private set-up rather than a government-issued email address.
In a notice to employees on Sept. 2, the State Department advertised for people with skills in coordinating and assessing FOIA requests and deciding if information may be declassified and released to the public.
The notice, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters, is entitled “Enhancing Transparency: Immediate Detail Opportunities At State” and calls for workers to apply for reassignment for 9 to 12 months. Applications are due on Thursday and the agency plans to make selections by Sept. 18.
Hillary Clinton says she’s sorry
In addition to filling in for workers pulled from their normal duties to handle the crush of work from the Clinton emails, officials said the extra staff would help the department grapple with a surge in FOIA requests more generally, related litigation and a huge backlog of information requests.
On Tuesday, Secretary of State John Kerry announced that he was naming Ambassador Janice Jacobs to serve as the State Department’s “transparency coordinator” to help the agency respond to FOIA and congressional requests more efficiently.
The agency had an overall backlog of 10,045 FOIA requests at the end of fiscal year 2014 on Sept. 30, up about 15.8 percent from the previous year, according to its FOIA reports.
(Additional Reporting by Jonathan Allen in New York; Reporting By Arshad Mohammed; Editing by Christian Plumb)
After refusing in recent days to explicitly apologize for her use of private email while secretary of state, Clinton offers up a mea culpa.
It was an apology that made many of Hillary Clinton’s closest supporters bristle.
“At the end of the day, I am sorry that this has been confusing to people and has raised a lot of questions, but there are answers to all these questions,” Hillary Clinton told NBC’s Andrea Mitchell in an interview last Friday, when asked whether she should apologize for the email controversy dogging her campaign. “I take responsibility and it wasn’t the best choice.”
The classic “I’m sorry your feelings are hurt” response left many Clinton insiders fuming that the statement felt more like an insult than an apology — leading a growing chorus of advisors and donors to rachet up the pressure on Clinton and her campaign over the long weekend to take the apology a step further, multiple sources close to the campaign said.
Even operatives on her campaign admitted the apology on Mitchell’s show had not helped put the issue to bed.
“It wasn’t getting it done,” said a source inside the campaign.
On Tuesday, in a taped interview with ABC News’ David Muir, Clinton finally relented, delivering a straightforward, no-strings-attached apology.
The email set-up was “a mistake,” she said, “I’m sorry about that. I take responsibility.”
“I do think I could have and should have done a better job answering questions earlier,” she added.
Her remarks came during her third sit-down interview in recent days. The full ABC interview is set to air on Tuesday evening, but the network released Clinton’s one apologetic line in advance.
Tuesday’s change in direction followed an interview with the AP, in which Clinton again refused to apologize, on the lawyerly grounds that “what I did was allowed.” The decision to make a clean apology, a source said, was finalized Monday night.
The language of the question Clinton answered on ABC also differed from the one posed by Mitchell, who asked if Clinton “wanted to apologize to the American people for the choice you made.” That language was seen as heavy-handed by some Democrats, and asking for too much from Clinton.
“Though she can’t say it, HRC clearly went private because she didn’t want folks fishing around in personal email, and it boomeranged,” former Obama advisor David Axelrod tweeted after the interview. “She was right to admit mistake and take responsibility, but also wise to refuse the invitation to “apologize to American people.”
The new ABC News interview allowed her to apologize fully, without so explicitly beggin pardon from the entire country.
Privately, Clinton allies have been seething as the campaign has struggled to overcome the email controversy, with many blaming the fumbling response on the candidate herself. The hope was that the ABC News interview Tuesday night would provide what was necessary for the campaign to turn a corner.
The apology was the kind of reversal she never made in 2008, when on matters large and small Clinton showed off a real aversion to saying the word, “sorry.” That year, she consistently declined to apologize for her vote to authorize the war in Iraq — a move that eventually cost her in the Democratic primary.
Clinton’s shift to a more contrite response to the email story comes as evidence is mounting that the controversy has dragged on her poll numbers and favorability ratings, while Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders continues to surge and Vice President Joe Biden keeps alive the speculation of his own White House run.
VP would need union support but it’s not the movement he remembers.
PITTSBURGH – If Joe Biden runs for president, he can count on the kind of union workers who came here to march next to him on Labor Day: white, ethnic, from families that have been paying local chapter dues for generations.
The problem for Biden: there are fewer and fewer of those union workers left, here or anywhere else.
It’s a movement now that’s less male and far less Italian, Polish, or Irish than when Biden got started in politics in the 1970s. It’s one that cares about immigration reform as much as trade. And it’s one that’s highly conflicted about a potential contest between the vice president and Hillary Clinton.
Biden rallied this industrial crowd by talking about his roots, the need for labor to build the middle class, and the longest walk up the stairs any father ever has to make to tell his family he’s lost his job. “I’m mad. I’m angry. These are the people I grew up with,” Biden said, criticizing Republican policies that he says have hurt labor nationwide.
But thinking about union workers as the kind of people he grew up with in the 1940s is outdated, and that’s something Biden will struggle with if he runs for president.
“We would hope that Vice President Biden, should he intend to run, and others should really make a concerted effort to reach out to women of color,” said Kimberly Freeman Brown,former the executive director of American Rights at Work.
The potential contest between Biden and Hillary Clinton is dividing organized labor. Many union leaders aren’tthrilled with Clinton, but they’re not convinced Biden will run, and they’re trying to stay away from the speculation to avoid antagonizing her or hurting him — and damaging their already declining influence in the process.
Even the president of the American Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten, who is such a Clinton supporter that she serves on the board of the pro-Clinton super PAC Priorities USA, declined comment on the possibility of a Biden campaign.
Among the people who sat along the half-mile parade route here on Monday, Clinton hasn’t penetrated much. The former secretary of State’s campaign had no presence in Pittsburgh, not even to match the scattered hand-made Bernie Sanders signs waved at Biden. (“I love you Joe, but I’m voting for Bernie,” read one, to which Biden responded, “He’s a good man.”)
Toward the end of the route, Biden turned back to march with the Steelworkers behind their banner, and they briefly rewarded him by chanting “Run, Joe, Run!”
It lasted about a minute.
When the parade ended at the United Steelworkers headquarters building, Biden went inside for a private meeting with USW President Leo Gerard as 150 union workers rallied inside.
But away from the streets of Pittsburgh, organized labor looks very different.
“The membership has changed dramatically over two decades and it mostly has to do with the decline of private-sector unions and the survival of public-sector unionism. Women and people of color are overrepresented in the public sector,” said Ruth Milkman,a labor expert at the CUNY Graduate Center. “The movement is not homogenous, union members of different types are distributed very differently over different industries and different individual unions.”
Rallying these increasingly disparate groups around a campaign is a critical task for any Democrat who wants the nomination — organized labor can still deliver the volunteers any successful contender needs on the ground in the most important battleground states, including here in Pennsylvania. For Biden, it’s especially important, as he would need union support to catch up organizationally in early states, particularly Iowa.
And that’s why the possibility of Biden’s entry is motivating union leaders to see what concessions they can squeeze out of him in advance — like a clear ‘no’ on the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal that President Barack Obama’s trying to get through.
“If you’re not against the TPP, very candidly, people may still vote for you, but they’re not going to work for you,” said Jack Shea, the president of the AFL-CIO local Allegheny County Labor Council.
Biden’s not an obvious alternative to Clinton on this score: he’s been a major advocate for the deal, integrally involved in helping Obama get enough Democrats in the House and Senate on board to get fast-track authority approved in June.
Asked whether he sees a difference between Clinton’s and Biden’s TPP positions as he marched with Biden, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka—who had talked with Biden about the campaign over lunch at the Naval Observatory a week and a half ago—just smiled.
“That’s an issue that our members will take into account,” he said.
The other thing fueling Biden buzz among union workers is the same thing fueling it among everyone else — the sense that Clinton’s in trouble with an email controversy that will certainly drag at least into the start of primary season.
“It’s safe to say that there are some folks who are probably concerned about the current state of affairs with Hillary and the theory of potential implosion,” said Amalgamated Transit Union President Larry Hanley, who wasn’t in Pittsburgh. “And some of those folks might view Biden as safe harbor.”
Having the vice president take on Clinton, Hanley said, “would enrich the race.”
The Clinton campaign, while taking care not to look like it’s engaging with Biden, has been stepping up its response, accelerating its rollout of union support.
But the union workers who showed up here on Monday still love the vice president. And he loves them, grabbing the cap handed to him USW’s Gerard and pulling Trumka in for a bear hug, calling out local union heads, and getting the crowd going by attacking “trust fund babies” and a tax code that’s created two Americas.
“Without question Joe Biden has, throughout his career in various different ways, been a friend and ally of the labor movement,” said Charles J. Wishman, secretary-treasurer of the Iowa AFL-CIO. “If he gets into the race, and that’s a big if at this point, but if he does, I think people are still open to listening to all different kinds of messages and would be willing to listen to what he has to say.”
They’re a little more skeptical in Nevada, where he’d be hoping to crack the early state that for now seems most solid for Clinton by leaning back on old ties with some of the stronger labor unions there, and where Biden’s advisers believe he’d run strong.
“We have plenty of time to make up our mind about what an endorsement process looks like,” said Yvanna Cancela, political director for Nevada’s Culinary Workers Union Local 226. “Despite the kind of buzz and what seems like a very early start to the election, it is still more than a year away. We have time to hear from our members and hear from candidates as the field narrows or expands.”
Along the parade route, Biden started running. Then he stopped. Then he was running again, almost sprinting to catch up. Then he was back to taking his time.
The vice president’s staff at points seemed overwhelmed, trying to balance reporters craning in for every word with a boss determined to live up of every moment of what was the first and maybe last retail politicking stop of his coy pre-campaign.
“Just makes me feel like I’m home,” Biden said, as he started marching down Liberty Avenue here Monday.
Toward the end, he looked up at the reporters penned in on the back of a flat-bed truck, wondering why they were locked in.
“I’m dangerous,” Biden said with a grin. “I’m dangerous.”
WINTERSET, Iowa (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton said she never knowingly sent or received classified information using her private email server and did not know what messages were being cited by intelligence investigators as examples of emails containing classified information.
Clinton spoke briefly Saturday about the email matter after a Democratic gathering at the Madison County Historical Complex in which she stressed her commitment to a variety of issues, including her support for pre-kindergarten education and abortion access. Reporters raised the topic of the email during a brief news conference.
“I am confident that I never sent or received any information that was classified at the time it was sent and received. What I think you’re seeing here is a very typical kind of discussion, to some extent disagreement among various parts of the government, over what should or should not be publicly released,” she said.
The front-runner for her party’s nomination said she wanted the information in question to be made public as soon as possible and suggested there was confusion over the issue.
“I think there’s so much confusion around this that I understand why reporters and the public are asking questions, but the facts are pretty clear. I did not send nor receive anything that was classified at the time,” she said.
Intelligence investigators told the Justice Department in a letter this week that secret government information may have been compromised in the unsecured system she used at her New York home during her tenure as secretary of state.
Asked if the Justice Department should investigate, Clinton said: “They can fight over it or argue over it. That’s up to them. I can tell you what the facts are.”
In addition to alerting the Justice Department to the potential compromise of classified information, the inspector general of the U.S. intelligence community sent a memo to members of Congress indicating that “potentially hundreds of classified emails” were among the 30,000 that Clinton had provided to the State Department.
The office said it also raised that concern with FBI counterintelligence officials and was recommending changes in how the emails are being reviewed and processed for public release. The State Department is reviewing 55,000 pages of emails with the goal of releasing all of them by Jan. 29.
The intelligence inspector general, I. Charles McCullough, and his counterpart at the State Department, Steve Linick, said that McCullough’s office found four emails containing classified information in a limited sample of 40 emails.
Whether the Justice Department would investigate the potential compromise the intelligence inspector general highlighted was not clear. The referral to the Justice Department does not seek a criminal probe and does not specifically target Clinton.
In its letter to congressional oversight committees, the inspector general’s office said that it was concerned that “these emails exist on at least one private server and thumb drive with classified information and those are not in the government’s possession,” Andrea Williams, a spokeswoman for McCullough, said earlier this week.
The letter said none of the emails was marked “classified” at the time it was sent or received but that some should have been handled as such and sent on a secure computer network.
Clinton has said she used the private server at her home as a matter of convenience to limit her number of electronic devices. Source: Hillary Clinton Confident About Proper Handling of Emails – WTTE – WTTE FOX28
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks in Phoenix on July 11, 2015. (Ross D. Franklin, AP)
>Even after a week of attacks over his criticism of John McCain, Donald Trump continues to lead the Republican Party presidential field, a new CNN/ORC poll says.Trump, at 18% among Republican and GOP-leaning voters, leads Jeb Bush at 15% and Scott Walker with 10%, the survey says.The many other Republican candidates are in single digits.“Trump’s backing has climbed 6 points since a late-June poll, while support for Bush and Walker has not changed significantly,”
CNN reports.Two other NBC News-Marist polls also show Trump doing well in the early contest states of Iowa and New Hampshire.The billionaire leads in New Hampshire with 21%, followed by Bush at 14%, and Walker at 12%.Walker, the governor of Wisconsin, leads in neighboring Iowa with 19%, followed by Trump at 17%, and Bush at 12%, according to the NBC-Marist survey.Reports NBC News:The polls were conducted July 14-21 — so before and after Trump’s controversial comments belittling John McCain’s war record on July 18. And they suggest the comments didn’t affect Trump in Iowa (he was at 16% before the comments and 18% after), but they did hurt him in New Hampshire (26% before, 14% after).In an interview on CNN’s State of the Union Sunday, Trump said voters are simply tired of ineffectual politicians.
“This is more than me,” Trump said. “This is a movement going on. People are tired of these incompetent politicians in Washington that can’t get anything done. They can’t make deals. They can’t do anything.”Despite his momentum, most Republicans do not see Trump actually winning the GOP Republican nomination next year — 31% expect Bush to be the nominee, while 22% believe Trump will be. Another 14% predict a Walker nomination.
CNN reports that poll was done after Trump “earned rebukes from Republican leaders over his comments about Senator John McCain’s military service.” Source: Trump still tops Republican polls | OnPolitics
Democratic presidential candidate Hilary Clinton made a quick fund-raising stop in Pittsburgh Wednesday, greeting supporters gathered at the Fox Chapel home of Cindy Shapira.
The former senator of New York, former secretary of state and First Lady, now the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, arrived at the private event late morning.
Among the public officials who heard her speech were Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, Mayor Bill Peduto and Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper.
Mr. Fitzgerald, who introduced Mrs. Clinton, said between 150 and 200 supporters were there to listen to the candidate’s wide-ranging speech.
In it, he said that she praised President Obama’s record on the economy, contending that the man who beat her in the 2008 nomination battle hadn’t received enough credit for helping to pull the nation out of the worst downturn since the Great Depression. She also described the freshly negotiated Iran deal as a major accomplishment for his administration. On a more personal note, Mr. Fitzgerald said, she talked about how she had been inspired by the recent birth of her grandchild and by the struggles of her own mother during her early years in Illinois.
“It was interesting; people often say she doesn’t connect, the way Bill Clinton can, but she really connected,” Mr. Fitzgerald said. “You could see people responding to her in a positive way.“
He said she spoke for between 20 and 30 minutes, while mingling with the crowd for a little over an hour.
Her host, Ms. Shapira, is a philanthropist, and community activist and the wife of Giant Eagle CEO David Shapira. In the spring of 2012, she was the host of another high profile Democratic fund-raising event headlined by First Lady Michelle Obama.
Also in attendance was Mark Steidl of Highland Park, a 20-year-old Community College of Allegheny student who brought a message of advocacy for people with disabilities.
Mr. Steidl, who has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair, carried a sign reading: #IWantToWork, referencing a national awareness campaign. He was able to attend the event after several parents and professionals crowdfunded a donation to Ms. Clinton, said his mother, Tina Calabro.
In a Facebook message to the Post-Gazette providing a photo of himself with the candidate, Mr. Steidl wrote: “Hillary Clinton was in Pittsburgh today for a fundraiser. I met her and brought a message that young people with disabilities want to work.”
He later said in a telephone interview that he thought Ms. Clinton was nice and that he intended to vote for her.
The Clinton event was closed to the press and the candidate had no public events scheduled during her brief Pittsburgh trip. A spokesman for her campaign said they would have no comment on the visit or how much money they hoped to reap from it.
Republican presidential candidate and business mogul Donald Trump will be travelling to the U.S-Mexico border tomorrow, Trump’s campaign confirms to CBS News.
Trump will be visiting Laredo, Texas, a town along the most active part of the southern border, accompanied by border patrol agents. He told Fox News on Wednesday that after his inflammatory comments on Mexican immigrants, the tour will be an effort to “honor” him.
“I’ve been invited by border patrols and they want to honor me, actually, and thousands and thousands of ’em because I’m speaking up” Trump said in an interview with Fox News. “It could even be tomorrow.”
Trump added that border patrol officers were “tremendous” and “tough” people but that “they are not allowed to do their job and they called me.”
“I may never see you again,” Trump said, “but we’re going to do it.”
A local chapter of the National Border Patrol Council invited Trump earlier this month on a trip to Texas. The local chapter president, Hector Garza, told CNN that he wanted “to give Donald Trump a state of the border” and a “boots on the ground perspective.”
Trump also addressed the recent firestorm that erupted after he read out the phone number of Republican presidential candidate South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham’s phone number during a campaign rally Tuesday.
“I don’t regret it,” Trump said Wednesday in an interview on Fox News. “It seems to have gotten a lot of press.”
At a campaign stop in Bluffton, South Carolina, Trump read out Graham’s phone number to a crowd of under one thousand people, in part to fire back at the South Carolina senator’s criticisms of the Trump campaign.
“I don’t care if he drops out. Stay in the race, just stop being a jackass,” Graham said in an interview Tuesday on CBS This Morning.
Trump remained unapologetic for reading out Graham’s phone number to a campaign crowd and added that he “just did it for fun, and everyone had a good time.”
The billionaire real estate developer said that Graham just “started calling me a jackass on every program,” and speculated that even in his own state, Graham wasn’t a popular figure, saying that “he’s got nothing going anyway.”
“He’s got nothing. He’s got nothing going anyway,” Trump said. “You heard the applause I was getting.”
Trump added that he was “trying to be nice” while campaigning, but “everyone’s calling me names.”
The Ohio governor has been criticized over his role at the now defunct financial services company.
At one point during his first event in New Hampshire after announcing he was running for president, John Kasich turned to the cameras in the room just to make sure his point wasn’t missed.
“I learned a lot about the way America works when I worked at Lehman Brothers,” Kasich said to the cameras gathered at a town hall meeting at Rivier University in Nashua.
Kasich, 63, the two-term Ohio governor, who on Tuesday became the 16th Republican to jump into the presidential race, was responding to criticisms from Democrats that his stint as a managing director in investment banking at Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. is a black mark against his candidacy.
“I learned how entrepreneurs worked; I learned how boards of directors think.”
Ohio Governor John Kasich
Democrats have criticized Kasich and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who also worked for Lehman Brothers, as profiting from Wall Street while the firm collapsed in 2008 and ushered in the worst recession since the Great Depression.
“He couldn’t be more out of touch with the millions of Americans who struggled to make ends meet after the financial meltdown,” U.S. Representative Tim Ryan, a Democrat from Ohio, said of Kasich in a blog posting for The Hill.
“The last thing we need in a president is the Lehman Brothers approach to America,” TJ Helmstetter, Midwest press secretary for the Democratic National Committee, said in a statement after Kasich’s comment in Nashua.
Kasich made it clear that he’ll continue talking about his business experience on the campaign trail because he met people including the founders of Google and learned what it takes to create jobs.
“I learned how entrepreneurs worked; I learned how boards of directors think,” Kasich said in Nashua. “If you want to rebuild this economy, you better have somebody elected that understands the economic situation in this country and what makes businesses invest.”
Kasich’s former colleagues at Lehman have described him as a facilitator, forging relationships and working with Lehman teams on initial public offerings, debt offerings and other deals in areas including manufacturing, media and technology.
Kasich is spending the next two days in New Hampshire as part of his presidential campaign roll-out, followed by trips to Iowa, South Carolina and Michigan.
While New Hampshire is particularly attractive for Kasich because his record appeals to fiscal conservatives there, the governor will also campaign in the other early-voting states, said John Weaver, his chief strategist.
“We’re going to compete in every state,” Weaver said in an interview before Kasich’s announcement in Columbus. “Our goal is really to be disciplined enough not to get between he and the voters.”
While Kasich’s decision to expand Medicaid and his positions on immigration and the Common Core education standards don’t endear him to some conservatives in Iowa, he can get support among Republicans there once voters hear from him, said Mary Ann Hanusa, an Iowa state representative from Council Bluffs. She accompanied Kasich on a June 24 trip to Iowa and traveled to Columbus for his announcement.
“He’s going to play in Iowa,” Hanusa said. “Iowa conservatives are not a monolithic bloc.”
Kasich, who has been languishing at about 2 percent in recent polls, has been airing televisions ads in New Hampshire in advance of his presidential announcement with hopes of polling high enough to be one of the 10 candidates included in the first Republican presidential debate Aug. 6 in Cleveland.
The ads were paid for by New Day for America, a 527 organization supporting Kasich’s presidential bid that will soon file with the Federal Elections Commission as a super-PAC, New Day spokesman Matt David said.
Kasich acknowledged in response to a question in Nashua about the campaign finance system that he won’t have as much money as other candidates “but hopefully, I’ll have enough.”
My life changed forever when I was a young man on an exchange program in León Guanajuato, Mexico. Across a plaza, I saw a girl. She spoke little English, and my Spanish was a work in progress. But for me, it was love at first sight.
Monday, July 20
Should I win this election, you will not find me deferring to the settled ways of “Mount Washington.” The overspending, the overreaching, the arrogance, and the sheer incompetence in that city – these problems have been with us so long that they are sometimes accepted as facts of life…
Let’s Revive Veto Corleone
Monday, July 20
Jeb earned the nickname Veto Corleone because as governor, he vetoed over 2,500 separate line items in the budget. No one was safe from Jeb’s veto power. If a piece of the legislation was not in the best interest of the people of Florida, it was cut…
Conquering Mount Washington
Sunday, July 19
Jeb refused to go along with the establishment and be another member of the club, and it made all the difference.
Eight years as Governor and 8 years of hard work led to 8 balanced budgets, 8 years of tax cuts, and 8 billion in new reserves…
Silicon Valley Done Right
Friday, July 17
Just over a month after launching his campaign for President, Jeb made a visit to Silicon Valley, the tech capital of the world. The visit was fitting for a man some called the “eGovernor.” A man who insisted his blackberry make it into his official portrait. And a man who now wears an Apple Watch to check Twitter throughout the day…
Silicon Valley Favorites
Wednesday, July 15
Jeb will be in Silicon Valley to tour Thumbtack, a company sometimes described as “the biggest startup you’ve never heard of.” Ahead of his visit, we thought we’d ask him about some of his tech-related favorites.
SPOILER: Jeb is the first politician in history to side against apple pie…
Jeb Bush on the Obama Administration’s Nuclear Deal with Iran
Tuesday, July 14
The nuclear agreement announced by the Obama Administration today is a dangerous, deeply flawed, and short sighted deal.
A comprehensive agreement should require Iran to verifiably abandon – not simply delay – its pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability…
Hillary Clinton is Wrong: Americans Want the Opportunity to Work
Thursday, July 9
In America today, more than 6.5 million people are stuck in part-time jobs. That is 6.5 million people who want a full-time job, but can’t find one in the anemic Obama economy. They are earning $30,000 less than those who are fully employed and they are falling behind…
Thursday, June 25
In his announcement speech, Jeb laid out a plan, an aspiration for 4% economic growth in our country, which would create 19 million jobs in eight years. Immediately he was blasted by the pessimistic, liberal Clinton allies in Washington who said the “new normal” was 2% growth and who don’t believe that America can grow again.
In this video, “4 Percent”, Jeb talks about how – regardless of what the defeatist…
Someone Who’s Done It
Tuesday, July 7
Jeb has never been afraid to make tough decisions. As governor of Florida, he faced many battles and won. He took on the teachers unions, the trial bar and other special interests to upend the status quo and put Floridians first…
INFOGRAPHIC: Florida’s Growth Under Jeb’s Leadership
Tuesday, July 7
Yesterday, Governor Bush wrote about the zombie economy created by the policies of Barack Obama. An economy where, no matter what else happens, most Americans are falling behind. And an economy more Americans believe is getting worse than those who think it’s getting better…
Getting Out Of The Zombie Economy
Monday, July 6
Barack Obama’s policies have given us a zombie economy where no matter what else happens, most Americans are falling behind. Last week we got news that the share of Americans at work or looking for work is at a 38-year low…
Today We Are All Patriots
Saturday, July 4
As you can see, it’s not just the fireworks, food and fun that complete a Fourth of July celebration. It’s the togetherness of community, family, and people from all walks of life uniting as one…
Jeb on the Fourth
Saturday, July 4
Find out what Jeb will be doing to celebrate Independence Day. Hint: It involves bands, floats, food and spending quality time with a certain former president and first lady of the United States. It doesn’t get much more patriotic than that…
Wednesday, July 1
Walk through this South Carolina based high tech company with Jeb as he tours the facility and meets the employees. Like many businesses in this country, Nephron is worried about the future of our country. Despite having world-class products, Nephron is still seeking its permit from the FDA to be able to move forward with commercializing its products. It’s frustrating…
Jeb On The Trail
Monday, June 29
Join Jeb on the trail as he travels to New Hampshire and Iowa, from town halls to the Tonight Show. Keep up with the campaign by going behind the scenes with Jeb as he engages directly with voters and meets people and families from all walks of life…
Henderson Town Hall and Hugs
Monday, June 29
More than 300 Nevadans came out on Saturday morning for the final stop of Jeb’s Announcement Tour. The town hall in Henderson included laughs, hugs and a commitment from Jeb that Nevada would see him a lot over the next 16 months.
And they all learned what happens when you tell Jeb you became a Republican after 50 years as a Democrat…
Statement: Governor Jeb Bush on Today’s Supreme Court Decision on Same-Sex Marriage
Friday, June 26
“Guided by my faith, I believe in traditional marriage. I believe the Supreme Court should have allowed the states to make this decision. I also believe that we should love our neighbor and respect others, including those making lifetime commitments. In a country as diverse as ours, good people who have opposing views should be able to live side by side. It is now crucial that as a country we protect religious freedom and the right of conscience and also not discriminate.”
This is Not the End of the Fight Against ObamaCare
Thursday, June 25
I was disappointed by last week’s Supreme Court ruling in the King v. Burwell case. But that decision is not the end of the fight against ObamaCare…
Tuesday, June 23
Denisha Merriweather had failed twice by the time she was in the third grade. Her public school was not meeting her needs, but her godmother, Johnell Jones, couldn’t afford a private school…
Behind the Launch
Tuesday, June 23
Go behind-the-scenes with Jeb in the final moments leading up to his presidential announcement at Miami Dade College…
The President Must Prioritize Cybersecurity
Monday, June 22
The United States helped drive the information revolution and created the internet. We benefit tremendously from the open and dynamic architecture of an internet that has become the backbone of global communication and commerce…
Monday, June 15
I am a candidate for President of the United States. We will take command of our future once again in this country. I know we can fix this. Because I’ve done it.
Following in the footsteps of 14 Republican candidates who came before him, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker entered the presidential race Monday promising fresh leadership, reform, economic growth and safety for the American people.
“My record shows that I know how to fight and win. Now, more than ever, America needs a president who will fight and win for America,” Walker said.
The proclamation followed a list of his accomplishments as governor of Wisconsin: lowering taxes, passing lawsuit and regulatory reform, passing pro-life legislation and implementing voter ID laws in the state. All that followed on what he likely sees as the most important accomplishment, the one that fight that catapulted him into national prominence: “We took on the unions and we won,” he said.
He was referring to the 2011 bill he proposed that would have eliminated collective bargaining rights for most public employee unions in Wisconsin. The move sparked raucous protests at the State Capitol building in Madison and an effort to recall Walker from office. After a fierce battle, he prevailed on June 5, 2012, becoming the first governor in U.S. history to survive a recall attempt. It was the second of three statewide elections he would win in a four-year period (the other two were his election and re-election as governor).
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker officially launches White House bid
“He’s the strongest anti-union Republican in the bunch, and that’s an issue that resonates both with average Republicans, but also with business Republicans that give a lot of money to the party,” Julian Zelizer, a presidential historian at Princeton University, told CBS News earlier this year. “It defines him.”
Walker’s kickoff speech was held in Waukesha, Wisconsin at the site of his 2012 recall election rally. He has taken the message of standing up to the unions to Iowa and turned it into an early and persistent lead in the polls.
He promised “real reform” for Washington, D.C., modeled after what he had done in his home state, saying, “Our big, bold reforms in Wisconsin took the power from the big government special interests and put it firmly into the hands of the hard-working taxpayers.” That included ending seniority and tenure for teachers, a move that Walker credits for Wisconsin’s increased graduation rates and test scores.
Walker also pointed to reforms in Wisconsin that require people who receive welfare to first enroll in a job training program and take a drug test.
Recalling his own childhood with a small-town pastor for a father and part-time secretary and bookkeeper for a mother, Walker said he and his brother inherited “the belief that if you work hard and play by the rules, you can do and be anything you want. That’s the American Dream. And that is worth fighting for.”
“Helping adults who are able to work transition from government dependence to true independence will help more people live that dream,” he said.
Who is presidential candidate Scott Walker?
His plan for growth includes a pledge to repeal the Affordable Care Act, roll back “out-of-control regulations,” use America’s resources to create energy, approving the Keystone pipeline, and getting rid of Common Core school standards.
To explain his focus on tax relief, Walker compared it to buying a shirt at Kohl’s. By the time the shirt goes on sale and he and his wife use coupons and rewards to lower the purchase even more, “they’re paying us to buy that shirt.” (“Well, not really,” he acknowledged.)
“So how does a company like Kohl’s make money? Volume. They make it off of volume,” Walker said. “You see, they could charge you $29.99 and a few of you could afford it or they can lower the price and broaden the base and make more money off of volume. That’s what I think about your money – the taxpayers’ money. The government could charge the higher rates and a few of you could afford it. Or, we can lower the rates and broaden the base and increase the volume of people participating in our economy.”
He praised former President Ronald Reagan’s leadership on foreign policy and said that America is “headed toward a disaster” under the “Obama/Clinton doctrine.”
He called for ending any nuclear deal with Iran and allowing U.S. military personnel to directly help Kurdish and Sunni Arab allies fight the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
“Earlier this year, the President proclaimed that climate change is the greatest threat to future generations. Well Mr. President, I respectfully disagree. The greatest threat to future generations is radical Islamic terrorism and we need to do something about it,” Walker said.
Scott Walker: I can take on ISIS
He also accused the president and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton of offering only “mush” that has failed to stop Russian President Vladimir Putin from encroaching into Ukrainian territory.
“Putin bases his policies on Lenin’s old principle: probe with bayonets, if you encounter mush, push; if you encounter steel, stop. With Obama and Clinton, Putin has encountered years of mush. The United States needs a foreign policy that puts steel in front of our enemies,” he said.
Like some of the other governors seeking the GOP nomination, Walker has turned to various Republican foreign policy experts to give him a crash-course tutorial on the ways of the world, after a few public blunders that highlighted the lack of attention he’s paid to foreign affairs in the months leading up to his campaign.
During a Q&A session with members of the Club for Growth in Florida earlier this year, for example, he raised some eyebrows by claiming the most significant policy decision of his lifetime was former President Ronald Reagan’s actions to break up a 1981 strike by air traffic controllers, according to the Washington Post. During a foreign trip to London in February, he avoided having to answer foreign policy questions.
And during a speech at the Conservative Political Action Committee in February, Walker suggested his experience dealing with protesters in Wisconsin proves he has the mettle to take on ISIS and America’s foreign foes. “If I can take on 100,000 protesters, I can do the same across the world,” he said.
Walker’s official entry into the race came Monday morning with a tweet and Facebook video featuring an abbreviated version of the vision he laid out in his announcement speech. He is the 15th Republican who will compete for the GOP nomination.
In a video released on Facebook, Walker previewed the argument for why he’s better positioned to run the country than the more than dozen other competitors for the GOP nomination: “There are some who are good fighters, but they haven’t won those battles. There are others who have won elections but haven’t consistently taken on the big fights. We showed you can do both.”
I’m in. I’m running for President of the United States because Americans deserve a leader who will fight and win for them. SHARE if you stand with me. Support at ScottWalker.com! -SW
Posted by Scott Walker on Monday, July 13, 2015
Walker will hold a rally Monday evening in Waukesha, Wisconsin, to make the announcement in person.
His political martyr story combined with his record of electoral success and his “I’m just a regular guy” schtick (see: the reference to clipping Kohl’s coupons) will be front-and-center as he begins his campaign. Following the announcement speech, he’ll barnstorm through four early primary and caucus states with an emphasis on his regular-guy theme with stops at Harley-Davidson dealers in each state, barbecue in South Carolina, a diner in New Hampshire, and a Winnebago tour through Iowa.
Governor Scott Walker changed his stance on immigration
But there are several potential cracks in the Walker foundation. He faces dropping approval ratings at home in the face of tough fiscal and economic realities. Like other governors, his foreign policy experience is limited, at best, and he has to deal with some hardcore conservatives have been skeptical about his shifting rhetoric on some red-meat issues like same-sex marriage, immigration and education.
Still, he has proven to be an exciting prospect for Republican voters, which has kept him consistently in the top two or three candidates in polls this year.
CBS News Senior Political Editor Steve Chaggaris contributed to this story.
Washington (CNN)Donald Trump wants to “bomb the hell” out of Iraq’s oil fields in order to strike at ISIS.
“If I win, I would attack those oil sites that are controlled and owned — they are controlled by ISIS,” Trump said. “I wouldn’t send many troops because you won’t need ’em by the time I’m done.”
But that strategy might do more harm than good, according to two former U.S. military officers and CNN military analysts who looked at Trump’s suggestion. That’s because bombing Iraq’s oil fields would be a serious blow to Iraq and efforts to recover once ISIS is expelled from the country.
“You’re destroying the infrastructure of Iraq, you’re not really doing much to hurt ISIS,” retired Lt. Col. Rick Francona said. “At some future point those oil fields will have to help regenerate Iraq.”
The United States did strike oil fields in Kuwait during Operation Desert Storm in the 1990s, which hurt Kuwait for years after the war.
While Trump suggested that he would then send in Exxon or another oil company to quickly rebuild the infrastructure once the conflict is over, Francona and Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, another CNN military analyst, said rebuilding infrastructure is easier said than done — especially when other surrounding infrastructure has been damaged in the process.
“We’ve made some huge mistakes in terms of just bombing things we think can just bring a nation to its knees,” Hertling said. “It’s not the people you’re going against and yet those are the ones you’re going against the most when you’re talking about indiscriminate carpet-bombing.”
Trump also said that “there is no Iraq” because of longstanding Sunni vs. Shia divides in the country that have come to the fore amid ISIS’ advance.
Hertling said that’s just not true and that “there most definitely is an Iraq” despite political and ethnic divisions.
Hertling points out that he’s remained apolitical throughout his military career but said Trump’s comments are “just troubling.”
“You have to understand the issues a little bit better than just bombing things,” Hertling said. “This is very complex and there are hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who believe they do have a country.”
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Both Francona and Hertling said there are many better ways to hurt ISIS than striking oil fields in Iraq — few of which ISIS actually controls.
A large part of ISIS’s revenue has come from oil sales, but the terrorist group is mostly pumping oil out of refineries in Syria, not Iraq.
And even in Syria, the U.S. military and coalition partners have showed restraint in not bombing oil fields in Syria, though the U.S. did strike mobile refineries in ISIS hands there — not as crippling in the long-term than a blanket bombing of oil fields.
While the Iraqi government is seriously reliant on the United States and other countries in its fight against ISIS and as it strives to keep its country together, Iraq’s top leaders would do more than just object to U.S. bombing of oil fields in its country — a central part of the country’s economy and infrastructure.
Trump says he still doesn’t know where Obama was born