Review Category : Poltics

Sen. McCaskill Says Clinton ‘Most Qualified,’ Marco Rubio ‘Folded Like a Cheap Shotgun’

Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call(NEW YORK) — Senator Claire McCaskill, an early endorser of Hillary Clinton’s campaign for president in 2016, told ABC’s Martha Raddatz on Sunday that Clinton is “the most qualified” person “to be a champion for working families in this country.”

McCaskill defended Clinton’s record in regards to the email controversy that has embroiled the former secretary of state in recent months. “I think most Americans understand that this has turned into a political exercise,” she said, “Benghazi has had more hearings, more documents produced, more investigative effort than the entire Iraq war.”

“And at this point,” McCaskill argued, “it’s pretty clear that she implemented all the recommendations of an independent review, she has answered all of the questions.” As for the House Select Committee, which continues to ask Clinton for more answers, the Missouri senator said that “they are really getting into dangerous territory where it becomes blatantly obvious that this is just about politics and not about policy.”

McCaskill echoed others, saying that neither she nor Clinton want to see the former secretary of state undergo a coronation ahead of the 2016 election. “Anyone can challenge Hillary Clinton if they would like to,” noted McCaskill, “the reason people aren’t challenging her is because of her qualifications.”

Raddatz also questioned McCaskill’s endorsement of Clinton, considering the senator endorsed Barack Obama instead of Clinton in 2008.

“That was a tough choice,” McCaskill admitted. “I am glad I don’t have that kind of tough choice this time. This is not a hard choice. And I don’t think it will be a hard choice for America.”

On a weekend where many possible GOP candidates gathered in New Hampshire and took shots at Clinton’s campaign, McCaskill cracked a joke at the expense of Marco Rubio, who also announced his candidacy last week.

“The minute Rush Limbaugh criticized him, he folded like a cheap shotgun,” McCaskill said about Rubio’s stance on immigration reform. “That’s old politics. That’s not what we need right now. That is the stalest trick in the book.”

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Hillary Clinton’s Facebook Interactions Nearly 90 Times More Than Martin O’Malley in Iowa

Hillary Clinton (L) Photo: ABC/ Martin H. Simon — Martin O’Malley (R) Photo by Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has a significant lead in Iowa when compared to former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley — a potential opponent for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016 — in at least one platform: Facebook.

Clinton, who announced last week that she’ll again run for the White House, had nearly 90 times the number of Facebook interactions in Iowa compared to O’Malley during a period measured earlier this month. The former Maryland governor is currently considering a bid for the presidency.

According to Facebook, which provided the data to ABC News, the number of interactions from April 8 to April 14 related to Clinton were 268,000, while the number of interactions related to O’Malley were 3,000.

During the that time period, Clinton both announced she’d be seeking the White House and also made her first campaign stop in the Hawkeye state.

Facebook defines “interactions” on the social platform as posts, comments, likes and shares.

According to the Facebook data, 57 percent of the interactions related to Clinton were positive, while 82 percent of the interactions related to O’Malley were positive.

Interactions in Iowa related to Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts — who has repeatedly said she would not be running for president –- were 15,000, while interactions related to Vice President Joe Biden matched those of O’Malley.

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North Carolina Man’s Obituary: Don’t Vote for Hillary Clinton in 2016

ABC News(CONCORD, N.C.) — A North Carolina man may influence the 2016 presidential election from beyond the grave if his family gets their way.

Larry Darrell Upright, an “avid golfer” who loved his family, died Monday in Concord, North Carolina. He was 81.

Upright didn’t, however, apparently share that love for Hillary Clinton.

“The family respectfully asks that you do not vote for Hillary Clinton in 2016,” read the obituary, which ran in the local newspaper. “R.I.P. Grandaddy.”

His family described Upright as a diehard Republican, according to ABC affiliate WSOC-TV in Charlotte, North Carolina.

“He was very passionate about politics and probably passed a little of that on, so it was natural for me to think about that,” his daughter, Jill McLain, said of adding the unconventional line at the last minute.

Upright may get his final wish. Over a dozen well-wishers posting their condolences on a Kannapolis, N.C., funeral home’s website, which also carried the obituary, made it clear they would steer clear of Clinton, the former secretary of state who announced last Sunday that she was running for president.

“Our deepest sympathies to the Upright family,” wrote one. “Rest assured we will NOT vote for Hillary in 2016.”

“I am a stranger and I do not know you or your departed,” another wrote. “However, I saw the obit and wanted to express my condolences and to let you know that your sense of humor is wonderful. Please know that we will not be voting for Hillary.”

Not everyone was swayed, though.

“Sorry for your loss,” wrote one poster, “but I’m voting for Hillary anyway.”

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Cruz Talks ISIS Threat, Slams Obama Administration to GOP Crowd

ABC News(NASHUA, N.H.) — Texas Senator Ted Cruz, the final speaker at Saturday’s Republican Leadership Summit, highlighted that it was time the United States got serious about dealing with the ISIS threat in the Middle East.

“We need a clear-eyed commander in chief who number one sets the objective and the objective is not to weaken, it’s not to degrade ISIS, it is to utterly and completely destroy ISIS,” Cruz said.

Cruz was among several Republicans to address the GOP Leadership Summit in Nashua, New Hampshire on Saturday.

The presidential candidate once again called for abolishing the IRS, and touched on some of his foreign policy positions. He slammed the Obama Administration for not sending a top official to France after the terrorist attacks there in January, saying “imagine a president who stands with our allies.”

“We all remember just a few months ago seeing over 40 world leaders walking arm and arm in solidarity with France against radical Islamic terrorism and where oh where oh where was the United States of America,” he said.

After his speech, Cruz was asked if he will vote to confirm Loretta Lynch as Attorney General.

“My vote on Loretta Lynch is going to be unambiguously, No,” Cruz said.

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Rand Paul Boasts National Security, Bashes Clinton in New Hampshire Speech

ABC News(NASHUA, N.H.) — Kentucky Senator Rand Paul spoke about the need of a strong national defense while attacking Hillary Clinton’s actions in a speech on Saturday.

Paul was among the many Republican presidential hopefuls in Nashua, New Hampshire over the weekend to speak to voters at the GOP Leadership Summit.

The presidential candidate spoke Saturday morning about what it will take for the Republicans to win back the White House, saying his party needs to stand up for civil liberties and that the number one priority of the federal government is national defense.

“The president won’t name the enemy but I will. It’s radical Islam. Until we name it we can’t defeat them and I can tell you this, that if I’m ever the commander in chief, I will do everything it takes to stop and defend the country against radical Islam,” Paul said.

The presidential candidate also criticized members of his own party for being too quick to get involved in conflicts abroad, saying that we need to think before we get involved.

“In fact if you can say one thing that is probably true in the Middle East, every time we’ve toppled a secular dictator, a secular strong man, we’ve gotten chaos and the rise of radical Islam,” he said.
He also attacked Hillary Clinton’s actions in Benghazi, Libya while she was Secretary of State, saying she completely ignored countless requests for more staffing ahead of the deadly attack in September 2012.

“I think that her dereliction of duty, her not doing her job, her not providing security for our forces, for our diplomatic missions, should forever preclude her from holding higher office, applause,” he said.

Paul added that Clinton’s actions of not providing security there, should “forever preclude her from holding higher office.”

“To win these purple states that aren’t so easy anymore I think we need to be the party that defends the entire Bill of Rights,” he said.

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New Hampshire Welcomes Potential GOP Presidential Candidates

ABC News(NASHUA, N.H.) — The first primary election is a little over 300 days away, but Republicans are already trying to capture the moment in New Hampshire and make their pitch to voters.

A total of 19 Republican presidential hopefuls are in the Granite State this weekend for the sold-out Republican Leadership Summit in Nashua, New Hampshire.

Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who is officially running, got the New Hampshire million dollar question when attending a house party: Is he a Boston Red Sox Fan?

““How bout this? I’m not a Yankees fan,” he said.

Recent polls show Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who is yet to announce, leading the pack, followed by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul.

Voters on Saturday will get to hear from Senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, both of which have announced they are running for president, as well as Scott Walker and Donald Trump.

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President Obama’s Weekly Address: Climate Change Can No Longer Be Ignored

Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — In his weekly address, President Obama spoke of his administration’s efforts to combat the threat of climate change in advance of activities planned for Earth Day on Wednesday.

“The world is looking to the United States – to us – to lead,” Obama said. “And that’s what we’re doing,”

The president points out that carbon pollution has been reduced by 10 percent since 2007, even as the economy has recovered from the Great Recession, and that the United States continues to be a leader in wind and solar power production.

“America is number one in wind power, and every three weeks, we bring online as much solar power as we did in all of 2008,” he said.

Obama said he will call attention to the threat of climate change during a visit to the Florida Everglades on Wednesday, where he plans to speak about the threat it poses to the nation’s economy and to the world.

Read the full transcript of the president’s address:

Hi everybody. Wednesday is Earth Day, a day to appreciate and protect this precious planet we call home. And today, there’s no greater threat to our planet than climate change.

2014 was the planet’s warmest year on record. Fourteen of the 15 hottest years on record have all fallen in the first 15 years of this century. This winter was cold in parts of our country – as some folks in Congress like to point out – but around the world, it was the warmest ever recorded.

And the fact that the climate is changing has very serious implications for the way we live now. Stronger storms. Deeper droughts. Longer wildfire seasons. The world’s top climate scientists are warning us that a changing climate already affects the air our kids breathe. Last week, the Surgeon General and I spoke with public experts about how climate change is already affecting patients across the country. The Pentagon says that climate change poses immediate risks to our national security.

And on Earth Day, I’m going to visit the Florida Everglades to talk about the way that climate change threatens our economy. The Everglades is one of the most special places in our country. But it’s also one of the most fragile. Rising sea levels are putting a national treasure – and an economic engine for the South Florida tourism industry – at risk.

So climate change can no longer be denied – or ignored. The world is looking to the United States – to us – to lead. And that’s what we’re doing. We’re using more clean energy than ever before. America is number one in wind power, and every three weeks, we bring online as much solar power as we did in all of 2008. We’re taking steps to waste less energy, with more fuel-efficient cars that save us money at the pump, and more energy-efficient buildings that save us money on our electricity bills.

So thanks in part to these actions, our carbon pollution has fallen by 10 percent since 2007, even as we’ve grown our economy and seen the longest streak of private-sector job growth on record. We’ve committed to doubling the pace at which we cut carbon pollution, and China has committed, for the first time, to limiting their emissions. And because the world’s two largest economies came together, there’s new hope that, with American leadership, this year, the world will finally reach an agreement to prevent the worst impacts of climate change before it’s too late.

This is an issue that’s bigger and longer-lasting than my presidency. It’s about protecting our God-given natural wonders, and the good jobs that rely on them. It’s about shielding our cities and our families from disaster and harm. It’s about keeping our kids healthy and safe. This is the only planet we’ve got. And years from now, I want to be able to look our children and grandchildren in the eye and tell them that we did everything we could to protect it.

Thanks everybody, and have a great weekend.

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GOP Weekly Address: Use Economic Pressure On Iran

Photo by Brian Kersey/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — In this week’s Republican address, Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois spoke of the ongoing need to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons.

Kirk, the co-author of sanctions legislation in the Senate, said the United States and its negotiating partners in the nuclear talks must continue to use strong economic pressure on Iran to prevent the country from getting nuclear weapons.

“‘Lately, Iran has tried to backtrack on the promises they made to President Obama,” said Kirk. “Iran now wants sanctions immediately lifted which would fund Iran’s terror subsidiaries with billions. Secretary Kerry testified before the Senate and said it would only take two more months to build a bomb.”

Kirk argues that the current economic sanctions are what forced Iran back to the negotiating table.

Read the full transcript of the Republican address:

Hello I’m Senator Mark Kirk, I’m honored to represent the people of Illinois in the Senate.

I’m here today to talk about my work to ensure that the next generation of Americans never has to hear about a nuclear war in the Persian Gulf.

Iran is the world’s biggest state sponsor of terror.

Iran’s Aytatollah’s are now trying to build their own nuclear weapons.

Iranian leaders have repeatedly threatened to annihilate Jewish families across the state of Israel.

Four years ago I authored a bipartisan Iran sanctions Legislation that passed the Senate by a vote of 100-0.

These sanctions forced Iran back to the negotiating table.

They were so effective that they dropped the value of Iran’s currency by ¾.

This was probably the entire reason why the Iranians even showed up at the negotiations.

Lately, Iran has tried to backtrack on the promises they made to President Obama.

Iran now wants sanctions immediately lifted which would fund Iran’s terror subsidiaries with billions.

Secretary Kerry recently testified before the Senate and said it would only take two more months for Iran to build a bomb.

We must use strong economic pressure on Iran to prevent them from getting nuclear weapons.

Stopping Iran from getting nuclear weapons is the greatest challenge to peace in our time.

After the Holocaust we promised ‘never again.’

We must keep terrorists from hurting our allies and our nation.

Thank you for listening and God Bless the United States of America.

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2016’s Chipotle Primary: Why Presidential Candidates Are Sweating About Salsa

marcnorman/iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — When it comes to presidential politics, there’s more than one kind of primary. There are the ones that happen in the states (such as the New Hampshire primary), the one that happens behind-the-scenes (the money primary) and the one that happens in the media (the perception primary).

Introducing the Chipotle primary.

Yes, the early weeks of the 2016 presidential race may be remembered as a moment when the candidates and potential candidates faced a barrage of questions about burritos.

It all started with Hillary Clinton’s pit stop at an Ohio branch of the Mexican fast food chain on her recent road trip to Iowa. She ordered a chicken burrito bowl with guacamole, a chicken salad and a drink. Her aide forked over $21 for meal and reportedly kept the change, leaving nothing for the tip jar.

Now, it’s officially become something candidates and potential candidates for the White House — repeat, the White House — have to talk about.

In Manchester, New Hampshire, where Marco Rubio was campaigning for president on Friday, the Florida senator was asked whether he tipped during his own recent visit to a Chipotle restaurant in Washington, D.C.

“I’m sure we did. We always tip,” Rubio explained to reporters. “My dad was a service sector worker.”

(The Rubio campaign later clarified that an aide paid for the senator and was in a rush without cash and didn’t tip. But Rubio wasn’t aware no tip was left until the aide ‘fessed up to it).

So it goes.

On Thursday night, at an event in Concord, New Hampshire, reporters pressed former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, the all-but-declared presidential hopeful, whether he had ever eaten there.

“Do I go there? Yeah, I go there. The one on US 1. Drive my own car, park my own car, get out of my own car,” he said. “Get Chipotle, take it home.”

Pressed even further about his tipping practices, Bush shrugged, and gave a quick nod.

But he suggested it was all a moot point: “We normally cook our own food, my own Mexican food at home. It’s pretty good.” (No tipping required).

So, presidential candidates, who’s up next in the burrito line?

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Laura Bush Reveals New Details About President George W. Bush’s Painting Hobby

ABC News(WASHINGTON) — Former first lady Laura Bush provided new details about former President George W. Bush’s much-discussed painting hobby during an interview with ABC News, saying that the couple has had an artist’s studio constructed at their ranch in Texas and that her husband’s latest project is a “big series of prickly pear cactus.”

“It’s been a lot of fun for him, very engaging, I think, painting is,” she said during an interview conducted last week. “And now that we have the new studio at the ranch, we can — he can paint there more.”

The topic came up as Laura Bush and ABC News’ Jonathan Karl took a brief tour of the newly renovated White House Visitor’s Center on Pennsylvania Avenue, just down the street from the White House. The two had just viewed a photo on display of her preparing for the first White House State Dinner in September 2001 with then-Mexican President Vicente Fox.

Bush said her husband, who “has teachers,” might give one of his cactus paintings to Karen Hughes, who served in the Bush administration, for her house in Santa Fe.

A self-portrait done by the former president leaked online following the hacking of a relative’s email account in 2013. Later that year, Bush told ABC News’ Diane Sawyer that he loved to paint and that it changed his life in an “unbelievably positive way.”

The former first lady, sitting down with Karl, discussed her post-White House life, said the “chef” was the thing she missed most about living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and recalled fond memories of walks abound Washington’s tidal basin, a picturesque spot resplendent with cherry blossoms this time of year.

She enjoyed “driving in now and seeing the cherry blossoms,” she said. “And when we lived here, when we lived in the White House, I had a friend and we’d walk real early in the morning around the tidal basin under the cherry blossoms before any other walkers were out.

“I miss that,” she added. “Washington is a beautiful city. It’s like a big national monument. I miss the city of Washington, for sure.”

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