Review Category : Poltics

Bernie Sanders Applied for ‘Conscientious Objector’ Status During Vietnam

Adam Bettcher/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Bernie Sanders applied for conscientious objector status during the Vietnam War, his campaign confirmed to ABC News.

“As a college student in the 1960s he was a pacifist,” Michael Briggs, campaign spokesman added in an email. “[He] isn’t now.”

Last week, the Des Moines Register ran a column from a Hillary Clinton supporter and Vietnam veteran, titled, “How can Sanders be commander in chief?”

“My question as a Vietnam veteran is: How on earth could a person claiming to be a conscientious objector become the commander in chief of the most powerful military in the world?” questioned the column author Steve Wikert. According to a profile from the Vermont Senator’s hometown newspaper, the Burlington Free Press, his conscientious objector status application was eventually rejected, but by then Sanders was too old to be drafted.

Sanders’s political and anti-war activism in the 1960s and ’70s has been well-documented. While at the University of Chicago, he was a member of several progressive peace organizations, including the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and the Student Peace Union.

As a congressman and later senator, Sanders has rarely voted to authorize the use of force.

In 1991, he stood in opposition to the first Gulf War, voting against military involvement in the country even after Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. “I think we could’ve gotten Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait in a way that did not require a war,” he told ABC’s Martha Raddatz Sunday on “This Week,” arguing that with the world in agreement, other options were available, including sanctions.

After the terrorist attacks on 9/11, Sanders did vote in favor of a military response in Afghanistan. But Sanders said the use of force, in his opinion, is not only permissible in response to an attack.

“I believe that the United States should have the strongest military in the world. We should be working with other countries in coalition. And when people threaten the United States or threaten our allies, or commit genocide, the United States, with other countries, should be prepared to act militarily,” he continued.

Sanders’s campaign website does not include any foreign policy or national security information under its “On the Issues” tab, but the Senator said he would be focusing more on those issues in the future.

On the campaign trail, Sanders does talk about his work on the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and what he sees as the long-term, human cost of war.

“The cost of war is great, and it is far more than the hundreds of billions of dollars we spend on planes, tanks, missiles and guns,” Sanders wrote in an opinion piece in the Boston Globe last summer. “The cost of war is more than 6,800 service members who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan. The cost of war is caring for the spouses and children who have to rebuild their lives after the loss of their loved ones. It’s about hundreds of thousands of men and women coming home from war with post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury, many of them having difficulty keeping jobs in order to pay their bills. It’s about high divorce rates. It’s about the terrible tragedy of veterans committing suicide,” he wrote.

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Carson Tied for Lead with Trump in Iowa, Poll Finds

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Neurosurgeon Ben Carson has surged into the spotlight.

A new poll released Monday shows Ben Carson tied with Donald Trump for the lead in Iowa with 23 percent support, marking the first time since mid-July that an Iowa poll has shown Trump not alone in the lead.

The Monmouth University poll shows the surgeon’s support has unexpectedly increased by 15 points since the organization’s previous poll in mid-July. Meanwhile, former Iowa frontrunner Scott Walker has dropped 15 points to fifth place now.

Businesswoman Carly Fiorina holds third place in the new poll with 10 percent support, although criteria for the debate on CNN among the top 10 candidates threatens her ability to grab a podium.

The three candidates in the Republican field who have never held elected office now fill the top three spots in Iowa, so it’s no surprise that two-thirds of GOP voters say they want an outsider who can bring a new approach to Washington over someone with government experience who knows how to get things done.

Carson’s favorability rating is the strongest in the field: eight in 10 Republican voters see him favorably; only 6 percent don’t.

Ted Cruz is in fourth place in the poll with 9 percent support, while Jeb Bush has sunk to 6th place with 5 percent of the vote. Bush is the only GOP candidate to garner a majority unfavorable rating in Iowa, up nine points to 51 percent since mid-July.

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Today on the Trail — 8/31/15

ABC News (NEW YORK) — It looks like an exciting, unpredictable month of August in the race for the White House is approaching a quiet end.

Frontrunners Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have no public events Monday, with Clinton back to the Hamptons to continue her vacation.

Republican establishment favorite Jeb Bush is also off the trail.

Meanwhile, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie hits the late night circuit, appearing on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on Monday.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich takes to Michigan, while Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is in Nevada for a meet-and-greet.

In the early states, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal are in Iowa.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has three events in New Hampshire.

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Hillary Clinton’s 55,000 Pages of Emails: That’s a Whole Lot of Paper

Scott Olson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — The State Department is set to release its largest batch of Hillary Clinton’s emails to date Monday, at least 6,000 pages from the over 55,000 pages it’s been poring over since April.

That’s a lot of paper.

With the average ream of paper measuring two inches thick, 55,000 pieces of paper stacked on top of each other is high enough to let someone climb up and change a light bulb 18 feet high — or even higher if the person stood on top.

The average piece of paper can fit about 500 words, single-spaced, so that much paper could fit more than 27 million words, which would take the average person, who types 40 words per minute, more than a year to type. It would take the average person, who can read a page in about two minutes, more than 76 days to read.

With one tree making more than 16 reams of paper, it may have taken six trees to create those 55,000 pieces of paper.

Watch the video for more examples to help you visualize how much paper 55,000 pages really is.

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Minnesota Sen. Klobuchar Confident Clinton Will Avoid Repeat of ’08

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar is confident Hillary Clinton’s campaign will avoid a repeat of 2008, when she lost the Democratic presidential nomination to then-Sen. Barack Obama, even as the party’s frontrunner starts to slip in the Iowa polls and faces growing controversy over her private email server.

“Her campaign is so much different than 2008,” Klobuchar told Martha Raddatz Sunday on “This Week.” “It has energy, it’s organized, it is a grassroots campaign.”

Although Klobuchar, a Democrat, has endorsed Clinton this election cycle, she supported Obama in 2008.
A new Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics poll shows Clinton polling at 37 percent in Iowa, losing ground to Bernie Sanders, who is at 30 percent. But Klobuchar, who noted that the caucuses are still several months away, did not seem concerned.

“This is not a coronation. She [Clinton] expected there would be other candidates in the race,” Klobuchar said. “You can’t just waltz in and win a Democratic primary.”

Klobuchar also said she appreciated Clinton’s tone acknowledging the problems her campaign is facing over her use of a private email server when she was secretary of state.

“In this case she had to take responsibility for what she did, and she did,” Klobuchar said. “She said she should have had two email accounts and should have done this differently.”

As for whether Joe Biden will throw his hat into the 2016 ring, which could potentially pose a serious challenge to Clinton’s candidacy, Klobuchar only said the vice president had to make a decision that was right for him and his family.

Klobuchar was elected to the Senate in 2006. Her memoir, “The Senator Next Door: A Memoir From the Heartland,” was published earlier this month.

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Bernie Sanders: ‘People Are Responding to Our Message’

Adam Bettcher/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders said Sunday he does not know whether new poll numbers putting him within 7 percentage points of Hillary Clinton in Iowa mean her campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination is in trouble, but his campaign is “doing great.”

“You know, it’s not just in Iowa. It’s in New Hampshire. It’s all across this country,” he said on “This Week.” “I think people are responding to our message.”

Sanders admitted that Clinton was “way ahead” of him in terms of her support among Democratic Party and institutional leaders, but argued that many of them might still support him in the end.

“Democratic leaders are not dumb,” said Sanders, the longest-serving independent member of Congress. “What they want and what I want is to make sure that we do not see a Republican gain control over the White House.

“And I think as these look around the country and see the kind of energy and see the kind of huge turnouts we’re getting, seeing the kind of young people who, for the first time, are getting involved in the political process … I think what these leaders — maybe not today but in a couple months — will say, ‘You know, we want to win.'”

In the Des Moines Register poll released Saturday night, an overwhelming percentage of Sanders’ supporters –- 96 percent — said they support him and his ideas, while just 2 percent said they were supporting him out of opposition to Clinton.

“They want a candidate who is not dependent upon super PACs, a candidate who is prepared to take on and overturn this disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court decision,” Sanders said.

When ABC News’ Martha Raddatz asked Sanders about the fact that his website does not include any information on foreign policy or a national security agenda, Sanders agreed those were important issues and said his campaign planned to spend more time on them in the future.

When asked specifically about his criteria for the use of force, Sanders, who voted against the first Gulf War, the war in Iraq and the use of force in Syria after the chemical weapons attack in that country, said the United States has too often gone to war unilaterally.

“I believe that the United States should have the strongest military in the world. We should be working with other countries in coalition. And when people threaten the United States or threaten our allies, or commit genocide, the United States, with other countries, should be prepared to act militarily,” he said.

“Do we need to go to war in every instance or can we bring pressure of sanctions and international pressure to resolve these conflicts?” he said. “War is a last resort, not the first resort. So you are looking at a guy, yes, there are times when you have to use force. No question about it. But that should be a last resort.”

On the question of the use of drones to strike suspected terrorist targets, Sanders said he believed drone attacks had, at times, been effective.

“There are times and places where drone attacks have been effective. There are times and places where they have been absolutely counter-effective and have caused more problems than they have solved.

When you kill innocent people, what the end result is that people in the region become anti-American who otherwise would not have been,” he said. “So I think we have to use drones very, very selectively and effectively. That has not always been the case.”

In 2013, Sanders voted against the CIA Director John Brennan’s nomination in the Senate, citing, in part, the killing of innocent people through the country’s drone program.

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Gov. Bobby Jindal Predicts Donald Trump Support Will Fade After ‘Summer of Silliness’

Scott Olson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal expressed optimism for his own presidential campaign in the face of Donald Trump’s surging popularity, calling it a symptom of the early campaign season.

“I think after we get past the summer of silliness and insults, the voters are going to begin to look at who is prepared to do the job,” he told Martha Raddatz on ABC’s “This Week.” “I believe I am the candidate best able to do this job on the first day.”

Like several of his fellow Republican presidential candidates, Jindal said Trump has tapped into “anger” and “frustration” to draw his large crowds.

“What the polls tell me is that nobody really has any real voters right now,” he said.

Several polls indicate Jindal will not be on the prime-time Republican debate stage next month. However, he remains confident he still has ample time to catch fire.

“We are seeing great momentum in Iowa. We are seeing standing only crowds, we are gong to every county,” said Jindal. “What I see is that votes haven’t committed to any candidate yet … this is a wide open race.”

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5 Stories You’ll Care About in Politics This Week

ABC News(WASHINGTON) — If we have our undisputed frontrunners, why does nobody seem to be happy about it?

Maybe it has something to do with the hair. Donald Trump has his, but we’re not sure his rivals will have theirs by the time they read all of Trump’s Tweets. Hillary Clinton says she colors hers, but the focus of the Democratic race is on some men who most certainly don’t.

As Labor Day weekend approaches, we’re talking about Bible verses, chocolate bars, and Asian people.

At least we’re entitled to ask some questions, we assume.

Here’s a look at some of the stories the ABC News political team will be tracking in the week ahead:

MAIL BAG

Hillary Clinton might be sorry she ever set up her own private server, but that doesn’t mean anyone’s done talking about her emails. Monday will bring thousands of fresh pages released by the State Department, with reams of emails that may or may not touch on classified issues. To round out the week, two former top Clinton aides will be deposed on Thursday in front of the House Benghazi committee. This is all separate from a rolling series of releases involving her aides’ emails that have pulled back the curtain on the always complicated web of Clinton world connections – plus former President Clinton’s lucrative speaking career. The email disclosures and her handling of them have already caused deep concern about Clinton’s candidacy inside the Democratic Party.

VEEP’S STAKES

What will Joe do? It’s the biggest question in the Democratic race, as we near decision time for the vice president and an anxious party. Joe Biden told Democrats this past week that he’s not sure he has the “emotional fuel” for another run. But Draft Biden officials have the caloric fuel handled, passing out chocolate bars to those same Democrats the following day. Biden will be in Florida Wednesday and Thursday for a speech and a meeting specifically designed to sell the Iran deal. As his team-in-waiting puts pieces in place to support a possible run, Biden still appears weeks away from a decision, though signals (intentional and otherwise) will be emanating from his camp.

OBAMA EFFECT

We’re not in lame duck territory just yet, and President Obama is out to prove it. The Obama agenda is becoming the 2016 agenda, despite and sometimes because of a certain Republican frontrunner. The president’s trip to Alaska on Monday will put energy and climate issues in the spotlight, and put Obama himself in the middle of some stunning pictures. Republican candidates led by Scott Walker are calling on the president to cancel or dial back a scheduled state visit by the Chinese president. Then there’s Iran, with Donald Trump and Ted Cruz joining forces – and Dick Cheney lending his voice, too – to push Congress to kill the nuclear deal. It’s hard to think of a troika that might unite Democrats more quickly.

LONELY ON TOP

The GOP frontrunner is reaching new high-water marks in polls while breaking every rule of politics. Donald Trump is campaigning his way – with nighttime rallies, nonstop interviews, and middle-of-the-night Tweets that taunt and flummox his opponents. Labor Day weekend offers the possibility of a quieter Trump campaign. Will any of his opponents be able to fill the void? Traditional stumping is being supplemented with policy addresses – foreign policy is a good late-summer topic – yet no one has yet solved the Trump equation with satisfactory results.

DEBATE DEBATES

Who’s in, who’s out, and how many will there be? The deadline for polls that count toward earning a spot at the second Republican debate is Sept. 10. Already some GOP candidates – led by Carly Fiorina – are complaining that they aren’t being ample space to prove they’ve broken through since the first debate. On the Democratic side, complaints are growing about the fact that there will be only six debates. Martin O’Malley is flat-out accusing the Democratic National Committee of colluding with the Clinton campaign to limit the number. The encounters are make-or-break moments for candidates, so the lobbying and pressure is intense.

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How Joe Biden Surprised Delaware Democrats Ahead of 2016 Decision

Drew Angerer/Getty Images(WILMINGTON, Del.) — Will he, or won’t he?

Home in Wilmington, Delaware, for the weekend, Vice President Joe Biden made an unannounced stop by the Sussex Democratic Jamboree in Lewes, spending time with his most loyal supporters as he contemplates a presidential bid.

The vice president “wanted to thank the community for all their support the last few months,” a Biden aide said of the visit to the event, an annual fundraiser for the local Democratic Party.

“It was a very unexpected surprise,” said Chad Lingerfelder, the vice chair of the Sussex County Democrats who has known the vice president for 20 years through Biden’s friendship with his grandfather. “He’s not a politician, he’s a friend.”

Biden spent 10 minutes standing on a table with a microphone in hand, thanking the loyal crowd for backing him “emotionally and politically through the highs and lows,” Lingerfelder said, adding that the vice president did not discuss a 2016 bid in his remarks and or take questions from reporters.

While Delaware Democrats hope to see Biden mount a bid for president above all else, they want him to make the right decision for himself, Lingerfelder said.

“We understand that whatever decision he makes has to be for his family first and our country second,” he said.

Biden’s visit to the Jamboree was first reported by NBC News.

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Poll: Hillary Clinton’s Iowa Lead Over Bernie Sanders Shrinks to 7 Points

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(DES MOINES, Iowa) — Bernie Sanders is closing in.

That’s the latest from a new poll released in Iowa on Saturday night, showing Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton leading Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders by only 7 percentage points, 37 percent to 30 percent.

The Des Moines Register/Bloomberg News poll also shows Vice President Joe Biden, who is still considering entering the race, at 14 percent.

The poll comes less than three weeks after a Boston Herald/Franklin Pierce poll in New Hampshire on August 11 showed Sanders leading Clinton, 44-37, in that state.

Still, Clinton maintains a broad national lead. She led Sanders by 23 points in a Quinnipiac poll early this week.

The seven-point margin is Clinton’s smallest lead in Iowa this election cycle, and her 37 percent support is her lowest showing in the state since the campaign began.

“What this new poll shows is that the more Iowans get to know Bernie the better they like him and what he stands for,” Sanders spokesman Michael Briggs said. “We’ve seen the same thing in New Hampshire and across the country.”

The numbers show more of a decline in support for Clinton than an increase in support for Sanders. Other polls this summer have shown Sanders hovering around 30 percent in Iowa. But in the past, Clinton has garnered support from roughly half of Iowans.

That leaves a rather high 14 percent of likely Democratic caucus-goers in Iowa unready to choose a candidate at this point.

The poll also finds that among voters under 45 years old, Clinton is losing to Sanders by a broad 23 points.

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