Review Category : Poltics

How Scott Walker Has Been Spending His Days

ABC News(NEW YORK) — It’s been two weeks and two days since Scott Walker suspended his presidential campaign, and the former GOP contender — who was once leading the polls in Iowa and gaining early support from the likes of the Koch brothers — is settling back into his day job as governor of Wisconsin.

According to Twitter, he’s been busy, but leading a very different life than he had before dropping out of the race on Sept. 21. Here’s a look at Walker’s doings since returning to America’s Dairyland:

Met the World Dairy Expo’s 2015 Cow of the Year:

Last week, Walker attended the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wis., and posed for pictures with Hilda, winner of the 2015 Cow of the Year award. The Expo, which lasted six days and is an annual Wisconsin event, boasts exhibits, classes and of course, dairy cattle shows.

Visited World Dairy Expo in Madison and saw 2015 Cow of the Year “Hilda” from Siemers Holstein Farms.

— Governor Walker (@GovWalker) October 2, 2015

Announced Wisconsin’s Christmas Tree Theme for this year:

On Friday, Walker also announced the theme for his state’s 2015 National Christmas Tree Display: Wisconsin sports.

“It’s always a lot of fun to see what Wisconsin artists and youths come up with every year for our National Christmas Tree,” Walker said in a statement. “We look forward to selecting the artist and school that helps us to decorate the tree each year, and this year’s theme of Wisconsin Sports is one that is very near and dear to the hearts of many Wisconsinites.”

Cheered for the Badgers:

Walker has a lot more time for Wisconsin sports these days. He’s cheered from the stands at two Badgers games since he left the campaign trail.

Congrats. It was fun to be at the game tonight!

— Governor Walker (@GovWalker) September 27, 2015

…And the Packers:

Walker visited Lambeau Field (the home field of the Green Bay Packers) on Sept. 28 and met with retired Green Bay running back Dorsey Levens.

Heading up to the @Packers game! #GoPackGo #KCvsGB #MNF

— Governor Walker (@GovWalker) September 28, 2015

Went to Washington

Walker may be out of the race, but he’s still visiting the nation’s capital.

Full morning of meetings with individual lawmakers in the State Capitol.

— Governor Walker (@GovWalker) October 1, 2015

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Today on the Trail — 10/7/15

ABC News(NEW YORK) — Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush, Donald Trump, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, and Bobby Jindal are all in Iowa on Wednesday.

Clinton starts her day at a community forum in Mount Vernon and in the afternoon she will attend another event in Council Bluffs.

Bush has a morning event in Muscatine and in the afternoon holds a meet and greet in Oskaloosa.

Trump will hold an early afternoon rally in Waterloo.

Huckabee will tour a manufacturer in the Des Moines suburb of Urbandale Wednesday morning and then head to tour Renewable Energy Group in Newton at noon.

Jindal will hold a meet and greet Wednesday afternoon in Atlantic.

New Hampshire is staying busy too. Marco Rubio and Chris Christie are both in the first primary state.

Rubio has been jabbed for not spending enough time in the critical state, but he has three events Wednesday, holding town halls in Manchester, Dover and Wolfeboro.

Christie has an afternoon employee roundtable and tour at a lumber company in East Hempstead Wednesday afternoon. In the evening, he’ll hold a town hall in Raymond.

Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders are both in Washington, D.C. Wednesday afternoon to participate in the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Presidential Candidates Forum.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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John Kasich Is Chugging Along but Struggling to Get His Name Out

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — A jovial John Kasich, the Republican governor of Ohio, stood before a friendly audience at the University of Richmond on Monday, saying he would take just “one simple, last question” from the crowd.

A man stood up and looked at Kasich, who’s running for president, straight in the eye.

“People have called you the ‘Happy Warrior,'” he said. “But whenever I see you on TV, I see a lot more happy, and I just, I don’t really feel, like a visceral sense that, like, you’re the guy that can, like, do it.”

Kasich argued that to accomplish what he has — to balance a federal budget and run a state — you have to have a spine, you have to have toughness. But if you’re looking for a loudmouth, he said, count him out.

“I’m not playing to the cheap seats,” Kasich told the audience. “If that’s what it takes, I’m not going to be president. I’m not doing it.”

Kasich doesn’t have the bombast of Donald Trump, the celebrity of Jeb Bush or the outsider status of Ben Carson or Carly Fiorina. He’s polling low nationally and has struggled to draw attention to his campaign in such a packed field. Petty, headline-grabbing fights with his competitors seem anathema to the on-message former congressman.

But as the governor of an economically solid state in which he won reelection last year with two-thirds of the vote, he’s hoping his resume will secure votes in New Hampshire. Some of his centrist positions have found success among the state’s moderate Republicans, and analysts there told ABC News he could pose a serious threat to Bush or Marco Rubio if popular “outsiders” who have never held elected office — Trump, Carson and Fiorina — ever falter.

Kasich came in second behind Trump in an NBC/Marist poll of New Hampshire Republicans in September, boosted by a friendly super PAC that paid for pro-Kasich television advertising in the state, Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist College poll, told ABC News. But in the same poll this month, Kasich dropped to a tie for seventh, after he wasn’t able to sustain his momentum and the airwaves grew more crowded.

Voters who meet him frequently mispronounce his name, and several students in Richmond who didn’t hear him speak failed to identify him in a photograph (they had no problem with Trump, though).

“He’s not particularly charismatic,” Linda Fowler, a professor of government at Dartmouth College, in Dartmouth, New Hampshire, told ABC News. “I don’t think his name recognition is very high, and it’s just very hard for voters to distinguish between so many different candidates.”

That anonymity is exactly what a super PAC backing his candidacy is trying to combat.

Ohio-based New Day for America has for several months saturated New Hampshire and Boston-area television with ads for the governor, spending $6.5 million through the end of October and giving him a boost in early polls, conducted when paid political advertising was less common. Connie Wehrkamp, a spokeswoman for the group, told ABC News that New Day’s fundraising “continues to be steady” and that it has “a considerable number of paid staff on the ground in” New Hampshire.

Kasich’s campaign has nine paid staffers in New Hampshire, Kasich spokesman Chris Schrimpf told ABC News. He would not comment on whether the campaign has advertised in the state. The campaign hasn’t had to disclose its financial records yet, but Schrimpf said it was “meeting our organizational and other goals.”

With so many candidates, some voters have so far avoided the fray. Analysts said that poll results fluctuate early and don’t have a good record of predicting the results months before New Hampshire holds its primary elections in February.

Kasich and his allies are singing a similar tune. “This is a long way from being over,” Bruce Berke, a Concord, New Hampshire, lobbyist who advises Kasich’s campaign, told ABC News. “They haven’t even hit the first turn, never mind the backstretch.”

But Kasich also has some challenges, such as a perception he can be prickly and show a temper with opponents, reporters and even potential voters.

“I think if that sort of thing were to happen in a state like this with so many candidates to choose from, I think that sort of thing could be very damaging,” Chris Galdieri, an assistant professor of politics at Saint Anselm College, in Manchester, New Hampshire, told ABC News.

For now, Kasich’s chugging along, touting his frequent visits to the Granite State. He returns Friday and will be back next week for several days.

“We do well here, we’re moving on,” Kasich told dozens of people at the opening of his New Hampshire headquarters in an old house in Manchester last week. “We do terrible here, it’s over. No confusion about that.”

And to make that happen, perhaps Kasich is open to change.

“Tone matters,” Kasich told the man at the Richmond town hall who questioned his enthusiasm. “I’ll keep in mind what you’re saying.”

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Why Carly Fiorina Keeps Talking About Hot Dogs

Alfredo Sosa/The Christian Science Monitor via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — In a presidential campaign in which the candidates are constantly peppered with questions on everything from how to defeat ISIS to how to reform the tax code, Carly Fiorina is still wrestling with the answer to one of the first questions she ever received as a candidate.

The great hot dog debate, which began during a Periscope town hall on the same day she launched her White House bid in May, has now become a frequent topic of conversation for her on the campaign trail. She’s even taken to posing it to the audiences she speaks to across the country.

“I’ve been asked all sorts of interesting questions over the course of my campaign. I have a reputation for answering any question,” Fiorina said at a recent campaign event in New Hampshire. “So I have to do a little poll here, because one of the questions I was asked on the very first day of my campaign was ‘Is a hot dog a sandwich?’”

When the question was first posed, the Republican presidential contender said that a hot dog does not count as a sandwich. It’s a view she maintains to this day. And she clearly relishes turning the question back on her crowds.

“It’s a burning question on someone’s mind, so what do you think?” she continued, eliciting laughter from the audience. “How many people think a hot dog is a sandwich?”

But there’s much more to the hot dog riff than just mustard on a bun. Fiorina uses it to demonstrate how she does not shy away from answering any question — be it profound or sometimes silly — in a fashion that she says distinguishes her from career politicians.

“I can’t tell you how many people come up to me at each and every campaign event and tell me ‘Thank you, I’d almost lost hope’ or they’ll say something even more basic ‘Thank you for answering my question,’” Fiorina recently told a gathering in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

“What a low bar that is,” she continued, drawing laughter from the audience. “Really, what a low bar it is to say we’re stunned and amazed and grateful that somebody running for president actually talks in common sense and answers a plain question with a plain answer.”

When Fiorina polled a gathering of prospective voters at the New Hampshire home of former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown last weekend, only a few hands shot up in agreement with the notion that a hot dog qualifies as a sandwich.

“Yeah, see I agree, a hot dog is a unique thing,” Fiorina said, siding with the silent majority. “A hot dog is not a sandwich.”

It was only coincidence that hot dogs were being served in Brown’s yard that day, though Fiorina did not eat one of the hundreds of franks that were grilled for the crowd that overflowed from the yard into the road.

Fiorina does not personally like hot dogs, a fact she herself volunteered back in May. And despite the fact that her rejection of the all-American grilled meat might constitute a political faux pax, it’s also Fiorina’s way of showing that she’s not afraid to take a tough stance.

“I just don’t,” Fiorina said during that social media town hall. “I know it’s the all American food, but I just don’t like them.”

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Draft Biden’s First Ad Features Emotional Speech About Family Tragedy

John Moore/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Joe Biden may not appear on the debate stage next week, but a group seeking to draft him into the presidential race will make his presence known on TV beforehand — in an emotional spot featuring the vice president talking about family tragedies and potential of the U.S.

ABC News has learned that Draft Biden, the super-PAC urging the vice president to run in 2016, will air its first national television ad on the day of the Democratic debate. In a six-figure national cable buy, the 90 second spot will air on CNN in the run-up to the debate on Oct. 13 and then again the next day.

The ad splices together audio from an emotional speech Biden delivered at Yale University just two weeks before his son Beau passed away. The vice president recounts the death of his first wife, Neilia, and daughter, Naomi, in a car crash and how the heartbreak brought him closer with his family.

“The incredible bond I have with my children is a gift I’m not sure I would’ve had had I not been through what I went through,” Biden says as photos of his young family air on the screen. “By focusing on my sons, I found my redemption.”

After describing his personal experience with tragedy, the ad features Biden talking about the potential of America.

“You’re on the cusp of some of the most astonishing breakthroughs in the history of mankind – scientific, technological, socially,” he says. “It’ll be up to you in this changing world to translate those unprecedented capabilities into a greater measure of happiness and meaning not just for yourself, for the world around you.”

The ad concludes with simple text: “Joe, run.”

The vice president is expected to make a decision about a presidential run in the coming weeks. Biden has previously said he will not “rush” his decision as he discerns whether he has the emotional energy to run, but logistical deadlines for setting up a viable campaign are quickly approaching.

For the past two months, Draft Biden has ramped up its efforts to pave the way for a potential Biden run. The group has recruited volunteers in all 50 states and has hired staff in the critical early states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina. It is also looking to hire staff in the Super Tuesday primary states as well as Florida.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Secretary of Commerce in Havana

ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images(HAVANA) — U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker is in Havana for two to discuss how new regulations will allow Americans to more easily do business in Havana.

The secretary will meet with Cuban Minister of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment, Rodrigo Malmierca.

She’ll also visit Mariel Port, a billion dollar Brazilian port located about 30 miles outside of Havana. The 2,300 foot dock hopes to become a hub of shipping within the Caribbean.

The new regulations refer to the Administration’s decision in late September to not only allow American companies to establish a physical presences in Cuba and hire Cuban nationals, but also open bank accounts and bring family members with them on work related travel.

Her visit marks the second US cabinet level official visit to the island. The first official visit was Secretary of State John Kerry in August for the ceremonial embassy opening.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Hillary Clinton Sends GOP Candidates Copies Of Her Book, Tells Them to Join a Book Club

andykatz/iStock Editorial/ThinkStock(MUSCATINE, Iowa) — Hillary Clinton thinks every Republican presidential candidate should read her book “Hard Choices” — so much so that she sent 14 of them a copy of it, along with a personalized letter telling each of them to form a book club.

“You know I hear the Republicans talking from time to time in their debates and elsewhere and they say things like ‘Oh I don’t know what she accomplished as secretary of state, she didn’t accomplish anything,’ I listened to that for a while and then I thought you know maybe they just don’t know,” Clinton said Tuesday at an organizing event at an outdoor strawberry farm in Muscatine, Iowa. “So I have now sent each of them a copy of my book, ‘Hard Choices,’ about what we did during those four years.”

Clinton’s campaign confirmed that she sent the book to every Republican presidential candidate, except for one: Jim Gilmore. (The campaign did provide explanation for why Gilmore did not make the cut, except to suggest there didn’t seem to be a point given his low poll numbers.)

In the letters she sent to each candidate, she used their full and formal names.

Ben Carson, for instance, she addressed as Benjamin S. Carson, Sr., M.D. And Bobby Jindal she addressed using his official first name, Piyush Jindal.

“I understand that you and your fellow Republican candidates for president were questioning my record of accomplishments at your last debate, so I thought you might enjoy reading my book, Hard Choices,” Clinton wrote in a letter to the candidates, according to copy of the text from her campaign. “From working to restore America’s standing in the world to bringing crippling sanctions to Iran to negotiating a ceasefire in Gaza, please enjoy all 596 pages of my time as secretary of state. With 15 candidates in the race, you’ve got enough people for a book club!”

The campaign says they sent out the books at the end of last week. Tuesday Ted Cruz and Bobby Jindal both responded.

We’ll gladly return the favor and send @HillaryClinton‘s campaign #ATimeForTruth because, well…

— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) October 6, 2015

I’ll make a deal with you @HillaryClinton, if you watch these videos, I’ll read your book. -Bobby

— Gov. Bobby Jindal (@BobbyJindal) October 6, 2015

According to a spokeswoman for Jeb Bush, the former Florida Governor has not yet received it.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Speaker Candidates to Audition for House Conservatives

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The House conservatives who helped force Speaker John Boehner’s early retirement will hear from the candidates looking to succeed the Ohio Republican.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., Rep. Daniel Webster, R-Fla., and House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, are set to address a number of House conservative groups, including the House Freedom Caucus and Tea Party Caucus, at a Monday evening forum held after votes.

Conservatives have called for more inclusive management of the conference, greater representation in committee leadership, and want more bills to go through the committee process, among various demands.

McCarthy, who has pledged to lead inclusively if elected, is favored to replace Boehner, who was under pressure from conservatives to defund Planned Parenthood and risk a government shutdown when he announced his resignation on Sept. 25.

He’s faced some criticism for his comments last week linking the House Select Benghazi Committee’s investigation to Hillary Clinton’s declining presidential polling — a flub that paved the way for Chaffetz’s surprise entrance into the race.

McCarthy has since regretted his comments and has defended the committee’s work.

“The mission of the Select Committee on Benghazi is to find the truth — period,” he said in a statement Tuesday.

The California Republican is expected to win the conference speaker vote on Thursday, and allies say he has a majority of the conference behind him.

McCarthy needs conservatives’ support to win the 218 votes needed in the Oct. 29 speaker election to officially replace Boehner.

“There are fifty or so members who just cannot or will not vote for existing leadership on the floor of the House,” Chaffetz claimed Monday in an interview with ABC News, conceding that he’ll likely lose his bid against McCarthy.

McCarthy can only afford to lose 29 Republican votes on Oct. 29 and still win Boehner’s gavel. Twenty-five Republicans voted against Boehner in January. (Webster, a former speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, won 12 votes in that speaker’s election.)

Conservatives say McCarthy, who voted with a minority of Republicans last week to avert a government shutdown, will have to chart a course forward while defending his record in leadership.

“He’s got to explain why very little happened for four-and-a-half-years with Republican control, and how that will change,” said Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan. “He’s also got to articulate how he’s going to put the party back together.”

House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said on Tuesday that Democrats will stay out of the GOP speaker vote on the floor later this month, and that he expects all Democrats to back Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

“I don’t think there’s a great role for us to play on this,” he said.

On Monday, Boehner announced that elections for other leadership posts would be delayed until after Oct. 29. The move is expected to help McCarthy, as some members have expressed reluctance at simply elevating members of the existing leadership team, like McCarthy and Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., who is running to replace him.

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Democratic Presidential Candidates: Where They Agree, Disagree on Gun Control

ABC News(WASHINGTON) — The Democratic Party’s first debate of the 2016 Presidential campaign is exactly one week from Tuesday and after the shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon last week, gun control will likely take center stage.

Several of the candidates have laid out new proposals addressing gun violence in the last few weeks — Hillary Clinton did so on Monday — energizing gun control advocates across the country.

“This is really a seed change in terms of how presidential candidates are talking about this, where they would not have in the past,” Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, told ABC News. “It was the third-rail of politics.”

Watts called the renewed focus on the issue “a big deal.”

Compared to their GOP counterparts, the Democratic presidential contenders have a lot in common when it comes to gun control policy. For example, Clinton, Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders all agree on banning combat-style assault weapons and improving background checks.

But there are key differences in their proposals. Here’s a look at where they agree and where they don’t:


Where They Agree: Clinton, Sanders and O’Malley all talk about the need to improve the current system of background checks and close the so-called “gun show loophole,” which would require gun dealers selling at shows and adhoc venues to run background checks.

Where They Disagree: Clinton and O’Malley are specifically calling for universal background checks. O’Malley says he would seek to end Internet-sales all together and require all weapons purchases be made in person. Clinton says she would take “administrative action” to close the gun show and Internet-sale loopholes. Sanders has said the country must “strengthen and enforce” the instant background check system currently in place and that his campaign is in the process of assembling a more comprehensive package on gun control measures. While in the Senate, Sanders did vote in favor of a bill calling for universal background checks.

Clinton and O’Malley are also both proposing action against what is referred to as the “Charleston loophole.” Dylan Roof, who allegedly shot and killed nine members of an African-American church in Charleston this summer, was able to purchase a gun despite a previous felony, because of a long-standing default rule, wherein purchases can go through when law enforcement fails to complete a background check within three business days. Both O’Malley and Clinton promise to abolish this default and grant law enforcement as much time as they need to run a check.


Where They Agree: Both Sanders and Clinton say “straw purchases” (when one person buys a gun for another) should be made a federal crime.

Where They Agree: O’Malley and Clinton both include in their proposals banning anyone convicted of domestic abuse or stalking from owning a gun.

Where They Disagree: In addition to requiring buyers to pass a background check, O’Malley wrote in his policy position paper released in early September, that he wants everyone seeking a gun (whether through a sale or a gift or transfer) to “obtain a fingerprint-based license and complete safety training.” He is also proposing a federal age requirement (21-years-of-age) for handgun ownership, and new requirements and definitions for safe home storage of firearms.

Where They Disagree: Clinton is also calling on the federal government to finish and enforce its rules to ensure the “severely mentally ill,” involuntarily committed into treatment centers, are prohibited from purchasing guns.


Where They Agree: Clinton and O’Malley are both pushing for the repeal of the “Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act,” which prevents victims of gun violence from suing gun manufactures or dealers for damages. Clinton voted against this bill in the Senate in 2005.

They also both promise to devote more attention and resources to gun store inspections, and empower and better fund the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ ability to revoke licenses of noncompliant dealers.

Where They Disagree: Sanders voted in favor of the “Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act,” while serving in the House of Representatives.

Where They Disagree: O’Malley is also calling for the creation of a national firearms registry.

“This might be an easier issue for people to wrap their heads around if there was one easy answer, but like most complex public policy issues there isn’t,” Pia Carusone, spokesperson for Gabby Giffords’ gun control PAC Americans for Responsible Solutions, told ABC News. “It is a series of actions that need to be taken by Congress, by the executive branch and all the way down to the community level in terms of supporting your local mental health center.”

Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense says they will eventually endorse a candidate.

“These shootings are making single-issue voters out of mothers and women,” Watts said, “In a perfect world, every single candidate will have something we can look at and compare. … If you’re caught off-guard and you don’t have a policy or proposal on this, you look pretty tone deaf.”

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Ben Carson ‘Much More Comfortable’ If Kindergarten Teachers Had Guns

Darren McCollester/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — In the wake of last week’s shooting in Oregon, Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson suggested that more people should be armed in the United States and said he would be okay with teachers being armed.

“If I had a little kid in kindergarten somewhere I would feel much more comfortable if I knew on that campus there was a police officer or somebody who was trained with a weapon. I would feel more comfortable,” Carson said in a new interview with USA Today’s Capital Download. “If the teacher was trained in the use of that weapon and had access to it, I would be much more comfortable if they had one than if they didn’t.”

Carson said he would like teachers to be trained in diversionary tactics, along with other school personnel.

“You obviously are not going to have a weapon sitting on the teacher’s desk, but be secured in a place where kids cannot get to it,” Carson said on ABC’s The View Tuesday.

The comments come just days after a gunman opened fire in an Umpqua Community College classroom in Oregon last week, leaving 10 people dead.

Carson also knocked down the notion that gun-free zones would mitigate gun violence in the country, noting that gun-free zones would actually draw the gunman to the particular site.

“They aren’t likely to go into a place where they are likely to get shot,” Carson told USA Today.

The retired neurosurgeon has stood by his position that gun control isn’t the issue, but rather mental health. Carson has said that to stop gun violence that data collection is needed to prevent mass shootings from happening.

“You’re not going to handle it with more gun control,” Carson said at campaign events last week. “Gun control only works for normal law-abiding citizens, it doesn’t work for crazies.”

When asked how he would deal with a gunman in a situation, Carson told Fox News: “I would not just stand there and let him shoot me.”

“I would say ‘Hey, guys, everybody attack him!’” he added. “He may shoot me but he can’t get us all.”

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