Review Category : Poltics

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker Announces Formation of Fundraising Committee Ahead of Possible 2016 Run

ABC News(MADISON, Wis.) — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on Tuesday announced the formation of a political fundraising committee that will help him build a potential presidential campaign.

The Wisconsin Republican made the announcement in a statement Tuesday, saying that the group, Our American Revival, “encompasses the shared values that make our country great; limiting the powers of the federal government to those defined in the Constitution while creating a leaner, more efficient, more effective and more accountable government to the American people.” Former Republican National Committee Political Director Rick Wiley will serve as the committee’s executive director.

“To move this country forward we need new, fresh leadership from outside Washington,” Walker said. “We need leaders who are bold. That’s how we build a better future for our children and grandchildren.” He went on to highlight his success in doing just that in Wisconsin, saying that the same work “can be done across this country with the right leadership.”

The announcement comes after Walker spent the weekend at the Iowa Freedom Summit, where numerous potential Republican candidates for 2016 spoke.

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First Lady’s Visit to Saudi Arabia Sends Strong Message About Women

State Dept photo(RIYADH, Saudi Arabia) — In a country where women have few rights, first lady Michelle Obama on Tuesday seemed to lead by example.

The pictures say it all.

There she was, standing side-by-side with her husband as he stepped off Air Force One in Riyadh Tuesday, where, during a brief visit, the president offered condolences for the recent death of King Abdullah and met with his successor, King Salman.

The first lady accompanied the president throughout the stay, embodying some of the reforms that her husband is pushing the country to adopt.

Wearing pants and her head uncovered, Mrs. Obama stood dutifully beside her husband as he shook hands with the Saudi delegation on the airport tarmac Tuesday morning and again at Erga Palace on the outskirts of Riyadh.

At times she reached out to shake an occasional hand, but mostly she stood back and offered just a smile.

According to reporters traveling with the president, due to the cultural constraints, the first lady purposely stood slightly behind her husband and waited for a gesture to be made to her by the men in the receiving line. If one of the men initiated a handshake, she returned; if not, then she simply smiled or nodded politely.

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NJ Gov. Christie Stands by Storm Response; Dallas Trip No Big Deal to NJ Residents

WABC-TV(NEW YORK) — There’s a long history of politicians’ future ambitions being walloped by snowstorms and other weather-related incidents, but this one turned out not to be as bad as we all thought it might be.

When ask asked whether the travel bans and mass transit shutdowns may have been overblown for the less-than-epic snowstorm, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, in his signature style, told ABC’s New York City television affiliate WABC-TV, “My response is we were listening to all of you!”

Many residents of New York City and nearby cities in New Jersey were surprised to wake up Tuesday morning to less snowfall than weather forecasters had initially predicted.

Meanwhile, other Garden State headlines about Gov. Christie’s hug with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones didn’t seem to bother New Jersey residents.

According to a Quinnipiac University poll, 70 percent said the controversy over his trip to Dallas, paid for by Jones, was politically motivated and only 11 percent say it is a serious issue. Just 13 percent of voters in the state think less of Christie because he is a Cowboys fan. See the full poll results here.

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Boehner Threatens Second Lawsuit Against Obama on Immigration

Official Photo by Caleb Smith/Office of the Speaker(WASHINGTON) — House Speaker John Boehner told House Republicans in a closed-door meeting Tuesday that a lawsuit might be the best — or only — option to try and overturn President Obama’s executive action on immigration, ABC News has learned.

“We are finalizing a plan to authorize litigation on this issue, one we believe gives us the best chance of success,” Boehner told GOP lawmakers at their weekly conference meeting, according to a Republican official in the room.

One month before the Homeland Security Department runs out of funding, Republican leaders are scrambling to find alternative ways to express their displeasure over the president’s decision last year to grant work visas to up to five million undocumented immigrants.

The department runs out of money on Feb. 27, under an agreement Congress reached last year to keep the rest of the government running, and Republican leaders are unwilling to risk a government shutdown over another immigration fight.

But the lawsuits against Obama from Congress are beginning to stack up.

Last year, House Republicans took legal action against the president over the Affordable Care Act. The lawsuit is already on its third set of lawyers on the Republican side and no quick resolution is in sight in the courts.

The discussion of legal action from Boehner comes one day after Republican leaders bulled a bill to strengthen security along the southern U.S. border amid concerns it might not pass because some lawmakers believed the measure didn’t go far enough. After the closed-door meeting, Boehner downplayed any problems with the immigration funding fight.

“It’s all about working with our members, listening to our members, and working through what are some very difficult issues,” Boehner told reporters.

Some hardline immigration critics in Congress are unlikely to get behind a plan to file a lawsuit, which they see as another example of GOP leaders failing to stand up aggressively enough to the White House.

The challenge facing the new Republican-controlled Congress is finding a way forward that is acceptable to immigration critics in the House that can also pass the Senate.

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Obama Pays Short Visit to Saudi Arabia, Meets New King

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(RIYADH, Saudi Arabia) — President Obama has left Saudi Arabia after spending just over four hours on the ground there Tuesday, offering condolences for the death of King Abdullah and meeting with his successor, King Salman.

Cameras got a brief glimpse of Obama and the new king shaking hands and exchanging pleasantries ahead of their bilateral meeting at the ornate Erga Palace on the outskirts of Riyadh.

At one point, the president was overheard exclaiming, “This is beautiful!”

“Now that you’re here, Mr. President, it’s even more beautiful,” the king responded, through a translator.

Later, after introducing their high-powered delegations, the leaders shared a lavish meal consisting of kafta, shish tawook, baked lobster, grilled veal, seafood rice and much more.

The pair was due to talk about the fight against ISIS, the recent unrest in Yemen and nuclear talks with Saudi Arabia’s arch-rival, Iran.

First lady Michelle Obama accompanied the president throughout the visit. Wearing pants and her head uncovered, Mrs. Obama stood beside her husband as he shook hands with the Saudi delegation on the airport tarmac Tuesday morning and again at the palace.

The president and first lady are scheduled to return to U.S. soil on Wednesday.

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Christie Launches PAC Ahead of Presumed White House Bid

ABC News(NEW YORK) — Even as he deals with a major snowstorm that has walloped the region, New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie is clearly setting his sights on national office.

Last week, Christie filed paperwork to launch the political action committee “Leadership Matters for America,” a major step in running for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination.

Although no Republican of note has officially declared his candidacy, the field is expected to get crowded very quickly. Despite this, Christie feels he has a legitimate shot at becoming the party’s standard bearer next year.

The PAC will afford Christie the opportunity to travel around the country as he gauges interest in his presumed run while attempting to draw deep-pocketed donors who might fund a possible campaign in 2016.

On his website, Christie declares, “America has been a nation that has always controlled events and yet today events control us Why? Because leadership matters. It matters if we want to restore America’s role in the world, find the political will to take on the entrenched special interests that continually stand in the way of fundamental change, reform entitlement spending at every level of government, and ensure that every child, no matter their zip code, has access to a quality education.”

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Christie Launches PAC Ahead of Presumed White House Bid

ABC News(NEW YORK) — Even as he deals with a major snowstorm that has walloped the region, New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie is clearly setting his sights on national office.

Last week, Christie filed paperwork to launch the political action committee “Leadership Matters for America,” a major step in running for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination.

Although no Republican of note has officially declared his candidacy, the field is expected to get crowded very quickly. Despite this, Christie feels he has a legitimate shot at becoming the party’s standard bearer next year.

The PAC will afford Christie the opportunity to travel around the country as he gauges interest in his presumed run while attempting to draw deep-pocketed donors who might fund a possible campaign in 2016.

On his website, Christie declares, “America has been a nation that has always controlled events and yet today events control us Why? Because leadership matters. It matters if we want to restore America’s role in the world, find the political will to take on the entrenched special interests that continually stand in the way of fundamental change, reform entitlement spending at every level of government, and ensure that every child, no matter their zip code, has access to a quality education.”

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Senate Votes Against Ending Debate on Keystone XL Pipeline

Tom Pennington/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — The weather and some angry Democrats were responsible Monday for keeping debate on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline alive, quashing the GOP’s hopes of bring the issue up for a quick vote.

Republicans needed 60 votes to end debate on the pipeline, which would bring oil down from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico while purportedly creating tens of thousands of jobs in the U.S. The House has already voted to approve construction of the project.

However, the final tally of 53-39 was seven votes shy, partly because some Republicans’ travel plans were waylaid by the oncoming blizzard in the Northeast.

Although the GOP has enough Democratic support required to pass approval of the pipeline, some of those same lawmakers were still mad at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for tabling a number of their amendments last week. Thus, debate on the bill will continue at least through next week.

Even if the Senate passes a measure, the White House has threatened a veto, contending that it’s still awaiting a final review from the State Department about the environmental feasibility of the pipeline.

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President Obama Talks Religion, Race in India Farewell

PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images(NEW DELHI) — On his final day in India, President Obama declared U.S. relations with the world’s largest democracy “one of the defining partnerships of this century,” while nudging his Indian counterpart, Narenda Modi, to pursue greater economic equality, women’s rights and religious tolerance.

In a speech to New Delhi youth, Obama sought to leverage three days of back-slapping and bonhomie into a subtle challenge to the right-wing, Hindu nationalist government of his host. One Indian media outlet went so far as to describe Obama’s words as a “snub.”

“India will succeed as long as it’s not splintered along religious lines,” Obama declared, a message some viewed as a direct reference to the anti-Muslim policies of Modi’s ruling party and their efforts to constrain Muslim and Christian groups that do evangelization and religious conversion.

“In our lives, Michelle and I have been strengthened by our Christian faith. Still, as you may know, my faith has at times been questioned — by people who don’t know me — or they’ve said that I adhere to a different religion, as if that were somehow a bad thing,” he said. “Every person has the right to practice their faith how they choose, or to practice no faith at all, and to do so free from persecution and fear.”

Obama called for celebration of racial diversity, invoking Michelle Obama’s ancestral ties to “slaves and slave owners” and occasions when he was “treated differently because the color of my skin.”

He also upheld Mrs. Obama as a model of women’s rights, calling her a “very strong and talented” wife who “frequently” tells him he’s wrong.

“I’m surrounded by smart women,” the president said. “Every woman should be able to go about her day — to walk the street, or ride the bus — and be safe and be treated with the respect and dignity.”

The president, who was greeted by the crowd of 1,500 at Delhi’s Siri Fort Auditorium with chants of “Obama! Obama!,” leaves India after three days on an upbeat note. He was the first American president to visit twice and the first to be honored as chief guest on Republic Day.

“I am the first American president to come to your country twice. But I predict I will not be the last. Because, as Americans, we believe in the promise of India,” he said.

Ahead of the speech, the Obamas met with three Indian youth who were rescued from child slavery and Kailash Satyarthi, the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize winner who shared the award with Malala Yousafzai.

Satyarthi is a leading anti-child slavery advocate. He was overheard telling President Obama that there are still five million child slaves around the world.

“Thanks to your administration in America the number of child slaves has gone down,” he said.

Mrs. Obama kept her arms around 12-year-old Payal Jangid the entire time.

President Obama now turns to a much different alliance, making a rare and impromptu visit to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on his way home.

The president will pay his respects to the Saudi royal family after Friday’s death of Kind Abdullah, mark the transition to King Salman, and discuss the fight against ISIS and the situation in Yemen, White House officials said.

Obama brings with him more than two dozen top dignitaries, including Republican Sen. John McCain, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and former George W. Bush Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice.

Obama is due back on U.S. soil on Wednesday.

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Chris Christie Spends ‘Blizzard of 2015′ Tweeting with Constituents

Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images(TRENTON, N.J.) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie spent his Monday night inside, tweeting back and forth with his constituents and followers as a blizzard rocked the Northeast.

At about 8:30 p.m. Monday, Christie announced a travel ban would go into effect at 11 p.m., preventing any vehicles from being on New Jersey roads — excluding emergency vehicles, public safety personnel and utility companies — in an effort to keep New Jersians safe. Shortly thereafter, the governor tweeted, asking his nearly 500,000 followers how they were spending the “Blizzard of 2015.”

Alright, its 9pm New Jersey. What’s everyone doing at home tonight? #blizzardof2015

— Governor Christie (@GovChristie) January 27, 2015

It seems most of Christie’s followers were abiding by the travel ban, with many followers saying they were spending time with the families or friends.

awesome. send us a pic when you’re done RT @AmericasMazz: @GovChristie building a Lego batmobile. 3500 pieces. Incredible fun with my boys

— Governor Christie (@GovChristie) January 27, 2015

pokemon is still a thing? RT @Americapaldi: @GovChristie playing some pokemon and enjoying your awesome tweets

— Governor Christie (@GovChristie) January 27, 2015

looks awesome RT @warren_kruse: @GovChristie pic.twitter.com/IuBrPCS3j6

— Governor Christie (@GovChristie) January 27, 2015

me too. Summer cant come soon enough RT @dnj1999: @GovChristie thinking about this summer down the shore

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