Review Category : Poltics

Carly Fiorina Added to Koch Brothers’ Short List

Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Carly Fiorina has officially made it onto the short list of candidates being considered by the Koch Brothers’ network of donors — potentially opening the door to a deep pool of money.

Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, the Koch brothers’ umbrella group, which includes a sprawling network of conservative donors, confirmed to ABC News that Fiorina is one of the five candidates on the donor network’s watch list.

“Governor Jeb Bush, Carly Fiorina and Senators Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio are leading a thoughtful and substantive discussion on the issues and we look forward to hearing more about their vision for the country,” Freedom Partners spokesman James Davis told ABC News.

Fiorina’s addition to list serves as a signal that her newly attained top-tier status is being taken seriously by conservative donors and will likely mean increased access for Fiorina to Freedom Partners’ deep-pocketed donors.

The Koch brothers first revealed a list of five candidates whom they were considering helping financially back in April, and it has remained unchanged until now. In April, the list included Bush, Cruz, Paul, Rubio and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who effectively removed himself from the list when he dropped out of the race last month.

While Fiorina has now attained a new stature within the Koch brothers’ network, this is not her first foray into their world. The Kochs donated to Fiorina’s unsuccessful senate bid against California Sen. Barbara Boxer in 2010.

And in August, Fiorina was invited to address a Freedom Partners gathering. Bush, Walker, Rubio, and Cruz also addressed the gathering. But there were some notable absences. Paul, who was invited to address the gathering, did not attend. And the party’s frontrunner, Donald Trump, did not receive an invitation. Another surging candidate in the race who has yet to receive a nod from the Koch brothers is retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson.

The Kochs and their network aren’t the only big name, wealthy donors considering opening their pocketbooks for Fiorina.

Texas oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens reportedly hosted a luncheon for her back in September. And venture capitalist and former fellow HP board member Tom Perkins, who voted to fire Fiorina as HP’s CEO but has since said he regrets the decision and has run a full-page ad in the New York Times to say so, is also said to be planning a California fundraiser for the presidential candidate in the coming weeks.

Fiorina’s fundraising figures from the most recent reporting quarter have yet to be announced by her campaign but Fiorina has said that she is satisfied with her fundraising efforts, which have seen a boost along with her polling numbers in recent months.

Fiorina’s camp did not immediately comment.

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Hillary Clinton Says She Opposes Trans-Pacific Partnership

ABC News(WASHINGTON) — In yet another move that would distance herself from the Obama administration, Hillary Clinton on Wednesday announced her opposition to the the Trans-Pacific Partnership, saying that “based on what I know so far, I can’t support this agreement.”

Clinton came out against the trade agreement Wednesday in a statement, saying that she doesn’t believe the U.S. can “afford to keep giving new agreements the benefit of the doubt.” The goal of a trade deal, Clinton says, is to “create good American jobs, raise wages, and advance our national security.”

She also criticized Republicans for “years of…obstruction at home” that she argues “have weakened U.S. competitiveness and made it harder for Americans who lose jobs and pay because of trade to get back on their feet.” That opposition to President Obama’s proposals in a number of fields have left America “less competitive than we should be,” Clinton said.

The move comes two days after the White House announced it had reached an agreement on the deal, known as TPP. The pact sets trade rules for 40% of the world’s economy and involves 12 countries, including the United States.

Clinton has refrained from taking a stance on TPP as a presidential candidate, saying she wants to see the final provisions before deciding. In recent months, however, Clinton has appeared to distance herself from the pact, which she promoted as secretary of state.

Clinton’s opposition puts her on the side of her Democratic presidential challenger, Bernie Sanders, who is firmly against the deal and calls it “disastrous” for consumers and U.S. job creation.

After Clinton came out against the trade agreement, another one of her Democratic opponents, Martin O’Malley, reacted saying, “Secretary Clinton can justify her own reversal of opinion on this. I didn’t have one opinion eight months ago and switch that opinion on the eve of a debate.”

President Obama, a fierce supporter of the deal, says the partnership “levels the playing field for our farmers, ranchers, and manufacturers by eliminating more than 18,000 taxes that various countries put on our products.”

Vice President Biden, who could soon decide to challenge Clinton and Sanders in the presidential race, also supports the deal.

In June, Clinton said that pact would need to “protect American workers, raise wages and create new jobs at home” and be in “our national security interest” in order for her to support it.

“If we don’t get it,” Clinton said at a campaign event in Des Moines, Iowa, “there should be no deal.”

Wednesday, Clinton made clear that she does not believe those provisions were met.

Prior to being a presidential candidate, Clinton made comments that seemed to be in support of TPP. Speaking in Australia in 2012, Clinton said “TPP sets the gold standard in trade agreements to open free, transparent, fair trade, the kind of environment that has the rule of law and a level playing field. And when negotiated, this agreement will cover 40 percent of the world’s total trade and build in strong protections for workers and the environment.” And in her 2014 memoir Hard Choices Clinton called it “a strategic initiative that would strengthen the position of the United States in Asia.”

“I still believe in the goal of a strong and fair trade agreement in the Pacific as part of a broader strategy both at home and abroad,” Clinton said, “just as I did when I was Secretary of State.” She also praised President Obama for “hard work” put in by he and his team and “the strides they have made.” Still, Clinton said, “the bar here is very high and, based on what I have seen, I don’t believe this agreement has met it.”

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Clinton Critical of Republican Campaign, Comments on Gun Control

ABC News(MOUNT VERNON, Iowa) — Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton spoke at a town hall in Iowa on Wednesday, criticizing Republicans and touching on topics including gun control, her own campaign and Kentucky Court Clerk Kim Davis.

“I don’t know how many presidential elections have happened since I’ve been an adult,” Clinton said Wednesday, “but this is reaching a new low.” Decrying the “insults,” “attacks,” and “entertainment” involved in the Republican side of the election cycle, Clinton said that the atmosphere of the campaign concerns her.

“Some of what it is is a view of America that is just out of date and out of touch,” Clinton explained.

The former secretary of state also derided Republicans calling for arming more people in an effort to combat gun violence. “You have Republicans on the other side saying you need more guns,” Clinton said Wednesday. “The idea that you need more guns to stop people who are committing mass shootings is not only illogical, but offensive.”

“It’s just crazy,” Clinton added, “I mean, the whole thing is aimed at protecting gun manufacturers.”

She acknowledged the frustration expressed by President Obama over the gun violence in America. Asked how she would keep her emotional energy up, Clinton said “you’re the President of the United States and people are being massacred inside your own country.”

“You see the hold the NRA has over members of Congress…my view on this is we’ve got to keep getting up every day and fighting back,” she continued. “You can’t ever get discourage. There’s too much at stake.”

On the topic of Davis, who was jailed for five days after refusing to dispense marriage licenses to same-sex couples, Clinton said that she felt Davis’ jailing was “the right thing.” Davis, Clinton said, “violated the law and therefore she was arrested.”

“People are totally entitled to their private personal beliefs,” Clinton added, “but when you take an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States, that is your job.”

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Boehner Calls for Bipartisan Work on Gun Legislation

Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call(WASHINGTON) — Speaker of the House John Boehner on Wednesday expressed some frustration with President Obama over his call for action on gun control following last week’s shooting in Oregon.

“In ’09 and ’10, we had Democrat majorities in the House and Senate, we had a Democratic president and this clearly was not a priority for them,” Boehner said at the weekly Republican press conference. “The president can rail all he wants,” Boehner added, “let’s talk about what we can do to make sure that people with serious mental illnesses don’t have access to weapons.”

“Let’s quit fighting over this,” the speaker urged, “and let’s start thinking about how…about what is doable, and what would have an impact.”

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Marco Rubio’s Congressional Voting Record Draws Fire from Democrats, Republicans

ABC/Donna Svennevik(WASHINGTON) — Out on the stump, Marco Rubio often talks about the need for a fully-funded military. But when the Senate got together to vote on the National Defense Authorization Act at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, the presidential candidate was nowhere to be found.

Instead, the GOP hopeful was in the air, on a flight headed from New York’s LaGuardia Airport to Manchester, New Hampshire, for a two-day campaign swing through the state. Rubio had just wrapped up another event in New York that morning.

Rubio has missed 29 percent of Senate votes over the last year. Both the media and some of Rubio’s rivals have attacked him for it.

“He has the worst voting record in the Senate,” said Donald Trump in Franklin, Tennessee, over the weekend. “Other senators are doing fine.”

Jeb Bush has avoided calling Rubio out by name, but last week he told a crowd in New Hampshire: “Why is it that people miss a vote? There should be a deduction in their pay, and I hope you think so as well.”

“Marco Solidifies His Nickname: ‘No-Show Rubio,'” American Bridge PAC said in a note to Democratic supporters on Tuesday.

“We continue to be engaged in constituent service and on the important issues in Washington, and we’ve cancelled events in the past in order to be there when we can be a decisive voice,” Rubio told reporters Wednesday in New Hampshire.

The National Defense Authorization Act passed 73 to 26. Still, Rubio was the only senator to miss the vote on Tuesday.

Each of the five senators running for president have missed Congressional votes (Lindsey Graham has missed the most).

Rubio and fellow freshman Sen. Ted Cruz, however, have missed more votes over their entire Senate careers than the rest of the 2016 pack; they’re both in the 11 percent range of lifetime missed votes, compared to a median of 1.6 percent missed among the lifetime records of senators currently serving.

“When I miss a vote, it’s not because I’m out playing golf,” Rubio has said. ”We’re out campaigning for the future of America, where I believe I can make more of a difference as president than I could as a Senator.”

Tuesday’s defense spending bill includes funding for the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, so in terms of optics, Rubio’s decision to miss the vote could wind up hurting the very people he’s trying to win over this week in New Hampshire.

“These votes that are happening in the Senate aren’t going to make a difference unless we have a new president,” Rubio said.

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Obama Apologizes to Doctors Without Borders Following Kunduz Airstrike

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — President Obama apologized to Doctors Without Borders for the airstrike that killed at least 22 people last weekend, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest announced on Wednesday.

“This morning from the Oval Office, President Obama spoke by telephone with Doctors Without Borders International President Dr. Joanne Liu, to apologize and express his condolences for the MSF staff and patients who were killed and injured when a US military airstrike mistakenly struck an MSF field hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan over the weekend,” Earnest said in the White House briefing.

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How Ben Carson Appears to Be Second-Guessing Oregon Shooting Victims

Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images(NEW YORK) — As the GOP candidate has come under fire for his controversial gun control comments, Ben Carson has repeatedly attempted to provide the American people with a solution if a massacre – such as the one that happened at Umpqua Community College in Oregon last week – were to happen again.

“From the indications I got, they did not rush the shooter,” Carson said on CBS This Morning discussing the Oregon shooting. “The shooter can only shoot one person at a time, he cannot shoot a group of people.”

Carson suggested that the victims should have rushed the shooter to prevent more lives from being lost, telling ABC News Wednesday that he would have confronted the gunman and would have instructed people to attack the gunman.

“I said what I would do. … I would ask everyone to attack the gunman,” Carson told ABC News. “That way we wouldn’t all end up dead.”

Carson also says that even some kindergarten teachers should be armed, writing in a Facebook post that losing gun rights would be “more devastating” than a “body with bullet holes.”

Tying his position to his childhood in Detroit and career as a surgeon, Carson wrote in the post that he “never saw a body with bullet holes that was more devastating than taking the right to arm ourselves away.”

The retired neurosurgeon has emphasized that mental health is the problem, and not guns. He has stood by his position that gun control is not, but rather comes down to mental health, suggesting data collection is needed to prevent mass shootings from happening.

“They key thing to do is look at all of these shooters and see what we can glean in terms of their personalities in terms of what kinds of behavioral circumstances they have had in the past,” Carson said. “There are warning signs.”

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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

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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.

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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.”

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