Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — The competition for architects seeking to build the Obama presidential library has begun.

On Wednesday, the Barack Obama Foundation began the process of officially soliciting architectural designs for the library, which is to be built in Chicago on one of two locations: Jackson Park or Washington Park.

The deadline to submit plans is Sept. 16. President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama will then personally select the finalists from among the submitted designs. Those finalists will then be asked to submit proposals for the project.

The foundation says a final architect will likely not be announced until after a contract is finalized sometime early next year.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

ABC News(NEW YORK) — Where will the 2016 presidential candidates be on Thursday? Read below to find out their schedules:

Donald Trump

Trump is back on the trail Thursday with a morning event and possible press conference in South Carolina.

Marco Rubio and Rick Perry are also both in South Carolina.

Hillary Clinton

Still on her break from vacation, Hillary Clinton is campaigning in the general election swing state of Ohio Thursday. She’s attending a grassroots “organizing meeting” at Thursday morning.

The Democratic National Committee summer meeting kicks off in Minneapolis Thursday. All of the announced 2016 candidates will take the stage, including Hillary Clinton on Friday.

Rand Paul continues his western tour with stops in Idaho.

Martin O’Malley is in New Hampshire while Mike Huckabee, Scott Walker and Carly Fiorina are in Iowa.

Ben Carson is on Huckabee turf in Arkansas.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — President Obama will travel to New Orleans on Thursday to observe the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

The city was devastated by the Category 3 hurricane when it slammed the Gulf Coast in 2005. Levees failed and flooded the city to the point where pundits questioned whether the Big Easy would ever come back.

In all, nearly 2,000 people died and hundreds of thousands of homes were destroyed or damaged in New Orleans.

During his visit Thursday, Obama will meet with residents who are still dealing with the effects of Hurricane Katrina a decade later. He will then make a speech at a community center in New Orleans, where he will talk about the renaissance that’s happened in large sections of the city since the storm.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Drew Angerer/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — What will Joe do?

It’s the question on Democrats’ minds as Democratic National Committee members gather in Minneapolis for their summer meeting. Vice President Biden won’t be speaking at the gathering, although the announced candidates — including Hillary Clinton — are all slated to address members.

Biden did speak with DNC members on Wednesday, lobbying Democrats on the Iran deal on a conference call. It was a call on policy, but it also meant Biden was at the top of members’ minds right before the meeting kicked off.

When ABC News reached out to state party chairs across the country, most who plan to attend the meeting, 12 mostly agreed that while there is room for a Biden candidacy, he is running out of time.

Ray Buckley, party chair for the first-in-the-nation primary New Hampshire Democrats, told ABC News “there may be room for Vice President Biden,” but cautioned “time is running out.”

“We in New Hampshire love an exciting primary,” he continued, but stressed if Biden does run, he can’t skip the early states, especially the Granite State.

“Skipping Iowa and New Hampshire has not served any candidate well in the decades past so that would be a curious decision to make,” Buckley said, referring to reports he may skip the first two voting states. “He has a deep reservoir of affection and if he chose to run he certainly would receive support from folks.”

“That said (his) two previous campaigns haven’t been successful in New Hampshire, but he would be entering this race as a sitting vice president so whether or not there is room for him, that’s for him to decide, for his team to decide,” he added.

Jamie Harrison, head of the South Carolina Democratic Party, said Biden has “some strong supporters here in the state, he spends his vacations here…he has really strong relationships here, people with clout,” adding that if he gets in he will be “able to compete” in the state.

Harrison, who won’t be attending the meeting in Minneapolis, said “the Clinton campaign is very strong” in the state, calling them “top rate.”

“I think it’s going to be a contest, I don’t think the Clinton people are taking anything for granted,” he said. “They learned a lesson from 2007, 2008 and they will make sure every vote is counted and you make sure to court every vote and that’s what it seems like they are doing.”

Harrison, like Buckley, said he doesn’t think a Biden entry to the race would hurt the party, saying of the GOP, “They’ve got 17 people and they haven’t broken their party yet, I’m sure we can handle six or seven.”

The opinions of these two crucial primary states echoed among state chairs across the rest of the country, although some were less optimistic about Biden’s chances.

Nancy Worley, chair of the Alabama Democratic Party, said “under most circumstances” it would be too late for a candidate to enter the race, but since he’s the vice president his name recognition makes it possible for him to enter the race now. Worley noted, however, that it’s time for Biden to make up his mind.

“At this point he needs to either make a decision or decide not to get in,” she said.

Mark Hammons, the chairman of the Oklahoma Democratic Party, agreed, answering “just barely” when asked if there is still time for Biden to enter the race. He added that it will be “hard for him to catch up,” and running at this point requires having key people in key states and that is getting “harder and harder every day.”

Ana Cuprill, the party chair from Wyoming, says as far as her state goes she has “not heard too much talk about Biden being a viable candidate. Most folks are still fairly in one camp or the other with Secretary Clinton or Sen. Sanders.”

Vince Powers, the chairman of the Nebraska Democratic Party, said he hears from party members, “’Boy, I hope he jumps in,’” but stressed that may not turn into votes, although he thinks when it comes to his state “a lot of Democrats would be pleased if he jumped in.”

Bruce Poole, the Maryland chairman, is in the camp of those who believe Biden will jump in saying he is “starting to think more likely than not the vice president is going to run.” In a compliment to Biden, he said voters now “want authentic.”

Gilberto Hinojosa, the chair of the Texas Democratic Party, says that even though some state officials have already backed Clinton, it’s not a done deal.

“It certainly is not going to be easy for anyone to cut into that level of support,” he said. “But Joe Biden is well-liked. He’s a great orator. He’s someone people genuinely love and believe in, so he could perhaps do that.”

Jim Burn, the party chair of Biden’s original home state of Pennsylvania, said he is excited about Biden’s possible run because “we feel as if we know him. He has that connect-ability.”

“Only the vice president knows the answers if the timing is right,” Burn said. “The fact that he continues to hold high level meetings with the senators and other stakeholders tells me he’s moving towards a decision.”

Utah Chairman Peter Corroon said he thinks there would be “a lot of people who would be open to looking at Joe Biden.”

“I think if he’s going to get in, now is the time; if he waits too much longer, he’s going to be playing catch up especially with the machine Hillary Clinton is,” Corroon said, noting again that now may be the time Biden’s perceived authenticity could help a possible run, adding that it’s helped one candidate on the other side of the aisle.

“Joe Biden is Joe Biden, with all the great things about him and all of his thoughts and failures. The one thing he is is real and I think the people of the United States are looking for real people now, and frankly I think that’s why Donald Trump has been successful,” Corroon said.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump is expected to host a meeting of religious leaders Sept. 28. Sources within the Trump campaign say this private meeting is not affiliated with the campaign.

“I was privy to meet Mr. Trump and I immediately liked him,” said Pastor Darrell Scott of the New Spirit Revival Center, who plans to attend the meeting and met Trump several years ago. “I liked his style, his bravado, his charisma and for lack of a better word his honesty.”

Dr. Scott, who has led his Cleveland based church for 22 years, says he reached out to Trump after he announced his candidacy asking for this type of meeting and offered to help round up religious leaders from around the country.

“There will be Evangelical leaders, Pentecostal, there will be some Rabbis – it’s going to be a melting pot. Black, white and Hispanic representation as well,” said Scott.

Trump Organization EVP Michael Cohen says the event is being “organized by several very high profile evangelical preachers including Dr. Scott.”

On the campaign trail, Trump has not talked about his religious views except to say he is a Presbyterian and next to Trump: The Art of the Deal, which he wrote, his favorite book is the Bible.

Responding to a question from ABC’s Tom Llamas during his media avail Tuesday in Dubuque, IA Trump said “I love the bible. I’m a Presbyterian. I went to Sunday school. Dr. Norman Vincent was my pastor, to this day one of the great speakers I’ve seen,” he said.

“You hated to leave church. You hated when the sermon was over. That’s how great he was. One of the things that’s so incredible about the New Hampshire numbers is I lead with everybody…But one of the groups I lead with substantially Evangelicals.”

Dr. Scott, who is African American, dismisses the suggestion by some that Trump is a racist.

“I know for a matter of fact he is not. We’re going to exchange ideas and dispel any notion at this meeting because people’s opinions have been formed based on others. You can’t be a racist and be as successful as he is. He’s very genuine,” said Scott.

Scott also said he admires Trump’s leadership.

“I want to hear straight from him his view points, his ideas, his strategies for America and to see if we share common beliefs and goals. I want to expose him to the African American community,” says Scott who has one hope of Mr. Trump eventually attending one of his Sunday services in Cleveland. “I tell people if you knew him you’d like him.”

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) — President Obama spoke about the shooting that left a pair of Virginia journalists dead on Wednesday with an ABC affiliate, calling their deaths heartbreaking.

“It breaks my heart every time when you read about or hear about these kind of incidents,” the president told WPVI-TV in a one-on-one interview. Acknowledging the ongoing investigation into the shooting of a television reporter and a cameraman from WDBJ, a CBS-affiliate in the Roanoke-Lynchburg television market, perpetrated by a former employee of the station, Obama expressed hope that action could be taken to stem the tide of gun violence.

“What we know is that the number of people who die from gun-related incidents around this country dwarfs any deaths that happen through terrorism,” Obama says in the interview. “We’re willing to spend trillions of dollars to prevent terrorist activities, but we haven’t been willing, so far at least, to impose some common sense gun safety measures that could save some lives.”

He went on to discuss how Congress is “bottlenecked” on gun control, but praised the cities and state legislatures who have taken action. “I hope that that grassroots movement to say that people can have guns for hunting and for protection but that we can also have some common sense rules – like background checks – that those will make a difference.”

“My hope,” Obama concluded, “is that public pressure continues to grow.”

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images(ANKENY, Iowa) — Speaking to reporters on the Wednesday morning shooting in Virginia that left two television reporters dead, Hillary Clinton vowed to tackle the issue of gun violence if elected president.

“We have got to do something about gun violence,” Clinton said at a press event in Ankeny, Iowa, “and I will take it on.” She added that while “many people…face it,” some “turn away because it’s hard.”

Acknowledging that gun violence and legislation is a “very politically difficult issue in America,” Clinton said that she believes “we are smart enough, we are compassionate enough to balance the legitimate second amendment rights, with preventive measures and control measures so whatever motivated this murderer…we will not see more deaths.”

“I want to reiterate,” Clinton continued, “how important it is we not let another terrible instance go by without trying to do something more to prevent this incredible killing that is stalking our country.”

“Intentional, unintentional, murder-suicides, it happens everyday,” Clinton added, “and there is so much evidence that if guns were not so readily available, if we had universal background checks, if we could just put some time out between the person who’s upset because he got fired or domestic abuse or whatever other motivation may be working on someone who does this, maybe we could prevent this kind of carnage.”

“So, I hope that in addition to expressing sympathy to those directly affected, this is maybe for the media, for the public, for elected officials, for every American, what it hopefully will finally take for us to act,” she concluded.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

ABC News(WASHINGTON) — Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush will release his new book Reply All for pre-order on Amazon on Wednesday night.

The book is considered a memoir of Bush’s time as governor of Florida, using email exchanges with his staff, members of the media, and his constituents to showcase what Bush’s campaign calls “his mission of being the best leader possible for Floridians.” The book is set to be published in late October, according to Bush’s campaign website.

During his time as governor, his campaign says Bush spent 30 hours each week communicating via email. Among the topics discussed in the book are his work on education, his vetoing of thousands of earmarks, saving money for taxpayers and streamlining the Florida economy.

On his campaign website, Bush released a sample chapter on his handling of a number of hurricanes in 2004, titled “We Will Prevail.”

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

ABC News(NEW YORK) — Where will the 2016 presidential candidates be on Wednesday? Read below to find out their schedules:

Donald Trump

Trump is off the trail Wednesday, but is still in the spotlight after an tense moment at a news conference Tuesday. He threw Univision and Fusion’s Jorge Ramos out of his press conference after being asked questions from the influential anchor. This morning Ramos said on ABC’s Good Morning America it was Trump himself who threw him out and stressed he did not speak out of turn. “What I would expect is I can ask a question as a journalist,” Ramos said. He was eventually let back into the presser.

Hillary Clinton

The former secretary of state is leaving her Hamptons vacation to get back on the campaign trail and will be in the critical state of Iowa. She’s going to three events in three different corners of the state. Her first is focused on “strengthening agriculture and rural communities,” but expect more email questions to follow her back on the road, as well as queries about the possibility of a Biden bid.

Jeb Bush

The former Florida governor is in Pensacola Wednesday, where he’ll hold a town hall marking the 10th and 11th anniversaries of the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons, among the nation’s worst. But it’s likely the questions he may be asked — like he was Tuesday — will be about his controversial use of the term “anchor babies” last week and the messy clean up that ensued when he tried to explain what he meant. On Wednesday, he stressed his family life makes him essentially “bicultural” and said “it’s going to be really hard for me to get lectured to by anybody about the politics of immigration” It’s likely that won’t end the conversation around it.

Rand Paul

The senator from Kentucky continues his western tour Wednesday with stops in Washington State and Idaho.

Other candidates are on the trail today, including Marco Rubio and Martin O’Malley in New Hampshire, and Mike Huckabee, Scott Walker and Carly Fiorina in Iowa.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

ABC News(NEW YOARK) — News anchor Jorge Ramos, who works for Univision and Fusion, was thrown out of a press conference with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in Iowa Tuesday night after trying to ask questions about immigration.

“You haven’t been called…go back to Univision,” Trump told Ramos before a security guard forcibly removed him. (Ramos later returned and was able to pose questions to Trump).

“We’d love for Mr. Trump to sit down for an in-depth interview with Jorge to talk about the specifics of his proposals,” Isaac Lee, CEO of Fusion — ABC’s sister network — and president of news for Univision, said in a statement.

On Wednesday morning, ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos asked Ramos on Good Morning America about the altercation and what happens next. Below is a Q&A with Ramos, edited for length:

STEPHANOPOULOS: Is this what you were expecting from Trump?

RAMOS: “What I would expect is that I can ask a question as a journalist because that’s our responsibility and I would expect Mr. Trump to answer honestly about what he really wants to do because he hasn’t given us specifics. I saw your show on Sunday. You pushed him on how he’s going to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants and he didn’t answer your question and he didn’t answer mine. What I didn’t expect is to be thrown out of a press conference. Never in my life, and I’ve been a journalist for more than 30 years, I’ve been thrown out of a press conference.”

Do you think Trump was directing the security guard to take you out?

“Absolutely. He was in control of the press conference. It is very clear with his body language that he was giving orders and I did wait for my turn. You know how it is in those press conferences. Two reporters before me asked a question and then I said, ‘I have a question on immigration.’ He didn’t say anything. I stood up. I started my question. He didn’t like my question and when he didn’t like my question then he motioned so the one security guard would come where I was and then threw me out of the press conference.”

What happened backstage?

“I waited outside and thanks to our colleagues — and I really emphasize and thank Tom Llamas from ABC — Tom confronted Donald Trump and told him, ‘Come on. I’ve asked questions to President Obama. I’ve asked questions to other leaders. How come Mr. Trump,’ Tom said, ‘you are not allowing him to ask you questions.’ And then my other colleagues also confronted Donald Trump and somebody from his campaign came out of the room and told me if I wanted to come in and ask my question. And I did, of course, I came all the way to Iowa to do that. Remember I tried to have an interview with Donald Trump. He didn’t allow me to have an interview. He published my cell phone and that’s what I wanted to do so I came back and I asked those questions.”

Have you heard from Trump or his team since the incident?

“No, and that’s — I think — as journalists, we have to denounce and espouse the dangerous words and extreme behavior of Donald Trump. No, I didn’t hear anything new. He has to explain how he wants to deport 11 million people. Can you imagine? How’s he going to do that? Is he going to put people in stadiums? We have to denounce that he wants to deny citizenship to children being born here. They’re citizens just like his and it is impossible to build a 1,900-mile wall between Mexico and the United States so that’s the kind of questions that I was asking Mr. Trump and obviously he didn’t give answers.”

How do you respond to critics who say you’re more advocate than a journalist?

“As a journalist you have to take a stand. I think the best journalism happens when you take a stand and when it comes to racism, discrimination, corruption, public life, dictatorship or human rights, as journalists, we are not only required but we are forced to take a stand and clearly when Mr. Trump is talking about immigration in an extreme way, we have to confront him and I think that’s what I did yesterday.”

Do you think Trump will give you an interview now?

“He didn’t want to give me an interview before but right after the interview he said, ‘We’ll talk,’ so let’s see if he keeps his promise. I’m not sure.”

Trump is topping the polls. What does that say to you?

“It says it’s very clear that there are many Americans who think what Donald Trump is saying is right, that they support him. That’s exactly what’s happening. He continues to say that he’s winning the Hispanic vote. That is not true. 75 percent of Latinos have a negative image of him. However, as a journalist, I have to admit that as a journalist I’m still surprised. But the fact is that millions of Americans believe what Donald Trump is saying and millions of Americans are supporting him. That’s the only way to explain the polls.”

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →