Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson defended his controversial remarks Friday morning in which he suggested that 6 million Jews would not have been slaughtered in they had easy access to guns.

“I think the likelihood of Hitler being able to accomplish his goals would have been greatly diminished if the people had been armed,” Carson said on CNN Thursday. “I’m telling you there is a reason these dictatorial people take guns first.”

The Anti-Defamation League condemned the comments, saying in a statement: “Ben Carson has a right to his views on gun control, but the notion that Hitler’s gun-control policy contributed to the Holocaust is historically inaccurate. The small number of personal firearms available to Germany’s Jews in 1938 could in no way have stopped the totalitarian power of the Nazi German state.”

Carson called the Anti-Defamation League’s statement Friday morning “total foolishness.”

“That’s total foolishness,” Carson told George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s Good Morning America. “I’d be happy to discuss that in depth with anybody but it is well known that in many places where tyranny has taken over they first disarm the people. There’s a reason they disarm the people. They don’t just do it arbitrarily.”

In Carson’s new book, A Perfect Union, Carson writes that “through a combination of removing guns and disseminating propaganda, the Nazis were able to carry out their evil intentions with relatively little resistance.”


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Isaac Brekken/Getty Images(LAS VEGAS) — Donald Trump took “a lot of credit” for driving Rep. Kevin McCarthy out of the race for House Speaker, he told a crowd of 1,600 in Las Vegas on Thursday.

“I wanna just start by saying, you know Kevin McCarthy is out, you know that? right?,” Trump said to a loud applause. “They are giving me a lot of credit for that because I said you really need somebody very, very, tough, and very smart, you know smart goes with tough, not just tough.

“I know tough people, they are not smart, that’s the worst, OK?”

Trump told reporters before giving his remarks that he wouldn’t name an alternative.

McCarthy’s move stunned Republicans. According to Rep. Peter King, of New York, he said the majority leader wasn’t the person to unify the party. Two other congressmen, reps. Jason Chaffetz and Daniel Webster, remain in the running.

Trump also expressed his support for Hillary Clinton’s recent move opposing the Obama administration’s Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal.

“Hillary came out against the president,” he said. “Be careful Hillary, you might be indicted, be careful. No. That’s very dangerous for her to do, I give her credit.”

Trump, who has drawn fire over his remarks about Hispanics, got support from a woman who he pulled up on stage, Myriam Witcher.

“Oh Mr. Trump,” the woman said hugging the real estate mogul.

“Where are you from?”, he asked, “I”m from Columbia, I’m Hispanic!,” Witcher said overjoyed.

“I’m Hispanic and I vote for Mr. Trump! We vote for Mr. Trump! Yes! Mr. Trump! We love you, on the way to the White House!,” she shouted.

A smiling Trump said he never met Witcher, which she later confirmed.

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Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call(WASHINGTON) — Now that House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy is out of the House speaker race, is Paul Ryan in?

Congressman Ryan, who has been hounded publicly and privately to run for speaker after McCarthy’s decision to drop out of the race, repeatedly declined to shut down the chatter Thursday evening.

“I’ve got nothing to add right now,” he told reporters, as he was leaving his committee office off the House floor. “This is not the time or place.”

“I just don’t have any answers for you right now,” he added. “My statement stands, I haven’t changed anything.”

Ryan said he wasn’t running for House speaker in a statement Thursday morning, shortly after McCarthy dropped out.

“I was surprised,” he said of McCarthy’s announcement. “I was very shocked. He told me right before [the vote.]”

Ryan joked that if he was House speaker, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers would come and address a joint session of Congress.

He believes his fractured conference will settle on a speaker candidate.

“I think our conference will come together and unify, and find a way to do it,” he said.

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Scott Olson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Draft Biden, the super PAC seeking to recruit Vice President Joe Biden into the 2016 presidential race, no longer plans to air the new emotional ad encouraging him to run, a group officials said on Thursday.

The decision comes after a Los Angeles Times report saying the vice president did not want the ad to run, citing a source close to the VP who said he felt the ad treads on “sacred ground.”

“The vice president appreciates that they are trying to help,” the person close to the vice president told the LA Times. “But he has seen the ad and thinks the ad treads on sacred ground and hopes they don’t run it.”

Josh Alcorn, senior adviser to Draft Biden, said the group will honor the VP’s wish not to air the ad.

“Nobody has more respect for the vice president and his family than we do. Obviously we will honor his wishes,” Alcorn said.

The 90-second ad titled “My Redemption” features audio of Biden describing the 1972 car accident that killed his first wife, Neilia, and his 1-year-old daughter Naomi.

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

Draft Biden made a $250,000 ad buy to air the ad before and after the first Democratic debate on CNN on Oct. 13.

The ad received mixed reviews in the political realm. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said today the ad was “powerful.”

“Vice President Biden’s personal story is as powerful as any story in American politics,” Earnest said. “What made it particularly effective is they used the words of Vice President Biden. It wasn’t somebody else telling his story; it’s him telling his own story.”

However, David Axelrod, a former adviser to President Obama, called the ad “tasteless” and “exploitative.”

“Am I alone in finding this Draft Biden ad tasteless?” he tweeted. “It’s powerful, but exploitative. Can’t believe he’d approve.”

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Rand Paul campaign(WASHINGTON) — Sen. Rand Paul is putting his own mark on the debate over raising the nation’s debt limit, starting a new campaign geared towards getting the federal government to cut what he considers wasteful spending.

Called “Cut Their Card,” the new push coincides with the approaching deadline for Congress to raise the debt ceiling, which limits the amount of money the federal government can borrow. The U.S. Treasury has said the current deadline is November 5th.

The Paul campaign is releasing a series of web-only videos that decry federal overspending – the first two note that the government spends $180,000 a year studying the effect of cocaine on the sexual habits of Japanese quail (which the fact-checking site Politifact notes is actually part of a study on human sexuality).

“Washington has an addiction. They spend more than they have!” Paul exclaims in a voice-over, while punk-sounding music plays in the background. “I have a revolutionary idea. Instead of running up their debt, let’s stop. Let’s cut off their credit card.”

The “Cut Their Card campaign” also features a pop-up visual of a hand cutting a credit card in half, which will feature at all upcoming campaign events, and will encourage supporters to use the hashtag “#CutTheirCard.”

The Paul campaign is also directing viewers to www.cuttheircard.com, which currently features a Paul quote and picture and redirects visitors to a campaign donation page.

This push allows Paul to fuse his work as a U.S. senator with his campaign message of reining in government spending.

“With the debt ceiling deadline looming, this will be a major topic of discussion at each of the senator’s campaign stops. This is especially relevant to college students looking to join the work force,” campaign spokeswoman Eleanor May said in a statement.

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Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Republican candidate Ben Carson continued his controversial remarks about guns Thursday — suggesting in a new interview that the Jews may have been able to diminish the likelihood of the Holocaust if they were armed.

Carson made the remarks, which drew swift condemnation — on CNN. He said that passengers on Flight 93, which crashed on 9/11, helped avoid further tragedy by rushing the gunman.

In Carson’s new book “A Perfect Union,” Carson writes that “through a combination of removing guns and disseminating propaganda, the Nazis were able to carry out their evil intentions with relatively little resistance.”

On CNN, Carson was asked: “But just to clarify, if there had been no gun control laws in Europe at that time, would 6 million Jews have been slaughtered?”

In response, the candidate suggested that Hitler may not have been as effective in carrying out his plot if the victims were armed.

“I think the likelihood of Hitler being able to accomplish his goals would have been greatly diminished if the people had been armed,” Carson said. “I’m tell you there is a reason these dictatorial people take guns first.”

The comments drew a swift response from the Anti-Defamation League.

“Ben Carson has a right to his views on gun control, but the notion that Hitler’s gun-control policy contributed to the Holocaust is historically inaccurate,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, National Director of the organization. “The small number of personal firearms available to Germany’s Jews in 1938 could in no way have stopped the totalitarian power of the Nazi German state.”

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Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call(WASHINGTON) — House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy made up his mind to pull out of the race to be House speaker Thursday morning after hearing from chamber conservatives that they would directly challenge him on the House floor, sources say.

McCarthy’s team determined he only had between 175 to 200 House Republicans who they could count on voting for him, well short of the 218 needed.

McCarthy had the support of the overwhelming majority of House Republicans — about 75 percent of them — but the conservatives refused to say they would unite behind him. So, a narrow minority has effectively hijacked the process. They don’t have the votes to elect their own candidate but they have proven they can block a candidate they don’t like.

McCarthy determined that even if he could get the 218 votes and get elected speaker, the conservatives would continue to challenge him, making it effectively impossible to lead the House.

“He thought he would have a honeymoon,” a McCarthy confidant said. “It became clear there would be no honeymoon.”

McCarthy also determined that he’d be unable to lead the House through the serious challenges this fall, especially funding the government and preventing a U.S. default on the debt.

What’s next? Here’s what one top Republican close to the House leadership said on Thursday: “Total chaos.”

Rep. Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, was the most likely one to unite the House Republicans, but he says he won’t be a candidate.

Rep. Trey Gowdy, now busy with the Benghazi committee, is being asked to run. He has said he has no interest in the job. After Gowdy, look for Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas to be asked, although he has said he didn’t want to take leadership for family reasons.

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ABC News(WASHINGTON) — Hillary Clinton has said repeatedly over the course of her campaign that she’s not running for President Obama’s third term. And as outsider candidate Bernie Sanders surges in the polls, and a possible run by Vice President Joe Biden looms, Clinton appears to be increasingly casting herself as different from the Obama administration.

In the past month alone, the Democratic presidential candidate has split with her former boss five times on key policy issues, including, most recently, her decision to oppose the president’s controversial trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which she once championed as secretary of state.

Here are seven ways Clinton has already distanced herself from the White House in the past six months as a candidate:


Clinton thinks that while Obama has “done a lot” on immigration, his deportation laws have been too “harsh and aggressive.”

“The deportation laws were interpreted and enforced very aggressively during the last six and a half years, which I think his administration did in part to try to get Republicans to support comprehensive immigration reform,” Clinton said Monday during an interview with Telemundo. “It was part of a strategy. I think that strategy is no longer workable. So, therefore, I think we have to go back to being a much less harsh and aggressive enforcer.”

Clinton’s criticism is in contrast to what she said in a 2014 CNN interview where she defended Obama on this same issue. “We have to understand the difficulty that President Obama finds himself in because there are laws that impose certain obligations on him,” she said.

Obama has been dubbed “Deporter-in-Chief” by some immigration advocates for the record-high number of deportations under his administration.


Clinton has also split from Obama with her opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline and Arctic drilling.

“I think it is imperative that we look at the Keystone pipeline as what I believe it I; a distraction from the important work we have to do to combat climate change and, unfortunately, from my perspective, one that interferes with our ability to move forward to deal with all the other issues. Therefore, I oppose it,” Clinton explained last month about the controversial pipeline that would stretch from Canada through Nebraska to the Gulf Coast.

In addition, over the summer, Clinton spoke out against off-shore drilling in the Arctic Ocean one day after the Obama administration gave Shell the go ahead to drill for oil and gas there.

Both Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley had been vocal opponents on the two issues for months.


Clinton, who says she wants to “build on” Obama’s Affordable Care Act, recently called for the repeal of the plan’s so-called “Cadillac tax” on high-cost health plans offered by employers.

“I encourage Congress to repeal the so-called Cadillac Tax, which applies to some employer-based health plans, and to fully pay for the cost of repeal,” Clinton said in a statement. “My proposed reforms to our health care system would more than cover the cost of repealing the Cadillac Tax, while also reining in skyrocketing prescription drug costs and out-of-pocket expenses for hard-working families.”

One week earlier, Sanders had also called for repealing the tax, which is known to be largely unpopular with labor unions and big corporations.


While Clinton often says Obama “doesn’t get the credit he deserves” for increasing job growth, she also thinks the economy has “stalled.”

“We’re stalled economically and we know that states, families, everybody is under pressure for all kinds of reasons,” Clinton said during a campaign event last month.

She added later: “I think we’re stalled. And I think the Great Recession knocked a lot of people down.”

Asked about Clinton’s belief that the economy has stalled, White House press secretary Josh Earnest pushed back: “It’s not,” he said.

In June, Clinton unveiled her own economic plan, focused on increasing wages for the middle class.


In one of Clinton’s biggest breaks yet with the White House, the Democratic front-runner Wednesday came out against the president’s Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, saying, “what I know about it as of today I am not in favor of what I have learned about it.”

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

Obama, a fierce supporter of the deal, says the partnership “levels the playing field for our farmers, ranchers and manufacturers.”

Prior to being a presidential candidate, Clinton made comments that seemed to be in support of TPP. In her 2014 memoir, Hard Choices, Clinton called it “a strategic initiative that would strengthen the position of the United States in Asia.”


Clinton has recently called for a no-fly zone in Syria, something the Obama administration has said it will not pursue.

“I do believe we should be putting together a coalition to support a no-fly zone,” Clinton said at a campaign stop Monday. “It’s complicated, and the Russians would have to be part of it, or it wouldn’t work. But we have to make a strong case for it.”

On this issue, Clinton takes a position that many of her Republican presidential challengers do, including Ben Carson, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio.

Sanders, however, released a statement saying he stands with the president here and opposes the no-fly zone.

When asked about Clinton’s decision to support a no-fly zone, Obama said: “Hillary Clinton is not half-baked in terms of her approach to these problems. She was obviously my secretary of state. But I also think that there’s a difference between running for president and being president.”


Clinton hasn’t taken any direct swipes at Obama when it comes to his governing style, but she has made subtle attempts to cast herself as someone who may be a more effective fighter.

(One of the criticisms many Democrats have of the president is that while he champions policies they care about, he hasn’t been able to effectively implement his agenda.)

Clinton wants voters to believe that won’t be her problem, and often highlights her tenacity and experience.

“I know how hard this job is. I have seen it up close and personal,” Clinton said in her official launch speech at Roosevelt Island in New York in June. “Lord knows I have made my share of mistakes. There’s no shortage of people pointing them out, and I certainly have not won every battle that I have fought, but leadership means perseverance and hard choices.”

“You have to push through the setbacks and the disappointments and keep at it. I think you know by now that I have been called many things by many people. Quitter is not one of them,” she added.

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ABC News(WASHINGTON) — Hillary Clinton said this week she sent a copy of her book Hard Choices to many of the Republican presidential candidates — some of whom have shot back at the Democratic candidate with some sarcasm and snark of their own.

Clinton suggested on Monday that her GOP opponents should form a book club and could read about what she accomplished as secretary of state. Her campaign said she sent all 15 of the Republican candidates a copy of the book, except for former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore (it did not explain why Gilmore was excluded, except to suggest there didn’t seem to be a point given his low poll numbers).

Here’s how some of the candidates responded:


The Kentucky senator decided to have a little fun and do a little fundraising with Clinton’s book. Paul signed it and added an inscription that read, “Hillary, Your refusal to provide security for our mission in Benghazi should forever preclude you from higher office!” Paul put the book up for auction on eBay where bids are up to $7,100. The winner will receive a copy of Paul’s latest book, too.

Sergio Gor, a spokesman for Paul, said that the presidential hopeful is “a big fan of fiction.”

Hard Choices is a great example of revisionist history. We encourage everyone to bid and get their own copy now,” Gor said.


Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee used the tome’s title to hit her on Benghazi.

.@HillaryClinton sent me her book to remind me of her “record of accomplishment”. Speaking of her book & reminders… pic.twitter.com/ROrC03TyMY

— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) October 7, 2015

.@HillaryClinton, I can’t wait to read your followup to “Hard Choices,” “Hard Realities: Someone Should’ve Answered the Phone.” #Benghazi

— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) October 8, 2015


Ben Carson’s campaign told ABC News it received the book — and that skimming it turned out to be enlightening, in one way or another.

“We were wondering where all of those unsold books were,” Carson spokesman Doug Watts told ABC News. “But after skimming the book we now understand why it didn’t sell. It should have been in the Fiction section.”


Carly Fiorina’s campaign confirmed that the former Hewlett Packard CEO received the book and jabbed at Clinton and the 600-plus pages.

“Sending a book isn’t an accomplishment. It’s an activity,” the Fiorina campaign said in an email to ABC News.


John Kasich’s campaign told ABC News it had received the book from Clinton on Monday. But Rob Nichols, a spokesman for Kasich, the governor of Ohio, told ABC News another envelope bearing the Clinton campaign’s logo arrived at the Ohio governor’s mansion last Wednesday — and that it was addressed to the previous governor, a Democrat.

In an image of the envelope Nichols provided to ABC News, Ted Strickland’s name and the address of the governor’s mansion were crossed out, and “RTS” — return to sender — was scrawled in red ink across the unopened mail.

“We get a lot of junk mail,” Nichols said. “We also got this, so I’m not sure who is in charge of quality control at her end.”

.@JohnKasich‘s campaign says this arrived at the Ohio gov’s mansion last week – addressed to previous gov, a Dem pic.twitter.com/jtfJL2H2xm

— Ben Gittleson (@bgittleson) October 7, 2015


Florida Sen. Marco Rubio addressed receiving Clinton’s book at a campaign stop in New Hampshire. Rubio joked, “Did she send me a book?” Rubio, who has written a book of his own, delivered a message to Clinton, author to author: “I’ll send her mine. Fellow author. My paperback came out yesterday so I’ll send her that.”


Ted Cruz, like Sen. Rubio and Sen. Paul, also offered his own book up for Clinton to read. The Texas senator tweeted, “We’ll gladly return the favor and send @HillaryClinton’s campaign #ATimeForTruth because, well…”


Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said he would read Clinton’s book, but only if she watched a series of undercover videos allegedly showing employees of Planned Parenthood discussing the distribution and sale of fetal tissue.

I’ll make a deal with you @HillaryClinton, if you watch these videos http://t.co/TBLx9EOy8N, I’ll read your book. -Bobby

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

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SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — House members told ABC News Thursday that current House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy took his name out of the running for House Speaker.

The decision was a major surprise as House Republicans gathered to vote on the next speaker.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, and Daniel Webster, R-Fla., are also running for House Speaker.

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