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Analysis, background reports and updates from the PBS NewsHour putting today's news in context.

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    MANCHESTER, N.H.  — Marco Rubio headed into the latest Republican debate ready for an onslaught of attacks about his experience and readiness for the White House, while a trio of his rivals sought a breakout performance before Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary – an election critical to their presidential hopes.

    Donald Trump also was rejoining his competitors in the debate arena Saturday night after having skipped the previous faceoff in Iowa. He finished second in the Iowa caucuses and has spent the past week complaining bitterly about the result.

    While Iowa shook Trump’s grip on the Republican field, he has led New Hampshire preference polls for months and the state is still seen as his to lose in Tuesday’s voting. However, Rubio appears to be gaining steam following his stronger-than-expected third-place finish in Iowa, drawing big crowds across New Hampshire – as well as a flurry of criticism from other contenders who say the first-term Florida senator lacks accomplishments.

    “He’s a great guy, but he’s not a leader,” said former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has repeatedly derided Rubio as a “bubble boy” whose staff protects him from having to answer tough questions about his record and what he would do as president.

    Bush, Christie and Ohio Gov. John Kasich have largely staked their presidential hopes on New Hampshire. Those falling short of a standout finish in New Hampshire will face party pressure to quit the race, particularly if Rubio has another strong night.

    Bush in particular has struggled in many of the previous GOP debates. While many of his rivals spent Saturday huddled in debate preparations, Bush spoke to an overflow crowd in Bedford, where he thanked people for asking substantive questions.

    “The questions on the debate stage will probably be really stupid,” he said. “I’m not very optimistic.”

    Rubio and the trio of current and former governors are fighting to emerge as the more mainstream alternative to Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, the fiery conservative who won Iowa. Cruz is so loathed by GOP leaders that some have openly said they would rather see Trump win the nomination despite his inflammatory comments and sometimes erratic behavior.

    For Cruz, New Hampshire is less of a natural fit than Iowa, where he had strong support from the state’s many evangelical voters. Still, he sees an opportunity for a strong showing that could send him into the coming Southern primaries in a commanding position.

    The Republican field was for months a large and unwieldly collection of candidates seeking to put the party back in the White House for the first time in eight years. But the pack has already started to narrow following the Iowa caucuses, with Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul and Rick Santorum all ending their campaigns.

    Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson is fighting to avoid joining that group. After a disappointing showing in Iowa, he took time off from campaigning and hasn’t been a major presence in New Hampshire this week.

    With fewer candidates, debate host ABC News scrapped an undercard debate for low-polling hopefuls. But their rules for the main event left businesswoman Carly Fiorina as the only candidate without a spot on stage.

    Fiorina, the only Republican woman running for president, has protested her exclusion, and party leaders such as 2012 presidential nominee Mitt Romney have come to her defense.

    This report was written by Julie Pace and Julie Bykowicz of the Associated Press.

    The post Rubio bracing for attacks in New Hampshire debate appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    MANCHESTER, NH - FEBRUARY 06:  (L-R) Republican presidential candidates Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) participate in the Republican presidential debate at St. Anselm College February 6, 2016 in Manchester, New Hampshire. Sponsored by ABC News, the Independent Journal Review and Google, this is the final televised debate before voters go to the polls for the New Hampshire primary on February 9.  Joe Raedle/Getty Images

    MANCHESTER, NH – FEBRUARY 06: (L-R) Republican presidential candidates Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) participate in the Republican presidential debate at St. Anselm College February 6, 2016 in Manchester, New Hampshire. Sponsored by ABC News, the Independent Journal Review and Google, this is the final televised debate before voters go to the polls for the New Hampshire primary on February 9. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

    MANCHESTER, N.H. — The Latest on the race for president, with candidates focusing on New Hampshire, which holds the first primary in the 2016 race on Tuesday:

    9:40 p.m.

    Donald Trump says the way to beat the Islamic State group is through their pocketbook.

    Trump said in Saturday’s Republican debate in New Hampshire that the way to beat terrorists is to take their oil and stop their access to money through the banking system. He says: “You have to knock the hell out of the oil. You have to take the oil.”

    Trump says if the flow of money is stopped, the Islamic States is “going to become a very weakened power, quickly.”

    He predicted the Islamic State could last only about a year with the resources it has currently.

    9:30 p.m.

    Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is standing by his call for “carpet bombing” areas controlled by the Islamic State group.

    Cruz says that could be accomplished without mounting inappropriate levels of civilian casualties. He maintains that President Barack Obama’s administration has unnecessarily strict “rules of engagement” because of concerns over civilian deaths.

    The senator says his previous endorsement of “carpet bombing” does not mean “indiscriminate” bombing. He says he would order “targeted” bombings of oil fields, infrastructure, communications outposts and key locations in Raqqa, Syria, the de-facto capital of the Islamic State group.

     

    9:25 p.m.

    Donald Trump says cutting the corporate tax rate is a central piece of his plan to bring jobs back to America.

    Pressed on how he’d create jobs, Trump says it’s critical to make sure big corporations remain in America rather than going to China, Mexico and other countries. He also says he’d make better trade deals than the current administration.

    9:20 p.m.

    John Kasich and Donald Trump are defending themselves against accusations that they are not true conservatives.

    Speaking at the Republican debate in New Hampshire Saturday, Kasich defended endorsements he received by The New York Times and The Boston Globe, newspapers often criticized by Republicans as liberal.

    Kasich said the Times said “he’s not a moderate” and “can solve problems.”

    Trump says he is conservative with regard to fiscal issues, conserving money and “doing the right thing.”

    MANCHESTER, NH - FEBRUARY 06:  (L-R) Republican presidential candidates Jeb Bush, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Donald Trump participate in the Republican presidential debate at St. Anselm College February 6, 2016 in Manchester, New Hampshire. Sponsored by ABC News and the Independent Journal Review, this is the final televised debate before voters go to the polls for the New Hampshire primary on February 9.  Joe Raedle/Getty Images

    MANCHESTER, NH – FEBRUARY 06: (L-R) Republican presidential candidates Jeb Bush, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Donald Trump participate in the Republican presidential debate at St. Anselm College February 6, 2016 in Manchester, New Hampshire. Sponsored by ABC News and the Independent Journal Review, this is the final televised debate before voters go to the polls for the New Hampshire primary on February 9. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

    9:15 p.m.

    Donald Trump is once again needling Jeb Bush, saying Bush “wants to be a tough guy.”

    Trump and Bush got in a terse back-and-forth exchange in Saturday’s Republican presidential debate over their positions on eminent domain, the process by which the government takes private property for public use.

    When Bush tried to interject, Trump drew boos when he dismissed him saying, “Let me talk, quiet.” Trump quipped the catcalls were coming from “donors and special interests,” the only people who could get tickets to the high profile debate.

    Trump defended the use of eminent domain, saying it’s “absolutely necessary” to build roads, schools, bridges and hospitals.

    But Bush forcefully challenged Trump, asking why he tried to use eminent domain to purchase the home of an elderly woman who lived near one of his Atlantic City casinos. Bush says, “That isn’t public purpose. That was downright wrong.”

    9:10 p.m.

    Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Ben Carson all agree on at least one thing: They detest the Affordable Care Act.

    But they are taking different approaches to explain just what they want in its place.

    Trump promised in Saturday’s GOP debate in New Hampshire “to replace Obamacare with something so much better.” He says that would include healthcare savings accounts for individuals and allowing insurance companies to sell policies across state lines.

    Trump implicitly accused his rivals of not backing some kind of safety net care for the poorest Americans.

    Cruz did not get into the details of a replacement at all, using the discussion to blast “socialized medicine.”

    Carson says he wants to give Americans subsidies for medical savings accounts using money now spent on existing health care.

    9:05 p.m.

    Marco Rubio is defending his role in immigration reform as a member of the Gang of Eight in the Senate.

    Speaking at the GOP debate Saturday, Rubio says the American people cannot trust Congress until the border is secured and that those here illegally would not be put on a pathway to citizenship.Chris Christie struck back at Rubio’s answer, saying “it’s abundantly clear that he didn’t fight for the legislation.”

    The 2013 Gang of Eight bill passed the Senate, but did not pass the House.

    9:00 p.m.

    Ohio Gov. John Kasich says he “couldn’t even imagine” ripping families apart by deporting immigrants living in the country illegally and says doing so doesn’t match American values.

    Kasich says he’d make passing comprehensive immigration reform a priority within the first 100 days of his presidency. An attempt to pass a comprehensive bill in 2013 could not make it through Congress.

    Kasich is at odds with several of his rivals, including Ted Cruz, on the issue of deportation.

    Cruz says its possible to deport people living here illegally. The only thing missing, he says, is “political will.”

    8:58 p.m.

    Gov. Chris Christie is trying to out-tough his GOP rivals when it comes to dealing with North Korea when addressing how to handle a crisis involving hostages or the rogue nation’s nuclear proliferation activities.

    Former Gov. Jeb Bush is saying the U.S. should reinstate “crippling sanctions” and establish those sanctions “right now.”

    But Christie says the U.S. has to boost its profile on the global stage, but he fell short from saying he supports military action against North Korea.

    8:55 p.m.

    Gov. Chris Christie is trying to out-tough his GOP rivals when it comes to dealing with North Korea when addressing how to handle a crisis involving hostages or the rogue nation’s nuclear proliferation activities.

    Former Gov. Jeb Bush is saying the U.S. should reinstate “crippling sanctions” and establish those sanctions “right now.”

    But Christie says the U.S. has to boost its profile on the global stage, but he fell short from saying he supports military action against North Korea.

    8:55 p.m.

    Donald Trump’s plan for dealing with North Korea runs through China.

    Trump said in Saturday’s Republican presidential debate that the key to dealing with North Korea is enlisting the help of China. Trump says China should be responsible for addressing problems with North Korea because “they can do it quickly and surgically.”

    The debate began just minutes after news broke that North Korea had fired a rocket that was a covert test of technology for a missile that could strike the U.S. mainland.

    The billionaire investor Trump says he believes China has “tremendous control” over North Korea based on conversations he’s had with bankers and others he’s dealt with.

    Florida Sen. Marco Rubio also says he believes the United States could leverage its relationship with China to keep North Korea in check.

    8:50 p.m.

    Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is avoiding saying just how he might respond as president to a long-range rocket launch by North Korea.

    South Korea said earlier Saturday that North Korea did just that, under the guise that it was launching a satellite.

    Cruz deflected questions during the GOP presidential debate in New Hampshire Saturday over whether he’d shoot down any such missile or launch a pre-emptive strike on North Korea’s nuclear infrastructure.

    He said he could not “speculate” since he has not seen “the intelligence briefings” that President Barack Obama gets. ABC moderator Martha Raddatz noted that Cruz has talked in detail about how he would approach Middle East tensions despite not having access to the same intelligence available to the president.

    Cruz used the question to criticize the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran.

    8:44 p.m.

    Chris Christie and Marco Rubio are kicking off Saturday’s debate with a blistering exchange over experience, with Christie is hitting Rubio for “memorizing” talking points rather than getting actual things done.

    Christie says, “the memorized 30-second speech doesn’t solve one problem.” He says Rubio has failed to make a single decision of consequence while in the U.S. Senate, a charge he’s been making on the trail in New Hampshire all week.

    Rubio, meanwhile, is dismissing the argument that experience is necessary to be president, saying if that were the case then Joe Biden would be commander in chief.

    And he’s punching right back at Christie, saying the New Jersey governor showed a lack of leadership when he considered not returning to his home state to manage a snow storm several weeks ago.

    8:40 p.m.

    Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush says rival Marco Rubio is a “gifted” politician with no experience — a point he’s been hammering on the campaign trail in New Hampshire.

    Speaking at the eighth GOP debate Saturday, Bush said being president requires “a steady hand” to handle any number of crises, noting he handled eight hurricanes and four tropical storms that struck Florida when he was governor.

    Bush says “you learn this by doing it,” adding that electing Rubio is the equivalent of electing President Barack Obama who was also a first-term senator when he won the presidency.

    8:38 p.m.

    Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson is taking the high road when asked to address a statement released by Ted Cruz’s campaign that falsely claimed Carson was suspending his campaign.

    Carson says he wasn’t going to use the opportunity to “savage the reputation of Sen. Cruz.”

    But Carson goes on to say that the quick message from Cruz’s campaign to Iowa caucus-goers that the retired neurosurgeon was out of the race reflects “very good example of Washington ethics.”

    8:35 p.m.

    Republican Donald Trump says he thinks he has the best temperament of those running for president.

    Speaking at Saturday’s GOP debate, Trump noted that he’s driving the election conversation by bringing up issues others are afraid to address like his proposal to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the country.

    Trump says, “I’m not one with a trigger. Other people up here, believe me, would be a lot faster.”

    8:30 p.m.

    Donald Trump says other Republican candidates running for president “would be a lot faster” to use nuclear weapons than he would.

    Speaking at Saturday’s GOP debate in New Hampshire, Trump responded to comments made by rival Ted Cruz who said no one would be comfortable with Trump having his finger on “the button.”

    Cruz dodged a question in the debate asking if he would stand by that comment, instead saying that voters will make the assessment over who has the temperament to be president.

    Trump hit Cruz for not answering the question, adding “That’s what’s going to happen with our enemies and the people we compete against. We’re going to win with Trump. We’re going to win.”

    8:18 p.m.

    The Republican presidential debate got off to a bumpy start Saturday when Ben Carson apparently didn’t hear his name called by the hosts from ABC News.

    Carson was to come on stage second, but walked to the edge of the stage and stopped, not hearing his name. He awkwardly remained as several of his rivals walked pass him to the podium.

    He eventually walked out.

    8:15 p.m.

    Republican candidates are facing off in the season’s eighth presidential debate, this time in New Hampshire which will host the nation’s first primary on Tuesday.

    Donald Trump has returned to center stage after boycotting the last debate in Iowa. The billionaire businessman is sandwiched in between his two biggest rivals, Iowa caucus winner Ted Cruz, and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who finished a close third behind Trump.

    Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson are also debating as they attempt to give their candidacies a boost ahead of the Feb. 9 primary.

    6:45 p.m.

    Former NAACP President Ben Jealous says Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has the best record and platform for black Americans.

    Campaigning for Sanders in South Carolina on Saturday, Jealous called the Vermont senator “a movement candidate.”

    Jealous said Sanders’ opponent, Hillary Clinton, offers a public career that is “complicated” and “contradictory.”

    He said Clinton’s continued support of the death penalty, her Wall Street relationships and her vote for the Iraq invasion of 2003 each violated Martin Luther King Jr.’s standard of judging politicians on their fight against “racism, militarism and greed.”

    The post The latest: Candidates spar during GOP debate in New Hampshire appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (L) and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spar during the Democratic presidential candidates debate sponsored by MSNBC at the University of New Hampshire on February 4, 2016. Trailing rival Sanders,  Clinton seeks to summon another comeback Mike Segar/Reuters

    Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (L) and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spar during the Democratic presidential candidates debate sponsored by MSNBC at the University of New Hampshire on February 4, 2016. Trailing rival Sanders, Clinton seeks to summon another comeback. Mike Segar/Reuters

    HENNIKER, N.H. — Trailing rival Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton sought to summon another New Hampshire comeback on Saturday but faced blunt questions about her trustworthiness and explanation of the deadly 2012 attacks in Benghazi.

    Clinton campaigned throughout New Hampshire’s voter-rich southern belt in hope of overcoming Sanders’ steady lead heading into Tuesday’s first-in-the-nation primary. The former secretary of state claimed a razor-thin victory in Iowa earlier in the week but is guarding against a blowout that might reset the race for the Democratic nomination.

    “You vet us. You take second, third and fourth looks,” Clinton told supporters during a rally in Concord. “And I hope you will look hard at this.”

    New Hampshire was the setting of Clinton’s upset victory against then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama in the 2008 primary and it remains sacred ground for supporters of her husband, former President Bill Clinton, whose second-place finish in the 1992 primary led to his self-applied nickname of the “Comeback Kid.” But Sanders, who as Vermont senator is no stranger to the state, has built a strong advantage here and hopes to push back against Clinton’s argument that she would be most electable come November.

    Sanders was heading to New York City for an expected cameo appearance on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live.” Comedian Larry David, who has portrayed Sanders as an impassioned underdog shouting for revolution, was scheduled to be the show’s host in an event bound to give the senator a positive spotlight in the days before the primary.

    Sanders, campaigning in Rindge, expressed confidence in Tuesday’s contest while noting that Clinton prevailed in the 2008 New Hampshire primary. “If we can bring out a decent vote on Tuesday, I am confident we’re going to win,” he said.

    Clinton, meanwhile, faced a tough crowd of voters during an afternoon town hall meeting at New England College in Henniker.

    Her first question came from a young man who asked about how she responds to people who distrust her in light of controversies over the Benghazi attacks and her use of a private email server at the State Department.

    Clinton said she has had a long history of taking on the toughest issues while many of her opponents try to “sow doubts” about her. “I know that I am viewed as a direct threat to the forces that call a lot of shots in this country,” she said.

    A woman who said she worked for Clinton’s 2008 campaign in New Hampshire told the ex-secretary of state her explanation of the Benghazi attacks “continues to give me some doubts.” She also wanted to know why Clinton felt compelled to delete so many personal emails from her private account as secretary of state – “everybody knows you can’t write 30,000 emails to your yoga instructor.”

    Clinton said the attacks in Libya that killed four Americans happened under a “fog of war” and people on the ground had worked hard to understand what was happening as the attacks unfolded. Clinton said she regretted that it had been used as a “great political issue.”

    When another questioner asked why Sanders had so much momentum, Clinton said she was pleased he had attracted so many young people to his campaign but made the case that her policy proposals on health care and college affordability was superior.

    Clinton said she respected the “very strong passion that Senator Sanders brings to his critique of the economy and his critique of Wall Street. I happen to share it.” But she said “that’s not the only problem we have in America,” and the nation needed to address “all the barriers that are holding people back.”

    Clinton’s top supporters in New Hampshire said the state had a history of unpredictability and expressed hope that a major organizing push in the final weekend would make a difference. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh was dispatching dozens of organizers to the state while a number of veterans of past Clinton campaigns, including many from Arkansas, were knocking on doors and staffing phone banks this weekend.

    “We’re not giving up at all. We’re fighting to the end which is what Hillary does all the time. How it comes out is in the hands of the voters,” said Billy Shaheen, a veteran of multiple New Hampshire campaigns and the husband of Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H.

    Associated Press writer Catherine Lucey in Rindge, New Hampshire, contributed to this report.

    The post Clinton, trailing in NH polls, seeks gain on Sanders’ lead appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    MANCHESTER, NH - FEBRUARY 06:  Republican presidential candidates Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) participate in the Republican presidential debate at St. Anselm College February 6, 2016 in Manchester, New Hampshire. Sponsored by ABC News, the Independent Journal Review and Google, this is the final televised debate before voters go to the polls for the New Hampshire primary on February 9.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

    Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) participate in the Republican presidential debate at St. Anselm College February 6, 2016 in Manchester, New Hampshire. Sponsored by ABC News, the Independent Journal Review and Google, this is the final televised debate before voters go to the polls for the New Hampshire primary on February 9. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

    MANCHESTER, N.H. — Marco Rubio, a first-term senator on the rise in the presidential race, faced a barrage of attacks in Saturday night’s Republican debate, with rivals challenging his readiness to be president, his commitment to his own policies and the depth of his experience.

    Sen. Ted Cruz, fresh off his victory in the Iowa caucuses, also came under withering criticism for controversial campaign tactics, with rivals disparaging him for having “Washington ethics” and being willing to test the campaign’s legal limits.

    Rubio finished third in the leadoff Iowa caucuses, but still exceeded expectations and appears to be gaining steam heading into Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary. His rise is a threat not only to front-runners Donald Trump and Cruz but to a trio of governors – Jeb Bush, Chris Christie and John Kasich – who need a strong showing in New Hampshire to stay in the campaign.

    Christie furiously sought to undercut Rubio’s qualifications, declaring that the Florida senator has “not been involved in a consequential decision where you need to be held accountable.” Christie also accused Rubio of being a candidate governed by talking points – then pounced when the senator played into his hands by repeating multiple times what appeared to be a planned response to criticisms about his qualifications.

    “That’s what Washington, D.C., does,” Christie said. “The drive-by shot at the beginning with incorrect and incomplete information and then the memorized 25-second speech that is exactly what his advisers gave him.”

    Rubio has sought to deflect criticism of his relative inexperience and the comparisons it draws to President Barack Obama by arguing the problem with the president isn’t that he’s naive, but that he’s pushing an ideology that hurts the country. He made that point repeatedly throughout the debate.

    Rubio wavered in defending his decision to walk away from the sweeping immigration bill he originally backed in the Senate – perhaps the legislation he’s most closely associated with – and said he wouldn’t pursue similar legislation as president.

    “We can’t get that legislation passed,” Rubio said of the bill that would have provided a pathway to citizenship for millions of people in the United States illegally.

    Cruz was the victor in Iowa, triumphing over billionaire Trump by drawing heavily on the support of evangelical voters. But he’s faced criticism for messages his campaign sent to voters ahead of the caucuses saying rival Ben Carson – another favorite of religious conservatives – was dropping out and urging the retired neurosurgeon’s supporters to back him instead.

    Cruz apologized for his campaign’s actions Saturday, but not before Carson jabbed him for having “Washington ethics.”

    Those ethics, he said, “say if it’s legal, you do what you do to win.”

    Trump was back on the debate stage after skipping the last contest before the Iowa caucuses. After spending the past several days disputing his second-place finish in Iowa, he sought to refocus on the core messages of his campaign, including blocking Muslims from coming to the U.S. and deporting all people in the country illegally.

    Kasich, who has staked his White House hopes on New Hampshire, offered a more moderate view on immigration, though one that’s unpopular with many GOP primary voters. He said that if elected president, he would introduce legislation that would provide a pathway to legalization, though not citizenship, within his first 100 days in office.

    The debate began shortly after North Korea defied international warnings and launched a long-range rocket that the United Nations and others call a cover for a banned test of technology for a missile that could strike the U.S. mainland.

    Asked how he would respond to North Korea’s provocations, Bush said he would authorize a pre-emptive strike against such rockets if it was necessary to keep America safe. Cruz demurred, saying he wouldn’t speculate about how he’d handle the situation without a full briefing. And Trump said he’d rely on China to “quickly and surgically” handle North Korea.

    Trump’s grip on the Republican field has been shaken by his runner-up finish in Iowa, though he leads in preference polls in New Hampshire.

    The post Cruz, Rubio face barrage of attacks during debate appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton answers a question during February 3, 2016. CNN Democratic Town Hall in New Hampshire. In the months leading up to her second presidential bid the former Secretary of State netted millions in corporate speaking fees.  Rick Wilking/REUTERS

    U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton answers a question during February 3, 2016. CNN Democratic Town Hall in New Hampshire. In the months leading up to her second presidential bid the former Secretary of State netted millions in corporate speaking fees. Rick Wilking/REUTERS

    MANCHESTER, N.H. — Hillary Clinton told voters in the latest Democratic debate there’s “hardly anything you don’t know about me.”

    Just minutes later, she got tangled in a question about a part of her resume that is an enduring mystery.

    In the 18 months before launching her second presidential bid, Clinton gave nearly 100 paid speeches at banks, trade associations, charitable groups and private corporations. The appearances netted her $21.7 million – and voters very little information about what she was telling top corporations as she prepared for her 2016 campaign.

    What she said – or didn’t say – to Wall Street banks in particular has become a significant problem for her presidential campaign, as she tries to counter the unexpected rise of Democratic rival Bernie Sanders. He’s put her in awkward position of squaring her financial windfall with a frustrated electorate.

    Asked in the debate – and not for the first time – about releasing transcripts of those speeches, she said: “I will look into it. I don’t know the status, but I will certainly look into it.” She added, “My view on this is, look at my record.”

    Clinton addressed a broad swath of industries, speaking to supermarket companies in Colorado, clinical pathologists in Illinois and travel agents in California, to name several. Many of the companies and trade organizations that she addressed are lobbying Congress over a variety of interests.

    She typically delivered an address, then answered questions from a pre-vetted interviewer. Her standard fee was $225,000, though occasionally it could range up to $400,000.

    “That’s what they offered,” said Clinton, when asked this week whether her fees were too high.

    Clinton defended her appearances Friday, saying she thought the speeches were “a good way to communicate” and answer questions about her experience as secretary of state.

    “It was a useful exercise for me, because it also enabled me to think through, kind of, where I was in the assessment of what I would do next,” Clinton told MSNBC.

    Other than her fees, which her campaign disclosed in response to media inquiries, details about most of her closed speeches are nearly impossible to find. The Associated Press and other news organizations have asked repeatedly for transcripts, and did so again Friday after her promise to review the issue. Last month, she laughed and turned away when a reporter specifically asked for transcripts of her speeches to Goldman Sachs.

    “I don’t think voters are interested in the transcripts of her speeches,” Joel Benenson, Clinton’s pollster, told reporters Friday. But it was a voter who asked about her transcripts at a town-hall event on CNN on Wednesday.

    AP’s inquiries to the campaign about her appearances before several Wall Street banks went unanswered. Deutsche Bank, which paid Clinton $475,000 for addresses in New York and Washington, declined to comment, as did Goldman Sachs.

    Although many of her remarks were given to large groups, they were frequently barred to media coverage and few recordings are available online. In many instances, Clinton’s contract prohibited her comments from being broadcast, transcribed or “otherwise reproduced,” according a copy of one such agreement with the University of Buffalo.

    In a few cases, details trickled out through company blogs and trade publications.

    At the time, and increasingly as the months wore on, she was considered a likely prospect to run for president, despite the fact she said little to tip her hand publicly on whether she would.

    When she addressed the National Multifamily Housing Council in April 2013, she focused on foreign affairs, including the Arab Spring and North Korea, and domestic issues like the federal debt, and answered questions from the chairman.

    She deflected questions about whether she was considering a presidential run.

    “That is certainly a question I haven’t been asked – in all of 12 minutes,” she cracked, according to a post on the organization’s website. “I’m just returning to civilian life and getting reacquainted with something called normal life.”

    That post has since been taken down.

    A reporter from the real estate blog The Real Deal was at her October 2014 speech to the annual convention of a commercial real estate women’s network in Miami Beach. Clinton focused on boosting the number of women in the field and achieving parity with men. “It’s so important for women like us to get out of our comfort zones and be willing to fail,” she said, according to the blog. “I’ve done that, too, on a very large stage.”

    Speaking to a private crowd of 10,000 real estate people in San Francisco in November 2013, Clinton “affirmed the role realty places in American culture,” according to another blog post. Press was banned but participants at the conference, hosted by the National Association of Realtors, tweeted photos of her on stage.

    Many organizations she addressed were reluctant to share details or even confirm her attendance, in part because contracts for those kinds of speakers typically prohibit sharing that information.

    “I made speeches to lots of groups,” Clinton said this week. “I told them what I thought. I answered questions.”

    Associated Press business writer Ken Sweet contributed to this report from New York.

    The post Speeches earning Clinton millions remain allusive to voters appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    A Japanese Self-Defence Force's soldier walks between the unit of Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missiles at Defense Ministry in Tokyo February 7, 2016. North Korea launched a long-range rocket on Sunday carrying what it has said is a satellite, South Korea's defense ministry said, in defiance of United Nations sanctions. Toru Hanai/Reuters

    A Japanese Self-Defence Force’s soldier walks between the unit of Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missiles at Defense Ministry in Tokyo February 7, 2016. Photo by Toru Hanai/Reuters

    The United Nations Security Council on Sunday strongly condemned North Korea less than a day after members say the country may have been testing a long-range ballistic missile in violation of international sanctions.

    North Korea state media reported the launch placed a satellite into orbit as part of the country’s space program and was not a military operation, though UN council members said the claim was likely a cover to subvert a UN ban on North Korea’s use of ballistic missile technology.

    North Korea conducted the test despite repeated warnings from the international community.

    On Sunday, after an swiftly arranged emergency UN council meeting in New York, US ambassador to the UN Samantha Power said the international consortium would impose “serious consequences,”  including additional sanctions against North Korea.

    On Saturday, South Korean President Park Geun-hye called the launch an “intolerable provocation,” the AP reported.

    A flying object soars into the air above North Korean territory as seen from the Chinese border city of Dandong, in this photo taken by Kyodo February 7, 2016. North Korea launched a long-range rocket on Sunday carrying what it has said is a satellite, South Korea's defense ministry said, in defiance of United Nations sanctions barring it from using ballistic missile technology. Kyodo/Reuters

    A flying object soars into the air above North Korean territory as seen from the Chinese border city of Dandong, in this photo taken by Kyodo February 7, 2016. Photo by Kyodo/ReutersSouth Korean President Park Geun-hye called the launch an “intolerable provocation,” the AP reported.

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry also condemned the missile launch as a “flagrant violation of UN Security County Resolutions,” calling the move the “most recent destabilizing and unacceptable challenge to our common peace and security.”

    “This is the second time in just over a month that the D.P.R.K. has chosen to conduct a major provocation, threatening not only the security of the Korean peninsula, but that of the region and the United States as well,” Kerry said in a statement. “We reaffirm our ironclad commitment to the defense of our allies, including the Republic of Korea and Japan.”

    The post North Korea launches long-range rocket seen as missile test appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Republican U.S. presidential candidates Senator Marco Rubio (L) and Governor Chris Christie (R) discuss an issue as fellow candidates, businessman Donald Trump (2nd from L), Senator Ted Cruz (C) and Dr. Ben Carson, listen at the Republican U.S. presidential candidates debate sponsored by ABC News at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire February 6, 2016.     Carlo Allegri/Reuters

    Republican U.S. presidential candidates listen at the debate sponsored by ABC News at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire on February 6, 2016. Photo by Carlo Allegri/Reuters

    WASHINGTON — Viewers of the latest Republican presidential debate didn’t get a straight story from the candidates on U.S. taxes vs. the world, the state of the health insurance marketplace under “Obamacare” or what might happen if that law is taken away.

    Among other fumbles:

    • Marco Rubio seemed unaware that Kurds are Sunnis.
    • In his zeal to condemn the Obama administration’s immigration record, Ted Cruz once again vastly overstated deportations under the previous two presidents. And he continued, as in a previous debate, to struggle with the meaning of carpet-bombing.
    • Chris Christie misstated the U.S. policy on paying ransom to hostage-takers.

    A look at some of the claims Saturday night and how they compare with the facts:

    DONALD TRUMP: “Right now, we’re the highest taxed country in the world.”

    THE FACTS: Far from it. The U.S. tax burden pales in comparison with that of other industrialized countries.

    Taxes made up 26 percent of the total U.S. economy in 2014, according to the 34-nation Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. That measure looks at the entire tax burden, which is different than tax rates that can be gamed through loopholes, deductions and credits.

    In Sweden, the tax burden is 42.7 percent of the economy. It’s 33.6 percent in Slovenia (Trump’s wife, Melania, was born in the part of Yugoslavia that became Slovenia). Britain clocks in at 32.6 percent, while Germany’s burden is 36.1 percent.

    Where is the tax burden lower than the United States?

    South Korea, Chile and Mexico.

    CRUZ, defending his vow to deport 11 million people living in the U.S. illegally: “I would note that in eight years Bill Clinton deported 12 million people. In eight years George Bush deported 10 million people. Enforcing the law. We can do it.”

    THE FACTS: Statistics from Immigration and Customs Enforcement show that roughly 1.6 million were deported under Bush, not 11 million. Under Clinton, about 870,000 immigrants were deported, not 12 million, according to the Migration Policy Institute. So far, about 2.4 million have been deported under the Obama administration.

    To get the swollen figures, Cruz appears to be combining deportations with arrests made by the Border Patrol in the previous administrations, according to the institute.

    Republican U.S. presidential candidate Senator Marco Rubio (L) reacts to an attack from rival candidate and businessman Donald Trump (R) during the Republican U.S. presidential candidates debate sponsored by ABC News at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire February 6, 2016.     REUTERS/Carlo Allegri - RTX25SML

    Republican U.S. presidential candidate Senator Marco Rubio reacts to an attack from rival candidate and businessman Donald Trump during the Republican U.S. presidential candidates debate sponsored by ABC News at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire February 6, 2016. Photo by Carlo Allegri/Reuters

    TRUMP: “The insurance companies are getting rich on Obamacare.”

    THE FACTS: Although some insurance companies are making a profit from their business under President Barack Obama’s health care law, the industry’s biggest player lost money.

    United Health last year reported deep losses from its business on the health law’s insurance exchanges and said it will re-evaluate whether it wants to continue in that market. Anthem, the second-largest insurer, said its enrollment in the law’s markets fell, and the business has been less profitable than expected.

    Aetna, the third-largest insurer, said it has been struggling with customers who sign up for coverage outside the health law’s annual enrollment window and then use a lot of care. This dumps claims on the insurer without providing enough premium revenue to counter those costs.

    Some industry analysts say insurers are struggling to attract enough healthy patients, and it’s too easy for customers to manipulate the system by doing things like signing up for coverage, using health care, and then stopping premium payments.

    A dozen of the 23 nonprofit health insurance co-ops created under the law have folded.

    RUBIO: “Under Chris Christie’s governorship of New Jersey, they’ve been downgraded nine times in their credit rating. This country already has a debt problem, we don’t need to add to it by electing someone who has experience at running up and destroying the credit rating of his state.”

    CHRISTIE: “Incorrect and incomplete information.”

    THE FACTS: Rubio is right that the state’s credit rating has been downgraded nine times since Christie took office, a reflection of concern by the major rating agencies about New Jersey’s fiscal health and pension system.

    CHRISTIE: “The president and his former secretary of state are for paying ransoms for hostages. When (you) do that, you endanger even more Americans around the world to be the subject of this type of hostage-taking and illegal detention.”

    THE FACTS: President Barack Obama said exactly the opposite in June, when the White House reaffirmed its opposition to paying ransom to terrorist groups that hold American citizens hostage.

    The president said such payments only serve to endanger more Americans and finance “the very terrorism that we’re trying to stop” – points that Christie actually echoed during the debate.

    Though the new White House policy precludes ransom payments by the U.S. government, the Obama administration did leave open the door to communication with hostage-takers – whether by the government, families of victims or third-parties – and said relatives who on their own decide to pay ransom won’t be threatened with prosecution.

    CRUZ: “We will adopt commonsense reforms, No. 1, we’ll allow people to purchase health insurance across state lines that will drive down prices and expand the availability of low-cost catastrophic insurance.”

    THE FACTS: Allowing the interstate sale of health insurance policies is not a new idea, and not the straightforward solution that it may sound.

    This long-standing Republican proposal has previously run into opposition from regulators in many states. State insurance and consumer protection regulators say such an approach could trigger a “race to the bottom,” allowing skimpy out-of-state policies to undercut benefits that individual states require. Proponents of interstate competition say a basic benefits plan would be spelled out.

    Some insurance industry insiders see another complication: Out-of-state companies may not have adequate local networks of hospitals and doctors.

    It’s a tricky position for Republicans in Washington, who argue broadly (Cruz included) that the federal government should defer to state and local decision-making. On this matter, many states don’t want the solution that Republicans are pushing.

    RUBIO on fighting the Islamic State group: “The Kurds are incredible fighters and they will liberate the Kurdish areas, but Kurds cannot and do not want to liberate and hold Sunni villages and towns.”

    THE FACTS: The Kurds are overwhelmingly Sunni. Rubio did not distinguish between Sunni Arabs and Sunni Kurds. The areas predominantly held by IS fighters are in Sunni Arab territory. They did infiltrate Kurdish regions in both Iraq and Syria, but it is problematic to paint this picture with a broad sectarian brush.

    CRUZ, defending his vow to “carpet bomb” to defeat the Islamic State: “When I say saturation carpet bombing, that is not indiscriminate. That is targeted at oil facilities. It’s targeted at the oil tankers… It’s using overwhelming air power.”

    THE FACTS: Cruz is trying to rewrite the dictionary, which defines the term as dropping many bombs on a small area to prepare it for advancing ground troops. The U.S. military uses precision-guided bombs against the kinds of specific targets that Cruz is talking about, which also reduce the risk of killing civilians – a goal the U.S. military has embraced under Republican as well as Democratic presidents.

    Associated Press writers Alicia A. Caldwell, Deb Riechmann, Eric Tucker and Vivian Salama contributed to this report.

    This report was written by Josh Boak and Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar of the Associated Press. 

    The post Update: Fact-checking the eighth Republican debate appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump (C) passes between rivals Governor John Kasich (L), former Governor Jeb Bush (2nd R) and U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R) at the conclusion of the Republican U.S. presidential candidates debate sponsored by ABC News at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire February 6, 2016.     Carlo Allegri/Reuters

    Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump passes between rivals Governor John Kasich, former Governor Jeb Bush and U.S. Senator Marco Rubio at the conclusion of the Republican U.S. presidential candidates debate sponsored by ABC News at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire February 6, 2016. Photo by Carlo Allegri/Reuters

    MANCHESTER, N.H. — There have been no higher stakes on a Republican debate stage in the 2016 campaign for president than there were Saturday night.

    Seven GOP Republican hopefuls faced off just three days before a make-or-break New Hampshire primary that some of them are not likely to survive.

    Coming off a strong Iowa finish, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio tripped up early under attack from former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who are jockeying for the same Republican voters.

    At the same time, the candidates on the still-crowded stage seemed unwilling to mix it up with Donald Trump, the national front-runner for months who needs a win in New Hampshire on Tuesday to avoid starting the 2016 race with two consecutive losses.

    And then there was Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, the champion college debater who shared a deeply personal moment during an otherwise forgettable night while trying to build on his victory in the Iowa caucuses.

    Here are some takeaways from Saturday night’s GOP debate:

    RUBIO STUCK IN A LOOP

    Republican U.S. presidential candidate Senator Marco Rubio (L) talks with rival candidate businessman Donald Trump during a break in the midst of the Republican U.S. presidential candidates debate sponsored by ABC News at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire February 6, 2016.     Carlo Allegri/Reuters

    Republican U.S. presidential candidate Senator Marco Rubio talks with rival candidate businessman Donald Trump during a break in the midst of the Republican U.S. presidential candidates debate sponsored by ABC News at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire February 6, 2016. Photo by Carlo Allegri/Reuters

    Rubio experienced his worst moment in a presidential debate at the worst time, stumbling badly when forced to answer the fundamental question posed by rivals of his candidacy: whether he has the experience necessary to lead the nation.

    As a first-term senator with no executive experience, Rubio’s resume is remarkably similar to Barack Obama before he became president. Rubio tried to turn the question around by charging that Obama “knows exactly what he’s doing” by “undertaking a systematic effort to change this country.”

    The answer was quickly challenged by Christie: “I like Marco Rubio, and he’s a smart person and a good guy, but he simply does not have the experience to be president of the United States.”

    A clearly rattled Rubio responded by delivering the same line about Obama not once, but twice. And Christie made sure New Hampshire voters knew it: “There it is. The memorized 25-second speech. There it is, everybody.”

    It was a cringe-worthy moment for Rubio three days before a New Hampshire contest in which he hopes to knock Christie, Bush and Ohio Gov. John Kasich from the race. Even if it doesn’t significantly change the contest in New Hampshire, the moment raises questions about Rubio’s readiness to take on Democrat Hillary Clinton in a general election debate.

    CHRISTIE PULLS NO PUNCHES

    Republican U.S. presidential candidate and Governor Chris Christie speaks during the Republican U.S. presidential candidates debate sponsored by ABC News at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire February 6, 2016.     Carlo Allegri/Reuters

    Republican U.S. presidential candidate and Governor Chris Christie speaks during the Republican U.S. presidential candidates debate sponsored by ABC News at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire February 6, 2016. Photo by Carlo Allegri/Reuters

    He is barely registering in recent preference polls, but the New Jersey governor was the toughest candidate on the debate stage Saturday night. And that’s no small feat with the tough-talking Trump at center stage.

    At seemingly every turn, Christie zeroed in on Rubio, pelting him with zingers about his inexperience and record in Washington. Calling out Rubio on his missed votes in the Senate, Christie charged, “That’s not leadership. That’s truancy.”

    And when Rubio didn’t answer a moderator’s question about why he backpedaled on an immigration proposal he’d helped write when it appeared to become politically unpopular, Christie called him out.

    “The question was, did he fight for his legislation. It’s abundantly clear that it he didn’t.” Then he twisted the knife: “That’s not what leadership is. That’s what Congress is.”

    It was a performance Christie badly needed as he teeters on the edge of irrelevancy in the crowded Republican contest. Is it too little too late to rescue his campaign?

    TRUMP LEFT ALONE … MOSTLY

    Republican U.S. presidential candidate businessman Donald Trump speaks during the Republican U.S. presidential candidates debate sponsored by ABC News at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire February 6, 2016.     Carlo Allegri/Reuters

    Republican U.S. presidential candidate businessman Donald Trump speaks during the Republican U.S. presidential candidates debate sponsored by ABC News at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire February 6, 2016. Photo by Carlo Allegri/Reuters

    Trump’s rivals barely laid a glove on the frequent New Hampshire poll leader.

    The decision to withhold fire was evident right from the start, when Cruz declined to repeat his assertion this week that Trump didn’t have the temperament to be commander in chief. Cruz dodged, saying everyone on the stage would be better leader of the U.S. military than Obama and Democratic contenders Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

    Pressed by a moderator whether he stood by his words that Trump was too volatile to be president, Cruz said simply, “I think that is an assessment the voters are going to make.” Trump noted that Cruz refused to answer the question.

    Bush was the only one who took it directly to Trump. After the billionaire real-estate developer defended the use of eminent domain as a necessary tool of government, Bush said the businessman was “downright wrong” when his company tried to use eminent domain to build an Atlantic City casino.

    Trump scoffed, saying Bush “wants to be a tough guy.”

    Bush fired back, “How tough is it to take property from an elderly woman?”

    It was the only moment in which Trump flashed any of the rhetorical jabs he’s become known for on Twitter. For the most part, Trump was content to lay back and let those chasing him in the preference polls fight amongst themselves.

    A COMFORTABLE CRUZ

    Republican U.S. presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz talks about the drug overdose death of his sister Miriam during the Republican U.S. presidential candidates debate sponsored by ABC News at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire February 6, 2016.     Carlo Allegri/Reuters

    Republican U.S. presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz talks about the drug overdose death of his sister Miriam during the Republican U.S. presidential candidates debate sponsored by ABC News at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire February 6, 2016. Photo by Carlo Allegri/Reuters

    The champion college debater wasn’t much of a factor after a rough start to the debate, when he was asked about Trump’s temperament and allegations his campaign team engaged in “deceitful behavior” by suggesting in the moments before the Iowa caucuses started that retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson was leaving the race.

    “When this transpired, I apologized to him then and I do so now,” Cruz said. “Ben, I’m sorry.”

    Cruz returned to prominence when asked about substance abuse, and gave an answer that will be hard for some voters to forget.

    The Texas senator shared the deeply personal story of his sister’s overdose death. He told New Hampshire voters, and a national television audience, that he and his father pulled his older sister out of a crack house. They pleaded with her to straighten out for the good of her son. But she didn’t listen.

    “She died,” Cruz said.

    It was a very human moment for a candidate sometimes criticized for not being likable.

    And it was in line with his tone all night long, as he consistently rose above the mud-slinging, despite his near-daily attacks on his rivals on the campaign trail.

    The post Debate takeaways: Rubio stuck in a loop, Christie on the attack appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton holds a student town hall during a campaign stop at the New England College in Henniker, New Hampshire February 6, 2016.  REUTERS/Adrees Latif - RTX25SER

    Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton holds a student town hall during a campaign stop at the New England College in Henniker, New Hampshire February 6, 2016. Photo by Adrees Latif/Reuters.

    CONCORD, N.H. — With victory seemingly out of reach in New Hampshire, Hillary Clinton is looking ahead to the next round of voting as she tries to counter the rising challenge from Bernie Sanders in the Democratic presidential race.

    Clinton hopes to use a narrower-than-expected loss in Tuesday’s primary as a springboard into contests later this month in Nevada and South Carolina, with a goal of having a more heavily-minority electorate help her build the foundation for a delegate-by-delegate drive toward the nomination.

    On Sunday, she planned a quick visit to Flint, Michigan, an unusual detour for a candidate trailing in polls in New Hampshire, the first primary state. Last Monday, Clinton narrowly beat Sanders in Iowa’s leadoff caucuses.

    Aides said she was invited by Flint Mayor Karen Weaver and intended to hold a town hall meeting with residents before returning to New Hampshire. Clinton has pointed to the crisis of lead-poisoned water in Flint as an example of racial and economic injustice, an issue that resonates among Democrats, particularly African-American voters.

    Sanders was to campaign in New Hampshire on Sunday following his cameo appearance on “Saturday Night Live.” He appeared in a skit with host Larry David, the comic who has done a dead-on impersonation of him.

    Clinton aides worry that a big Sanders victory in New Hampshire would help him make headway among women and minority voters, important parts of the coalition that twice elected Barack Obama as president. Sanders’ strength with younger voters only heightens the threat he poses to what was once Clinton’s decisive national lead.

    Clinton has pledged to fight for every vote in New Hampshire, but at least some of her operation is moving on. This weekend, former President Bill Clinton wooed voters in Las Vegas, campaign surrogates knocked doors in San Antonio, and Clinton’s aides announced an upcoming meeting with civil rights leaders in New York City.

    Clinton aides are trying to make the case that the heavily white and liberal electorates of New Hampshire and Iowa make them outliers in the nomination fight. They say Clinton will find more success in the South Carolina primary on Feb 20. and the Nevada caucuses a week later, where polls show her with a wide lead.

    In recent days, she has used the state as a testing ground for new campaign messages targeted at specific groups, with pledges to break “the highest and hardest glass ceiling” and promising young voters that she would “be for them” even if they support Sanders.

    On Saturday, Clinton said during a town hall meeting that her proposals to address college affordability and to build upon Obama’s health care law were superior to Sanders’ approach. She also said her plans were more fiscally responsible.

    Sanders has worked to boost his profile among black voters who make up more than half of the South Carolina electorate.

    On Friday, his campaign scheduled a press conference to promote the endorsement of former NAACP President Ben Jealous. Though snow forced the event to be canceled, Jealous told reporters on a conference call that Sanders “has the courage to confront the institutionalized bias that stains our nation.”

    Jealous was in South Carolina for campaign events on Saturday with Erica Garner, whose father died in 2014 after a white New York police officer put the black man in a choke hold.

    Sanders’ backers believe that as African-Americans learn more about the Vermont senator, they will warm to his liberal message. Clinton is one of the best known political figures in the world and has strong backing among Latinos and black voters.

    “Before a few weeks ago, I never gave Bernie Sanders the time of day,” said South Carolina state Rep. Justin Bamberg, who recently switched his backing from Clinton. “But if you look at Sanders he has been solid as concrete with regards to his passion for racial, social and economic justice.”

    The post New Hampshire victory seemingly out of reach, Hillary Clinton looks ahead appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    T.J. Evarts, who turned 20 last year, is nearly ready to release the SMARTwheel, an invention he has been working on since his early teens and one that he believes may change the habits of distracted drivers.  Courtesy of SMARTwheel

    T.J. Evarts, who turned 20 last year, is nearly ready to release the SMARTwheel, an invention he has been working on since his early teens and one that he believes may change the habits of distracted drivers.
    Photo courtesy of SMARTwheel

    T.J. Evarts’ brainchild began as an amalgam of aluminum and circuits.

    A young teenager interested in robotics, Evarts noticed how easily some of his friends became distracted as they learned how to drive. The observation would lead him on a quest to change how new motorists function on the road.

    Now 20, Evarts’ creation, the SMARTwheel (SMART for Safe Motorists Alert for Restricting Texting) is nearly ready to hit the market. The long-planned invention has evolved into a structured system of portable sensors that can be fastened to the steering wheel of most vehicles.

    “It came from aluminum and coat hangers to a flexible circuit board,” Evarts said. “The concept has been around a little bit but it’s really been limited to small sensors. We had to make our own.”

    Evarts said the technology tracks the placement of a driver’s hands on a steering wheel, an indicator of how focused the driver’s attention is on the road.

    Moving one or both hands off the wheel for more than four seconds will cause a blinking red light to appear on the SMARTwheel along with a ringing noise to signal the driver, while the data accumulated through the process can be sent to a parent’s app linked by Bluetooth.

    Evarts sees the invention as a way to ease parents’ concerns when their children start commandeering vehicles on their own, and help to limit the bevy of distractions routinely challenging drivers, a problem that has only grown worse with mobile technology.

    Moving one or both hand off the wheel for more than four seconds will cause a blinking red light to appear on the SMARTwheel along with a ringing noise to signal the driver, while the data accumulated through the process can be sent to a parent's app linked by Bluetooth. Photo Courtesy of SMARTwheel.

    Moving one or both hand off the wheel for more than four seconds will cause a blinking red light to appear on the SMARTwheel along with a ringing noise to signal the driver, while the data accumulated through the process can be sent to a parent’s app linked by Bluetooth. Photo courtesy of SMARTwheel.

    A driver’s attention can be diverted from the road by a variety of activities, but for those in their teens and 20s, texting is a particularly stubborn problem — and a worrying cause of accidents.

    The U.S. Department of Motor Vehicles says nine people die each day because of distracted driving, also pointing to studies that say reading a text message on the road takes an average of five seconds, a factor in the design of the SMARTwheel, which has a four-second alert.

    Federal data and independent studies show distracted driving is an issue that continues to persist across the country.

    After a 15-year period during which traffic deaths declined in the United States, a NHTS report released on Friday estimates road fatalities rose during the first nine months of 2015, an increase of nearly 10 percent over the previous year.

    The U.S. Department of Motor Vehicles says nine people die each day because of distracted driving.

    More than 26,000 people died on the road during the time period and 94 percent of the deaths could be attributed to human error like drunken driving and texting while driving, the report noted.

    A 2009 Pew Research Center study shows 40 percent of those surveyed said they have been in a vehicle when a driver used a cell phone in a dangerous way, while about a third of teenagers ages 16 and 17 admitted to texting while driving.

    In 2013, more than 3,100 people were killed in vehicles because of distracted driving and 421,000 were injured, according to the Federal Communications Commission.

    About 10 percent of drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal accidents are distracted when those incidents take place – the largest portion of drivers who fell into this category, according to data collected by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTS).

    Another 27 percent of drivers in their 20s who make up fatal crashes were also found to be distracted when driving.

    Tristan Evarts (L), inventor of the SMARTwheel, demonstrates his product to Justin Jelinek at the International Consumer Electronics show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada January 4, 2015. The SMARTwheel is a steering wheel cover with sensors to prevent distracted driving.   REUTERS/Rick Wilking (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY) - RTR4K1TK

    T.J.  Evarts (L), inventor of the SMARTwheel, demonstrates his product to Justin Jelinek last year at the International Consumer Electronics show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada. The SMARTwheel is a steering wheel cover with sensors to prevent distracted driving. Photo by Rick Wilking/Reuters

    Evarts’ invention aims to change these statistics, and hopes to initially appeal to the parents of teenage drivers.

    The CEO said his company is also installing a reward system into the app that will grade drivers’ performances and identify ways to improve their driving.

    “Our goal is to create teachable moments,” Evarts said. “What type of distractions do they trend for? It can also detect general trends.”

    There should be an embedded item here. Please visit the original post to view it.

    After a visit to the White House and a 2013 appearance on the ABC television show “Shark Tank,” the New Hampshire native created waves of interest this year at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

    Eliminating texting while driving is not a novel concept, with a flurry of options to address the issue now out on the market. Evarts said his product differs because it looks at a driver’s behavior while it is happening.

    “Before it’s only been the results of driving like hard-braking and swerving,” he said. “We’re able to tell how the drivers drive.”

    The post This teen inventor hopes to steer distracted drivers to safety appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    BY SAM WEBER

    Last year, more than 27 million American taxpayers received refunds through the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) from the IRS worth a total of $67 billion.

    It’s widely considered one of the most successful anti-poverty initiatives in the country, lifting 6.2 million people out of poverty. To qualify, a recipient has to have “earned income” during the year and is credited with encouraging and rewarding work.Chasing the Dream CtD-Logo21

    But while the credit can be worth as much as $6,242 for a single parent with three kids, it’s worth very little to those without children.

    “In the United States, we are mostly focused on poverty as a child problem,” said Gordon Berlin of MDRC, a social policy research organization. “It has been very hard to build support for working poor who don’t have dependent children.”

    Expanding the EITC for childless workers has been a popular bipartisan idea, supported by both Speaker of the House Paul Ryan as well as President Barack Obama. But while an expansion of this credit in the federal tax code has not become a reality, in New York a pilot project is underway to test exactly what effect an expanded EITC would have on low-income, childless workers.

    Researchers are following about 3,000 New Yorkers who are getting a “Paycheck Plus bonus” of up to $2,000 dollars each year, supplementing the small existing EITC available for childless workers. Researchers will also be tracking a control group that is not receiving the bonus to test exactly what effect the extra money has.

    Chasing the Dream: Poverty and Opportunity in America is a multi-platform public media initiative that provides a deeper understanding of the impact of poverty on American society. Major funding for this initiative is provided by The JPB Foundation. Additional funding is provided by Ford Foundation.


    Read the full transcript of this segment below:

    KARLA MURTHY: Donna Soogrim works full-time as a prep cook for a Manhattan catering company and earned 22,000 dollars last year.

    DONNA SOOGRIM: It’s hard, it’s hard. Especially in New York.

    KARLA MURTHY: She started filling out her tax forms in January with the help of a non-profit organization that offers free assistance to low-income people.

    There’s a big reason she’s aiming to file early.  As the single mother of a 10-year-old girl, Soogrim anticipates a nearly $8,000 tax refund this year.  A big part of that is from the federal Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC.

    KARLA MURTHY: And what do you plan on doing with that money?

    DONNA SOOGRIM: She’s going to summer camp. So it was just for summer camp — that’s about $3,000. And then for her daycare expenses.

    KARLA MURTHY: so that money really makes a difference?

    DONNA SOOGRIM: Yes, it does.

    KARLA MURTHY: But the EITC doesn’t help all low-income earners. It primarily benefits adults with children.

    So Carmelo Nieves is left out. He made about $20,000 last year working part-time as an aide for disabled adults.

    CARMELO NIEVES: It benefits the single parents with the kids. And I’m not against that. I’m not against that. But you’ve got to show some fairness in the sense of, alright, we got single adults that are working just as hard as them.

    KARLA MURTHY: Gordon Berlin is trying to help people like Nieves. He’s president of MDRC, a New York nonprofit group focused on improving policies and programs for the poor.

    GORDON BERLIN: In the United States, we are mostly focused on poverty as a child problem. It’s been very hard to build support for working poor who don’t have dependent children.

    KARLA MURTHY: Berlin is an advocate for expanding the EITC to low-income workers without children.

    GORDON BERLIN: I think we’re facing a crisis in low-wage work, and it threatens the American Dream. I know that sounds melodramatic, but I think the facts would bear me out.

    KARLA MURTHY: For example, Berlin notes, that a male who only graduates from high school earns 14 percent less today than he did in 1975, adjusted for inflation, according to the US Census Bureau.  

    GORDON BERLIN: It’s leading to lower employment rates. So we need to get work at the low end to pay again, and the earned income tax credit is one of the most promising vehicles for doing that.

    KARLA MURTHY: Expanding the EITC has bipartisan support in Washington.  This was republican Paul Ryan more than a year before he was elected Speaker of the House of Representatives:

    PAUL RYAN We should make sure that in this country, it always pays to work. I would do that by increasing the earned income tax credit for childless workers.

    KARLA MURTHY: President Obama reiterated his call for the same change in his State of the Union address last month.

    PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I’d welcome a serious discussion about strategies we can all support, like expanding tax cuts for low-income workers who don’t have children.

    KARLA MURTHY: Currently, to qualify for the EITC, a childless worker has to be at least 25 years old and earn below $15,000 a year, while a single parent with three kids can earn almost $48,000. And the maximum credit a childless adult can get is about $500, one-twelfth of the more than $6,000 a single parent with three kids could receive.

    President Obama and Speaker Ryan have made similar proposals: doubling the existing credit, lowering the eligibility age to 21, and increasing the maximum eligible income to about $18,000. That would make about six million more low-income workers eligible for the EITC.

    But it would come at significant cost: at least $5.5 billion a year in new federal spending, according to the Office of Management and Budget. Questions about how to pay for an EITC expansion are one reason bipartisan efforts have stalled in Washington.  But here in New York City, expanding the EITC for some single workers is already underway.

    KARLA MURTHY: It’s a pilot project called “Paycheck Plus,” and here’s how it works: The existing EITC for workers without dependent children is being supplemented. Participants who earn less than $30,000 a year are eligible for a bonus of up to $2,000, depending on how much they earned.

    Gordon Berlin’s organization, MDRC, is running the three-year demonstration project of “Paycheck Plus.” 3,000 New Yorkers are enrolled, along with a control group of childless adults not receiving the bonus.

    GORDON BERLIN: There’s a lot of uncertainty about whether singles and men would respond in the same way that fathers and mothers of dependent children have responded in the family EITC. We don’t know what effect it might have on poverty or income or hardship. And we certainly don’t know what the effects on employment and earnings will be.

    KARLA MURTHY: The total cost of project, including the bonuses, is about $12 million dollars. And is funded mostly by New York City with support from the federal department of health and human services and private foundations.

    KARLA MURTHY: While Carmelo Nieves doesn’t benefit from the federal EITC, he received about $1,500 from New York’s “paycheck plus” last year.

    CARMELO NIEVES: I just put it away, rainy days. You know, paid a couple bills. But I’m single, so I don’t have no kids or anything like that, so I put it away.

    KARLA MURTHY: How hard has it been just to find a job that pays enough so that you can live here?

    CARMELO NIEVES: It’s very hard. If you don’t know nobody, that’s going to hurt. And sometimes just your education background also hurts you too, because nobody wants to hire people that just have a high school diploma.

    RECEPTIONIST: Are you part of Paycheck Plus?

    ALVIN MARTINEZ: I am.

    RECEPTIONISTYou are.. Can you sign right here?

    ALVIN MARTINEZ: Of course I could.

    KARLA MURTHY: Alvin Martinez is another “Paycheck Plus” participant. He works as a transportation coordinator for a non-profit organization that provides shelter and jobs for the homeless. At tax time last year, he says some extra money would have really helped him pay bills.

    ALVIN MARTINEZ: I had debts, you know. I was hardly bringing anything to the table here, because I was out without work prior to that job for about six months.

    KARLA MURTHY: Filing his taxes as a single person with no dependents, Martinez was not eligible for the federal EITC. He is a father of three children, but none live with him. About 12 percent of “Paycheck Plus” participants are noncustodial parents like him.  

    Martinez qualified for a “Paycheck Plus” bonus of nearly $500, but he didn’t get to keep the money. Like the federal EITC, the “bonus” is subject to child support claims.

    ALVIN MARTINEZ: The check was intercepted, and it went to the child support enforcement unit. I’m telling you, I smiled. I was really happy about it. I wasn’t annoyed with it at all. It was fantastic. Something was getting paid in that direction, you know.

    KARLA MURTHY: That wasn’t hanging over your head anymore.

    ALVIN MARTINEZ: Exactly my point.

    KARLA MURTHY: Researchers are studying whether the “bonus’” improves things like child support payments or reduces involvement in the criminal justice system, and, whether the incentive of extra money encourages people who aren’t working to find jobs.

    LAWRENCE MEAD: I think the EITC’s very successful. I certainly support it. But its main effect is to increase earnings on a part of people who are already working.

    KARLA MURTHY: Lawrence mead is a professor at New York University and a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, or AEI, a conservative think tank.

    His academic work helped inform the Welfare Reform Act in 1996, which set time limits on how long people could receive benefits and required recipients to work.

    LAWRENCE MEAD: We tried work incentives in welfare for 20 or 30 years before the ‘90s, when we finally got serious about requiring people to work. And that is the main reason they went to work: they were required to work.

    KARLA MURTHY: Mead is skeptical that expanding the EITC to childless adults and noncustodial parents will be enough to encourage such single low-income workers to get jobs.

    LAWRENCE MEAD: The evidence that I see is that the work incentive is helpful, but you also need staff people to say to those who are on welfare, or who could benefit from EITC, that they should go and do it.

    They need to be persuaded. They need to be shown that this is a good deal. That’s what we did in welfare reform, and that’s why it was successful. It was the combination of what I call “help and hassle.”

    We need for the same thing, we need to obligate them to work in the case where they have an obligation, and at the same time, give them this incentive.

    KARLA MURTHY: When it comes to raising incomes, the existing federal EITC has been broadly celebrated. For instance, in 2013 the credit boosted 6.2 million people over the poverty line.

    KARLA MURTHY: But administering one of the largest benefit programs through the tax code is not without flaws. The Internal Revenue Service concedes that as much as 27-percent — or roughly $18 billion a year of EITC payments are issued improperly. Mostly overclaims, due to complex eligibility guidelines, misreported income, and errors by tax preparers.

    But at the same time, many low-income people are missing out on the EITC; only four out of five eligible workers claim it. And increasing awareness has been a focus of the IRS

    IRS PSA: If you worked and didn’t make much money last year, find out about the earned income tax credit at “irs.gov”.

    KARLA MURTHY: “Paycheck Plus” is expanding to Atlanta, where researchers will study its impact on a city with lower average incomes and a lower cost of living.

    Here in New York, Alvin Martinez saw his income rise in 2015 to nearly $28,000. He’ll still qualify for the “Paycheck Plus” bonus this tax season, but it will likely be only a few hundred dollars.

    ALVIN MARTINEZ: I’ve done a lot of overtime this year, and I thank god for that. And I’ve never worked thinking, ‘Oh man, I might make too much money and “Paycheck Plus” I might get nothing.’ No, what I receive, I’m grateful for whatever, two dollars, fine.

    The post The bipartisan idea that gives a tax boost to childless workers appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Brazilian model Sabrina Sato parades for Gavioes da Fiel samba school during carnival in Sao Paulo, Brazil, February 6, 2016. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker - RTX25P71

    Brazilian model Sabrina Sato parades for Gavioes da Fiel samba school during carnival in Sao Paulo, Brazil, February 6, 2016. Photo by Paulo Whitaker/Reuters

    Even as widespread fears of the Zika virus hang heavy over Brazil–the world’s worst affected country–the annual Carnival festival was in full swing over the weekend as revelers kept the spirited tradition alive. 

    The festival, which began on Friday and lasts through Wednesday, involves five days of parades and street parties, bringing together millions of partygoers.

    “What’s interesting about Carnival is that at the very core the philosophy is, forget your troubles and party like there is no tomorrow,” NewsHour Science Correspondent Miles O’Brien said from Recife, Brazil on Friday. “That’s how the Brazilians view it and that’s why in most cases the party has gone on.”

    Officials say as many as 100,000 people may have been exposed to the virus in the city of Recife, which has become known as the epicenter of the Zika outbreak, although symptoms are often mild or undetectable.

    “I talked to a lot of public health officials and doctors and scientists who have been involved in this hunt for some action and some way to control the Zika outbreak, and many of them express misgivings about it, frankly, but the show is going on,” O’Brien said.

    OLINDA, BRAZIL - FEBRUARY 06: Dancers are blurred in a long exposure during Carnival celebrations on February 6, 2016 in Olinda, Pernambuco state, Brazil. Revellers in Olinda and sister city Recife are gathering for various concerts and street parades during Carnival in spite of fears over the Zika virus. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

    Dancers are blurred in a long exposure during Carnival celebrations on February 6, 2016 in Olinda, Pernambuco state, Brazil. Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

    RECIFE, BRAZIL - FEBRUARY 06:  Revellers gather during the Galinho da Madrugada 'bloco', or street parade, during Carnival celebrations on February 6, 2016 in Recife, Pernambuco state, Brazil. Officials say as many as 100,000 people may have already been exposed to the Zika virus in Recife, which is being called the epicenter of the Zika outbreak, although most people never develop symptoms.  (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

    Revellers gather during the Galinho da Madrugada ‘bloco’, or street parade, during Carnival celebrations on February 6, 2016 in Recife, Pernambuco state, Brazil. Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

    Revellers parade for Vila Maria samba school during carnival in Sao Paulo, Brazil, February 6, 2016. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker - RTX25OV6

    Revellers parade for Vila Maria samba school during Carnival in Sao Paulo, Brazil, February 6, 2016. Photo by Paulo Whitaker/Reuters

    OLINDA, BRAZIL - FEBRUARY 06: A reveller stands beneath a mosquito net, as a satirical costume, during Carnival celebrations on February 6, 2016 in Olinda, Pernambuco state, Brazil. Revellers in Olinda and sister city Recife are gathering for various concerts and street parades during Carnival in spite of fears over the Zika virus. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

    A reveller stands beneath a mosquito net, as a satirical costume, during Carnival celebrations on February 6, 2016 in Olinda, Pernambuco state, Brazil. Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

    Henrique kisses his wife Paula, who is seven months pregnant, during an annual block party known as "Eu Acho e pouco" (I think it is little) one of the many carnival parties to take place in the neighbourhoods of Olinda, Brazil February 6, 2016. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino - RTX25SOG

    Henrique kisses his wife Paula, who is seven months pregnant, during an annual block party known as “Eu Acho e pouco” (I think it is little) one of the many carnival parties to take place in the neighbourhoods of Olinda, Brazil February 6, 2016. Photo by Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters

    A reveller from the Rocinha samba school dances as she takes part in the Group A category of the annual Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro's Sambadrome, Brazil, February 5, 2016.  REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes - RTX25OGS

    A reveller from the Rocinha samba school dances as she takes part in the Group A category of the annual Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro’s Sambadrome, Brazil, February 5, 2016. Photo by Ricardo Moraes/Reuters

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    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton addresses the congregation about the Flint water crisis at the House of Prayer Missionary Baptist Church in Flint, Michigan February 7, 2016.   REUTERS/Rebecca Cook - RTX25VMC

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton addresses the congregation about the Flint water crisis at the House of Prayer Missionary Baptist Church in Flint, Michigan February 7, 2016. Photo by Rebecca Cook/Reuters

    MANCHESTER, N.H. — The Latest on the race for president in the window between the Republican and Democratic debates and the 2016 New Hampshire presidential primary on Tuesday (all times local):

    2:20 p.m.

    Hillary Clinton says the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, is “immoral,” and Congress should approve $200 million in emergency aid for the city grappling with lead-contaminated water.

    The Democratic presidential candidate is visiting a Flint church on Sunday and tells the crowd she will not forget about them or their children.

    Clinton is making a “personal commitment” to help Flint and says she is angry and heartsick about what happened. She says, “repairing trust is as important as repairing pipes.”

    Flint is under a state of emergency because the water supply is contaminated with lead from old pipes.

    Clinton and Bernie Sanders will debate each other in Flint on March 6, two days before Michigan’s primary.

    12:15 p.m.

    Jeb Bush has called in the Bush family troops, but he says he didn’t make a mistake by keeping them at a distance for so long in his presidential campaign.

    The Republican candidate’s mother – former first lady Barbara Bush – has been campaigning in New Hampshire. His brother, former President George W. Bush, plans to campaign in South Carolina ahead of the GOP primary on Feb. 20.

    A super political actions committee that supports Jeb Bush is airing an ad that features his brother.

    The former Florida governor says that when he started his White House run, it was important to first explain to voters his experience and ideas.

    The candidate tells “Fox News Sunday” that “I’m a Bush, and I’ve never tried to disown that.”

    He says he thinks the timing of his family’s involvement in campaigning “is appropriate.”

    11:55 a.m.

    Ted Cruz is opening up about how religion has transformed his life.

    The Republican presidential candidate tells members of a New Hampshire congregation that his family’s religious devotion is due largely to his father’s conversion to Christianity decades ago.

    The Texas senator says his father was a drunk who abandoned Cruz and his mother when Cruz was a toddler.

    Then Rafael Cruz met a pastor who challenged him to stop resisting Christianity.

    Ted Cruz tells worshippers at the First Assembly of God in Auburn, New Hampshire, that his father “literally fell to his knees and gave his life to Jesus.”

    Rafael soon returned to his family and raised Cruz as a devout Christian.

    11 a.m.

    New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says “he felt justified” with his takedown of rival Marco Rubio in the latest GOP presidential debate.

    Christie is looking ahead to the general election, and he thinks Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee.

    On Sunday Christie was using Rubio’s debate performance to speculate about how the Florida senator would fare in a debate against Clinton.

    The New Jersey governor puts it this way during an appearance on “Fox News Sunday”: Do Republicans want someone who can “absolutely answer” Clinton’s “every parry” or “someone who will crumble in front” of the former secretary of state?

    Christie and Rubio, along with Jeb Bush and John Kasich, are jockeying to become the preferred alternative to outsiders Donald Trump and Ted Cruz in the GOP race.

    Rubio seems best positioned to seize that spot after his third-place finish in Iowa. But Christie says Rubio’s isn’t ready for the presidency. The New Jersey governor is seizing on Rubio’s repetitious characterization of Barack Obama’s presidency when Christie repeatedly challenged Rubio’s executive experience: “There it is, the memorized 25-second speech. There it is everybody,” Christie said at one point in the debate.

    9:55 a.m.

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton says she knows she’s behind going into Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary and doesn’t know if she can win.

    But she tells CNN’s “State of the Union” that she’s “a different person than I was back in 08.” That year she won the New Hampshire primary but lost the Democratic presidential nomination to then-Sen. Barack Obama.

    Once president, Obama named Clinton his secretary of state. She suggests that experience helped her understand people’s anxieties.

    She says that in 2016, people are concerned that the economy and the government “aren’t working for them…and that’s causing a lot of the anger and frustration.”

    She says she gets that, adding, “I feel it.”

    9:50 a.m.

    Don’t like the Pacific Rim trade deal that President Barack Obama supports?

    Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Bernie Sanders don’t either, but Trump says only he would be able to “do something about it.”

    Trump says Sunday on CNN that, “Bernie can’t do anything about it, because it’s not his thing.”

    The billionaire developer did not specify what he would do to weaken or cancel the sweeping Trans Pacific Partnership between the U.S. and 11 other nations.

    The oddball competition across party lines in New Hampshire is for the state’s largest bloc of registered voters – those whose party affiliations are undeclared.

    New Hampshire voters go to the polls for the nation’s first primary on Tuesday.

    9:45 a.m.

    Don’t expect a one-term pledge from Donald Trump.

    The Republican presidential candidate says there are “certain advantages” to such a declaration, but it’s not for him.

    Trump says if he was “lucky enough to win” the White House and “if we’re doing a great job, then we’ll keep going.”

    And if things aren’t going so well?

    In that case, Trump tells NBC’s “Meet the Press,” ”we have automatic termination. It’s called, the voters will terminate” – the public version of a Trump signature line, “You’re fired.”

    But, the billionaire businessman adds, “That won’t happen.”

    9 a.m.

    Hillary Clinton is detouring from New Hampshire to Flint, Michigan, on Sunday for a quick visit.

    Aides say she was invited by Flint Mayor Karen Weaver, and that Clinton plans a town hall meeting with Flint residents before returning to New Hampshire, which holds its primary on Tuesday.

    Clinton has pointed to the crisis of lead-poisoned water in Flint as an example of racial and economic injustice. That’s an issue that resonates among Democrats, particularly African-American voters.

    The Democratic presidential candidate said in Thursday’s debate that the federal government needs to hold Michigan responsible for the situation in Flint, while finding ways to remedy the “terrible burden” that people in Flint are facing, such as helping to pay for health care costs.

    The post Clinton calls Flint water crisis ‘immoral’ appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    People wait for the doors to open for a Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump campaign rally at  Plymouth State University on February 7, 2016 in Holdernes, New Hampshire. Democratic and Republican Presidential are stumping for votes throughout New Hampshire leading up to the Presidential Primary on February 9th.

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Voters in New Hampshire are getting their last looks at the candidates on the ballot in the first-in-the-nation presidential primary.

    Candidates still running have spent a total 444 days on the ground in New Hampshire, according to Manchester TV station WMUR, while the candidates and super PACs supporting them have spent a combined $84 million in New Hampshire, according to The New York Times.

    That’s a lot of time and a lot of time money to win over the roughly half-a-million primary voters who are likely to vote.

    And, last night, seven Republican candidates shared the debate stage.

    Leading in pre-primary polls, businessman Donald Trump stood center stage.

    DONALD TRUMP (R), Presidential Candidate: We’re going to win with Trump. We’re going to win. We don’t win anymore. Our country doesn’t win anymore.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: The Republicans expressed their near-united opposition to higher taxes, not even for people earning more than a million dollars a year, said Florida Senator Marco Rubio.

    SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), Presidential Candidate: I don’t know of any problem in America that’s going to be fixed with a tax increase.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: But Rubio was a consistent target last night. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie led the charge, saying the 44-year-old freshman senator was too inexperienced to lead the nation.

    GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R-NJ), Presidential Candidate: You have not been involved in a consequential decision where you had to be held accountable. You just simply haven’t.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Christie, who’s trying to break out of the pack, repeatedly attacked Rubio, even when Rubio listed his Senate record.

    GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE: The fact when you talk about a Hezbollah sanctions act that you list as one of your accomplishments, and just did, you weren’t even there to vote for it. That’s not leadership. That’s truancy.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who once filibustered to defund President Obama’s health care plan, got a chance to explain how he would replace it.

    SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), Presidential Candidate: We will de-link health insurance from employment, so that you don’t lose your health insurance when you lose your job, and that way, health insurance can be personal, portable and affordable.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: When asked about North Korea’s latest rocket launch, which was revealed right before the debate, most candidates said they needed more information.

    But former Florida Governor Jeb Bush was quick to say he would consider military action.

    JEB BUSH (R), Presidential Candidate: The next president of the United States is going to have to get the United States back in the game, and if a preemptive strike is necessary to keep us safe, then we should do it.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: With the debates over, candidates are now focused on getting out the vote.

    Ohio Governor John Kasich has held 100 town meetings here.

    GOV. JOHN KASICH (R-OH), Presidential Candidate: We got the best army in New Hampshire. They’re going to knock on everybody’s doors, whether it rains, whether it snows. It doesn’t matter.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Democrat Hillary Clinton won this primary back in 2008.

    HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), Presidential Candidate: It’s a beautiful day in Manchester.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: But the former secretary of state knows history may not repeat itself. She trails Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders here, and criticized him today for continually saying that she is beholden to Wall Street donors.

    HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON: What the Sanders campaign is trying to do is link donations to my political campaign, or really donations to anyone’s political campaign, with undue influence, with changing people’s views and votes. I have never, ever done that.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Sanders today did credit Clinton’s experience, but repeated his view that her Senate vote approving the 2003 Iraq War showed poor judgment.

    SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (VT-I), Presidential Candidate: I will do everything that I can to make sure that our young men and women in the military do not get sucked into a perpetual warfare in the quagmire of the Middle East.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: That was a more serious turn than his self-deprecating cameo in a “Saturday Night Live” skit inspired by the Titanic.

    SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: I’m so sick of the 1 percent getting this preferential treatment.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: The “NewsHour”‘s political director, Lisa Desjardins, is in New Hampshire covering the presidential campaign. And she joins me now from Manchester.

    So, Lisa, I know you have been at a bunch of these campaign events, both Democratic and Republican events. What are the kinds of people who are showing up at these things?

    LISA DESJARDINS: William, it’s fascinating.

    You see, actually, more than I ever have before on the campaign trail, political tourists. When I go to one of these events, the very first thing I have to ask someone is, are you a New Hampshire voter? And honest to goodness, it takes 10, 15 minutes sometimes to find a New Hampshire voter at these events, people coming not just from New Jersey, Connecticut, but from Indiana, Wisconsin.

    So, it’s hard to judge by the crowd sizes, when you’re watching these speeches on TV, whether a candidate really is bringing in New Hampshire voters. Some of these folks are here for the theater. Some are here because they wish their state had as much influence as New Hampshire does.

    Also, at these events, though, I’m starting to see undecided voters who really want to make a decision, but are having trouble. And I think that’s really the story right now this weekend, William. There are a lot of soft voters, especially on the Republican side.

    And I want to point out, I honestly do not trust the polls. I’m never a huge believer in polls, but, especially in New Hampshire and especially for this race, William, I have several voters tell me that they have stopped answering their phone, they’re not responding to pollsters.

    And I had two voters, William, tell me that they specifically are just answering Trump, because they think that is what the pollster wants to hear, and they want to get off the phone.

    But I think it’s an indication that voters are still making up their minds, and perhaps pollsters — it’s not something you can really put your entire faith in right now in New Hampshire. There is a lot to be said and decided still.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Do you have any sense that these last-minute moves, Sanders doing “Saturday Night Live” or Clinton visiting Flint, Michigan, do you have a sense that that could move the needle at all?

    LISA DESJARDINS: I do think it’s a confident candidate that does a sort of Titanic skit a couple days before a big election.

    But I think that there are still some undecided voters in the Democratic race. How many, I’m not sure. I think that the Hillary Clinton campaign is doing a good job trying to set expectations, so that if she loses just by double digits, they want to say that’s a win.

    But they are going on the attack, William. Hillary Clinton held a conference call with reporters today about Bernie Sanders’ foreign policy, basically attacking him where they think he’s weak.

    Bernie Sanders is countering by saying, hey, wait a minute, team Clinton, you made that same attack on a man named Barack Obama in 2008, said he wasn’t ready for foreign policy, and look what happened there.

    So, we are seeing some very clear, strong positioning from those two Democrats. I think there is still a little give room, but the expectations game is really where it’s at.

    One quick note I want to mention on the Republican side, I want to talk about John Kasich. I think he’s very important to watch. I just came from one of his events. He has a real ability to engage with a crowd, low-key, but yet energy that a lot of New Hampshire residents seem to like.

    And one note about that, William. When you drive around New Hampshire right now, you see a lot of political signs. But when you look closely, in the intersections, you see tons of Donald Trump signs, maybe tons of Jeb Bush signs. You drive on the back roads of New Hampshire, and you just go — these small little lanes, the signs I see most there in people’s yards are for John Kasich.

    And that’s a sign that he’s been here a long time and that he has individuals supporting him, and not just a large campaign team.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: All right, the “NewsHour”‘s political director, Lisa Desjardins, thanks, as always, for your great reporting.

    LISA DESJARDINS: My pleasure.

    The post Candidates stump for votes in last-minute New Hampshire push appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Republican U.S. presidential candidate businessman Donald Trump (L) whispers to Governor Chris Christie (C) as Dr Ben Carson (R) walks past during a commercial break at the Republican U.S. presidential candidates debate sponsored by ABC News at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire February 6, 2016.     REUTERS/Carlo Allegri - RTX25SPD

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Last night’s Republican debate yielded a slew of statements that warranted fact-checking.

    So, helping us do that again is PolitiFact, the online project run by The Tampa Bay Times.

    Jon Greenberg is one of their Truth-O-Meter monitors, and he joins me now from Washington.

    So, Jon, let’s start with Donald Trump. When he was asked about his economic plan, Trump offered this claim:

    DONALD TRUMP (R), Presidential Candidate: Right now, we’re the highest taxed country in the world. Under my plan, we cut not only taxes for the middle class, but we cut taxes for corporations.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: So, Jon, highest taxes in the world, what’s your verdict on that?

    JON GREENBERG, PolitiFact: Well, the verdict on that is false.

    I will say there are two ways you can measure tax burden. One is comparing tax revenues to the size of the economy. So, when you do that, you find that, out of the 30 wealthiest countries in the world, you see that the United States ranks 27th in terms of tax revenues relative to the size of our economy.

    Now, there’s another way you can look at these things. You can take a look at tax revenues on a per capita, per person basis. And when you do that, the United States doesn’t fare quite as well. It ranks 17th. But in neither case is it anywhere near the top. And so Mr. Trump gets it wrong.

    Now, there’s one little thing I want to mention. And that is that, if Trump were only talking about corporate taxes, at least the nominal — the stated tax level on corporations in the United States is at about the highest in the world. But, effectively, that turns out not to be true either.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: There was also a lot of talk about illegal immigration last night. And Trump and Ted Cruz are among those who have proposed building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

    But Cruz also made this assertion about undocumented immigrants. Let’s listen.

    SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), Presidential Candidate: We’ll put in place a biometric exit-entry system on visas, because 40 percent of illegal immigration comes not over the border illegally, but people coming on visas and overstaying.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Is Cruz right?

    JON GREENBERG: Yes, basically, he is, at least in terms of the available information.

    But the data is a little bit old. INS, the government agency, studied this in 1997. And then Pew Research looked at it again in 2006. So, it’s not the most current data. But we have been in touch with the researchers. And it really does — at least they affirm that the numbers still hold true. It’s at least 40 percent of the undocumented in this country.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: One immigration fact that Cruz did get wrong, while saying he would deport the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S., he incorrectly stated that President Clinton had deported 12 million and George W. Bush 10 million.

    In fact, Clinton deported only 1.6 million and Bush only 870,000. President Obama is the record-holder, having deported 2.4 people to their home countries.

    But, finally, let’s turn to Marco Rubio, who was repeatedly attacked last night by Chris Christie. But Rubio pushed back at one point with this particular counterattack:

    SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), Presidential Candidate: Under Chris Christie’s governorship of New Jersey, they’ve been downgraded nine times in their credit rating.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Jon, is that right, nine times downgraded?

    JON GREENBERG: Yes. If you want to count it nine times, you’re going to count it nine times. And Chris Christie does hold the record for a sitting New Jersey governor for the number of downgrades. There are three different credit rating agencies, and they do it.

    The catch here is that Christie really can’t take full responsibility for it all, because it is largely, largely based on the pension fund liabilities that the state has. They are around $43 billion. And, essentially, the experts are saying they’re only meeting about 38 percent of their obligation with their current set-asides.

    The issue here is that that pension problem has been building up for a long, long time. So, it belongs to both Democratic and Republican past governors. And they just haven’t decided to — and, by the way, not just governors, but the legislature, too — to put enough money aside.

    Could Christie have done more? Sure, if he could have gotten the legislature to play along. It was on his watch. It was nine times. So, that comes in our rating scale as about mostly true.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: All right, Jon Greenberg from PolitiFact, thanks for helping us sort all this out.

    JON GREENBERG: My pleasure.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: For more election 2016 coverage, watch our story on the complex delegate rules that lead to each party nominating a candidate.

    Visit PBS.org/NewsHour.

    The post How accurate were the GOP candidates at the New Hampshire debate? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    The Indian Point nuclear power plant in Buchanan, New York, is seen from across the Hudson River, April 6, 2010. State officials said on Saturday highly contaminated material leaked into groundwater supplies near the plant.  Mike Segar/Reuters

    The Indian Point nuclear power plant in Buchanan, New York, is seen from across the Hudson River, April 6, 2010. State officials said on Saturday highly contaminated material leaked into groundwater supplies near the plant. Photo by Mike Segar/Reuters

    High levels of tritium, a radioactive material, leaked into the groundwater around a nuclear plant located less than 30 miles outside of New York City, state officials said Saturday.

    Nuclear regulators said the public is not at risk, the AP reported.

    New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the facility, operated by the corporation Entergy, reported “alarming levels” of radioactive tritium that contaminated three of 40 monitoring wells.  One well spiked 65,000 percent above permissible levels, the governor said, while noting that none of the material left the site.

    The radioactive levels recorded this week are “significantly higher” than those discovered multiple time over the last few decades, according to Cuomo, who sent a letter to state health and environment officials on Saturday.

    “Our first concern is for the health and safety of the residents close to the facility and ensuring the groundwater leak ‎does not pose a threat,” Cuomo said.

    In a statement, the company said the tritium found in the monitoring wells did not enter local drinking water supplies or present a safety hazard to the public.

    “While elevated tritium in the ground onsite is not in accordance with our standards, there is no health or safety consequence to the public, and releases are more than a thousand times below federal permissible limits,” Entergy.

    The environmental advocacy group Riverkeeper, which monitors the Hudson River and has launched a campaign to shutter the Indian Point facility, told PBS NewsHour on Sunday the leak “is nothing new.”

    “Plumes of radioactive levels have leaked and reached groundwater in the past,” said Cliff Weathers, the organization’s spokesperson.

    State and federal officials have launched an investigation to “determine the extent of the release, its likely duration, cause and potential impacts to the environment and public health,” Cuomo said. The federally controlled Nuclear Regulatory Commission will also review the incident.

    Entergy Indian Point Energy Center is located along the Hudson River in the town of Buchanan in upstate New York. About 17 million people live within 50 miles of the nuclear plant.

    The post Radioactive material leaked into groundwater outside New York City appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at a student town hall during a campaign stop at the New England College in Henniker, New Hampshire February 6, 2016. Candidates on both sides of the political aisle are making their final round before Tuesday's primary. Adrees Latif/Reuters

    Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at a student town hall during a campaign stop at the New England College in Henniker, New Hampshire February 6, 2016. Candidates on both sides of the political aisle are making their final round before Tuesday’s primary. Adrees Latif/Reuters

    HAMPTON, N.H. — It’s less than two days until New Hampshire voters go to the polls. But Hillary Clinton is in Michigan. And other candidates, even Jeb Bush, say their campaigns will go on no matter how they do on Tuesday. Donald Trump says he doesn’t need to win New Hampshire – but he’d like to.

    From their movements and remarks on Sunday, you’d think New Hampshire is unimportant in the race for president. In fact, it’s the nation’s first primary and the next in a series of clues into what Americans want in their next president. But the field is still crowded, and the electorates that await the candidates in South Carolina and Nevada are markedly more diverse. So there are more tests to come for the candidates and the parties.

    Republican hopeful Marco Rubio is downplaying his rough outing in Saturday night’s GOP debate, while touting his overall campaign momentum after his third-place finish in the Iowa caucuses, hoping to use that momentum to boost his chances in Tuesday’s contest.

    Donald Trump, who finished second in Iowa, is pleased with his debate performance and place atop New Hampshire’s GOP polls, and he’s doubling down Sunday on his call for the U.S. to reinstitute waterboarding and even harsher treatment of foreign prisoners.

    On the Democratic side, New Hampshire favorite Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton – who narrowly won Iowa – are avoiding predictions about Tuesday and looking beyond to South Carolina and Nevada, the next two states up in the nomination process.

    But for other candidates, like Republican Govs. Chris Christie, John Kasich and Jeb Bush, the task is to make sure the closing argument here isn’t their last.

    Christie, fresh from a vigorous debate performance in which he battered Florida Sen. Marco Rubio as unprepared for the presidency, told a town hall crowd Sunday in Hampton, New Hampshire, that his exchanges with Rubio showed “who’s ready. I am. He’s not.”

    Then he shifted his focus to Kasich and Bush, as the three governors battle for many of the same voters in an effort to remain relevant beyond New Hampshire.

    As he did during Saturday’s debate, Christie credited Kasich Sunday for his management of Ohio, but then the New Jersey Legislature turned the compliment to faint praise. “It’s like Candy Land,” he argued at a campaign stop in Hampton, because Kasich gets to work with a GOP-run legislature. Democrats have run New Jersey for the duration of Christie’s tenure.

    U.S. Republican presidential candidate John Kasich speaks to voters during a campaign town hall in Nashua, New Hampshire, February 7, 2016. Mike Segar/Reuters

    U.S. Republican presidential candidate John Kasich speaks to voters during a campaign town hall in Nashua, New Hampshire, February 7, 2016. Mike Segar/Reuters

    Christie told a voter that it wouldn’t necessarily be an “enormous mistake” to support Kasich. “I’m just better, because I’ve been tested,” he said.

    Christie added a jab at Bush. “Go to Jeb today and ask him how the joy is going,” Christie said, a reference to Bush’s promise last summer to be “the joyful candidate” among Republicans.

    Bush has called in a team of surrogates, from his mother, former first lady Barbara Bush, to South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, for his final push.

    He told Fox News Sunday he’s already scheduled his “first event in South Carolina” for Wednesday morning, “and we’re scheduling the Nevada trip, too.”

    The three governors have pitched their experience to GOP voters for months, but have struggled to keep Rubio from establishing himself as the alternative to Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who won Iowa.

    Rubio was rattled by Christie’s debate onslaught Saturday, repeating his standard critique of President Barack Obama several times and playing into Christie’s argument that the first-term senator is a scripted, inexperienced politician from a do-nothing Congress.

    “You have not been involved in a consequential decision where you had to be held accountable,” Christie told Rubio. “You just simply haven’t.”

    Rubio was back on message Sunday. “People said, ‘Oh, you said the same thing three or four times.’ I’m going to say it again,” Rubio said in Londonderry, New Hampshire.

    U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump poses for a photo with a supporter after a campaign rally in Plymouth, New Hampshire, February 7, 2016.  Rick Wilking/Reuters

    U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump poses for a photo with a supporter after a campaign rally in Plymouth, New Hampshire, February 7, 2016. Rick Wilking/Reuters

    Rubio said earlier on ABC’s “This Week” that his belief about Obama’s job performance is “one of the main reasons why I am running.”

    Trump, who was to campaign later Sunday, continued to insist in a CNN appearance that he came in first in Iowa, losing only because representatives of the Cruz campaign spread false rumors that Ben Carson was dropping out. Trump says Carson backers switched their votes to Cruz.

    “I don’t think I have to win,” New Hampshire to keep his place among the top contenders for the nomination, Trump said Sunday on CNN, emphasizing, however, that he wants to win first.

    On NBC’s “Meet The Press” Sunday, Trump stood by his promise in Saturday’s debate to reinstitute waterboarding as an interrogation method for foreign prisoners of the U.S.

    The practice, accepted as torture internationally and now forbidden by U.S. law, is “peanuts” compared to what Islamic State group members practice, Trump said. “I’d go a lot further than waterboarding,” Trump said.

    Cruz is not expected to fare as well in New Hampshire as in Iowa, but he made memorable marks in Saturday’s debate, first repeating his apology to Carson for the false rumors and later offering an emotional account of his half-sister’s drug addiction and eventual death.

    Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders shakes hands with supporters during a rally at Great Bay Community College in Portsmouth, New Hampshire February 7, 2016.    Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

    Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders shakes hands with supporters during a rally at Great Bay Community College in Portsmouth, New Hampshire February 7, 2016. Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

    For Democrats, Sanders drew another large crowd Sunday in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where he reprised his indictment of a “rigged economy” and “corrupt campaign finance system.”

    Taking a break from the New Hampshire campaign trail, Hillary Clinton stopped in Flint, Michigan, which continues to deal with the fallout of a lead-contaminated water system.

    At the House of Prayer Missionary Church, Clinton noted that for two years, Flint residents drank poisoned water despite officials declaring it safe. “This is not merely unacceptable or wrong, though it is both. What happened in Flint is immoral,” Clinton said.

    She urged Congress to approve $200 million to fix Flint’s water system and vowed to “fight for you in Flint no matter how long it takes.”

    Barrow reported from Columbia, South Carolina. Associated Press writers Laurie Kellman contributed from Washington and Thomas Beaumont, Sergio Bustos, Kathleen Ronayne, Ken Thomas, Julie Pace and Julie Bykowicz contributed from New Hampshire.

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    U.S. Republican presidential candidate and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie speaks to voters at a town hall campaign stop in New Hampshire February 7, 2016. Senator Marco Rubio's performance during Saturday's debate may created an opening for his Republican rivals. Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

    U.S. Republican presidential candidate and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie speaks to voters at a town hall campaign stop in New Hampshire February 7, 2016. Senator Marco Rubio’s performance during Saturday’s debate may created an opening for his Republican rivals. Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

    BEDFORD, N.H. — Marco Rubio’s uneven debate performance just days before Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary has emboldened a trio of governors seeking to stem his rise in the Republican race for president. But if Rubio’s rivals can slow him in New Hampshire, they are likely to leave the GOP with a muddled mix of establishment contenders and no clear favorite to challenge Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.

    At the heart of the battle between Rubio and Chris Christie, John Kasich and Jeb Bush is whether the freshman Florida senator has the experience and policy depth to serve as president – or whether he’s simply a well-spoken lightweight. Christie unleashed withering attacks against Rubio in Saturday’s debate, and the New Jersey governor tripped up Rubio by calling him out in real-time for his reliance on rehearsed talking points.

    The morning after, Christie declared the Republican contest a changed race.

    “There was a march amongst some in the chattering class to anoint Sen. Rubio,” Christie said on CNN’s State of the Union. “I think after last night, that’s over.”

    Christie and his fellow governors need that to be the case, given that they’ve staked their White House hopes on New Hampshire. Without a strong showing, each will face enormous pressure to drop out from Republican Party leaders eager to rally around a single candidate who can challenge Cruz and Trump, the top-two finishers in the lead-off Iowa caucuses.

    Trump has held a commanding lead in New Hampshire preference polls for months. Cruz is in the mix with Rubio and the governors, though his campaign is more focused on the Southern states that follow later in the primary calendar.

    The prospect of Trump or Cruz winning the GOP nomination has set many Republican leaders on edge, and that anxiousness is only likely to increase should New Hampshire voters leave Rubio and the governors clustered together in the primary results, failing to anoint one as their preferred challenger to the front-runners.

    Rubio emerged from Iowa looking as though he was that candidate, with a third-place finish in Iowa that was stronger than expected. Rival campaigns conceded privately in the days leading up to the debate he was pulling away from the governors.

    But the Florida senator stumbled in the debate when challenged about his qualifications, repeatedly falling back on a retort meant to distinguish himself from President Barack Obama, who also won the White House as a first-term senator.

    For Barbara O’Brien, an undecided voter who had been considering voting for Rubio, it was enough to convince her he wasn’t the right choice.

    “He kept saying the same thing over and over again,” said O’Brien, a 67-year-old from Manchester who is one of New Hampshire’s many independents. “He didn’t look presidential”

    GOP voter Judy McKenna, 66, had been leaning toward Rubio, but said she was “disappointed” in his debate performance.

    “The governors all made great points about experience, especially Christie, and Rubio did not have any answer to counter that argument,” McKenna said.

    Rubio acknowledged the criticism during a rally in Londonderry on Sunday morning. He then proceeded to repeat the same line that put him in Christie’s crosshairs.

    U.S. republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio speaks at a campaign event  in Londonderry, New Hampshire, February 7, 2016. Carlo Allegri/Reuters

    U.S. republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio speaks at a campaign event in Londonderry, New Hampshire, February 7, 2016. Carlo Allegri/Reuters

    “I’m going to say it again,” he told the audience of more than 800 gathered in a school cafeteria. “The reason why these things are troubling is because Barack Obama is the first president, at least in my lifetime, that wants to change the country. Change the country, not fix it.”

    Rubio senior adviser Todd Harris said the candidate’s repetition underscores his laser focus on upending the Obama administration’s agenda.

    “We’re going to continue to attack Barack Obama’s record over and over and over again,” Harris said. “I don’t think there is any Republican primary voter who was watching that debate who was saying I wish he would lay off of Barack Obama.”

    Seeking to counter the notion of a misstep, Rubio’s campaign said it raised $600,000 during the debate, three times more than it has brought in during previous debates. The fundraising numbers were unverifiable.

    The senator’s crowds remained large and enthusiastic on Sunday, and some of the many undecided voters who attended his events said they were more bothered by Christie’s aggressive demeanor.

    “It was tiresome. I’ve heard it before,” Katherine Bringhurst, a 66-year-old retired office manager. She’s undecided heading into Tuesday’s election, but leaning toward Rubio.

    Maria Tourlitis, an independent from Hudson, decided to vote for Rubio after hearing him speak in her hometown on Saturday. As she greeted the senator after the event, she leaned in and said: “At the next debate, please stand up to Christie.”

    If Christie’s aggressive attacks on Rubio result in his own standing tumbling, it could benefit Bush, the former governor of Florida, and Kasich, the current governor of Ohio. Both stepped back in the debate to allow Christie to take the lead in targeting Rubio, though they were happy to relish in the afterglow.

    “He’s a great speaker,” Bush said of Rubio, his one-time political protégé, on Fox News Sunday. “But he came across as totally scripted and kind of robotic.”

    Kasich has prided himself on avoiding direct criticism of his rivals during the campaign, and kept up that strategy both in the debate and as he campaigned Sunday.

    “Wouldn’t it be great if we could win being positive?” Kasich said on Fox News.

    Associated Press writer Sergio Bustos contributed to this report from Salem, New Hampshire.

    The post After uneven debate performance, Rubio rivals see opening appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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