Bernie Sanders: Hillary Clinton ‘Absolutely Correct’ About My Supporters
- Created on 02 October 2016
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) says he agrees with Hillary Clinton’s characterization of his young supporters, whom the former secretary of state described as “living in their parents’ basement” after buying into a “false promise” in the wake of the Great Recession.
Clinton’s comments surfaced on Friday after the conservative website The Washington Free Beacon posted audio of the remarks, which were delivered by the Democratic nominee at a private fundraiser in February and taken from a Clinton campaign staffer’s hacked email.
“If you’re feeling like you’re consigned to, you know, being a barista, or, you know, some other job that doesn’t pay a lot, and doesn’t have some other ladder of opportunity attached to it, then the idea that maybe, just maybe, you could be part of a political revolution is pretty appealing. I think we all should be really understanding of that,” Clinton said.
Over the weekend, Republican nominee Donald Trump sought to capitalize on the hacked audio, tweeting that Clinton “is nasty to Sanders’ supporters behind closed doors,” and is “owned by Wall Street and politicians.”
“HRC is not with you,” he added, in a late appeal to Sanders supporters.
Asked Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” whether he agreed with the New York businessman, Sanders, who has endorsed Clinton, said she was “absolutely correct” in her assessment of his supporters.
“I think what she said ― and, by the way, during the campaign, we do have our differences, Secretary Clinton and I do disagree on issues,” he said. “But what she was saying there is absolutely correct. And that is, you’ve got millions of young people, many of whom took out loans in order to go to college, hoping to go out and get decent-paying, good jobs.”
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I Wrote That I Despised Hillary Clinton. Today, I Want To Publicly Take It Back.
- Created on 29 September 2016
When this election began, I was like millions of millennial men: a “Bernie bro” rooting hard for Sen. Sanders. Watching the candidate of my dreams get steam late and lose in the primary wasn’t so different from watching my favorite football team not have enough energy to complete a fourth quarter rally. Hopeful, exciting, but ultimately deflating and disappointing.
When Hillary Clinton became the presumptive Democratic nominee, I was distraught. Months before I had written about her on Huffington Post, explaining that I despised her not for her gender — as some of her supporters accused — but for her hawkishness, her center-left policies, her husband’s crime bill that incarcerated so many people of color, her support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and her inability to get progressive on climate change policy.
I’ve spent almost every waking hour of every day following this election, reading about Hillary, Donald Trump, both parties’ platforms, and the under-qualified Libertarian and Green Party candidates running. During these months of obsessing over my choice, I’ve watched my position slowly shift. I’ve felt myself start advocating for Hillary more than advocating a vote against Trump, culminating in last night’s debate when she finally, totally, completely won me over.
While it’s easy to make the case for voting against Trump, it occurred to me during the debate last night how much we’ve taken Clinton for granted.
In an election that features one of the most well-documented liars and scam artist businessmen to ever run for public office, much of the attention has been on him — how we can’t put him in office, give him keys to a nuclear warhead, trust him in the most powerful position in the world. Some of it has been more positive: how he’d turn the system on its head, be a Washington outsider, completely rewrite the script. While it’s easy to make the case for voting against Trump, it occurred to me during the debate last night how much we’ve taken Clinton for granted.
Let’s start with a simple but important position: Hillary Clinton is the most qualified person to ever run for president.
Measuring qualifications, of course, is somewhat subjective. She’s never served in the military and never run her own business, something previous candidates have done. But she was a secretary of state for four years, a U.S. senator for eight years, a first lady who lived in the White House, saw the challenges of being president up close and personal for eight years, a first lady of Arkansas, and a law professor to boot. If she were elected, she’d be the first former cabinet member to become president in almost 100 years.
Just months before 9/11, Hillary Clinton became a U.S. senator in New York. She served for eight years in the city and was a key architect of the $21 billion federal aid bill that helped rebuild the city after her term started with the worst tragedy New York had ever seen. But perhaps what she is most remembered for is fighting for the health bill that served first responders in the first 48 hours after the attack. WhileDonald Trump bragged about his building now being the tallest in New York City, Clinton was fighting the Environmental Protection Agency to admit the air wasn’t safe to breathe. That’s why Clinton has the support of so many 9/11 first responders and survivors: they remember her work as a senator of New York.
But guess what? Google “Clinton health bill 9/11” and you’ll find nothing but results about her nearly fainting outside a 9/11 memorial service, one she attended while diagnosed with pneumonia.
That wasn’t the first time Clinton had advocated for a strong health care bill, though. In 1994, a universal health care bill that Hillary Clinton pushed for had failed as the Clinton administration came into office. Then Democrats lost the House and then lost the Senate for the first time in 40 years. Democrats had essentially given up on health care reform, until First Lady Clinton helped the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). She’s largely credited with getting the bill into law, and it became the largest expansion of taxpayer-funded health insurance in three decades.
[Hillary] Clinton has traveled the world advocating a better life for women in places where that concept wasn’t even on the radar.
Today, the bill has resounding bi-partisan support, and 8.4 million children — many of them low-income — are enrolled in its program.
As she mentioned in the debate, her time as secretary of state required everything from traveling to 112 countries and debating peace deals and ceasefires, to negotiating the release of dissidents — men and women who pushed back against authoritarian regimes. What she didn’t mention was just how real that “stamina” was: She set records for travel as secretary of state.
But during Clinton’s time as secretary, she also advocated a powerful, important worldview: that the United States could be a force of good and progressivism across the world, advocating for human rights, development, and equality in nations that may not know any of those things. She pushed for investment and accommodation with Asian powers such as China, who she knows we can share mutual goals with like preventing war in the Asian Pacific and spurring economic growth by investing in the future of technology.
In the beginning of her term as secretary of state, Clinton had to win over President Barack Obama — something that, at the time, was not guaranteed. They had a heated primary battle and many thought they may never mend those wounds. But today, Obama is one of her biggest advocates. Despite publicly disagreeing with her at times, most notably on the specifics of Syrian intervention, he’s come to trust her counsel and had her present for some of their biggest moments in the situation room, such as when she helped him coordinate the assassination of Osama bin Laden.
Perhaps Clinton’s greatest blemish on her record is the destabilizing of Libya, which led to the Benghazi diplomatic compound attack. Certainly, it was one of the career bullet points that made me despise her. But despite $7 million dollars spent on Benghazi investigations, 1,982 published pages of reports on Benghazi, 10 congressional committees participating in investigations, 3,194 questions asked in a public forum, Clinton and her administration have been found guilty of zero wrongdoing. No “stand down” call was ever found, one of the cornerstones of the Republican claims. The family of Chris Stevens — the ambassador who became the face of the Benghazi tragedy after he was killed in the siege — has publicly objected to blaming Clinton for Benghazi.
Even more lost in the Benghazi witch hunt is a simple reality: during George W. Bush’s presidency, there were 13 attacks on U.S. embassies that killed 60 people. Yet his career and record were not marred by these. Despite that, Trump and his campaign still thought it should have been brought up in last night’s debate.
Throughout her time in public service, Hillary Clinton has negotiated ceasefires in Israel, put the Lilly Ledbetter Pay Equity Act into law, authored the Pediatric Research Equity Act (which helped re-label drugs to keep millions of children safe), and she got the EU, Russia, China and other world powers to participate in the crippling sanctions on Iran that forced the country to negotiate its nuclear plan out of existence. All while enduring propaganda that thrust Benghazi and the Clinton Foundation — from which there’s also been no evidence of wrongdoing, in fact,quite the contrary — into the public’s mind.
And throughout all that time, Clinton has traveled the world advocating a better life for women in places where that concept wasn’t even on the radar. She’s pushed for paternity leave here in the United States, and became a symbol of women’s rights and women’s progress everywhere. Looking at Secretary Clinton and reading about her accomplishments, it’s tough to think that it was just 100 years ago the U.S. elected the first woman to Congress. That 100 years later, she’s our first female candidate for president to win a primary.
Secretary Clinton, I’m sorry. ... You have accomplished far more in your life as a public servant than just about anyone that’s run for this office...
And what does she get for all of this work? As the debate wrapped up on Monday night, Clinton endured Trump’s threats to mention her husband’s adultery despite the fact he’s had three marriages, and been accused of rape and is a known adulterer. As she eviscerated him on calling women pigs and dogs, Trump lied about his position on the Iraq War, lied about his reasons for not releasing his tax returns, lied about his belief that climate change is a hoax created by the Chinese, lied about his feeling that pregnancy is an “inconvenience” for businesses, lied during his defense of unconstitutional stop and frisk, lied that crime is getting worse in New York, and then lied when he said his temperament was his greatest quality. And what did Clinton get?
On Fox News, they cut to their political analyst Brit Hume describing Clinton: “The TV audience saw the faces of the two candidates,” Hume said. “And she looked composed, smug sometimes ... not necessarily attractive.”
All this work, and what did Clinton get? She got an actual smug, young journalist named Isaac Saul writing about how I despised her, when I hardly knew the depth of her accomplishments, when I was clinging to the pipe dream of a Bernie Sanders presidency that may have never been in the cards, when my own father got ignored while he tried his best to talk some sense into me.
Secretary Clinton, I’m sorry. And I retract my previous position of hatred and angst towards you. You have made mistakes, some of them grave, and some of them unforgivable. Unfortunately, that comes with decades of life in the public eye, pressure and microphones in your face. But you have also accomplished far more in your life as a public servant than just about anyone that’s run for this office, and certainly far more than I ever will. When November rolls around, you’ll have my vote.
And you’ll get it enthusiastically.
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Trump Held It Together For About 10 Minutes, And Then He Started To Unspool
- Created on 27 September 2016
Monday night’s debate provided voters with a pretty accurate picture of the choice they face in November. One candidate, Democrat Hillary Clinton, has experience and a firm grasp of policy. She believes in studying and thinks very carefully before she speaks. She tries not to offend people.
The other candidate, Republican Donald Trump, is a political novice who doesn’t know much about policy. He doesn’t believe in homework and he says whatever pops into his mind. He offends people constantly.
Trump’s style can seem refreshing sometimes, and for a few minutes on Monday night it probably did to most voters.
It happened after the very first question, about the economy ― when Clinton answered with a laundry list of policies that she said would create jobs and raise wages, while Trump answered with a sharp attack on free trade and an equally forceful promise to defend American workers.
He sounded less rehearsed and more sure of what he believed.
Then he started to unspool.
Trump couldn’t keep up with Clinton’s knowledge of policy, and became increasingly obstreperous when she attacked him. He interrupted her repeatedly and then, frustrated with questions from host Lester Holt, he interrupted him, too. Eventually, Trump lost focus and started to ramble. The lack of impulse control, the derogatory attitude toward women, the utter disregard for truth ― all of it came into full view.
And at that point, maybe, Trump’s style stopped seeming refreshing ― and started seeming disturbing.
The transformation began when Clinton jabbed at Trump’s history in business, noting that Trump had celebrated the financial crisis as an investment opportunity. Trump interrupted to say, “That’s called business.” Clinton drew an even sharper response when she suggested that Trump had gotten a fast start in real estate because of $14 million in loans from his father ― which Trump immediately denied, by saying that he’d gotten only a “small loan.” This was another Trump claim that multiple fact-checkers have found to be false.
From there, things went downhill quickly for Trump. The great thing about presidential debates is that they leave no place to hide. And that’s a problem for Trump, who, as James Fallows noted in The Atlantic this month, managed to survive Republican primary debates by fading into the background and letting other candidates lead on more substantive discussions.
On Monday night, Trump had to hold his own on policy and his answers were at times flat-out incoherent. Just check out what Trump said in response to Holt wondering why Trump wanted to cut taxes for the wealthy. It barely addresses the question and, besides that, it doesn’t actually make sense.
I’m getting rid of the carried interest provision. And if you really look, it’s not a tax ― it’s really not a great thing for the wealthy. It’s a great thing for the middle class. It’s a great thing for companies to expand.
And when these people are going to put billions and billions of dollars into companies, and when they’re going to bring $2.5 trillion back from overseas, where they can’t bring the money back, because politicians like Secretary Clinton won’t allow them to bring the money back, because the taxes are so onerous, and the bureaucratic red tape, so what ― is so bad.
Soon Trump was saying the sorts of outrageous things that he’s been saying throughout the campaign, but that many people speculated he wouldn’t be saying on Monday night.
When Clinton suggested that maybe Trump hadn’t released his tax returns because he hadn’t paid income taxes in every year, he said, “That makes me smart” ― appearing to confirm the fact. When Clinton said, “It’s really unfortunate that he paints such a dire negative picture of black communities in our country,” he interrupted with a very audible “ugh.” When Clinton noted that Trump had supported the Iraq War, he denied it ― and then denied it again after Holt pointed out that the historical record showed Clinton was right.
Trump refused to apologize for his role in the birther controversy and at one point, speaking to Clinton about President Barack Obama, referred to him as “your president.”
But the most Trumpian moment of all may have come at the end, when Holt asked Trump what he meant when he said Clinton didn’t have “the look” of a president. Trump changed the subject to Clinton’s alleged lack of stamina, but she wouldn’t let him get away with it, using the occasion to remind everybody of Trump’s history of misogyny ― in particular, his descriptions of women as “women, slobs and dogs.”
Trump denied some of the comments, but then acknowledged a few as attempts at entertainment ― and said about one person he’d insulted, actress and television host Rosie O’Donnell, that “ I said very tough things to her, and I think everybody would agree that she deserves it and nobody feels sorry for her.”
None of these questions or attacks were the least bit surprising. The fact that Trump didn’t have sharper, more coherent answers suggests he was as casual about his preparation as his campaign had suggested all along ― that he simply couldn’t be bothered to think through how he intended to perform.
Clinton made this very point. “I think Donald just criticized me for preparing for this debate,” she said. “And yes, I did. And you know what else I prepared for? I prepared to be president.”
It’s not at all clear how much voters actually want to reward the candidate who takes preparation so seriously ― or to reject the candidate who so casually lies and denigrates women, among other groups. But after Monday night’s debate, they at least have a better idea of what those distinctions mean.
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6 weeks to go, Clinton and Trump are tied
- Created on 25 September 2016
The two most intensely disliked presidential candidates in American history are expected to draw a Super Bowl-sized television audience when they meet for the first of three debates Monday night.
The drama of the live, 90-minute television event is assured with Donald Trump, the reality TV star who has blustered and bulldozed his way through conventional politics, and with a race that has narrowed enough in recent weeks to make this showdown seem like it could be the final, pivotal point in this historic campaign.
Trump enters the first title bout as the de facto challenger, the fact-challenged freewheeling outsider with far more command of the media and his own instincts as a performer than policy details. But he carries at least a semblance of momentum against a weak favorite who is viewed by the public as even less honest and trustworthy than him, according to a poll last week. This, despite data revealing roughly 70 percent of Trump’s statements to be demonstrably false.
Walking into the debate, polls show the race to be increasingly close, as Clinton’s national lead is down to 2 points in the RealClearPolitics average of polls – a margin identical to Clinton’s advantage in an ABC News/Washington Post poll out Sunday morning.
That’s actually closer than the past two presidential elections were headed into the first debates. In 2012, President Barack Obama led Mitt Romney by 3.1 points on the eve of their first debate in Denver, according to the RealClearPolitics average. And Obama led John McCain by 4.2 points before they met for the first time at Ole Miss.
The race is also tightening in the battleground states, polls show. With 44 days to go, Trump has pulled ahead in Iowa, North Carolina and Ohio, and is virtually even in Florida and Nevada. And even in some states where the averages favor Clinton – Colorado, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin – recent polls show a tighter contest.
It all amounts to a significant improvement for Trump – a rebound that many analysts said was impossible after he sank like a stone in August following a dystopian coronation at the Republican National Convention and the ill-conceived challenge of a morally resolute Muslim gold star family who had trashed him on the Democrats’ nomination stage.
Trump’s recovery began three weeks ago, with a new management team and a more focused message. But he has mainly benefitted from Clinton's stumbles: her display of physical weakness when her legs gave out on a hot Manhattan morning as she was suffering from pneumonia, and her inopportune comment at a private fundraiser where she said half of Trump's supporters belonged in a "basket of deplorables."
Still, he remains the underdog as Clinton leads nationally and maintains an easier path the 270 electoral votes.
"If the election were tomorrow she would be elected," said Steve Schmidt. A GOP strategist who guided John McCain's 2008 campaign, Schmidt says Monday's debate could have an "enormous impact" on the outcome of what's become a closer race.
"Donald Trump needs to make a case for change, but issues of temperament and judgment linger. His goal is to emerge on the other side of these three debates as someone the American people can see sitting behind the Resolute desk in the Oval Office talking to Americans in time of crisis. Is he going to seem plausible as a commander in chief?"
Americans are expected to tune in Monday night in large numbers. The debate will air on all four major broadcast networks, and on every cable-news station as well. According to the ABC News/Washington Post poll released Sunday, nearly three-quarters of adult Americans, 74 percent, plan to watch the debate. Only 22 percent say they don’t think they’ll watch.
Trump, who has gone nearly two months without holding a press conference and turned down television interviews with all but friendly Fox journalists and a few local stations, is unlikely to continue to avoid questions about his disproven claims of charitable giving, pay-to-play allegations surrounding his contribution to Florida’s attorney general just before she closed a fraud investigation around Trump university and his stubborn refusal to release any tax returns. A master of media manipulation who has benefitted from the public’s short attention span and inability to process a flood of information that would likely devastate a more traditional candidate, Trump is already contemplating a press conference next week as a way to change the subject after the first debate, according to two campaign sources.
And yet, the pressure may be on Clinton, who has dozens of debates under her belt and has spent far more time than Trump to prepare for this one. Long viewed as the front-runner in this general election match-up, Monday night is a prime opportunity to stop the bleeding—to stir the passions of the Obama coalition, to reel in disaffected swing voters who have yet to migrate to Trump but seemed to take safe harbor for now in the possibility of a third-party option and, perhaps most importantly, to assuage the creeping doubts of her steadfast supporters.
“The worst enemy in any political campaign is doubt,” said Bruce Haynes, a GOP consultant in Washington. “It’s what dries up fundraising and dampens the energy of volunteers; and the Clinton campaign has become gripped with doubt. It can be poisonous once it seeps into the bloodstream of a campaign and you have to find a way to cleanse it. For her, the first, best opportunity to do that is Monday night. She really needs to win.”
Both campaigns have been preparing intensely, although in different ways. Clinton has decamped to Chappaqua to pore over policy points and engaged in mock debates with close confidant Philippe Reines playing the role of Trump. While Trump and his team insist he’s not preparing in such a conventional way, he has been huddled with advisers, including former Fox News chief Roger Ailes, discussing strategy, rehearsing lines of emphasis and studying a data analysis of Clinton’s many debate performances to familiarize himself with her tendencies.
Clinton, too, has invested in data analytics and psychological research to help determine how she might bait Trump into a bad moment on the stage, although communications director Jennifer Palmieri told reporters on a conference call Friday that Clinton is more focused on the positive message she wants to communicate to voters than on baiting her opponent.
“How Donald Trump behaves and whether or not he maintains a calm demeanor, that’s up to him. And we think that is within his power so I’d not describe that as something we spend a lot of time on,” she said.
Asked about Trump using ‘psychological analysis’ to prep for Clinton, Palmieri replied, “Good luck is what I would say in response. We all have seen [Clinton] endure a lot of tough questioning over the years. We saw her endure 11 hours of tough questioning at the Benghazi hearing. And Donald Trump may think he’s the person who’s going to be able to really get under her skin, but I doubt it.”
But with so much of the electorate seemingly decided on a candidate, with perceptions of both Trump and Clinton so hardened and with the electoral map essentially unchanged despite mild fluctuations in the polls, Monday's main event may also prove to be more of a cultural flashpoint than a political one.
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Town Hall Takes Awkward Turn After Trump Answer
- Created on 21 September 2016
U.S. Republican presidential candidatesaid on Wednesday he would consider using "stop-and-frisk" policing methods to cut crime if elected, according to two people who attended a Fox News "town hall" taping at a predominantly African-American church in Cleveland.
With the race tightening between Trump and Democratic opponentin the final weeks before the Nov. 8 election, the Republican candidate recently began wooing African-American voters.
Stop-and-frisk, however, has been the target of protests and successful legal challenges in New York and other big American cities in recent years as a tactic that unfairly singles out minority citizens and violates their civil rights.
In the tactic, officers stop pedestrians, question them and then search them for weapons or contraband.
At the town hall, Trump praised stop-and-frisk, according to an excerpt of the interview released by Fox News.
He made his statement in response to an audience member's question about what the New York businessman would do to reduce crime in predominantly black communities across the nation, said the two people, Geoff Betts and Connie Tucker.
Betts, 38, who is black, said he felt dismayed by Trump's response.
Tucker, who is white and supports Trump, said she sensed discomfort in the room when the candidate gave his answer.
"I felt like there was a pause," she said.
The town hall, moderated by Fox News anchor Sean Hannity, taping was closed to journalists. Betts and Tucker both described their experiences after it ended.
The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment about his statement, nor did Clinton's.
Trump has portrayed himself as the "law-and-order candidate." But Clinton has criticized many of his proposals as unconstitutional attacks on American freedoms.
According to Tucker, Trump said he liked stop-and-frisk because it had worked well during the administration of New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a Republican who served from 1996 to Dec. 31, 2001 who is now a major Trump supporter. The tactic was supported by Giuliani's successor, Michael Bloomberg.
In appealing to African-American voters, Trump has lamented the woes of black communities in speeches and invited people who traditionally vote for Democratic candidates to take a chance on him. But his often-dire portrayals of life for African-Americans have fallen flat with some black voters.
Anger over police tactics has escalated since the stop-and-frisk controversies, as the deaths of African-Americans, many of them unarmed, at the hands of police have sparked unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, Baltimore and other cities.
The opposition to "stop-and-frisk" led police departments in New York, as well as Chicago and Newark, New Jersey to agree to cut back on its use, in some cases submitting to outside monitoring and improving police training. In New York, ending the practice was a key plank of Democrat Bill de Blasio's successful 2013 run for mayor.
Tucker, a pastor at Father Heart Ministries in Columbus, Ohio, said she liked policies that yielded results, so if stop-and-frisk helped reduce crime, she was for it.
Betts, a distributor of hair products, said he is registered to vote as an independent and that he attended the town hall because he was curious about what Trump would say to try to win over black voters. He said he thinks police unfairly discriminate against black citizens and he is against stop-and-frisk.
"We are victims," he said, adding he walked out of the town hall while it was still under way.
"I just couldn't take it anymore, I had to go," he said. "I don't think that Donald Trump gets it."
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