US Campaign Update, 29/01/16: Top 10 Stories

1. In Bloomberg, Mark Niquette reports that Sanders singles out Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in his latest campaign ad.

 

While the ad doesn't mention Clinton by name, the Vermont senator has criticized her for the $675,000 she was paid for three speeches she gave to the firm in 2013. It's the latest effort by Sanders to tap voter anger about what he calls a “rigged economy,” with polls showing Sanders and Clinton in a close race in Monday's Iowa caucuses.
As the words “Goldman Sachs” appear on the screen, with the firm's Jersey City office depicted, the ad mentions the firm's agreement announced on Jan. 14 to settle a U.S. investigation into its handling of mortgage-backed securities. It helped trigger “the financial meltdown” and put millions of people out of their jobs and homes, the ad says.
“How does Wall Street get away with it? Millions in campaign contributions and speaking fees,” the ad says. “Our economy works for Wall Street because it's rigged by Wall Street, and that's the problem. As long as Washington is bought and paid for, we can't build an economy that works for people.”

 

 

2. In Reuters, Chris Kahn reports that Michael Bloomberg could boost Trump’s bid for White House, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll.

In a matchup between Trump and Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, adding Bloomberg's name to the ballot would trim Clinton's lead over Trump to six percentage points from 10, according to the poll conducted from Jan. 23 to Jan. 27.
In a Trump versus Democratic hopeful Bernie Sanders matchup, adding Bloomberg would erode Sanders' lead over Trump to seven points from 12, the poll results showed.
In all matchups, Bloomberg himself would land just 10 percent or less of the vote in November.

 

 3. In CNN, Kevin Bohn writes about a new super PAC that aims to question Donald Trump’s conservative credentials.

 

In its latest spot, slated to start running Friday in Iowa and New Hampshire, Our Principles PAC asks: "Can conservatives trust Donald Trump?" as it hits Trump on changing his position on whether undocumented immigrants should be allowed to eventually apply for citizenship.
 Trump has repeatedly said during the campaign that all of those in the country illegally should be deported. The ad says: "Trump can't handle tough questions like why he'd let millions of illegal immigrants stay in America and even supports a pathway to citizenship."
The ad then uses comments he made in June at an event in Chicago: "You have to give them a path and you have to make it possible to succeed. You have to do that."

 

 5. In CNN, Elizabeth Landers writes about Sanders position on climate change.

 

"I haven't seen any actual scientific evidence that global warming is actually happening," she said. "It's only very recent. So I'd like to know why you think it's happening."
Sanders respond with a polite but firm: "You're wrong." "It is already causing devastating problems in our country and the world. That is what the scientists are saying," he told her.
Sanders often speaks of the need to address greenhouse gas emissions and global warming, and has used his early advocacy on the issue -- including his long-time opposition to the Keystone XL Pipeline -- to appeal to liberals in his bid against Hillary Clinton.

 

6. In Reuters, Ginger Gibson reports that Trump draws full house at Drake University.

Donald Trump shunned Thursday night's debate of the Republican presidential candidates hosted by Fox News and instead filled an auditorium a few miles down the road, trying to prove his widespread support only days before Iowa kicks off the U.S. nominating voting process.
Trump, with just one day's notice on a weeknight, was able to fill to capacity a hall at Drake University that holds 700.
"I didn’t want to be here, to be honest, I wanted to be about five minutes away" at the debate, Trump told the crowd. "When you’re treated badly, you have to stick up for your rights - whether we like it or not."

 

 7. In Huffington Post, Ariel Edwards-Levy explains Clinton’s electability argument.

 
To try to gauge how much Clinton's electability argument is resonating, HuffPost teamed with YouGov to probe the views of Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters. What we found is that only 8 percent say they're backing somebody who isn't their top choice, but whom they see as more electable. Sixty-two percent say they're supporting their favorite candidate regardless of that consideration, while the rest are undecided or don't plan to vote.
"I am absolutely determined that we're going to make sure we have a Democrat to succeed President Obama so we don't let the Republicans rip away the progress we have made together," Clinton told Iowa voters earlier this month. In New Hampshire, she similarly made what Time magazine described as "a pitch for pragmatism, not passion."
The target audience for Clinton's electability argument also seems to be shrinking.

 

 8. In Bloomberg, Michael C. Bender talks about Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign.

 

The one-time front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, Jeb Bush has spent months trying to climb back to the top of crowded race with little success. In an exclusive interview with Bloomberg Politics, the former Florida governor says his campaign will last for the weeks and months to come.
He's hoping to "exceed expectations" in Iowa, have a strong showing in New Hampshire, and have his brother, former President George W. Bush—"the most popular Republican alive"—join him on the campaign trail, probably by South Carolina.
Bush called on everyone of the Republican field to follow his lead—and Mitt Romney's advice—and release their tax returns. He also questioned U.S. Senator Ted Cruz's foreign policy credentials; said his fellow Floridian, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, was "hypocritical" for complaining about political attacks; and said Donald Trump's campaign was about personal ambition.

 

 9. In Huffington Post, Sam Levine argues why Clinton could not be a crusader for women’s rights, according to Rand Paul.

 

Rand Paul said it is hypocritical for Hillary Clinton to push for women's rights because of her husband Bill Clinton's past sexual transgressions.
The Kentucky senator said during Thursday's GOP debate that if a CEO had been found guilty of similar inappropriate behavior, he would be fired, shunned and never hired again. While he said he didn't hold the Democratic candidate responsible, Paul said the former president's actions weakened Hillary Clinton's credibility.
"The thing is, she can't be a champion of women's rights at the same time she's got this that is always lurking out there, this type of behavior. So it is difficult," Paul said.

 

10. In Huffington Post, Jonathan Cohn explains why Cruz dodges the question when pressed on Obamacare replacement.

And it turned out he had no intention of doing so. Cruz proceeded to explain that, with the health care law gone, he’d do three things: allow people to purchase insurance across state lines, decouple employment and insurance, and allow more people to use health savings accounts.
By themselves, these would do very little to help the uninsured get coverage. (Worse still, allowing cross-state purchasing would undermine state regulations on benefits, making it harder for people with serious medical problems to find comprehensive coverage.)
Truth is, Republicans don’t have a better alternative to the health care law. All of their plans result in far fewer people having insurance, or the people with insurance having much weaker coverage -- because making coverage available to all, at affordable prices, requires a combination of spending, taxes and regulation that Republicans can’t abide.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Reuters, James Oliphant explains why Trump’s debate flap throws Republican party into deeper chaos.

 

For months, Trump has chosen to operate in his own political universe, violating the conventional wisdom that governs presidential campaigns, thumbing his nose at conservative institutions ranging from the Fox News Channel to the National Review and advocating policies at odds with party orthodoxy.

And whether he wins the Iowa caucuses on Monday, Trump’s candidacy promises to continue to upend the established political order as the presidential race intensifies ahead of the Nov. 8 election. Most national opinion polls have him with more than 30 percent of the Republican primary electorate — and those voters are showing little sign of switching to anyone else.

“I think he will have made a permanent impact on the process,” Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and a 2012 presidential candidate, told Reuters. Trump’s campaign, he said, “is one of those great disruptions that reshapes everything.”