Tag Archives: 2016 Election

Is Trump’s Campaign Chairman Hurting His Fund-Raising Efforts?


By hiring Paul Manafort, first as his convention manager and now as his campaign chairman, Donald Trump may have hoped to install a seasoned and respected political hand to round his youthful, unorthodox campaign team into place. But Manafort, a veteran of the Ford, Reagan, Bush and Dole campaigns, appears to be raising more and more questions as the campaign searches for answers, particularly about how it will raise the needed funds to take on the vaunted Clinton finance machine.

Manafort, a long-time lobbyist and international deal-maker, has been scrutinized for his connections to foreign dictators and the so-called “torturers’ lobby.” He has been questioned by authorities conducting an investigation into an international money laundering ring.

But perhaps most disturbing for supporters of Donald Trump may be allegations that Manafort is deliberately sandbagging pro-Trump fundraising efforts in an effort to expand his control and personal profits.

According to sources who claim direct knowledge of the situation, Manafort has been working through back channels to push donors away from existing fundraising vehicles, hampering their efforts. The goal, these sources say, is to ensure failure of the current finance operations in support of Trump, enabling Manafort to steer money to an as-yet unnamed PAC or committee that is controlled by his allies, who could then funnel big backdoor money to him after the election.

A former colleague of Manafort from the Reagan and Bush campaigns said such tactics are consistent with Manafort’s modus operandi. Speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution, the source was unequivocal, saying, “Paul Manafort cares about one thing: Paul Manafort, He will do whatever it takes to ensure his power and make a buck. Even if it undermines and damages his clients.”

I am not placed to assess these claims – and invite Manafort to exercise his right to reply – but it is clear that the allegations are themselves newsworthy, coming as they do at a very sensitive time for Trump.

After largely self-funding his primary campaign, Trump’s fundraising operation appears to be far behind that of Hillary Clinton. Perhaps Trump has an opportunity now to close ground on Hillary while she is engaged in her intra-party fight till the DNC in early August, but that it not very far into the future.

“Every day squandered by these games is a major setback in electing Donald G Trump president,” continued the source. “They need to stop.”

Clinton on If She Would Drop Out If Indicted: ‘I’m Not Even Answering That Question’

At Wednesday’s presidential debate presented by CNN and Univision, 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton attempted to downplay the seriousness of an ongoing Federal Bureau of Investigation probe into what the FBI called “matters related to former Secretary Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server” when she served as Secretary of State.

Debate moderator Jorge Ramos asked Clinton who gave her permission to use private email servers to send 104 emails “that the government now says contain classified information according to The Washington Post analysis,” noting that Clinton had sent a memo to State Department employees requiring them to use official email due to security concerns.

It wasn’t the best choice. I made a mistake. It was not prohibited. It was not in any way disallowed. And as I have said and as now has come out, my predecessors did the same thing and many other people in the government. But here’s the cut to the chase facts. I did not send or receive any emails marked classified at the time. What you are talking about is retroactive classification. And the reason that happens is when somebody asks or when you are asked to make information public, I asked all my emails to be made public. Then all the rest of the government gets to weigh in,” claimed Clinton in reply.

[Reality Check: Hillary Clinton Not Telling Truth About Her “Super-Predator” Claims]

She added, “And some other parts of the government, we’re not exactly sure who, has concluded that some of the emails should be now retroactively classified. They’ve just said the same thing to former Secretary Colin Powell. They have said, we’re going to retroactively classify emails you sent personally. … Now I think he was right when he said this is an absurdity. And I think that what we have got here is a case of overclassification. … There was no permission to be asked. It had been done by my predecessors. It was permitted.

Ramos then pressed Clinton to answer whether she would drop out if she is indicted over the scandal, prompting her to retort, “Oh, for goodness — that’s not going to happen. I’m not even answering that question.

Meanwhile, Politico is reporting that U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch criticized White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest on Wednesday for suggesting that Hillary Clinton is not likely to be indicted as a part of the FBI investigation.

Certainly, it’s my hope when it comes to ongoing investigations, that we would all stay silent. … It is true that neither I nor anyone in the department has briefed Mr. Earnest or anyone in the White House about this matter. I’m simply not aware of the source of his information,” said Lynch.

Earnest subsequently walked back his comments on whether Clinton might be indicted and said, “My comments from that briefing were rooted specifically and entirely on public comments as reported by all of you. … I was making a very specific statement based on what I had read in a wide variety of media accounts. And that is in no way predicated on any secret conversations that I’ve had with the Department of Justice, because I haven’t had any secret conversations with the Department of Justice.

Retired Defense Intelligence Agency chief Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who was appointed by and served under President Obama, urged Clinton to drop out of the race and told CNN, “If it were me, I would have been out the door and probably in jail.

He added, “This over-classification excuse is not an excuse. If it’s classified, it’s classified.

[RELATED: DoJ Grants Immunity to Clinton Staffer Behind Private Email Setup]

Department of State staffer Bryan Pagliano, who worked on Clinton’s private email server, was granted immunity last week in exchange for giving testimony on the matter.

CNN legal analyst Danny Cevallos said, commenting on the implications of a Clinton subordinate being granted immunity, “The big question is whether there is a grand jury convened. The smart bet is yes. After all, the fact that there are immunity agreements logically means there’s a grand jury investigation in some district. The grand jury is typically the genesis of the government’s subpoena power. The next, bigger question, is whether anyone will be indicted.

He added, “The person who often has to worry the most during this process is the person who hasn’t been approached at all by the government. That’s a chilling indicator that you may be the target.

Hillary Clinton specifically said on Monday, according to The Hill, that it is true that neither she nor her lawyers have been told that she is the target of an FBI investigation.

Former U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia Joseph E. diGenova told The Daily Caller on Wednesday that he believes that the FBI is also investigating the Clinton Foundation. “The Bureau has between 100 and 150 agents assigned to the case. They would not have that many people assigned to a classified information case. Based on reports that agents are asking questions about the foundation, it seems to me it is the subject of a second prong of the investigation,” he said.

For more election coverage, click here.

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Chris Christie Endorses Donald Trump for President

Former Republican presidential candidate and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie endorsed current front runner Donald Trump on Friday.

“I am proud to be here to endorse Donald Trump for president of the United States,” Christie said at a press conference. “The best person to beat Hillary Clinton on that stage last night is undoubtedly Donald Trump.”

[RELATED: GOP Debate: Without Rand Paul Present, Chris Christie’s Assad Comments Go Unchallenged]

Christie also referred to Trump’s rival, Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), as “desperate” following Thursday night’s presidential debate.

While CNN described Christie’s move as a “surprise endorsement,” PolitickerNJ reported on Monday that an anonymous source said that Christie “should endorse Trump now— as soon as this week— in order to make himself that first key establishment player to legitimize the tycoon and set himself up as a forward-thinking ally in the Trump camp.”

Jon Ward of Yahoo Politics wrote that he had asked Christie, 24 hours before Christie ended his campaign, why he refrained from going after Trump during a debate ahead of the New Hampshire Primary. While maintaining he could have effectively attacked Trump during that debate, Christie said, “I do so at a time and place of my choosing. There’s no need for me to do that now.”

“Listen, there were plenty of people shooting at Donald over the course of this time, and I wanted to focus on— when the campaign came into real focus— who I had to take on,” said Christie. “The guy I needed to take on in New Hampshire was Marco Rubio.”

[RELATED: Christie Condemns ‘Civil Liberties Extremists’, Argues To Maintain NSA Surveillance In NH Speech]

Christie had, however, criticized Trump in January, describing him as a “thirteen-year-old” for choosing to not attend a debate hosted by Fox News.

“What’s that tell you about what we can expect if things go sideways when you go into the Oval Office? What are you going to do? Go upstairs to the residence and say I’m not playing?” he said. “You know, Vladimir Putin isn’t being nice to me, I’m not going to return his call? The press isn’t being nice to me, I’m not going to hold any more press conferences?”

Last August, Christie told Fox News that “Donald’s a great guy and a good person. But I just don’t think that he’s suited to be president of the United States.”

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Donald Trump Wins Nevada Republican Caucus

Businessman and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump claimed victory in the Nevada Caucus on Tuesday, winning 45.9 percent of the vote and picking up 14 delegates in the state.

Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) took second place with 23.9 percent of the vote earning 7 delegates, followed by Senator Ted Cruz (R-Tx.) in third with 21.4 percent of the vote gaining 6 delegates. Ben Carson had a distant fourth place finish with 4.8 per cent of the vote and 1 delegate, followed by Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich in fifth who received 3.6 percent of the vote and also gained one delegate.

[RELATED: GOP Nevada Caucus Results in Accusations of Polling Irregularities, Double Voting]

During his victory speech, Trump applauded a wide variety of voters who he claimed turned out in Nevada to support him. “We won the evangelicals,” he said, according to CNN. “We won with young. With won with old. We won with highly educated. We won with poorly educated. I love the poorly educated.”

Truth In Media’s Rachel Blevins reported on Wednesday that there were claims of “voting irregularities including ballot shortages and double voting” during the Nevada Caucus. While Trump suggested to voters that rival Cruz’s campaign might engage in “dishonest stuff” during the caucus, claims of voting irregularities were directed at volunteers sporting Trump gear. Twitter users shared photos that claimed to show Trump-supporting volunteers hiding ballots and failing to check IDs.

Trump said that he is looking forward to the SEC Primary and that he’s expecting to see his momentum continue. “I think we’re going to do fantastic in the SEC. I think that’s going to be amazing, what you’re looking at. And you look at some states, where already I’m very close in Texas, and you know you have a senator from Texas. I’m leading — and this … will be the following week — but Florida is looking fantastically. Ohio is looking great,” said Trump, according to Business Insider.

“We just got numbers in on Georgia; we’re doing fantastically well. Arkansas. So we’re looking very, very strong.”

For more election coverage, click here.

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Trump’s South Carolina Victory Signals Rejection of GOP Establishment

As reported previously at Truth In Media, the continued popularity of Donald Trump appears to support the “repudiation of America’s two-party system.”

Governor Nikki Haley (R-SC), Congressman Trey Gowdy (R-SC), and Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) all stumped for Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL). Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) endorsed Jeb Bush, but this didn’t deter voters from giving Trump the win by a huge margin in the First-In-The-South primary.

Haley’s endorsement of Rubio had minimal influence on South Carolina voters according to polls, and her “angry voices” rebuke of Trump during the State of the Union address did not sway voters away from Trump in the Palmetto state.

The election results in S.C. shows a disconnect between voters and the political class within the state.

For example, there were events in S.C. during a recent debate that shocked the Republican establishment.

Trump openly criticized the Iraq war, and was questioned over and over again about a previous statement he made in 2008 saying that George W. Bush should have been impeached. Trump said that the Bush administration lied about WMDs. He also suggested that 9/11 terrorists were financed by the Saudi government and said that Americans will know the truth about what happened on 9/11.

[RELATED: What the Media Missed When Trump Brought Up ‘Very Secret’ Papers]

Trump’s victory appears to demonstrate that voters in a conservative state are no longer offended by these ideas and many are in agreement with Trump.

The S.C. primary is very significant because it is the first time that George W. Bush campaigned for any candidate since leaving the White House. It seems that Trump is more popular there than the Bush’s foreign policy.

According to a recent MSNBC poll, 52% of voters feel betrayed by the GOP, and S.C. voters have made their statement loud and clear.

John Steinberger, former Republican Charleston County Chairman and current co-chair for the SC Charleston County Trump campaign, shared his thoughts about Trump’s win in a conversation with Truth In Media’s Joshua Cook. “As Mr. Trump has been saying for months now, this is not just a Presidential campaign— it’s a movement. So many ordinary Americans are frustrated by the ruling class from both parties, who are more concerned about the big donors than they are about the American people.”

“Years later, we will look back and realize that this movement made America more prosperous and strong than ever before,” said Steinberger.

Former Ron Paul supporter Robbie Bowen told Cook: “(the) Trump movement is not the liberty movement, but it is part of a larger paradigm shift. Neoconservatism lost in S.C. tonight, along with the co-opted pastors & tea party organizations bought & paid for with SuperPAC dollars.”

Ben Swann said last September that “voters are rejecting the Republican Party and what they believe it stands for” in a Reality Check segment that can be seen below.

Reality Check: Support For ‘Outsider’ Candidates Is A Repudiat…

Follow on twitter: http://bit.ly/1KPEVfB7 in 10 Americans say people in politics cannot be trusted. The same group also calls the political system dysfunctional. Is 2016 set to be an historic election because American voters are finally rejecting the two-party system?Learn more: http://bit.ly/1MEvymK

Posted by Ben Swann on Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Follow Joshua Cook on Facebook and Twitter.

Iowa Sec. of State Chides Ted Cruz for Sending ‘Voting Violation’ Mailers to Voters

Iowa Republican Secretary of State Paul Pate issued a statement on Saturday criticizing 2016 GOP presidential candidate and U.S. Senator from Texas Ted Cruz for sending mailers to Iowa voters that grade their past participation in the Iowa Caucuses.

The mailers, which feature the phrase “Voting Violation” at the top of the page, assigned letter grades to characterize the voting records of the recipient and his or her neighbors in past Iowa Caucuses in what has widely been described as a “voter shaming” get-out-the-vote effort.

[RELATED: Reality Check: Ted Cruz Doesn’t Vote To Audit Fed, Took Personal Loan for Campaign from Goldman-Sachs]

An example of one of the mailers, originally appearing in an embedded tweet by Cruz’s 2016 GOP primary rival Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, can be seen below.


Today I was shown a piece of literature from the Cruz for President campaign that misrepresents the role of my office, and worse, misrepresents Iowa election law,” said Sec. Pate according to The Hill.

Accusing citizens of Iowa of a ‘voting violation’ based on Iowa Caucus participation, or lack thereof, is false representation of an official act. There is no such thing as an election violation related to frequency of voting. Any institution or statement to the contrary is wrong and I believe is not in keeping in the spirit of the Iowa Caucuses,” he added.

The Des Moines Register notes that Cruz responded to the controversy by saying, “I will apologize to nobody for using every tool we can to encourage Iowa voters to come out and vote … Iowa, as first in the nation, has an incredibly important role in deciding who the next commander-in-chief of this country will be. We are going to continue to use every tool we can to encourage the men and woman of Iowa to come out, to caucus on Monday night and to stand together as one.

[RELATED: Texas Attorney Files Lawsuit Challenging Sen. Ted Cruz’s Presidential Eligibility]

Cruz’s Iowa campaign chairman Matt Schultz, a former Iowa Secretary of State, argued, “These mailers are common practice to increase voter turnout. Our mailer was modeled after the very successful 2014 mailers that the Republican Party of Iowa distributed to motivate Republican voters to vote, and which helped elect numerous Republican candidates during that cycle.

A tweet by rival GOP presidential candidate and billionaire real estate mogul Donald Trump, seen below, called Cruz’s mailers “dishonest and deceptive.


For more election coverage, click here.

John McAfee Will Seek Libertarian Party Nomination for President

In a recent interview with USA Today, presidential candidate John McAfee announced that he would seek the Libertarian Party nomination.

In early September, the antivirus software pioneer and adventurer announced his presidential candidacy and the creation of a new political party. McAfee said the “Cyber Party” would bring “Privacy, Freedom and Prosperity” to America.

McAfee now says he will put “boots on the ground” by working with the Libertarian Party.

“They have [10] candidates [for president], none of whom have personality,” he told USA Today in a phone interview. McAfee also said on Tuesday he was contacted by a representative from the Libertarian Party and discussed representing the party. The Libertarian Party’s national convention is in May in Orlando, Florida.

Doug Craig, a national board member of the Libertarian Party, told USA Today that McAfee speaks on a number of issues important to the Libertarian Party. “He fits right in with our political philosophy,” Craig said.

Just days before his latest announcement, John McAfee released an open letter to the other presidential candidates.

“We are very rapidly moving toward an unprecedented and existential election for our nation’s next president. America has never faced challenges such as it does now,” McAfee wrote. “The threat level in our world is at a peak; trust in government is at an all-time low. The People are dissatisfied, and we are worried. And as during all such times in human history, we are looking to our leaders for answers.”

McAfee also criticized politicians for fighting to gain or maintain power rather than serving the will of the people.

“How can any of us be expected to focus solely on the needs of the American People in the true spirit of service if we are distracted by the problem of retaining power? That is why I pledge to the American People that, if elected, I will not seek a second term.”

McAfee goes on to say that he will be a “a servant leader” and a “president who will set to work immediately, unencumbered by considerations of winning re-election.”

McAfee, perhaps best known for creating the McAfee antivirus software, is clearly not worried about what the media or political pundits say about his radical ideas. The seventy-year old adventurer is no stranger to controversy.

He was once connected to a murder in Belize which led him to flee into the jungles of Central America, though he no longer stands accused of anything. He is also known for creating apps and promoting the benefits of yoga.

Truth in Media’s Derrick Broze recently spoke with John McAfee about the core issues of his campaign, his thoughts on the other candidates, the incident in Belize, and much more. Please watch the interview below to learn more about why John McAfee is running for president.



GOP Debate: Rand Paul Warns of Consequences of Regime Change in Syria

The fifth GOP debate of the 2016 presidential election was hosted by CNN on Tuesday, and it highlighted the candidates’ positions on foreign policy, terrorism and national security.

When asked if he still believes the hawks in the GOP are responsible for the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said he thinks “if you believe in regime change, you’re mistaken.”

Paul said that after the U.S., Saudi Arabia and Qatar “put 600 tons of weapons” into the war against Bashar al-Assad in Syria in 2013, it created a safe space. “We had people coming to our Foreign Relations Committee and saying, ‘Oh, we need to arm the allies of Al Qaeda,'” Paul said. “They are still saying this. It is a crazy notion.”

[pull_quote_center]This is the biggest debate we should be having tonight: Is regime change a good idea; has it been a good idea? There are still people—the majority on the stage—they want to topple Assad. And then there will be chaos, and I think ISIS will then be in charge of Syria.[/pull_quote_center]

[RELATED: Truth In Media: the Origin of ISIS]

CNN moderator Wolf Blitzer asked Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fl.) to chime in on the subject, and while Rubio called for a broader coalition to strengthen the fight against ISIS, he also claimed Assad is one of the main reasons ISIS exists.

[pull_quote_center]Assad is one of the main reasons why ISIS even exists to begin with. Assad is a puppet of Iran. And he has been so brutal toward the Sunni within Syria that he created the space that led to the people of Syria themselves to stand up and try to overthrow him.[/pull_quote_center]

Rubio said the fact that President Obama “led from behind” meant that there were “no alternative groups left to fight ISIS,” and that “led to the chaos which allowed ISIS to come in and take advantage of that situation and grow more powerful.”

[RELATED: Reality Check: Proof U.S. Government Wanted ISIS to Emerge in Syria]

When asked if he thought overthrowing Saddam Hussein was a good idea, Paul said although he thinks regime change is a bad idea, it doesn’t mean “Hussein was necessarily a good idea.”

[pull_quote_center]What we have to decide is whether or not regime change is a good idea. It’s what the neoconservatives have wanted. It’s what the vast majority of those on the stage want. They still want regime change. They want it in Syria. They wanted it in Iraq. They want it in Libya. It has not worked.[/pull_quote_center]

For more election coverage, click here.

Trump’s Proposal to Ban Muslim Immigration Draws Criticism From Political Figures

GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump’s immigration policies drew criticism on Monday after he released his proposal to prevent Muslim immigration to the United States.

Trump released a statement on Monday calling for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”

Highlighting a poll from the Center for Security Policy, the statement claimed that “25% of those polled agreed that violence against Americans here in the United States is justified as a part of the global jihad.”

“Without looking at the various polling data, it is obvious to anybody the hatred is beyond comprehension,” Trump said. “Where this hatred comes from and why we will have to determine. Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life.”

The Intercept described the Center for Security Policy as a think tank “led by Frank Gaffney, a far-right activist who theorized that the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated the U.S. government,” and pointed that the poll cited by Trump has “no statistical validity” because it was a “non-probability based, opt-in online survey.”

House Speaker Paul Ryan criticized Trump’s proposal on Tuesday, saying that although he usually does not comment on the Republican presidential race, he was making an exception.

“Freedom of religion is a fundamental constitutional principle. It’s a founding principle of this country,” Ryan said. “This is not conservatism. What was proposed yesterday is not what this party stands for. And more importantly, it’s not what this country stands for.”

Trump’s proposal received criticism from GOP rivals such as former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who called the proposal “the kind of thing people say when they have no experience and don’t know what they’re talking about.”

“What we need to do is increase our intelligence capabilities activity both around the world and in the homeland,” Christie said. “We need to back up our law enforcement officers, who are out fighting this fight everyday, give them the tools they need.”

When asked by The Hill if Trump’s proposal would go as far as to exclude Muslim-American citizens who are currently out of the country, Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks said, “Mr. Trump says, ‘everyone.’ ”

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush criticized Trump on Twitter, describing Trump as “unhinged.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC.), who has made questionable remarks in the past such as reportedly saying that “Everything that starts with ‘Al’ in the Middle East is bad news,” took to Twitter to criticize Trump.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fl.) referred to Trump’s proposal as another one of his “offensive and outlandish” statements.

When asked for their opinions on Trump’s proposal to ban Muslim immigration, both Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tx.) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) did not criticize their rival, and instead presented their own proposals for how they would deal with refugees.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton called Trump’s proposal “reprehensible, prejudiced and divisive,” and insisted that it would make the U.S. less safe.

Trump’s proposal also received criticism from GOP officials in the first three states to vote in the primary process states, who usually stay neutral when it comes to presidential primary contests.

Jeff Kaufmann, chair of the Iowa GOP, said on Twitter that “our founding principles are stronger than political cynicism,” and that while the GOP believes Obama has failed on ISIS, it also believes “we don’t make ourselves safer by betraying bedrock Constitutional values.”

Jennifer Horn, the chair of the New Hampshire GOP, said “There should never be a day in the United States of America when people are excluded based solely on their race or religion,” and said to do so, “It is un-Republican. It is unconstitutional. And it is un-American.”

Matt Moore, the chair of the South Carolina GOP, called Trump’s proposal a “bad idea” and said it sent a shiver down his spine.


 For more election coverage, click here.

Sen. Graham: Without U.S. Boots on the Ground vs. ISIS, ‘There’s a 9/11 Coming’

U.S. Senator from South Carolina and 2016 Republican presidential candidate Lindsey Graham said on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday that the U.S. will be victimized by a terror attack if it does not send ground troops to fight ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

I’m trying to protect America from another 9/11, and without American boots on the ground in Syria and Iraq, we’re gonna get hit here at home. And if you don’t understand that, you’re not ready to be commander-in-chief in my view,” Sen. Graham told CNN’s Jake Tapper.

[RELATED: Ron Paul on ‘What Should Be Done’ About Paris Terror Attacks]

Tapper asked Graham whether he believes that France should activate the North Atlantic Treaty’s Article 5 provision which would draw France’s NATO allies, including the U.S., into a formal, declared war against ISIS.

They should. The world should be at war with ISIL,” replied Graham.

NATO’s Article 5 provision has previously been invoked only one time — following the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks on New York City.

There is a 9/11 coming, and it is coming from Syria if we don’t disrupt their operation inside of Syria,” said Graham.

Sen. Graham called for the U.S. to declare a no-fly zone over Syria, where Russia is currently carrying out air strikes against ISIS. He also suggested that the U.S. should contribute 10,000 troops to a regional coalition to fight in the conflict.

[RELATED: Russian-Backed Syrian Army Defeats ISIS at Aleppo]

We would take back land held by ISIL and hold it until Syria repairs itself,” said Graham, advocating for a post-war U.S. occupation of portions of Iraq and Syria.

If we don’t do these things soon, what you’ve seen in Paris is coming to America,” Graham claimed.

Earlier this year, Ben Swann released a Truth in Media video exposing how U.S. foreign policy led to the rise of ISIS. Watch it in the below-embedded video player.


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Fox Business Drops Huckabee, Christie from Main Stage in Upcoming GOP Debate

Fox Business Network has announced the lineup for its televised, Wall Street Journal co-hosted Nov. 10 Republican presidential debate at the Milwaukee Theater in Milwaukee, Wis.

In a departure from previous GOP debates, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee did not qualify for prime-time,” noted Fox Business. “Instead the 9 p.m. EST roster will feature real estate mogul Donald Trump; retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson; Florida Sen. Marco Rubio; Texas Sen. Ted Cruz; former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush; former HP (HPQ) CEO Carly Fiorina; Ohio Gov. John Kasich; and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.

The network’s junior varsity debate will begin at 7 p.m. EST and will feature Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore, and former New York Gov. George Pataki fell short of the polling required to qualify for the debate’s second stage and will be excluded from the event entirely.

[RELATED: Ad for Fox Business GOP Debate Blasts CNBC’s Debate Questions]

A Jeb Bush tweet, seen below, criticized Fox Business for excluding Lindsey Graham.

Christie and Huckabee tweeted responses to the news of their demotion to the network’s second stage.

MSNBC pointed out that Trump said that it would be “fair” for Fox Business to include Huckabee and Christie on the main stage.


According to The Hill, an adviser to former New York Gov. Pataki said that he is not dropping out of the race and will be appearing at campaign events in New Hampshire later this week.

Fox Business Network’s 7 p.m. undercard debate will last one hour and will be moderated by Fox Business anchors Sandra Smith and Trish Regan and Wall Street Journal Washington Bureau Chief Gerald Seib. The 9 p.m. prime time contest will run for two hours and will be moderated by Fox Business anchors Neil Cavuto and Maria Bartiromo and Wall Street Journal Editor-in-Chief Gerard Baker.

A midnight, post-debate episode of Stossel is set to feature a studio audience that will give what Fox Business characterizes as the “libertarian” reaction to the debate.

For more election coverage, click here.

Ben Carson Says He Opposes Legal Pot, Would ‘Intensify’ Drug War

2016 GOP presidential candidate and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson told Glenn Beck on Wednesday that he opposes the legalization of marijuana and that he would “intensify” the federal government’s War on Drugs.

During a rapid-fire question-and-answer session on Glenn Beck’s radio program, seen in the above-embedded video at around the 1:30 mark, Beck asked Carson, “Do you continue the War on Drugs?

Absolutely,” replied Carson. “I intensify it.”

Glenn Beck followed up, “Let me ask you a question. How? I mean, it doesn’t seem to be working now.

Carson responded, “Well, go down to the border in Arizona like I was a few weeks ago. I mean, it’s an open highway, and the federal government isn’t doing anything to stop it.

Continuing his rapid-fire questioning, Beck asked, “Legalize marijuana?

I disagree with it,” responded Carson.

[RELATED: Christie Tells Colo. Pot Smokers to “Enjoy It” Now As He Will Bust Them As President]

During the round of questions, Carson also called warrantless NSA spying “terrible,” said that he supports building “the right kind” of border fence, and called for the development of a “double fence” with increased border patrols. He said that he would deport undocumented immigrants “if they qualify as illegals,” but that he would “give people the ability to register in a certain period of time and if they have pristine records and they are willing to work as guest workers under the circumstances that we survive, they could stay.

But they don’t become citizens and they don’t vote,” he added. He also said that he supports fining businesses that hire undocumented workers.

Carson said that he would not have invaded Iraq in 2003 based on what is known now, but he feels that U.S. ground troops are needed there now as a “stabilizing force” against ISIS.

[RELATED: Ben Carson: U.S. Dollar ‘Not Based on Anything. Why Would We Be Continuing to Do That?’]

Carson offered his support for domestic oil drilling and the development of the Keystone Pipeline. He also stated his opposition to national educational standards and expressed that, unless the organization changes, he supports de-funding and withdrawing U.S. participation from the United Nations.

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Jim Webb Withdraws from Democratic Primary, is Considering Independent Run

Former U.S. Senator from Virginia Jim Webb announced today at the National Press Club in Washington that he has withdrawn from the Democratic primary for president of the United States. However, he says that he is considering launching an independent bid for the presidency in 2016 instead.

I fully accept that my views on many issues are not compatible with the power structure and nominating base of the Democratic Party. That party is filled with millions of dedicated, hard-working Americans, but its hierarchy is not comfortable with many of the policies that I have laid forth, and, frankly, I’m not that comfortable with many of theirs. For this reason, I’m withdrawing from any consideration of being the Democratic Party’s nominee for the presidency,” said Webb in the above-embedded CNN video.

[RELATED: Jim Webb Accuses CNN of Rigging Democratic Debate to Benefit Sanders, Clinton]

Webb added, “This does not reduce in any way my concerns for the challenges facing our country, my belief that I can provide the best leadership in order to meet these challenges, or my intentions to remain fully engaged in the debates that are facing us. How I remain as a voice will depend on what kind of support I am shown in the coming weeks as I meet with people from all sides of America’s political landscape — and I intend to do that.

NPR notes that Webb said, “Poll after poll shows that a strong plurality of Americans is neither Republican nor Democrat. Overwhelmingly they’re independents. Our political candidates are being pulled to the extremes. They are increasingly out of step with the people they are supposed to serve.

Webb, who stated that other people say that he often comes across as a “Republican in a room full of Democrats or a Democrat in a room full of Republicans,” answered a reporter’s question as to whether he still considers himself a Democrat by saying, “We will think about that.

According to CNN, Webb said, “The very nature of our democracy is under siege due to the power structure and the money that finances both political parties.”

He called for “a new Declaration of Independence — not from an outside power but from the paralysis of a federal system that no longer serves the interests of the vast majority of the American people.

Commenting on Webb’s shift from the Democratic primary to a possible independent presidential bid, 2016 Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump told The Boston Herald, “I think he should, I’d love to see him as an independent. He’d be wonderful as an independent. He’d be a lot better as an independent than he would as a Democrat because I watched (the first Democratic primary debate) the other night and he was not registering as a Democrat.

Trump added, “I hope he has a lot of money, because it’s a very expensive process.

Describing a private conversation that he reportedly had with Webb over the weekend in comments to CNN, the former U.S. Senator’s friend and informal adviser Mudcat Saunders said, “We were just b—-ing about the way our party has moved. They have given up on the South, they have given up on the heartland, on rural America. It is a math game and the math is not going to work. It might work once and it might work twice. We just don’t like the Democratic Party’s strategy.

[RELATED: POLL: Do You Think Jim Webb Should Run as an Independent?]

The Truth in Media Project recently released a Consider This video highlighting the fact that independent voters now outnumber Republicans and Democrats. Watch in the below-embedded video player.


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CNN Reportedly Planning Less-Confrontational Format for Democratic Debate

CNN anchor Anderson Cooper said on Sunday’s episode of Reliable Sources on CNN that he is preparing more substantive and less confrontational debate questions than the type Jake Tapper asked Republicans during the network’s GOP presidential debate.

I’m always uncomfortable with that notion of setting people up in order to kind of promote some sort of a face-off. I think these are all serious people. This is a serious debate. They want to talk about the issues. And I want to give them an opportunity to do that,” said Cooper according to The Chicago Tribune.

The level of humility and seriousness in this debate will be stark compared to what has been happening in the Republican debates, and that’s a good thing for our party,” said Democratic strategist Stephanie Cutter.

Washington Examiner notes that Jake Tapper, the moderator of CNN’s September 16 GOP presidential debate, said prior to that contest that he was “trying to craft questions that, in most cases, pit candidates against the other.

Cooper said that his decision to devise a less-confrontational format was motivated by the tone of the Sanders and Clinton campaigns. “[Bernie Sanders] is not going to go after [front-runner] Hillary Clinton by name, he’s not going to criticize her. And I see no reason that Hillary Clinton would do that with any of the candidates,” asserted Cooper.

[RELATED: DONEGAN: If GOP Debate Stage Can Fit 11, Let Third Parties In General Election Debates]

However, University of Virginia Center for Politics political analyst Geoffrey Skelley suggested that the lower-polling candidates in the debate might benefit from going on the offensive, “On the campaign trail [the Democratic candidates have] been a little reticent to overly criticize [Clinton] but they might if they realize this is their one shot. Sanders actually might benefit in that sense that if he is in a position where the three lower-tier guys are attacking Clinton.

Democratic strategist and CNN analyst Paul Begala said, “Let’s be honest: Donald Trump truly is a ratings machine. Twenty-three million people did not tune in to [the Republican debate] to see Marco Rubio. So, unless the Democrats can talk one of the Kardashians into running, don’t expect the Democrats’ ratings to approach the Republicans’.

CNN’s televised Democratic debate, the first of the season, is set to kick off on Tuesday night at 9 p.m. EST at the Wynn Las Vegas hotel and casino. The contest will feature former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), former U.S. Senator Jim Webb (D-Va.), former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, and former Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee.

The contest is being co-presented by Facebook and, in addition to moderator Anderson Cooper, will feature questions by correspondent Dana Bash, anchor Don Lemon, and CNN en Espanol anchor Juan Carlos.

Democratic presidential candidate and Harvard professor Lawrence Lessig, who claims to have collected over $1 million in campaign contributions, will not be included in the debate as he failed to obtain at least 1 percent support in the specific polls outlined in CNN’s debate qualifications. However, Lessig was not included as a response in most of those polls.

If Vice President Joe Biden were to announce his candidacy today, he would qualify to participate under the debate’s criteria, meaning a last minute surprise entry by Biden could be within the realm of possibility.

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Ben Carson: U.S. Dollar ‘Not Based on Anything. Why Would We Be Continuing to Do That?’

During an interview on economics last week, 2016 GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson raised questions about U.S. monetary policy and said that as president he would not authorize any government spending increases.

Outlining his government spending policy, Carson told Marketplace:

[pull_quote_center]If we simply refuse to extend the budget by one penny for three to four years, you got a balanced budget. Just like that. So this is not pie in the sky, very difficult thing to accomplish. Having said that, one of the bugaboos that has kept us from reducing government in the past is sacred cows. What I would do is first of all, allow the government to shrink by attrition. Don’t replace the people who are retiring, thousands of them each year. And No. 2: Take every departmental head, or sub-department head and tell them, ‘I want a 3 to 4 percent reduction.’ Now anybody who tells me there’s not 3 to 4 percent fat in virtually everything that we do is fibbing to themselves.[/pull_quote_center]

When Carson was asked by Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal whether he would support now-routine increases to the U.S. debt limit, he replied, “Let me put it this way: if I were the president, I would not sign an increased budget. Absolutely would not do it. They would have to find a place to cut… I would provide the kind of leadership that says, ‘Get on the stick guys, and stop messing around, and cut where you need to cut, because we’re not raising any spending limits, period.’

[RELATED: Ben Carson Says He Would Secure U.S.-Mexico Border with Drone Strikes]

He added, “I mean if we continue along this, where does it stop? It never stops. You’re always gonna ask the same question every year. And we’re just gonna keep going down that pathway. That’s one of the things I think that the people are tired of.

Carson then raised questions about America’s fiat monetary system and said that it enables out-of-control spending:

[pull_quote_center]Now the only reason that we can sustain that kind of debt is because of our artificial ability to print money, to create what we think is wealth, but it is not wealth, because it’s based upon our faith and credit. You know, we decoupled it from the domestic gold standard in 1933, and from the international gold standard in 1971, and since that time, it’s not based on anything. Why would we be continuing to do that?[/pull_quote_center]

Responding to a question asking him to pinpoint the gravest issue facing the U.S. economy, Carson said, “I think our debt is horrendous. You know, one of the things that happens with this level of debt is that it’s very difficult for the Fed to raise interest rates. And why is that such a problem? Well it used to be that Joe the Butcher would take 5 percent of his earnings every week and put it into a savings account. And he would watch that grow over two, or three, or four decades. And by the time he was ready to retire, he was in good shape. Now, poor people and middle-class people really don’t have a mechanism to grow their money. The only people who can grow their money are people who have a certain risk tolerance. And those tend to be upper-income people who can utilize the stock market.

Noticing what appeared to be Carson’s anti-Federal Reserve rhetoric, Ryssdal asked him to comment specifically on the Federal Reserve and its chair Janet Yellen. Carson balked at the chance to criticize either directly and said, “Well, you know, I’ve known Janet Yellen for a long time. We’ve served on boards together, and she’s a very intelligent individual, very responsible, and obviously is trying to do what she thinks is right. But she’s caught between a rock and a hard place, and I understand that. And that’s why I would tend to really put the emphasis on driving down our debt, because that’s how we begin to correct the problem. You know, unless we correct the fundamental problems, all the other stuff we’re doing isn’t going to matter that much.

Carson also said that early wealthy American industrialists built the foundation for America’s economic engine. “You know, the Europeans, they looked over here and they saw the Rockefellers, and the Vanderbilts, and the Fords, and the Kelloggs, and the Carnegies, and the Mellons, and they said you can’t run a country like that. You’ve gotta have an overarching government that receives all the funding and equity that redistributes it, so we actually inspired socialism.”

“But all of those people that I just mentioned,” Carson continued, “they didn’t just hoard money and pass it down from generation to generation, they built the infrastructure of our country. They build the transcontinental railroads and seaports and textile mills and factories that enabled the development of the most powerful and dynamic middle class the world has ever seen, which rapidly propelled us to the pinnacle,” he said.

Commenting on Carson’s questioning of America’s fiat currency system, Washington Post writer Matt O’Brien implied that the retired neurosurgeon is not a “candidate of serious policy,” criticized the concept of a gold dollar standard, and defended the Federal Reserve’s manipulation of interest rates.

Mises Institute’s Ryan McMaken then challenged O’Brien’s critique of Carson on the issue. “Without a hint of irony, O’Brien suggests that interest rates guided by the market simply lack the wisdom of our current PhD Standard,” said McMaken.

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Gallup Quits Presidential Primary Horse Race Polling, Will Continue Issue-Based Polls

Top pollster Gallup will not be conducting presidential horse race polls during the 2016 primary season and may also abandon them for the general election. Instead, the company will focus on polls that test voters’ opinions on key issues.

According to Politico, the shift in priorities follows Gallup’s poor 2012 polling performance in which its polls overestimated Mitt Romney’s level of support. Politico’s Steven Shepard characterized Gallup as “the country’s gold standard for horse-race election polling ever since its legendary founder, George Gallup, predicted Franklin Roosevelt’s landslide reelection in 1936,” emphasizing the historic nature of the company’s current transition, which comes as many top pollsters question the usefulness of modern presidential horse race polls for applications such as narrowing down the participants in presidential debates.

[RELATED: DONEGAN: If GOP Debate Stage Can Fit 11, Let Third Parties In General Election Debates]

Gallup editor-in-chief Frank Newport said that “to date” his company has decided to abandon presidential primary horse race polling for the 2016 season and it has not yet decided whether to do them for the general election. “We believe to put our time and money and brainpower into understanding the issues and priorities is where we can most have an impact,” said Newport.

The New York Times notes that Newport told a gathering of reporters and pollsters in June of 2013 that “there is something going on in the industry, and Gallup was at the bottom of that [in 2012],” referring to the changing nature of polling as voters shift from using land lines to smartphones and web technology at varying rates across different demographics.

Though Gallup is reportedly beginning to experiment with internet and smartphone-based polling, questions remain about the effectiveness of such methods. Consequently, Newport said that for this election cycle the focus will be on “understanding where the public stands on the issues of the day, how they are reacting to the proposals put forth by the candidates, what it is they want the candidates to do, and what messages or images of the candidates are seeping into the public’s consciousness.

Pew Research Center also appears to be shifting away from horse race polling, as the nonprofit pollster has not conducted a traditional horse race poll so far during this presidential cycle. Carroll Doherty, director of political research at Pew Research Center, confirmed the change and said, “We’re not going to track the horse race in the same way we have in the past.

Rutgers professor and former American Association for Public Opinion Research president Cliff Zukin told Politico, “In this case, the problem is both cause and effect. The difficulty in doing this well has caused major players to not participate. That means there’s even less legitimacy [in presidential horse race polling] because people who know how to do this right aren’t doing it.

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Hillary Clinton Opposed Federal ‘Blanket Rules’ on Guns in 2008 Campaign

Following a mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton indicated that if elected in 2016, she would use executive action to enforce stricter gun control laws, which marked a notable difference from her stance in her 2008 campaign in which she cautioned against federal “blanket rules.”

At town hall meetings in New Hampshire on Monday, Clinton vowed to enact a new set of rules to increase background checks, to hold gun sellers “fully accountable if they endanger Americans,” and to tighten a “loophole” found in selling guns online and at gun shows, noting that executive action may be necessary.

Clinton’s website states that if Congress refused to act, she would “take administrative action to require that any person attempting to sell a significant number of guns be deemed ‘in the business’ of selling firearms.”

During a debate in April 2008 between Clinton and Barack Obama, Clinton spoke out against the federal government imposing “blanket rules” on gun rights when the debate focused on discussion of a possible handgun ban in Washington D.C.

“You know, we have a set of rules in New York City and we have a totally different set of rules in the rest of the state. What might work in New York City is certainly not going to work in Montana,” Clinton said. “So, for the federal government to be having any kind of, you know, blanket rules that they’re going to try to impose, I think doesn’t make sense.”

The Washington Times reported that also in April 2008, Clinton tried to set herself apart from Obama by criticizing comments he made about people in small towns clinging to religion and guns “as a way to explain their frustrations.”

“I grew up in a church-going family, a family that believed in the importance of living out and expressing our faith,” Clinton said during a 2008 campaign rally in Indianapolis. “The people of faith I know don’t ‘cling to’ religion because they’re bitter. People embrace faith not because they are materially poor, but because they are spiritually rich.”

Clinton reminisced about her father teaching her how to shoot when she was young, and said that she believes parents teaching their children how to shoot is “part of culture.” 

“You know, some people now continue to teach their children and their grandchildren. It’s part of culture. It’s part of a way of life,” Clinton said. “People enjoy hunting and shooting because it’s an important part of who they are. Not because they are bitter.”

Clinton also said she believes that Americans “who believe in the Second Amendment believe it’s a constitutional right,” and that Americans “who believe in God believe it’s a matter of personal faith.”

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Pollsters Criticize Use of Polling Minimums to Exclude Candidates from Debates

Amid widespread dispute over the usefulness of polling in determining who should be allowed to appear in presidential debates, a survey of top pollsters suggests that some leading professionals in the polling industry believe that their product is not an effective tool for that purpose.

The issue of minimum polling requirements being used as a qualifier for debates is currently causing significant controversy in both major political parties’ primaries, as both of them now use ever-changing polling minimums to narrow down the number of candidates throughout the election cycle, and in the general election, in which the Republican and Democrat controlled Commission on Presidential Debates requires independent candidates to meet a nigh-impossible 15 percent minimum threshold of support in national polls.

Politico conducted a survey of the opinions of top pollsters and found that many of them believe that public opinion polls lack the precision to measure the small-scale changes in support that determine the rankings between candidates.

Rutgers University professor and former president of the American Association for Public Opinion Research said, “Polls are being used to do a job that they’re really not intended for — and they’re not as qualified for as they used to be. It’s like asking a scale that can only tell pounds to measure ounces. They’re just not that finely calibrated. … I think polls can do a good job talking about tiers of candidates in name recognition. That’s all that polls can do. But they can’t tell the difference between Bobby Jindal, who’s not in the [Republican primary] debate, and Chris Christie, who is.

Pew Research Center associate director Jocelyn Kiley cautioned, “These numbers all have a margin of error around them. We try very hard, as do most of our colleagues in the field, to make clear when there are significant differences and when there aren’t.

In a packed Republican primary, the differences between the amounts of support obtained by, for example, a fourth place candidate and a sixth place candidate often fall within the survey’s margin of error.

[RELATED: DONEGAN: If GOP Debate Stage Can Fit 11, Let Third Parties In General Election Debates]

Worse still, some otherwise-eligible candidates are not included in nationwide polls in the first place. Presidential Debate News notes that Democratic presidential candidate and Harvard Law School professor Larry Lessig is on pace to be excluded from CNN’s October 13 Democratic presidential debate due to the fact that he has not obtained at least 1 percent support in a specific set of polls that do not include him as a response. Lessig did garner 1 percent support in a September Public Policy Polling survey that is not included in the Democratic National Committee’s list of qualified polls.

Politico’s Steven Shepard pointed out the fact that Senator Rand Paul’s ability to qualify for CNBC’s upcoming October 28 Republican presidential debate hangs in the balance over a statistically-insignificant “0.25 percent — essentially, a matter of two respondents in all the [qualified] polls put together.

[RELATED: Petition: A Joint Town Hall with Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders]

Marist College Institute for Public Opinion director Lee Miringoff suspended GOP polling in advance of Fox News’ first Republican presidential debate of the season in protest as he objected to excluding candidates on the basis of early polls. “It’s a problem when it’s shaping who gets to sit at the table,” Miringoff told Politico.

The issue is particularly alienating for independent voters, who are forced through taxation to fund the primaries of the Democratic and Republican parties. The top two parties’ nominees automatically qualify for general election presidential debates. However, independent candidates must obtain 15 percent support in nationwide polls to qualify for participation in presidential debates, fifteen times the level of support required for entry-level qualifications for many Democratic and Republican party presidential primary contests. That minimum 15 percent requirement effectively blocks independents, like Green and Libertarian Party candidates who lack the wealth to promote themselves to celebrity status but who sometimes qualify for nationwide ballot access, from appearing in even one presidential debate, preventing them from having an opportunity to share their platforms with voters.

For context, the Truth in Media Project released a Consider This video earlier this year highlighting the fact that independent voters now outnumber Republicans and Democrats. Watch it in the below-embedded video player.


CNBC Releases Criteria for Inclusion in Oct. 28 GOP Presidential Debate

CNBC released the candidates’ criteria on Wednesday for its upcoming televised October 28 Republican presidential debate, the third of the 2016 election season. The contest, titled “Your Money, Your Vote: The Presidential Debate on the Economy,” will feature Chuck Todd from NBC’s Meet the Press as a moderator and is set to take place at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colo.

Though initial reports suggested that CNBC might forego having a second-tier debate for candidates who fail to qualify for the main stage, the news network has confirmed that it will indeed offer an undercard round, which will begin at 6:00 p.m. EST. CNBC’s prime time debate will kick off afterwards at 8:00 p.m. EST.

CNBC wrote in an announcement on the debate’s criteria, “National polls will be used to determine a candidate’s eligibility and placement on the stage. To be eligible to appear in either segment, a candidate must have at least 1% in any one of the methodologically sound and recognized national polls conducted by: NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox, CNN and Bloomberg, released between September 17, 2015 and October 21, 2015.

The announcement continued, “To appear in the 8pm debate a candidate must have an average of 3% among these polls. The polls will be averaged and will be rounded up to 3% for any candidate with a standing of 2.5% or higher. Candidates who average below that will be invited to the 6pm debate.

[RELATED: DONEGAN: If GOP Debate Stage Can Fit 11, Let Third Parties In General Election Debates]

NBC News pointed out as an example that “based only on this week’s NBC News/WSJ poll,” “Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, Carly Fiorina, Jeb Bush, John Kasich, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Chris Christiewould qualify for the main stage, “Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum and Bobby Jindal” would only qualify for the second-tier stage, and “Lindsey Graham, George Pataki and Jim Gilmore” would fail to qualify for either round.

CBS News’ Reena Flores wrote, “The CNBC criteria could also spell danger for one Republican contender teetering on the edge of the first tier debate stage: Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul. Paul’s current poll numbers average at 2.8 percent — enough to round up to 3 percent and secure a spot in the primetime debate. But two new polls at 2 percent would be all it takes to shove Paul into CNBC’s earlier debate.

[RELATED: Reality Check: Can The Republican Party Kick Donald Trump Out Of The Debates?]

Senator Rand Paul’s presidential campaign sounded an optimistic tone about the criteria in comments to Breibart, noting that Paul’s current polling results are on pace to qualify him for inclusion on the debate’s main stage.

We are pleased that Senator Rand Paul will be on the main stage in Colorado. We look forward to seeing him present a clear vision for liberty later this month,” said Paul campaign communications director Sergio Gor.

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Dr. Ron Paul: Election Process “Is Orchestrated By Mainstream Media”

Dr. Ron Paul, former Congressman and host of The Ron Paul Liberty Report, told RT’s Ameera David that he believes the mainstream media orchestrates some of the election process, and that presidential candidate Donald Trump is an authoritarian and brags about it.

[Related: Lew Rockwell Calls for Grassroots Campaign to Draft Ron Paul for House Speaker]

Ameera David: I first asked Dr. Paul what he thinks it says that the three candidates from the private sector are doing the best, does that mean the economy is the foremost issue on the minds of most Americans?

Ron Paul: Well probably yes, but if you look at the Democrat side, you have someone like Bernie Sanders, who has been in nothing else except politics. And he’s doing pretty well. And most incumbents are reelected.

So I think some of this stuff in the presidential campaigns is orchestrated by the major media. It is entertainment. They have competitions going on and on. So I don’t put a lot of stock [in the presdential process], this is still pretty early. ..

Donald Trump is an authoritarian and he brags about it. “I’m the boss and I tell people what to do.” Well, government happens to be a little different than that.

An authoritarian is the opposite of a libertarian. A libertarian wants to release the individuals, get government out of our lives, out of the economy, and out of all these places around the world…

H/T Real Clear Politics