Tag Archives: 2016 Presidential Primary

Carson: No ‘Political Path Forward’

Retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson told his supporters on Wednesday that he does “not see a political path forward.” Though he did not formally suspend his campaign, he announced that he will not be attending the Republican debate on Thursday.

Carson wrote in a Facebook post:

“I have decided not to attend the Fox News GOP Presidential Debate tomorrow night in Detroit. Even though I will not be in my hometown of Detroit on Thursday, I remain deeply committed to my home nation, America. I do not see a political path forward in light of last evening’s Super Tuesday primary results. However, this grassroots movement on behalf of ‘We the People’ will continue. Along with millions of patriots who have supported my campaign for President, I remain committed to Saving America for Future Generations. We must not depart from our goals to restore what God and our Founders intended for this exceptional nation.

I appreciate the support, financial and otherwise, from all corners of America. Gratefully, my campaign decisions are not constrained by finances; rather by what is in the best interests of the American people.

I will discuss more about the future of this movement during my speech on Friday at CPAC in Washington, D.C.

– Ben”

According to The Daily Caller, Carson will not likely run for an open seat in the Florida Senate as previously suggested briefly by Politico.

Dr. Carson rose to political fame in 2013 after criticizing policies of President Barack Obama while Obama sat a few feet away during a speech he gave at the National Prayer Breakfast. In November, Carson rose to the top of the political polls and his message of being an “outsider” seemed to resonate with voters.

Dr. Carson made some controversial statements during his campaign, and began to lose voter support following a growing perception of being “low energy.”

Dr. Carson has a scheduled speech at CPAC this year and will be giving details to his supporters about the future plans of his “grassroots movement.”

In a below-embedded Reality Check segment from November 2015, Ben Swann discussed media reports that cast Carson in a negative light, including articles from CNN and Politico that challenged the credibility of statements made by Carson.

Reality Check: Is Ben Carson The Latest Victim Of Flawed Media…

Dr. Ben Carson has been clobbered by the media over past few days about statements he made years ago in a book about his life… but is it the media that needs to get their stories straight?

Posted by Ben Swann on Wednesday, November 11, 2015

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.

Follow Annabelle Bamforth on Twitter.

Jim Webb Announces That He Will Not Launch Independent Presidential Bid

Former Democratic U.S. Senator from Virginia and Secretary of the Navy Jim Webb announced on Thursday that he has decided against sparking an independent campaign for president of the United States.

Even though this is a conceivable thing, we are not able to put together the kind of funding that would allow us to get on the ballots during this period of time and to actually run a campaign that could seriously look at the presidency,” said Webb at Thursday’s announcement at the World Affairs Council in Dallas, Texas according to The Dallas Morning News.

Webb added, seemingly indicating that he is not yet planning to endorse another candidate, “We have not had a clear statement of national security policy since the end of the Cold War, and I see no one running for president today who has a firm understanding of the elements necessary to build a national strategy.

In July of 2015, Webb announced that he would seek the Democratic Party’s nomination for president. However, he failed to gain traction within the party and dropped out of its primary in October of 2015.

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

As Webb withdrew from the primary, he complained that party officials and debate moderators were rigging the process for Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders and that his “views on many issues are not compatible with the power structure and nominating base of the Democratic Party.” Those complaints are what Webb said initially led him to consider an independent run.

Politico notes that Webb’s campaign only raised $68,000 in the last quarter of 2015.

The Truth in Media Project released a Consider This video in July of 2015 highlighting the fact that independent voters now outnumber Republicans and Democrats. Watch it in the below-embedded video player.


For more election coverage, click here.

Fox News Announces Candidate Lineup for Aug. 6 GOP Presidential Debate

Fox News has announced the candidates who qualified for its August 6 prime-time Republican presidential primary debate, which is set to kick off at 9 p.m. EST at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. Anchors Chris Wallace, Bret Baier, and Megyn Kelly will moderate the televised event. Facebook and the Ohio Republican Party have been tapped as sponsors.

Candidates set to participate in the prime-time debate include billionaire Donald Trump, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Dr. Ben Carson, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Fox News chose to limit its prime-time debate to only 10 participants and selected qualified candidates based on a top 10 average of 5 recent polls by Bloomberg, CBS News, Fox News, Quinnipiac University, and Monmouth University.

However, in response to complaints that serious candidates with low poll numbers are being left out of the top-tier debate, the news network has invited those who did not qualify to appear in a 60-minute junior varsity debate, moderated by Bill Hemmer and Martha MacCallum, which will appear on Fox News at 5 p.m. on August 6, prior to the prime-time contest. Those who fell short of the top 10 include former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, former New York Gov. George Pataki, former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore, and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum. The network’s prime-time debate pre-show coverage will begin immediately after the junior varsity debate.

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry responded optimistically to his failure to qualify for the prime-time contest and tweeted, “I look forward to being @FoxNews 5pm debate for what will be a serious exchange of ideas & positive solutions to get America back on track.

However, according to CNN, Matt Beynon, a spokesperson for former Sen. Rick Santorum, called the candidate selection process “incredibly flawed” and said, “While FOX is taking a lot of heat, the [Republican National Committee] deserves as much blame for sanctioning this process. They should not be picking winners and losers. That’s the job of the voters, particularly those in Iowa and New Hampshire who have the role of voting first.

Following Fox News’ announcement, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said, “Our field is the biggest and most diverse of any party in history and I am glad to see that every one of those extremely qualified candidates will have the opportunity to participate on Thursday evening. Republicans across the country will be able to choose which candidate has earned their support after hearing them talk through the issues.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich almost fell short of being chosen for the prime-time debate, which is taking place in his home state. However, his 3% polling average, tying him with Chris Christie for last place among those participating, was just enough to qualify.

For more 2016 election coverage, click here.

Marijuana Policy Project, Whole Foods Donate to Rand Paul’s 2016 Presidential Bid

Mid-year Federal Election Commission filings are in, and Rand Paul’s 2016 presidential campaign has reportedly received a boost from atypical Republican primary donors like Marijuana Policy Project and Whole Foods.

National Journal notes that Marijuana Policy Project PAC donated $5,000 to Rand Paul for America, another $5,000 to Paul’s Senate re-election campaign, and $4,500 to Rand Paul Victory Fund, a PAC which supports Paul’s Senate re-election bid. MPP recently rated Rand Paul’s positions on cannabis freedom issues with an “A-” grade, placing him ahead of all announced presidential candidates in both parties.

Rand Paul has actually put his money where his mouth is,” said Marijuana Policy Project federal policies director Dan Riffle. “He’s been very firm in his belief that states ought to set their own marijuana policy.” Riffle said that he is not surprised that his organization chose to “max out” donations for Paul after MPP executives attended Paul’s political fundraiser for marijuana-related business leaders last June at the National Cannabis Industry Association’s Cannabis Business Summit in Denver, Colo.

Paul sponsored a bill last month that would allow cannabis businesses to access legal banking services. He has also joined with Democratic Senator Corey Booker to promote reform to federal drug sentencing guidelines and in sponsoring the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States Act, which would end the federal government’s prohibition on medical marijuana and scientific cannabis research.

Mother Jones’ Russ Choma analyzed the FEC filings of America’s Liberty PAC, a super PAC supporting Paul’s campaign, and found more unusual filings for a Republican primary bid. “George Macricostas, the CEO of data storage company RagingWire, donated $1.1 million to the super PAC. Jeff Yass, the CEO of Philadelphia private investment firm Susquehenna International donated $1 million. Both represent relatively untapped sources of money for a conservative candidate. Yass has previously written large checks, but none larger than the $50,000 donation he made in 2004 to Club for Growth, while Macricostas appears to have donated a total of just over $12,000 prior to his $1.1 million donation to America’s Liberty,” he wrote.

Choma added, “The super PAC roped in other big donations, including $50,000 from John Mackey, the CEO of Whole Foods, and $50,000 from Patrick Byrne, the CEO of Overstock.com. The group also also received $15,000 from ICC Holdings, an Illinois company hoping to be one of the first companies to legally operate a commercial cannabis farm.

Paul has called for a more inclusive Republican Party and said earlier this year, “If we want our message to resonate across the land, if we want our message to be inclusive, I tell people, look the Republican party needs to look like America… White, black, brown, rich poor, with tattoos and without tattoos, with earrings and without earrings. We need to take our message where it’s not been taken before.

For more 2016 election coverage, click here.

Last September, Ben Swann released a Truth in Media episode exposing the federal government’s mixed messages on medical marijuana. Watch it in the below-embedded video player.


Fox News Expands Debates with Forum for Second-Tier GOP Presidential Candidates

After Fox News announced its original plan to only include the top 10 Republican presidential candidates, according to the five most recent pre-debate national polls, in its August 6 prime time Republican presidential debate at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, OH, New Hampshire Republicans authored an open letter asking Fox News to expand its debate, expected to be the first of the 2016 presidential primary season, to include all of the announced and qualified candidates.

Meanwhile, the New Hampshire Union-Leader announced this week that it would host a forum on August 6 for the GOP candidates who fail to meet Fox News’ qualifications. National Journal notes that, shortly thereafter, Fox News changed plans and announced that it would host a 90-minute junior varsity debate in the afternoon on August 6 in addition to the prime-time debate later that evening. The second-tier debate will include all qualified candidates who fail to make the top ten but who have achieved at least 1% in national polls. It is not yet known whether the New Hampshire Union-Leader still plans to host its debate now that Fox News is inviting the same candidates to debate on the same day.

This year’s Republican presidential primary features a crowded field. According to Yahoo! Politics, candidates Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, Lindsey Graham, George Pataki, and Rick Perry have already announced their campaigns, and additional campaign announcements are expected from Chris Christie, Bobby Jindal, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, and John Kasich in the near future.

[RELATED: CNN, Fox News Reveal Qualifications for First GOP Presidential Primary Debates]

The format for Fox News’ August 6 debate now mirrors that of CNN’s September 16 Republican candidate forum at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, CA, which will also include a second debate for less-popular candidates who have achieved at least 1% in national polls. CNN published the complete criteria for inclusion in its September 16 debates on its website earlier this month.

Fox News’ junior-varsity debate will take place on August 6 at 1:00 PM EST at Quicken Loans Arena and will feature Bill Hemmer and Martha MacCallum as hosts. The network’s prime time debate will happen on the same day and in the same location at 9:00 PM EST, with anchors Chris Wallace, Bret Baier, and Megyn Kelly hosting.

For more 2016 election coverage, click here.