Tag Archives: 2016 Republican Presidential Primary

Trump on Gaddafi in 2011: U.S. Should ‘Immediately Go into Libya, Knock This Guy Out’

In 2011, Donald Trump posted a videoblog, seen above, in which he passionately argued in favor of U.S. intervention in Libya, calling for Muammar Gaddafi to be taken out in a series of surgical strikes.

Gaddafi, in Libya, is killing thousands of people. Nobody knows how bad it is and we’re sitting around. We have soldiers all over the Middle East and we’re not bringing them in to stop this horrible carnage. And that’s what it is, it’s a carnage,” said the Republican presidential candidate.

[RELATED: Trump Calls NATO ‘Obsolete’]

Now we should go in. We should stop this guy which would be very easy and very quick. We could do it surgically, stop him from doing it and save these lives. This is absolute nuts. We don’t want to get involved and you’re going to end up with something like you’ve never seen before. Now, ultimately the people will appreciate it and they’re going to end up taking over the country eventually. But the people will appreciate it and they should pay us back. But we have to go in to save these lives. These people are being slaughtered like animals,” he added.

Trump concluded, “We should, on a humanitarian basis, immediately go into Libya, knock this guy out very quickly, very surgically, very effectively, and save the lives.

[RELATED: GOP Establishment Reportedly Considering Contested Convention to Counter Trump Win]

At CNN’s February 25 Republican presidential debate in Houston, rival GOP candidate and U.S. Senator from Texas Ted Cruz accused Trump, who now says that taking out Gaddafi was a mistake, of flip-flopping.

You know, it’s interesting, Donald just said that he never came out in favor of toppling Gaddafi in Libya. … You can see and hear the exact words from Donald’s mouth. And I assume when he sees that interview, maybe he forgot about it, but I assume Donald will apologize where he sees that he said exactly that,” said Cruz, referencing the above-embedded video, according to Breitbart.

Trump said at that debate in February of this year, “But let me just tell you, Syria, he’s saying that I was in favor of Syria. He said I was in favor of Libya? I never discussed that subject. I was in favor of Libya? We would be so much better off if Gaddafi were in charge right now.

The fact check site PolitiFact gave Trump’s claim that he had never supported intervention in Libya a “pants on fire” rating.

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Cruz Proposes Increased Police Patrols in U.S. Muslim Neighborhoods

We need to empower law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized,” said 2016 Republican presidential candidate and U.S. Senator from Texas Ted Cruz in a statement last week following the deadly March 22 coordinated terror attacks in Brussels.

For years, the West has tried to deny this enemy exists out of a combination of political correctness and fear. We can no longer afford either. Our European allies are now seeing what comes of a toxic mix of migrants who have been infiltrated by terrorists and isolated, radical Muslim neighborhoods,” continued Sen. Cruz’s statement according to CNN.

Time notes that New York City Police Department deputy commissioner of intelligence and counterterrorism John Miller recently responded to Cruz’s comments on CBS’ Face the Nation, saying, “When you have people campaigning through fear and using that as leverage, and then giving advice to police to be the cudgel of that fear, that’s not the direction American policing should be taking in a democracy. We’re the proudest country on the planet and that’s because we have been a leader on freedom and human rights and everything else.

[RELATED: Congressman Justin Amash Endorses Ted Cruz for President]

Miller added, “I think in our history if there are moments of shame it would be Japanese internment, the Red Scare and McCarthyism, torture after 9/11 — these are things that on reflection, through history, the American people have rejected.

Rival Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump called Cruz’s proposal a “good idea.

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) disagreed with Cruz’s plan and said according to CBS News, “To send inflammatory messages could actually have an unintended consequence.”

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

In Europe it’s very segregated, and you have the diasporas in Belgium that I saw. And they’re being radicalized because they’re not assimilated with the culture. I don’t think we have that same situation in the United States,” said McCaul.

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Trump Calls NATO ‘Obsolete’

Following the deadly March 22 coordinated terror attacks in Brussels, 2016 Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is arguing that the Brussels-headquartered North Atlantic Treaty Organization has become obsolete.

In an interview published Saturday in The New York Times, Trump said, “Well, I have two problems with NATO. No. 1, it’s obsolete. When NATO was formed many decades ago we were a different country. There was a different threat. Soviet Union was, the Soviet Union, not Russia, which was much bigger than Russia, as you know. And, it was certainly much more powerful than even today’s Russia, although again you go back into the weaponry. But, but – I said, I think NATO is obsolete, and I think that – because I don’t think – right now we don’t have somebody looking at terror, and we should be looking at terror. And you may want to add and subtract from NATO in terms of countries. But we have to be looking at terror, because terror today is the big threat. Terror from all different parts. You know in the old days you’d have uniforms and you’d go to war and you’d see who your enemy was, and today we have no idea who the enemy is.

[RELATED: Reality Check: Trump Says He’d Kill Terrorists’ Families, But Obama Already Has]

He added, “No. 1, we pay far too much. We are spending — you know, in fact, they’re even making it so the percentages are greater. NATO is unfair, economically, to us, to the United States. Because it really helps them more so than the United States, and we pay a disproportionate share. Now, I’m a person that — you notice I talk about economics quite a bit, in these military situations, because it is about economics, because we don’t have money anymore because we’ve been taking care of so many people in so many different forms that we don’t have money — and countries, and countries. So NATO is something that at the time was excellent. Today, it has to be changed. It has to be changed to include terror. It has to be changed from the standpoint of cost because the United States bears far too much of the cost of NATO.

Trump, who suggested that the United States should spend less on NATO, pointed to U.S. obligations to defend Ukraine’s interests in conflicts with Russia as a flaw in the arrangement.

[RELATED: Trump Relied on Funding from George Soros to Build Chicago Trump Tower]

Now I’m all for Ukraine, I have friends that live in Ukraine, but it didn’t seem to me, when the Ukrainian problem arose, you know, not so long ago, and we were, and Russia was getting very confrontational, it didn’t seem to me like anyone else cared other than us. And we are the least affected by what happens with Ukraine because we’re the farthest away. But even their neighbors didn’t seem to be talking about it,” he said.

The Blaze notes that Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), a foreign policy hawk, said, “[Trump] raised some serious questions about the U.S. and NATO. I share some of those questions. We used to split our costs 50-50 between the U.S. and Europe. Today it’s 70-30 between the U.S. and Europe. I would have a different approach. Rather than reducing our spending on what is a critical national security alliance, I would urge European leaders to increase their spending specifically so we can stop the kind of terrorist attacks we’ve seen in Paris and Brussels.

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LIVE UPDATE: March 15 Primary Results

Update 3/15 8:00 pm est: CNN is reporting that Hillary Clinton (D) is the winner of Florida with 65% of the vote. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) has 32%.

Update 3/15 8:00 pm est: CNN is reporting that Donald Trump (R) is the winner of Florida with 45.5% of the vote. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) was second with 27.6% and Sen. Ted Cruz was third with 16.7% of the vote.

Update 3/15 8:25 pm est: CNN is reporting that Hillary Clinton (D) is the winner of North Carolina with 59% of the vote. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) has 38%.

Update 3/15 8:25 pm est: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla) has suspended his campaign according to the New York Times.

Update 3/15 9:02 pm est: CNN is reporting Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) wins Ohio with 42.3% of the vote. Donald Trump (R) is second with 34.8%.

Update 3/15 9:49 pm est: FoxNews is reporting Donald Trump (R) is the winner of Illinois with 40%. Sen. Ted Cruz is second with 25.8% of the vote. Governor John Kasich (R-OH) is third with 22.5%.

Update 3/15 9:49 pm est: FoxNews is reporting Donald Trump (R) is the winner of North Carolina with 40%. Sen. Ted Cruz is second with 36% of the vote. Governor John Kasich (R-OH) is third with 12.2%.

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RNC Official Claims ‘Every Delegate Is a Superdelegate,’ Can Override Will of Voters

Republican National Committeeman Curly Haugland of North Dakota sent a letter on Friday to fellow RNC officials arguing that current party rules allow 2016 Republican National Convention delegates to vote for the presidential candidate of their personal preference during the first round of voting, rather than voting along with the will of voters in their states.

Haughland wrote in a letter published by The Daily Caller that the party’s Rule 38, also called “Unit Rule,” specifically allows Republican convention delegates to vote their conscience in every vote at the convention.

Every delegate to the 2016 Republican National Convention is a completely free agent, free to vote for the candidate of their choice on every ballot at the convention in Cleveland in July. Every delegate is a Superdelegate!” claimed Haughland, who also pointed out that he has “been defending the right of the delegates to the Republican National Convention to vote according to their personal choice in all matters to come before the Republican National Convention, including the vote to nominate the Republican Candidate for President, for several years.

[RELATED: DNC Chair: Superdelegates Exist to Protect Party Leaders from Grassroots Competition]

Haughland, who is a member of the RNC’s Standing Rules Committee, claims that convention delegates were only bound to vote along with primary results at the 1976 convention and that the requirement was repealed in 1980.

He said that Tom Josefiak of the RNC’s Counsel’s Office gave a 2006 presentation to the Standing Rules Committee in which he counseled, “One of the important rules changes over the last 50 years has been the unit rule prohibited… that change was made so that an individual delegate can vote his or her conscience.

Haughland, who told The Daily Caller that he believes Trump will not obtain enough delegates to win the nomination, said, “The nominee of the party must receive a majority of the votes of the permanently feted delegates of the convention. That means it doesn’t make any difference what has happened in terms of primary voters, because they don’t count at the convention. It’s only the delegates at the convention whose votes matter.

[RELATED: GOP Debate: Trump Calls on Republican Party to ‘Be Smart and Unify’]

News of Haughland’s effort to convince the RNC of his interpretation of convention rules comes on the heels of a Truth in Media report that the GOP establishment is working to force a brokered convention by attempting to deny frontrunner Donald Trump the delegates necessary to clinch the nomination during the first round of voting at the convention in hopes that another candidate will prevail in a subsequent round.

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Romney Says He Would ‘Write In a Name’ or Vote Third Party If Trump Wins GOP Nod

Following last Thursday’s speech in which former Massachusetts governor and 2012 Republican nominee for president Mitt Romney attempted to rally Republicans against Donald Trump’s candidacy for the party’s 2016 presidential nomination, Romney went even further and said that he would vote for a conservative alternative to Trump if the billionaire real estate mogul were to face off against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the general election.

Romney told Bloomberg on Friday, “A person like Donald Trump, who has said what he’s said about Muslims, Mexicans, women, George Bush, John McCain, a person like that should not be the nominee of our party or be the president, and I will campaign for an alternative to Donald Trump until that avenue is no longer open.

[RELATED: Mitt Romney’s Full Speech on Donald Trump]

When asked how he would vote if the general election comes down to Trump versus Hillary, Romney said, “If those are my only two choices I’d vote for a conservative on the ballot — and if there weren’t one that I was comfortable with, I would write in a name.

I just know that Donald Trump isn’t the one I’d like to see lead our country and I don’t want to see Hillary Clinton lead our country, so I’m going to have the occasion to go to the voting booth and I’ll probably be writing in a name,” added Romney.

When reporter Mark Halperin suggested that millions of Americans might feel the same way, Romney replied, “I think there will be a lot of people who would be very troubled with those choices.

[RELATED: GOP Sen. Ben Sasse Says He Will Vote Third Party If Trump Wins Nomination]

On Sunday’s episode of Meet the Press on NBC, Romney doubled down on his opposition to a Trump candidacy, even if he is the Republican nominee. “I’m going to be voting [in the general election], but I’ll vote for someone on the ballot that I think is a real conservative and who will make us proud and I may write in a name if I can’t find such a person,” he said.

For more 2016 election coverage, click here.

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GOP Sen. Ben Sasse Says He Will Vote Third Party If Trump Wins Nomination

In an open letter on Facebook which called Donald Trump supporters “well-meaning” and “right to be angry,” Republican U.S. Senator from Nebraska Ben Sasse said that he “cannot support Donald Trump” and that if the billionaire real estate investor wins the GOP primary, Sasse will look for a third-party candidate to support.

Please understand: I’m not an establishment Republican, and I will never support Hillary Clinton. I’m a movement conservative who was elected over the objections of the GOP establishment. My current answer for who I would support in a hypothetical matchup between Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton is: Neither of them. I sincerely hope we select one of the other GOP candidates, but if Donald Trump ends up as the GOP nominee, conservatives will need to find a third option,” said Sen. Sasse in a Sunday Facebook post.

Given what we know about him today, here’s where I’m at: If Donald Trump becomes the Republican nominee, my expectation is that I will look for some third candidate – a conservative option, a constitutionalist,” concluded Sasse.

[RELATED: Reality Check: Why Donald Trump’s South Carolina Win Was A Historic Defeat of NeoCons]

Freshman Senator Sasse was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2014 and had fashioned himself as the anti-Obamacare candidate during his campaign. According to The Washington Post, Sen Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), and former Republican Alaska Governor Sarah Palin campaigned for Sasse’s candidacy during the 2014 Nebraska Republican U.S. Senate primary.

Sasse said that loyalty to a political party should be contingent on it remaining useful for the promotion of the core beliefs of its supporters.

If our Party is no longer working for the things we believe in – like defending the sanctity of life, stopping ObamaCare, protecting the Second Amendment, etc. – then people of good conscience should stop supporting that party until it is reformed,” he added.

[RELATED: Ex-CIA Chief: ‘American Armed Forces Would Refuse to Act’ If Trump Ordered Torture]

The Senator from Nebraska also fired out a round of tweets critical of Trump on Sunday.

In reply to a tweet that suggested that Sen. Sasse would lose a future reelection bid over his refusal to support Trump in the general election, Sasse said, “Since I took an oath, my calling is to preserve, protect & defend the Constitution — not worry about future elections.

For more 2016 election coverage, click here.

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Ex-CIA Chief: ‘American Armed Forces Would Refuse to Act’ If Trump Ordered Torture

I would be incredibly concerned if a President Trump governed in a way that was consistent with the language [on military tactics] that candidate Trump expressed during the campaign,” said former National Security Agency and Central Intelligence Agency director Michael Hayden.

In the above-embedded clip from Friday’s episode of Real Time with Bill Maher, Hayden specifically pointed to Trump’s advocacy of the use of enhanced interrogation techniques that he described as “worse than waterboarding” and the killing of terror suspect’s families as examples of policies that would violate international norms and drive American soldiers and intelligence agents to refuse orders.

Look, we did tough stuff,” said Hayden. However, he said that extremes like killing terrorists’ non-combatant family members were not options that even crossed his mind as an intelligence chief.

[RELATED: Reality Check: Why Donald Trump’s South Carolina Win Was A Historic Defeat of NeoCons]

If he were to order that once in government, the American armed forces would refuse to act,” he said.

Hayden concluded, “[U.S. military personnel] are not required — in fact you are required not to follow an unlawful order. That would be in violation of all the international laws of armed conflict.

In an interview with CNN, Hayden said of Trump’s military tactics rhetoric and Ted Cruz’s advocacy of carpet bombing to deal with ISIS, “We have taken … very complicated, serious issues and we’ve pushed them down to the level of bumper stickers. That scares me and I’m sure it scares a lot of the rest of the world.

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

Ex-CIA attorney John Rizzo said that intelligence agents who participated in enhanced interrogation techniques have turned against using them after feeling the backlash of a shift in public opinion.

Rizzo told NBC News, “The political winds changed, they were vilified as ‘torturers’ and ‘war criminals,’ — just for doing their thankless and dangerous jobs to keep the country safe. And now, under a Trump administration, many of these same CIA career officers would be ordered to go down — perhaps double down — on that perilous path again? Who could blame for them for refusing to expose themselves and their families to a reprise someday of the ordeal they have had to endure? I hope and trust no CIA director — or its lawyer — would countenance such an order.”

For more 2016 election coverage, click here.

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Rubio Says He Opposes Prostitution But Would Not Support Federal Ban

2016 Republican presidential candidate and U.S. Senator from Florida Marco Rubio took a states’ rights position on prostitution while campaigning on Monday in Nevada, where the world’s oldest profession is legal under state law.

I’m anti-prostitution,” Rubio told reporters according to The Wall Street Journal. However, he also clarified that he is against criminalizing prostitution at the federal level, “I’m not talking about federalizing that issue. I want to shrink the government, not grow it.”

[RELATED: Reality Check: Should Rubio Be Fired For Terrible Voting Record?]

Suffice it to say, I wish Nevada would make it illegal, but that’s their decision to make. I don’t agree with it,” said Rubio.

He added, “I think you can be against something and still say, ‘I don’t want the federal government involved in federalizing something.’

According to The Associated Press, Rubio said that he believes that the sex work industry “victimizes the people who are participating in it.

CNN noted that when asked about the legal brothels in the state, Rubio replied, “We won’t be visiting them.

[RELATED: Rubio Accuses Cruz of Siding with ‘Isolationists’ on Foreign Policy]

Rubio said that having spent a portion of his childhood in Las Vegas, he was prepared for issue questions on prostitution. “I’ve thought about it at least once before,” he said. “The issue!” he clarified jokingly.

According to The Associated Press, Rubio took second place behind winner Donald Trump in the Nevada GOP caucus with 23.85 percent, sending 7 Rubio delegates to the Republican National Convention.

RealClearPolitics is reporting that Rubio is currently tied with Sen. Ted Cruz for second place in the delegate race for the GOP nomination with 17 delegates each. Billionaire real estate mogul Donald Trump currently stands in first place with 81 delegates. 2,742 delegates are up for grabs, and a candidate must obtain the support of 1,237 in order to clinch the nomination.

For more 2016 election coverage, click here.

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Congressman Justin Amash Endorses Ted Cruz for President

Libertarian-leaning Republican Congressman Justin Amash of Michigan’s third congressional district was an early and loud supporter of Sen. Rand Paul’s quest for the Republican nomination in 2016. Now, with Sen. Paul having dropped out of the race, Amash has announced that he is shifting his support to Sen. Ted Cruz.

It’s easy to withdraw from politics when the positions and priorities of the candidates do not precisely mirror our own. But we owe it to our beliefs to find constitutional conservative political allies who not only respect our philosophy but also fight for our views to be heard,” wrote Amash in a Tuesday op ed in the Independent Journal Review. “We have found such an ally in Senator Ted Cruz.

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

Amash noted that Cruz “is not a libertarian and doesn’t claim to be,” but referred to him as a “principled defender of the Constitution, a brilliant strategist and debater who can defeat the Democratic nominee in the general election, and the only remaining candidate I trust to take on what he correctly calls the Washington Cartel.”

The Michigan congressman pointed to the possibility that the next president might ultimately nominate a replacement for recently-deceased Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia as part of his rationale in choosing Cruz, who once served as a Supreme Court clerk and many times argued cases before its justices.

Since Ted arrived in the Senate, he has stood shoulder to shoulder with the House Freedom Caucus, of which I am a member. Ted has consistently led the fight in the Senate against the Washington Cartel’s trillion-dollar omnibus spending bills,” Amash wrote. He also noted that Cruz won Iowa while expressing opposition to ethanol subsidies “even though pundits warned that no one could win the state without pandering to the ethanol lobby.

[RELATED: Exclusive: Congressman Justin Amash, Why The GOP is So Afraid Of Him and How Corporate Money and PACs Control Washington]

On foreign policy and civil liberties, Amash said he does not always see eye-to-eye with Cruz but noted that the Senator from Texas opposed military intervention in Libya and generally opposes overseas national building policies. He also pointed out that Sen. Cruz battled in the Senate against indefinite detentions of U.S. citizens and CISA, which Amash referred to as “a cyberspying bill that violates the privacy of all Americans.”

To defend liberty, we must defend our Constitution. I’m supporting Ted because, knowing him personally and having served with him in Congress over the past few years, I trust him as a conservative ally who consistently listens to my perspective and stands firm for what he believes is right,” concluded Amash.

Fox 17 West Michigan notes that presidential primary voting is set to take place in Amash’s home state of Michigan on March 8.

For more 2016 election coverage, click here.

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Trump Rips Cruz for Not Showing Up to Vote for Audit the Fed

2016 Republican presidential candidate and real estate mogul Donald Trump took to Twitter on Monday to criticize rival candidate and Sen. from Texas Ted Cruz for his decision to skip a key vote on legislation that would allow Congress to audit the Federal Reserve.


In January, the bill colloquially referred to as Audit the Fed appeared for a vote before the full Senate for the first time in history, and, though a majority of senators voted in favor, some Senate Democrats effectively blocked the legislation with a filibuster, raising the threshold of votes needed to pass the bill to 60.

Every Senate Republican voted in favor of the bill except Senator from Tennessee Bob Corker, who opposed the bill, and Sen. Ted Cruz, who did not show up to vote that day despite having long advocated in favor of a Federal Reserve audit.

Democratic presidential candidate and Sen. Bernie Sanders broke party ranks and voted in favor of Audit the Fed along with Republicans.

[RELATED: Trump: Fed Chair Yellen Not Raising Rates ‘Because Obama Told Her Not To’]

Audit the Fed is considered the signature piece of legislation of former Republican Congressman Ron Paul’s entire political career. The latest iteration of the bill was introduced in the Senate by his son, Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.). As such, support for the bill is deeply and viscerally ingrained in the Republican Party’s libertarian and Tea Party wings.

The Guardian’s Ben Jacobs wrote, “By skipping the vote on auditing the Fed, Cruz [risked] jeopardizing some of the credibility he has built in this faction of the Republican party. Auditing the Federal Reserve has long been an animating cause of Paul and his supporters and it has taken on major symbolic significance.

After Cruz missed the vote, he sent an email to conservative commentator Glenn Beck, which read, “I strongly support auditing the Fed. Indeed, I was an original co-sponsor of Ron Paul’s Audit the Fed bill. Unfortunately, it was clear early on that yesterday’s vote wasn’t going to succeed (it fell 7 votes short). And, at the same time that the vote was scheduled, I had longstanding commitments to be in New Hampshire — for a Second Amendment rally, and a 1500- person State of the Union town hall. If my vote would have made a difference in it passing, I would have cancelled my campaign events to be there. Because the vote was not going to succeed, I honored my commitments to be with the men and women of New Hampshire.

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

Audit the Fed supporters argue that the nation’s central bank needs an audit because it operates under too much secrecy and is failing at its mission of keeping the U.S. dollar stable. Opponents of the bill say that the Federal Reserve needs to maintain independence to prevent monetary policy from being politicized by Congress.

The Federal Reserve’s inflationary policies distort the economy, creating bubbles, which in turn create a booming stock market and the illusion of widespread prosperity. Inevitably, the bubble bursts, the market crashes, and the economy sinks into a recession,” said Ron Paul in 2015, articulating a chief complaint of Fed opponents. Paul believes the Fed should be abolished and that interest rates and dollar values should be set by the market.

In January, Ben Swann released a Reality Check segment, seen below, that highlighted the fact that Cruz declined to vote on “such an important bill about which he seems to speak so passionately.”

Reality Check: Ted Cruz Doesn't Vote To Audit Fed, Took Person…

Sen. Ted Cruz missed a very important vote this week on a bill he co-sponsored, to Audit the Fed. It happened just as we all learned that his ties to big banks may run deeper than previously thought.Learn more: http://truthinmedia.com/reality-check-ted-cruz-doesnt-vote-audit-fed-took-personal-loan-campaign-goldman-sachs/

Posted by Ben Swann on Thursday, January 14, 2016

For more 2016 election coverage, click here.

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Bush Drops Out After Donors Spend over $100 Million on 2016 Campaign

After a disappointing fourth-place finish in the South Carolina GOP presidential primary, former Florida governor Jeb Bush announced on Saturday that he is suspending his campaign for the Republican nomination for president in 2016.

I’m proud of the campaign that we have run to unify our country and to advocate conservative solutions that would give more Americans the opportunity to rise up and reach their God-given potential,” said Bush in the above-embedded Associated Press video. “But the people of Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina have spoken, and I really respect their decision. So tonight I am suspending my campaign.

Ultimately, the family name that made Bush a hit among the Republican establishment’s donor class became a liability in a race in which candidates angled to present themselves as warriors against the status quo. Current GOP frontrunner and billionaire real estate mogul Donald Trump also relentlessly attacked Bush throughout the campaign, characterizing him as “low energy.

[RELATED: Bush Super PACs Outspent All Iowa Campaigns, Garnered Sixth-Place Finish]

According to Center for Responsive Politics’ OpenSecrets website, which tracks money in politics, super PACs supporting Jeb Bush raised over $118 million and spent over $94 million of that money promoting his candidacy. His official campaign committee burned through another $30 million.

Bush received far more help from outside super PACs than any other candidate in either party has in the race so far. Republican Sen. from Texas Ted Cruz, second among GOP candidates in super PAC fundraising, has only raised around $46 million in outside contributions.

[RELATED: DONEGAN: Citizens United Ruling Lets Advocacy Groups Expose Politicians’ Voting Records]

Following the Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. FEC ruling, which recognized the right of individuals, corporations, and non-profits to spend unlimited money on advertisements promoting their political ideas or preferred candidates, some political observers expressed worries that the ruling would allow a candidate with the strongest support among wealthy donors to utilize unlimited super PAC spending to buy an election.

In Jeb Bush’s case, this strategy did not work.

For more 2016 election coverage, click here.

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Fox News Mistakenly Publishes Fake New Hampshire Election Results Prior to Vote

Tuesday morning, several hours before the polls close in New Hampshire, Fox News reportedly published fake, finalized New Hampshire primary election returns on its website.

Mashable captured screenshots of Fox News’ erroneously published false election results, which can be seen below.



The inaccurate report mistakenly stated that 100 percent of voting precincts had already reported their outcomes, despite the fact that the majority of New Hampshire polls do not close until 7 p.m. EST.

Fox News also included fabricated vote tallies and estimates as to how many delegates each candidate had obtained.

[RELATED: Trump to Skip Fox News GOP Debate Amid Megyn Kelly Feud]

Mashable’s Jason Abbruzzese wrote, “Who, in Fox’s fantasy world, takes home the winning title? With 100% of the ‘vote’ in, Donald Trump took home 28% of the delegates, a solid plurality over his closest rivals: Marco Rubio (15%) and Ted Cruz (12%).

On the Democratic side, Fox News’ false returns gave the Democratic New Hampshire primary to U.S. Senator from Vermont Bernie Sanders with 53 percent support over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s 43 percent.

Voting began at a few New Hampshire precincts shortly after midnight early Tuesday morning, meaning some real results were already in at the time at which Fox News published its false results.

[RELATED: Fox News’ Shepard Smith Apologizes for Erroneous Baltimore Shooting Report]

According to USA Today’s Paul Singer, “In Dixville Notch, residents did their traditional first voting just after midnight, bringing smiles to the faces of Bernie Sanders and John Kasich. Sanders swept Hillary Clinton in Dixville Notch, 4-0, while Kasich topped Donald Trump, 3 votes to 2. In nearby Millsfield, Ted Cruz won the Republican vote over Trump, 9-3. Several other candidates got one vote apiece. Clinton beat Sanders, 2 votes to 1.

He added, “In Hart’s Location, population 43, Kasich bested Trump again, 5 votes to 4, with Chris Christie gathering 2 votes. Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, and Marco Rubio got one vote each. Sanders edged Clinton, 12 votes to 7. Mark Stewart Greenstein, who calls himself a ‘liberty-leaning Democrat,’ got 2 votes, the Union Leader reported.

Later on Tuesday morning, Fox News updated its website and removed the false election results.

For more election coverage, click here.

Bush Super PACs Outspent All Iowa Campaigns, Garnered Sixth-Place Finish

Super PACs supporting the 2016 presidential candidacy of former Florida Republican Governor Jeb Bush spent over $14 million on ads promoting his bid for the GOP nomination in Iowa, which only resulted in a sixth-place finish.

According to Morning Consult’s ad spending data, Bush campaign super PACs spent the most of any candidate in either party on Iowa campaign ads. On the GOP side, Sen. Rubio’s campaign and super PACs spent the second-most at almost $12 million. The campaign and super PACs backing the Republican Party’s Iowa winner Sen. Ted Cruz spent over $7 million on ads in the state, and billionaire Donald Trump netted a second-place finish by spending a little under $4 million.

The Huffington Post notes that Bush spent $2,800 per vote, which is reportedly 18 times what Cruz spent per vote. Bush’s per-vote spending was also 34 times higher than Trump’s and 10 times higher than Rubio’s.

[RELATED: Flier Circulates Offering Voters ‘Fast Cash’ to Fill Seats at Jeb Bush Rally]

U.S. Senator Rand Paul, who finished in fifth place ahead of Bush, only spent a little over $2 million on Iowa ads between his campaign and its supporting super PACs.

Though Bush’s super PACs did outspend all of the other campaigns, his official campaign itself did not spend any money on Iowa ads, suggesting a lack of focus on the state by his campaign. Super PACs supporting the rest of the GOP candidates spent a combined total of a little over $17 million on the race, just over $3 million more than the political action committees supporting Bush.

Following the Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. FEC in which the court affirmed the right of individuals, non-profits, and corporations to spend their own money to express their political views, critics claimed that the ruling would lead to a future in which billionaires would purchase election outcomes through the use of super PACs.

While Iowa campaign data alone can not prove or disprove that theory, the results in the Republican caucuses do not appear to show any specific connection between campaign spending and vote totals.

[RELATED: DONEGAN: Citizens United Ruling Lets Advocacy Groups Expose Politicians’ Voting Records]

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton’s campaign and super PACs spent about $1 million more than Senator from Vermont Bernie Sanders, though Democratic super PACs only spent a total of $287,000 on the entire contest, most of which was spent by PACs supporting Martin O’Malley.

Money can’t buy votes, apparently,” wrote The Huffington Post in its analysis of Bush’s Iowa ad spending.

For more election coverage, click here.

Cruz Campaign Accused of Spreading Carson Drop-Out Rumors Before Iowa Vote

Following Republican presidential candidate and U.S. Senator from Texas Ted Cruz’s victory in Monday’s Iowa Caucuses, rival candidate and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson has cried foul.

Ben Carson told Fox & Friends in the above-embedded video, “Well, you know, at many of the precincts information was disseminated [by the Cruz campaign] that I was suspending my campaign, that I had dropped out, and that anybody who was planning to vote for me was wasting their vote and therefore they should reconsider.

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

Carson also referenced a below-embedded tweet by Cruz supporter and Iowa GOP Congressman Steve King, which was posted while voting was still underway on Monday.

Truth in Media obtained a copy of an email distributed by the Cruz campaign, which can be seen below.


The Cruz campaign maintains that it was merely passing along media reports. A below-embedded tweet by CNN’s The Lead includes video from election night coverage that did seem to imply that Carson might be ending his campaign.

However, the Chris Moody report that CNN was referencing also included specific information that Carson was not dropping out, which was de-emphasized in CNN’s coverage.

Minutes later, PBS NewsHour reporter Lisa Desjardins tweeted a Carson campaign clarification about the miscommunication over his decision not to head to New Hampshire after Iowa.

Describing the email that was sent by the Cruz campaign, Iowa Cruz volunteer Joel Kurtinitis wrote on Facebook, “CNN was indeed reporting that Carson was taking a break after Iowa, which is exactly what was said here. And just to be safe, it even adds the ‘being reported’ disclaimer… I didn’t even see the email until we got home last night, and given that it was sent at 6:56, that’s probably the case for most folks. If some precinct captains misunderstood or misrepresented this, it’s on them. It’s mathematically certain, though, that this made exactly zero difference in the outcome of the race, even if a hundred [precinct captains] used it.

[RELATED: Flier Circulates Offering Voters ‘Fast Cash’ to Fill Seats at Jeb Bush Rally]

Those investigating this teapot tempest should simply judge the email objectively, by what was written. The press was indeed reporting that Dr. Carson was taking time off after the caucuses, which was accurately reflected in the email,” added Kurtinitis. “Despite unquantifiable accusations of ‘hinting’ or ‘insinuating,’ it is evident that the Cruz campaign simply repeated the report, as a report, and asked their precinct folks to pass the news.

Carson said according to Time, “So, I just want you to know I’m not going anywhere. And, you know, this latest set of dirty tricks just intensifies my desire to work extremely hard to break down the ugliness in this system and bring it back to we the people with we the people at the pinnacle and the government below us to facilitate life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

CNN reported that Ted Cruz later apologized to Carson. “Last night when our political team saw the CNN post saying that Dr. Carson was not carrying on to New Hampshire and South Carolina, our campaign updated grassroots leaders just as we would with any breaking news story,” Cruz said a statement according to CNN. “That’s fair game. What the team then should have done was send around the follow-up statement from the Carson campaign clarifying that he was indeed staying in the race when that came out.”

For more election coverage, click here.

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.

Fox GOP Debate Attracts Better Ratings Than Trump Event, Previous Republican Debate

Thursday night’s Fox News/Google GOP Debate attracted better ratings than candidate Donald Trump’s counter-event and the previous Jan. 14 Republican presidential debate on Fox Business that featured the billionaire real estate investor and reality TV star.

Donald Trump, upset over a sarcastically-toned Fox News press release, opted not to participate in last night’s debate and instead hosted his own fundraiser for veterans in Des Moines, Iowa. Portions of Trump’s event appeared on MSNBC and CNN, as well as on many online streaming platforms.

Prior to the debate, Donald Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski had predicted that the Fox News event without the celebrity candidate would only be seen by “1 or 2 million people.

[RELATED: Trump to Skip Fox News GOP Debate Amid Megyn Kelly Feud]

According to CNN Money, the main stage portion of Thursday night’s debate on Fox News drew in 12.5 million viewers. The previous Republican presidential debate on Fox Business attracted 11 million viewers. MSNBC and CNN reported a combined 2.7 million person viewership during Trump’s fundraiser for veterans.

Though last night’s debate beat out the previous contest, it was the second-lowest rated GOP debate of the 2016 campaign season.

U.S. Senator from Kentucky and GOP presidential candidate Rand Paul was absent from the Jan. 14 Fox Business debate due to a boycott inspired by the network’s decision to push him from the debate’s main stage to its undercard. Sen. Paul did however participate in Thursday night’s Fox News debate after a surge in Iowa polling caused him to qualify for its main stage.

[RELATED: Reality Check: Is the Media and RNC Clowning Trump?]

Though the stats on how many viewers live-streamed the events online are unavailable, Google search records show that those who searched for “debate live stream” outnumbered searchers looking for “Trump live stream” by 170 percent.

CBS News notes that Donald Trump said that his event raised $6 million for veterans, including $1 million that he donated himself.

Fox News and Fox Business executive vice president of ad sales Paul Rittenberg told The Wall Street Journal that the network did not lose money over Trump’s withdrawal from Thursday’s debate.

For more election coverage, click here.

Trump to Skip Fox News GOP Debate Amid Megyn Kelly Feud

Billionaire real estate investor and 2016 Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said on Tuesday that he plans to skip Thursday’s Republican presidential debate on Fox News in Des Moines, Iowa.

I was all set to do the debate, I came here to do the debate. When they sent out the wise-guy press release done by some PR person along with [Fox News Chairman] Roger Ailes, I said, ‘Bye bye, OK,'” Trump said according to Reuters.

Trump had posted a Twitter poll on Monday asking his followers if he should participate in the Fox News debate, prompting Fox to issue a sarcastic press release mocking the candidate’s courage.

We learned from a secret back channel that the Ayatollah and Putin both intend to treat Donald Trump unfairly when they meet with him if he becomes president — a nefarious source tells us that Trump has his own secret plan to replace the Cabinet with his Twitter followers to see if he should even go to those meetings,” read Fox News Channel’s press release according to Breitbart.

Well Fox is playing games, yeah. Fox is going to make a fortune. I told Fox, ‘You should give money to the Wounded Warriors.’ I’m not a fan of Megyn Kelly. I think she’s a third-rate reporter,” said Trump as he listed his grievances at the news conference.

Meanwhile, Fox News is accusing Trump’s campaign manager of threatening debate moderator Megyn Kelly.

[RELATED: Trump Says He Supports Reauthorizing Patriot Act, NSA Metadata Collection]

Breitbart notes that a Tuesday Fox News statement read, “We’re not sure how Iowans are going to feel about [Trump] walking away from them at the last minute, but it should be clear to the American public by now that this is rooted in one thing – Megyn Kelly, whom he has viciously attacked since August and has now spent four days demanding be removed from the debate stage.

The statement continued, “Capitulating to politicians’ ultimatums about a debate moderator violates all journalistic standards, as do threats, including the one leveled by Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski toward Megyn Kelly. In a call on Saturday with a Fox News executive, Lewandowski stated that Megyn had a ‘rough couple of days after that last debate’ and he ‘would hate to have her go through that again.’ Lewandowski was warned not to level any more threats, but he continued to do so.

After Tuesday’s press conference, a statement by the Trump campaign read according to The Hill, “[Donald Trump] will not be participating in the FOX News debate and will instead host an event in Iowa to raise money for the Veterans and Wounded Warriors, who have been treated so horribly by our all talk, no action politicians.

[RELATED: Trump Proposes Replacing Obamacare with Government-Funded Universal Healthcare]

Trump rival and 2016 GOP presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz said on The Mark Levin Show, “The fact that Donald is now afraid to appear on the debate stage, that he doesn’t want his record questioned, I think that reflects a lack of respect for the men and women in Iowa… If he thinks Megyn Kelly is so scary, what exactly does he think he’d do with Vladimir Putin?

Fox News’ statement on the controversy concluded, “Trump is still welcome at Thursday night’s debate and will be treated fairly, just as he has been during his 132 appearances on FOX News & FOX Business, but he can’t dictate the moderators or the questions.

The Washington Post pointed out that Trump said that his decision not to appear at Thursday’s debate is “pretty irrevocable.

For more election coverage, click here.


Texas Attorney Files Lawsuit Challenging Sen. Ted Cruz’s Presidential Eligibility

81-year-old Houston-based attorney Newton Boris Schwartz Sr. filed a federal class action lawsuit on Thursday challenging the presidential eligibility of U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).

Sen. Cruz was born in Calgary, Canada in 1970 to an American mother and a Cuban father, who became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2005.

The lawsuit claims that Cruz is “ineligible to be elected, or serve as president or vice president of the U.S.” due to the fact that he was born in Canada.

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

Schwartz’s complaint claims that the Constitution’s natural born citizen clause lacks a definition because the U.S. Supreme Court has yet to weigh in on the issue. He argues that he has standing to bring the lawsuit against Cruz because he is an eligible voter in the upcoming presidential election.

Schwartz told Courthouse News Service, “This is a serious and substantial question. I’m trying to get it heard as quickly as we can to avoid a futile election. If Trump puts Cruz as his vice president even and he’s later found disqualified, what do you do? You have to go back and have a new election for president or vice president.

According to Bloomberg Business, Sen. Cruz said at last Thursday’s Republican presidential debate on Fox Business Network, “There’s nothing to this birther issue… But the facts and the law are really clear. Under longstanding U.S. law, the child of a U.S. citizen abroad is a natural born citizen.

[RELATED: Republicans More Likely To Think Ted Cruz Is US-Born Than Obama]

Explaining how he came to the idea of filing the suit, Schwartz said, “Honestly, I was watching C-SPAN one night when Donald Trump was talking about it and I couldn’t believe no one had thought to just file something with the court… It’s such a simple procedure— I’m amazed no one did it.

Admitting that he can “see both sides of this argument,” Schwartz said, “If he gets cleared, he gets cleared. Let’s just get this thing settled before the primaries and the convention and the election.

Schwartz claims that he is leaning towards Sen. Bernie Sanders’ candidacy in the 2016 election and that he has voted mainly for Democrats in most presidential elections except for two in which he pulled the lever for former Republican President Richard Nixon and independent candidate Ross Perot.

Schwartz says he expects to lose his case before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans and believes that it will then be taken up by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The complaint reads, “This 229-year question has never been pled, presented to or finally decided by or resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court. Only the U.S. Supreme Court can finally decide, determine judicially and settle this issue now.

For more election coverage, click here.

Thursday’s Smaller Republican Debate Least Watched Among All GOP Debates This Cycle

Fox Business Network’s Republican presidential debate at the North Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center in North Charleston, S.C. on Thursday drew in the lowest ratings of any GOP debate this election cycle.

According to CNN Money, Thursday’s 9 p.m. debate, which purposefully featured fewer candidates on its main stage than previous debates, only averaged around 11 million viewers. Politico notes that the previous prime-time Republican presidential debate on Fox Business Network drew in an average of 13.5 million viewers. A Republican presidential debate on CNN last month drew in an average of 18 million prime-time viewers. Variety cited the viewership of Fox News’ August GOP debate at 24 million, CNN’s September contest at 23.1 million, and CNBC’s October event at 14 million.

While Thursday’s GOP debate was the lowest rated of this election cycle, it still featured better ratings than the 5 to 7 million average viewers who tuned in to previous Republican primary debates during the 2008 and 2012 elections, a phenomenon attributed to the celebrity candidacy of billionaire Donald Trump, a television star who has always drawn in significant ratings in TV appearances.

Viewership of the undercard debate particularly plummeted. Fox Business Network’s November undercard drew in 4.7 million viewers versus 2 million in Thursday’s 6 p.m. contest.

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

Fox Business Network pointed out the fact that its November GOP presidential debate set a record for the most viewers of a live-streaming online presidential primary event at 1.4 million concurrent viewers. Thursday’s event only generated 1.16 million concurrent viewers at its peak. Fox Business Network allowed viewers to stream both debates online for free with or without a cable TV subscription.

Thursday’s debate featured Sen. Marco Rubio, Dr. Ben Carson, Donald Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich on its main stage and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, and former Sen. Rick Santorum in its undercard debate.

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

U.S. Senator Rand Paul was invited to participate in the undercard debate but boycotted the event over Fox Business Network’s decision to demote him from the contest’s main stage. The communications director for Sen. Paul’s campaign, Sergio Gor, told CNN Money that the campaign does not regret Paul’s decision to boycott the debate and added, “We participated in countless TV, radio and print interviews. Our TV reach alone exceeded 9 million viewers and we generated a news cycle.

Thursday’s prime-time debate was moderated by Fox Business Network’s managing editor of business news Neil Cavuto and its global markets editor Maria Bartiromo. The undercard contest was moderated by anchors Sandra Smith and Trish Regan.

For more election coverage, click here.