Tag Archives: jeb bush

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.

Follow Barry Donegan on Facebook and Twitter.

GOP Candidates Voice Support for Waterboarding, Increasing Guantanamo Detainees

Seven of the remaining GOP candidates participated in a debate hosted by ABC News in Manchester, New Hampshire on Saturday, and when asked about waterboarding and other methods of torture used by the CIA, several candidates voiced their support.

The topic came up when moderator David Muir noted a comment Texas Sen. Ted Cruz made in Dec. 2014, when discussing the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the forms of torture used by the CIA on suspected terrorists after 9/11.

Muir noted that at the time Cruz said, “Torture is wrong, unambiguously, period. Civilized nations do not engage in torture,” and then Muir asked if Cruz would classify waterboarding as torture.

Cruz said that “under the definition of torture,” waterboarding would be classified as “enhanced interrogation,” due to the fact that it is not “excruciating pain that is equivalent to losing organs and system.”

[pull_quote_center]Well, under the definition of torture, no, it’s not. Under the law, torture is excruciating pain that is equivalent to losing organs and systems, so under the definition of torture, it is not. It is enhanced interrogation, it is vigorous interrogation, but it does not meet the generally recognized definition of torture.[/pull_quote_center]

When asked if he would bring back waterboarding as president, Cruz said he would not bring it back “in any sort of widespread use,” but that if it were necessary to “prevent a city from facing an imminent terrorist attack,” he would “use whatever enhanced interrogation methods we could to keep this country safe.”

[pull_quote_center]I would not bring it back in any sort of widespread use. And indeed, I joined with Senator McCain in legislation that would prohibit line officers from employing it because I think bad things happen when enhanced interrogation is employed at lower levels. But when it comes to keeping this country safe, the commander in chief has inherent constitutional authority to keep this country safe. And so, if it were necessary to, say, prevent a city from facing an imminent terrorist attack, you can rest assured that as commander in chief, I would use whatever enhanced interrogation methods we could to keep this country safe.[/pull_quote_center]

Muir then turned to business mogul Donald Trump, who voiced his support for bringing back waterboarding in Nov. 2015 when he said, “I think waterboarding is peanuts compared to what they do to us.”

Trump shared a similar sentiment at the debate and said he would “bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding,” because in the Middle East, “we have people chopping the heads off Christians, we have people chopping the heads off many other people.”

[pull_quote_center]We have things that we have never seen before— as a group, we have never seen before, what’s happening right now. The medieval times— I mean, we studied medieval times— not since medieval times have people seen what’s going on. I would bring back waterboarding and I’d bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding.[/pull_quote_center]

While former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said he wouldn’t bring waterboarding back, he also said he believes the United States needs to expand its “intelligence capabilities,” and he said he believes closing the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay would be a “complete disaster.”

[pull_quote_center]Congress has changed the laws, and I think where we stand is the appropriate place. But what we need to do is to make sure that we expand our intelligence capabilities. The idea that we’re going to solve this fight with predator drones, killing people somehow is more acceptable than capturing them, securing the information. This is why closing Guantanamo is a complete disaster.[/pull_quote_center]

When asked if he believes waterboarding is torture, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said he that when people “talk about interrogating terrorists” they acts as if “this is some sort of law enforcement function,” when instead it is “anti-terrorism.”

[pull_quote_center]When people talk about interrogating terrorists, they’re acting like this is some sort of law enforcement function. Law enforcement is about gathering evidence to take someone to trial, and convict them. Anti-terrorism is about finding out information to prevent a future attack so the same tactics do not apply.[/pull_quote_center]

Rubio also said he believes they should not be discussing “in a widespread way the exact tactics that we’re going to use,” because that could allow “terrorist(s) to know to practice how to evade us,” and he went on to criticize the release of detainees from Guantanamo Bay.

[pull_quote_center]Here’s the bigger problem with all this, we’re not interrogating anybody right now. Guantanamo’s being emptied by this president. We should be putting people into Guantanamo, not emptying it out, and we shouldn’t be releasing these killers who are rejoining the battlefield against the United States.[/pull_quote_center]

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.

Flier Circulates Offering Voters ‘Fast Cash’ to Fill Seats at Jeb Bush Rally

Fliers were reportedly circulating in Iowa Monday offering voters “fast cash,” or up to $50 for two hours of their time, to attend a Jeb Bush rally in Des Moines.

The flier called for “seat fillers” to report to Bush’s rally at 12 p.m. at an Embassy Suites hotel.

Jeff Sadosky, a spokesman for the pro-Marco Rubio Conservative Solutions Pac, shared a picture of the flier on Twitter Monday morning. He wrote, “In Des Moines and need some quick money… apparently Jeb Bush will pay you to listen to him.”

The flier instructed interested individuals to report to a “Dale Herbert” at the rally. When the Daily Beast contacted the email listed, a response simply stated, “No we are not officially part of the Bush Campaign. Hopefully we’ll see you there. First come first served.”

The Conservatarian posted a picture of the same flier, which was reportedly given to a student in Iowa who was campaigning for Rand Paul.

According to Vice News, during the Bush rally, a heckler was removed after he stood up and shouted, “We’ve been here for two and a half hours and haven’t gotten paid yet! Where’s that $50?”

Bush’s campaign denied any affiliation with the flier. When questioned, Sadosky reportedly told the Daily Beast that he has no reason to believe it wasn’t a hoax, and that because of the campaign’s “fundraising troubles,” he would have been surprised that they could afford to pay supporters attend the rally.

“The Jeb folks are saying it is a hoax, don’t have any reason to not believe them, I just saw it on Twitter,” Sadosky said. “Given their fundraising troubles of late, probably makes sense that they couldn’t afford this.”

For more election coverage, click here.

Senators: Demoting General Petraeus Is ‘Unreasonable And Unfair’

By Jonah Bennett – Two prominent senators are coming to Gen. David Petraeus’s defense, urging the Pentagon not to retroactively punish the retired military official.

Sens. Jack Reed and John McCain argue retroactive demotions almost never occur and add the Petraeus case is even more unusual because he retired nearly four-and-a-half years ago in a letter written to Defense Secretary Ash Carter. He pled guilty to a misdemeanor in 2015 and paid a fine and accepted a two-year probation. He handed classified information over to his biographer with whom he was having an affair and then lied to investigators.

According to Reed and McCain, investigations should only be reopened in the advent of new evidence, fraud or some other error that renders the initial procedure null. Even then, that investigation should only occur within a reasonable time frame. Reed and McCain are arguing is that the time frame in this case is long past reasonable.

Since Carter is not compelled to reopen a review, the senators are concerned this apparent action, which is not yet confirmed, is “manifestly unreasonable and unfair.”

“We take this opportunity to remind you of General Petraeus’ long career of exceptionally distinguished, honorable and dedicated service to our Nation and to the soldiers he so brilliantly led to success in combat,” the senators write. “Under these circumstances we urge you to consider the the original retirement grade determination remain unchanged and that he be allowed to retain the title of General in recognition of his honorable service.”

Reed and McCain aren’t the only two complaining about Petraeus’s treatment.

GOP presidential candidates Donald Trump and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush both think Petraeus should be left alone and pointed to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton as a far more egregious example of mishandled classified data.

“I mean look at Petraeus — good guy, made a mistake, and by the way, leave the guy alone,” Trump said Wednesday at Oral Roberts University, according to CNN. “Leave Petraeus alone. Right? Enough already. Enough. They’ve gone after him, they’ve destroyed him, and yet Hillary’s flying safe and she did 100 times worse than what he did.”

Demotion is serious business. Petraeus would not only owe back pay from a four-star pension, but he would lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in future income. His reputation would also further be sullied. The Pentagon is reportedly considering a demotion in this case because it wants to maintain consistency in the treatment of its senior officers.

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Jeb Refuses To Back Trump Over Clinton In CNN Interview

By Blake Neff – Jeb Bush refused to answer a question over whether he’d support Donald Trump against Hillary Clinton for the presidency in an appearance on CNN Thursday night, lending further support to claims he is backing out of a pledge to back the final GOP nominee.

“Would [Trump] make a better president than Hillary Clinton?” CNN host John Berman asked the Republican presidential candidate during an interview on Anderson Cooper 360. Instead of answering, Bush became evasive, attacking Clinton without actually comparing the two.

“I don’t think Hillary Clinton’s gonna be elected president of the United States,” Bush said. “She’s not trustworthy and her proposals aren’t much better.”

Berman hammered the question home, asking again whether Trump would be a better president than Clinton. But Bush didn’t take the bait.

“No, I’ve learned not to answer questions,” he said. “That’s one of the things you do now in political discourse. You answer what you want to say.”

The remarks come two days after a heated clash between Bush and Trump at Tuesday night’s Republican foreign policy debate, where Bush slammed Trump as a “chaos candidate,” and Trump mocked Bush’s toughness and weak performances in the polls. Bush’s non-answer also came the same day a senior aide admitted the candidate has looked into backing out of a pledge Bush made to back the eventual Republican nominee.

Trump has also pledged to back the GOP nominee and not make a third-party run for the presidency, but he may renege on the deal if other candidates do the same. If Trump chooses to run as a third-party candidate, it could doom the Republican candidate in 2016. Three-way polls have shown a third-party Trump run attracting significant support, which could lead to a Democratic win.


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Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org

Jeb Bush: ‘Hell Yeah, I Would’ Kill Baby Hitler

When asked if he would go back in time and “kill baby Hitler” given the opportunity, GOP presidential candidate and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said, “Hell yeah, I would!

Bush was asked the question during an interview with the Huffington Post, in which he addressed emails sent from voters to the account jeb@jeb.org.

[RELATED: Jeb Bush Proposes Increasing NSA Spying to Combat ‘Evildoers’]

When asked about the “funniest or most bizarre email” he received, Bush chuckled and said, “I’ve got to figure out which ones are not x-rated. That’s the only problem.”

An individual in the background suggested one message, referring to it as “Baby Hitler.”

“Baby Hitler,” Bush said. “It said, ‘If you could go back in time and kill baby Hitler, would you? I need to know.'”

For his response, Bush said, “Hell yeah, I would!”

“Even if he was really cute?” the figure in background asked.

You gotta step up, man,” Bush insisted. “That would be key.

Bush noted a problem with the scenario, and explained that he could run into a situation like one in the film “Back to the Future” where the plan to kill Hitler as a baby “could have a dangerous effect on everything else.”

“I’d do it – I mean [it’s] Hitler,” Bush concluded.

[RELATED: Jeb Bush: ‘People Need to Work Longer Hours’ to Grow the Economy]

The question was in reference to a poll conducted by the New York Times Magazine.

According to the results posted on Twitter on Oct. 23, when asked if they would “Kill a Baby Hitler,” 42 percent of said “Yes,” 30 percent said “No” and 28 percent said “Not sure.”

The same question was posed on Oct. 1 during a sketch on CBS’s The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. In it, Colbert asked guest Tom Hanks what he would do with a time machine.

“What would anyone do with a time machine?” Hanks replied. “Go back in time and hold myself as a baby.”

“And kill Hitler, right?” Colbert added.

“Oh, and kill Hitler. Yeah, sure,” Hanks said.

For more election coverage, click here.

Jeb Bush Campaign Orders Major Spending Cuts

MIAMI, October 23, 2015– Only four short months ago, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination in Miami. Today, the campaign is letting go of various senior advisers and campaign staff. At least 40 percent of the payroll will be cut, and the campaign is also slashing 45 percent of its budget.

One Bush adviser told Bloomberg Politics in an interview Friday morning that the team was “unapologetic” about the changes, saying the moves were from a “position of strength.”

“This is about winning the race,” the adviser said. “We’re doing it now and making the shifts with confidence. We expect to win.”

So far, the establishment pick has raised $24.8 million. Meanwhile, Super PACs supporting his candidacy have raised $108.5 million. However, a war-chest totaling more than $133 million has yet to save Bush’s candidacy.

Almost $25 million has already been spent in support of Bush’s candidacy, which is more than any other candidate. Speaking of money, the campaigns of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson have each raised more money than Bush. If it weren’t for wealthy Super PAC donors, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Sen. Ted Cruz and Ben Carson would have more cash on hand to support their candidacies that Bush would.

Carson, who now leads the Republican field in Iowa, seemed somewhat shocked by the news that Bush was being forced to make such drastic cuts.

“This is a little bit surprising, but you know a lot of his money, of course, was super-PAC money as opposed to campaign money,” Carson said in an interview that is scheduled to air on With All Due Respect today on Bloomberg TV. “That doesn’t give you as much flexibility, quite frankly.”

As Bush announced his candidacy in July, he did so as a front-runner receiving nearly 18 percent of the vote in polls. Since then, his lead has dropped by nearly 11 points as he currently only captures 7.2 percent of the vote. Businessman Donald Trump, Carson, Rubio and Cruz all currently enjoy more support in the polls than Bush.

Some have questioned if the recent cuts could signal the end of Bush’s candidacy.

For more election coverage, click here.

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Jeb Bush Dismisses Declining Poll Numbers, Says Early Polls ‘Really Don’t Matter’

Despite dropping in recent polls, GOP candidate former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said on Sunday that he believes the early polls “really don’t matter,” in the “marathon” that is the presidential race.

During an interview with Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday,” Bush dismissed the latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, which has him listed in fifth place at 7 percent, behind Donald Trump at 21 percent; Ben Carson at 20 percent; and Carly Fiorina and Marco Rubio, who are both at 11 percent.

“These polls really don’t matter,” Bush said. “They don’t filter out the people that aren’t going to vote. It’s just, I know it’s an obsession, because it kind of frames the debate for people for that week.”

The Chicago Tribune noted that Bush is entering a critical phase of his campaign, due to the fact that top donors are warning that he “needs to demonstrate growth in the polls over the next month or face serious defections among supporters.”

[RELATED: As Jeb Bush’s Poll Numbers Drop, Three Top Fundraisers Quit Campaign]

Bush told Wallace that he is “running a hard campaign,” and he expects to see improvement in polling numbers. “Campaigns are about getting better each and every day,” Bush said. “Whether it’s Donald Trump or you, or anybody else, candidates have to get better, and that’s what I intend to do.”

When campaigning in South Carolina last week, Bush said that Democrats often win over black voters by telling them “we’ll take care of you with free stuff.”

“Our message is one of hope and aspiration,” Bush said. “It isn’t one of division and ‘get in line,’ and we’ll take care of you with free stuff.”

Wallace noted that Bush’s comments are being compared to comments made by 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

During a speech at a convention for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in July 2012, Romney said he wanted people to know what he stands for, and to vote accordingly.

“I want people to know what I stand for and if I don’t stand for what they want, go vote for someone else, that’s just fine,” Romney said. “But I hope people understand this, your friends who like Obamacare, you remind them of this, if they want more stuff from government tell them to go vote for the other guy — more free stuff”

In response, Bush insisted that “the left” had taken his comments out of context, and claimed that while the U.S. government spends “a trillion dollars a year on poverty programs,” the net result is that the “percentage of people in poverty has remained the same.”

“We need to make our case to African-American voters, and all voters, that an aspirational message, fixing a few big complex things, will allow people to rise up,” Bush said. “That’s what people want. They don’t want free stuff. That was my whole point.”

[RELATED: Report Challenges Complaints Expressed By GOP Candidates]

Bush called the presidential race a marathon, and said he thinks that once he starts advertising, his polling numbers will improve.

“Look, it is a marathon, and we just started advertising,” Bush said. “I’m confident we’ll get good response. We’ve got a great ground game in these early states. I’m confident that I can win New Hampshire for sure.”

For more election coverage, click here.


Report Challenges Immigration Complaints Expressed By GOP Candidates

While some GOP candidates have made statements pertaining to immigrants learning English and committing crimes in the United States, and have used them as talking points, a recent report suggests that immigrants are succeeding in learning English and are, on average, less likely to commit a violent crime than the average American.

A 443-page report, released by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine on Monday, studied “The Integration of Immigrants into American Society” and looked at how immigrants assimilate into American culture by learning English, adopting similar values and achieving certain socioeconomic outcomes.

The report compiled data from 41 million foreign-born immigrants in the United States, 11.3 million or over 25 percent of which are undocumented.

Several of the GOP candidates have made statements concerning the use of English as the official language of the United States, and have suggested that immigrants should speak English exclusively.

Carly Fiorina told CNN that “English is the official language of the United States.” HoweverThink Progress noted that the United States does not have an official language, but that “many states have already passed or are trying to pass legislation to make their official state language English.”

Candidates such as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) have also expressed their belief of the importance of immigrants learning and speaking English.

During the second GOP debate, hosted by CNN last week, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said that while he wouldn’t deport millions of undocumented individuals in the same way that candidates such as Donald Trump have called for, he does think they should learn to speak English.

“They can come here, but they should learn to speak our language,” Graham said. “I don’t speak it very well, but look how far I’ve come.”

The report states that “there is evidence that integration is happening as rapidly or faster now than it did for the earlier waves of mainly European immigrants in the 20th century.” This knowledge is influenced by the fact that many of the immigrants have taken English classes in their native countries or have been exposed to English media.

[pull_quote_center]Today, many immigrants arrive already speaking English as a first or second language. Currently, about 50 percent of the foreign-born in surveys report they speak English ‘very well’ or ‘well,’ while less than 10 percent say they speak English ‘not at all.’ [/pull_quote_center]

The stereotype of immigrants as violent criminals has been used by GOP candidate Donald Trump, who kicked off his presidential campaign with choice words on immigration.

“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best,” Trump said. “They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

In contrast to Trump’s statements, the report claimed that “increased prevalence of immigrants is associated with lower crime rates,” and that “among men age 18-39, the foreign-born are incarcerated at a rate that is one-fourth the rate for the native-born.”

[pull_quote_center]Cities and neighborhoods with greater concentrations of immigrants have much lower rates of crime and violence than comparable nonimmigrant neighborhoods. This phenomenon is reflected not only across space but also over time.[/pull_quote_center]

The report noted that there is also evidence that crime rates for the second and third generations from immigrant families “rise to more closely match the general population of native-born Americans.”

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, whose parents are Indian immigrants, used the idea of a lack of immigrant assimilation to criticize the presence of “hyphenated Americans,” using the phrase “immigration without assimilation is invasion.”

“We need to insist people that want to come to our country should come legally, should learn English and adopt our values, roll up their sleeves, and get to work,” Jindal said.

According to the report, current immigrants and their descendants are integrating into U.S. society, and they have found that the outcomes of “educational attainment, occupational distribution, income, residential integration, language ability, and living above the poverty line,” increase when they “become more similar to the native-born and improve their situation over time.”

[pull_quote_center]Across all measurable outcomes, integration increases over time, with immigrants becoming more like the native-born with more time in the country, and with the second and third generations becoming more like other native-born Americans than their parents were.[/pull_quote_center]

For more election coverage, click here.

Paul: ‘Kids Who Had Privilege Like’ Bush Don’t Go to Jail for Pot, But Inner City Kids Do

At Wednesday’s CNN Republican presidential debate, an intense debate broke out over marijuana prohibition and medical marijuana as host Jake Tapper attempted to pit N.J. Governor Chris Christie, who said he would enforce federal pot prohibition laws against states that have legalized it, against U.S. Senator Rand Paul, who supports shifting away from harsh War on Drugs criminal penalties.

In the above-embedded video, Senator Paul can be seen beginning his response by pointing out the hypocrisy of those who themselves once used marijuana but who now support imposing criminal penalties on others who use it. “There is at least one prominent example on the stage of someone who says they smoked pot in high school, and yet the people going to — to jail for this are poor people, often African-Americans and often Hispanics, and yet the rich kids who use drugs aren’t,” said Paul.

Though Paul stopped short of naming names and suggested that all of the candidates on the stage should discuss whether they used pot in high school, Jake Tapper pressed, “Is there somebody you were specifically thinking of?

[RELATED: Poll- Who Do You Think Won The Main Stage CNN Debate?]

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush interjected, “He was talking about me… So, 40 years ago, I smoked marijuana, and I admit it. I’m sure that other people might have done it and may not want to say it in front of 25 million people. My mom’s not happy that I just did.

Bush pointed to a rising heroin epidemic in New Hampshire and said, “It is appropriate for the government to play a consistent role to be able to provide more treatment, more prevention — we’re the state that has the most drug courts across every circuit in — in — in Florida, there are drug courts to give people a second chance… That’s the best way to do this.

During the exchange, Paul pointed out the fact that Bush has specifically voted and campaigned for criminal penalties for medical marijuana. “Under the current circumstances, kids who had privilege like you do don’t go to jail, but the poor kids in our inner cities go to jail. I don’t think that’s fair. And I think we need to acknowledge it, and it is hypocritical to still want to put poor people in jail…

Though Bush responded that he did not want to “put poor people in jail,” he went on to say:

[pull_quote_center] Medical marijuana on the ballot was opened up. There was a huge loophole. It was the first step to getting to a Colorado place. And as a citizen of Florida, I voted no.[/pull_quote_center]

The debate continued as Christie doubled down on his position calling for federal enforcement of marijuana prohibition laws in states that have legalized recreational marijuana.

Carly Fiorina, who explained that she lost a child to drug addiction, said, “I agree with Senator Paul. I agree with states’ rights. But we are misleading young people when we tell them that marijuana is just like having a beer. It’s not. And the marijuana that kids are smoking today is not the same as the marijuana that Jeb Bush smoked 40 years ago.

We do need criminal justice reform. We have the highest incarceration rates in the world. Two-thirds of the people in our prisons are there for non-violent offenses, mostly drug related. It’s clearly not working,” added Fiorina.

For more election coverage, click here.

Back in September of last year, 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.


LOTFI: 8 Crucial Questions Before The Next GOP Debate

CALIFORNIA, September 15, 2015– The first GOP debate hosted by Fox News was a game-changer. Some candidates shined, while others made mistakes they may not be able to recover from. Polls typically don’t have much weight this early on, but with the party using poll performance as qualifier to have a seat on the main stage, they carry more weight than usual. Yes, it’s still early, but with Labor Day having passed, campaign season is officially in full swing. Here are 8 crucial questions ahead of CNN’s Wednesday night debate at the Ronald Reagan library in California.

1.) Will Donald Trump even show?

Trump has threatened CNN that if they do not donate the proceeds from advertising dollars, then he’ll choose not to attend the debate. The way Trump sees it, CNN will take bundles of cash to the bank due to record-breaking viewership tuning in to see him, so he feels entitled to run the show. Either way, it’s a win for Trump. He’ll get just as many headlines if he doesn’t show as he would if he did. Not to mention the fact that his last debate performance wasn’t spectacular, so it could be a way for Trump to avoid policy while still stealing the publicity.

2.) Has Ted Cruz peaked? How will he deal with Huckabee?

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has struggled to capture more than 10 percent of the vote. In late April, Cruz had his best showing in the polls with an average of 11.3 percent. However, his support dropped below 5 percent before the first GOP debate. On the day of the debate, Cruz captured approximately 5.5 percent support. Post-debate, Cruz rode a small wave and managed to reach 7.3 percent, but is currently back down to 6.7 percent. That being said, Cruz has grassroots conservatives right where he wants them. Also, with former Texas Governor Rick Perry out of the race, Cruz could see a bump from voters in his home state. However, many believe that Cruz’s appeal is limited– especially when he has having to compete for the evangelical vote with former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee whose campaign staff has literally blocked Cruz from speaking to the media so the Governor can steal the show. The best thing that could happen for Cruz would be for Huckabee to end his campaign. However, Huckabee isn’t likely to do so. After all, he’s just in it for another book deal. Even if Huckabee were to drop out, Cruz has a narrow path to victory with an even more narrow potential voter base to carry him there. Even so, it may behoove Cruz to call Huckabee out on being an avid supporter of Common Core. This could knock Huckabee down a few points and those folks would naturally migrate to Cruz.

3.) Will Carson take Trump’s place atop the post-debate polls?

In the first GOP debate, Dr. Ben Carson was cool, calm and collected. He managed to answer some tough questions. Your average policy-wonk wasn’t impressed with Carson’s responses, but what do they know? America loves Carson and they should. Unlike Donald Trump, Carson is even-tempered, has a kind heart and is a true outsider. While Trump’s supporters haven’t flocked to Carson just yet, Carson has made impressive gains in the polls. He’s even caught up to Trump in Iowa. During the first debate, Carson registered only 5.8 percent. Currently capturing 17.8 percent, he has jumped 12 points since then. As more Americans learn about Trump’s deep connections and financial ties to Washington, some Americans wanting an outsider to sit in the White House may see Carson a more suitable alternative. However, Carson will need to take a stand in the next debate. He has America’s attention, now it’s time to show us he has the guts to be America’s next Commander in Chief. As of today, Carson is only 12 points behind Trump.

4.) Can Jeb Bush defeat his worst enemy, himself?

Jeb Bush hit a high of 17.8 percent support in July. Since then, it’s been a downward spiral. By time the first debate aired, Bush had lost almost 5 points and Trump had taken over as the leading candidate. Speaking of the debate, Bush was a drag. Not a single pundit had a nice thing to say about his performance and America agreed. Post-debate, Bush shredded almost another 5 points and currently sits at 7.8 percent support. Many may like to blame Trump for Bush’s decline, but the only person responsible for Bush’s decline is Bush himself. What does it say about your strength as a candidate if a bombastic reality TV star can knock you off your perch in a matter of weeks? Bush needs to save himself in the CNN debate, and only he can do it.

5.) Can Rand Paul, Scott Walker and Chris Christie redeem themselves?

Pundits had high hopes for Senator Rand Paul, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, but each has fallen from grace. At one point, polls showed each of them in the lead for the party’s nomination. Paul is a tea party, libertarian leaning Republican from Kentucky who made it his mission to improve the GOP’s image with minorities, independents and youth. From a high of 17 percent, Paul currently captures only 2.7 percent. Some thought he may not even make it to the second debate. His first debate performance left many Republicans with a bad taste in their mouth. What’s worse is that Paul is now viewed as unfavorable by more than 40 percent of voters, while 30 percent have a favorable opinion and 30 percent are undecided. Those numbers continue to get worse for Paul. Meanwhile, Walker has struggled to define himself. Most insiders will tell you that Walker is no grassroots conservative and more closely aligns with the policies of Bush and Kasich. Regardless, Walker has set out to appease conservatives rather than establishment types. It’s a worthy strategy, but folks just aren’t buying it yet. Walker’s first debate performance was lackluster at best. Before the first debate, many didn’t know who Walker was. Post-debate, his poll numbers took a hit. Before the debate, Walker was polling at 10.6 percent which was down from an all time high of 16.6 percent. Today, he only captures 3.8 percent. Favorability is also an issue with Walker. In March, 26 percent of those polled had a favorable opinion of Walker. Today, that number remains unchanged. Meanwhile, in Mach, 27 percent had an unfavorable opinion of Walker. Today, 35 percent have a negative opinion of Walker. Regardless of Walker’s and Paul’s problems, they should both be thankful they aren’t Christie. At one point, Christie dominated the GOP field with 20 percent of the vote. Today, he only registers support from 2 percent of voters. Meanwhile, 50 percent of voters have a negative opinion of him while only 26 percent view him favorably.

6.) Will John Kasich continue his surge, or is it already over?

Establishment donors are looking to Ohio Governor John Kasich as a potential alternative to Jeb Bush should he continue to flop. Kasich announced his bid for the White House just before the first GOP debate and managed to wrestle himself a seat on the main stage. During the debate, Kasisch was charismatic and had a moderately high level of energy. Reaching a high of 5 percent on September 1, his performance resulted in a small bump. However, two weeks later, today Kasich is already back down to 3.5 percent. As long as Bush, Christie and Rubio are in the race, Kasich may not have much room to grow. In order to do so, he will need to separate himself from the other establishment candidates while simultaneously continuing to appeal their supporters in the next debate. No easy task.

7.) Will Carly Fiorina still stand out?

Maybe it was her responses, maybe it was because she was the only non-politician on stage, or maybe it was simply because she was the only woman. Regardless, Fiorina was sat at the kids’ table during the first debate, and she stuck out like a sore thumb. Fiorina impressed millions and thrust herself onto the main-stage for the 2nd debate. Before the first debate, Fiorina was barely registering in the polls. Today, with 4.3 percent support, she’s polling in 7th place. She remains the GOP’s only female candidate, so she’ll likely still stand out, but will that be enough? When she speaks, people will listen. Especially now since she is on the main stage. However, she’s no longer the only outsider on stage and that stage is much larger. Will she find a way to stand out now that she’s in the big leagues?

8.) Speaking of the kids table…

Is there room on the main stage for another underdog to join Fiorina in the big leagues? Probably not. Perry seemed to recognize this early on and was the first victim in the 2016 GOP primary. On September 11, Perry ended his campaign with grace. Meanwhile, it has become abundantly clear that Rick Santorum’s 2012 wave of support was nothing more than conservative repudiation to Mitt Romney becoming the nominee. He has failed to register more than 1 percent in the polls. Also, Senator Lindsey Graham has failed to register more than 1 percent in the polls and hasn’t even registered enough support in his own home state of South Carolina to qualify for a candidate forum. In addition, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and Former New York Governor George Pataki have only registered 1 percent, which is enough to get them a seat at the kids’ table, but not enough to raise the money they need to keep their campaigns alive. Former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore failed to even register 1 percent, and will not be allowed in the second under-card debate. If there was a candidate left from the kids’ table that had the political clout to pull up a seat to the main stage, it was probably Perry.

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Sarah Palin: When You’re In America, ‘Let’s Speak American’

During CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday, Jake Tapper asked Former Alaska Gov. and 2008 GOP Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin what she thought of recent comments from GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump criticizing Jeb Bush for using his ability to speak both English and Spanish to relate to voters, and Bush criticizing Trump for having a “lack of tolerance.” 

Palin said that she doesn’t know what opposition to “choosing to speak English or Spanish in a conversation” has to do with tolerance, and that she thinks it can be a benefit for the current GOP candidates who are fluent in both languages.

“I think it’s a benefit of Jeb Bush to be able to be so fluent in Spanish because we have a large and wonderful Hispanic population that is helping to build America, and that’s good, and that’s a great relationship and connection that he has with them through his wife and through his family connections,” Palin explained.

Palin said that when it comes to immigrants who are in the U.S. legally, she thinks they should “speak American” because it is the “language that is understood by all” and she sees it as a unifying aspect for the nation:

[quote_box_center]“I think we can send a message and say, ‘You want to be in America? A. You better be here legally or you’re out of here. B. When you’re here, let’s speak American,’” Palin said. “I mean, that’s just — let’s speak English and that’s kind of a unifying aspect of a nation — the language that is understood by all.”[/quote_box_center]

Palin also said that if Donald Trump were elected President in 2016, she would consider the position of energy secretary, and as head of the federal energy department, she would “get rid of it.”

“I think a lot about the department of energy, and if I were head of that, I’d get rid of it,” Palin said. “And I’d let the states start having more control over the lands that are within their boundaries and the people who are affected by the developments within their states.”

The full interview can be seen below.

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Bush Poll Numbers Plummet to Single Digits in Iowa, N.H.

Two new NBC News/Marist Republican presidential preference polls spell bad news for former Florida Governor Jeb Bush — in just two months, support for his 2016 presidential campaign has plummeted from 12 to 6 percent in Iowa, and from 14 to 8 percent in New Hampshire.

According to a summary of July and September Marist College polls of potential Republican voters in the two earliest contests of the 2016 presidential primary season, Bush and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker are rapidly losing support. Walker has plunged from 19 to 5 percent in Iowa and from 12 to 4 percent in New Hampshire.

Marist College’s poll summary noted, “Trump has improved his standing among potential Republican voters in both crucial GOP contests. In Iowa, Trump, 29%, leads the crowded GOP field, and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, 22%, assumes second place. Dr. Carson is the favorite ‘second choice’ among potential GOP voters. Trump, 28%, also takes the top spot in New Hampshire where he outpaces Ohio Governor John Kasich, 12%, and Dr. Carson, 11%, by double digits among the state’s potential Republican electorate. Carson is also the preferred ‘second choice’ in New Hampshire.

NH-Potential-Republican-Electorate_PrimaryAccording to the most recent NBC News/Marist Iowa poll, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is now tied for fourth place in the state with former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.

The September NBC News/Marist polls in both states were conducted over a period of time from August 26 to September 2.

[RELATED: Latest Poll: Sanders Gains Strongest Lead Yet On Clinton In New Hampshire]

Marist College Institute for Public Opinion director Dr. Lee M. Miringoff said, speaking on the results of the organization’s polling on both sides of the aisle, “There’s been a massive shakeup in both parties, in both states. It’s been a summer of surprises with Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders sitting in the front car of the rollercoaster.

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Bush Releases Attack Ad Exposing Trump’s Liberal Positions

WASHINGTON, September 1, 2015– Reality TV star and billionaire Donald Trump has been taking shots at former Florida Governor Jeb Bush on the social media app Instagram. Now, as he suffers in the polls, the embattled establishment pick is firing back.

On Monday, Trump posted the below clip which was intended to display Bush’s weak stance on illegal immigration:

This is no "act of love" as Jeb Bush said…

A video posted by Donald J. Trump (@realdonaldtrump) on

No less than 24 hours later, the Bush campaign slammed Trump with a video ad released this morning.

The Bush ad, titled “The Real Donald Trump”, called Trump out on every issue he has flip-flopped on since deciding to run for the White House as a Republican. Leaving no stone left unturned, Bush hit Trump on his support of abortion, socialized healthcare, Hillary Clinton, more taxes, etc.

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As Jeb Bush’s Poll Numbers Drop, Three Top Fundraisers Quit Campaign

Three top Jeb Bush fundraisers, Debbie Aleksander, Trey McCarley, and Kris Money, have quit working for the former Florida governor’s presidential campaign. The announcement of the exit of Bush campaign officials comes on the heels of Donald Trump’s dramatic surge past Bush to the top of 2016 Republican presidential primary polling. Bush recently fell to third in national polling averages.

According to Politico, “There are different versions of what transpired. The Florida-based fundraising consultants… have said that they voluntarily quit the campaign and were still working with Bush’s super PAC, Right to Rise Super PAC. Others said the three, who worked under the same contract, were let go because they were no longer needed for the current phase of the campaign.

[RELATED: Trump: “If I’m Going Down, Then Bush Is Going Down with Me”]

An unidentified Politico source reportedly said that the consultants left the campaign over a personality dispute, citing difficulties working with Bush finance director Heather Larrison.

They were glad to go. This wasn’t a shock to anybody. There were just some personality problems. It happens when you have a big organization like this, a big campaign. Some of the national people are tough to work for,” another unidentified campaign-connected source told Politico.

However, other campaign sources also blamed Kris Money’s alleged “haughtiness and a heavy-handed donate-or-else attitude” for the split and claims that the three had been let go due to their inability to keep up with previous quarter fundraising totals.

We appreciated their work, but we are entering a new phase of the campaign post-Labor Day, and we needed to move in a different direction,” claimed another source.

Politico cited a contradictory claim by another campaign insider, who said, “They raised a lot of money out of Florida. A lot. So if anyone says they didn’t quit, it’s not true. They’re still working for the super PAC as well. This is not about them. … This is about the campaign.

The Bush campaign has reportedly reached out to former Chris Christie presidential campaign fundraiser Meredith O’Rourke, who left Christie’s campaign in July, in an effort to fill one of the now-vacant fundraising positions.

Another campaign staffer, who Politico says has access to the campaign’s internal data, said, “Jeb might not have a fundraiser problem. He might have a spending problem.

He added, “Jeb has a big army, and that army needs to be fed.

Bush spokesperson Tim Miller downplayed the controversy in comments to Fox News and said, “Governor Bush has the widest and deepest fundraising operation of any candidate in the field.” He also pointed out the fact that lead fundraiser Ann Herberger continues to work for the campaign.

Republican strategist Joe Desilets also dismissed the split as insignificant and told Fox News, “This is the time of year that campaigns make staffing changes before settling a final team going forward.

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Trump: “If I’m Going Down, Then Bush Is Going Down with Me”

Reportedly motivated by a feud with former Florida Governor Jeb Bush over a failed business deal, sources close to real estate tycoon and 2016 Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump claim that Trump has vowed to stop Bush from ascending to the presidency.

In an article by New York Magazine’s Gabriel Sherman which gives an inside look into Trump’s presidential campaign, a friend and informal adviser to Donald Trump quoted the celebrity billionaire as having said, “If I’m going down, then Bush is going down with me. He’s not going to be president of the United States.

Below the headline in Sherman’s article, which focuses on the nuts-and-bolts of Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, details are found which point to the emergence of a heated and personal feud between Trump and Jeb Bush. Reportedly, Trump blames Bush for Univision’s cancellation of its contract to televise the Miss USA Pageant.

While Trump assured me that he thinks Bush is ‘a nice person,’ he has told friends in private that his animosity is personal. According to one friend, Trump blames Bush and Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim for Univision’s decision in June to cancel a $13.5 million contract with Trump to televise his Miss USA pageant. Five days later, Slim scrapped a deal with Trump to develop shows in Mexico. Trump responded by filing a $500 million lawsuit against Univision. ‘Trump believes it all goes back to Jeb,’ the friend says. ‘He thinks Jeb and his wife, Columba, are close with Carlos Slim and Univision got pressure from Slim operatives.’ In a move that further confirmed Trump’s suspicions, Univision has hired Miguel Estrada, a Washington lawyer with deep Bush ties,” wrote Sherman.

[RELATED: Paul Hits Trump On Socialized Healthcare And Support Of Clinton]

Trump plans to best a recent $10 million television ad buy by Bush’s Right to Rise super-PAC by spending “whatever it takes.

Another friend of Trump reportedly told Sherman, “[Trump’s] numbers are going to come down, and then he’s going to panic. He doesn’t believe it will ever happen. He has not confronted this in his mind.” Sherman theorized that a drop in the polls might motivate Trump to carry out “a kamikaze mission against the candidates left standing.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump continues to ignore the Republican National Committee’s request that he take a pledge not to run against the GOP’s eventual nominee if he loses the primary.

When asked if he would consider withdrawing from the race, Trump told Sherman, “I only want to go all the way.

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Jeb Bush Proposes Increasing NSA Spying Powers To Combat ‘Evildoers’

GOP presidential candidate and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has been a particularly vocal advocate for the National Security Agency’s mass surveillance program, and on Tuesday he said he believes the NSA should have increased spying powers in order to combat “evildoers.”

Bush criticized the changes that were made to the NSA’s authority when the U.S. passed the USA Freedom Act after the Patriot Act expired in June. He also said he disagreed with the argument that the NSA collected bulk data records from innocent Americans violates their constitutionally protected privacy rights.

“There’s a place to find common ground between personal civil liberties and NSA doing its job,” Bush said. “I think the balance has actually gone the wrong way.”

[RELATED: Jeb Bush Supports NSA Surveillance Program ‘To Keep Us Safe’]

In May, a federal appeals court ruled that NSA data collection is illegal, stating that Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which was used to justify the program, “cannot bear the weight the government asks us to assign to it, and that it does not authorize the telephone metadata program.”

Section 215 expired on June 1, and after lengthy debate in the Senate on whether the NSA should continue its illegal surveillance, the USA Freedom Act was passed on June 2. The USA Freedom Act changes the channels the government has to go through to collect Americans’ records by transferring bulk data collection records from the NSA, to private companies.

While the USA Freedom Act was supposed to end NSA’s bulk data collection, the Department of Justice submitted a request to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court asking the Court to reinstate the NSA’s collection for the next six months, and to ignore the ruling from the Federal Appeal’s Court. The FISA court approved the request, and allowed NSA data collection through November 29, 2015.

[RELATED: Jeb Bush: Enhanced NSA Spying Is The Best Part Of the Obama Administration]

On Tuesday, Bush also criticized private technology companies for encrypting their products in an attempt to make it harder for the NSA to gain access.

[quote_center]“It makes it harder for the American government to do its job while protecting civil liberties to make sure evildoers aren’t in our midst,” Bush said.[/quote_center]

Throughout his Presidential campaign, Jeb Bush has tried to set himself apart from his brother and his father, both former U.S. presidents. The “Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act,” or the USA Patriot Act, was signed into law by George W. Bush in Oct. 2001 in the aftermath of 9/11.

George W. Bush discussed a plan to “rid the world of evildoers” during a press conference on Sept. 16, 2001. “Your government is alert. The governors and mayors are alert that evil folks still lurk out there. As I said yesterday, people have declared war on America and they have made a terrible mistake,” he said. “My administration has a job to do and we’re going to do it. We will rid the world of the evil-doers.”

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Jeb Bush: Hillary Clinton Shares The Blame For The Rise Of ISIS

GOP presidential candidate and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has begun attacking Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in several areas, including her involvement in the United States’ relations with Iraq during her tenure as Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013.

During a speech on Tuesday at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif., Bush blamed both Clinton and President Obama, claiming that they let the U.S. retreat from Iraq which gave way to  the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

“ISIS grew while the United States disengaged from the Middle East and ignored the threat and where was Secretary of State Clinton in all of this?” Bush said. “Like the President himself, she had opposed the surge, then joined in claiming credit for its success, then stood by as that hard-won victory by American and Ally forces was thrown away.”

While many would point towards Bush’s father, former President George Bush, who ordered the nation’s first invasion of Iraq in 1990, or to his brother, former President George W. Bush, who began the Iraq war in 2003 and called for additional forces in 2006, Jeb Bush insisted that Obama’s “minimalist approach of incremental escalation,” along with Clinton standing by, was to blame for the rise of ISIS.

[RELATED: College Student Tells Jeb Bush ‘Your Brother Created ISIS’]

“Right now, we have around 3,500 soldiers and marines in Iraq, and more may well be needed,” said Bush, who went on to explain that he would also send U.S. forces to Iraq as “spotters” looking for enemy targets and that he would provide more support to Iraqi Kurds fighting ISIS.

In response, Jake Sullivan, Clinton’s senior policy advisor and former aide at the State Department, told the New York Times that he sees Bush’s comments as “a pretty bold attempt to rewrite history and reassign responsibility.”

Bush claimed that “in all of her record-setting travels” as Secretary of State, Clinton “stopped by Iraq only once.”

Sullivan insisted that the key issue was not “how many times does the plane touch down at the airport,” rather it was “how intensive and effective is the engagement that leads to progress.”

ISIS was also the topic of one of the questions at last week’s GOP debate. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul was asked about the United States’ involvement with ISIS, and he noted that while the U.S. did not create ISIS directly, it is responsible for the group obtaining at least a billion dollars in Humvees deserted by the United States.

[RELATED: GOP Debate: Rand Paul Notes U.S. Involvement In Arming ISIS]

Investigative journalist Ben Swann reported on the origin of ISIS in March, and he noted that the group grew drastically after it seized Humvees, tanks and weaponry left behind by the U.S. and that even when the U.S. government “became aware that ISIS fighters were capturing U.S. equipment, it did nothing.” 


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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.

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