Tag Archives: Republican Presidential Primary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I disagree with it,” responded Carson.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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CNBC Silent So Far on Criteria for Next GOP Debate, Host Says ‘Goal’ to Shrink Stage

CNBC has yet to clarify the candidates’ criteria for inclusion in its upcoming economy-focused Republican presidential debate on October 28 at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colo. However, debate moderator Chuck Todd, who is reportedly involved in determining the debate’s criteria, made some comments on ESPN radio last week that seem to imply that CNBC is designing its criteria to include fewer candidates than were featured in the previous debates on CNN and Fox News.

Let’s just say the goal is to create a threshold that candidates have to meet to qualify for the stage rather than committing to putting 10 candidates on the stage. And I don’t think we should commit to more than 10-candidate debates. You have to be viable. So now we’re in debate three it’s time to show viability and only the viable ones survive,” said Todd.

He added, “You can do it a couple different ways. I don’t believe in setting a set number. I think maybe you come up with ‘oh are you at 5 percent or more in Iowa or New Hampshire’ you can create a sort of floor, no more 4-percenters get in, no more 3-percenters get in.

Politico anonymously cited comments by a senior adviser to a Republican presidential candidate who reportedly said, “Insiders in Washington want to limit the debates because they want their two favorites, Bush and Rubio, to take on Donald Trump. They’re whispering in [RNC Chairman] Reince Priebus’s ear that, ‘The stage is too big, make it smaller.’

The possibility that CNBC and the RNC will cut the number of candidates allowed on the Republican Party debate stage is causing what Politico called a “wave of anxiety” among the campaigns of low-polling Republican candidates.

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

RNC chief strategist Sean Spicer said following the CNN debate that he does not think that the CNBC debate will have a separate junior varsity contest for candidates that fail to qualify for the main stage.

Breitbart notes that 2016 Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson has called on CNBC to announce the debate’s criteria “as soon as possible.

I would want them to release [the criteria] as soon as possible actually, so that if there is any protest there is time to deal with it. It could be the strategy is – wait until the very last minute to release them, there won’t be anytime for protesting, just move on with it – I suspect there may be something to that, I don’t know,” said Carson. He also theorized that CNBC may not be releasing the criteria because “they don’t know what the criteria should be, which is kind of unfair.

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

Curt Anderson, a chief strategist to Bobby Jindal’s campaign who believes that the RNC and CNBC are planning to shrink the debate stage to manipulate the 2016 Republican presidential primary, told Breitbart, “[The RNC] is at odds, I think, with the voters by the way who are [thinking] like ‘I want to look at all these candidates and evaluate them.’ What the [RNC’s donors] really want, I think, boils down to Jeb versus Trump, because they like Jeb and have invested in him and think they can get rid of Trump if they get all this riff-raff [candidates] out of the way. My attitude is: Who asked you? I don’t care what they want, and I think they’re having too big of an impact on this whole thing.

People who run real campaigns should be allowed to debate, and the national party shouldn’t be in the business of making the choice of who the nominee is,” said Anderson, who also raised questions about the level of influence that mainstream media outlets and establishment political parties, who can choose the participants of presidential debates by tinkering with their criteria, have over America’s electoral system.

An August Ben Swann Reality Check on CBS46 Atlanta called attention to the fact that the RNC has significant leverage that it can use to manipulate the participants in Republican presidential primary debates and that all taxpayers, including independent voters, are forced to fund the major two parties’ primaries. Watch it in the below-embedded video player.


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Scott Walker To Drop Out Of Presidential Race

Following a severe drop in polling numbers, former Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is reportedly set to announce that he will withdraw from seeking the 2016 Republican nomination for President. A press conference was scheduled for 6 p.m. where Walker confirmed the suspension of his campaign.

Walker’s poll numbers peaked in April 2015 with an average of just over 17 per cent before he had officially announced his presidential bid. Throughout the summer, those numbers continued to sink. After the last GOP presidential debate, Walker’s numbers dipped to less than 2 per cent.

In addition to dropping poll numbers, fundraising was also an issue. One supporter stated that a decline in the polls had negatively impacted fundraising abilities. “The short answer is money,” said a Walker supporter. “He’s made a decision not to limp into Iowa.”

Some supporters reportedly placed blame on campaign manager Rick Wiley, believing that the staff had grown large prematurely and that spending during the summer months was not properly adjusted.

Liz Mair, a former Walker aide for a short time who resigned earlier this year, sent several tweets pointing to several issues that she claimed damaged Walker’s campaign.





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.

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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.


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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DONEGAN: Paul Campaign Not Collapsing, But Pacing Itself for 2016 Victory

With the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary still months away, pundits are ready to declare U.S. Senator Rand Paul’s campaign for the presidency dead on arrival. Reality star Donald Trump currently dominates Republican presidential primary polling and has captured the interest of some Tea Party voters who are as-yet unaware of his recent support of far-left political positions and his close, personal relationship with the Clinton family.

In the eyes of the corporate media, the 2016 presidential race can only end with some combination of Jeb Bush, Hillary Clinton, and Donald Trump on the general election ballot, with the Republican primary being the determinant of whether Trump runs under the GOP brand or goes third party and hands the race to Clinton. However, identical narratives were advanced at similar points in the 2008 presidential race, when pundits in 2007 were sure that voters would be choosing between Hillary Clinton and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani in the general election. In August of 2011, Michele Bachmann became the frontrunner in the 2012 Republican primary after winning Iowa’s Ames Straw Poll only to drop completely out of the race after placing sixth in the Iowa caucuses.

Presidential frontrunners draw intense media scrutiny. The resulting deluge of articles with negative headlines, even if they lack facts, serve to push a candidate’s poll numbers downward. No candidate in a crowded field can maintain frontrunner status for months on end. That is why now is one of the worst possible moments to be a frontrunner in a contested presidential primary. The 2016 race, still months away, is currently a marathon and not a sprint.

Rand Paul is a savvier campaigner than people realize. Personally, I recall a small fundraiser for his first Senate race that I attended at The Standard in Nashville in August of 2009 when the would-be Senator told us that he believed he could win despite the fact that the mass media narrative at that time was that he had no chance of beating Dick Cheney’s hand-picked protege Trey Grayson in Kentucky’s Republican primary for U.S. Senate.

After Paul upset the establishment and defeated Grayson, he struggled in early debates with Democratic candidate Jack Conway. After all, Paul is not a career politician with years of experience in debates. However, he grew warmer as the debate season heated up, climaxing in a last-minute mic-drop moment, seen below, that reversed Paul’s flagging poll numbers and clinched his Senate victory.

Aesop’s classic fable of The Tortoise and The Hare could never be more relevant. Rand Paul began his 2016 presidential campaign at the end of his father’s 2012 effort, quietly encouraging supporters to take over GOP organizations in early primary and caucus states, which they have done, a reality which will reveal itself on the ground as candidates battle to win specific primaries and caucuses.

On the other hand Donald Trump decided very recently to become Republican, change his political positions, and run for president at a dead sprint, insulting anyone who questions him and saying whatever he can to steal headlines. In time, his political positions and erratic statements will catch up with him.

Paul’s strategy should not be to seek frontrunner status this early in the race. At this point, he only needs to keep his poll numbers high enough to remain in the debates. Current polling is based on the existing field of candidates, which will change. Paul got the least time of all candidates in Fox News’ first Republican presidential debate, and he capitalized by delivering poisonous attacks on Trump and Christie in an effort to winnow down the field. A growing number of Republicans now see Trump as a possible spoiler on behalf of the Clinton campaign, and Christie was lured into impaling his campaign on an out-of-style brand of nationalistic rhetoric.

Paul’s job right now is to soften up candidates who threaten his grip on Tea Party voters and to keep winning people over state by state by doing retail politics. Being the center of a national media firestorm months prior to the race’s official start is not a path to victory, but a slide that leads to burnout. A better plan would be to become the frontrunner during or close to the early primaries and caucuses. Paul, with a strong and organized grassroots following, has a ground game advantage that pundits have not yet taken into consideration. Closer to the election, those details will become more important than Trump’s shocking insults on Twitter.

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