Friday, February 19, 2016

Good morning everyone! Happy Friday to you!

Joining today's show are Mike Barnicle, Eugene Robinson, Michael Steele, Katty Kay, Mark Halperin, Hallie Jackson, Chuck Todd, Fmr. Gov. Jeb Bush, Tim Alberta, John McCormack, Mayor John Tecklenburg, Kasie Hunt, Sara Eisen, Dr. Ben Carson and in Taiji, Japan, the last boat arrived to the harbor. Happy blue cove day! 2016-19-2 10:11am ‪#‎dolphinproject‬ ‪#‎tweet4dolphins‬. That's 8 Blue Cove days in row this week!
Trump's 2002 Iraq invasion remarks return. Top Talkers: In a 2002 interview, Donald Trump told Howard Stern he supported an invasion in Iraq. Trump has maintained he did not support an invasion. The panel discusses it at the outset of the show. It is a pseudo admission to it. Luke warm is what Joe and Eugene are saying now.
For months, Donald Trump has claimed that he opposed the Iraq War before the invasion began — as an example of his great judgment on foreign policy issues.

But in a 2002 interview with Howard Stern, Donald Trump said he supported an Iraq invasion.
In the interview, which took place on Sept. 11, 2002, Stern asked Trump directly if he was for invading Iraq.
“Yeah I guess so,” Trump responded. “I wish the first time it was done correctly.”

Trump has repeatedly claimed that he was against the Iraq War before it began, despite no evidence of him publicly stating this position. On Meet the Press, Trump said there weren’t many articles about his opposition because he wasn’t a politician at the time.

“Well, I did it in 2003, I said it before that,” Trump said of his opposition to invading Iraq. “Don’t forget, I wasn’t a politician. So people didn’t write everything I said. I was a businessperson. I was, as they say, a world-class businessperson. I built a great company, I employed thousands of people. So I’m not a politician. But if you look at 2003, there are articles. If you look in 2004, there are articles.”

Trump’s comments on Stern are more in line with what he wrote in his 2000 book, The America We Deserve, where he advocated for a “principled and tough” policy toward “outlaw” states like Iraq.

“We still don’t know what Iraq is up to or whether it has the material to build nuclear weapons. I’m no warmonger,” Trump wrote. “But the fact is, if we decide a strike against Iraq is necessary, it is madness not to carry the mission to its conclusion. When we don’t, we have the worst of all worlds: Iraq remains a threat, and now has more incentive than ever to attack us.”

Trump, asked by CNN’s Anderson Cooper at a town hall on Thursday about the Stern interview, said, “I could have said that.”

“I could have said that,” Trump said. “Nobody asked me that. I wasn’t a politician. It was probably the first time anyone has asked me that question.”

Trump added, “When you’re in the private sector, you get asked things, and you’re not a politician, and probably the first time I was asked. By the time the war started, I was against it, and shortly thereafter, I was really against.”

Here is what Trump has said in the past about his opposition to the Iraq invasion:
At a Republican debate in September of last year, Trump said he could provide 25 stories showing his early opposition to the Iraq War.

“Well, I did it in 2003. I said before that — don’t forget, I wasn’t a politician so people didn’t write everything I said,” Trump said to Meet the Press host Chuck Todd. “I was a businessperson, I was as they say, a world-class businessperson. I built a great company, I employed thousands of people so I’m not a politician but if you look at 2003, there are articles. If you look at 2004, there are articles — in fact, I saw somebody commenting on it last night, that Trump really was against the war.”

In September, asked about his Iraq War opposition, Trump said this: “You can check it out, check out — I’ll give you 25 different stories.”

Now, in what seems like a piece from The Onion, the Pope of all world leaders suggests Trump 'is not Christian'Thrusting himself into the combative 2016 presidential campaign, Pope Francis said Thursday that GOP front-runner Donald Trump "is not Christian" if he calls for the deportation of undocumented immigrants and pledges to build a wall between the United States and Mexico.

The Pope, who was traveling back to Rome from Mexico, where he urged the United States to address the "humanitarian crisis" on its southern border, did not tell American Catholics not to vote for Trump.

But Francis left little doubt where he stood on the polarizing issue of immigration reform.

"A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian. This is not the gospel," the Pope told journalists who asked his opinion on Trump's proposals to halt illegal immigration.

Trump immediately fired back, calling Francis' comments "disgraceful."

"No leader, especially a religious leader, should have the right to question another man's religion or faith," he said in statement. Trump added that the government in Mexico, where Francis spent the past five days, has "made many disparaging remarks about me to the Pope."

"If and when the Vatican is attacked by ISIS, which as everyone knows is ISIS's ultimate trophy, I can promise you that the Pope would have only wished and prayed that Donald Trump would have been president," Trump said.

By Thursday evening, the GOP candidate had softened his tone.

"I don't like fighting with the Pope," Trump said at a GOP town hall debate in South Carolina hosted by CNN. "I like his personality; I like what he represents."

He added that he thinks Francis' remarks were "much nicer" than the media reported and that the Pope had been misled by Mexican officials.

Trump also said that the Pope has an "awfully big wall" himself at the Vatican.

That may be true, Catholic priests said, but Vatican City also has an awfully big door.

The tussle between Trump and Francis -- two outsized personalities who seldom shy from speaking their minds -- seems to have been building for some time. Before the Pope traveled to Mexico, Trump cast the pontiff as a political naif who "doesn't understand the dangers" at the U.S.-Mexican border.

The Pope, 'The Donald' and the wall between them

Trump social media director Dan Scavino suggested the pontiff's comments were hypocritical. "Amazing comments from the Pope- considering Vatican City is 100% surrounded by massive walls," he tweeted.

During the wide-ranging press conference aboard the papal plane, Francis also seemed to suggest that contraception may be used to prevent the transmission of the Zika virus and praised Saint John Paul II's "holy friendship" with a Polish woman.

But it was his comments on Trump that seem sure to dominate the political conversation, perhaps handing a gift to Trump's GOP opponents and opening Francis to criticism that his papacy is too partisan and his policies too liberal. Polls indicate that while Democrats adore the Pope, Republicans view him a little less favorably.

Asked whether American Catholics should vote for Trump, Francis demurred.

"As far as what you said about whether I would advise to vote or not to vote, I am not going to get involved in that. I say only that this man is not Christian if he has said things like that."

The Pope appeared somewhat unaware of Trump's exact stance on illegal immigration, though, saying that he would give him "the benefit of the doubt" until he had heard exactly what the billionaire businessman had said.

The Rev. Federico Lombardi, a Vatican spokesman, said Tuesday that the Pope knows "Trump expresses himself in an expressive way," but "is not always up to date on the latest statements."

Trump has pledged to build an $8 billion wall along the United States' southern border and says he will force Mexico to pay the tab. Trump has also said that, if elected president, he would eject some 11 million undocumented immigrants from the country.

"You have people coming in, and I'm not just saying Mexicans -- I'm talking about people that are from all over that are killers and rapists, and they're coming into this country," Trump told CNN's Jake Tapper last June.

What it would take to build Trump's border wall

What it would take to build Trump's border wall 02:34
Before the Pope left for Mexico, Trump called Francis "a very political person" and suggested that the pontiff, who celebrated Mass Wednesday near the U.S.-Mexican border, was a pawn of the Mexican government.

The Pope made light of Trump's accusations.

"Thank God he said I was a politician because Aristotle defined the human person as 'animal politicus.' So at least I am a human person," he said. "As to whether I am a pawn, well, maybe, I don't know. I'll leave that up to your judgment and that of the people."

The White House weighs in
White House spokesman Josh Earnest, asked about Pope Francis' comments on Donald Trump, referred back to President Barack Obama's remarks last month at the National Prayer Breakfast.

He said Obama "talked about how his own personal Christian faith informed his view of the values and priorities that he has chosen to champion in the White House."

"A number of those values and priorities are not shared by Mr. Trump," Earnest said, before taking a jab at Trump's questioning of Obama's Christian faith.

"I will however extend to Mr. Trump the courtesy he has not extended to the President and not use this opportunity to call into question the kind of private personal conversations he is having with his God," Earnest said.

The Pope in Mexico
The Pope's comments on Trump came on his way home from an emotional trip to Mexico, where the first Latin American pontiff was greeted by boisterous crowds that often burst into songs or tears as he approached.

Celebrating Mass on Wednesday in Ciudad Juarez, a city just across the border from the United States, Francis delivered a stinging critique of leaders on both sides of the fence, calling the "forced migration" of thousands of Central Americans a "human tragedy" and "humanitarian crisis."

"Being faced with so many legal vacuums," the Pope said during his homily before a congregation of more than 200,000 people, "they get caught up in a web that ensnares and always destroys the poorest."

As he prepared to leave, Francis thanked Mexicans for opening their doors and their lives to him. "At times, I felt like weeping to see so much hope in a people who are suffering so much." CNN's Kevin Liptak contributed to this story.

Donald Trump replied saying, "I don't like fighting with the pope". Donald Trump may have met his political match. The Republican frontrunner is softening his tone after getting into a war of words with Pope Francis.

"I don't like fighting with the pope actually -- I don't think it's a fight, I think he said something much softer than originally reported by the media. I think that he heard one side of the story, which is probably by the Mexican government," Trump said Thursday on CNN.

Those comments were a far cry from Trump earlier in the day, reports CBS News correspondent Major Garrett.

"The pope said something to the effect that maybe Donald Trump isn't Christian, okay? And he's questioning my faith, I was very surprised to see it," Trump said.

"For a religious leader to question a person's faith is disgraceful," he added.

Trump attacked the pope after his holiness said Trump's plan to build a wall along Mexico's border "is not Christian." Thursday night at a South Carolina town hall, Trump seemed to back off his criticism. This comes as Trump is up big in South Carolina with only one day left until the primary.

Trump has defied political conventions and manners since his first moment in the political spotlight, insulting Mexicans at his presidential announcement. Since then, "building a wall" has become a theme of his campaign, and Pope Francis doesn't like it.

The holy father made a veiled criticism of the presidential candidate as he flew to Rome from Mexico.

"A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not of building bridges is not a Christian," the pope had said.

5 things to know about Pope Francis' trip to Mexico
"He's got an awfully big wall at the Vatican, I will tell you," Trump said at the town hall.

Building a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico remains a staple of Trump stump speeches -- an echo of this incendiary beginning to his campaign.

"They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people," he said on June 16, 2015 during his campaign announcement.

Trump's Republican rivals have sometimes seized upon his previous outlandish statements, but not this time.

"I just don't think it's appropriate to question Donald Trump's faith," Jeb Bush said Thursday.

"I'm not even sure I'm qualified to criticize or comment on remarks from this man," John Kasich said.

"That's between Donald and the pope, I'm not gonna get in the middle of that," Ted Cruz said.

That wasn't the only controversy Donald Trump faced Thursday. New audio from a September 2002 radio interview surfaced that appears to show him supporting the war in Iraq. He responded in the town hall saying he wasn't a politician at that time, and by the time the war officially began in March 2003, he was against it.

Pope vs. Trump: This has to be a joke, right? 
Pope Francis and Donald Trump
OK, whoever had “Donald Trump gets into feud with Pope Francis” in the Unlikely Presidential Campaign Developments Pool, please step forward and collect your riches.

When asked about Trump during a Wednesday news conference, Pope Francis said: “A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian.”

Uh oh.

Predictably, Trump responded with a statement Thursday that appeared to be compiled by his crack team of low-performing sixth-graders: “If and when the Vatican is attacked by ISIS, which as everyone knows is ISIS’s ultimate trophy, I can promise you that the Pope would have only wished and prayed that Donald Trump would have been President because this would not have happened.”

Would have you could imagine what would have happened had Trump would have been president, because the would-have president of the United States would have been in charge of Vatican security.

The statement then addressed the pope’s comment directly: “For a religious leader to question a person’s faith is disgraceful.”

That’s a great point. Only regular leaders are allowed to non-disgracefully question a person’s faith, as Trump did six days ago on Twitter: “How can Ted Cruz be an evangelical Christian when he lies so much and is so dishonest?”

It’s a shame Trump has never met a mirror he was willing to look into for anything other than self-admiration.

Calling people dopes and losers, demonizing refugees, making fun of disabled people, cursing, lying and praising those who beat other people up at rallies — those are the kind of things that might prompt a pope to describe you as “not Christian.” 

Nobody’s asking anybody to be perfect, but in Trump’s case, the application for sainthood would burst into flames as he filled it out.

This, like virtually every other bizarre thing Trump has done, won’t make a difference with his supporters. They’ll just say, “It’s about time we had a president who’s tough on popes,” and start a #DopeyPopey hashtag and then get back to their scowling.

Which may be further proof that this country has lost its mind. A reality television star is looking more and more likely to be the Republican nominee for president of the United States. 

And now he’s feuding with Pope Francis.

You can hear the impending sound bites from Trump: “This pope, I mean, he’s very low energy. What has he done, he doesn’t do anything. He washes some feet. Who does that? It’s disgusting. We used to have popes who won. They didn’t wash feet, they did huge things, with God and whatnot, great things. This pope is weak and he’s a loser. Dopey pope.”

There’s no way this is actually how a presidential campaign is unfolding. This has to be scripted.

Trump vs. the Vicar of Christ.

Whoever’s writing this plot, please come out now.

Next, there is a Storm that threatens South, Northeast. Meteorologist Bil Karens forecasts the areas that could be impacted by the storm coming through the South and Northeast next week.
New Winter Storm Will Bring More Than Snow
Hillary Clinton Won't Promise Not To Lie To The Public: "I Don't Believe I Ever Will".

SCOTT PELLEY, CBS NEWS: You know in '76, Jimmy Carter famously said, "I will not lie to you."

HILLARY CLINTON: Mm Hmm. Well, I will tell you, I have tried in every way I know how, literally from my years as a young lawyer, all the way through my time as Secretary of State to level with the American people.

PELLEY: You talk about leveling with the American people. Have you always told the truth?

CLINTON: I have always tried to.

PELLEY: Some people are going to call that wiggle room that you just gave yourself "always tried to." 

Jimmy Carter said, "I will never lie to you."

CLINTON: You're asking me to say, "have I ever?" I don't believe I ever have. I don't believe I ever have. I don't believe I ever will. I am going to do the best I can to level with the American people.

David Geffen had once said about the Clintons and about Bill Clinton that he / they "an unusally good liar."  He went on to say, "Everybody in politics lies, but they do it with such ease, it’s troubling."

Which echoes the comment of former Democratic Senator Bob Kerrey, who in 1996 noted, "Clinton's an unusually good liar. Unusually good. Do you realize that?"

Seems that Geffen and Kerrey might be good judges of character.

Watching the former President in action the last two weeks reminded many of the ugly side of the Clinton years.

One glaring example? How about the one his wife repeated in the Sunday debate, in an attempt, as she cleverly said "to clarify the record":

Bill and Hillary both lied about Barack Obama's comments on Ronald Reagan and Republicans. And kept repeating them, even after they were confronted with the videotape.

Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton Answer Voters at Las Vegas Town Hall. As the Democratic presidential candidates spar over who would best uphold President Obama's legacy, Sen. Bernie Sanders Thursday suggested Obama has faced racist opposition from Republicans while also refusing to disown his one-time call for a primary challenger to the president. "The idea that there can be a primary where different ideas get floated and debated, I don't think that that is terrible," Sanders said in a wide-ranging town hall hosted by MSNBC less than 48 hours ahead of Nevada's first-in-the-west caucus Saturday.

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton committed to introducing an immigration reform bill in her first 100 days in office as president but declined to commit to releasing transcripts from her speeches to private groups like Goldman Sachs.

"I am happy to release anything I have whenever everybody else does the same," Clinton said in response to question from a Sanders supporter, "because everybody in this race, including Sen. Sanders, has given speeches to private groups. Everybody else does the same because every other candidate in this race has given speeches to private groups, including Sen. Sanders."

With the candidates working hard to appeal to African-American voters, Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton has criticized Sanders for saying in an interview in the runup to Obama's 2012 reelection bid that a primary challenger would help push Obama to the left.

Moderators Chuck Todd and Jose Diaz-Balart played video of Sanders' 2011 comments and asked him to respond. Sanders dismissed the question as "a media issue," adding, "This is this is one thing I said on a radio show many, many years ago."

Appearing after him, Clinton fired back at Sanders for criticizing Obama. He "wasn't really even a Democrat until he decided to run for president," she said to some boos from the crowd. "It's true!"

But throughout the forum, Sanders also defended President Obama. While responding to a question on anti-Islam bias, the senator suggested that the president's race helps explain the vitriolic opposition he has faced.

"No one asked me if I was a citizen or not, and my dad came from Poland," Sanders said, referring to the so-called "birther" movement that has questioned Obama's legitimacy as president. "Gee, what's the difference? Maybe the color of my skin."

It was one of several moments likely to stand out from the town hall, many elicited by questions from the audience.

Sanders called himself a "strong feminist" when asked if he considers himself a feminist. He went on to say that Gloria Steinem once "made me an honorary woman" while campaigning for him.

Not surprisingly given the large Latino population in Nevada, immigration was a major topic in the forum. Sanders promised to make reform a "top priority," but said, "I'm not a dictator here" when pressed on a time table. He noted the difficulty in getting a bill on the controversial topic through Congress.

Clinton, meanwhile, made several new commitments on immigration reform. In addition to promising to introduce immigration legislation in Congress during her first 100 days in office, Clinton said she would repeal the three- and 10-year bars against returning immigrants, while also pledging to provide college vouchers for recipients of Obama's DACA program.

Clinton also faced several audience questions about trust, including one from a young woman who said her generation wants a "rebel" and not a career politician.

Sanders also defended his self-described Democratic Socialism. "I'm not looking at Venezuela, I'm not looking at Cuba — I'm looking at countries like Denmark, Sweden," he said.

And he rejected the idea that his single-payer health care plan would lead to rationing of care, saying that the current system rations care by depriving millions of Americans of coverage.

"If you need a knee replacement, you might need to wait for that," Sanders acknowledged under a single-payer plan before promising that important issues would be addressed.

The race in Nevada has become tighter than expected, with the only major poll in recent months showing Sanders trailing Clinton by just a single percentage point.

Nevada may be Sanders' best chance to win a state with a large minority community, which would be critical for helping him win other states down the line and convince Democrats he can represent the party's diverse coalition.

Clinton pulled out a victory in Nevada in 2008 against Barack Obama but drew slightly fewer delegates from the state. Clinton also beat Obama among Latinos nationwide. Sanders had a late start to the race but arrived here with a head of steam after a landslide win in New Hampshire and narrower-than-expected loss in Iowa.

"I want to get this nomination as quickly as possible," Clinton said. But asked about the state of the race, she suggested she knew she was in this for the long haul.

"I've won one, he's won one, then we've got 48 to go," she said.

Bernie Sanders taunts Hillary about her answers about whether she would release the transcripts and/or video feeds of her speeches at There is a time clock shown on the site (although it is overloaded today (PHP Fatal error: Maximum execution time of 60 seconds exceeded in G:\PleskVhosts\\\wp-includes\post-template.php on line 16)). Hillary Clinton has been looking into releasing her transcripts for paid speeches to Wall St. and other special interests for. 

Poll results shjow that Bernie Sanders handily defeats Hillary Clinton.
Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton held a spirited debate last week in Milwaukee.
Watch out, Hillary Clinton, because Bernie Sanders came out a big winner in this week’s Monday Poll about the two Democratic candidates for president.

The obvious good news for Clinton: This unscientific survey doesn’t mean Sanders is going to win the party’s nomination this summer.

Here are the results, based on about 1,500 responses.

1) Sanders could be elected as president in November, as Americans reject concerns over his identity as a “democratic socialist.”

Agree strongly 64%
Agree 18%
Disagree 8%
Disagree strongly 10%

2) Clinton is a better-qualified candidate because of her experience as the wife of a president, a senator and secretary of state.
Agree strongly 16%
Agree 6%
Disagree 26%
Disagree strongly 51%

3) Both candidates are actively vying for the votes of African-Americans. Those voters have better reasons to support:

Hillary Clinton 19%
Bernie Sanders 81%

4) It is important to me that Clinton be elected this year as the first woman president in U.S. history.

Agree strongly 10%
Agree 6%
Disagree 22%
Disagree strongly 63%

The latest Fox News national poll finds 47 percent of Democratic primary voters now back the Vermont senator, up from 37 percent in January.  Clinton gets 44 percent, down from 49 percent a month ago.


This is the first time Sanders has been ahead of Clinton, who not long ago was regularly described as the “presumptive Democratic nominee.”

Clinton led Sanders in the Fox poll by as many as 46 points last summer, and had a 22-point lead as recently as two months ago.

Fox News National Poll of Democratic Voters | InsideGov

Fox News National Poll of Democratic Voters | InsideGov
“One thing that is clear from our poll -- and others -- is that Clinton has been losing support and Sanders has been gaining,” says Democratic pollster Chris Anderson.  “And this process appears to have accelerated since the contests in Iowa and New Hampshire.”

The timing of Sanders’ surge doesn’t surprise Republican pollster Daron Shaw: “Historically, lesser-known candidates beating establishment candidates in early contests have seen the biggest boost in their national support.”  Shaw and Anderson jointly conduct the Fox News Poll. 

The last two Fox News polls show Clinton’s drop-off has been most striking among women (she has gone from 28 points ahead of Sanders to just 3 points up, for a shift of minus 25 points), whites (-13 points), and regular Democrats (-14 points). She has mostly held constant among black voters and those with a college degree.

Shaw says a detailed comparison of the polls suggests, “Blue-collar, white Democrats have been a major source of Clinton’s defection.”

Sanders outperforms Clinton in a hypothetical matchup against Republican front-runner Donald Trump.  He leads Trump by 53-38 percent.  Clinton has a narrower five-point edge over Trump:  47-42 percent.

One reason Sanders has a larger lead over Trump than Clinton is independents are more likely to go for Sanders over Trump (54 vs. 33) than for her (43 vs. 39).

Sanders also does better against Trump in a potential three-way matchup if former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg were to jump into the race.  Under that scenario, it’s Sanders 46 percent vs. Trump at 35 percent with Bloomberg taking 12 percent.  If the Democratic candidate is Clinton, she gets 39 to Trump’s 37 percent and Bloomberg receives 17 percent. 

And there’s more:
Three in 10 voters nationally would feel either extremely or very satisfied if Sanders wins the presidency (30 percent).  That’s more than say the same about Clinton (24 percent satisfied), Trump (21 percent satisfied), and Jeb Bush (15 percent satisfied). 

On the flip side, Sanders has the smallest number -- 37 percent -- saying they would be “not at all” satisfied if he wins the White House.  Fifty-five percent would feel “not at all” satisfied if Trump wins, 49 percent for Clinton, and 45 percent for Bush.

Many see Sanders’ promises of free college and universal health care as pie-in-the-sky, but 72 percent of Democrats say he is “realistic enough” to serve effectively as president.  Overall, however, views are more mixed:  48 percent say Sanders is realistic enough, while 47 percent disagree.  Among independents, it’s 48-44 percent.

Clinton’s Achilles’ heel may be trustworthiness.  While Democrats think by 75-22 percent that Clinton “has the integrity” to serve effectively as president, a 55-percent majority of voters overall say she doesn’t. That includes 64 percent of independents.

The poll also confirms dynasty fatigue:  52 percent of voters say they are “tired of Clintons running for president” and 59 percent feel that way about the Bush family.

Meanwhile, Clinton’s close ties to the Obama administration could work to her disadvantage relative to the economy. 

By a 45-42 percent margin, voters say it feels like the economy is getting worse -- not better. 

President Obama’s approval rating currently stands at 49 percent, up from 45 percent last month.  Forty-seven percent of voters disapprove of the job he’s doing.

When voters are asked who they think will be the next president, the largest number says Clinton (28 percent).  She’s closely followed by Trump (25 percent).  Another 17 percent say it will be Sanders, up from five percent who named him last September.  Of course, the electorate’s crystal ball is often foggy.  Back in March 2008, almost exactly eight years ago, voters said McCain would be the next president (35 percent) -- Barack Obama came in second (26 percent).

A new batch of Clinton emails were released Saturday by the State Department, including 81 that have now been marked “classified.” 

Sixty percent of voters think Clinton put national security at risk by mishandling classified emails while she was secretary of state, up from 54 percent in August. 

If Clinton escapes indictment for mishandling classified information, half of voters, 50 percent, think it will be mainly because the Obama administration is protecting her.  Forty-one percent say it will be because there isn’t proof she committed a crime. 

A third of Democrats (33 percent), 59 percent of independents, and 89 percent of Republicans believe national security was put at risk due to Clinton’s actions. The Fox News poll is based on landline and cellphone interviews with 1,031 randomly chosen registered voters nationwide and was conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R) from February 15-17, 2016.  The poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points for all registered voters, and 4.5 points for the Democratic primary voter sample (429).

John Kasich Hugs Grieving Student in Emotional Moment in South Carolina. John Kasich ended his town hall at Clemson University in South Carolina this afternoon with a hug from a young man who told the Republican presidential candidate he gave him hope amid his personal despair.
PHOTO: At a town hall in Clemson, South Carolina, Ohio Gov. John Kasich hugged a young man who shared an emotional story of why hes supporting Kasich for president.
During a question-and-answer session, 21-year-old Brett Smith told the Ohio governor he had driven up from Georgia to see him. A man close to him had recently killed himself, his parents had divorced and his father had lost his job, Smith said.

Amid a dark time in his life, Smith said, Kasich gave him hope.

"I found hope,” he said, standing before around 200 attendees. "I found it in the Lord and in my friends, and now I found it in my presidential candidate that I support, and I’d really appreciate one of those hugs you’ve been talking about.”

Kasich obliged, coming down from the stage and embracing the young man, a senior at the University of Georgia, as he choked up and blinked away tears.

“The Lord will give you strength, I promise you, if you ask him,” Kasich said in Smith's ear.

Kasich returned to the stage, visibly moved. "As I have been out here, this is not unusual,” Kasich said. "That story is so painful.”

He continued: "I’ve heard about the pain of people all across this country, and what I’ve learned is we're going too fast in our lives. We need to slow down.”

Smith, of Franklin, Georgia, told ABC News that he was drawn to Kasich’s optimism.

“He’s just someone who brings people together,” he said. “It’s just nice to see someone that's a human caring about other humans and being sincere."

Whaddyaknow, the panel and Joe in particular echo what I have said about John Kasich. He just said said that he is real which is my line about him that i say to everyone. But fundamentally, Joe and me agree on something. that makes me happy (actually, he and I agree on lots of things in life but when it comes to GOP politics, we do is what i love about this show and i always have Mika to speak up for the likes of me). But again, I just told a serious right winger about how his (John Kasich) realness is resonating even though all she cares about is Trump. She is essentially against President Blackenstein but you know what I mean because Trump has nothing to say and/or he will say anything at all in that moment to get a rise out of us. 

New Cruz ad links Rubio to Obama on immigration. Pretty much word by word too. Wow. Sen. Ted Cruz hit Sen. Marco Rubio on Tuesday in his latest ad, comparing the Florida senator's comments on immigration to very similar statements by President Barack Obama. Where has this advertisement been all cycle?

"Rubio got to Washington and wrote the bill giving amnesty to illegals using Obama's talking points," a narrator says in the spot. "Marco Rubio burned us once. He shouldn't get the chance to sell us out again."

The spot then alternates between clips of Rubio defending the 2013 immigration bill he worked on with the so-called "Gang of Eight" in the Senate -- which would have created a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants in the U.S. if they met certain criteria and paid a tax penalty -- and Obama.

It began airing in Greenville, South Carolina, on Tuesday evening, according to CMAG/Kantar Media, a company that tracks political advertising. It's the latest searing attack from Cruz in the ongoing fight between the two senators as they look for a strong showing in South Carolina.

Rubio on Wednesday continued to attack Cruz for being dishonest and politically calculating, saying the Texas Republican's behavior has been "disturbing."

Speaking to reporters in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, on Wednesday, the Florida senator continued to push a narrative that his senate colleague does whatever is politically expedient.

"I've been saying for a while now that Ted unfortunately has proved that he is willing to say or (do) anything to get elected," Rubio said. "What we've seen in the last couple weeks is disturbing. ... It's been apparent especially in the last month."

Rubio hit Cruz for shady tactics on a number of fronts, including bringing up that the Texas senator's campaign told precinct captains in Iowa to tell caucusgoers that Ben Carson was suspending campaigning, as well as hitting him for robo calls unfavorable to Rubio and Trump. The Cruz campaign has denied any connection to doing the robo calls.

Rubio also said Cruz was mischaracterizing the Florida senator's record.

"I'm just responding, you can't let these things stay out there because they people think they are true," Rubio said. "They're not true."

The two senators have been feuding in recent weeks as they have drawn close in the polls in upcoming states, including South Carolina. Cruz has attacked Rubio's record on immigration, especially, and has brushed off accusations of lying.

"We are not in grade school where you just get to say, 'liar, liar pants on fire' and not respond to the substance," Cruz said in South Carolina on Monday, adding on "Fox and Friends" the same day, "I guess Marco's team has told him, 'Well, if anyone brings up your actual record, the fact that over and over and over again you've supported amnesty, just yell liar.'"

Rubio's campaign has made a concerted effort to keep the issue in front of voters, playing on Cruz's "TrusTED" slogan with puns like "BusTED" and "CalculaTED." The campaign sent a fundraising email to supporters Tuesday night using Cruz as a focal point, saying Cruz and his super PACs were engaging in "slimy smear tactics."

Both candidates are positioned to do well in South Carolina but both need to finish strong to keep their presidential hopes alive.

Cruz, who won the Iowa caucuses, is looking to pick up momentum to challenge front-runner Donald Trump. And Rubio, who stumbled in New Hampshire after a strong third place in Iowa, hopes to separate himself from the other candidates to convince voters he is best positioned to challenge Cruz and Trump. CNN's Tom LoBianco contributed to this report.

Jeb Bush on the show again and he sounds awkward again. He says he hugs people after something or other and obviusly he is only saying that beceuase he saw how John Kasich hugged that random guy in that real way. And, he mentions something about have Lindsey Graham in his corner to fight his battles and that he has a strong mom which again, I am lost or I do not understand his angle or why he even segued into mentioning them. 

And, (Mike) barnacle went there asking about his tweet from earlier this week with his name on the gun:
What I love about that GOP is how much they care about this 2nd Amendment issue when it is so transparent that he / they are in the pockets of the gun lobby. They are selective too. They do not even abide by the real 2nd amendment and they only care about that one without ever caring about the ones that really matter and that really come into play this day and age. besides, no one wants to take away of your guns. We just want you to stop killing people in random ways or in crimes with them and bullets. You have lost your privilege considering how many deaths we have every day and every year with people using guns and bullets. They should care about that more than the actual law itself. besides and again, read that amendment. read it. Then, talk to me about it. Do not read one line of it. read all of it.

Bush machine running on fumes. ‘People would love to get Jeb all the way … that’s not realistic,’ one big-dollar supporter says.
Some of Jeb Bush’s most steadfast allies think Saturday might be the end.

Donors, who poured millions into his campaign and super PAC, have stopped giving – one refusing a direct request to raise $1 million this week. Bush himself is hitting the phones, pleading for patience with his most influential supporters. And even some of his confidants are suddenly dejected after a dispiriting week capped off by South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley rejecting Bush in favor of Marco Rubio.
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“What a kick in the balls,” said one of Bush’s closest supporters and one of the more than a dozen major Bush donors interviewed for this story.

The Bush team had been banking on a strong week, believing their candidate’s first solid debate performance last weekend would move the numbers in South Carolina. They thought bringing in George W. Bush on Monday night would generate more enthusiasm and positive earned media than it did. They held out hope that the former president could convince Haley, who’d hedged on backing Rubio after his slip in New Hampshire, to support a fellow governor.

But none of it panned out.

"The Haley endorsement just hurt,” said a Florida-based fundraiser who is close to Bush and had up to now remained optimistic about his chances. “We felt we had some momentum after New Hampshire. And Jeb was feeling good about his brother. But it wasn’t as good as we thought it would be. Then this happened.”

“It’s bad for the staff, for morale,” that donor said. “People are working hard and it’s tough when this happens. But this stuff happens.”

But even before Haley’s endorsement, several long-time Bush donors were emailing each other Tuesday morning, expressing a collective readiness to intervene and tell Bush, depending on his finish here Saturday night, that his time is up.

“People are going to wait and see what the sequence is in South Carolina, but they’ve put all the players on the field at this point, including W,” one donor on the email chain said. “If he finishes significantly behind Rubio in South Carolina, I think a lot of the people who are personally close to him, including donors are going to say, don’t stay in until money runs out, don’t stay in just to be a spoiler. We’re thinking about legacy now.”

On a donor conference call Wednesday night hours after the Haley endorsement, the mood was even more grim. Bush himself wasn’t on the line when one donor asked about the cash situation. They were told that the Right to Rise super PAC has $15 million left in the bank. The implication, however, “was that the hard money is about used up,” said one donor.

At the beginning of the week, Jack Oliver, the Washington attorney heading up the campaign’s fundraising efforts, was calling campaign bundlers. The “ask” to one Texas bundler: Can you raise $1 million this week? The answer was no. “Every single person who can write a $2700 check has already written it,” one Florida-based Bush donor said. “I think they’d like to keep going, I just don’t think they can.”
Bush himself began working the phones immediately following his fourth place showing in New Hampshire 10 days ago, calling several of his most loyal and influential supporters, all of whom long ago maxed out to his campaign and most of whom who’ve been reluctant to keep writing checks to the super PAC. According to one source that received such a call, Bush was pleading for patience.
“Stay with me through Nevada,” is how one Washington, DC bundler paraphrased Bush’s message to him. “For a guy who’d built a campaign to go the distance, it was telling.” Bush may not even make it to Nevada. On Wednesday, a poll showed Bush drawing just 1 percent of likely Nevada caucus-goers.

On Thursday, Bush’s communications director Tim Miller shot down reports that the campaign held a call informing staff that it would be out of money as early as Saturday. To the contrary, the campaign just made an additional six-figure investment in voter contact efforts for phone banks and digital and radio advertising due to money raised at three separate events this week, according to Miller.

“Marco's campaign is hemorrhaging cash in South Carolina and likely won't be able to fund their effort following another disappointing result like New Hampshire,” he continued. “Three polls in the last two days have a statistical three-way tie for second in South Carolina. We look forward to surprising people on Saturday here in Bush Country.”

In private conversations, Oliver and two others close to Bush have been insisting that Bush will continue through Nevada and the Super Tuesday contests on March 1 unless he finishes a distant fifth or sixth in South Carolina. But the hard money situation, several sources close to the campaign acknowledge, is bleak. “The donors are not as giving as blindly this year as they did to [Mitt] Romney,” one longtime Bush ally said. “They learned to look at their investment and to assess if and where it might pay off. If the numbers in Nevada and Florida aren’t good, whatever happens in South Carolina, the reality is it’s going to be very hard to pick up delegates in the places he has to win.

“The fact of the matter is there isn’t strength anywhere.”
Bush is facing serious problems on the ground in South Carolina, where he’d been hoping to reinvigorate his campaign by beating a weakened Rubio in a second straight primary. But while Rubio has rebounded, Bush has remained stuck, his support somewhere around the 10 percent mark according to an average of the most recent polls. His close confidants and long-time friends are dejected. They know that finishing behind his former protégé here could be the deathblow.

“People would love to get Jeb all the way through the convention, but I’m not sure given where things stand, that’s not realistic,” said a Florida Bush supporter who’s been close to the family for the better part of three decades. “The question is: Will Jeb Bush do what’s best for the country, especially with Trump in a position to run away with it? Or is too personal for him to quit. This is a gut check moment Saturday, depending on the outcome. “

Things seemed to be headed in the right direction after last Saturday night’s debate in Greenville, where Bush aggressively went after Donald Trump, fighting back after the front-running businessman criticized his brother, former president George W. Bush, blaming him not just for the Iraq war but the 9/11 attacks that happened, Trump said, “on his watch.”

Following the debate, Bush’s team was downright jubilant. Inside a crowded spin room, Miller, lingered just over Trump’s shoulder, smiling cheekily, as the businessman answered questions into a sea of microphones and cameras. Later Miller made a photo of his in-person Trump trolling his new Twitter avatar and posted a picture on his Instagram feed with the caption, “Good night for the home team.”
Indeed, it was Bush’s strongest performance on the debate stage; but it does not appear to have yielded much benefit to the candidate himself. By mid-week, public and private polls, including two conducted over three nights of live calls, showed that Trump might have lost some of his support in the days after the debate, but that Bush’s numbers hadn’t really moved.

Bush knew he had to put the pedal down in South Carolina this week. Plans for a strong showing in Saturday’s first in the south primary have been in place for weeks: busing dozens of volunteers up from Miami to canvass across the state and bringing in his brother, who enjoys an 84 percent approval rating among South Carolina Republicans.
But Trump, after sparring with Bush on the debate stage Saturday night and challenging his assertion that George W. Bush “kept the country safe after 9/11,” made sure he continued to dominate the media coverage on Monday, holding an hour-long press conference where he continued to criticize the former president just four hours before the Bushes rallied just up the road on the outskirts of Charleston.
Only 3,000 people showed up to the North Charleston Convention Center, filling just half of the cavernous exhibition hall (by comparison, the day before in a rural town of just 20,000 people, Marco Rubio had drawn more than 2,000 on a Sunday afternoon). And multiple news accounts of the event included interviews with attendees who’d gone to see the former president but were hesitant about voting for his brother.

“We thought we could get a bigger splash with that event,” one of Bush’s most loyal Florida backers privately admitted. Instead, the attempt to remind Republicans here of their lasting affinity for a family and its dedication to public service only served to further position Jeb Bush as the last scion of a passing dynasty—in direct contrast to Rubio, who by week’s end was stumping across the state with three of South Carolina’s most popular conservative officeholders, Senator Tim Scott, Congressman Trey Gowdy and Haley, the collective embodiment of a new, more diverse and aspirational generation of Republican leaders.

Haley’s endorsement Wednesday stung even more because of an interview Bush had done on his campaign bus just a day earlier, when he told NBC’s Peter Alexander that the Haley endorsement, “if she is to give an endorsement, it would be the most powerful, meaningful one in the state.”
“When they rolled out that clip right after Haley endorsed [Rubio], it was just devastating,” another Florida-based Bush supporter said. “You just shake your head watching that. He should have known better than to say that, unless somehow he had a sense she was going to endorse him. It just shows that he doesn’t get the messaging piece of this, or that he’s insulated from what’s actually happening out there.”
Many of Bush’s “alumni,” those who broke into politics on his past campaigns and served him as governor, remember a commanding, keenly aware executive—and one who, just a decade ago, himself seemed emblematic of the GOP’s future, not its past. They imagined him as a future president; and they remain unwavering in their belief that he’d make a great one. But they are no longer sugarcoating the reality—and hoping Bush himself can ultimately accept it—that it might no longer be his time.

“I love this man,” one Jeb alumnus said. “Watching this play out is painful.”

Even Bush sounds funereal.

"I hope you don't think the end is near,” he said in South Carolina on Thursday at the end of his speech. Marc Caputo and Ben White contributed to this report.

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