Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Good morning everyone! Happy Tuesday to you!

The show is live in New Hampshire for the primary with Mike Barnicle, Mark Halperin, John Heilemann, Chris Jansing, Robert Costa, Kasie Hunt, Sam Stein, Tom Brokaw, Chuck Todd, Gov. John Kasich, Donald Trump, Stuart Stevens, Chris Matthews, Andrea Mitchell, Carly Fiorina, Jane Sanders, Peter Alexander and in Taji, Japan, a striped pod (20-25) being pushed into the cove. ‬The #dolphin killers are grabbing the #dolphins by the snout. The will then tie their tails and drag them to slaughter. The screaming is deafening from the dolphin suffering in #TheCove. Cove turning bloody red due to striped dolphins being slaughtered under tarps.  First skiff to leave with dead bodies. Second skiff with dead bodies exit the cove. 2016-9-2 11:58am‪#‎tweet4dolphins‬ ‪#‎dolphinproject‬.

It is debate day in New Hampshire and honestly speaking here, this is basically where and when the process begins. The way that they deal in Iowa with that caucus is not normal and it makes no sense from a democracy point of view. At least today, we will get a real vote by people that basically care about it. 
Decision day in New Hampshire. New Hampshire voters will make their choice for president in the first-in-the-nation primary contest that polls suggest could deliver victory to a pair of outsider candidates, Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Bernie Sanders.

Polls will open across most of the Granite state at 8 a.m. ET, though a trickle of voters made it to the polls in the traditional curtain raiser in the snow-bound hamlet of Dixville Notch not far from the Canadian border just after midnight.

A cluster of big questions could be answered once the results roll in later Tuesday after a week of frenzied campaigning. The contest follows last week's Iowa caucuses where Texas Sen. Ted Cruz had a clear win and Democrat Hillary Clinton barely edged out Sanders.

Republican front-runner Donald Trump is in for a nervous night as he waits to see whether he can turn support at huge rallies into votes after falling short of his polling numbers in Iowa last week when his lack of a get-out-the-vote operation was exposed.

Marco Rubio's stumble under New Jersey Gov. Christie's ferocious fire at Saturday's GOP debate, meanwhile, threatens to trigger a late slump in his support, after the Florida senator looked set to use New Hampshire to emerge as the top establishment candidate.

For their part, Democrats are waiting to assess the magnitude of Sanders' expected victory over Clinton, which could offer the anti-Wall Street crusader a boost heading into less hospitable territory in southern states.

Campaigning for the primary wrapped up on Monday with Trump and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush trading deeply personal taunts and Rubio trying to bounce back from his tough debate night.

The latest CNN/WMUR daily tracking poll on Monday showed Sanders with a 26-point lead over Clinton. On the Republican side, Trump maintained the lead he has held for months, 31% to next-best Florida Sen. Rubio with 17%. Three-quarters of the polling was completed before Saturday's debate, so it was unclear whether Rubio had been hurt by his rocky performance.

Among other candidates, Cruz was third with 14%, significantly ahead of Ohio Gov. John Kasich at 10% and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush at 7%. Christie received 4%.

But despite his lowly position in the polls, Christie has spent the last few days basking in his debate assault on Rubio.

Under pressure from the New Jersey brawler, Rubio repeated the same line four times during the debate, exacerbating an impression that he was overly scripted.

"When the lights get that bright, you either shine or you melt, and we can't afford to have a president who melts," Christie said at a campaign event in Hudson, New Hampshire.

Christie, Bush and Kasich are hoping that Rubio's rough night halts momentum he built up coming third in Iowa. A strong second place in the Granite State would enhance Rubio's case that he is best-positioned to consolidate opposition to Trump and Cruz.

Trump, for his part, hinted Sunday that he understands how crucial New Hampshire is to his campaign.

"I could say to you if I came in second and third I'd be thrilled, okay? I know all about expectations," Trump told CNN's Dana Bash on Sunday. "If I came in second I wouldn't be happy, okay?"

Bush, who for once equaled or even got the better of Trump on the debate stage on Saturday, has been mounting a last stand in New Hampshire and on Monday lashed out at the former reality TV star on Twitter.

"You aren't just a loser, you are a liar and a whiner," Bush wrote in an apparent reference to Trump's claims of irregularities in the Iowa caucus results.

Trump had a scathing response in an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer: "He's a stiff. He's not a guy that can be president. He doesn't have what it takes."

He continued, "He's a desperate person. He's a sad and, you know, he's a pathetic person. He doesn't even use his last name in his ads. He's a sad person who has gone absolutely crazy. He's a nervous wreck."

The Democratic race between Clinton and Sanders also got testy, with a clash over the former New York senator's ties to Wall Street and her campaign's attacks on his foreign policy.

On Sunday, Bill Clinton slammed the Vermont senator's supporters who he said subjected opponents to "vicious trolling and attacks that are literally too profane often -- not to mention sexist -- to repeat."

Only hours from the primary, new clouds gathered around the Clinton campaign following a Politico report that the candidate and her husband were disappointed with the direction of her campaign and that a staff shakeup could be in the offing.

But Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta dismissed the report.

"There is zero truth to what you may be reading. It's wrong. Hillary stands behind her team, period," he wrote on Twitter.

Donald Trump Calls Ted Cruz A Pussy
Donald Trump Calls Ted Cruz A Pussy. a supporter of donald trump screamed out "he's a pussy". Donald Trump did not appear to mind on Monday after she insulted Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) during a rally in Manchester, New Hampshire. Footage from the event shows Trump laughing after telling the woman to “shout it out,” then telling her, “I never expect to hear that from you again.” The real estate mogul then tells the audience that she called the Tea Party lawmaker “a p*ssy,” drawing cheers from the rest of the audience. The exchange came as Trump criticized Cruz’s answer to a question regarding waterboarding during last Saturday’s Republican debate. “They asked Ted Cruz, ‘What do you think of waterboarding? Is it OK?'” Trump recalled. “Honestly, I thought he’d say, ‘Absolutely.’ 

And he didn’t. He was concerned about the answer.” Trump said at the time that he supported bringing back “a donald trump repeated the womans claims to shock of everyone at a campaign rally in new hampshire. Trump was talking about Texas senator Ted Cruz’s equivocating over waterboarding, which Cruz declined on Saturday to say that he would re-institute as US practice for dealing with terrorism suspects. A crowd member yells out, “Pussy!” “She just said a terrible thing. You know what she said? Shout it out, ‘cause I don’t want to...” Trump says. She says it again. 

“Heh,” Trump laughs. “OK. You’re not allowed to say, and I never expect to hear that from you again,” Trump says, mock reproachfully. “I never expect to hear that from you again! She said he’s a pussy. That’s terrible. Terrible! Terrible.”A woman in the audience yelled out that Cruz is a pussy, and he repeated it. he also pointed out it shouldn't be said, and she shouldn't say it.. lol chuckle.

Hours before voters go to the polls in New Hampshire, Donald Trump turned to the topic of waterboarding at a rally in Manchester. As he began to recount how Ted Cruz had squeamishly addressed the issue during Saturday's debate, a shout came from the audience. Trump froze with a slight grin. And then this happened.

"She just said a terrible thing, you know what she said? Shout it out because I don't want to say," Trump said, clearly amused. As the woman repeated it, Trump pretended to be offended. "Psshh.. you're not allowed to say that, and I never expect to hear that from you again." And then:

Another 1st in US political history. After Trump mocks Cruz on torture he repeats what woman shouts: "She said, 'He's a pussy." Yes, he did

His exact quote: "You're not allowed to say, and I never expect to hear that from you again, she said, 'He's a pussy,' that's terrible."

As chants of "Trump! Trump! Trump!" broke out, the real estate mogul returned to the podium.

"What kind of people do I have here?" he said, to laughter, and then recalled getting flak for not condemning supporters who said offensive things about President Barack Obama. "The press got very angry because I didn't defend the president, and I didn't reprimand the person who said it. So, I just want to tell you, ma'am, you're reprimanded, okay?"

So, that's part of the political conversation now.

Again repeating a line, Rubio draws more flak. Marco Rubio Short-Circuits Again, Inexplicably Repeats Scripted Line Word for Word.
Marco Rubio repeated the same line within a span of 30 seconds during a New Hampshire rally on Monday just days after his rivals needled him as too scripted. 

"We are taking our message to families who are struggling to raise their children in the 21st Century, because as you saw, Janette and I are raising our children in the 21st Century. And we know how hard it has become to instill our values in our kids instead of the values they try to ram down our throats," Rubio said at the rally. 

"In the 21st Century, it has become harder than ever to instill in your children the values they teach in our homes and in our church, instead of the values they try to ram down our throats in the movies, in music, and popular culture." 
Rubio paused after the second time he said the word "throats," hesitating for a moment before finishing the line. It's unclear whether he hesitated because he realized he was repeating himself, or wanted to clarify his initial point. 

The line is being roundly criticized on social media and prompted a post from the New York Times linking to video of the comment.  

The repetition on the stump comes after Chris Christie skewered Rubio for repeating seemingly scripted lines during Saturday's debate. That slip dominated the post-debate analysis by pundits and his rival candidates, threatening to knock Rubio down a peg before Tuesday's New Hampshire primary. 

Rubio has blasted the media for "pouncing" on his repetition, fundraising off of the media coverage surrounding the Saturday night flub and vowing not to change. 

"I don't care how much it outrages the media, I'm going to keep saying it," the fundraising email said, in reference to his comments Saturday criticizing President Obama. 

Kasich Tells Voter He's a Good Middle Ground Between Hillary and BernieHe was kidding...OR WAS HE?

A possibly very confused voter at a John Kasich town hall in Windham, New Hampshire, wanted to know why she should vote for the Ohio governor in the "Democratic primary" — and Kasich, a Republican, didn't correct her. The question did not seem to be a slip of the tongue, either: The voter said she was having a hard time deciding between Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, and John Kasich in the "Democratic primary" and wanted to know why Kasich should have her vote.
"Isn't that interesting," Kasich said as the crowd around her gasped. However, without mentioning his political allegiance or correcting the voter, Kasich went on to position himself as a good compromise between Sanders and Clinton saying, "One of them's too hot, one of them's too cold, but I've got the right temperature."

It's easy to understand the voter's confusion. She's probably heard Kasich's spiel about his Medicaid/Obamacare expansion, which sounds like boilerplate Dem spin. Maybe she heard him bragging about his endorsement from the New York Times. Whatever it was, there's a lot for a moderate Democrat to like about Capt. O-H-I-O. If he ever switches parties it won't take him long to get acclimated.

Here's the video of the exchange:
FBI formally confirms its investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email serverIn a letter disclosed Monday in a federal court filing, the FBI confirms one of the world’s worst-kept secrets: It is looking into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.

Why say this at all, since it was widely known to be true?  Because in August in response to a judge’s direction, the State Department asked the FBI for information about what it was up to.  Sorry, the FBI said at the time, we can neither confirm nor deny the existence of any investigation.

Now, in a letter dated February 2 and filed in court Monday, the FBI’s general counsel, James Baker, notes that in public statements and congressional testimony, the FBI “has acknowledged generally that it is working on matters related to former Secretary Clinton’s use of a private email server.”

Baker says the FBI has not, however, “publicly acknowledged the specific focus, scope or potential targets of any such proceedings.” 

He ends the one-paragraph letter by saying that the FBI cannot say more “without adversely affecting on-going law enforcement efforts.”

The letter was filed in one of the Freedom of Information Act cases brought against the State Department over access to documents from Hillary Clinton’s time as secretary of state.  

This one was filed by Judicial Watch.

Bernie Sanders and the Expectations Game in New HampshireIn politics, there is one downside to front-runner status; you have to win and, depending on your perceived lead at the time votes are cast, it helps to win big.
PHOTO: Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, speaks during a campaign stop at the Pinkerton Academy Stockbridge Theatre, Feb. 8, 2016, in Derry, N.H.
Sen. Bernie Sanders might be the underdog nationwide, but he has been leading in the polls in New Hampshire for months.

One poll released on the eve of the "First in the Nation" primary from CNN/WMUR/UNH put the Vermont independent at a whopping 61 percent over the former secretary of state at 35 percent. Another from UMass-Lowell, also out Monday, had Sanders at 56 percent and Clinton at 40 percent. While the numbers would be exciting for any campaign, they have also set the bar high for Sanders as voting in the state begins.

Sanders' campaign confirms that their internal polling numbers are strong, but argues, as does the senator, that nothing can be taken for granted and that any win would be momentous for them.

“Obviously, there are these polls out there that have him 20, 23 points ahead that can't be true. It’s got to be tighter than that,” Sanders’ national spokesman Michael Briggs told ABC News.

While the Clinton campaign declined to comment formally for this story, aides have told reporters they will be happy with any outcome that puts Clinton within a closer margin to Sanders than recent polls. That is to say, the Clinton campaign seems to be hoping to get within at least single digits.

Pushing back against this idea that only a resounding win would be noteworthy, Sanders' New Hampshire Communications Director Karthik Ganapathy told ABC News, “A win means 50 percent plus 1 vote. Any votes beyond that are pure rocket fuel for momentum heading into Super Tuesday.”

Briggs, too, pointed out that the Clinton campaign adopted a “win is a win” philosophy when it came to Iowa, where she only beat Sanders by 0.25 percent, but declared herself the victor the night of the caucuses before the final results were announced.

Back in New Hampshire, Sanders' supporters seem less concerned with expectations; most are confident. Amanda Hayes, a veterinary technician from Manchester, said she feels in her gut that Sanders is going to win by a landslide.

“I just think he’s got it. I do,” she told ABC News while waiting to hear the senator speak in Manchester. “I have seen a slow progression and now his campaign is just snowballing. Now he’s a force to be reckoned with. Hillary is scared.”

Bill Stumping for Hillary Clinton: 'Sometimes ... I Wish We Weren't Married'. In his last appearance before the primary here on Tuesday, former President Bill Clinton said he wishes "sometimes" that he wasn't married to Hillary Clinton because then he could speak more freely.

"Sometimes when I am on a stage like this, I wish that we weren't married, then I could say what I really think," Bill Clinton said before introducing his wife at a rally. "I don't mean that in a negative way. I am happy."

The 42nd president, who until now had been notably restrained in stump speeches for his wife, unleashed some harsh words against her chief rival, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, at a campaign stop in Milford Sunday.

"When you're making a revolution, you can't be too careful about the facts," he said. Clinton also said Sanders' supporters had launched "sexist" attacks against his wife.

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 New Hampshire primary: Clinton's last stand against Sanders 2:28
The latest polls show Hillary Clinton trailing Sanders by 10 or more points in the Granite State.

At a rally earlier Monday in Manchester, in an apparent response to the attention his comments received, Bill Clinton admitted he had to be more cautious with his words.

"The hotter this election gets, the more I wish I were just a former president and, just for a few months, not the spouse of the next one because, you know, I have to be careful what I say," he said.

Hillary Clinton on shakeup rumors: 'We're going to take stock'. Hillary Clinton, facing a tougher than anticipated challenge for the Democratic presidential nomination from Bernie Sanders, is preparing to take a new look at her campaign structure, she said Monday.

Several people close to the campaign, particularly in Bill Clinton's orbit and among donors, acknowledged discontent within the operation and feel the campaign was too slow to recognize and deal with the threat posed by the Vermont senator.

These concerns were magnified after Clinton eeked out a win in Iowa, carrying the state by less than 1%, and the fact that the former secretary of state is trailing Sanders in polls ahead of Tuesday's New Hampshire primary. According to a CNN tracking poll released Monday evening, Sanders is leading Clinton in New Hampshire 61% to 35%.

People close to the campaign said there will be no firings, but that additional hiring is likely, particularly to beef up the campaign's digital and fundraising arms. Politico first reported Monday on the disarray in the Clinton camp.

Clinton, after a campaign stop in Manchester, responded to the reports of a campaign shakeup in an interview on MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show" Monday, acknowledging her campaign will "take stock" of their operation.

"I have no idea what they're talking about or who they are talking to," Clinton said of the Politico report. "We're going to take stock, but it's going to be the campaign that I've got. I'm very confident in the people that I have. I'm very committed to them, they're committed to doing the best we can."

John Podesta, her campaign chairman, looked to dismiss the rumors, tweeting, "There is zero truth to what you may be reading. It's wrong. Hillary stands behind her team, period."

There is zero truth to what you may be reading. It's wrong. Hillary stands behind her team, period.

But, according to people close to the campaign, there is dissatisfaction within the campaign, especially from Bill Clinton and his orbit of advisers and donors.

The former president has been concerned that the campaign has shown "a lack of imagination and hasn't been forward looking enough," according to a Democrat who has talked with him.

When asked publicly, the former president has stood by Clinton's campaign aides, even commending some of them on stage at events. But privately, a Democrat close to the former president said Clinton worries the campaign is "playing it safe."

The problem for Clinton, one Democratic strategist with knowledge of the campaign says, is that, in many ways, the die was cast a couple of years ago. The speeches, this source says, are problematic.

"It's not like the ramifications are unforeseeable," this source adds.

Another Democratic strategist familiar with the campaign makes the case that the candidate herself is "not inclined towards simple message repetition."

The message that should be repeated endlessly, this strategist argues, is simple: she wants to level the playing field and lift people's incomes.

David Axelrod, a CNN contributor and former top adviser to President Barack Obama, suggested that the blame lies at the top.

"When the exact same problems crop up in separate campaigns, with different staff, at what point do the principals say, 'Hey, maybe it's US?'" Axelrod tweeted.

When the exact same problems crop up in separate campaigns, with different staff, at what point do the principals say, "Hey, maybe it's US?"

Sanders has provided Clinton with a stronger challenge than many in Clinton's orbit anticipated and has shown an ability to raise large sums of money online. Sanders raised $20 million in January, a figure Clinton aides worry means he can run a viable campaign into the late spring. By comparison, Clinton raised $15 million last month.

The Clintons have a history with hinting at staff shake ups and campaign realignments.

Patti Solis Doyle, Clinton's 2008 campaign manager, was replaced by Maggie Williams, Clinton's chief of staff when she was first lady, in February 2008 after Obama won contests in Nebraska, Washington state, Louisiana and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Doyle had been with Clinton since she was first lady of Arkansas.

Republicans, meanwhile, are enjoying what they see.

"The Big Dog is swinging for the fences, Clinton is tanking in the polls and falling behind in fundraising, and now her campaign is bracing for a February shake up," Republican Party spokesman Michael Short emailed reporters. "It's 2008 all over again, except this time it's not Barack Obama causing heartburn at Clinton HQ, it's a 74-year old socialist from Vermont."
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