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Monday
Jul272015

The First Republican Presidential Debate: Who’s In, Who’s Out

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- The first Republican Presidential debate is just 10 days away, but the question remains: who will be on stage and who will be watching from home?

Fox News, which is hosting the first debate next Thursday in Cleveland, says that they will include the top 10 candidates from an average of the five most recent national polls. But Fox News isn’t saying which polls they will use to calculate their average, leaving the rest of us to play a guessing game.

We expect several more national polls to come out in the next week and a half — and we will watch as GOP candidates jockey for every last percentage point they can earn.

Getting onto the debate stage in Cleveland is a major first hurdle in the GOP race that will create a stark division between candidates who are in the running and candidates who have minimal support.

WHAT TO KNOW

Getting onto the debate stage in Cleveland is a major first hurdle in the GOP race.

Who's In

According to an ABC News analysis of five recent major national polls on July 27, eight candidates can likely already book their tickets to the debate. Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee and Ben Carson.

Who's Out

Another three candidates are almost certainly going to miss the mark. Carly Fiorina, George Pataki and Lindsey Graham have less than 1 percent support. The six candidates who don’t make the debate will instead participate in a one-hour forum during the afternoon before the debate.

Who's on the Bubble:

But that leaves five candidates who are on the bubble: less than 1 percentage point separates the four candidates between 10th place and 13th place.

Chris Christie and Rick Perry currently hold the last two spots on the debate stage. John Kasich, who just announced his candidacy last week, misses the debate stage by just two-tenths of a percentage point. Rick Santorum and Bobby Jindal are close behind, but still watching from home on Aug. 6. These numbers will move slightly with each new poll that comes out in the next 10 days.

FULL STANDINGS (as of July 27):

1. Trump – 18 percent
2. Bush – 14 percent
3. Walker – 11 percent
4. Rubio – 6 percent
T5. Paul – 6 percent
T5. Cruz – 6 percent
7. Huckabee – 6 percent
8. Carson – 5 percent
9. Christie – 3.0 percent
10. Perry – 2.2 percent
11. Kasich – 2.0 percent
12. Santorum – 1.6 percent
13. Jindal – 1.4 percent
14. Fiorina – 0.8 percent
15. Pataki – 0.6 percent
16. Graham – 0.2 percent

This analysis includes five recent polls: CNN/ORC on July 26; ABC/Post on July 20, Fox News on July 17, Monmouth University on July 13 and USA Today/Suffolk University on July 13. This analysis excludes a poll from PPP, a Democratic polling company, on July 21.

What We Don't Know

There’s still a lot we don’t know. Fox News says that it gets to decide which national polls it will recognize, saying only that they “must be conducted by major, nationally recognized organizations that use standard methodological techniques.”

But there’s more. Will it try to get more precise numbers from polling companies or just use the whole number reported? There’s a big difference between 4.4 percent and 3.5 percent, but both round to 4 percent. Will Fox News round averages to the nearest whole number? To the nearest tenth of a percent? What qualifies as a tie?

What About Ties?

Fox News has also said that, if there is an apparent tie, the news agency will look at more detailed data to determine who is ahead, according to Politico. And if there is an exact tie, they will add an 11th podium to the stage.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Jul272015

Meet John Kasich: Everything You Need to Know (And Probably Didn't Know) About the 2016 Republican Presidential Candidate

ABC News(WASHINGTON) —

Name: John Richard Kasich

Party: Republican

Declared as a candidate: July 21, 2015 at the Ohio State University.

What he does now: Kasich is the 69th Governor of Ohio, elected first in 2010 and re-elected in 2014.

What he used to do: Kasich was a managing director in the Investment Banking Division of Lehman Brothers up until the 2008 financial collapse. He also served in Congress for 18 years, where he was chairman of the House Budget Committee from 1995 to 2001. He unsuccessfully ran for president in 2000.

In his own words: “I think I was in the Tea Party before there was a Tea Party.”

Family tree: Kasich was born the eldest of three to two Democratic parents, both of whom were children of immigrants. His father was a mailman and believed Democrats were for the working man, though his mother eventually became a Republican. Sadly, Kasich lost both his parents in a car crash in 1987 -- they were killed by a drunk driver.

Where he grew up: In a working class neighborhood in Pennsylvania. He was very active in the Catholic church. As an altar boy, he dreamed of someday becoming a priest, and was even nicknamed, ‘Pope’. After enrolling in the Ohio State University, he abandoned his dreams of priesthood after realizing the implication of a life of celibacy.

Breakout moment in politics: Kasich made history in Ohio by becoming the youngest elected senator in its legislature’s history. He was elected to Congress when he was 30 and rose through the ranks to ultimately chair the House Budget Committee. During his time in Congress, he teamed up with fellow Rep. Ron Dellums of California to curb production of the B-2 bomber, which cost $1 billion per plane.

Claim to fame: In 1997, Kasich made Newsweek’s “The Century Club,” list, a compilation of people to watch in the 21st century. In the company of superstars like Tom Cruise, Jennifer Lopez and Chris Rock.

What you might not know about him: Kasich was kicked off the stage at a Grateful Dead concert in 1991. He had a pass to be on stage for the opener, Dwight Yoakam, but attempted to go back on stage as the Dead played.

Famous friend:
Arnold Schwarzenegger. "He’s a pal, he’s been a great friend of mine," Kasich once told the Columbus Dispatch. "There aren’t that many people like him on the Earth."

Known for: His brash style and tone. Following his 2010 gubernatorial election win, he told lobbyists at a luncheon, “If you're not on the bus we will run you over with the bus. And I'm not kidding.” In 2008, Kasich was ticketed for "approaching a public safety vehicle with lights displayed." Speaking of the incident in January 2011, Kasich bluntly referred to the police officer who cited him as "an idiot."

Might have wished for a do-over: In 2011, Kasich championed and signed into law legislation that implemented restrictive collective bargaining measures. After a campaign led by teachers, police and firefighters, the voters of Ohio were able to place a voter referendum on Ohio's 2011 general election ballot. Kasich defended the bill, arguing that it was intended to close the then 8-billion budget hole in Ohio. On November 8, 2011, however, Ohio voters soundly rejected Kasich's argument; 61 percent of voters chose to repeal the law.

What he did during the political off-season: Worked for Fox News. After declining to run for re-election for Congress in 2001 and after a failed presidential bid in the 2000 election, Kasich landed a show on Fox News. Heartland with John Kasich, a program similar in style to Bill O’Reilly’s The O’Reilly Factor, aired its final show in 2007.


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Monday
Jul272015

Meet Donald Trump: Everything You Need To Know (And Probably Didn't Know) About The 2016 Republican Presidential Candidate

ABC News(WASHINGTON) —

Name: Donald John Trump

Party: Republican

What he does now: Trump has been the chairman and president of the Trump Organization since 1971 and is the founder of Trump Entertainment Resorts.

What he used to do:
During summers as a teen, Trump worked for his father’s company at construction sites. Influenced by his father to start a career in real estate, Trump began his career at his father’s company, “Elizabeth Trump and Son.” Before he was given control of the company in 1971, Trump worked on building projects in Manhattan.

Declared as a candidate:
June 16, 2015 in New York City.

Nickname:
The Donald.

In his own words: “I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created. I tell you that. I’ll bring back our jobs from China, from Mexico, from Japan, from so many places. I’ll bring back our jobs, and I’ll bring back our money.”

Family tree:
Trump was born on June 14, 1946 in Queens, New York to Fred Trump and Mary MacLeod, a Scottish immigrant. His paternal grandparents were German immigrants. His father had amassed a sizeable fortune through his career as an entrepreneur in real estate developments, particularly in low-cost rental apartments in a variety of New York City neighborhoods, including Coney Island, Flatbush, and Flushing.

How he grew up: The fourth of five children and the son of a burgeoning real-estate entrepreneur, Donald grew up in relatively affluent circumstances. After graduating from the New York Military Academy, Donald attended college for two years at Fordham University in the Bronx before transferring to the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, which then had one of the only real estate programs in American academia. He graduated in 1968 with a Bachelor of Science degree in economics.

Early challenge: Trump’s father decided to take his son out of the Kew-Forest School in Queens and transfer him to the New York Military Academy at the age of 13. Trump excelled at the Military Academy, playing three varsity sports and earning academic honors. He graduated in 1964.

Breakout moment in politics: During the 2000 presidential primaries, Trump made an effort to receive the nomination of the Reform Party. Joining the party on October 25, 1999, Trump initially presented an alternative to the frontrunner, Pat Buchanan. Confident in his chances in winning both the primary and the general election, Trump entered the California primary, receiving 15,311 votes. He later withdrew his candidacy, expressing concerns over the state of the Reform Party.

Stoked controversy: When he raised questions over the veracity of President Obama's birth certificate. Though the President acquiesced by releasing his long-form birth certificate in April of 2011, Trump continued to call for the release of additional personal documents, offering Obama a check for $5 million to the charity of his choice in return for the release of his college transcripts and passport records.

What you might not know about him: Trump’s family is not entirely new to the realm of politics: Trump’s older sister -- Maryanne Trump Barry -- served as a federal judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. She was appointed on September 22, 1999 by President Clinton and served until June 30, 2011.

Family tragedy:
The life of Trump’s brother, Fred, was tragically cut short as a result of extreme alcoholism. Donald, mindful of his brother’s warnings to refrain from drinking and smoking, does not drink.

Favorite hobby: An owner of renowned golf courses from the Doonbeg Golf Course in County Clare, Ireland to his own course in Washington, D.C., Trump, an avid golfer, developed a passion for the game when he played with friends in college at the University of Pennsylvania. Trump’s career best is a 66, which he shot while playing at his course in West Palm Beach, Florida.


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Monday
Jul272015

Obama: Huckabee Is Trying to 'Push Mr. Trump' Out of Headlines

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia) -- On his first day in Ethiopia, President Obama waded into the 2016 presidential campaign, criticizing Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee for suggesting the president is trying to push Israelis to the "door of the oven" with Iran's nuclear deal.

“The particular comments of Mr. Huckabee are I think part of just a general pattern we’ve seen ... that would be considered ridiculous if it weren’t so sad," the president said in a news conference Monday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

“Maybe this is just an effort to push Mr. Trump out of the headlines but it’s not the kind of leadership that’s needed for America right now,” he added.

The president was responding to comments made by Huckabee in an interview Saturday.

“This president’s foreign policy is the most feckless in American history,” Huckabee said. "He's so naive he would trust the Iranians and he would take the Israelis and basically march them to the door of the oven. This is the most idiot thing.”

Alice Stewart, a spokeswoman for Huckabee, tweeted a response from the former Arkansas governor to the president's criticism.

".@GovMikeHuckabee 'What's ridiculous and sad is that President Obama does not take the Iran threats seriously.' #POTUS," she tweeted.

"For decades, Iranian leaders have pledged to 'destroy,' 'annihilate,' and 'wipe Israel off the map' with a 'big Holocaust,'" Huckabee continued in a statement. "'Never again' will be the policy of my administration and I will stand with our ally Israel to prevent the terrorists in Tehran from achieving their own stated goal of another Holocaust."

Obama also took aim at Donald Trump's recent comments challenging the heroism of Arizona Sen. John McCain, who was a POW in Vietnam.

“The Republican Party is shocked and yet that arises out of a culture where those kinds of outrageous attacks become far too commonplace and get circulated non-stop," the president said.

“We are creating a culture that is not conducive to good policy and good politics," Obama said. "The American people deserve better. Certainly presidential debates deserve better.”

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Monday
Jul272015

Katy Perry's Presidential Ambitions: Singer Poses with Two Former Presidents

@katyperry/Instagram(ST. PAUL, Minn.) — Katy Perry held her own among two political powerhouses Sunday night when she headlined a charity event in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Posing between President Bill Clinton and President George W. Bush -- the 42nd and 43rd presidents of the United States -- the singer suggested that she might even be next.

"42, 43, 46?!" Perry captioned an Instagram snap with the former presidents, implying that she'd consider running for the high office in 2020 or 2024 when she'd be the 46th president.

The "Dark Horse" singer, 30, was headlining the annual Starkey Hearing Foundation Gala, where she performed five songs, including "Roar" and "Firework," according to TwinCities.com.

The foundation, which provides more than 175,000 free hearing aids annually around the world, honored President Bush this year, while President Clinton's Global Initiative is one of the foundation's major supporters.

Though she may have been joking about running for office, Perry is no stranger to politics.

She has been a vocal supporter of President Barack Obama, even performing at a rally for the president during the 2012 campaign.

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Monday
Jul272015

Today on the Trail — 7/27/15

ABC News(WASHINGTON) — Hillary Clinton is on the third day of a swing in Iowa and Monday she will further address her climate change policies she unveiled last night.

At 11 a.m. ET, she will take a tour and speak at the Des Moines Area Regional Transit Central Station, which is LEED Platinum certified.

At 12:15 p.m. ET, she will address the Iowa State Education Association summer leadership conference in Altoona.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Jul272015

Ethiopia Welcomes President Obama for Historic Trip

SIMON MAINA/AFP/Getty Images(ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia) -- President Obama kicked off his first full day in Ethiopia as he heads into the second half of his historic trip to East Africa.

Obama arrived Monday morning at the National Palace in Addis Ababa, where he was greeted by Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn. The two men shook hands and exchanged pleasantries as the Ethiopians prepared an elaborate arrival ceremony.

The leaders stood at attention in front of their delegations while the American then Ethiopian national anthems were played. On either side of the palace stood enormous portraits of both leaders.

The president was then led by an officer, upright sword in hand, to inspect the honor guard. He walked on a square red carpet past rows of Ethiopian troops as ceremonial cannons fired in the distance.

The two sides then held a bilateral meeting, sitting across from each other at an elegantly set table complete with dozens of red roses.

Obama also met with Ethiopia’s president, Mulatu Teshome. Although he’s technically the head of state, the Ethiopian presidency is mainly a ceremonial position.

After his meetings, Obama held a press conference with Desalegn, during which they expressed continued cooperation between their countries on trade and economic partnership, counter-terrorism and intelligence, and democratization. Terrorism was an especially pertinent topic after a deadly bombing in neighboring Somalia killed 15 people.

"Yesterday's bombing in Mogadishu reminds us that terrorist groups like al-Shabaab offer nothing but death and destruction and have to be stopped," said Obama, calling the mix of U.S. assistance and regional and African Union forces a "model."

"We have to now keep the pressure on," he said.

Obama and the prime minister also discussed freedom of the press. Ethiopia has been criticized for jailing journalists and stifling opposition. In its most recent election, the ruling party won 100 percent of the vote, causing some to question the result's legitimacy.

"I don’t bite my tongue too much when it comes to these issues," said Obama, saying that the two had a "frank discussion" about the improvements that Ethiopia needs to make while noting their progress so far.

This weekend, Obama wrapped up his historic two-day visit in Kenya, his father’s homeland, where he was received with much fanfare and adoration. Supporters spilled into the streets of Addis Ababa as well, holding American flags and photos of Obama.

There was even a rainbow on the tarmac as the president arrived Sunday evening.

Obama and Ethiopia's prime minister will meet with regional leaders on the crisis in South Sudan later Monday and attend a State Dinner Monday night. On Tuesday, Obama will address the African Union, the first U.S. president to do so.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Jul272015

Mike Huckabee: Obama Marching Israelis to 'Door of the Oven'

ABC/Ida Mae Astute(WASHINGTON) -- Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee evoked imagery of Nazi death camps when discussing the deal over Iran’s nuclear program Saturday, saying President Obama “would take the Israelis and basically march them to the door of the oven.”

“This president’s foreign policy is the most feckless in American history,” Huckabee, a former governor of Arkansas, said. "He's so naive he would trust the Iranians and he would take the Israelis and basically march them to the door of the oven. This is the most idiot thing.”

The comment elicited criticism over the weekend, including from Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the chair of the Democratic National Committee, who on Sunday called for an apology.

“This rhetoric, while commonplace in today’s Republican presidential primary, has no place in American politics,” Wasserman Schultz said in a statement. "Cavalier analogies to the Holocaust are unacceptable. Mike Huckabee must apologize to the Jewish community and to the American people for this grossly irresponsible statement.”

But Huckabee, an ordained Baptist minister who travels frequently to Israel and has an affinity for the country, is not backing down.

Soon after Wasserman Schultz tweeted a link to her statement Sunday afternoon, Huckabee posted an image on Facebook and Twitter that juxtaposed the Israeli and Iranian flags behind the words, “The Iran nuclear deal is marching the Israelis to the door of the oven.”

Huckabee, who in May announced he is running for president, has frequently broadcast his opposition to the agreement reached earlier this month.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Jul272015

Meet George Pataki: Everything You Need to Know (And Probably Didn't Know) About The 2016 Republican Presidential Candidate

PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) --

Name: George Elmer Pataki

Party: Republican

Declared as a candidate: May 28, 2015

What he does now: He is Of Counsel with Chadbourne and Parke LLC and president of The Pataki-Cahill Group, which he founded to advise companies in the energy, infrastructure, clean-tech and environmental industries.

What he used to do: Pataki began his political career as the mayor of Peekskill, New York located in Westchester County. He was elected to New York State Assembly and the New York State Senate, respectively, and later served three terms as Governor of New York from 1995 to 2006, including during the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

In his own words: “Let the next decade be the decade when Americans can have boundless economic growth, while enhancing and preserving the natural environment. Let the next decade be the decade when American proves to the world, you ain’t seen nothing yet.”

Met his wife: Body-surfing in a hurricane. He and Libby have been married for 41 years and have four children and two dogs.

Where he grew up: On the family farm in Peekskill. His father was a postman and volunteer firefighter and his mother was stay-at-home mom. He still enjoys taking care of his yard and planting fruit.

Claim to fame He has never lost an election for any public office. In fact, he defeated three-term incumbent Mario Cuomo in 1994.

What he did as governor: Fought to ban smoking in public places. New York State passed a law doing just that in 2003. He also cut taxes but was criticized for not delivering on-time budgets.

Academic honors: He attended Yale University (future president George W. Bush was a classmate) on an academic scholarship, completing his degree in three years and serving as the chairman of the Conservative Party of the Yale Political Union. He also hold a law degree from Columbia University.

Guilty pleasures: He has said he is fond of drinking Diet Coke with breakfast.

Biggest disagreement with President Obama: Obamacare, which he has called “the worst law passed in my lifetime.” In 2010 he attempted to create a non-profit organization, Revere America, to advocate the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. It is now defunct.

Linguistic talent: Pataki is of Hungarian descent, and can still speak a small amount of Hungarian, along with Spanish, French, and German. Pataki received the Star of the Order of Merit from the Republic of Hungary in 2008 for his work improving Hungarian-American relations.

What sets him apart: Pataki has been called "progressive" on a number of issues. He supports abortion rights, gun control and loweing the cost of college. He is also an environmentalist and helped create and pass the Clean Water/Clean Air Environmental Bond Act in New York State.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Sunday
Jul262015

Hillary Clinton Calls Out GOP Climate Change Deniers in New 'Stand With Reality' Video

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Hillary Clinton Sunday attacked the Republican presidential contenders who deny "the settled science of climate change" and laid out two renewable power goals in a new video that outlines part of her plan to tackle global warming.

"It's hard to believe there are people running for president who still refuse to accept the settled science of climate change, who would rather remind us they're not scientists than listen to those who are," Clinton narrates over a graphic that shows quotes from Republican presidential candidates, including Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and Donald Trump.

"You don't have to be a scientist to take on this urgent challenge that threatens us all. You just have to be willing to act," she continues.

By contrast, in the video -- titled "Stand with Reality" -- Clinton calls herself "just a grandmother with two eyes and a brain" who knows that "what's happening in the world is going to have a big effect on my daughter and especially on my granddaughter."

Clinton then lays out two national goals that she would implement "on day one as president."

The first pledge: to have more than half a billion solar panels installed across the country by the end of her first term. And the second: to have the U.S. generate enough clean renewable energy to power every home in America within 10 years.

"The decisions we make in the next decade can make all of this possible, or they can keep us trapped in the past," Clinton says. "We cannot wait any longer."

On the campaign trail, Clinton repeatedly calls for a "global fight against climate change," which she says is "one of the defining threats of our time." The video, which was posted to her campaign website Sunday night, however, is the first time the Democratic presidential candidate has laid out specific policy proposals on how she would plan to tackle the issue should she become president.

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