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Wednesday
Feb102016

Bernie Sanders Believes Bill Clinton Has Hit Below the Belt

BernieSanders.com(NEW YORK) --  Sen. Bernie Sanders believes Bill Clinton’s attacks on him have been inaccurate, he told ABC News Wednesday.

And when asked whether Clinton has hit below the belt, Sanders said, "I think so."

“Look, I know he’s going to be out there defending his wife; trust me, my wife will be out there defending me,” Sanders said.

Sanders also pointed out that he has defended Hillary Clinton “against some unfair attacks” in the past, “but I felt that President Clinton said things that were just not accurate and I hope we get" beyond that, he said.

But the Vermont independent said he will not change his tactics on stage as Thursday’s Democratic debate approaches.

“I hope we can debate the issues and how we propose to bring about the changes that America needs,” he said. “That’s the kind of debate I think American people would like to hear, not nasty.”

Sanders comments come after Bill Clinton attacked his supporters who he alleges aim sexist comments at Hillary Clinton supporters.

Sanders won the New Hampshire primary by 22 points Tuesday, the largest margin in the state since 1960 when John F. Kennedy won 85.2 percent of the vote.

Coming off the landmark win in the New Hampshire primary, Sanders is gearing up for the next big tests in the presidential race later this month: South Carolina and Nevada.

But if the elections were held tomorrow in those states, Sanders said, he would lose.

"No. Fortunately for us the election is not tomorrow," Sanders told ABC News' Cecilia Vega. "Fortunately for us, we have now ended the campaign in New Hampshire. We can now devote our resources to Nevada and South Carolina. And when Election Day comes there, I do think that we can win."

He went on to discuss his meeting with the Rev. Al Sharpton while in New York City today.

Sanders said the two discussed the needs of the African-American community, and while his rallies may lack diversity in the crowd, he said, he expressed confidence in “see[ing] more diversity.”

“I think what the polling is showing is that we are doing better and better with the African-American community and with the Latino community," Sanders said.

South Carolina is prominently African-American and, according to a NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released Jan. 28, Clinton had 74 percent of the black vote compared to Sanders’ 17 percent.

But Sanders says he confident his message will reach the black community.

“I think we are especially focusing now on a broken criminal justice system and the need for real police reform,” he said, “which I think will result in a lot of African-Americans and Latinos paying increased attention to our campaign."

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Feb102016

Chris Christie Formally Suspends Presidential Campaign

Andrew Burton/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie formally suspended his presidential campaign Wednesday.

The New Jersey governor held a meeting with his campaign staff at 4pm Wednesday afternoon to thank them and announce the news, a spokesperson to the campaign confirms to ABC News.

The decision comes a day after the New Jersey governor came in a disappointing 6th place in New Hampshire, despite a heavy investment of time and funds into the first-in-the-nation primary contest.

"We bet the ranch on New Hampshire, and no one ever anticipated the Trump phenomenon," a source familiar with Christie’s plans told ABC News. “He’s a realist.”

Christie launched his bid for the White House last June, encapsulating his straight-talking style with a campaign slogan of "Telling It Like It Is” and focused the majority of his efforts in New Hampshire, where he was hoping for a far better showing.

In 2012, he turned down calls to seek the presidency, saying at the time that he wasn't ready. Following his successful reelection in 2013, Christie was widely considered a front-runner for the Republican nomination this year. But his political capital was spoiled after scandal over lane closures on the George Washington Bridge.

Christie will return to New Jersey with almost two full years remaining in his second gubernatorial term.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Feb102016

Obama Bemoans 'Poisonous Political Climate,' Calls for Civility

Terrence Antonio James/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images(SPRINGFIELD, Ill.) -- In a not-so-subtle jab at Donald Trump, President Obama on Wednesday railed against low-brow political discourse, calling for a “modicum of civility.”

Rather than reward the most extreme voices or whoever is best at “launching schoolyard taunts,” the president told Illinois lawmakers in Springfield that “we should insist on a higher form of political discourse that is based on respect.”

Being president is a “big deal” and something we should “revere,” Obama said.

Returning to the site where he launched his presidential campaign nine years ago, the president bemoaned the state of American politics in a lengthy, more than hour-long speech.

Though he did not mention any of the presidential candidates by name, his message to them, and to all politicians, was clear.

“What can we do, all of us together to try to make our politics better. And I speak to both sides on this, because all of you know it could be better. And all of you would feel prouder of the work you do if it were better,” Obama said.

"Our children are watching what we do. They don’t just learn it from school they learn it by watching us the way we conduct ourselves, the way we treat each other. If we lie about each other, they learn it’s OK to lie. If they make up facts and ignore science, then they just think it’s their opinion that matters,” he said.

“If they see us insulting each other like school kids then they think well I guess that’s how people are supposed to behave. The way we respect or don’t this -- each other as citizens -- will determine whether the hard, frustrating but absolutely necessary work of self-government continues," he added.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Feb102016

Marco Rubio Admits Debate Performance ‘Didn’t Help’ Him in NH

ABC/Donna Svennevik(WASHINGTON) -- In an interview with ABC News' Jonathan Karl on his charter plane to South Carolina, Marco Rubio said that he had made the decision at last Saturday's debate not to attack Republicans, but that "in hindsight, maybe that was a mistake."

"I shouldn’t have done it that way because what it did was it moved me to a message that pivoted away from the question and gave this perception that I tried to evade it," Rubio told Karl Wednesday afternoon. "The truth is, I just didn’t want to get into a Republican-on-Republican fight but in hindsight that probably wasn’t the best way to approach it."

Rubio's performance at the Feb. 6 GOP debate, hosted by ABC News, was criticized for being robotic, after he repeated an attack line against President Obama four times.

Rubio placed in the middle in the New Hampshire primary, and he acknowledged that his debate performance "didn't help" him win supporters in the state.

"It’s disappointing because I know we could have done better and I believe we would have done better had it not been for a poor 90-second moment in the debate on Saturday," Rubio said.

He continued: "But you got put that move forward. You can’t change the past. All you can do is influence the future. And that’s what I’m focusing on. In the future, if there’s a conflict at a debate, you’re going to have to engage likewise on what’s happening."

Rubio then pivoted to GOP front-runner Donald Trump.

"[Trump] is now clearly the frontrunner for the Republican nomination," he said. "So Donald has to begin to outline clear ideas on issues like national security and foreign policy and the economy. It’s no longer enough to continue to say the great things you’re going to do, but you won’t tell us how you’re going to do them."

He said he agreed that the longer Jeb Bush -- and others -- stay in the race, the more likely Trump wins the nomination.

Rubio said he's confident he will win the Republican nomination and be back on the New Hampshire ballot in the general election.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Feb102016

Carly Fiorina Suspends 2016 Presidential Campaign

iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Carly Fiorina is suspending her presidential campaign, she announced on Wednesday.

"While I suspend my candidacy today, I will continue to travel this country and fight for those Americans who refuse to settle for the way things are and a status quo that no longer works for them," the former Hewlett-Packard CEO wrote in a statement released Wednesday.

Fiorina gained some traction in the Republican primary last fall following a strong performance in the first televised Republican presidential debate. After participating in the undercard debate, Fiorina saw a jolt to her poll numbers and earned a spot on the main debate stage for several forums thereafter.

She was ultimately unable to sustain the momentum and her poll numbers began to slip.

Florina's opposition to abortion and Planned Parenthood became a central issue of her campaign, with the candidate repeatedly accusing the women's health organization of supporting the harvesting of fetal body parts for profit.

Fiorina launched her long-shot bid for the Republican nomination last May, touting her business credentials and status as a political outsider. She has never held public office but mounted a failed challenge to California Sen. Barbara Boxer in 2010.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Feb102016

Five Takeaways from New Hampshire Primary

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- On Tuesday night, the polls proved to be right. Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders emerged as the winners of the New Hampshire primary by a huge lead.

Here are five things to know about how New Hampshire changed the race leading into the next contests in Nevada and South Carolina:

Trump Gets His Groove Back

The real estate mogul was hoisted by New Hampshirites seeking a political outsider who “tells it like it is.” Amid doubt after the Iowa caucuses that public opinion polling was inflating Trump’s actual support at the polls, Trump was able to drive voter turnout in New Hampshire, fending off questions, at least for now, that he can deliver in future contests.

Despite facing backlash after calling in December for a “total and complete shutdown” of Muslims entering the United States, Tuesday’s exit polls show two-thirds of GOP voters in the Granite State are in favor of Trump’s proposal.

As of Wednesday morning, Trump locked in a little over 35 percent of the vote in New Hampshire. The race for the White House continues in South Carolina, where Trump holds a significant lead over the pack.

What John Kasich Needs to Do After New Hampshire

The Ohio governor is a “new” candidate on voters’ radar after a surprise second place finish. He’s come a long way from being a candidate whose name no one knew how to pronounce correctly.

Though second overall, Kasich finished first against the other governors in the race -- Chris Christie and Jeb Bush -- shaking the Bush campaign and possibly a factor in Christie’s expected end to his candidacy.

While Kasich celebrated Tuesday night, he’s well aware that this is a long, long race, and winning the New Hampshire Republican primary doesn’t secure the GOP nomination.

Rubio, Cruz, Bush Get Stuck in the Middle


Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio all placed in the middle in the New Hampshire primary.

Cruz, one of the most conservative candidates, did well among the most conservative Republicans within the two states, but he has yet to prove he can appeal to voters outside his base.

Bush’s fourth place finish is enough to keep his campaign alive, especially considering the amount of resources he has in South Carolina.

Rubio’s rise was short-lived. Rubio may have botched his chances to be voters’ solidified pick for president after his performance in last Saturday’s GOP debate, which he even admits he “did not do well.”

Clinton Gets ‘Berned’ in Nearly Every Category

Bernie Sanders smoked Hillary Clinton, finishing over 20 points ahead of her.

Exit polls showed Sanders won the majority of registered Democratic voters and independents.

While Clinton may have expected to lose the primary, she may have not anticipated losing the women’s vote: 53 percent of women voted for Sanders, while 46 percent voted for Clinton.

And with voters under the age of 30, Sanders beat Clinton by a whopping 84 to 15 percent.

Clinton will have to find a way to reboot her campaign and reach out to young voters.

Other Candidates May Get the Boot

It might be time to pack it in for the candidates in the lower tiers.

Ben Carson, who placed fourth in Iowa behind leading contenders Cruz, Trump and Rubio, finished in eighth place in the Granite State.

Carson was quick to dismiss rumors he would be “taking time off” from campaigning when he announced he would be heading home to Florida for “fresh clothes.”

Also showing no signs of throwing in the towel is Carly Fiorina.

After a projected seventh place finish in the New Hampshire primary, she told a crowd in Manchester: “Our fight is just beginning.”

As for long-shot GOP candidate Jim Gilmore, he said he hopes for a stronger finish in South Carolina.

"We've got a lot more work to do," the former Virginia governor said in reaction to his finish in Tuesday's first-in-the-nation primary.

The South Carolina primaries are on Saturday, Feb. 20, for Republicans and on Saturday, Feb. 27, for Democrats.

The Nevada caucuses are on Feb. 20 for Democrats and on Tuesday, Feb. 23, for Republicans.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Feb102016

Rep. James Clyburn Weighing 2016 Presidential Endorsement

US Congress(WASHINGTON) -- Rep. James Clyburn, the third-ranking House Democrat and influential South Carolina leader, said in an interview Wednesday that he may soon endorse one of the two Democratic presidential contenders after previously pledging to remain neutral.

Clyburn, who did not make a public endorsement ahead of the South Carolina Democratic primary in 2008, said that he is getting pressured to "take a stand" on the 2016 race for the White House.

Clyburn didn’t say definitely if he was leaning toward endorsing Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders. He plans to discuss an endorsement this weekend with his close family, who have exerted the most pressure on him, and has ruled out an endorsement before next week, according to a source close to the congressman.

"I have a wife and three daughters, so you figure it out," Clyburn said, laughing. "They are my family, they are my consultants."

Clyburn said he has also had conversations with colleagues about an endorsement. He said he’s spoken with former South Carolina Democratic Party chairman Dick Harpootlian, who recently endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders.

"We’ve had conversations," he said of Harpootlian. "He’s a good friend."

Clyburn previously said he would likely stay neutral in the race. He is a leading Democrat in South Carolina and his endorsement could help solidify support for Clinton in the state, particularly among African-Americans, at a time when voters may be giving Sanders a closer look.

Clyburn was upset in 2008 at what he called "bizarre" statements made by Bill Clinton during the heat of a tough primary fight between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. He felt the comments crossed the line and were offensive to African-Americans.

Clyburn later recalled in his 2014 memoir, Blessed Experiences, that he received an angry 2 a.m. phone call from Bill Clinton following the 2008 South Carolina primary.

"If you bastards want a fight, you damn well will get one," Clinton said.

He told ABC News at the time that: "He was very upset," and added, "His wife had just suffered a major defeat in the South Carolina primary, and I had not been involved in it, but Bill Clinton thought otherwise."

Since then, Clyburn has said his relationship with the Clintons has improved.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Feb102016

Bernie Sanders Tries Campaign-Inspired Ice Cream

US Congress(NEW YORK) -- Bernie Sanders finally tasted the specialty ice cream flavor that Vermont sweet-makers Ben and Jerry made in his honor on ABC’s The View Wednesday morning.

Sanders confirmed it was the first time he had tried the creamy dessert, named "Bernie’s Yearning." It was “excellent,” Sanders said.

But the ice cream was not the only treat in store for Sanders. The Vermont senator shot some hoops with the hosts, as he did Tuesday night in New Hampshire to celebrate his primary win.

Asked by Whoopi Goldberg how he could keep his momentum going as the race heads to Nevada and South Carolina, Sanders replied, “A lot of effort.”

“I can tell you there is a lot of hard work in front of us,” he added.

Sanders and the group talked about student loan debt, Wall Street, Flint and gun control. He argued that he is “very much in step” with where American people are on gun control and “resented” any insinuation otherwise.

As the race heated up between the two campaigns over the past week, Bill Clinton had some tough words for the senator. Sanders said on the show he was “disappointed” by the attacks and hoped the race did not “degenerate” into personal jabs.

During a fun rapid fire, Sanders was asked to say something positive about a list of politicians. He called Ohio Gov. John Kasich “an old friend” but could not find kind words for Donald Trump.

“What can I say?” Sanders sighed. When pushed, he joked, “humble.”

Sanders didn't hesitate though when asked about his primary challenger, Hillary Clinton. “Intelligent,” he replied.

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Wednesday
Feb102016

Donald Trump Revels in New Hampshire Primary Win

Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Ahead of his victory in the New Hampshire primary, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said his campaign was getting “great signals” that he would win in the Granite State.

“Whatever rally, you know, many, many people would show up -- many more than we ever anticipated,” he said in an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America Wednesday. “It’s a great place – New Hampshire – you know I love the people and they were reflective of it. It was a great evening.”


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As polls closed in the Granite State Tuesday night, ABC News projected Trump would win the New Hampshire Republican primary. And, as of Wednesday morning, Trump had garnered more than 35 percent of the vote, holding onto a nearly 20 percentage point lead over second-place finisher, Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

Trump said he expects to absorb some of the other GOP candidates' support as they exit the race.

“I’m going to get some of those votes also,” he said. “A lot of them.”

Of his rivals, Trump said “they’re all good” but he said his message was “better than their message.”

Though Trump had long been favored to win the first-in-the-nation primary, rival Ted Cruz’s victory in the Iowa caucuses as well as Marco Rubio’s better-than-expected finish there raised questions about the Trump campaign’s organizational prowess.

“You know, we learned a lot about ground games in one week I have to tell you that,” Trump said in victory speech last night, sounding a note of confidence for the primaries ahead.

“We are going to start winning again and we're going to win so much, you are going to be so happy,” Trump told a cheering crowd. “We are going now to South Carolina. We're going to win in South Carolina.”


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Wednesday
Feb102016

John Kasich on Presidential Election: 'This Is a Long, Long Race'

Andrew Burton/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Coming off a strong second place finish in the New Hampshire primary Tuesday night, Ohio Gov. John Kasich said that he's prepared to fight for the GOP presidential nomination.

"It's a long race. We're going to go through South Carolina, ultimately to the Midwest," Kasich told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America Wednesday. "This is a long, long race."

"Everybody always underestimates me," he added.

Kasich also insisted that he can unite the Republican party — including backers of Donald Trump, who won the New Hampshire contest by a wide margin.

"We can attract the Democrats," he said, talking about the general election. "We're Americans before we're Republicans and Democrats."


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