Entries in 2016 Presidential Election (24)


Fourth of July Is a Reprieve for 2016 Presidential Contenders

Photo By Bill Clark/Roll Call(WASHINGTON) -- Traditionally a day when politicians march in patriotic parades and press the flesh of their constituents, this Independence Day is turning out to be more of a chance for rest and relaxation for some of the potential Republican and Democratic 2016 presidential contenders.

Many of those generating buzz as possible candidates to replace President Obama in 2016 will be using the Fourth of July to get a break from the attention.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., are two exceptions. Christie and his family will lead the 103rd annual Ridgewood Fourth of July Parade, while Ryan will participate in the Racine Fourth Fest Parade.

But many of their possible 2016 competitors will be much further from the public eye, according to representatives for each of the politicians.

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, a Democrat, will be “spending time with his family.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., will also be with family.

Former Sen. Rick Santorum is on vacation in South Carolina.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is on a “long-planned summer vacation with his kids.”

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Tex., have no public events planned for the holiday, although Cruz did release a video to commemorate the occasion.

But they will all soon be back to work, including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who did not release a July 4 schedule but is planning to deliver a keynote speech in Pennsylvania at a Bryn Mawr College symposium on female leaders of “post-conflict” countries July 9.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


David Plouffe: Hillary Clinton Is Democratic Frontrunner If She Runs in 2016

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Bloomberg TV contributor David Plouffe, who ran President Obama’s 2008 campaign for president, said during an exclusive to web interview with This Week, that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would be the Democratic frontrunner if she chooses to run for the White House in 2016, but added that others, including Vice President Joe Biden will look at potentially running for the presidency.

“If she runs in the primary, she’s the frontrunner. Obviously the vice president is someone who will take a look at this. We have other governors and senators who will take a look at it. But I think, you know if she were to run, she would be an enormously strong candidate in the primary,” Plouffe said.

When asked if he’d manage a potential Clinton 2016 campaign for president, Plouffe said “those days are over.”

“I am done running presidential campaigns,” Plouffe said. “So — But I’ll give her whatever advice she would seek.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Ann Romney 'Partial' to Paul Ryan for 2016

Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Ann Romney gave her first solo interview since the November election on Thursday, weighing in on the recent scandals hitting the White House, as well as 2016 presidential politics, saying that she and husband Mitt Romney are “very partial” to his former running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis.

“There are some great candidates out there and I think Mitt and I always are very, very partial to Paul Ryan, but we don’t even know if he’s going to run. But there are some good candidates,” Romney said on CBS News’ This Morning.

Romney called the scandals facing the Obama administration “deeply troubling,” including the IRS’ targeting of conservative tax-exempt organizations.

“I think it’s hard what the country is going through right now,” Romney said. “There is this breach of trust that all Americans feel right now with our government. … We have to have trust in our government, we have to believe that they are doing right for us. When we feel like they are breaking our trust, it’s deeply troubling.”

She said both she and her husband have “no regrets” looking back at the campaign, but the “most frustrating” thing for her is that she thinks many Americans didn’t see who her husband really is because of how “negative” the campaign became in the primary and the general elections, again comparing it to the slate of scandals.

“It’s really hard and it’s hard for the American people to sort through it,” Romney said. “How do they know who is telling the truth and that’s what I’m talking about, this breach of trust that’s going on. Who do we trust? Who do we believe? Where do we turn to know what’s really true?”

Despite some other Republicans’ anger with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s praise of the president in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, days before the November election, she said they have “no regrets, none for anybody, people have no idea what goes on behind the scenes, but things are made into bigger things than people think.”

“Chris is a great guy. We love him and it’s all good and we have no bitterness towards anyone,” Romney said.

And when asked about Christie’s recent weight-loss surgery, she said with a smile, “Good luck to him. I hope it works.”

Wearing a bright-blue dress, Romney said she is “very happy” and “my life is wonderful, I am full of joy,” despite the election loss.

“I really believe that Mitt and I did everything we could and that’s why I feel fine about it. We just did whatever we could. We left it on the table,” Romney, 64, said, adding that Romney has been the “most extraordinary husband this winter,” accompanying her as she gets back to horseback riding.

She was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1998 and breast cancer 10 years later.

“I’ve been doing what I’ve been dying to do for a very long time which is ride a lot and I’ve been competing a lot and showing a lot and Mitt’s been there supporting me and coming with me and watching me and helping me,” Romney said, adding that he has also been writing and “doing a lot of travel with me.”

The interview did cover the campaign and Romney said that even as things started to look bad for them, there were people, including GOP political consultant Karl Rove, who told them to keep hanging on.

“He’s [Rove] like, ‘Don’t give up, don’t give up. We are going to win Ohio and it’s going to turn around,'" she said. "And things just didn’t follow the way we thought it was going to happen.”

When asked about criticism of the campaign, Romney told Charlie Rose it would have been nice to have “a crystal ball” and possibly “done things a little differently,” but that “every campaign makes mistakes, both sides make mistakes.”

As for whether she could see any of her five sons following in the footsteps of her husband, she paused and said, “I’d really have to think about it, I would.”

“It’s a very different environment right now, it’s a very tough environment to be involved right now,” she added, “and I think that’s a sad commentary.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Biden, Sen. Ted Cruz Speak in South Carolina Amid 2016 Buzz

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images(COLUMBIA, S.C.) -- South Carolina got a taste of two very different political acts Friday night.

On one side was Vice President Joe Biden, a 35-year veteran of the Senate who showered praise on his old congressional colleagues and drew on his standard stump speech from the 2012 campaign, talking about Democrats’ commitment to the middle class and declaring that Republicans are “down on America.”

“One of the things that bothers me most about the new Republican party is how down on America they are, how down on our prospects they are, how they talk about how we’re getting clobbered, how they talk about things that have no relationship to reality, all in the name of making sure that the very few at the top do very well,” Biden said at the South Carolina Democratic Party’s annual Jefferson Jackson Dinner Friday night.

On the other side, two miles down the road, was Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, a rising star in the Republican Party, less than six months into his first term as a senator. Cruz wooed the South Carolina Republicans with his talk of repealing President Obama’s healthcare plan and protecting constitutional rights.

“We should be defending the fourth and fifth amendments against an administration that recognizes no limits on its powers,” Cruz said at the South Carolina GOP’s Silver Elephant Dinner as he went through each of the constitutional rights he believes the Obama administration is threatening.

Biden and Cruz each traveled to South Carolina, known as the “First in the South” primary state, to honor leaders in their respective parties, but the visits fueled speculation about each man’s intentions for the presidential election three years from now.

The vice president acknowledged that his trip to South Carolina would create a buzz about 2016 but insisted he solely came to celebrate Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., who was being honored at the evening’s fundraiser.

“I love coming down here to South Carolina…As soon as I show up in South Carolina, the Washington press corps comes out saying, ‘Is Biden getting ready?’” he said, before adding that he came at the request of Clyburn. “I’ve got to make clear — I would go anywhere Jim asked me to go.”

As they opined before their party faithful Friday evening, both politicians were very cognizant of the other’s presence in South Carolina. Biden referenced the Silver Elephant Dinner occurring down the road multiple times in his speech but refrained from mentioning the Texas senator by name, instead jokingly saying “I don’t want to make any news tonight.”

But Cruz was a bit more direct in his acknowledgement of Biden, who he challenged to a debate over the Second Amendment at the National Rifle Association in Houston, Texas earlier on Friday.

“So Vice President Joe Biden’s in town,” Cruz said to laughs. “You know the great thing is you don’t even need a punch line? You just say that and people laugh.”

Cruz admitted Republicans are “demoralized” by the results of the 2012 election but predicted the political fortunes of the GOP will change in 2014.

“Things can change quickly,” he said. “I am convinced with your help we’re going to take back the U.S. Senate in 2014.

Asked if Cruz is a viable presidential candidate, former Sen. Jim DeMint, head of the Heritage Foundation, who was being honored at Friday night’s event, told reporters that voters are clamoring for a leader like Cruz but said Friday’s speech wasn’t a signal of a presidential run.

“Give the guy a break, he’s just coming to speak for us here,” DeMint told reporters. “Everybody comes to South Carolina you say they’re running for president. I can assure you he’s thinking about Senate business and that’s about it right now.”

“He’s one of the strongest Republicans in the country now. I’ve been in 25 cities in the past few months, all I have to do is mention Ted Cruz’s name and people stand up and cheer,” DeMint said. “They’re hungry for someone who’s not afraid and willing to stand up, who’s trying to change the status quo.”

While he didn’t directly express a desire to run in 2016, Cruz did link himself to the early primary state by pointing out the connection between Texas and South Carolina dating back to the Alamo, similar to a story Texas Gov. Rick Perry often referenced while in South Carolina during his presidential bid last year.

“Texas and South Carolina have a long long connection, a connection that goes back centuries…There were two native South Carolinians – William Barret Travis and James Bonham in the Alamo,” Cruz said. “That’s the tradition, that’s the history of South Carolina and Texas, and it’s a tremendous thing. So thank you for the support South Carolina has given then and now as we fight side by side for freedom.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Biden’s Poll Lead Evaporates If Clinton Runs in 2016

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- A world without Hillary Clinton looks pretty good for Joe Biden.

Indeed, if the former secretary of state decides against running for president in 2016, a new Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday shows the vice president not only looks like a leading contender, he leaves other potential Democratic hopefuls in the dust.

More than three years from Election Day 2016, Biden commands the support of 45 percent of Democratic voters, the poll found. He’s 30 points ahead of his closest competitor, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who draws 15 percent support, followed by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick at 6 percent, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley at 3 percent and Virginia Sen. Mark Warner rounding out the group of five possible candidates with 2 percent.

In such a match-up, 26 percent of registered and leaning Democrats said they do not know for whom they would vote if the election were held today, according to the poll, which was conducted between April 25 and 29 and has a margin of error of 3.8 percentage points.

Regardless of whether Clinton is in the equation, “none of the other younger potential candidates for the Democratic nomination currently has anything approaching widespread support from party voters,” Quinnipiac pollster Peter A. Brown said.

Biden, 70, has remained relatively quiet about another presidential bid, which would be his third run for the White House if he chooses to run. In April, son Beau Biden, Delaware’s attorney general, said in an interview with The New York Times, “It’s no secret that he’s thinking about this,” but added, “he hasn’t made up his mind.”

Joe Biden heads to Columbia, S.C., this weekend where he will deliver remarks at the South Carolina Democratic Party’s annual Jefferson Jackson Dinner and attend Jim Clyburn’s World Famous Fish Fry, two opportunities for the vice president to test the waters in the early primary state.

But if Biden has designs on moving from the vice president’s residence to the White House in 2016, today’s poll suggests that Clinton poses a grave threat.

Put the former first lady and New York senator, 65, back into the presidential mix and, at this point, she blows the rest of the field out of the water, amassing the support of 65 percent of Democrats. Biden drops from the top of the heap to the low double digits -- 13 percent -- creating a Grand Canyon-like 52 percentage point gap between the two potential candidates.

In such a scenario, the rest of the field -- Cuomo, 55, Patrick, 56, O’Malley, 50, and Warner, 58--  are all languishing in the low single digits. At the same time, the percentage of Democratic voters who say they don’t know who they would support eases to 14 percent.

An earlier Quinnipiac poll taken in March showed Clinton’s beating three possible Republican contenders in head-to-head match ups: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Wisconsin congressman and former GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan.

Quinnipiac released Thursday’s poll on the same day that the Democratic group, Emily’s List, started a campaign to put a woman in the White House. Emily’s List is being careful not to make the effort a cheering session for Clinton, but its president, Stephanie Schriock, acknowledged the obvious in a CNN Op-Ed.

“There’s one name on all our minds: Hillary Clinton,” she wrote. “Voters across the country are excited about her possible run.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Biden Will Headline Michigan Dem Fundraiser

Joe Raedle/Getty Image(DETROIT) -- Vice President Joe Biden will be the keynote speaker at a Democratic party fundraising dinner in Michigan tonight. The appearance at Detroit’s Cobo Center comes as speculation slowly percolates over a 2016 run for the Oval Office by the vice president, a potential move for which he has not announced his intentions.

Biden will also attend a fundraiser in South Carolina early next month, according to The Post and Courier. Michigan and South Carolina are among a handful of the first states to run their Democratic Party primaries each election cycle, and have a strong influence over the rest of the nomination process. These trips couple with a visit to another primary state by Biden last January: Iowa’s inaugural ball.

During the 2012 campaign Biden heavily implied he would consider another run.

Tickets for tonight’s event costs a minimum $160 per person with tiers of up to $10,500 for large group buys. The gala is being billed as a “Jefferson-Jackson” dinner, named for the two former presidents. The term is commonly fixed to the annual gala dinners for many states’ Democratic parties.

Michigan Sen. Carl Levin will introduce the vice president this evening. Senator Debbie Stabenow is also expected to attend.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


How Social Media Could Impact 2016 Presidential Election

SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- If only Mitt Romney had had a few thousand more Twitter followers and Facebook friends, the 2012 election might have turned out differently.

So say Bret Jacobson and Ian Spencer, millennial techies and co-founders of the conservative digital strategy group Red Edge. The high-tech entrepreneurs believe the failed GOP presidential nominee could have defeated President Obama simply with a better showing on social media.

"If you had run a really competent, really aggressive digital campaign, you probably could have won an Electoral College vote,” says Jacobson of the 2012 election. “The difference is roughly 450,000 in a couple swing states and you could more than make up for that difference.”

These are the bold claims from a dynamic duo that is leading the charge for a Republican Party reboot. Jacobson and Spencer say they are convinced that despite previous failed attempts, the party can surpass Democrats' social media machine by the 2016 presidential race.

The Obama campaign was "incredibly good at empowering people to receive and share information" on the web, Facebook in particular, which allowed the organizers and fundraisers to build individualized voter profiles based on people's profile information, Jacobson says.

"They were able to specifically reach out identify these people who need to register to vote,” he says. “And it turns out that after a million people logged in, they actually yielded a million real world voter registrations and votes from those people, which is really powerful stuff.”

For Republicans to match, the Red Edge guys want an extreme makeover: bringing "Internet culture into the Republican culture," and ultimately tapping a tech-savvy candidate who can build a strong digital following.

Who among early 2016 candidates has an early edge? “Rand Paul,” says Spencer of the Kentucky Republican senator.

"In terms of the grassroots support his father [Ron Paul] has enjoyed, many of whom also support him, I think he's in a kind of unique position to really make some waves online...because there's so many small dollar donors who, who went to Ron and who may now go to Rand," he said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Rand Paul Sounds Like Candidate for 2016

United States Senate(WASHINGTON) -- Kentucky Senator Rand Paul went about as far saying he was interested in running for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination without actually coming around and saying it.

Interviewed on Fox News on Sunday, Paul wouldn't commit to a firm "yes" about seeking the White House in four years but he did acknowledge talking to the Republican National Committee leaders about "things I think we need to do" in order to launch a viable campaign.

Like his father, former Texas Congressman Ron Paul, Paul's values are steeped in libertarian beliefs that he suggested might be attractive to both conservatives and those on the left.

Paul won the annual straw poll at the Conservative Political Action Conference earlier in March, an unofficial gauging of interest in potential Republican candidates, although he barely edged another GOP up-and-comer, Florida Senator Marco Rubio.

One of Paul's proposals, which is getting wider acceptance, is reducing the penalty for illegal drugs such as marijuana, although he stopped short of legalizing pot.

He told Fox News, "The last two presidents could conceivable have been put in jail for their drug use and I really think look what would have happened, it would have ruined their lives. They got lucky but a lot of poor kids, particularly in the inner city don't get lucky, they don't have good attorneys and they go to jail for these things and I think it's a big mistake."

As for the debate over unmanned drones used against U.S. citizens, Paul said that his stand on the issue, which involved a marathon 13-hour filibuster, forced President Obama "to at least narrow what his power is and that was my goal."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Poll: Chris Christie Reaches Record Approval Rating in NJ

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- “How high is up?”  That’s the question Wednesday from Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, which is out with a new New Jersey poll that’s a record breaker.

It shows a 74 percent approval rating for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, the highest of any New Jersey governor in 17 years of Quinnipiac surveys.  New Jersey voters also say 71 to 23 percent that Christie deserves reelection this year.

Christie’s rating is currently the highest of any governor in the seven states surveyed by Quinnipiac.  Even 56 percent of New Jersey Democrats approve of Christie and 48 percent of them say he deserves reelection.  He leads his likely Democratic opponent, State Sen. Barbara Buono, 62 to 25 percent.

“Most governors would kill for a 56 percent job approval rating.  Republican Gov. Christie gets that from Democrats,” Carroll said in a release revealing the numbers.

This is similar to a Fairleigh Dickinson University Public Mind poll out last month that showed a 73 percent approval rating for Christie from Garden State voters.  The sky high numbers come after Christie’s response to Superstorm Sandy, which, at times, included him taking on members of his own party to get federal funds for rebuilding.

While Jersey Democrats approve of Christie, they appear to be split if he ends up running for president against Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016, the poll shows.

New Jersey voters favor the former secretary of state 49 to 45 percent, according to the poll.  New Jersey has not gone red in a presidential election since 1988.

Christie, however, tops potential White House rival New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo 54 to 36 percent.

“If the 2016 presidential race shapes up to be the battle of the Hudson, native son Christie tops New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on the west bank of the river, but is locked in a tight race with the Empire State’s favorite adopted daughter, Hillary Clinton,” Carroll said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Founder of Hillary Clinton SuperPAC: ‘No Doubt She’s Gonna Run’ in 2016

ABC/Martin H. Simon(WASHINGTON) -- Hillary Clinton had not even stepped down from her post as Secretary of State, when a superPAC supporting her run for president in 2016 was filed with the Federal Election Commission.  The superPAC's website launched over the weekend.

Allida Black is the chair and founder of the group, and says she is, as the superPAC is named, "Ready for Hillary."

"I've been waiting for Hillary all my life.  But I am more than ready this time," says Black, who campaigned for Clinton in 14 states in 2008.

Clinton has not said whether she will throw her hat in the ring, telling ABC News in her last television interview as secretary of state that she is "flattered and honored" at the intense interest in whether she might run for president in 2016.

"I have no doubt she's gonna run," says Black.  "She knows there's this huge groundswell.  She sees the challenges.  She's not gonna say no.  Not because of her, but because of us."

But there are a lot of other big résumé Democrats out there as potential 2016 candidates, like New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Vice President Joe Biden.  Black says it is not their time.

"Hillary is the leader that the country needs.  I mean she's been president of the world really for the past four years," says the George Washington University professor and historian.  "She spent her whole life getting ready."

SuperPACs played a big role in the 2012 election; Mitt Romney's superPAC poured more than $80 million into his campaign.  Some were as well funded as entire presidential campaigns.  

Black did not have a specific goal for how much money "Ready for Hillary" will be able to raise, but expects a lot from supporters.

"We're gonna need that gazillion dollars.  And we will get that gazillion dollars," she says.  "We have the contacts, we have the skills, we have the passion, and we have the people on the ground to pull it off."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio