Today in Campaign 2016
- Donald Trump postponed an event in which he was expected to unveil Indiana governor Mike Pence as his vice-presidential candidate after a terrorist attack in Nice, France, that has left at least 77 people dead. A Republican source had told the Guardian that the Republican frontrunner had chosen Pence, the governor of Indiana, to be his running mate.
- Pence would represent a safe choice who would solidify the Republican base and is popular with social conservatives. In order to choose Pence, Trump has to make a decision by noon on Friday, the deadline for the Indiana governor to drop his bid for re-election. Trump had announced that he will officially unveil his vice-presidential choice at 11am on Friday in New York but tweeted Thursday night “in light of the horrible attack in Nice, France, I have postponed tomorrow’s news conference concerning my vice presidential announcement.”
- Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump told the Washington Examiner that former Alaska governor Sarah Palin will not be speaking at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland next week because Alaska is “a long ways away.” “She was asked,” Trump told the Washington Examiner in a phone interview. “It’s a little bit difficult because of where she is. We love Sarah. Little bit difficult because of, you know, it’s a long ways away.”
- Speaking of would-be convention speakers, former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow has brushed off reports that he was a planned speaker at the upcoming Republican National Convention, despite confirmation that he was set to speak at the RNC from senior advisers to the Donald Trump campaign this morning. “Just got back from the Philippines and I wake up this morning to find out that I’m speaking at the Republican National Convention!” Tebow, who became famous as much for his devout Christianity as for his short career as the quarterback for the long-suffering Denver Broncos. “It’s amazing how fast rumors fly, and that’s exactly what it is - a rumor.”
- Supreme court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg executed a full U-turn on over remarks about the presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump that ignited controversy on the eve of the GOP convention. Her remarks about Trump were “ill-advised”, she said, adding: “I regret making them.”
Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker who has been lobbying for the position of Donald Trump’s running mate, has issued a statement on the terror attack in Nice, France:
The attempt to unbind Republican delegates to allow a so-called “conscience vote” for the Republican nominee appears to have failed:
Mike Pence, Donald Trump’s likely choice as running mate, has released a statement in response to the apparent terror attack in Nice that has claimed more than 70 lives:
Grassroots conservatives alleged that the Republican National Committee pulled out from a deal to reform RNC rules at the last minute as a potential “floor fight” – a contested vote on the floor – looms over next week’s Republican national convention.
Former Virginia attorney general Ken Cuccinelli, the leader of a bloc of social conservative activists, told reporters on Thursday night that he expected multiple minority reports to proposed rules of the Republican party. Any minority report, which requires the signatures of one quarter of the rules committee, would automatically be debated and voted upon on the floor of the convention.
Cuccinelli, who previously led the delegate-counting efforts for Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign before the Texas senator dropped out, said “sincere efforts were made by RNC and Trump people and coalition of grassroots conservatives to come to agreement to make the party run better for the grassroots”. However, Cuccinelli added: “This morning after a deal had been tentatively reached the RNC pulled out of it.” The 2013 Republican nominee for governor of Virginia insisted that he had only decided to speak to reporters about it in order to correct what he described as inaccurate reporting on the subject.
The prominent conservative activist said that negotiations fell apart on the issue of “bonus delegates” for states that held closed presidential primaries, open only to registered Republicans. He said that his alliance of activists and the RNC failed to agree on a mathematical formula in back and forth negotiations.
Cuccinelli said the negotiations involved his conservatives conceding a number of points including any changes to RNC governance, such as a ban on registered lobbyists serving on the RNC.
Sean Spicer, the chief strategist for the RNC, disputed Cuccinelli’s version. He noted, “negotiating isn’t giving in to what everyone wants. There’s a bigger package in play and the RNC wanted to ensure all the sides were represented.” The top GOP operative added that the RNC represented GOP activists from across the country who had elected its members.
Cleveland officials have expressed concern about the Ohio “open carry” state laws that will allow people to take guns to events organized close to the Republican party convention – but have not given assurances of how they will police the use of guns and banned objects in crowded areas, where the atmosphere is likely to be highly charged.
Guns will not be allowed into the convention itself, which is being held inside the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland and policed by the secret service, or inside a tight perimeter immediately surrounding the venue.
But in a broad space outside those inner security rings, near the arena, in a large area loosely known as the event zone, guns will be allowed in an open-carry situation and, with a valid permit, to be carried while concealed.
While guns will be allowed in that zone, toy guns are banned. The city has declared a long list of other items that are prohibited from being taken into the event zone during the convention, which begins on Monday with the GOP readying itself to anoint Donald Trump as its nominee for the White House.
Prohibited items range from glass bottles to lengths of rope and knives, and from tennis balls to lasers, gas masks, sledgehammers and drones, according to a list issued by the Cleveland authorities. Umbrellas with sharp tips are banned. So are pellet guns. But ordinary guns and bullets must be permitted if legally toted, because of an Ohio law that carrying a firearm is not prohibited.
No state license is required to possess a rifle, shotgun or handgun in Ohio, according to the National Rifle Association.
Donald Trump Jr., senior campaign adviser to his father, has issued a provocative statement on the attack in Nice, France:
Former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow brushed off reports that he was a planned speaker at the upcoming Republican National Convention, despite confirmation that he was set to speak at the RNC from senior advisers to the Donald Trump campaign this morning:
“Just got back from the Philippines and I wake up this morning to find out that I’m speaking at the Republican National Convention!” Tebow, who became famous as much for his devout Christianity as for his short career as the quarterback for the long-suffering Denver Broncos. “It’s amazing how fast rumors fly, and that’s exactly what it is - a rumor.”
“My goal has always been to be able to make a difference in the biggest way possible,” Tebow continued. “And if one day that’s in the political realm, then that’s what I’ll do. But right now I really believe that’s through my foundation... but I love our country and I’ll do anything for America.”
The remarks, which sound scripted, come on the heels of speculation that the RNC is currently begging for funds to cover a $6 million budget shortfall.
RNC organizers ask Sheldon Adelson to cover $6 million shortfall
The organizers of the imminent Republican National Convention have penned an earnest letter to casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson in the hopes of getting Adelson to cover a $6 million shortfall in covering next week’s events, according to Politico.
Naming more than two dozen wealthy backers and companies that have bowed out of donating more than $8.1 million in pledged funds to cover the convention, the Cleveland 2016 host committee cited “negative publicity” around Donald Trump as the reason for the shortfall.
“Over the past couple months, negative publicity around our potential nominee resulted in a considerable number of pledges backing out from their commitments,” the letter said. Included among the people and groups that have reneged on their donations: David Koch, Coca-Cola, FedEx, Pepsi and Visa.
“We would greatly appreciate if you would consider a $6,000,000 contribution to the Cleveland 2016 Host Committee to help us cross the finish line,” the letter continues. “Your support will allow our community to meet its obligation to the RNC, and will ensure our Republican nominee has the best possible platform to lay out his conservative case for our nation. Thank you for your consideration and please let us know if you need any additional information.”
The letter is dated July 12, six days before the beginning of the convention.
In response to a question asked by Diamond Reynolds, the girlfriend of Philando Castile, the 32-year-old fatally shot by Minnesota police last week, President Barack Obama said that the duty to reduce violence between police officers and suspects is on both law enforcement and minority communities.
“My heart goes out to all the families who have been involved, and I can only imagine what you’re going through,” Obama said. “I think that the place to start is for everybody to recognize that we need police officers and we need those police officers to be embraced by the community. If there are good relations between police and those communities, then those communities will be safer and police are going to be safer.”
“The more police departments know communities… the more trust is built,” Obama continued. “Police departments that are doing the best work are also training their officers not just on shooting… not just on the technical aspects of police work, but they’re also training those officers on… how we get rid of those implicit biases.”
“I think if we’re honest with ourselves, because of the history of our country and because of the images we receive as we’re growing up,” Obama continued, “oftentimes there’s a presumption that black men are dangerous.”
“It can’t just be all on the police, it’s also got to be on the community, it’s got to be on civic leaders, it’s got to be on churches and it’s got to be on us.”
President Obama issues statement on events in Nice, France:
On behalf of the American people, I condemn in the strongest terms what appears to be a horrific terrorist attack in Nice, France, which killed and wounded dozens of innocent civilians. Our thought and prayers are with the families and other loved ones of those killed, and we wish a full recovery for the many wounded. I have directed my team to be in touch with French officials, and we have offered any assistance that they may need to investigate this attack and bring those responsible to justice. We stand in solidarity and partnership with France, our oldest ally, as they respond to and recover from this attack.
On this Bastille Day, we are reminded of the extraordinary resilience and democratic values that have made France an inspiration to the entire world, and we know that the character of the French Republic will endure long after this devastating and tragic loss of life.
President Obama holds town hall on police violence
Watch it live:
Donald Trump postpones running-mate announcement after Nice attack
Donald Trump has postponed an event in which he was expected to unveil Mike Pence as his vice-presidential candidate after the tragedy in Nice, France, in which more than 60 people were killed.
A Republican source had told the Guardian that the Republican frontrunner had chosen Pence, the governor of Indiana, to be his running mate.
Pence would represent a safe choice who would solidify the Republican base and is popular with social conservatives.
In order to choose Pence, Trump had to make a decision by noon on Friday, the deadline for the Indiana governor to drop his bid for re-election. Indiana law prevents a candidate for seeking election to multiple offices.
Trump had announced that he will officially unveil his vice-presidential choice at 11am on Friday in New York but tweeted Thursday night “in light of the horrible attack in Nice, France, I have postponed tomorrow’s news conference concerning my vice presidential announcement.”
The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to requests for comment as to when the announcement would be rescheduled.
As Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump inch closer to choosing their running mates ahead of their respective party conventions, the two unshowy figures are facing great scrutiny.
Tim Kaine, a senator and former governor of Virginia, took the stage with Clinton in his home state on Thursday armed with one-liners that sought to frame the choice before the American electorate this November.
“Do you want a ‘You’re fired’ president or a ‘You’re hired’ president?” Kaine said, invoking Trump’s infamous slogan from The Apprentice.
“Do you want a trash-talker president or a bridge-builder president? Do you want a me-first president or a kids-and-families-first president?”
The critiques, made before a packed gymnasium at the Northern Virginia Community College, rolled off his tongue as more of a mild-mannered disagreement than a scathing takedown.
But Kaine, a centrist Democrat who is well-liked by colleagues on both sides of the aisle, wasn’t looking to put on a performance. If chosen by Clinton, would instead reinforce her premise of that the Democratic ticket will be one of experience and competency over bluster and bravado.
The joint appearance came hours after Trump’s campaign signaled its own intention to announce Mike Pence as its vice-presidential pick – although Trump aides tried to sow doubts ahead of a planned Friday morning unveiling.
Pence, like Kaine, is broadly respected by elected officials within his party and similarly known for his polite disposition. And as the governor of Indiana and a staunch conservative, he is regarded as one of the few options before Trump who could bring a sense of legitimacy to a candidacy yet to persuade a large swath of skeptical Republicans.
Donald Trump has issued a statement, via Twitter, regarding the possible terrorist attack during Bastille Day celebrations in Nice, France:
The former chairman of the agency that controls New York City-area airports conspired with a United Airlines lobbyist to get the airline to run direct flights to South Carolina so that the executive could more easily visit his vacation home, prosecutors said on Thursday.
David Samson – a political mentor to New Jersey’s governor, Chris Christie – pleaded guilty to a corruption charge that he wrongfully used his Port Authority of New York and New Jersey post.
The ex-lobbyist, Jamie Fox, was charged with conspiracy to commit bribery. The Democrat went on to become Christie’s transportation commissioner after ending his lobbying work for United.
Samson and Fox “both should have known better. They both did know better,” US attorney Paul Fishman said. “It was an unacceptable abuse of public authority.”
Fishman also announced that United would pay a $2.25m fine for the role its officials played in the scheme.
More on Donald Trump’s selection of Indiana governor Mike Pence as his running mate:
The decision seems to represent an attempt to unite the Republican party and bring political experience to the businessman’s campaign.
Trump has spent much of the last week in Indiana, grounded by an aircraft malfunction to his private jet, and whiled away the days by holding de facto auditions with three contenders: Pence, New Jersey governor Chris Christie and former House speaker Newt Gingrich.
The three who spoke with Trump in the last week gave speeches that doubled as dress rehearsals for the campaign trial, and Pence also met with Trump’s adult children Ivanka, Eric and Donald Jr, who have assumed leading roles in their father’s campaign.
Pence would bring several qualities to the Trump campaign that Republicans have found lacking, not least of which experience in government. The 57-year-old spent 12 years in Congress, including two years in a leadership role with the House Republican Conference. He was elected governor of Indiana in 2012, and gained a degree of national notoriety thanks to a controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which he signed into law and then wanted revised, after many argued it would allow discrimination against LGBT people.
A Trump-Pence ticket could send a message to Republican dissenters who feel they cannot support a candidate who has proven inconsistent on guns, abortion,LGBT rights and other social conservative issues. Just before the Indiana primary election, the staunchly conservative governor endorsed Ted Cruz, Trump’s leading opponent and a far-right senator from Texas.
Pence does not come without baggage to a general election, however, where tens of millions more people vote than in the primaries. He is not very popular in his home state, nor well known outside it, and though his conservative bona fides will help unite the party they may push away important swing voters, particularly suburban women.
CNN report: Donald Trump has offered Mike Pence running-mate spot
According to multiple CNN reporters, the network has confirmed that presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has called Indiana governor Mike Pence and officially offered him the vice-presidential slot on the ticket.
Pence has reportedly accepted the offer.
New Jersey governor Chris Christie’s pointed criticism of Indiana governor Mike Pence on MSNBC comes as Donald Trump’s self-imposed deadline to declare a running mate has come and gone:
You’d have to ask him why he endorsed Ted Cruz at the time that he did. I don’t know.
When asked about her campaign’s efforts to register voters at Pokemon Go Pokestops - geotagged locations where players can get supplies like Pokeballs - the Clinton campaign told Buzzfeed that “we expect our organizers will use whatever tools they can” to register voters:
Our volunteers and staffers across the country are taking the campaign into their own hands and reaching out to voters wherever they are. After the launch of Pokemon Go last Thursday, our organizers innovated and used the app to find other players to register them to vote and continue to do so. Whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, Pokemon Go or whatever comes next, we expect our organizers will use whatever tools they can to register and commit voters to support Hillary Clinton.
Donald Trump’s campaign - responding to Hillary Clinton’s declaration that she wished there were a Pokemon Go-themed app to get people to vote - has crafted a Facebook video comparing Clinton to one of the pocket monsters that has to be captured in the game:
“CROOKED HILLARY NO!” Trump posted.
Hillary Clinton’s latest advertisement, “Role Models,” makes a stark comparison between the presumptive Democratic candidate and her general election opponent Donald Trump, juxtaposing past offensive and controversial statements with the watching eyes of children:
Too many cooks in the kitchen at the Trump campaign:
As reports come in that Donald Trump has not yet officially made his running-mate selection, here’s a breakdown of the current favorability ratings among Trump’s top contenders.
Important note: Indiana governor Mike Pence is not at all near the top of the rankings...
Conservative commentator and longtime Donald Trump supporter Ann Coulter is not a fan of Trump’s reported selection of Indiana governor Mike Pence as his running mate, tweeting this afternoon that if the reports are true, the choice is Trump’s “first mistake” as the Republican nominee:
In a Facebook post penned shortly after her tweet, Coulter decried Pence as a “combo-platter of disaster” who has “sold out to left-wing activists” on LGBT rights issues:
Video: Hillary Clinton criticized Donald Trump in speech at the League of United Latin American Citizens convention in Washington this afternoon for what she described as his racism against Latinos.
She reminded attendees of her Republican rival’s many comments: “He said that immigrants from Mexico are drug-dealers, rapists, murderers, carriers of infectious disease.”
Potential running mate Newt Gingrich’s plan this afternoon: reading potboilers and ignoring his phone.
NBC is reporting that Donald Trump, contrary to other reports, has not settled on Indiana governor Mike Pence as his running mate:
Donald Trump: Sarah Palin won't speak at RNC because Alaska 'a long ways away'
Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump told the Washington Examiner that former Alaska governor Sarah Palin will not be speaking at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland next week because Alaska is “a long ways away.”
“She was asked,” Trump told the Washington Examiner in a phone interview. “It’s a little bit difficult because of where she is. We love Sarah. Little bit difficult because of, you know, it’s a long ways away.”
Palin, who splits her time between her homes in Wasilla, Alaska, and Scottsdale, Arizona, endorsed Trump in January in a 20-minute speech that praised Trump and expressed her desire to “Make America Great Again”, using the opportunity to go on a rambling and confused attack on both parties. She condemned Barack Obama’s foreign policy and the Iran deal, and went on to say that under the current administration, “we kowtow and apologize and then bend over and say ‘thank you,enemy’.” Instead, Palin said we should “let our warriors do their job and go kick Isis’s ass.” She also attacked Obama for his 2008 “hopey changy stuff.”
Indiana governor Mike Pence is not Donald Trump’s best choice of vice presidential running mate, if favorability ratings are anything to go by. According to a new survey by YouGov and The Economist, just 17% of voters have a favorable opinion of the Indiana governor, while 32% said the same of former House speaker Newt Gingrich and 33% who said the same of New Jersey governor Chris Christie.
Among Republican voters specifically, those numbers look higher for Pence (his favorability climbs to 29%) but so too does the gap between him and other possible VPs. All in all, 61% of all Republican voters said they had a favorable opinion of Gingrich, and 59% said the same of Christie.
But Pence wasn’t the least-popular running mate Trump could have picked, according to YouGov: Elizabeth Warren, Tim Kaine, Sherrod Brown and Julian Castro all had lower favorability ratings among Republicans than Mike Pence - an unsurprising result given that those names are all Democrats. Bottom of the pile among Republicans was Cory Booker.
Pence’s 12 years of experience serving in the House of Representatives, however, could make him a smart choice. Despite Trump’s anti-establishment rhetoric, most voters think the presidential candidate’s running mate should have political experience according to the YouGov survey. Only 1% of the 997 registered voters that YouGov spoke to said that a vice-presidential running mate was “the most important” issue to them, two out of three said it mattered to them.
When respondents were asked about Trump’s running mate specifically, 61% said it should be an individual who “has political experience getting things done in Washington”. And it was an even more important consideration for those who said they planned to vote for Trump in November - 75% said that his eventual VP should be a political insider. Only 15% of Trump supporters said they thought he should pick a woman as his running mate.
After a bad week of national polling for Hillary Clinton (a poll by CBS and The New York Times released this morning suggested she was tied with Trump), Trump’s pick could be crucial for nudging him ahead in the 2016 race.
“Whether I’m the person he announces or we have Mike Pence be announced, I’m going to do a Facebook live.” – Newt Gingrich
Gingrich praises Pence
Gingrich is happily handicapping potential veep picks not-him:
“Chris Christie is a terrific prosecutor. He has this unique ability to reach out and define a case... in the sense that you’d want somebody to take on Hillary Clinton, Christie is significant.”
“Pence brings the qualities of governing very successfully...having cut spending, having cut taxes, having done things to bring more jobs to the state.”
Here’s the Newt Gingrich Facebook Live link.
Well that’s not a very nice thing to say about someone!
Five minutes to Gingrich. Will he dispel with this fiction that he might be Trump’s veep pick?
This is rich: the White House praises Pence for expanding Medicaid in Indiana under Obamacare – which counts as a significant strike against Pence’s conservative bona fides... not that many people seem concerned about conservative bona fides in this annus trumpus:
“We are a nation of immigrants...”
More oldies and goodies from Pence’s Twitter feed:
Look who came for lunch. Via Bloomberg:
Meanwhile, back in Jersey:
The US attorney’s office in New Jersey had been investigating whether David Samson, former Port Authority Director and a political mentor to Republican Chris Christie, had wrongfully used his Port Authority of New York and New Jersey post to get United Airlines to provide direct air service to South Carolina in 2014 to make it easier to get to his vacation home.
Trump’s passing him over for veep marks another downward turn in the once scintillating career of Chris Christie, who was reelected governor of New Jersey with 60% of the vote just two-and-a-half years ago.
(Adelson and Hannity wanted Gingrich.)
Journey canceled for Republican convention
Journey was supposed to play at a big bash at Cleveland’s State Theatre at the end of the Republican convention, but now that’s not happening, venue sources say:
It’s not just whether Muslims should be permitted to enter the United States. Here’s another point of divergence between Pence and Trump: free trade.
The tweet does not represent temporary thinking on Pence’s part. In his decade in Congress, Pence voted for every piece of free-trade legislation that came his way.
Vice presidential also-ran Newt Gingrich, who shepherded the North American free trade agreement into law, showed some flexibility on the issue when he began to compete seriously for the running mate slot. We’ll see what Pence does.
Update: good point:
Republicans cut deal to avoid floor fight over Trump
The Republican National Committee has offered a deal to conservative grassroots activists to prevent a floor fight over the nomination of Donald Trump, Guardian politics reporter Ben Jacobs writes:
The RNC has offered to ban independents and Democrats from participating in the first four Republican primaries in the future and to allocate delegate bonuses to states that hold “closed primaries” with only registered Republicans participating.
In return, conservative activists would avoid disrupting the Republican rules committee’s proceedings and not participate in any attempt to deny the nomination to Trump.
Trump’s opponents had hoped to “unbind” delegates so that they would not be obligated to cast their votes by the primary election results. Instead, they would be able to vote their conscience and theoretically vote against Trump.
The deal would likely enhance the role of social conservatives in selecting future nominees and make it more difficult for establishment candidates to become the GOP nominee.
The offer was made to a group led by former Virginia attorney general Ken Cuccinelli, a former top aide to Ted Cruz. Cuccinelli previously spearheaded Cruz’s delegate operations in preparation for a contested convention. After Cruz dropped out, he switched his focus to an effort to empower the party grassroots in future contests and decentralize power from the RNC.
The potential deal came after the RNC rules committee meeting was recessed shortly after beginning on Thursday morning because of an alleged printer issue. It turned out that was an excuse to enable negotiations.
Conservative activists declined to speak to reporters about negotiations as they left a convention center conference room on Thursday afternoon.
Clinton made an unannounced stop to pay tribute at a law enforcement officers memorial before proceeding to a lunch with Senate Democrats and then an event with Virginia senator Tim Kaine.
National Review editor Rich Lowry earlier this week identified a potential problem with the Pence pick: will Pence, a practiced communicator but not known for improvisation on his feet, be able to defend the wild things Trump says?
I understand the impulse for Trump to pick Pence — an experienced pol, in good standing with conservatives, and not much of a lightning rod, at least not yet (the Left tends to make any GOP pick a lightning rod). But Trump’s running mate will have to be extremely deft at explaining away and deflecting Trump controversies. There is no reason to believe that Pence will be good at this, and I’m guessing he won’t be. Christie (comfortable at defending anything) and especially Newt (one of the most glib politicians of the last 30 years) would be much better by this metric. They both have downsides. No one will be excited by Christie, certainly not conservatives. Newt is famously ill-disciplined. But I wouldn’t be surprised if the Trump team thinks it’s getting a safe choice in Pence and then when he inevitably has trouble defending Trump (he has never operated on this kind of national stage), it won’t look so safe anymore.
The Trump campaign has issued a statement saying Trump “will be announcing his vice presidential candidate” at an event beginning at noon tomorrow at the New York Hilton Midtown.
Were no Trump properties available?
Mike Pence’s withdrawal from his gubernatorial re-election bid leaves a vacuum in Indiana state politics – one that will not be filled by popular former Republican governor Mitch Daniels.
Daniels, currently president of Purdue University, tells the Journal and Courier that he is not running.
Daniels sent this in an email to the paper this morning:
Ordinarily, it’s neither necessary nor good practice to comment on hypothetical questions. But this year and the current political situation in Indiana is extraordinary to say the least. So I think it is appropriate that I make plain today that, should there be a sudden need to name a new nominee for governor, I will not present myself as a candidate nor would I accept the nomination if offered.
Mike Pence endorsed senator Ted Cruz in advance of the Indiana Republican primary, which Trump won handily.
Last December, Mike Pence called Trump’s proposed Muslim ban “offensive and unconstitutional.”
“The Indiana governor and former congressman Mike Pence might seem, in many ways, Donald Trump’s opposite,” wrote the Guardian’s Megan Carpentier before today’s announcement:
He voted to restrict Medicare from negotiating drug prices (which Trump supports) and was in favor of both the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (Trump has opposed the Iraq war during the campaign, though his position on Afghanistan is less clear).
And unlike the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, who prefers more visceral appeals to voters, Pence is fond of saying: “I’m a conservative, but I’m not angry about it.”
And on Tuesday night at a joint event in his home state, Pence gave the impression that he was a man who really wanted the job. Describing Trump as “a fighter, a builder and a patriot”, Pence said: “We will not rest, we will not relent, until we make this good man our president.”
If their opposing views on trade, healthcare and war seem to jar, Pence and Trump do have a few commonalities: in Pence’s unsuccessful second campaign for the House of Representatives in 1990, Federal Election Commission disclosures revealed that Pence was subsidizing his personal income with campaign contributions – to the tune of nearly $10,000, according to a Los Angeles Times analysis.
Pence, at the time, told the Chicago Tribune that he’d had to suspend his law practice to take a second run at the congressional seat, and that, according to campaign finance laws at the time, he was “completely legally right, and it is morally right for a man to provide for his family”. (Federal law still, in fact, allows candidates’ campaigns to pay them salaries, as long as they aren’t paid more than they earned immediately prior to their candidacies.)
He added: “And there is a larger principle that, unless we can do this, then only the wealthy and the incumbent can run.”
The Times reports the offer was made this morning.
Trump picks Pence
The Guardian has learned from a Republican source that Donald Trump has picked Mike Pence to be his running mate.
Pence, the governor of Indiana, had represented a safe choice who would solidify the Republican base and is popular with social conservatives.
In order to choose Pence, Trump had to make a decision by noon Friday, which would be the deadline for the Indiana governor to drop his bid for re-election. Hoosier State law prevents a candidate for seeking election to multiple offices. Trump previously announced that he would unveiled his vice presidential choice at 11AM Friday at Trump Tower in New York.
The Indianapolis Star says, without naming a source, that it has confirmed that Trump, whose people insist he hasn’t made a running-mate pick, has picked Pence:
Trump camp insists Trump has not decided
Trump senior communications adviser Jason Miller says that Trump’s not yet settled on a pick:
Multiple news outlets are following Roll Call in reporting that Trump has selected Indiana governor Mike Pence to be his running mate. The Guardian has not confirmed that Trump has made a selection. Trump’s campaign chairman insists Trump has not made a decision.
Everybody slow down with the Pence talk, tweets Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort:
Drudge thinks it’s Pence:
N.B.: Drudge’s announcement appears to be based on one story (in the Capitol Hill publication Roll Call) based on one unnamed source. And media outlets sometimes botch this, as when John Kerry picked John Edwards in 2004, but the New York Post reported the night before it would be Dick Gephardt:
America loves the veepstakes. Every four years, those who follow politics search desperately for signs of who the presidential nominees will pick to be their running mate, writes Guardian politics reporter Ben Jacobs:
It doesn’t matter that in the words of John Nance Garner, vice-president to Franklin Delano Roosevelt between 1933 and 1941, the vice-presidency “isn’t worth a bucket of warm piss”. Observers still use every means up to and including psychics and tarot cards as they try to work out who has been picked.
As campaigns keep their own cards close to their chest, it is notoriously difficult to be sure. This does not mean, however, there are no good indicators.
One easy tell is this: when speaking schedules for the Democratic and Republican conventions are leaked, potential vice-presidents are not among those named.
The Republican speakers list was published on Thursday. It included New Jersey governor Chris Christie and former House speaker Newt Gingrich, both long spoken of as potential VPs for Donald Trump. It did not include the governor of Indiana, Mike Pence.
On the Democratic side, Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren is a progressive leader long promoted by liberals as a potential Clinton VP. The party, however, has leaked that she will address their convention on the first night.
Read the full piece here:
Hillary Clinton invokes the story of Patrick Zamarripa, one of five Dallas officers killed last week. She quotes his last tweet, sent on July 4th:
“That is Latino community. Loving, dedicated, proud, patriotic,” Clinton says.
Clinton notes that following the 2012 election, Republicans conducted a postmortem and concluded that they had to do more to appeal to Latinos.
“Next week, they will nominate someone who thinks Latino outreach is tweeting a picture of a taco bowl,” she says. “What a difference a few years make.”
She takes a few more digs at Trump for his anti-Latino views:
“He referred to a [Latina] contestant in his Ms Universe pageant as Ms Housekeeping. ...He criticized Jeb Bush for speaking, and I quote, ‘Mexican.’ I mean you cannot make this up.”
Clinton then criticizes Trump for referring to Indiana-born judge Gonzalo Curiel, a federal judge overseeing a class action lawsuit against Trump University, “Mexican.”
It was a “cynical, calculated attempt to fan the flames of division and also to undermine people’s faith in our judicial system,” she says.
“I will say what Donald Trump won’t say. Judge Curiel is as American as I am, and as American as Donald Trump is.”
Clinton is talking about immigration policy, calling for reform with a path to citizenship.
“I just want to say I know how painful it was that the supreme court made the decision it made,” she says, referring to a 4-4 tie that effectively vacated Barack Obama’s order protecting 5m family members of migrants protected from deportation because they arrived as children.
“It’s important to note the court did not actually rule on the substance of the case,” Clinton said.
She elbows Trump:
I deeply regret the kind of campaign the presumptive Republican nominee started with and is still running today.
Here’s Clinton now, at the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) conference in Washington:
Cornel West backs Green candidate Stein
Cornel West, the racial justice advocate and academic, who sat as a member of the Democratic party platform committee this year at the request of Bernie Sanders, has declined to back the presidential candidate charged with advancing that platform.
West is with her – her being Green party candidate Jill Stein, he writes in the Guardian:
This November, we need change. Yet we are tied in a choice between Trump, who would be a neo-facist catastrophe, and Clinton, a neo-liberal disaster. That’s why I am supporting Jill Stein. I am with her – the only progressive woman in the race – because we’ve got to get beyond this lock-jaw situation. I have a deep love for my brother Bernie Sanders, but I disagree with him on Hillary Clinton. I don’t think she would be an “outstanding president”. Her militarism makes the world a less safe place.
Read the full piece here:
Newt Gingrich has made Donald Trump’s short list, at least, of potential running mates.
And Newt Gingrich does not take questions outside his residence:
Update: why are Pence’s people flying to New York, where Trump will announce his running mate tomorrow?
House speaker Paul Ryan is about to begin his weekly press briefing. Click through to watch:
The contest to be Trump’s running mate has been compared with reality television hits such as The Bachelor, or Trump’s own The Apprentice.
CNN takes the comparison and runs:
But did they go too far?
Clinton to campaign with Kaine
Donald Trump is in California raising money today, for his campaign and for the Republican party – potentially a lot of money, if there are many takers for this $449,400-a-pop ticket:
Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, is scheduled to campaign this afternoon in northern Virginia with US senator Tim Kaine, perceived to be a leading “veepstakes” contender.
We’ll carry coverage of that event, plus a Clinton speech to the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) conference in Washington, DC, scheduled for 11:30 am.
Former Chicago Bears coach (that’s pro football) (American football) Mike Ditka, whom the Trump team had floated as a possible speaker at the national convention, confirms that he will not in fact be popping up in Cleveland. But he tells Ben Jacobs that he will, assuredly, be voting for Trump.
Trump has vowed to make Illinois red again, but voting trends in the state and the existence of Chicago make that an extremely tall order.
Ginsburg: 'I regret' Trump remarks
Supreme court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has released a statement saying she regrets remarks she made in the last week impugning Donald Trump and promising to be “more circumspect” in the future.
In three separate interviews in reply to questions about Trump, Ginsburg called the presumptive Republican presidential nominee a “faker” and said “I can’t imagine what the country would be with Donald Trump as our president.”
On Thursday, Ginsburg sought to retract those remarks.
“On reflection, my recent remarks in response to press inquiries were ill-advised and I regret making them,” she said in a statement. “Judges should avoid commenting on a candidate for public office. In the future I will be more circumspect.”
Ginsburg’s highly unusual decision, as a top judge, to weigh in on the presidential race drew a sharp rebuke from critics as diverse as congressional leaders, the New York Times editorial board and Trump himself, who called on the justice to resign.
“Justice Ginsburg of the U.S. Supreme Court has embarrassed all by making very dumb political statements about me,” Trump tweeted Wednesday. “Her mind is shot - resign!”
Senator Ted Cruz, a former Supreme Court clerk with extensive experience before the court, echoed Trump. “Her comments were obviously inappropriate,” Cruz told reporters. “When unelected judges try to impose their own policy views ... it’s wrong and it’s dangerous.”
Ginsburg, 83, found a high-profile defender in White House press secretary Josh Earnest, however, who said on Wednesday that Ginsburg “didn’t earn the nickname notorious RBG for nothing.”
Update: Here’s the cover of the New York Post Thursday:
Hello and welcome to our live-wire coverage of the 2016 race for the White House. Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson is displaying double-digit support in a new New York Times/CBS News poll of the presidential race, a poll that furthermore finds the top two candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, to be tied.
The poll indicates deepening erosion in the public’s opinion of Clinton, a week after the FBI director described the candidate’s use of a private email server while secretary of state. Clinton is not honest and trustworthy, according to 67% of the respondents.
The poll has Trump and Clinton tied for the lead, representing quite a slide for Clinton, who held a six-point lead in the same poll a month ago. In a two-way race, Clinton and Trump are tied 40-40, the poll finds. In a three-way race, they’re tied 36-36, with Johnson, a former governor of New Mexico, at 12%.
American voters afraid – poll
A new AP-GfK poll finds that 81% of Americans say they would feel afraid following the election of either Clinton or Trump. That includes a quarter who say it doesn’t matter who wins: they’re scared of both.
Speakers at Republican convention announced
The Republican party has released new details about its big bash in Cleveland next week, including a comprehensive speakers list with some interesting inclusions and some high-profile omissions. The convention will have theme nights, the Republicans revealed, with the first night focusing on the Benghazi affair and the second night focusing on the economy.
Included on the speaker’s list are Trump’s wife and four eldest children; former NFL quarterback and prominent Christian Tim Tebow; and two men said to be on Trump’s short list of potential running mates: Chris Christie and Newt Gingrich.
A third prominent name in the Trump veepstakes, Indiana governor Mike Pence, is not on the list, seemingly significantly. Also not on the list: neither of the last two Republican nominees for president; neither of the two living former Republican presidents; top Ohio Republicans including governor John Kasich and senator Rob Portman; and former presidential contenders including Marco Rubio, Rand Paul and Lindsey Graham.
Many Republican senators are not attending the convention at all, AP reports: senator Steve Daines of Montana will be fly-fishing with his wife; senator Jeff Flake of Arizona said he has to mow his lawn; senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska will be traveling her state by bush plane – the list goes on.
Here’s the speaker’s list:
Pastor Mark Burns
Congressman Ryan Zinke
Congressman Michael McCaul
Sheriff David Clarke
Congressman Sean Duffy
Senator Tom Cotton
Senator Joni Ernst
Governor Asa Hutchinson
Attorney General Leslie Rutledge
Senator Jeff Sessions
Retired Lt Gen Michael Flynn
Speaker Paul Ryan
Congressman Kevin McCarthy
Senator Shelley Moore Capito
Dr Ben Carson
Co-Chair Sharon Day
Antonio Sabato, Jr
Senator Ted Cruz
Michelle Van Etten
Congressman Chris Collins
Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn
Governor Mary Fallin
Governor Rick Scott
Chairman Reince Priebus
Attorney General Pam Bondi
Jerry Falwell Jr.
Rabbi Haskel Lookstein
Senator Mitch McConnell
Governor Chris Christie
Donald J Trump Jr
Governor Scott Walker
Trump announces veep announcement
Details to follow, presumably including the name of the person.
Hillary Clinton commercial: ‘our children are watching’
The Clinton campaign is out with a new TV ad with the tag line, “Our children are watching. What example will we set for them?”
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