Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, whose campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination got off to a big start with strong performances in Iowa and New Hampshire, says he can’t understand why voters in a southern state like South Carolina aren’t jumping at the chance to support his socialist policies.
“It makes no sense to me that universal health care, free college, and reining in Wall Street aren’t polices that are resonating with southern voters,” Sanders said in remarks to The New York Times after former secretary of state Hillary Clinton trounced him in the South Carolina primary yesterday. “Hillary stands no chance of beating Donald Trump, Marco Rubio, or Ted Cruz in the South. I just don’t understand what message South Carolina voters sent yesterday by voting for a Democrat who is much more moderate than I am.”
Clinton’s win, in which she crushed Sanders with almost three-quarters of the Democratic primary vote, positions her to do well next week in Super Tuesday, which includes many southern states.
Given the unexpected outcome in South Carolina, Sanders says, he will focus his attention on the states he thinks he can win: Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama, and other states that historically have gone for the most liberal candidate. “We’ll let Hillary take some purple states, like Virginia, but for the most liberal, progressive states like Alabama, we’ll focus our attention and get back on track to winning this nomination,” he said. “If we can’t win Alabama, maybe we can’t win anywhere.”
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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who withdrew from the Republican presidential nomination contest earlier this month after several lackluster finishes, announced today that he was running for vice president instead. “Donald Trump will be the presidential nominee and I intend to be by his side as vice president,” he said at his announcement, which he made with Trump by his side. “I see where things are heading with the nomination and I can serve two functions by being his vice president pick. One, I can stay in the game, which helps me, and two, I can stand as a credible, responsible partner to ease people’s minds that Trump is too unpredictable to be president, and that helps him.” More.
Just when they thought it was safe to go to presidential campaign events without having to listen to the Canadian band Rush, voters have learned that Rand Paul, the libertarian candidate who recently dropped out of the race, isn’t the only fan of the band. Ohio Gov. John Kasich is also a fan, which means the piercing screech of Geddy Lee and the tin-can thumping of Neil Peart once again threaten to send property values down around 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington. “Please, tell me this isn’t true,” says Jim Robinson, 40, an attorney in Carson City, Nev., who was interested in voting for Rand Paul but decided he could never vote for anyone who quoted Rush lyrics at campaign events. More.
In a rare moment of bipartisanship, Republicans and Democrats on the House Natural Resources Committee yesterday applauded U.S. wildlife officials for their decision not to set aside protected habitat areas for an endangered species of bats. “All of America’s wildlife are important, and we’re as worried about our bat population as anyone, but if we had to let one species go, it should probably be the bats,” Rob Bishop (R-Utah), chair of the committee, said yesterday. “While we hope the Department of Fish and Wildlife can work out a way to protect imperiled bats, if they can’t, we understand.” “Not all animals get protected habitat, it’s as simple as that,” said Jim Costa (D-Calif.), a senior member of the committee. More.
Bill Norton of Charleston, S.C., says he’d like to vote for Hillary Clinton because his anti-semitism keeps him from voting for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is Jewish, but he can’t vote for Hillary because he’s a misogynist. “The Democrats have really left me with no choice but to vote Republican or not vote at all,” says the 59-year-old machine shop supervisor. “Of course, my racism makes it impossible for me to support Ben Carson, although I like his godliness. And my dislike of other minorities keeps me from supporting Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio.” Ben Carson is the retired neurosurgeon who led polls earlier in the race but has attracted little support since voting began. More.
Ted Barnes, a misogynist who can’t bring himself to vote for former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, says he’d like to vote for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders but he’s also an anti-semitie. “I’m really in a tough place this election,” says Barnes, 42, of Las Vegas, Nev. “The Democrats have got me so boxed in that I’m actually looking over at the Republican side to see what they offer.” Barnes, a big union guy, says he’s a lifelong Democrat. “Who is better for the unions, Clinton or Sanders? I’m not sure,” he says. “But it doesn’t matter, because I don’t want a woman in the White House and I don’t want a Jew in the White House. I don’t know what the hell I’m going to do.” More.
John Kasich finally broke through the crowd in the Republican presidential race earlier this week with his second-place finish in New Hampshire, but a detailed look at exit polls shows that it’s his wife, Kathy, that voters want in the White House. “John Kasich is okay, I think, especially given the rest of the GOP crowd, but his wife, now she’s a person that would make a great president,” says Jane Reynolds, a school teacher in Portsmouth, N.H. “Smart, articulate, and knows the business world—yep, she has it all. And she’s better looking than that woman who just dropped out. Carla Farina? Cari Ferraro? I can never remember her name.” “Can I look at Kathy Kasich for the next four years on nightly television as our First Lady?” asks Bill Jones, a retired engineer. More.
PORTSMOUTH, N.H.—In what is sure to be remembered as an iconic moment of the 2016 presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton, the former first lady and secretary of state, stood on the steps of the Rockingham County courthouse before several dozen people and said, “I have a pipe dream.” Despite the cold and a fussy baby who kept throwing an object out of her carriage, Clinton challenged the nation to set aside its differences and let her enact her five-point plan to “take the United States to the next level” as the country’s president. “Point one, we need to lower the cost of college,” she said. “Point two, hard-working families need affordable day care. Point three, we must protect and build on Obamacare, not dismantle it and start from scratch. More.
Stung by remarks that he had over-used his sound bites criticizing President Obama during last week’s Republican nomination debate in New Hampshire, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio says his team is developing a whole new set of lines he can use in the next phase of the nomination process. “I will have fresh things to say shortly, I can promise you that,” says Rubio, who had surged to second in the polls after his strong Iowa showing but has since dropped to fourth after New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie attacked him for his repeated use of the same sound bites during their last debate. More.
A trove of pictures showing a shirtless Bernie Sanders on the beach are making the rounds online, giving the 75-year-old Democratic nomination contender a big lift in the polls, especially in the key battleground state of Florida. And the Hillary Clinton campaign is crying foul. “We didn’t think Sanders would stoop so low to pull away older women voters who’ve always been among Hillary Clinton’s core supporters, but he did, and we’re calling him out on it,” says Meg Smith, the Clinton campaign’s Florida coordinator. “Bernie, put your shirt back on!” More.
Two leading contenders for the Republican presidential nomination were childhood “pals” with Fidel Castro in Cuba and even attended the communist revolutionary’s twenty-sixth birthday party at his home in Havana, a report about to be released discloses. The two candidates are Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, both of whom are of Cuban descent and who’ve criticized the communist government in Cuba and warned President Barack Obama about moving too quickly in opening diplomatic and commercial relations with the struggling country off the southern coast of Florida. More.