TIME Donald Trump

Fear, Loathing and Disbelief as Donald Trump Looms Large Over New Hampshire

2016 U.S. Presidential Candidate Donald Trump Headquarters And Interview
Michael Nagle—Bloomberg / Getty Images Donald Trump speaks during a TV interview at the Trump Bar inside the Trump Tower in New York City, on Aug. 26, 2015.

'You only live once, and this is a once-in-a-lifetime candidate,' one voter said. She then added: 'I hope.'

The Summer of Trump is on the cusp of becoming The Autumn of The Donald. Just don’t expect everyone in the party to like it.

Talk to New Hampshire Republicans and the conversations eventually turn to Trump, the billionaire braggart who is atop national and local polls. This public fascination with Trump, GOP voters say with a mix of disbelief and disgust, was not supposed to have lasted this long. But as summer comes to a close, they cannot avoid it. Candidates now are adjusting their plans for a fall campaign, trying to keep their heads down and avoiding Trump’s signature barbs.

“Don’t get me started,” Manchester resident Vasoulla Demos said as she waited to meet New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at a weekend Greek festival. “I cannot even talk about it. Here’s Chris Christie, talking with voters. And Donald Trump,” she trails off, shaking her head. “Don’t we have enough troubles in this country already?”

As Demos chatted with TIME, Christie was making his way through a church parking lot, hugging some admirers and kissing others at the end of a long day of campaigning. He had conducted two marathon Q&A sessions where he answered questions about anything voters brought up: gun rights, veterans’ benefits, drug abuse and addiction, foreign aid, even his kids’ summer jobs. Now, he was talking about loukoumades and gyros at that Greek festival. To an aide, he kept passing a seemingly endless supply of sweets.

“You just run your race. Because as it stands, right now, nothing and no one is having an influence on Donald anyway. Right? So why try to? It doesn’t make any sense,” Christie tells TIME in an interview. “I can’t worry about anyone else. I have enough to do on my own.”

His keep-your-head down approach is one shared by his rivals. A day earlier, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina met with small-business owners to talk about his White House hopes. And a day later, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas visited a bee farm, a church and a roadside lobster stand.

Despite embracing the traditional New Hampshire way of campaigning—person-to-person pitches, organizing grassroots leaders and recruiting volunteers—each of these candidates is badly trailing Trump. Christie, a onetime establishment favorite, has not yet caught fire but is quietly building a list of potential supporters. Graham is tailor-made for conservatives who place national security atop their list but isn’t connecting with voters. (Graham is at risk of being excluded from an upcoming CNN debate.)

And Cruz, a Tea Party firebrand, is counting on Trump’s support to flame out and his backers to turn to him. “We’re running a grassroots campaign, one that goes person to person, one house at a time. That’s the New Hampshire way,” Cruz said.

This trio, which spent the weekend in New Hampshire, embodies the constituencies that form the modern GOP. But they have been sidelined. The campaign’s traditions and rules have been upended by celebrity and bombast.

Take Trump’s trip to New England this weekend. He skipped New Hampshire and opted for a 2,000-person confab behind high fences and velvet ropes on Friday evening near Boston. Three helicopters circled overhead as though they were covering the Super Bowl and not a showy annual event organized by a car dealer.

Again, he promised to build a massive wall along the U.S.-Mexican border. It won him cheers. “The Great Wall of China is 13,000 miles. This wall is 2,000,” he said. “Give me a break. It’s so easy, it will be great.” He then pivoted to an unfounded attack on a longtime senior adviser to Clinton; Huma Abedin, Trump suggested without any evidence, was passing classified information to her husband.

There is no predicting what is to come next from Trump. The never-before-elected candidate is tapping into voters’ frustrations with Washington and career politicians. His take-no-prisoners approach is attracting the attention of previously uninvolved potential voters; that is a potential boon for the GOP that has struggled to attract newcomers. One senior adviser to a rival candidate acknowledged that the 24 million viewers who tuned in to the campaign’s first debate was a win not just for Fox and Trump, but also for others candidates, whom most Americans had never met.

Trump’s never-ending criticism of the nation’s immigration system—and at times incendiary language about immigrants themselves—also complicates the Republican Party’s efforts to win over Hispanics, a voting bloc that is crucial in picking the President. Trump’s criticism of women, too, is turning off female voters who are unaccustomed to White House hopefuls being so personally disparaging to a gender.

“He’s a builder. He’s building a wall—between us and Hispanics. The wall is not the Trump Wall with the border. It’s a political wall,” Graham tells TIME. “He’s driving a wedge between us and women, calling young women ‘bimbos’ and calling immigrants ‘rapists‘ and ‘drug dealers.’ That’s the last thing we should be doing.”

Yet Graham and the others are being challenged by the same voters Trump is energizing. During one event this weekend, Graham told voter Euclid Dupuis that he understood his frustration. “No, not frustration,” the 76-year-old former CPA interrupted. “Disgust. Disgust.”

“We’re disgusted with politicians telling us they’re going to do one thing and then we never see it happen,” the Bedford resident said after the event, pointing to Republican promises to defund Democrats’ health care law and to block Obama’s executive actions that spared some immigrants deportation. “Don’t tell us you’re going to do something if you’re never going to do it.”

Yet Dupuis is leaning toward Cruz or Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, both first-term Senators. What about Trump? “He’s too in your face,” the retiree said. “There is no way people stick with him once they start imagining him actually doing the job. This is all a distraction.”

Similarly, Adam Lord is measuring Trump’s time in the spotlight in hours, not weeks. “He’ll self-destruct, implode at some point,” the 30-year-old accountant from Manchester said after the same Graham event. “Trump is not going to be the nominee.”

After a Christie event a day later, 66-year-old Bess Arnold had a similar view as she gave her contact information to a Christie aide at the Greek event so she could volunteer. “People are going to see him for what he is,” the Merrimack retiree said of Trump. “This can’t last.”

And Sandra Sanborn waited after Cruz at a shabby seafood shack on Sunday afternoon. The 67-year-old Seabrook woman said Cruz is her favorite candidate but she gets the appeal of Trump. “He’s saying what we’re all thinking. He’s giving us a voice,” she said. “I just think people are still watching and waiting, and they’ll see that Ted Cruz is saying the same things but with a better chance of winning.”

Winning is the often implicit—and at times the explicit—pitch these underdog candidates are trying to use. Imagine, Graham says, a Trump campaign against Clinton. “The balloon pops itself,” Graham said. “This is an entertaining man, but he’s all over the board. He doesn’t understand America’s political or legal system.”

So these candidates continue to visit New Hampshire in the traditional manner. Take Christie. He spent his Saturday morning at a VFW hall in Laconia and then went to a farm where Mitt Romney previously campaigned in the final days of his 2012 primary. When one voter asked about his slouching poll numbers, Christie urged them to keep the faith.

“You know what things looked like at this point four years ago? Herman Cain was at 30%. You know who was in second? Michele Bachmann,” Christie told supporters, asking them to keep talking to their neighbors. “No one is voting for five-and-a-half months. That’s a lifetime.”

But in the back of the barn, one Trump ally was only half-listening. He went to the Christie event in case Trump could be persuaded to have an event in Center Tuftonboro. “We can put the press in that barn,” he said. “The crowd can be out there. And we can land his helicopter over there.”

That larger-than-life approach to campaigning is part of Trump’s appeal. It also might be his undoing in New Hampshire, a state where the cranky yankee voters are fiercely protective of their traditions.

Traditions, it is worth noting, might be off-limits to Trump even if he wanted to try his hand at a sustained small-event campaign. “We’re not doing house parties any more,” said state Rep. Stephen Stepanek, Trump’s co-chairman for New Hampshire. “The crowds are too phenomenal. Finding a venue big enough to handle Mr. Trump’s phenomenal crowds is tough.”

It’s also unclear if Trump’s public support will remain steady. Even those who forked over $100 on Friday see Trump—he insisted it was not a fundraiser despite instructions at the front gate about on how to write a check to his campaign—not everyone was necessarily a Trump backer. Cindy Liquori, a 49-year-old small-business owner, drove to the Norwood, Mass., event from Suffield, Conn. “We love him,” she said, giddy to see the former reality star. But, she adds, she had planned to back Clinton before Trump got into the race. If he isn’t the nominee, Liquori said she might go back to supporting Clinton.

And therein lies the unknown for Republicans, who are watching the race with plenty of amusement and even more apprehension. After all, it’s one thing to tell a pollster in August that Trump is the favorite; it’s quite another to have that view when the ballots start being cast.

“I want to see what the hoopla is about,” said Laura Hausle, a 50-year-old Newton, Mass., resident. She also attended Trump’s New England event even though she is backing Rubio and has donated to his campaign. She didn’t want to miss the spectacle of Trump’s campaign while it lasts, though. “You only live once, and this is a once-in-a-lifetime candidate,” she said, before laughing at her party’s unexpected summer fling with Trump. “I hope.”

TIME 2016 Election

Scott Walker: Building a U.S.-Canada Border Wall is a ‘Legitimate Issue’

Scott Walker
Mic Smith—AP Republican presidential candidate, Wis. Gov. Scott Walker, gives a foreign policy speech on the campus of The Citadel on Aug. 28, 2015, in Charleston, S.C.

Walker said some fear terrorists coming in through Canada

Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker said on Sunday that building a wall on the U.S.-Canada border is “a legitimate issue for us to look at,” proposing a focus on the northern border as the members of the GOP primary field tighten their stances on illegal immigration.

The Wisconsin governor, who supports boosting security along the southern border, told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that focusing on border security would take care of “almost every one of the other issues [of immigration] out there,” including birthright citizenship.

“Whether it’s talking about the 14th Amendment or anything else, until we secure the border and enforce the laws, we shouldn’t be talking about any other issue out there,” he said.

Walker added that some voters supporting a norther border wall worry that terrorists could cross from Canada to the U.S. in the wake of a lone wolf attack on the Ottawa Parliament in October. “[Voters] raised some very legitimate concerns, including some law enforcement folks that brought that up to me at one of our town hall meetings about a week and a half ago. So that is a legitimate issue for us to look at.”

[NBC]

TIME 2016 Election

Chris Christie Wants to Track Immigrants Like FedEx Tracks Packages

Governor Chris Christie
David Orrell—CNBC/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images Gov. Chris Christie in an interview on Aug. 27, 2015.

"At any moment, FedEx can tell you where that package is"

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said on Saturday that he plans to track illegal immigrants in the same way that FedEx tracks its packages if he is elected president next year.

Speaking at a campaign event in Laconia, N.H., the Republican presidential candidate said that he would ask the FedEx CEO himself, Frederick Smith, to create the system, the New York Times reports. “At any moment, FedEx can tell you where that package is. It’s on the truck. It’s at the station. It’s on the airplane. Yet we let people come to this country with visas, and the minute they come in, we lose track of them,” he said. “We need to have a system that tracks you from the moment you come in.”

Christie’s comments arrive as the Republican primary field, led by real estate mogul Donald Trump, proposes tighter immigration plans ahead of the Sept. 16 GOP debate.

“However long your visa is, then we go get you,” Christie said. “We tap you on the shoulder and say, ‘Excuse me. Thanks for coming. Time to go.’”

Christie did not say how exactly the FedEx tracking system, which scans packages’ barcodes, would be used to track undocumented immigrants. A FedEx spokesperson declined to comment.

Read next: Univision’s Jorge Ramos: Reporters Need to Get Tougher on Donald Trump

[NYT]

 

 

TIME Donald Trump

Donald Trump Will ‘Make a Decision Very Soon’ on Third Party Bid

Donald Trump Holds Rally At Grand River Center
Bloomberg/Getty Images Donald Trump leaves a news conference ahead of a rally at Grand River Center in Dubuque, Iowa on Aug. 25, 2015.

"I think a lot of people are going to be very happy," said Trump

(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) — Donald Trump will decide soon whether to mount a third party bid if he loses the Republican nomination for president, the real estate mogul said Saturday.

“I think over the next couple of weeks you’re going to see some things that are very interesting,” Trump said after a speech in Nashville to a gathering of tea party activists.

“We’re going to make a decision very soon,” he added, “and I think a lot of people are going to be very happy.”

Trump has so far refused to pledge to support the eventual Republican nominee, saying his refusal to commit gains him leverage over the party establishment, which has been caught off-guard by his early dominance in the race. He’s also said repeatedly that he’d prefer to run as a Republican as long as the party treats him fairly.

But to appear on the ballot in South Carolina and several other states, he’ll have to pledge to support the eventual nominee.

Trump was in Nashville to court tea party-leaning voters at a conference hosted by the National Federation of Republican Assemblies, which describes itself as “a grassroots movement to take back the Republican Party for the vast and disenfranchised majority of its members.”

With more than a year before the presidential election, Trump has been leading summertime polls. Many of his supporters’ sentiments align with those that fueled the tea party’s rise. Trump made clear Saturday that he welcomes tea party support.

“I love the tea party!” he told the crowd during a meandering, hourlong speech at a Christian music venue and skateboard park, making the case that they hadn’t been treated fairly.

“The tea party people are incredible people. These are people that work hard and they love the country and then they get just beat up all the time by the media,” he added. “You don’t know the power that you have.”

The event came the day after Trump held a glitzy $100-per-person campaign event — which he repeatedly insisted wasn’t a fundraiser — outside of Boston.

Trump said the money raised was only to offset the costs of the event and said people attending could choose to pay whatever they wanted.

But multiple signs posted at the property’s entrance and along a staffed check-in table told those arriving to “Please have cash ready or make checks payable to: Donald J. Trump for President, Inc.” Another read, “Entry Fee $100 Per Person.”

On Saturday, Trump expressed frustration that coverage of Friday’s event focused on the discrepancy.

“I got so angry at my people because somebody put up a sign saying $100,” he said.

Trump also defended a personal attack he launched Friday against Huma Abedin, a top aide to Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton, who has been swept up in the controversy over Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of state.

Trump again speculated that Abedin had shared classified information with her husband, former Congressman Anthony Weiner, who resigned after sending sexually explicit images of himself to women he’d met online.

A spokesman for Clinton’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but said in an emailed statement Friday that there “is no place for patently false, personal attacks towards a staff member” and that Trump “should be ashamed of himself.”

___

Colvin reported from Norwood, Mass.

TIME 2016

Watch Sarah Palin Interview Donald Trump

"Everything about Donald Trump's campaign is avant garde. He is crushing it in the polls."

On Friday night, former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin chatted with current GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump.

“If you look at what’s happening with this country, it’s so sad,” Trump told Palin on the show “On Point With Sarah Palin” on One America News Network. “You’ve pointed it out for years.” He added: “I have to tell you, you’re a terrific person.”

Palin returned the compliments, saying, “Everything about Donald Trump’s campaign, it’s avant-garde, and he’s crushing it in the polls.”

Watch the full interview above.

Read next: ‘Deez Nuts’ Copycats Are Giving Election Officials a Headache

TIME Donald Trump

Trump Suggests Top Clinton Adviser Shared Classified Secrets With Husband

Clinton campaign calls criticism of Huma Abedin "patently false, personal attacks towards a staff member"

Donald Trump is adding a new figure to the list of people he considers a loser: longtime Hillary Clinton adviser Huma Abedin.

During a Friday evening stop at a private picnic near Boston, the Republican White House hopeful and real estate mogul suggested that Abedin had shared classified information with her husband, disgraced ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner. Abedin, one of Clinton’s longest serving aides and now the vice chairman of her presidential campaign, was Clinton’s deputy chief of staff while she was Secretary of State and one of her most trusted advisers.

Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill called Trump’s remarks “patently false, personal attacks towards a staff member.”

While Clinton’s critics are investigating her use of a private email server and whether classified information was sent to non-governmental accounts, no one had before suggested Abedin was passing sensitive materials to anyone who should not have had it. To Trump, Abedin is yet another shady figure involved in the never-ending saga of Clinton’s email practices as the nation’s top diplomat. “It all came through Huma,” whom Trump repeated called “YOU-ma.”

“Who is Huma married to? One of the great sleazebags of our time, Anthony Weiner. She is married to Anthony Weiner. You know, the little bing, bing, bing,” Trump went on.

Weiner resigned from Congress amid a sexting scandal in 2011. Abedin remains married to him and they are raising a 3-year-old son.

“Think about it. So Huma is getting classified secrets. She’s married to Anthony Weiner, who is a pervert. He is. So these are confidential documents,” Trump said, taking his typical asides to add tangential information. “If you think that Huma isn’t telling Anthony—who she is probably desperately in love with, in all fairness to Anthony, because why else would she marry this guy? Can you believe it? She can’t see straight. Think of it.”

Trump said Abedin’s love for her husband likely compelled her to tell him things she should not have.

“Do you think there’s even a 5% chance that she’s not telling Anthony Weiner, now at a public relations firm, what the hell is coming across? Do you think there’s even a little bit of a chance? I don’t think so.”

Trump’s decision to go after one of Clinton’s most loyal advisers was a new move for the real estate mogul, whose brash approach to the campaign has propelled him to the top of the polls.

Abedin started working for Clinton while she was an undergraduate at George Washington University and Clinton was First Lady. She went on to work for Clinton’s Senate office and her 2008 presidential campaign and followed her to this one. She’s a constant presence at Clinton’s side; Clinton has likened Abedin to the second daughter she never had.

Merrill, the Clinton spokesman, said Trump had gone too far: “Donald Trump has spent the summer saying offensive things about women, but there is no place for patently false, personal attacks towards a staff member. He should be ashamed of himself, and others in his own party should take a moment to stand up to him and draw the line for once. It’s embarrassing to watch, frankly.”

TIME 2016 Election

Democratic Contenders Make Their Case to Party Leaders

Democratic Presidential Candidates Speak At DNC Summer Meeting In Minneapolis
Adam Bettcher—Getty Images Hillary Clinton speaks at the Democratic National Committee summer meeting in Minneapolis on Aug. 28, 2015.

Four of the five Democrats running for president spoke at the DNC summer meeting

One candidate wants everyone to relax over those emails. A second is convinced he can start a political revolution. Another demands more debates. The other hopes you remember who he is.

What began as an orderly quorum to rally Democrats for the 2016 general election spiraled on Friday into a chaotic pageant of candidates slamming debate schedules, assuaging fears over emails, lambasting Donald Trump and demanding political revolution.

Four of the five Democratic candidates for president addressed the Democratic National Committee members and leaders at the party’s summer meeting in Minneapolis, each seeking something different.

The three-day confab is a key forum for the Democratic candidates to garner establishment support for their campaigns. Their speeches on Friday evinced tensions within the party and a wide range of interests. But one battle line was clear: there’s the establishment wing of the party, and there’s everyone else.

Here’s what each of the candidates aimed to prove at the DNC summer meeting, in the order that they spoke.

Lincoln Chafee: The former Rhode Island governor and senator, who has the mild demeanor of a mid-level manager, is polling at an unenviable 0.5%.

So Chafee spent most of his brief speech reminding the Democratic Party who he is. He boasted of his qualifications, telling the audience that as a prescient senator from Rhode Island in the early 2000s he voted against the Iraq War, warned of the dangers of climate change and supported a bipartisan immigration bill.

Plus, he has never been accused of a major scandal. “And all through these 30 years of public service, I’ve had no scandal,” Chafee said. “I’m proud of that.”

Hillary Clinton: The Democratic frontrunner, firmly in the lead for the nomination with nearly 50% in an average of recent national polls, aimed to assure the DNC’s leadership that she is the strongest candidate to rebuild the party after bad losses in the 2010 and 2014 midterms.

She vowed on Friday to help rebuild a Democratic Party whose ranks have been thinned by losses at the local and state level, telling top leaders of the Democratic National Committee that her campaign will help Democrats “win up and down the ticket.”

“I’m building an organization in all 50 states with hundreds of thousands of volunteers who will help Democrats win races up and down the ticket, not just the presidential campaign,” Clinton said. “You know, in 2010 Republicans routed us on redistricting, not because they won Congress but because they won state legislatures. It’s time to rebuild our party from the ground up. And if you make me the nominee that’s exactly what I’ll do.”

Meanwhile, her surrogates rounded up super-delegates at the DNC three-day meeting in an effort to build up a bulwark of support before the primary contests next year. Her goal is to assure Democrats uneasy after a rough August of press around her use of a personal email server.

Clinton also told reporters after her speech that the obsession with her emails is a passing fad. “I’m not frustrated,” she said in response to a reporter’s question, who asked her how she is feeling about a kerfuffle that has damaged her trustworthiness among voters. “I’m just trying to explain for people who have never had to follow this before that is is complicated. There’s nothing unique about [the] process being conducted around my emails.”

Clinton, whose Priorities USA super PAC was trailing behind Jeb Bush’s fundraising efforts by nearly $100 million as of June, compared high-dollar fundraisers to the wealthy industrial magnates of old. “The robber barons of the late-19th century handed public officials bags of cash,” Clinton said. “Now we have secret unaccountable money that distorts our elections and drowns out the voices of everyday Americans.”

The Republican Party, Clinton said, is scrambling over itself to look backwards. “The party of Lincoln has become the party of Trump,” she said.

The Democrats, on the other hand: “We’re building something that will last long after next November,” she said.

Martin O’Malley: O’Malley, the former governor of Maryland, has had the most trouble gaining momentum in the race despite months of campaigning and 15 years as an executive first in Baltimore and then in the Annapolis statehouse.

What’s more, the governor’s impassioned calls in primetime national television interviews for more Democratic debates have gone entirely unheeded. DNC chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz has repeatedly defended the debate rules, which limit the number of debates to six and prohibit candidates from participating in any others.

That may explain why O’Malley delivered a barn-burning speech attacking the Democratic establishment for limiting the number of debates.

“The Republicans stand before the nation, malign our President’s record of achievements, denigrate women and immigrant families, double-down on trickle-down, and tell their false story,” O’Malley said. “We respond with crickets, tumbleweeds, and a cynical move to delay and limit our own Party debates.”

And then—with Wasserman-Schultz standing feet away from O’Malley—the kicker.

“This is totally unprecedented in our party,” O’Malley continued. “This sort of rigged process has never been attempted before. Whose decree is it? Where did it come from? To what end? For what purpose? What national or party interest does this decree serve?”

The Sanders section of the crowd roared their enthusiasm.

“We are the Democratic Party, not the undemocratic Party,” O’Malley continued. “Our party must not cower from this debate, we must engage the debate.”

When the speech was over, Wasserman-Schultz gave O’Malley a terse handshake. “Thank you, Governor O’Malley,” she said.

Bernie Sanders: The Vermont Senator has convinced much of the Democratic base that he’s the strongest candidate for the job. The next big step for his campaign began on Friday, with the Independent from Vermont aiming to convince the Democratic leadership that he is the best candidate for the Democratic nomination.

At the heart of Sanders’ message: Clinton can’t win the same grassroots support he can.

“Democrats will not retain the White House—will not regain the Senate or the U.S. House of Representatives, will not be successful in dozens of governors races all across this country—unless we generate excitement and momentum and produce a huge voter turnout,” Sanders said.

Sanders offered somber advice for the party heads. But he was more polite than O’Malley. “With all due respect, and I do not mean to insult anyone here, that turnout—that enthusiasm—will not happen with politics as usual.”

He also aimed some subtle jabs at Hillary Clinton, reminding his audience that he voted against the Iraq War (Clinton voted for it), and he opposes the Keystone Pipeline and the Trans Pacific Partnership (which Clinton has declined to take a stance on).

Jim Webb: The former senator for Virginia, who is at 1% in national polls, was the only candidate to skip the DNC meeting. Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz explained that Webb is “taking his daughter to college.”

Webb’s campaign, however, added another perspective. “His daughter off to college, yes,” spokesman Craig Crawford in an email to TIME. “But also think, just my opinion, you don’t have to read Machiavelli in his native language to understand that the DNC has picked their nominee. The DNC/HRC [Hillary Rodham Clinton] hookup is a shotgun wedding with no need for bullets.”

Also, Crawford told the IJReview that Webb talking to the DNC is “about as useful as sticking one’s hand into a wood chipper.”

By July 2016, the party will have chosen its candidate for president, and the DNC hopes that the losing candidates will fall in line. To hear the DNC leadership tell it, that won’t be a problem. “We are very happy with the cooperation and thank the candidates for the cooperation that we’ve seen from them to date,” Wasserman-Schultz said at the end of her prepared remarks Friday morning. “On to victory in 2016, my fellow Democrats, thank you so much!”

Read next: History Indicates That Donald Trump’s Campaign Could Be Trouble for the Left

TIME 2016 Election

Graham on Kasich: ‘Not Ready to Be Commander in Chief’

The feud is over budget cuts that hit the Pentagon

Sen. Lindsey Graham is taking aim at Republican rival John Kasich, saying the Ohio Governor is “not ready to be Commander in Chief.”

The South Carolina Republican and White House hopeful told roughly a dozen New Hampshire voters on Friday that Kasich disqualified himself from the presidency when he said he supported spending cuts that have impacted the military. Graham, a foreign policy hawk, has long opposed the $85 billion in spending cuts that automatically kicked in when Congress failed to reach a budget deal.

Kasich, a former House Budget Committee Chairman, said told radio host Hugh Hewitt that he wanted to reform the Pentagon more broadly and that meant more than just undoing the budget cuts, which are deeply unpopular in both parties. “The sequester doesn’t matter to me,” he said.

Graham used his trip to New Hampshire—his second in as many weekends—to criticize Kasich, a relatively new entrant to the race but someone who is outpacing Graham in the polls.

“John Kasich is a good friend of mine,” Graham said before turning to his criticism. “He said he has no problem with sequestration.”

Graham went on: “These are mandatory, across-the-board cuts to defense that will accumulate to the point that, by 2021, we will be spending half of what we’d normally spend on the Defense Department.”

The cuts, he said, would hurt the United States’ national security.

“As the enemy increases in its ability, our approach is to disarm,” Graham said. “If the next president doesn’t understand that these cuts are killing us, in terms of defending ourselves, you’re not ready to be Commander in Chief…. This is a cocktail for disaster.”

A Kasich spokesman dismissed Graham’s criticism. “The Governor wants to life the sequester for military and spend more if necessary, but he still wants to reform the Pentagon,” Chris Schrimpf said. “So the sequester doesn’t matter to him in that he still wants to reform the Pentagon, but is against across-the-board cuts.”

TIME White House

President Obama Plans Hike on Alaskan Glacier

Obama Speaks Iran Nuclear Deal
Pete Marovich—AP United States President Barack Obama addresses American University's School of International Service in Washington on Aug. 5, 2015.

A photo op meant to send a message about global warming

Advocacy and adventure will collide when Barack Obama visits Alaska on an official trip beginning Monday.

The American President’s itinerary may include a hike across the Exit Glacier in the Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska, White House officials said Friday.

The visit to the glacier, which has experienced significant melting in recent years, fits in with the broader purpose of Obama’s visit: to highlight the ways in which climate change is affecting individuals, communities and the American economy. The National Park is a vital pillar of the Alaskan economy by way of tourism, and climate change threatens to derail the stream of visitors the Park sees every year.

The trip is the latest in a long line of recent Obama initiatives to battle climate change, including his endorsement of solar energy and a new Clean Power Plan that aims at a 32% cut in carbon emissions by 2030.

As part of the three-day trip, Obama will deliver a keynote address at an international conference about climate change in the Arctics and interact with local fishermen in Dillingham, a major hub of the salmon industry. The President will also survey impacts of global warming on Alaskan ice sheets from onboard a coastguard ship.

The trip, which comes a week after Obama approved an Arctic drilling project, has been called hypocritical by climate change groups. However, the White House specified that the President will not be meeting any Shell oil executives while in Alaska.

 

TIME White House

Obama Appoints Special Envoy to Lead Hostage Recovery Efforts

James O'Brien will serve as the first Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs

President Obama has filled a new position created to ensure the safe return of American hostages overseas.

The White House announced Friday that James O’Brien will serve as the first Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs.

O’Brien’s appointment fulfills an executive order President Obama signed in late June. He will report directly to the Secretary of State and work with closely with the newly created Hostage Recovery Fusion Cell to ensure synchronized diplomatic approaches to U.S. hostage recovery.

Secretary of State John Kerry pointed to a review of the government’s hostage policy, completed earlier this summer, as reason for hiring O’Brien. “That review recognized the need for fully coordinated action across U.S. agencies in responding to hostage situations and to the military, diplomatic, legal, and humanitarian issues that such situations generate,” said Secretary Kerry in a statement.

O’Brien is currently Vice Chair of the Albright Stonebridge Group, a global business and strategy consulting firm. During the Clinton administration, he served as Special Presidential Envoy for the Balkans and as Senior Advisor to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

“Jim is exactly the right person for a job that demands a high level of diplomatic experience and the ability to analyze and find effective remedies to complex problems,” Secretary Kerry said.

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