TIME 2016 Election

Donald Trump Won’t Back Down from Immigration Remarks

Donald Trump
Charles Rex Arbogast–AP Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to members of the City Club of Chicago Monday, June 29, 2015, in Chicago.

"I don't see how there is any room for misunderstanding or misinterpretation"

Donald Trump isn’t backing down.

In a statement released on Monday, the Republican presidential contender defended his controversial comments about Mexican immigrants, saying that he doesn’t “see how there is any room for misunderstanding or misinterpretation.”

Trump has lost a slew of business partners, including Macy’s, Univision, Serta, NASCAR and NBC, since he accused the Mexican government of sending undesirable citizens, including “rapists” and criminals, to America in his candidacy announcement June 16.

But he reiterated this point in the statement. “The Mexican Government is forcing their most unwanted people into the United States,” he wrote, adding that Mexican immigrants should be considered a public health concern as they are responsible for “tremendous infectious disease … pouring across the border.”

Trump and the general public do seem to be in agreement about one thing, though: his presidential run hasn’t been great for business so far. “I have lost a lot during this Presidential run defending the people of the United States,” he wrote. “I have always heard that it is very hard for a successful person to run for President. Macy’s, NBC, Serta and NASCAR have all taken the weak and very sad position of being politically correct even though they are wrong in terms of what is good for our country.”

But, he added, he has “great respect for Mexico and love[s] their people.”

TIME 2016 Election

Donald Trump Tweets Racially Charged Jab at Jeb Bush’s Wife

The tweet claimed to explain why Bush likes "Mexican illegals"

Donald Trump tweeted that fellow 2016 presidential hopeful Jeb Bush likes “Mexican illegals because of his wife,” the latest in a flurry of public comments about Hispanic Americans that have caused Macy’s, NBC and Univision to sever ties with the business mogul.

The comment was posted on Trump’s official Twitter account for 24 hours before it was deleted, according to screenshots captured by The Wrap. Bush’s wife, Columba, is Mexican.

The tweet comes on the heels of Bush publicly denouncing Trump’s comments, which characterized Mexican immigrants as potential criminals and rapists.

“He’s doing this to inflame and incite and to draw attention, which seems to be the organizing principle of his campaign,” Bush said. “To make these extraordinarily ugly kind of comments is not reflective of the Republican Party.”

Bush actually listed himself as Hispanic on a voter form in 2009 and has said that he takes personal offense to Trump’s statements.

[The Wrap]

TIME China

Hillary Clinton Says China Is ‘Trying to Hack Into Everything That Doesn’t Move’

Former United States Secretary of State and Democratic candidate for president Hillary Clinton speaks to supporters during a campaign event in Glen
Dominick Reuter—Reuters Former U.S. Secretary of State and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks to supporters during a campaign event in Glen, N.H., on July 4, 2015

The remarks come three months after the U.S. government learned of a “massive breach” of federal databases

At a campaign function in New Hampshire over the weekend, Hillary Clinton called China’s rise to global eminence “the story of the 21st century” — a backhanded compliment of sorts, given that she went onto accuse the country of cyberwarfare against the U.S.

“They’re trying to hack into everything that doesn’t move in America — stealing commercial secrets, blueprints from defense contractors, stealing huge amounts of government information — all looking for an advantage,” she said. “Make no mistake: they know they’re in a competition, and they’re going to do everything they can to win it.”

Clinton’s remarks come three months after the U.S. government learned of a “massive breach” of federal databases that compromised the personal records of millions of federal employees. State officials believe the hackers were operating out of China, an allegation Beijing has called “irresponsible and unscientific.” A year ago, the New York Times reported that U.S. security agencies traced a similar incident last March to China, though it remains unclear if those hackers were state mercenaries or acting alone.

The specter of cyberwarfare and China’s territorial aggressions in the South China Sea have been the two most recent thorns in the side of Sino-U.S. relations, which Clinton struggled to thaw during her early years as President Obama’s first Secretary of State. The assertiveness she displayed at Saturday’s event is an obvious departure from those attempts at diplomatic cooperation, which were “interpreted as a sign of weakness,” as Aaron Friedberg, a professor of international affairs and former adviser to Dick Cheney and Mitt Romney, wrote in a recent op-ed for Politico.

Clinton’s remarks are also uncharacteristic of her campaign thus far. In spite of her diplomatic experience, the case she makes for her presidency has trod lightly on matters of foreign policy, trafficking mostly in domestic topics unlikely to prove controversial in a Democratic primary.

Former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley, who is trailing further and further behind Clinton in the polls, penned an essay for Foreign Policy last month that called for “a new agenda to improve our nation’s cybersecurity,” though he was reticent on the specific matter of China. The Republican camp, meanwhile, is harmonious in its frankness: last month, Chris Christie called for a “military approach” in response to China’s bravado; Mike Huckabee thinks the U.S. should “hack China back.”

TIME 2016 Election

Donald Trump Says He Didn’t Expect Response to Immigration Comments to Be ‘Quite This Severe’

Trump has accused Mexican immigrants of "bringing drugs" and "bringing crime"

Business mogul and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said Saturday that he wasn’t expecting such harsh corporate backlash to his incendiary comments about Mexican immigrants.

Trump, who lost a string of business partners after saying that Mexican immigrants are “bringing drugs, bringing crime, they’re rapists,” conceded during a Fox News interview that he “didn’t know it was going to be quite this severe, but I really knew it was going to be bad.”

Among those who have cut ties with the billionaire include Macy’s, NBC Universal, Ora TV, Serta and Univision, the last of which Trump has sued for $500 million after the Spanish-language network cancelled plans to air the July 12 Miss USA pageant. Some other GOP candidates, including Marco Rubio, himself the son of immigrants from Cuba, have blasted Trump for his “offensive and divisive” comments.

The real estate mogul continued to voice his controversial views this week, when a young woman was gunned down at a San Francisco tourist spot in an apparent random shooting by a suspect whom police said is an undocumented immigrant.

“We have many cases like this, but nobody wants to talk about it,” Trump said of the incident. “It seems like I’m sort a whipping post because I bring it up.”

[Fox News]

TIME 2016 Election

Ted Cruz Wanted to Be This Character in The American President

Ted Cruz American President Michael J Fox
Andrew Harrer—Bloomberg Senator Ted Cruz, a Republican from Texas, U.S. 2016 presidential candidate and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on oversight, agency action, federal rights and federal courts, pauses while speaking during a hearing in Washington, D.C., on June 4, 2015.

The 2016 candidate opens up about his early years in politics

Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz offered a glimpse into his early political career on Sunday, recounting his years as an “arrogant little snob” long before he became a fierce Texas senator and conservative firebrand.

Cruz, who is touring to promote his campaign and his new book, A Time for Truth, said on NBC’s Meet the Press that he “desperately wanted” to hold a senior position at the White House while serving on George W. Bush’s presidential campaign in 2000.

“Frankly, I wanted to be … Michael J. Fox’s character in The American President, a young, idealistic staffer in the Oval Office, saying, ‘Mr. President, do the right thing,'” Cruz said. “And that didn’t happen, and it became clear it wasn’t going to happen because I had burned too many bridges.”

Cruz also recalled how, in his 20s, he had learned to be less “cocky”—otherwise, he said, thousands of grassroots activists wouldn’t have propelled him to victory during his 2012 Senate campaign.

“You can’t run a grassroots campaign if you’re an arrogant little snob,” Cruz said. “I needed to get my teeth kicked in.”

Read next: How Ted Cruz Plans to Disrupt the GOP Presidential Primary

[NBC]

TIME Race

Leaders Seek Solutions, Next Steps for Civil Rights Momentum

Sybrina Fulton trayvon martin
Amanda Edwards—Getty Images Activist Sybrina Fulton participates in a panel conversation at the Manifest: Justice pop-up art space on May 6, 2015 in Los Angeles.

The best way to channel "black lives matter" energy, many said, is by getting out to vote

As the 2016 election draws near, leaders of civil rights organizations are thinking about how to move the conversation generated through the black lives matter movement into more intense civic engagement.

“I say protest and push for policy change,” Melanie Campbell, president and CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, told TIME. “In order to make change happen that we have to get out the vote.”

Campbell was one of many leaders on hand at the 2015 Essence Festival in New Orleans during the Fourth of July weekend, where many of the more than 150 speakers used the platform to issue calls to action to members of the black community.

During an address on Friday, Sybrina Fulton, mother of the late Trayvon Martin, challenged the gathered crowd to get out to vote and join nonprofit organizations that champion causes they support. All of the guests on a panel Saturday, including Nicole Paultre Bell, wife of Sean Bell, and Van Jones, called civic engagement an obvious next step for activists who’ve taken to the streets to have their voices heard. Deepak Chopra, who opened Saturday’s Empowerment Series, called on the black community to ask a series of questions—chief among them, “How can I serve?”

“People don’t think black folks are going to turn out because President Obama is no longer on the ticket, but we were voting long before that,” Campbell said. “My job is to make sure our voices are challenging anyone running for office.”

The audience at the weekend event, though—largely female, with ages ranging from old enough to have marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and young enough to have only lived at a time when there’s a black president—represents a potent voting block when its members turn out. In 2012, the increase in black voter turnout—which surpassed the white vote for the first time since 1996—was due to the swaths of black women who hit the polls. Voter turnout among young black voters, however, was down in 2012.

The black lives matter movement has made a real impact in driving the national conversation around race—as was apparent in the general theme of the weekend’s events—but the challenge going forward, said National Urban League President Marc Morial, is translating the grassroots momentum apparent on the ground into action that can impact the upcoming election.

“The advent of organic social media organizing is a new technique that’s creating an opportunity for a new generation to get its voice heard, but that doesn’t replace traditional work,” Morial said. “Movements don’t exist without changes, without an end goal of changes in public policy.”

Morial said his organization has invited 2016 presidential candidates including Hillary Clinton, Martin O’Malley, Jeb Bush and Ben Carson to an upcoming conference the organization is hosting in Tampa.

“What we’re trying to do is advance the conversation early around these issues—economic opportunity, criminal justice reform, schools and education—where do you stand? What are your points of view?” he said.

TIME Chris Christie

Christie Won’t Pledge to Undo Iran Deal

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) holds a town hall meeting at the American Legion Dupuis Cross Post 15 July 2, 2015 in Ashland, New Hampshire.
Darren McCollester—2015 Getty Images New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) holds a town hall meeting at the American Legion Dupuis Cross Post 15 July 2, 2015 in Ashland, New Hampshire.

Even though he doesn't like it.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Saturday that while he is deeply troubled by the emerging Iranian nuclear agreement, he would not pledge to undo it should he take office.

Speaking to Republicans on July 4th in this lakeside vacation town, Christie sought to differentiate himself from the other 15 GOP candidates for president, casting himself as a leader who would carefully consider all options.

“I’m not one of those guys who’s going to say to you, ‘on Day One I will abrogate the agreement,'” Christie said, noting that the American president could not just act alone when China, Russia, Germany, France and the United Kingdom are also parties to the deal, should one emerge. “On Day One, I will look into it and try to decide, depending upon where we are at that moment.”

As Christie was speaking, American and international negotiators were continuing talks in Vienna to complete the deal before this week’s deadline. Christie said he would have long since walked away from the table, arguing that Iran cannot be trusted to implement the agreement.

“If I was negotiating this deal right now, I would be gone,” he said. “I would be away from the table. I would be going back to our allies and saying these are not reliable negotiators on the other side—not the people we can count on to keep their word. They haven’t shown us that.”

But Christie added he could not commit to revoke an agreement without prior investigation.

“If I’m saddled with the deal as president, then on the first day I’ll be saying to my national security advisor, to my Secretary of State and to my head of national intelligence: give me all the information I need to let me know all the options I have to try to put this genie back in the bottle, and then we’ll make a decision,” he added.

The comments follow a pattern for Christie, who has tried to draw subtle differences between himself and the rest of the GOP field on a range of policy proposals. Christie told a crowd of more than 100 at the breakfast event to “be careful” of candidates who make promises about what they’ll do on “Day One.”

“I have grave, grave doubts that this is an agreement I will be willing to stand behind, but I also don’t want to be the kind of president who tells all of you something in a campaign and that either doesn’t do it, hoping you forget that I told you I would actually do it on the first day,” he said. “Or, who does it only because I promised it, even if at that moment it’s not what’s in the best interests of America.”

TIME Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton Hopeful For Iran Nuclear Deal Next Week

Democratic presidential hopeful and former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during a grassroots-organizing event at the home of Dean Genth and Gary Swenson on May 18, 2015 in Mason City, Iowa.
Scott Olson—2015 Getty Images Democratic presidential hopeful and former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during a grassroots-organizing event at the home of Dean Genth and Gary Swenson on May 18, 2015 in Mason City, Iowa.

The Democratic frontrunner speaks on a campaign swing through New Hampshire

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Friday that she is hopeful that a nuclear agreement with Iran can be reached before next week’s deadline, indicating support for the draft agreement that may or may not come into force.

Speaking to a crowd of about 850 largely college-aged supporters on the campus of Dartmouth College, Clinton addressed the latest deadline for the P5+1 nuclear talks in Vienna, July 9, saying “these things always come down to the wire.”

“I so hope that we are able to get a deal in the next week that puts a lid on Iran’s nuclear weapons program because that’s going to be a singular step in the right direction,” Clinton said. The previous June 30 deadline was extended to give negotiators more time to try to hammer out lingering disagreements between the Iranian government and the governments of China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Germany.

“But even if we do get such a deal, we will still have major problems from Iran,” Clinton said. “They are the world’s chief sponsor of terrorism, they use proxies like Hezbollah to sow discord and create insurgencies to destabilize governments. They are taking more and more control of a number of nations in the region and they pose an existential threat to Israel. So even if we are successful on the nuclear front, we still are going to have to turn our attention to working with our partners to try to rein in and prevent this continuing Iranian aggressiveness.”

Critics of the ongoing negotiations and draft agreement contend that it does not go far enough in reducing Iran’s stockpile of radioactive materials and enrichment program. Clinton had previously adopted a measured tone on the talks, expressing support, but raising questions about whether Iran would uphold its end of the agreement.

In April, she said she would back a deal that “verifiably cuts off all of Iran’s paths to a nuclear weapon, imposes an intrusive inspection program with no sites off limits, extends breakout time, and spells out clear and overwhelming consequences for violations.”

“The onus is on Iran and the bar must be set high,” she added at the time.

One way or another, Clinton is likely going to have to own the agreement, as the seeds of the current round of talks began under her tenure in the Obama administration. Her chief foreign policy advisor Jake Sullivan helped carry out the secret back-channel negotiations to lay the groundwork for the Joint Plan of Action announced in 2013.

Clinton also spoke about the Affordable Care Act, seeking to keep alive a potent Democratic turnout tactic a week after the Supreme Court decided against undermining the law.

“I am so thrilled that we are at a point where all calls about repeal, repeal, repeal mean nothing unless they elect a Republican president,” Clinton said, addressing the crowd from a concrete stage in front of a shady lawn on the college campus known as the “BEMA” — “big empty meeting area” — just across the river from Democratic rival, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’, home state.

“If the country elects a Republican as president, then they will repeal the Affordable Care Act,” she warned. “That is as certain as I can say unless we take back the Senate and take back the House. I hope we can do both, but on the safe side, let’s elect a Democratic president who is committed to quality, affordable healthcare.”

All Republican presidential candidates have vowed to repeal the law, but privately many of their aides acknowledge that a complete repeal would be nearly impossible to pull off, given how entrenched it has already become in the American healthcare system five years after passage. Republicans on Capitol Hill, meanwhile, have largely abandoned serious efforts to upend the law, owing to Obama’s staunch veto threats.

“Let’s break that and have a Democratic president to continue the policies that actually work for the vast majority of Americans,” Clinton said.

Clinton promised that she would begin to unveil her proposals for the economy in “about 10 days.”

 

TIME 2016 Election

Romney to Host Rubio, Christie for July 4th

Two 2016 hopefuls join the 2012 nominee at his vacation home

Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is hosting two of his would-be successors Friday night at his home for the July 4th holiday.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio are marching in the Wolfeboro, N.H. Fourth of July parade—the largest in the state—on Saturday morning, just blocks from the Romney family vacation home in the bucolic lakeside town.

“Governor Romney heard that his friends, Governor Christie and Senator Rubio, along with their families, would be in Wolfeboro over the July 4th holiday weekend,” a Romney spokesperson said. “He and Mrs. Romney opened their home to their friends and look forward to celebrating America’s birthday.”

Both Christie and Rubio attended Romney’s E2 Summit in Park City, Utah last month and are hoping to win over his supporters and donors in the first-in-the-nation primary state. Romney told reporters at the summit that he intends to remain neutral through the primaries.

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry are also participating in New Hampshire July 4th festivities on Saturday, but will be staying elsewhere.

TIME 2016 Election

Hispanic Leaders Say Republican Party Must Condemn Trump

Trump Organization Inc. CEO Donald Trump Announces Whether He Will Run For President
Bloomberg/Getty Images Donald Trump announcing he will seek the 2016 Republican presidential nomination at Trump Tower in New York, U.S., on June 16, 2015.

Some Republican candidates are avoiding the issue

(WASHINGTON) — Hispanic leaders are warning of harm to Republican White House hopes unless the party’s presidential contenders do more to condemn Donald Trump, a businessman turned presidential candidate who’s refusing to apologize for calling Mexican immigrants rapists and drug dealers.

Trump’s comments, delivered in his announcement speech last month, have haunted the GOP for much of the last two weeks and dominated Spanish-language media. It’s bad timing for a Republican Party that has invested significantly in Hispanic outreach in recent years, given the surging influence of the minority vote.

Yet several Republican candidates have avoided the issue altogether, while those who have weighed in have declined to criticize Trump as strongly as many Hispanic leaders would like.

“The time has come for the candidates to distance themselves from Trump and call his comments what they are: ludicrous, baseless and insulting,” said Alfonso Aguilar, a Republican who leads the American Principles Project’s Latino Partnership. “Sadly, it hurts the party with Hispanic voters. It’s a level of idiocy I haven’t seen in a long time.”

The political and practical Trump-related fallout has intensified in recent days.

The leading Hispanic television network, Univision, has backed out of televising the Miss USA pageant, a joint venture between Trump and NBC, which also cut ties with Trump. On Wednesday, the Macy’s department store chain, which carried a Donald Trump menswear line, said it was ending its relationship with him. Other retailers are facing pressure to follow suit.

The reaction from Republican presidential candidates, however, has often been far less aggressive.

In a recent interview on Fox News, conservative firebrand Ted Cruz insisted that Trump should not apologize.

“I like Donald Trump,” said Cruz, a Texas senator who is Hispanic. “I think he’s terrific. I think he’s brash. I think he speaks the truth. And I think that NBC is engaging in political correctness that is silly and that is wrong.”

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said simply that Trump is “wrong.”

“Maybe we’ll have a chance to have an honest discussion about it on stage,” Bush said last weekend while campaigning in Nevada.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who often talks about his re-election margins with Latino voters, called Trump’s comments “wholly inappropriate” during a news conference. In a subsequent radio interview, Christie described Trump as “a really wonderful guy (who’s) always been a good friend.”

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who declined to address Trump’s comments directly for more than two weeks, took a more pointed tone in a statement Thursday evening. “Trump’s comments are not just offensive and inaccurate, but also divisive,” said Rubio, a Hispanic. “Our next president needs to be someone who brings Americans together — not someone who continues to divide.”

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Thursday: “I don’t think Donald Trump’s remarks reflect the Republican Party.”

Among others, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former technology executive Carly Fiorina and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson have been silent.

“We’re listening very, very closely, not just what candidates say but what they don’t say — the sins of commission and the sins of omission,” said Rev. Gabriel Salguero, president of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition, who called Trump’s comments “xenophobic rhetoric.”

Trump is showing no sign of backing down.

“My statements have been contorted to seem racist and discriminatory,” he wrote in a message to supporters on Thursday. “What I want is for legal immigrants to not be unfairly punished because others are coming into America illegally, flooding the labor market and not paying taxes.”

“You can count on me to keep fighting,” he continued.

In his announcement speech, Trump said Mexican immigrants are “bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

Such rhetoric resonates with some of the Republican Party’s most passionate voters, who have long viewed illegal immigration as one of the nation’s most pressing problems. Yet GOP leaders have urged conservatives to adopt a more welcoming tone in recent years as Hispanic voters increasingly sided with Democrats.

Not since the 2004 re-election campaign of President George W. Bush has a Republican presidential candidate earned as much as 40 percent of the Hispanic vote. Mitt Romney got a dismal 27 percent in the 2012 contest against President Barack Obama.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton cast Trump’s remarks as “emblematic” of a larger perception within the Republican Party.

“A recent entry into the Republican presidential campaign said some very inflammatory things about Mexican immigrants,” she said in an interview last month. “Everyone should stand up and say that’s not acceptable.”

Meanwhile, the attention has helped Trump sell some books. “Trump: The Art of the Deal,” first published in 1987, and a release from 2007, “Think Big and Kick Ass in Business and Life,” were both in the top 2,000 on Amazon.com’s best-seller list as of midday Thursday. “Think Big,” co-written by Bill Zanker, was Amazon’s top seller for personal finance.

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