TIME 2016 elections

Jindal Touts Himself As the Republican Ideas Candidate, Outlines Energy Plan

NRA Convenes For Annual Meeting In Indianapolis
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal speaks during the National Rifle Association Annual Meeting Leadership Forum on April 25, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. John Gress—Getty Images

"Simply exporting coal to other countries to burn doesn’t do anything"

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal makes no bones about setting his sights on the Oval Office, casting himself as the GOP’s ideas man in a field driven by personalities.

Outlining his second major policy proposal at a Tuesday breakfast for reporters hosted by the Christian Science Monitor, the former Rhodes scholar laid out his vision for the nation’s energy future. The emphasis, on increasing domestic production and lifting export restrictions and many other regulations, is hardly new, but represents the most comprehensive plans offered yet by any likely 2016 Republican presidential contender.

Jindal’s 180-word-per-minute speaking style and policy wonk status makes him an unlikely fit to be a major party presidential nominee, though his delivery has markedly improved at campaign-style rallies and fundraisers. But if nothing else, Jindal, himself and through his political organization American Next, is emerging as one of the party’s ideological leaders, subtly shaping the GOP’s agenda after two straight presidential losses.

Unlike some in the Republican Party, Jindal acknowledges human involvement in climate change, and opened a potential middle-path for other Republicans seeking to navigate the thorny political issue. “I’m sure that human activity is having an impact on the climate,” Jindal said. He suggested that determination should be left up to scientists, even as the overwhelming body of scientific literature has found human involvement to be significant. “I’d leave it to the scientists to determine how much and what that means,” he adds. But Jindal argues that the U.S. shouldn’t unilaterally cut back on emissions, but rather work with international trade partners to cut back on the release of greenhouse gasses, arguing that tightening restrictions at home only makes the U.S. less competitive as less developed countries increase their harmful emissions. “Simply exporting coal to other countries to burn doesn’t do anything,” Jindal said.

“If we simply take unilateral actions, all we’re going to do is drive energy intensive manufacturing overseas,” Jindal said.

Calling the Obama administration “science deniers” for failing to authorize the Keystone XL pipeline despite multiple environmental reviews, Jindal argued “there is no scientific basis, no factual basis [for delay] other than pure politics.”

Jindal was the architect of the GOP’s latest effort to push back on Democratic “war on women” attacks with a proposal to make contraceptives available over-the-counter. Jindal defended the plan from Democratic critics who argued that it would raise costs for women, saying he believes insurers would cover over-the-counter purchases. “It would be cheaper for them to pay for this over the counter the drug than pay for the number of births it would otherwise prevent,” he said.

Sidestepping a question on evolution, Jindal, a Catholic, wouldn’t offer his own views on the subject, but said “I believe that local schools should make the decision about what they teach.” He added that “as a father, I want my kids to be taught about evolution in their schools.”

Despite his efforts to remake his party’s thinking, Jindal’s poll numbers have been moribund in early states. A CNN/ORC poll of voters in the early state of New Hampshire released Monday found Jindal the first pick of just 3% of Republicans and independents who plan to cast ballots in the 2016 GOP primary. “It suggests that ya’ll don’t have as many readers as I thought you did,” Jindal quipped to a room of print reporters, acknowledging his low name-recognition, “maybe I need to go straight to the bloggers.” He says he plans to make up his mind on 2016 after the November midterm elections, and would only run if he believed he had a “unique perspective” to offer voters.

TIME 2016 Election

Hillary Clinton Drops In on The Colbert Report to Plug Memoir

Lots of name-dropping, but still no talk of 2016

Hillary Clinton and Stephen Colbert went head-to-head in the name game on Tuesday night when the former Secretary of State made an unannounced visit to the Colbert Report.

“This book is 656 pages of shameless name dropping,” the faux-conservative pundit said of Hard Choices, Clinton’s recent memoir of her time at the State Department, just before she walked out onstage.

The two engaged in a lightheartedly schticky debate over which one of them is better connected in the world—Colbert hangs out with Tom Hanks at George Clooney’s place; Clinton once had lunch with Meryl Streep and the president of Ecuador—but the conversation pretty much stopped there.

TIME Immigration

White House Leak Hits Democratic Governor After Immigration Comments

Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley speaks with reporters in his office inside the Maryland State House in Annapolis, Md., on April 7, 2014.
Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley speaks with reporters in his office inside the Maryland State House in Annapolis, Md., on April 7, 2014. Patrick Semansky—AP

Policy differences over immigration between the Maryland's governor and the Obama Administration leads to an unusually nasty battle in the press.

In 2012, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley was ubiquitous on the campaign trail for President Barack Obama’s re-elect, appearing regularly on cable TV and in spin rooms to lob attacks on behalf of the president. He was the only governor on Obama’s National Finance Committee. He and his Celtic rock band even played the White House on St. Patrick’s Day.

But all of that goodwill came tumbling down Friday after O’Malley, who is positioning himself for a White House bid in 2016, whacked the White House’s handling of the surge of unaccompanied minors across the nation’s southern border. “It is contrary to everything we stand for to try to summarily send children back to death,” O’Malley told reporters at the National Governors Association, breaking with the president who has said that most of the migrants will be returned to their home countries. The statement drew a private complaint from Domestic Policy Director Cecilia Muñoz in the form of a phone call.

But that phone call didn’t stay private, with Muñoz’s frustrations relayed to the press on Tuesday, as well as O’Malley’s request on the call to keep the children out of a proposed detention facility in Westminster, Md. The leak—which Democratic operatives pinned on the White House and which O’Malley pinned on Muñoz personally in a conversation with the Washington Post—suggested that the governor was being a hypocrite, gaining points with the Democratic base for calling more humane treatment for the children while declining to house them in his state.

“He privately said ‘please don’t send these kids to western Maryland,’” the “Democratic source” behind the leaked call told CNN.

But O’Malley and his aides offer a sharply different take on what transpired. “What I said was that would not be the most inviting site in Maryland. There are already hundreds of kids already located throughout Maryland,” O’Malley told CNN Wednesday morning. Days after the call, the proposed facility was sprayed with misspelled graffiti, saying “No illeagels here. No undocumented Democrats.”

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest declined to discuss the source of the leaked details of the phone call. “From the podium here, I’m not going to be in a position to share the details of a private conversation between a senior White House official and a prominent governor of an important state,” he said, adding that the relationship between the White House and O’Malley was “as strong as ever.”

A senior O’Malley administration official said the state is working with the federal government on a number of Maryland sites to house the detainee children. On Monday, O’Malley’s administration began the process to speed licensing for future Department of Health and Human Services facilities in the state. “His focus continues to be on trying to be a constructive force in resolving this humanitarian crisis at the border and making sure that these children are cared for while they await due process,” the official said.

The sharp White House response and the controversy over the Maryland facility masks the real controversy at play. The real difference between the O’Malley and the White House is not whether the children should be housed in Maryland, but how the illegal immigrants should be treated in the first place. “The better course here is to place as many kids with families and relatives as we possibly can or use the available foster system,” O’Malley said Friday, saying they should be held in the “least restrictive setting,” rather than the current facilities which he compared to “kennels.” The White House, on the other hand, is seeking a legal change that will allow them to more quickly deport those children that do not present humanitarian claims, without ever placing with families in the United States. It is that law-and-order approach that has the White House on defense from many in its own party.

TIME 2016 elections

Clinton’s Potential 2016 Rival: We Can’t ‘Send Children Back to Death’

Martin O'Malley
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley speaks during a general session at the California Democrats State Convention, March 8, 2014, in Los Angeles. Jae C. Hong—AP

Clinton's Potential 2016 Rival: We Can't 'Send Children Back to Death'

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley broke publicly with President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Friday, calling for a more humane policy toward the tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors who have illegally crossed into the United States.

“It is contrary to everything we stand for to try to summarily send children back to death,” the Democratic lawmaker told reporters. O’Malley also criticized the “kennels” in which those who have been detained are being kept and calling for the children to be placed in “the least restrictive” locations, including foster homes or with family members in the U.S.

“Through all of the great world religions we are told that hospitality to strangers is an essential human dignity,” O’Malley said. “It is a belief that unites all of us. And I have watched the pictures of young kids who have traveled for thousands of miles. I can only imagine, as a father of four, the heartbreak that those parents must have felt in sending their children across a desert where they can be muled and trafficked or used or killed or tortured. But with the hope, the hope, that they would reach the United States and that their children would be protected from what they were facing at home, which was the likelihood of being recruited into gangs and dying a violent death.”

Speaking to reporters on the margins of the National Governors Association, O’Malley, who is weighing a bid for the Democratic nomination for president in 2016, declined to talk about his political future. Still, his response was a clear effort to distinguish himself from his leading rival and the incumbent president. Clinton told CNN last month that most of those detained should be sent back. “They should be sent back as soon as it can be determined who responsible adults in their families are,” she said. President Barack Obama said Wednesday that the parents of the migrants need to know that “it is unlikely that their children will be able to stay.”

O’Malley went so far as to call the children “refugees,” a term with legal weight that would allow most of them to remain in the U.S. He called on Congress and the President to avoid modifying the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008. That measure requires that children who are not from Canada or Mexico who have crossed the border to be given an opportunity to see an immigration judge to make their case for amnesty. Lawmakers on both sides, as well as the White House, are reviewing ways to amend that law to ease deportations of the tens of thousands of migrant children, who are largely from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.

O’Malley said “the whole world is watching” how the U.S. responds to the humanitarian crisis.

“We have to do right not just by these kids but by our kids and protect the children who are here, put them in the least restrictive settings, get them out of these detention centers and these kennels where they are being cooped up, and operate as the good and generous people that we have always been,” he added. “That’s what’s at stake here, as well as the lives of these kids.”

TIME 2016 Campaign

First Lady: U.S. Should Elect Female President ‘As Soon as Possible’

White House Summit on Working Families
US First Lady Michelle Obama speaks at the White House Summit on Working Families, in Washington DC, June 23, 2014. Michael Reynolds—EPA

As long as it's not her, Michelle Obama said at the Summit on Working Families.

Michelle Obama said the U.S. is ready for a female president and that the country should elect one “as soon as possible” on Monday.

“The person who should do the job is the person who is most qualified — and we have some options, don’t we?” Obama told ABC’s Robin Roberts at the Summit on Working Families in Washington, D.C., according to video from C-SPAN3.

“I think this country is ready — this country is ready for anyone who can do that job,” she said.

Though she did not make any kind of endorsement, Obama’s remarks seem to acknowledge a possible run by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whose 2016 campaign future has been the subject of wild speculation. President Barack Obama has said in the past that Clinton would be a “very effective” president if she decides to run and wins.

Michelle Obama, however, isn’t thinking about any kind of run for office herself. She said her post-White House plans “definitely will not be” political, but instead “mission-based” and “service-focused.”

[Mediaite]

TIME States

Prosecutors Say Wisconsin Governor at Center of ‘Criminal’ Fundraising Scheme

Wisconsin Republican Convention
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker speaks at the Republican party of Wisconsin State Convention on May 3, 2014, in Milwaukee. Jeffrey Phelps—AP

Legal setback for 2016 presidential hopeful

Prosecutors say Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is at the center of a “criminal scheme” to coordinate fundraising with conservative groups across the country, according to documents revealed on Thursday.

The documents were unsealed Thursday by order of a federal judge as part of a lawsuit that sought to block a secret state investigation, known as a “John Doe probe,” into the 2012 gubernatorial recall elections, which the incumbent Walker won. In the filing, the prosecutors say Walker, his chief of staff Keith Gilkes and another top adviser illegally coordinated with national conservative groups and national figures including GOP strategist Karl Rove. Rove’s assistant said he was traveling Thursday and couldn’t comment.

Walker, a potential Republican candidate in the 2016 presidential elections, has not been charged with a crime. In a statement, Walker decried the investigation as “partisan… with no basis in state law.”

“The accusation of any wrongdoing written in the complaint by the office of a partisan Democrat District Attorney by me or by my campaign is categorically false. In fact two judges, in both state and federal courts, have ruled that no laws were broken,
” he said.

The secretive investigation began in 2012 ahead of the gubernatorial recall election, when prosecutors began looking into whether independent conservative groups—which have no limit on their fundraising—illegally coordinated with campaigns for Walker and other state candidates, whose fundraising is much more regulated. But in May, a federal judge put the probe on hold, ruling that it was a breach of free-speech rights. That judge, U.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa, also said in his ruling that that the type of coordination in question is not illegal if it focuses just on advocacy, and not on getting the candidates elected. A separate Wisconsin judge overseeing the probe had previously made a similar judgment.

The prosecutors are appealing Randa’s decision to halt the investigation.

But the controversy has the potential to disrupt Walker’s political ambitions, both in 2016 and in the fall. Walker, who is in the final months of his first term as governor, faces a close race for reelection. Polls show Walker and Democrat Mary Burke, a former Wisconsin state commerce secretary, locked in a tight race.

“Wisconsin has always been a clean-government state and allegations like this really resonate with voters,” said Scott Becher, a Wisconsin Republican political consultant turned public relations advisor.

Becher said that if Walker hopes to run in 2016, “voters of the state need to reelect him and he needs to have a good credible answer to what happened here.”

TIME 2016 elections

Hillary Clinton Reflects on Her Late Mom and Becoming a Grandmother

U.S. Presidential candidate, Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) speaks on stage with her mother Dorothy Rodham, during a rally in Des Moines
Then U.S. presidential candidate and Senator Hillary Clinton on stage with her mother Dorothy Rodham during a rally in Des Moines, Iowa, on Dec. 7, 2007 Jason Reed—Reuters

"No one had a bigger influence on my life or did more to shape the person I became," Clinton writes about Dorothy Howell Rodham, who passed away in 2011, in a excerpt from Hard Choices published on Mother's Day in Vogue

Hillary Clinton has been thinking a lot about her own mother as her daughter Chelsea expects her first child, the former Secretary of State writes in an excerpt from her new memoir, Hard Choices.

Dorothy Howell Rodham, who passed away in 2011, helped inspire Clinton’s passion for public service after overcoming an abusive childhood in Chicago.

“Mom helped Chelsea navigate the unique challenges of growing up in the public eye and, when she was ready, encouraged her to pursue her passion for service and philanthropy,” she writes in the excerpt published in Vogue from her upcoming book. “Even in her 90s, Mom never lost her commitment to social justice, which did so much to mold and inspire me when I was growing up. I loved that she was able to do the same for Chelsea.”

Clinton also writes in the excerpt about the blessings and challenges of taking care of an aging parent.

“Mom was a fighter her entire life, but it was finally time to let go,” she writes. “I sat by her bedside and held her hand one last time. No one had a bigger influence on my life or did more to shape the person I became.”

You can hear Clinton read the excerpt aloud over on Vogue‘s website. Hard Choices hits bookstore shelves June 10.

[Vogue]

TIME 2016 elections

Marco Rubio: I’m Ready to Run for President

Senator Marco Rubio addresses the New Hampshire Rockingham Committee Freed Founder's Dinner in New Castle, N.H., on May 9, 2014.
Senator Marco Rubio addresses the New Hampshire Rockingham Committee Freed Founder's Dinner in New Castle, N.H., on May 9, 2014. Scott Eisen—Getty Images

The Republican senator from Florida said in an interview on Sunday he's ready to be commander-in-chief and didn't waste time with digs at potential nomination rival Sen. Rand Paul and Hillary Clinton, who Rubio gave an "F" to for her former job as Secretary of State

Marco Rubio says he is ready to become the President of the United States.

“I think that’s true for multiple other people that would want to run,” Florida’s junior senator told ABC’s Jonathan Karl on This Week Sunday. “I mean, I’ll be 43 this month, but the other thing that perhaps people don’t realize, I’ve served now in public office for the better part of 14 years. Most importantly, I think a president has to have a clear vision of where the country needs to go and clear ideas about how to get it there, and I think we’re very blessed in our party to have a number of people that fit that criteria.”

Rubio was once considered to be a frontrunner for the 2016 Republican presidential nominee, but his poll numbers have been slipping as of late. He told Karl he’s not paying much attention to those polls (“It’s probably the TIME cover jinx, just like the Sports Illustrated jinx,” he joked, in reference to TIME’s February 2013 cover story on the senator).

During the interview, Rubio also said he did not believe humans have contributed to global climate change and that he would give Hillary Clinton an “F” grade for her job as Secretary of State. Rubio added that if he decided to run for president, he would not simultaneously seek re-election as a Florida senator.

“I believe that if you want to be president of the United States, you run for president,” Rubio said, in a thinly-veiled dig at Republican rival Rand Paul. Republican lawmakers in Paul’s home state of Kentucky recently unsuccessfully tried to pass a bill that would have let Paul run for the presidency and re-election in the Senate. “You don’t run for president with some eject button in the cockpit that allows you to go on an exit ramp if it doesn’t work out,” Rubio added.

[ABC]

TIME 2016 elections

Democrats’ 2014 Message In One Paragraph

President Obama laid out his party's top talking points for the midterm elections on Wednesday, explaining in a quick 175 words that universal pre-K and pay equity will take precedence, in a move designed to reach out to traditional constituencies

Before a crowd of Hollywood big-shots Wednesday night in Los Angeles, President Barack Obama laid out his party’s midterm messaging in a single paragraph.

Speaking at a joint fundraiser at the home of Disney chairman Alan Horn for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Obama presented the contrast between Democrats and Republicans going into this fall’s campaign.

We believe in pay equity; they say, no. We believe in a higher minimum wage; they say, no. We believe in making sure that we’re investing in our infrastructure and putting people back to work, and investing in innovation and basic research that can unlock cures for things like Alzheimer’s; their budget takes us in the opposite direction. We believe in early childhood education to make sure that opportunity for all actually means something, that it’s not just a slogan; they say, no. We think climate change is real. Some of them say it’s a hoax, that we’re fabricating it. And the biggest challenge we have is not just that there’s a fundamental difference in vision and where we want to take the country, not just the fact that they continue to subscribe to a top-down approach to economic growth and opportunity and we believe that the economy works better when it works for everybody and that real growth happens from the bottom up and the middle out.

In those 175 words, Obama touched on the basic talking points for Democrats this fall as they try to move beyond the still-unpopular Affordable Care Act to issues like pay and income inequality and universal pre-K. The poll-tested message, which was the centerpiece of the President’s State of the Union Address under the tagline “Opportunity for All,” is designed to reach out to traditional Democratic constituencies that may be slow to head to the polls in November.

With an audience of Democratic faithful like Barbra Streisand, James Brolin and Jeffrey Katzenberg, Obama tried to rally the troops to the midterm cause, even as much of the party has been distracted by a potential Hillary Clinton candidacy in 2016.

“So my main message to all of you is feel a sense of urgency about this election,” Obama said. “This is my last campaign, and I’m going to put everything I’ve got into it, but I need you to feel that this is just as important—because we can’t afford to wait until 2016.”

TIME

Christie Appointee Resigns from Port Authority

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie speaks during a news conference in Trenton, New Jersey
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie speaks during a news conference in Trenton, New Jersey March 28, 2014. Mark Makela—Reuters

The N.J. governor held a press conference Friday to clear his name following the bridge scandal and announced the resignation of Port Authority Chairman David Samson. Christie said there is no indication his close ally was involved in wrongdoing

The chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey under scrutiny for conflicts of interest and embroiled in the lane closure scandal around New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie resigned Friday.

Christie, who appointed chairman David Samson in 2011, said the official had considered leaving last year and added that there was no indication that Samson was involved in wrongdoing, the AP reports. Samson, who has also come under scrutiny for his law firm’s ties to companies contracted by the Port Authority, released a statement after the announcement was made.

“Over the past months, I have shared with the Governor my desire to conclude my service to the PANYNJ,” said Samson, a former attorney general of New Jersey. “The timing is now right, and I am confident that the Governor will put new leadership in place to address the many challenges ahead.”

Christie announced the resignation of his close ally Friday at a news conference that the governor organized amid an effort to clear his name from involvement in the September incident. On Thursday, a much-criticized investigation by lawyers hired by the governor released its findings that Christie was not at fault in the lane closures on the George Washington Bridge. The traffic jams were allegedly orchestrated by aides as political payback for the local town’s mayor not endorsing Christie’s reelection bid.

“The report will stand the test of time and it will be tested by the other investigations that are going on,” Christie said Friday. The report made no mention of the retiring chairman.

The report came under scrutiny in part because the lawyers’ ties to the Christie administration. Three people at the heart of the scandal also all declined to participate in the probe.

Christie said the lawyers would not “give away their reputations to do some kind of slipshod job for me.”

[AP]

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