TIME 2016 elections

Rubio: Iran Could Nuke California Within a Decade

Marco Rubio
Carolyn Kaster—AP Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.

Tehran could bomb "where we are sitting right now," Florida Republican said at Orange County retreat

Sen. Marco Rubio warned Sunday the shores of California are only a decade away from being darkened by a nuclear mushroom cloud from Iran.

Speaking to some of the most influential Republican donors in the country at an Orange County retreat organized by billionaires Charles and David Koch, the Florida Republican sounded the alarm that Iran proses a real and short-term threat to Americans at home. Before a crowd of 450 donors, Rubio said Americans need to realize the dangers posed by an unchecked Iran, as well as rising threats from China and Islamic terrorism.

“Iran will be not just a nuclear weapon power, but will have the capability to deliver that weapon to the continental United States in less than a decade,” Rubio said. “I don’t think any of us wants to live in a country where a radical Shiite cleric in Tehran can have a nuclear weapon and an ICBM that can hit where we are sitting right now.”

Rubio is among the five Republican White House hopefuls who are meeting with key players of the political machine backed by the Kochs. In total, the groups plan to spend almost $900 million before Election Day 2016, although aides stress that the sum is not going to be spent entirely on political operations.

During an interview with Politico’s Mike Allen, Rubio told the donors that foreign policy should be a major qualification of the next President. Asked about the biggest threats facing the United States, Rubio cited Islamic terrorism, Russia and Iran. He also pointed to China, which he branded a serial violator of human rights. “I don’t want the most powerful country in the world to have values like that.”

He also took his turn with the friendly audience to ding Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton, the former Secretary of State. “It’s an issue that’s ongoing not just with her but also her husband, and that is the constant secrecy and drama that surrounds them everywhere they go,” Rubio said. “This country cannot afford another four years of drama that they seem to bring to everything that they’re involved in.”

TIME 2016 Election

Republican Presidential Candidates Blast Iran Deal

White House hopefuls call it a "nightmare" and "one of America's worst diplomatic failures"

Republicans with their eye on the presidency delivered harsh criticisms of the deal the U.S. and other world powers struck with Iran over its nuclear program on Tuesday.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said in a statement that the deal, which would roll back sanctions on Iran in exchange for it curbing its nuclear program, “isn’t diplomacy—it is appeasement.” Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said the deal will “will be remembered as one of America’s worst diplomatic failures.” And Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said it “undermines our national security.”

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential front-runner, backed the deal, but her Republican rivals were unanimous in their disapproval.

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham called the deal a “nightmare” in an interview with Bloomberg View. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal also blasted the deal, saying in a statement that “if Secretary Clinton goes along with President Obama’s efforts to appease Iran, it will make our enemies stronger, endanger our ally Israel and trigger a nuclear arms race in the Middle East that will destabilize the region.”

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz urged Americans to “to let their elected leaders know that even if President Obama won’t see it, we know the leaders of the Islamic Republic who lead crowds in chants of ‘Death to America’ and ‘Death to Israel’ are not our partners in peace, and must not be put on the path to a nuclear bomb.”

TIME celebrity

America Ferrera Thanks Donald Trump for Mobilizing Latino Voters

"Remarks like yours will serve brilliantly to energize Latino voters and increase turnout on election day against you"

Donald Trump’s insensitive comments about Mexican immigrants haven’t come without punishment from his now former business partners like Univision and NBC. But actress America Ferrera, herself of Honduran descent, wants to thank Trump for his recent statements.

In an open letter published by The Huffington Post on Thursday, Ferrera wrote to Trump in appreciation for the fact that his words will push more Latinos to the polls. “Remarks like yours will serve brilliantly to energize Latino voters and increase turnout on election day against you and any other candidate who runs on a platform of hateful rhetoric,” she wrote.

While the Ugly Betty actress wrote that Trump will never win the 2016 election without the Latino vote, and that he’s “living in an outdated fantasy of a bigoted America,” she thanked the billionaire for “reminding us that there remains an antiquated and endangered species of bigots in this country that we must continue to combat.”

Ferrera also provided some stats about recent Latino population growth in the U.S. and promised Latinos will fight back during elections season.

“We will do more than tweet about our indignation and beat piñatas of your likeness,” Ferrara wrote. “We will silence you at the polls. We will vote and use our growing position in U.S. politics. Our fellow Americans who understand and value our contributions will join us. We know there is nothing that scares you more.”

To read Ferrera’s complete letter, head to the The Huffington Post.

This article originally appeared on EW.com

TIME Companies

Macy’s Is Cutting Ties With Donald Trump

The department store will phase out Trump menswear line

Macy’s said on Wednesday it was phasing out its Donald Trump line of menswear as a result of the Republican presidential candidate’s derogatory comments last week about Mexican immigrants.

It was the second time in less than a week that Trump, a real estate developer cum reality-television star, has seen a major business partner sever ties after comments in which he accused many undocumented Mexicans of committing serious crimes, including murder, rape, and drug dealing. Last week, Comcast’s NBCUniversal canceled plans to air Miss USA and Miss Universe — the network’s joint venture with Trump — while also opting not to invite Trump back for another season of his reality show The Celebrity Apprentice.

“Macy’s is a company that stands for diversity and inclusion,” the department store said. “We are disappointed and distressed by recent remarks about immigrants from Mexico,” Macy’s added, decrying Trump’s depiction of Mexicans, Mexican Americans and Latinos, “who have made so many valuable contributions to the success of our nation.”

Those contributions also presumably include helping Macy’s return to fast growth. The retailer has made it a major priority to reach Latinos, the fast growing major segment of the U.S. population, by allowing its stores in areas like Miami, Los Angeles, New York, Dallas and Houston, among others, tailor their assortment to local tastes. Macy’s reported a slight drop in comparable sales last quarter, making it extremely risky to alienate such a sizable part of its customer base.

Macy’s started selling Trump’s menswear line — including $70 dress shirts, $65 ties, and cuff links and watches — in 2004. Trump, who declared his candidacy for the presidency last week, has also appeared in Macy’s commercials.

In a speech last week, Trump said of Mexican immigrants: “They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists,” adding: “Some, I assume, are good people.” After Univision cut ties with Trump’s Miss USA Pageant, Trump sued the Spanish-language network for $500 million.

Macy’s came under additional pressure earlier this week when Move.on published a petition, which now has 728,311 signatures, calling on the retailer to dump Trump.

In a statement obtained by PBS, Trump said it was he who had ended the Macy’s relationship, and that in any case, he was uncomfortable with the fact that his line there was made in China.

“Clearly, NBC and Macy’s support illegal immigration,” The Donald said. “Both Macy’s and NBC totally caved at the first sight of potential difficulty with special interest groups.”

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com

TIME 2016 elections

Hillary Clinton’s Latest Lure to Voters: Take Over My Twitter!

You may have noticed that a small business owner and mom named Mary Jo took over Hillary Clinton‘s Twitter account on Thursday.

Mary Jo introduced herself this morning by Tweeting:

She shared a photo of her daughter and explained how owning a small strategic design firm in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, allowed her to become a single mom at 40.

And, of course, she talked about Clinton.

The Twitter takeover was just one of several publicity stunts the Democratic presidential frontrunner has employed so far in her campaign.

Earlier this month, she took to Twitter to announce a contest promising Mother’s Day phone calls to five moms. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the moms were from Nevada, Iowa, Colorado, Washington and Minnesota – all states that are considered important electoral battlegrounds.

Not that the calls guarantee Clinton any votes – even from the recipients themselves. One of the moms, Amy Ponce, 37, of Las Vegas, said she was “leaning” towards voting for the former secretary of state, but was still undecided, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.

Another one of the moms, 51-year-old Kelly Drake of Ankeny, Iowa, said she was impressed by Clinton’s sincerity and the fact that she didn’t talk politics on the call, according to the Des Moines Register.

“I just thought she was a mother to a mother, and I thought that was great,” Drake said.

For Clinton’s next trick, she will raffle off a trip to meet her on the campaign trail. The two winners will each receive two round-trip tickets to attend a campaign event with Clinton, plus two nights hotel accommodations. As with the Mother’s Day contest, the fine print for the raffle states that “no purchase, payment, or contribution is necessary to enter or win and contributing will not improve changes of winning.” Contestants have the option to enter with or without contributing to the campaign.

Clinton isn’t the only one relying on raffles as a campaign strategy.

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio is offering a trip to Las Vegas to attend his birthday party, hosted by Pawn Stars‘ Rick Harrison.

“You could win a trip to Las Vegas to help celebrate my birthday with Rick Harrison from Pawn Stars! Click the link in my bio to enter,” the Florida senator wrote on his Instagram.

This article originally appeared on PEOPLE.com

TIME Sen. Marco Rubio

Marco Rubio Shifts Rightward on Foreign Policy

Sens. Rubio (R-FL) And Lee (R-UT) Discuss Their Proposals On Tax Reform
Win McNamee—Getty Images Republican presidential candidate Senator Marco Rubio speaks at the Heritage Foundation in Washington on April 15, 2015

Moderate-sounding views go by the wayside as Rubio shifts rightward to curry favor with GOP base

When Sen. Marco Rubio sat down for a Q&A session at a Council on Foreign Relations event, one participant noted that his differences on foreign policy with President Obama were “very modest” and asked where he disagreed. The Florida Republican chuckled in response.

On Wednesday, when Rubio returns to the Council on Foreign Relations three years later, that question won’t be asked again.

Now a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, Rubio has traded in a moderate pitch on international affairs for an aggressive, hawkish approach. In his first policy speech as a declared White House hopeful, he will be pushing a muscular stance for the United States and trying to calm the worries of those who think he is too squeamish to use America’s might.

For Rubio, its both a natural evolution on his thinking in an era of Islamic State fighters and new threats from Russia, as well as a shift rightward to match his party’s demands of its next presidential nominee. Republican voters and caucus participants in early nominating states demand an orthodoxy from their presidential candidates, and Rubio’s earlier flirtation with moderation—even if not entirely moderate—would prove disqualifying inside the party.

For instance, the now hawkish Rubio previously backed negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program in 2012. Now, as an increasingly vocal member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he unsuccessfully sought to derail Obama’s still-gelling agreement with Tehran over its nukes. He unsuccessfully tried to attach one amendment that would have made it impossible for the United States to reach a final agreement with Iran; leaders in his own party kept the measure far away from the final bill that gives Congress oversight of any deal.

And in 2012, Rubio intimated that the United States has limited capacity to guide the world. “Let’s stop and remember that the world America made is better, but it is not perfect,” Rubio said. “But it is vastly more peaceful and prosperous than any other age in recorded history.”

Rubio’s rivals are hoping the charismatic, 43-year-old son of Cuban immigrants has already sullied his conservative credentials with such statements, along with acknowledging a role for the United Nations in foreign policy. As the crowded field of White House hopefuls lurch rightward over each other, Rubio’s earlier, moderate-sounding views are unlikely to win him many friends.

“Until recently, the general perception was that American conservatism believed in robust and muscular foreign policy,” Rubio said during a 2012 appearance at the centrist Brookings Institution. “That was certainly the hallmark of the foreign policies of both President Bushes and of President Reagan. But when I arrived in the Senate last year, I found that some of the traditional sides in the foreign policy debate had shifted.”

It proved to be a temporary shift, fueled in part by the libertarian-leaning Tea Party movement that gave the GOP great wins in 2010’s midterm elections.

Now, Rubio is facing a Republican electorate that is itching for a tougher stance against Vladimir Putin’s Russia, stronger sanctions against Iran and improved relations with Israel. Rubio’s advisers are looking at Wednesday’s speech to assure voters that he can deliver on that wish list.

Rubio offered a preview of it last weekend when he went before conservatives in South Carolina. Channeling Liam Neeson’s character in the film “Taken,” the senator promised an audience in Greenville he would have a tough message for America’s enemies: “We will look for you, we will find you and we will kill you.”

It’s quite the change from a figure who earlier in his career called for restraint in military engagements; he now backs unlimited authority for Obama to chase Islamic State fighters across the globe.

Rubio also shifted positions on military spending. In 2013, he said any increases to the military budget had to be accompanied by cuts to other spending. With the campaign approaching, Rubio in March called for more military spending without corresponding reductions elsewhere.

Rubio and his advisers are banking his foreign policy experience and interest will set him apart from a field that is likely to include Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey and Scott Walker of Wisconsin, as well as former Govs. Jeb Bush of Florida, Rick Perry of Texas and Mike Huckabee of Arkansas. Rubio tells crowds that senators are more qualified than governors when it comes to foreign policy.

“The next president of the United States needs to be someone that has a clear view of what’s happening in the world, a clear strategic vision of America’s role in it and a clear practical plan for how to engage America in global affairs,” Rubio told reporters in January. “And I think, for governors, that’s going to be a challenge, at least initially, because they don’t deal with foreign policy on a daily basis.”

TIME 2016 Election

Jeb Bush Narrowly Leads Tight Republican Presidential Race, Poll Says

Former Florida Governor Bush at MaryAnne's Diner in Derry, N.H. on April 17, 2015.
Brooks Kraft—Corbis for TIME Former Florida Governor Bush at MaryAnne's Diner in Derry, N.H. on April 17, 2015.

But no one has broken out of the GOP pack

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush is enjoying a slight lead over his likely Republican rivals for President, according to a new poll, but the nominating contest remains tight with no overwhelming front runner.

The news came as Bush announced he would travel to Germany, Poland and Estonia early next month, giving him a chance to burnish his foreign policy credentials as he prepares to formally launch his bid for the presidency.

The CNN/ORC survey found that 17% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents support Bush in the primary race, while 12% back Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who both recently launched their 2016 campaigns, each drew 11%. Only 4% said they back New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who placed second in the poll as recently as last fall.

Bush also leads the field in several key attributes, according to the poll, including the candidate voters see as having the right experience and the best chance to defeat the Democratic nominee.

In contrast to the Republican race, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who formally announced her candidacy this month, dominates the Democratic lineup. Among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, 69% said they support Clinton, while 11% said they backed Vice President Joe Biden — who hasn’t signaled he’s running — 5% support Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and 3% backed former Virginia Senator Jim Webb.

TIME politics

This Is the Surprising MLK Speech That Rand Paul Likes to Quote

The quote comes from a 1967 speech MLK made at Stanford University

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul made use of one of his favorite quotations Tuesday, in the speech that launched his candidacy for President: “Martin Luther King spoke of two Americas,” he said. “He described them as ‘two starkly different American experiences that exist side by side.'”

It’s a quote that Paul has come back to time and again. In an op-ed he wrote for TIME in January, he wrote that the problems with the criminal-justice system brought that MLK remark to mind. At the Conservative Political Action Conference in February, he broadened the use of the quote, in the same way he did Tuesday, to incorporate a wider opportunity gap he attributes to the effects of liberal policies.

And, though a politician quoting Martin Luther King Jr. is hardly controversial, it’s in some ways surprising that this particular speech is the one to which Paul is drawn.

The quotation comes from an April 14, 1967 speech delivered by the civil-rights leader at Stanford University. The speech, dubbed “The Other America,” addressed the emerging, new phase of the civil-rights movement, when great legislative gains had been made toward equality on paper, but the much more difficult goal of true equality was still to be achieved. It would be even harder to eliminate economic and educational injustice through governmental channels than it was to overcome segregation, he said, but just as important.

The solution, King declared, was twofold. On one hand, Americans would have to recognize the cause of justice on a personal level. On the other hand, they would have to recognize that although “morality cannot be legislated, behavior can be regulated.” Requiring Americans to practice equality would instill habits that would eventually combat racism on a deeper level, he believed. Fair housing laws, for example, would be a start.

One of his other ideas for a legislative solution to poverty, however, was a little more extreme:

Now one of the answers it seems to me, is a guaranteed annual income, a guaranteed minimum income for all people, and for our families of our country. It seems to me that the Civil Rights movement must now begin to organize for the guaranteed annual income. Begin to organize people all over our country, and mobilize forces so that we can bring to the attention of our nation this need, and this is something which I believe will go a long long way toward dealing with the Negro’s economic problem and the economic problem which many other poor people confront in our nation. Now I said I wasn’t going to talk about Vietnam, but I can’t make a speech without mentioning some of the problems that we face there because I think this war has diverted attention from civil rights. It has strengthened the forces of reaction in our country and has brought to the forefront the military-industrial complex that even President Eisenhower warned us against at one time. And above all, it is destroying human lives. It’s destroying the lives of thousands of the young promising men of our nation. It’s destroying the lives of little boys and little girls In Vietnam.

But one of the greatest things that this war is doing to us in Civil Rights is that it is allowing the Great Society to be shot down on the battlefields of Vietnam every day. And I submit this afternoon that we can end poverty in the United States. Our nation has the resources to do it. The National Gross Product of America will rise to the astounding figure of some $780 billion this year. We have the resources: The question is, whether our nation has the will, and I submit that if we can spend $35 billion a year to fight an ill-considered war in Vietnam, and $20 billion to put a man on the moon, our nation can spend billions of dollars to put God’s children on their own two feet right here on earth.

A guaranteed annual income would seem extremely unlikely to appeal to Paul, who launched his presidential campaign with a promise of a smaller, less intrusive government. But it’s not impossible that he might consider such a radical move. Just last year, when Switzerland introduced the idea of a similar program, some U.S. conservatives said they saw it as one way to streamline otherwise-bulky programs to combat poverty. Who’s to say whether “the most interesting man in American politics” might agree?

TIME 2016 elections

Harry Reid Says He Will Retire at the End of 2016

Harry Reid
Pablo Martinez Monsivais—AP Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nev. adjusts his glasses as he speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 24, 2015.

The senator said he didn't want to use Democratic resources that could be put to better use in other elections

Sen. Harry Reid says he will not seek reelection in 2016, bringing an end to his decades-long career in Congress as one of the longest serving Democratic leaders ever.

The former majority leader says becoming minority leader after Democrats lost control of the Senate in November had nothing to do with his decision, nor did his rib-breaking exercise accident in January. Reid, 75, said that he did not want to make use of Democratic funding to be reelected when that money could be better used in other races, citing tough battles in Maryland and Pennsylvania.

In a statement, Reid also said his accident, which broke bones in his face, had given him and his wife “time to ponder and to think,” leading him to the conclusion that it would be best to hand over the reins.

Reid has already endorsed New York Sen. Chuck Schumer as his replacement over other potential successors like Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, the No. 2 Senate Democrat. In an interview on a Nevada public radio station Friday, Reid cited Schumer’s work helping Democrats take control of 2006.

“I’ve never been a shrinking violet,” said Reid of his decision to name Schumer so early. “I think it’s very important that we have continuity in our leadership and I’ve done everything that I could to avoid a fight for leadership during all the time I’ve been in the Senate…He will be elected to replace me in 22 months. I think one reason that will happen is because I want him to be my replacement.”

“Schumer is a brilliant man from New York and he’s been a tremendous asset to me,” he added.

Reid was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1982, and then to the Senate in 1986. He wrote in his statement that as a boy, he’d dreamed of playing professional baseball. “But the joy I’ve gotten with the work that I’ve done for the people of the state of Nevada,” he wrote, “has been just as fulfilling as if I had played center field at Yankee Stadium.”

Barack Obama joined Reid on the radio show Friday as a surprise caller and called Reid one of his “best partners and best friends.”

“Harry’s going to be doing a lot of work over the next 20-something months but I think that when the story is written and all is told, you’re going to have somebody who has done more for Nevada and for this country as anybody who has ever been in the Senate,” said Obama. “And I could not be prouder of him. He did an unbelievable job on a whole bunch of really tough issues, saving this country from a depression, making sure millions of people had health care, making sure that young people are able to go to college. And he’s been one of my partners, best friends and I’m really honored to have served with him.”

“Well I’ll be damned,” responded Reid when Obama took the line. “What a guy.”

Read next: Congress to Solve Problem It Created 18 Years Ago

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