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

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME 2016 elections

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.”

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