TIME 2016 Election

Rick Perry Addresses Republicans’ Legacy on Race

Former Texas Governor and Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry addresses the National Press Club Luncheon July 2, 2015 in Washington.
Chip Somodevilla—Getty Images Former Texas Governor and Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry addresses the National Press Club Luncheon July 2, 2015 in Washington.

"For too long, we Republicans have been content to lose the black vote because we found we didn’t need it to win"

The speech was billed an address on the economy. But by the time he finished, it was clear that Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry was here to talk about race.

About a lynching of a black man that took place 99 years ago in his home state of Texas. About his party writing off black voters because Republicans didn’t need them to win elections. About the GOP’s embrace of states’ rights over civil rights. In a sweeping, 30-minute speech to the National Press Club, the former Texas Governor offered a mea culpa for discrimination in America and pitched an aggressive reboot for Republicans’ relationship with black voters.

“We cannot dismiss the historical legacy of slavery, nor its role in causing the problem of black poverty,” Perry said during an appearance that at times was an indictment of how the nation treats minorities and a litany of promises to fix that. “And because slavery and segregation were sanctioned by government, there is a role for government policy in addressing their lasting effects.”

A charismatic speaker and shrewd politician, Perry needs such a dramatic move to convince voters that he is not the bumbling White House hopeful that he was in 2012. During that earlier bid, he stumbled during debates and delivered uneven performances with voters. Seeking redemption, Perry is trying again to win the nomination with a campaign that could force his party to confront sometimes-uncomfortable realities.

“There has been—and will continue to be—an important and legitimate role for the federal government in enforcing civil rights,” Perry said, adding he was among those who favored autonomy for states to address the issue. “For too long, we Republicans have been content to lose the black vote because we found we didn’t need it to win. But when we gave up on trying to win the support of African-Americans, we lost our moral legitimacy as the party of Lincoln, as the party of equal opportunity for all. It is time for us to once again reclaim our heritage as the only party in our country founded on the principle of freedom for African-Americans.”

Black voters backed President Obama’s re-election bid in 2012 to the tune of 93%. In 2008, Obama carried 95% of the black vote.

Perry’s gambit to win over African-American voters is not an original play. Sen. Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican also seeking the GOP nomination, has made urban outreach a central part of his campaign. Paul often travels to historically black colleges and meets with black pastors on the road. Yet the Texas twang of Perry talking about the GOP and its legacy with African-Americans was at time discordant with his typical fixation on cutting taxes and regulations.

“Democrats have long had the opportunity to govern the African-American communities,” Perry said. “It is time for black families to hold them accountable for the results.”

Citing higher poverty rates, lower-performing schools and fewer opportunities, Perry said Obama’s tenure as the nation’s first black president made history but did little to improve life for African-Americans. “I’m proud to live in a country that has an African-American President. But President Obama cannot be proud of the fact that the prevalence of black poverty has actually increased under his leadership,” Perry said.

By contrast, Perry pointed to his 14 years as Texas’ governor when its economy boomed. African-American graduation rates climbed from 27th out of 50 states in 2002 up to first in the country when he left office earlier this year. From 2005 to 2007, more blacks moved to Texas than to any state other than Georgia. (Hurricane Katrina destroying next-door Louisiana in 2005 helped that.) Perry also closed three prisons and reformed sentencing guidelines for non-violent drug offenders. “Each one of those new resident was welcomed to Texas, with open arms,” Perry said.

Asked after his speech about the debate underway in South Carolina about the Confederate flag, Perry said it was up to legislators in that state. Yet he also noted that, as Governor, he removed a plaque commemorating the Confederacy and moved it to a museum. Texas also stopped issuing Confederate license plates. “It makes sense to come up with ways to bring this country together,” Perry said.

Perry began his appearance by discussing the ugly lynching of Jesse Washington in Waco, Texas. Washington, who was black, pleaded guilty to raping and murdering his employer’s white daughter during trial and was convicted. The judge sentenced him to death—a sentence carried out in front of Waco City Hall, where he was tortured, mutilated and burned in front of a crowd of thousands.

Perry ended his speech with an acknowledgement: “America has never been perfect. No country composed of imperfect beings ever could be. 
But there is no country that has achieved more than the United States of America.”

TIME 2016 Election

Exclusive: Republicans in Early Nominating States See Opposition to Gay Rights Fizzle

GOP pollsters gauge attitudes about marriage and discrimination in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada

Republicans in the first four states to weigh in on the GOP presidential nomination are not standing lockstep against gay marriage and largely support measures that protect LGBT people from discrimination, according to a series of GOP polls obtained by TIME.

Those fast-shifting attitudes could offer an opportunity for the Republicans presidential contenders to moderate their stances and better position themselves for a head-to-head contest against the Democratic nominee in 2016. By and large, Americans have shifted toward acceptance of gays marrying, and most candidates reflected that view in reacting to last week’s Supreme Court ruling that expanded marriage to same-sex couples nationwide.

While a few candidates reacted with fiery statements—former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee called for civil disobedience and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker called for states to pass a constitutional amendment to undo the ruling—likely Republican primary voters greeted it with a collective shrug. In New Hampshire, 55% of likely Republican primary voters said they would accept the Supreme Court’s ruling as the law of the land. In Iowa and Nevada, 46% of Republicans said they agreed. Forty-one percent of Republicans in South Carolina, which is the most conservative of the first four states, said they could accept the court’s ruling.

Of course, that means the majority in three of the first four states remain opposed to same-sex marriage. But the acceptance is still a remarkable development, with roughly half of Republicans willing to move past the same question that drove scores of voters to cast ballots against gay marriage in recent elections. Nationally, the poll found 39% of Republicans support gay marriage and, when the question is asked differently, 43% of Republicans say same-sex couples should have the same rights as straight couples. Only 33% of Republicans in the national survey would back an amendment to the Constitution to ban same-sex marriages in the states.

That is perhaps why some Republicans did not react strongly to the Supreme Court ruling. “While we have differences, it is time for us to move forward together respectfully and as one people,” Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said Americans should “love our neighbor and respect others, including those making lifetime commitments.” Added Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida: “While I disagree with this decision, we live in a republic and must abide by the law.” None embraced same-sex marriage.

The next question, which is less clear among the Republican hopefuls, is anti-discrimination legislation to finish what the Supreme Court started. While the court ruled that gays and lesbians have the right to wed, many Americans live in places where same-sex couples can face legalized discrimination when it comes to housing, employment or finances.

In Congress, moves are underway to introduce a comprehensive anti-discrimination bill in the coming weeks. According to the same polls, such protections are popular among Republicans—as long as there are provisions that Americans would not have to betray their religious convictions.

Nationally, 59% of Republican voters say there should be laws banning discrimination against gays and lesbians in employment, housing, credit, education and public accommodations, such as hotel stays or restaurant service. Among Republican millennials—young voters—that number reaches 79% support. Twenty-three percent of Republicans surveyed said they would be more likely to support a candidate who endorses a non-discrimination bill.

In the crucial first four states, a majority of Republican voters support anti-discrimination laws as long as there were provisions that would allow, say, a Southern Baptist Church to refuse to marry a same-sex couple. A broad anti-discrimination proposal would have the backing of 67% of New Hampshire Republicans and 61% in Nevada.

The poll results, which are set to be released on Friday, were provided early to TIME. The study was conducted by a panel of respected GOP pollsters who have advised presidential candidates and their campaigns: Alex Gage (Mitt Romney), Jan van Lohuizen (George W. Bush) and Adam Geller (Chris Christie), as well as House Republicans’ survey mavens Brock McCleary and Robert Jones. The poll was funded by Project Right Side, an organization founded by openly gay former Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman. The other sponsor was the American Unity Fund, a project backed by billionaire investor Paul Singer, who publicly supports gay rights. Billionaires Seth Klarman, a Republican donor, and Dan Loeb, a Democratic donor, are backers of the groups, as well.

The national survey interviewed 2,000 voters, including 798 Republicans or Republican-leaning voters. Separately, the pollsters also asked 500 registered voters in each of the early nominating states their opinion, including 205 likely Republicans in Iowa, 216 likely Republican in New Hampshire, 232 likely Republicans in South Carolina and 194 likely Republicans in Nevada. Results for the full sample have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 2.2 percentage points; it is 4.4 percentage points for the state-specific samples. The surveys were conducted June 9 to 17, in the lead-up to the June 26 ruling.

TIME jeb bush

Tax Returns Show Jeb Bush Did Well After Being Governor

Republican presidential candidate and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush answers questions from employees of Nephron Pharmaceutical Company June 29, 2015 in West Columbia, South Carolina.
Sean Rayford—Getty Images Republican presidential candidate and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush answers questions from employees of Nephron Pharmaceutical Company June 29, 2015 in West Columbia, South Carolina.

The 2016 White House hopeful made hefty paychecks—and has tax bills to match.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is trying to make history. No, not as the third member of the Bush clan to win the Presidency. He is going for something easier: releasing his taxes, and more of them than any other White House hopeful ever.

The 2016 contender for the Republican Party’s White House nomination on Tuesday released 33 years of his tax returns, a move his campaign touted as a demonstration of his transparency with voters. It follows a trove of emails he released from his time as Florida’s Governor, between 1999 and 2007.

“This release will show voters how I earned a living over the past three decades and how much of that living I had to give back to Uncle Sam. Spoiler alert: a lot,” Bush wrote. He added: “In my case, I paid the government more than one in three dollars that I earned in my career. Astounding.”

Yet the motive behind the release was not as simple as promising a first-hand reasoning why he wants to lower taxes, or as pure as letting Americans look under the hood at his family’s income. Throughout the commentary that accompanied the release, he continued to criticize the Democrats’ front-runner for the nomination, Hillary Clinton. She and former President Bill Clinton, too, have made millions as members of another well-connected family dynasty. “I have paid a higher tax rate than the Clintons even though I earned less income,” Bush wrote in a blog post about his tax returns.

A complete picture of Bush’s 2014 income was not included in those documents, however. He requested an extension on his federal 2014 tax returns, which are due by October 15, 2015. He also received a 45-day extension on the required personal financial disclosure required of presidential candidates.

Hillary Clinton released eight years of returns in 2008, but has yet to release her latest financial figures beyond the mandated filing of her assets with the Office of Government Ethics, but her campaign says she will release both in due time.

Bush’s 33-year release is a new record in American politics, topping the one set in 1996 by then-Sen. Bob Dole, who released 30 years of returns. Then-Gov. George Romney of Michigan released 12 years’ worth in 1968. More common has been to release just a few years. In 2012, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney only released two years of returns, totaling hundreds of documents detailing complicated financial positions lingering from his time as a private equity executive. Sen. John McCain also released two years of returns in 2008. Romney and McCain each had other disclosures available through forms they had to complete as state- and federal-level officeholder.

Since leaving office in 2007, Bush has earned about $23.6 million from speaking fees, board memberships, and a range of consulting and business ventures. His net worth is somewhere between $19 million and $22 million. Both sums are substantially lower than what the Clintons have earned, but not so low as to distract from the fact that they’re both very well off. Most people seeking the White House are, after all.

Bush took care to emphasize that his average tax rate, 36 percent, was greater than Bill and Hillary Clinton’s 30 percent in 2014. (By comparison, the Congressional Budget Office says the average American pays 17.6 percent of income in federal taxes.) Yet there were four years, 1985-88, when he had a tax rate of zero because he took such a loss on investments. In two years, he had no tax liability. In three years, he had net negative income. “Over those years my income fluctuated based on our successes, failures and the bumpy Miami real estate market,” Bush wrote.

Bush donated $739,511 to charity from 2007-13, for a charitable contribution rate of 3.1 percent. But Bush claims to have helped raise tens of millions more as a board member of several charitable organizations, including the Barbara Bush Foundation Celebration of Reading foundation.`

According to Bush spokesman Tim Miller, Bush earned $2 million annually from Barclays Capital, where he served as an adviser from 2009-2014, and $1.3 annually million from Lehman Brothers for his work there in 2007-08.

During the window the documents cover, Bush earned roughly $38 million net income. He also paid almost $13 million in taxes—more than 250 times what the average American worker earns this year.

TIME 2016 Election

Chris Christie Launches Presidential Bid and Starts a Fight With His Own GOP

Democrats and fellow Republicans alike get tough talk as New Jersey Governor launches bid

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie started his campaign for the White House telling supporters that Democrats and fellow Republicans alike are to blame for the dysfunction in Washington and only a strong leader who tells the truth can fix it.

“We have to acknowledge our government isn’t working any more for us,” Christie said at his high school alma mater. “We have to acknowledge that and say it out loud. And we have to acknowledge it’s the fault of our bickering leaders in Washington, D.C., who no longer listen to us and no longer know they are serving us.”

The packed audience welcomed him home as a favorite son and seemed receptive to his pitch at compromise and truth-telling. Yet it was a scaled-down version of the campaign launch his advisers once imagined. The tough-talking former federal prosecutor was once the frontrunner for the Republican nomination.

Yet Christie angered some conservatives in the final days of 2012’s presidential race when he toured storm-damaged coastline in his state with President Obama, a Democrat. He later came under investigation for his allies’ role in closing lanes of the George Washington Bridge in a case of political retribution. And his donors have shifted from him and lined up with rivals with better odds such as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush or Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida. Even in starting his run, he acknowledged he was willing to ignore his political advisers.

“We need a government in Washington, D.C. that remembers you went there to work for us, not the other way around,” he said to cheers of “Chris.” Christie continued: “Both parties have failed our country. Both parties have stood in the corner and held their breath and waited to get their own way. Both parties have led us to believe that in America, a country that was built on compromise, that somehow now compromise is a dirty word.”

If the country’s founders had not compromised, he warned, “we’d still be under the Crown of England.”

Christie’s kick-off speech, delivered without a podium or teleprompter, had the requisite dings against Obama and Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton. But it also had the best-of hits from Christie’s time running his Democratic-leaning state. Sometimes, that record has angered members of both parties. Tea Party-styled groups, even as he was speaking, released criticism of him as insufficiently conservative.

“I’m not looking to be the most popular guy who looks in your eyes every day and figures out what you want to hear,” Christie said, acknowledging he wasn’t running to be “prom king” or even popular. “I mean what I say, and I say what I mean. And that’s what America needs right now.”

TIME 2016 Election

Both Sides Won When Donald Trump Was Fired

NBC and Univision Dump Trump. Presidential Hopeful Gets Another Target to Bully.

In the end, the draw of Donald Trump just wasn’t worth the headaches for the television networks. Many in the Republican Party wish they could fire The Donald just as easily.

NBCUniversal on Monday joined Univision in dropping its involvement with the fiery business mogul-turned-reality star-turned White House hopeful over comments he made about immigrants coming to the United States from Mexico. During his campaign launch, Trump said the Mexicans were rapists and criminals, although he added he was sure that some were fine individuals.

The backlash was swift. It was hardly one-sided. Yet, for the moment, it seems it has given both sides the wins they wanted.

The Spanish-language Univision last week broke off its broadcasting relationship with Trump’s beauty pageants. Univision then banned employees from staying at Trump properties while traveling on the company’s dime. That gave the advocacy-minded Univision added credibility with its deeply loyal and highly engaged viewers.

The blunt businessman promised to sue the broadcaster and banned Univision executives from golfing on his Miami Doral resort. He let loose a series of social media posts, interviews and statements designed to embarrass his one-time business and broadcast partner. That only further won him love from supporters, many of whom think his brash style would bring much-needed change to Washington.

Under growing pressure, NBC on Monday it was distancing itself from the Miss Universe Organization, a joint venture between NBCUniversal and Trump that produces Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA events. “Due to the recent derogatory statements by Donald Trump regarding immigrants, NBCUniversal is ending its business relationship with Mr. Trump,” the network said. For a broadcaster still dealing with the fallout of Brian Williams’ exit from the anchor desk amid criticism that he embellished stories, it was a decisive move aimed at avoiding another headache.

Trump used Monday’s setback to yet again promote himself—and took a dig at the Williams imbroglio. “They will stand behind lying Brian Williams, but won’t stand behind people that tell it like it is, as unpleasant as that may be,” Trump said in a statement.

That personal kind of attack is a Trump signature. Earlier, Trump took to Instagram as he sought to paint himself as the victim of political correctness run amok. On the popular photo-sharing website and app, he posted an image of a hand-written note from popular Univision anchor Jorge Ramos requesting an interview even after his network cut business ties. Trump’s picture of the note captured Ramos’ personal cellular phone number. Trump later followed up with a tweet: “Please send me your new number, your old one’s not working. Sincerely, Donald J. Trump.”

Republicans were left shaking their heads. Here was a figure whose hair was a punchline and who hosted a reality show in which his signature line was “You’re fired.” (NBC and Trump both agreed he would not appear on the upcoming season of “The Apprentice” if he moved forward with a White House run.) Yet he is still polling ahead of all other rivals except former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in two New Hampshire surveys. If the polls stay where they are, Trump could be on-stage when the GOP field meets for its first debate in Cleveland in August—while sitting Senators, Governors and former CEOs are left out. Where other candidates would have shown contrition or tried to move on, here was Trump continuing to trumpet his opposition to Mexican immigrants.

MORE: The GOP’s First Big 2016 Test: Fitting Candidates on the Debate Stage

Then again, Trump is not the typical candidate. His antics drew this headline on the conservative Breitbart.com: “Dear GOP: Trump’s Fearless War With Univision Only Increases His Appeal.”

The whole affair began at Trump’s campaign kickoff last week at his gold-plated, 68-story Trump Tower in New York. During the course of a speech that seldom resembled the prepared text, he vowed to crack down on China and Saudi Arabia, mocked President Obama and proved why Trump is among the most entertaining figures on television. But his comments on immigrants coming from Mexico were the ones that left many—Hispanics and non-Hispanics alike—smarting. “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists,” Trump said.

It led to quick reaction. Univision’s head of entertainment programs posted a picture of Trump side-by-side with the man accused of killing nine churchgoers in an historically black church in Charleston, S.C. Alberto Ciurana deleted the posting but not before conservatives captured it and shared it around the Internet. To Trump’s fervent supporters they found it unconscionable that Trump was being compared to someone being described as a white supremacist who sought to start a race war.

Ciruana said he should not have posted the photograph. “Apology not accepted,” Trump said in a statement. “I call for his resignation as president of Univision.”

Trump promised the photo post would be part of his ever-growing lawsuit against Univision—as he made his way through interviews with conservative news organizations such as Fox News and The Daily Caller. “Univision apologized to me but I will not accept their apology. I will be suing them for a lot of money,” he wrote on Twitter.

Read Next: Trump Launches Presidential Campaign With Empty Flair

TIME 2016 Election

Donald Trump Leads All But Bush in New Hampshire

Donald Trump Makes Announcement At Trump Tower
Christopher Gregory—Getty Images Donald Trump gives a speech as he announces his candidacy for the U.S. presidency at Trump Tower on June 16, 2015 in New York City.

He's up in the polls. But that doesn't mean he's going to win

Apparently, Donald Trump for President is a thing in New Hampshire.

A second public poll released this week shows the real estate mogul-turned-reality show star ahead of all other Republican presidential hopefuls except former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. Earlier this week, when a Suffolk University poll showed Trump in the No. 2 spot in New Hampshire, some dismissed it as a fluke. Then on Thursday, a CNN and New Hampshire’s WMUR-TV showed the same. It is part of a one-two win for Trump this week, yet it also comes as Trump’s former business partners are moving away from the tough-talking bully and his incendiary comments about China, Mexico and immigrants.

While Trump is nipping at Bush’s heels, the polling also shows potential problems, including that few voters believe he has a chance at the White House. Trump is a recent addition to the race and none of his rivals have yet to treat him like a viable candidate. A trove of negative research is at the ready for his foes, Republicans and Democrats alike, to use against him. His record in business is certain to be a liability, much the way former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney spent most of his 2012 campaign on the defense against charges his work in private equity hurt workers and communities.

And as Trump’s advisers were touting the new polls, they were also going to battle with Univision, Trump’s broadcast partner for the Miss Universe and Miss USA pageants. Trump’s lawyers said they were preparing to sue Univision for breaking its $13.5 million contract with the Miss Universe Organization, which Trump co-owns.

When Trump began his White House bid on Wednesday with a rambling speech, he said Mexicans coming to the U.S. were rapists and criminal. (“Some, I assume, are good people,” he added as an aside, as though that fixed everything.) Trump also said he would build a great, great wall on the U.S.-Mexican border. He later blamed the media for distorting his words.

Univision, a Spanish-language channel popular with Latinos, said it would not be broadcasting the Miss USA pageant on July 12. No matter, Trump said with typical bravado. He was still a star.

Voters in New Hampshire, at least for the moment, seem to share that view of the brash and blunt New Yorker. Jobs and the economy remain the top focus for New Hampshire Republicans, and Trump leads when voters asked who they best trust to address that subject. He also leads all others when voters were asked which candidate is least likely to act like a politician and who could handle international trade policy. He spent much of his kick-off speech railing against China, a key U.S. trading partner.

He also leads in another field: the candidate the most New Hampshire voters say they most definitely would not vote for. A full 23% of those surveyed said Trump is a non-starter. Trump is in negative territory when voters were asked their general opinion of him: 48% of New Hampshire voters see him unfavorably, while 38% look at him favorably.

At the same time, only 7% of those surveyed see Trump as having the best chance among Republicans to win the general election in November 2016. The clear frontrunner on that question is Bush: 37% see him as the best shot for the GOP to return to the White House for the first time since another Bush moved out. Jeb Bush’s brother, George W. Bush, ended his Presidency on Jan. 20, 2009.

The CNN/ WMUR New Hampshire Primary Poll was conducted between June 18 and June 24. The poll, considered one of the most reliable in New Hampshire, interviewed 402 like Republican primary voters and carries a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 5 percentage points. That could mean the number of New Hampshire voters who say they wouldn’t support Trump could be as high as 28%.

TIME Supreme Court

Here’s How Republican Presidential Candidates Reacted to the Supreme Court’s Obamacare Decision

People cheer in front of the US Supreme Court after after ruliing was announced on the Affordable Care Act. June 25, 2015 in Washington, DC.
Mark Wilson—2015 Getty Images People cheer in front of the US Supreme Court after after ruliing was announced on the Affordable Care Act. June 25, 2015 in Washington, DC.

Republican candidates for 2016 say the fight over Obamacare is far from over

The decision upholding subsidies in the Affordable Care Act went from the Supreme Court straight to the 2016 presidential election.

Almost immediately after the nation’s highest court handed down a 6-3 decision upholding a key part of Obamacare, the contenders for the Republican presidential nomination weighed in, arguing that the fight isn’t over.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush issued a statement of disappointment and said as president he would “make fixing our broken health care system one of my top priorities.”

“Americans deserve leadership that can actually fix our broken health care system, and they are certainly not getting now from Washington, DC.”

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio vowed to continue fighting to repeal the law in order to replace it with a “consumer-centered plan.”

In a statement, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who is expected to enter the race soon, called on Republicans in Congress to “redouble their efforts to repeal and replace this destructive and costly law.”

From the beginning, it was clear that ObamaCare would fail the American people and this has proven to be true across the country and in Wisconsin.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz tweeted that the court ruling hadn’t changed his stance on the law.

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham argued that the ruling was even more of a reason to elect a president opposed to the law.

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry tweeted that “Americans deserve better” and included a link to a lengthy statement.

Perry’s statement reads, in part:

The Obama Administration has ignored the text of the Affordable Care Act time and again, and today’s ruling allows them to continue to disregard the letter of the law.

And former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee issued a scathing critique of the decision, calling it an “out-of-control act of judicial tyranny.”

 

TIME Advertising

4 Times Brands Shamelessly Pandered to Millennials

How do you do, fellow kids?

General Motors on Monday issued a press release entirely in emoji. Will this get the kids to buy the 2016 Chevy Cruze? Who knows. But GM is hardly the first company to try to exploit Internet culture for its own branding gains among Millennials.

Here’s a few other times big companies have tried to get down with the kids, with varying degrees of success:

1. Volkswagen rides the “i” train

In 2012, German carmaker Volkswagen showed off the “iBeetle,” a version of its famous Beetle designed to work especially well with smartphones. Not only that, the car came with an app that sent “postcards” and kept track of “milestones,” like driving was playing Xbox and reaching 10,000 miles was the same as killing 10,000 bad guys in Call of Duty.

2. 7-11 wants hipsters to drink Slurpees

If you’ve ever been wandering the streets of Williamsburg looking for the best organic mustache wax, 7-11 thinks you’d like a Slurpee. Last year the convenience store chain put out plastic mason jars and straws with plastic mustaches. So put on some Mumford and Sons and get ready for a killer brain freeze.

3. Clorox wanted its own emoji

After Apple announced more racially diverse emoji earlier this year, Clorox responded by asking “Where’s the bleach?” The Internet thought this was a little weird, and regardless of intent, this was a dud.

4. The GOP courts hipsters, too

Ok, so this isn’t technically a company, but the Republican Party also tried to win over millennials, making commercials in which a hipster-looking 20-something explained why he’s a Republican. It was roundly mocked, most famously by John Oliver.

TIME South Carolina

Mitt Romney Urges South Carolina to Take Down Confederate Flag

The 2012 GOP nominee urges a change in policy

In the wake of the recent shooting at a historic African Methodist Episcopal church in Charleston, S.C., 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has urged that state to take down the Confederate flag flying at the state’s capitol in Columbia.

In a tweet, Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, wrote:

Taking the flag down is easier said than done. South Carolina’s state politics make removing the flag tantamount to political suicide, as many in the state believe it represents their Southern heritage, experts told TIME. But an online petition to remove the Confederate flag following the Charleston shooting quickly surpassed 300,000 signatures.

Read More: Here’s Why the Confederate Flag Is Still Flying in South Carolina

TIME 2016 Election

How Republicans Can Win Millennial Voters

One pollster's five-point plan

Only a third of millennials identify as Republican, while almost half identify as Democratic, according to a 2014 Pew Research survey.

For Kristen Soltis Anderson, a Republican pollster and a millennial herself, that’s bad news. She worries that Republicans will be left behind if they don’t update their message and some of their beliefs.

In her upcoming book The Selfie Vote, Anderson puts forward several ideas to win back younger voters. “The world is changing very quickly,” she said in an interview with TIME. “Republicans should not fear this change. They should embrace it.”

Here are five things the GOP should do, according to Anderson.

1. Understand millennials’ views on faith and the family

Anderson says a crucial divide between millennials and traditional Republicans is in how they view family. The conservative definition of family hinges on heterosexuality and marriage, whereas millennials tend to be comfortable with any arrangement of people taking care of a child, regardless of gender or marital status.

Anderson says understanding the millennial perspective on family will be key to developing a modern form of social conservatism. “I think if we talk about the importance of people in families taking care of each other across generations, regardless of gender, and that that is this critical cornerstone of our society, I think that’s not an off-putting message,” Anderson says. “I think when we say we want to define how family ought to look in a traditional way, that’s when we begin to lose where young people are at.”

She also says Republicans needs to account for the fact that millennials still have faith but are less formally religious, are more diverse and tend to live in more urban areas than previous generations.

2. Promote Republican ideals that will appeal to millennials

Conservatives may be disconnected from millennials on some social issues, but Anderson says many Republican ideals fit well with the problems millennials are currently facing. She says the party needs to appeal to millennials’ sense of entrepreneurship by talking about deregulation, and that discussions of pay-for-performance and being efficient with government money will also resonate with young voters.

“Republicans can look to some of our nation’s cities to find plentiful examples of big government, union power, and overregulation gone terribly awry, where young residents are looking for choices, efficiency, and technology to solve the problems they face,” Anderson writes in her book.

3. Address the student loan crisis

Rising student debt is a pressing issue for millennials. Democrats often try to more heavily subsidize loans, while Republicans often focus on plans that change the way loans are repaid. But Anderson says the key for the Republican party to help the millennials is to cut back on student loans in the first place by promoting alternative forms of higher education, such as online colleges and MOOCs (massive open online courses).

“Championing technology as a way to create greater choice, greater cost savings, and better learning in America is an obvious step Republicans can take to help young people, all the while shedding the image of being the party of the past,” Anderson writes.

4. Reach out to minority voters

Less than half the babies born between 2012 and 2013 were white non-Hispanic, according to the Census Bureau. “If Republicans are to draw their votes primarily from the pool of white voters in America, they are simply on an unsustainable path,” Anderson writes.

She says there are certain policy issues that can help Republicans with minority voters, namely criminal justice reform and immigration reform. But she says the biggest problem with Republicans outside of white voters is the perception that the party does not promote equal opportunities for all people. Anderson says there are three steps Republicans must take to alter this perception: “Showing up. Listening… [And] identifying the mixed perceptions about your agenda and your policy and identifying the ways that your ideas make perfect sense.”

“I would love to see more Republicans running for office going to events in places they’re not used to going,” she says. “Don’t just do the event at the country club and the town hall with your base supporters.”

5. Get on Snapchat

None of the previous four steps will ever reach millennial voters unless Republicans work on step five: marketing. Anderson says the party needs to get much more creative and incorporate technology and apps in how they distribute their political ads.

Talking about Snapchat and Instagram, Anderson says Republicans need to start “letting people have constant access into the personal side of your campaign, not the manicured soft focus ad type stuff, but the really authentic, real live behind the scenes type stuff.”

So which 2016 candidates does Anderson think would best appeal to millennial voters? She admits her bias as a Floridian before saying Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio. “I think through Rubio’s very explicit generational message that he’s used so far, and through Jeb Bush’s attempt to really focus on how can conservatism be used as a tool for reform, I think both of those messages have very strong potential.”

“I don’t think young people are a lost cause, especially this time around,” she says. “Not only is it possible for us to make progress before 2016, I think we have to make progress before 2016. I think if another presidential election goes by where we are losing young voters by 20+ points, where we have failed to build up a base of support amongst this younger generation, I think we are one election then further cementing this really troublesome fate for the GOP.”

Read next: I Feel Ashamed to Tell Others That I Am Republican

Download TIME’s mobile app for iOS to have your world explained wherever you go

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com