TIME 2016 Election

Graham on Kasich: ‘Not Ready to Be Commander in Chief’

The feud is over budget cuts that hit the Pentagon

Sen. Lindsey Graham is taking aim at Republican rival John Kasich, saying the Ohio Governor is “not ready to be Commander in Chief.”

The South Carolina Republican and White House hopeful told roughly a dozen New Hampshire voters on Friday that Kasich disqualified himself from the presidency when he said he supported spending cuts that have impacted the military. Graham, a foreign policy hawk, has long opposed the $85 billion in spending cuts that automatically kicked in when Congress failed to reach a budget deal.

Kasich, a former House Budget Committee Chairman, said told radio host Hugh Hewitt that he wanted to reform the Pentagon more broadly and that meant more than just undoing the budget cuts, which are deeply unpopular in both parties. “The sequester doesn’t matter to me,” he said.

Graham used his trip to New Hampshire—his second in as many weekends—to criticize Kasich, a relatively new entrant to the race but someone who is outpacing Graham in the polls.

“John Kasich is a good friend of mine,” Graham said before turning to his criticism. “He said he has no problem with sequestration.”

Graham went on: “These are mandatory, across-the-board cuts to defense that will accumulate to the point that, by 2021, we will be spending half of what we’d normally spend on the Defense Department.”

The cuts, he said, would hurt the United States’ national security.

“As the enemy increases in its ability, our approach is to disarm,” Graham said. “If the next president doesn’t understand that these cuts are killing us, in terms of defending ourselves, you’re not ready to be Commander in Chief…. This is a cocktail for disaster.”

A Kasich spokesman dismissed Graham’s criticism. “The Governor wants to life the sequester for military and spend more if necessary, but he still wants to reform the Pentagon,” Chris Schrimpf said. “So the sequester doesn’t matter to him in that he still wants to reform the Pentagon, but is against across-the-board cuts.”

TIME 2016 Election

Former House Leader Eric Cantor Endorses Jeb Bush for Republican Nomination

House Majority Leader Cantor leaves after a news conference
Yuri Gripas—Reuters U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) leaves after a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington June 11, 2014

"America needs a President that can re-energize our nation and recapture our greatness"

Former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor endorsed Jeb Bush Thursday, spurning several rivals who were aggressively courting the former GOP number two.

Cantor, who left Congress last year after a shocking loss in a primary to conservative upstart David Brat, will become co-chair of Bush’s campaign in his home state Virginia, providing the former Florida governor access to his extensive donor base in the finance and Jewish communities.

The endorsement is a blow to several of Bush’s rivals. According to a source close to Cantor, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Sen. Marco Rubio and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie were all striving to earn Cantor’s support.

“They pursued him for months and months,” the source said. “He still has a whole lot of friends in Congress and other prominent folks across the country in the party and the finance and fundraising communities.”

According to the source, Cantor weighed his options over the past several months and came to his decision to back Jeb “relatively recently.”

In a statement, Cantor said, “Governor Bush is a true conservative leader with a long-term vision for this country and the practical know how to implement it. After eight years of anemic growth and declining international relevance, America needs a President that can re-energize our nation and recapture our greatness — Jeb Bush is that man. I look forward to working closely with the Governor and his team as they chart a course to the White House.”

Cantor will appear with Bush at an event in Norfolk, Va., Friday. News of Cantor’s endorsement was first reported by Politico.

TIME republicans

Conservatives Want Bust of Planned Parenthood Founder Removed From National Portrait Gallery

The Planned Parenthood logo
Dominick Reuter—Reuters The Planned Parenthood logo is pictured outside a clinic in Boston, June 27, 2014.

The controversy centers around her support for eugenics

A bust at a Smithsonian museum is the latest target in a heated back and forth between conservatives and Planned Parenthood.

Conservative groups are calling on the National Portrait Gallery to remove of a bust of Margaret Sanger from the Washington, D.C. museum, the Associated Press reports. Sanger, who died in 1966, founded two groups that eventually became Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood has been harshly criticized by conservatives following the release of a series of undercover videos that show employees of the healthcare organization negotiating the sale of fetal tissue. However, a group of ministers lead by former Republican politician E.W. Jackson and the conservative non-profit ForAmerica say their opposition to the bust is based on Sanger’s support of eugenics, a social movement that sought to remove undesirable traits from the gene pool through sterilization and selective breeding.

Brent Bozell, chairman of ForAmerica, told the AP that Sanger believed eugenics could be used to “sterilize out of existence the poor, the blacks.”

Republican politicians have echoed these claims. Presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas have written a letter to lawmakers that calls the sculpture’s display by the museum “an affront both to basic human decency and the very meaning of justice.”

In a statement to TIME, Planned Parenthood acknowledged Sanger’s flaws, but dismissed the attacks as motivated by anti-abortion sentiment.

“This is a group with a longstanding political agenda to ban abortion,” said spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood. “There is no doubt that Margaret Sanger made some controversial, harmful statements that Planned Parenthood does not uphold. What we do know is that her fight for birth control access for all women — and her partnership with leaders like W.E.B. DuBois, Mary McLeod Bethune and Rev. Adam Clayton Powell — has helped millions of women and people to this day.”

Officials at the National Portrait Gallery say they won’t remove the bust, which has been on display since 2010. A spokesperson for the gallery told the AP that the museum’s displays include some people with “less than admirable characteristics.”

Sanger’s bust is included in the museum’s “Struggle for Justice” exhibit, which highlights Americans who fought for the civil rights of disenfranchised or marginalized groups.

This is not the first time Planned Parenthood has had to defend Sanger. A 2004 fact sheet published by the group comes to the activist’s defense, while also separating the organization from some of her more antiquated beliefs. The fact sheet says that criticizing the family planning movement based on Sanger’s support for eugenics is like rejecting the Declaration of Independence because “it’s author, Thomas Jefferson, bought and sold slaves.”

TIME 2016 Election

Voters Open to Joe Biden Presidential Bid in New Poll

joe biden presidential run
Jason Davis—Getty Images Vice President Joe Biden speaks at a memorial service to honor those killed in the shooting at the University of Tennessee on August 15, 2015 in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Hillary Clinton still leads the race for the Democratic nomination

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden may still be mulling his 2016 chances, but many voters appear open to his potential candidacy, a new survey finds.

A Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday finds Biden with the highest favorability rating in either the Democratic or Republican field among all voters, and leading head-to-head match-ups against hypothetical GOP rivals. But Biden, whose numbers are boosted by his near-universal name-recognition, trails former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the race for the Democratic nomination.

Clinton commands the support of 45% of Democrats nationally, down from 55% a month ago, followed by Sanders at 22% and Biden at 18%.

On the Republican side, Donald Trump maintains a commanding lead of the GOP field with 28% of Republican support, followed by retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson at 12%. No other GOP candidate breaks double-digits, with a large cluster in a statistical tie filling out the top 10. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz are tied for third place with 7% each, representing a significant drop in support for Bush, who has raised more than $120 million for his presidential run.

The survey is one that will be used to determine eligibility for next month’s CNN debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, in which polls since July will be averaged and the top 10 placers fill the prime-time stage. Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina, whose performance was well regarded in the Fox News debate, merits 5% in the Quinnipiac poll, a significant jump. But her campaign complained Wednesday that a relative lack of polling before the second debate could still keep her out of the debate. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul fell to 2%, as his campaign has faltered this summer.

Trump remains deeply disliked by the majority of voters who are not his supporters; 26% of Republicans say they would never vote for him and 54% of all voters view him negatively. Clinton, who is still dogged by questions about her use of a private email server, now has 61% of Americans viewing her as untrustworthy and 51% viewing her unfavorably.

Asked an open-ended question about the first word that pops into their minds when they hear a candidate’s name, “liar” topped the list when the 1,563 registered voters were surveyed about Clinton. “Arrogant” was the top word for Trump and “Bush” for Bush.

The nationwide survey was conducted from Aug. 20-25 and has a margin of error of ±2.5 percentage points, with 666 Republicans polled for a margin of error of ±3.8 percentage points and 647 Democrats for a margin of error of ± 3.9 percentage points.

TIME Scott Walker

Scott Walker Calls on Obama to Cancel Chinese State Visit

Scott Walker - Iowa
Charlie Neibergall—AP Republican presidential candidate, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, speaks during a visit to the Iowa State Fair on Aug. 17, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa.

Amid rising tension, a Republican calls to end a diplomatic courtesy

SPARTANBURG, SC — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is calling on President Barack Obama to cancel the upcoming state visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping next month in retaliation for recent cyberattacks and currency manipulation.
In a statement to TIME, Walker said it was time for the Obama administration to hold China “accountable” amid accusations that the country was behind the hack of the U.S. office of personnel management in which more than 20 million records were breached.
“There’s serious work to be done rather than pomp and circumstance,” Walker said, encouraging Obama to show “backbone.”
The White House is facing bipartisan pressure to get tougher on China. The president last hosted Xi at the Sunnylands retreat in Palm Springs, CA in an informal meeting in June 2013. Obama met with Xi in China last year when they announced a major climate accord.
Earlier Monday, Walker blamed much of the recent drop in the financial markets on China’s recent currency devaluation.
“Americans are struggling to cope with the fall in today’s markets driven in part by China’s slowing economy and the fact that they actively manipulate their economy,” Walker said. “Rather than honoring Chinese President Xi Jinping with an official state visit next month, President Obama should focus on holding China accountable over its increasing attempts to undermine U.S. interests. Given China’s massive cyberattacks against America, its militarization of the South China Sea, continued state interference with its economy, and persistent persecution of Christians and human rights activists, President Obama needs to cancel the state visit.”
Cancelling a state visit would be a major snub for the Chinese leader, who has made earning recognition for a “new type of major power relationship” between his country and the U.S. a priority of his.
Walker’s comments come as GOP front-runner Donald Trump has made criticism of China a focal point of his campaign. Walker rejected the notion that he was toughening his stance on China in response to Trump.
“Obviously the timing today coincides with concerns on the stock market about what has happened over the last couple of weeks with the efforts by China to devalue their currency,” Walker told reporters after a campaign stop.
Walker said he was unconcerned about the impact such a snub would have on the relationship between the U.S. and its largest overseas creditor. “I think China as well as others in the world will finally respect some leadership once and for all from the United Stares,” Walker said. “Part of the problem now is that they don’t respect us.”
“Those honors should only be bestowed on leaders of countries that are allies and supporters of the United States,” Walker said of the planned state visit and state dinner.
TIME

Donald Trump Explains All

In an interview with TIME, the leading Republican candidate talks about what's wrong with the Clintons, his opponents' weaknesses and what it takes to be great

Donald Trump was interviewed by TIME Editor Nancy Gibbs, Washington Bureau Chief Michael Scherer, and political correspondent Zeke Miller on Aug. 18.

For TIME’s cover story on Trump, read here.

Jeb Bush was asked about your comment on “Meet the Press.” You were asked who your foreign policy advisors are and you said you “watch the shows.” He said it’s not enough to watch television. Do you have a response to that?

Well Jeb is a very low energy person. So he can sit around a table all day long with one general and talk and talk and you know. But I see that general as being grilled by you. And when I say I watch on television, I do, and I watch on TIME Magazine, and I watch in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, I read all of them a lot.

And I get my views from the media. A lot of the views, and frankly other people do. And the views that you will see during those ten or fifteen minute segments or during reading the story are not a lot different than Jeb sitting around with a policy group, if he really has such a thing.

Donald Trump Time Magazine Cover
Photograph by Martin SchoellerPhotographed for TIME on August 18, 2015 in New York City.

Behind the cover: Donald Trump meets an American bald eagle.

It sounds good. I can say that too. You know I was an excellent student at the best school and I could also say, “Oh well, I have a great policy group, and we sit around.” I mean I wonder whether or not Jeb actually has that. But I’m being very honest. And I know when I say something like that, you can be criticized…When I see certain generals sitting at the different shows, I mean I think it’s a great way to learn about what’s going on. When I see the leaders of countries sitting on shows and frankly, you don’t have to go through the whole process. It’s a shortened version.

So I’m somebody that time is very important to me, and it saves time. But also you get really good views. You see some tremendous people.

In one of your books on leadership you actually said as advice to other people who want to be entrepreneurs, having a short attention span can be a benefit.

Well I mean I have an attention span that’s as long as it has to be. But I don’t have to sit around with a group of generals to tell me about Iraq being a failure. Iraq was a total failure.

Several of your rivals say that your experience in business doesn’t translate. Chris Christie said, “This is not negotiating a real estate deal. This is international diplomacy.” What do you say to that?

Well, I have the right temperament. I have the right leadership. I’ve built an incredible company. I went to a great school. I came out I built an incredible company. I wrote the number one selling business book of all time Trump: The Art of the Deal. I had tremendous success in show business–star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. “The Apprentice” was one of the most successful shows. And as you know NBC renewed it, I just said I’m not doing it. They’re not exactly thrilled with me at all. But I’ve had a great career, and I know how to get along with people. I know how to deal with people.

I mean, if I was the governor of New Jersey, the George Washington Bridge would not have been shut. You talk about temperament.

You know people are talking about diplomacy, or tone. You know Bush brings up tone all the time. Tone. We need strong tone. We’re too far behind. We’re behind. We’re not winning. You know if we were winning we could sort of soften it up.

But you look at Putin can’t stand Obama, and Obama can’t stand him, in all fairness. But we don’t get along with anybody anymore. Hillary Clinton was the worst Secretary of State in the history of the country. The world came apart under her reign as Secretary of State.

I want to ask you about the immigration plan you put out over the weekend. You had said in 2012 that Mitt Romney’s “self-deportation” comment was crazy and maniacal.

Well I thought it was stupid. Who’s going to self deport? It wasn’t that it was a bad plan from any other standpoint. But you tell people, oh, self deport. To me that just means what, you’re just going to walk across the border and say okay. They asked me to go. That’s not going to happen.

So how does the deportation happen under …

Well what we’re going to do–we have a plan, and I think it’s a really good plan. And by the way, it’s been very well received and some of the candidates, my opponents I guess you could call them, but some of the candidates have said that’s really what you want. I worked with a number of people on it including [Alabama] Senator [Jeff] Sessions, highly respected, and not known as a radical person at all. But we’re going to have to – look, it’s very simple. We either have a country or we don’t.

The first thing I need is a wall, and I will build a wall. And you know that Hillary Clinton and almost everybody ten years ago wanted a wall built. Everybody wanted a wall built. But they couldn’t do it because they don’t know anything about building. They’re throwing out numbers to build a wall. I’ll build a far better wall, far higher, and just a much better–that’s what I do. I mean the thing I do best is build. Which is not bad to have as a president because our infrastructure in this country is also crumbling. But we’ll build a great wall. It will be a very effective wall. And it will be done quickly and Mexico will pay for it.

But the next step, if I understand your plan correctly, is that even the hardworking good people who are here without papers —

They’re illegally here. They will leave, and they’ll come back on an expedited basis if they…And they will leave.

You’re talking about 10% of California’s workforce, maybe 13% …

Don’t forget in the meantime we have a real unemployment rate that’s probably 21%. It’s not 6. I’s not 5.2 and 5.5. Our real unemployment rate–in fact, I saw a chart the other day, our real unemployment–because you have ninety million people that aren’t working. Ninety-three million to be exact.

If you start adding it up, our real unemployment rate is 42%. We have a lot of room. We have a lot of people who want to work. But the good people I want them to come back. And I also want people of great talent to come to this country, to Silicon Valley for engineers. If you go to Harvard and you graduate number one in your class, and you’re from China, they send you home, you can’t get back into the country.

So you end up working for companies in China and fighting us. And they’re competitors of us. They’re trained in our schools. I want people like that to come into this country. And if they want, I want that path to citizenship for these people. So they go to our best schools, they’re fabulous students, they do well, they’re going to be great and we throw them out of the country. It’s ridiculous.

So again, just talking about the hardworking peaceful undocumented immigrants here.

Illegal immigrants, we’re taking about the illegal. Do you know the word illegal? They go out …

But do you forcibly remove them? I mean if they choose not to go, if they say, “No, I’m not going to go.”

It’ll all work out. It’s called management. Politicians can’t manage. All they can do is talk. It’s called management. And we’ll do an expedited system. Because I agree with you, there are some very, very good people here who they are here illegally.

But they are illegal. We have to strengthen our border. We have to have people come in legally. And we will work out an expedited system where the really good people can come back legally.

If you became president, what needs to change about about Super PACs and campaign financing? It’s a system that you’ve said is basically corrupt.

Well I think this whole thing with PACs is nonsense. Because Jeb Bush puts his friend in charge of has PAC, and they don’t talk….And he’s going to work hard, as is Hillary Clinton. They all have their friends running the PACs. Now you’re not supposed to talk, you’re not supposed to – they go out and play golf, they get together, but they don’t talk. Who believes that? So I want transparency. I don’t mind the money coming in. Let it be transparent. Let them talk, but let there be total transparency.

Are you willing to sign the “No New Taxes” pledge of Grover Norquist?

Well I’m thinking about it but I have a problem because I may want to switch taxes around. I want to save the middle class. And I have hedge fund guys that are making a lot of money that aren’t paying anything, okay. And I don’t know how his pledge relates to that.

But I know a lot of bad people in this country that are making a hell of a lot of money and not paying taxes. And the tax law is totally screwed up. The complexity of it, the size of it. I mean I spent millions of dollars every year on lawyers and accountants just to do a tax return. And I want to put H&R Block out of business. I want to make it very simple. And we can leave the tax code the way it is and simplify it, or you could go to a form of a flat tax. You could go to a fair tax. There’s a lot of things you could do.

Probably the simplest is simplify the existing. Because we have other projects. We have to beat China. We have to beat Japan. We have to beat Mexico. We have to beat everybody that beating us, which is 100% of the countries that we do business with. We have a lot of other things to work on.

As president would you propose changes that increased the net amount of taxes?

No, because there’s so much waste in Washington.

You’ve written more on leadership than any of the other candidates. George W. Bush or Bill Clinton, who is a better leader?

I wasn’t a huge fan of Bush, as you know…I thought he was lost. I thought he was not a great president…He certainly wasn’t a good president. He got us into Iraq which by itself was a disaster. He also caused toward the end of his thing a financial problem by allowing exploding mortgages and other things that I predicted. I said you’re going to have a huge bubble here. We have another one coming up by the way. I predicted that. You have exploding mortgages. I understood. I made a lot of money because I went in and bought a lot of stuff at the low price after it exploded. But he really gave us Obama. Clinton had a lot of problems with the Monicas of the world and had he not had those problems he would have had a pretty good presidency. Not a great one but a pretty solid presidency. But that was a disaster and a tremendous distraction.

Are there any of the current candidates who you would not consider as a vice presidential candidate?

Well I don’t want to say because – I will tell you when it’s all over, win, lose or draw, I’ll tell you who I respect, who I don’t respect. I think the thing that I most – that I’m very complimented by is that Rick Perry was doing really well, and then he decided he had to do better and he went after me and he went right down the tubes.

Senator Lindsey Graham was doing fine. Nobody got more publicity than this guy. He had zero. He’s the only one that had zero. That means not one person in the whole country – he had zero. Like [former New York Gov. George] Pataki had zero but slightly more than that, right. He actually had a zero down today on the CNN.

And these were the two guys that hit me very hard. And it was such a compliment to think – and now by the way Rand Paul’s going down the tubes. Because all of a sudden he came out of nowhere and he hit me, and now he’s … Now I hit back very hard. I think I hit back maybe sometimes harder than they hit me.

But I came out with a very strong statement about Rand Paul. First of all I think he’s totally taking advantage of the people in Kentucky. Because one of these afterthought, if I don’t win here I’ll go back to you. It doesn’t work that way. Somebody should primary him out. Because he can be beaten, believe me.

So he’s done very poorly. And since he attacked me, he’s gone down. And I’m greatly honored by that, you know. I get attacked but somebody and they go down. I thought that a guy like Perry, he was getting so much publicity, he went to Washington, he read a speech, he did a whole big thing, it was all over the television. He went down. So that’s a great honor.

What happened with “The Apprentice”?

[NBC/Comcast Executives] came up to see me. And even after twelve years and fourteen seasons it was one of their most successful shows. It was a great success. And they tried to talk me into it and I just wouldn’t do it. And I just wouldn’t do it.

So I didn’t know this was going to happen, and they’re impressed too. They probably didn’t know this was going to happen either.

Do you still retain an interest in the show?

Yeah I do. A big interest. So it’s a very good question. When I say I’m not doing another season, that’s a lot of money. And even if you’re a rich person, that’s a lot of money to give up… They would have paid me whatever I wanted. So when I did this…I turned down a deal last week in China, because I’d have to go there. One of the biggest companies wanted me to do a deal in China. Guaranteed tens of millions of dollars. Turned it down because I can’t go to China… I’ve told my kids, this is going so wild. Let’s see what happens.

You know I’ve had great success. Even in golf I’ve won many golf club championships. I don’t know if you guys play golf. But to win a club championship is hard, literally hard. And you have to beat scratch players…You got a lot of good players. I’ve won many club championships. So my life has been about winning. My life has not been about losing. So I get a kick out of watching these guys who were not even successful people saying, “Oh, he’s just having fun.”

It’s not having fun. Actually I could have more fun. I own here’s a picture, I own Turnberry in Scotland that just hosted the Women’s British Open. I wouldn’t mind being at Turnberry. I may never see it again.

Are you surprised by your position?

So I’m a little surprised that it’s gone with this speed. I don’t expect to lose ever. But the speed is pretty rapid. You know. And unlike other people, I’ve stayed in the position.

Why run for president this time? You’ve decided against it in the past.

So it was really important that I do it, for myself…I mean I really considered it strongly last time. Before that I thought about it. But I never even had any staff. My secretary was my staff. But the time I looked at it was less time. But I was very busy, I was doing tremendous developments which are now completed and very successful. Because we’re all over the world. And I had a signed contract with “The Apprentice.” I would have had to break it. The other reason I wanted to do this for myself. I didn’t want to look back in ten years and say I could have done that or I could have done that. My family would look at me and say, “Ugh, stop.” I had to do it for myself.

How has this changed your life?

So I am enjoying it. And I think people see that…I’m watching my opponents. Certainly Hillary is not enjoying it, okay. She’s going through something that for me, for me is Watergate. Her only hope is that because the prosecutors are Democrats she doesn’t get prosecuted. That’s the only hope she’s got. Because what she did is wrong and what she did far worse than General Petraeus.…And I saw her joke yesterday, it wasn’t a joke … but it was sort of like you’re laughing at people’s faces when they say – and they automatically – you know by saying they were automatically deleted, right, you know she made that statement yesterday, by saying that you’re almost saying that you deleted them on purpose….It was supposed to be a joke. It wasn’t funny, but there was a lot into that if you think about it.

A lot of your supporters are not wealthy. They can never imagine themselves in your shoes.

And they like me.

You’re not the average American in a way, you’ve never been – but you connect with them. How do you explain that?

Actually, the funny thing is, I do worse with the wealthy people. Okay, it’s funny in my opinion. Now, they’ll all support me if I want them to, but I don’t want them. If they want to send something, I don’t care….I have a dot com. I had a woman send me $7 the other day. Another guy sent me $12. There was a long beautiful letter. I love that, because it’s like they’re investing. That’s called a great thing. They’re investing…They’re doing that because they’re investing in the campaign and that I really do like. But somehow I related to exactly what you’re saying, to the middle class, to the working person, and people don’t understand.

You come in on a Boeing 757, then you get on a helicopter, and you go over to the fair, and you give the kids the rides, which the kids loved. But you land in this incredible Sikorsky, and people like it. I’ve always felt that when Jimmy Carter would walk out of—off Air Force One carrying his own suits and bags, I always said, that’s not what the country wants… He would walk off Air Force One carrying his suit and his bag. He’s the President of the United States, and he didn’t want anybody to carry his stuff, because he thought, “Why should they? I can carry it myself.” I always felt that’s not what they want. They don’t want that. They want someone who’s going to beat China, beat Japan.

I was in Los Angeles, I saw boats coming in with cars from Japan, the largest ships I’ve ever seen, loaded to the gills, cars just pouring off, made in Japan. How does that help us, and we give them a fraction—a tiny fraction—and they don’t even want it. Those days are gone. Those days will be gone. But we have to make ourselves wealthy again in order to save our country. We can’t continuously lose money.

How do you view the state of the American banking system?

We’re having a huge problem, again. You know you look at the junk. You know all the junk that’s floating all over the place. You look at some of this Internet stuff that’s floating all over. We’re in a bubble again, okay. It’s not – and I’ll tell you the problem with the banks, if you’re really rich, like with me, if I want to borrow money I can buy all the money I want. But if there’s a young Donald Trump that needs some money to do a couple of really good deals can’t get it because the regulators are making it absolutely impossible for the banks to loan money.

Do you want to repeal Dodd Frank and similar financial regulation reforms passed by President Obama?

Well Dodd Frank is probably not a very good thing. There are aspects of it you could leave. But generally speaking Dodd Frank stifles business. It just totally stifles business.

I’ll tell you another subject that I’m going to start talking about because nobody talks about it. Corporate inversion, where companies are going over to other places. You know it used to be they moved from New York to Florida, they moved from New Jersey to…Pfizer is talking about moving to Ireland. Or someplace else. We’re talking about Pfizer. Do you know how big that is? It would wipe out New Jersey. I mean that is a massive Merck.

They have $2.5 trillion sitting out of the country that they can’t get back because they don’t want to pay the tax. Nor would I. Everybody agrees that shouldn’t happen. We should let them back in. Everybody. Even if you paid nothing it would be a good deal. Because they’ll take that money then and use it for other things.

But they’ll pay something. Ten percent, they’ll pay something. Every Republican, every Democrat for years they have all agreed … They all agree. So now what’s happening is companies are moving out to get their money. And they’re moving out because they’ll pay lower taxes. That’s a huge problem.

You don’t have any Cayman accounts?

No I don’t. I could have.

Have you ever, because you’d benefit a lot I’m sure.

I could have and I said – I’ve been thinking about doing this – that really hurt Romney in my book, when he set up these stupid accounts. In the end, when you do the Cayman accounts you don’t gain that much.

The way you criticize the political process seems like the underlying theme of this campaign is that the people who are running stuff now are all phonies. That pretending it’s something they can’t actually do.

They can’t do it.

And they use pollsters to tell you what they think, that they’re just not real. And then you’re presenting yourself as the more authentic person. That’s the underlying —

I’m a person who’s had great success in getting things done. They do use pollsters. I’m much richer than all of them put together. I don’t want to pay a pollster. They pay these pollsters a hundred thousand dollars a month for doing what?

And then these guys come in and they want to be tough. Like Romney, but the time he got to the last debate he couldn’t even talk. He was afraid to say anything.

In 2014, you had Republicans saying we’re going to take back Congress, we need it. And they raised five hundred million dollars to do it. The first thing we’re going to do is repeal Obamacare. And they haven’t done it.

They joked. They couldn’t do it.

So do you think that they’re not honest?

They got elected on the basis. So they got in, something happened.

Are they the real phonies though?

Look, I was just as disappointed in the Republicans as I am the Democrats. I mean at least the Democrats you know where they’re coming from. The Republicans – and many of them got elected on the basis of we’re going to get rid of Obamacare.

It’s almost like when they get to Washington, I will not let this happen to me. They’re so enamored with the magnificence that they sort of say, “Oh, we can’t do this. We can’t do that.” They become different. Does that make sense?

It’s just so false and so phony and they can’t move. It’s moribund. They become weak and ineffective except at one thing: get themselves reelected…I have friends who are in Congress and they run every two years. And good guys, I’ve known then for a long time. As soon as that cycle is up, you know they win their election, then they take one day off and then the next day they start fundraising.

All they do it fundraise. They don’t really govern. They just fundraise. Their whole life is raising money. And I say what percentage of the time you’re raising money as opposed to legislating? …I mean they’re constantly – it’s that time of year, you come in. I mean that’s all they do is raise money.

So you say that they’re puppets. You understand the game.

They’re puppets. I’m the only non-puppet in the group.

What was the best example of something you got from a politician?

Well I wasn’t an asker. I would just give just in case. I would always be treated well. But I’ll say this. If the Speaker of the House, somebody they come up to see you and they’d like to know if you’d make a contribution. It’s not a lot of money.

Let’s say you say no. “No, I’m sorry, I can’t. I have great respect for you, I like you a lot. I will not make a contribution.” “Oh, thank you Mr. Trump, thank you.” Now let’s say three years go by and I call, I need something from the Speaker of the House or I need something from somebody.

We’re talking really human nature, okay. It’s fairly hard. It’s the rare politician that can do what’s right in the face of massive contributions. And who can blame them. You could say you’re disloyal. You can do whatever you want to say. But let’s say you say no and then you call three years later. Nothing quid pro quo, none of that stuff. 100%.

Hillary’s thing with the speeches is interesting because to me that’s just as interesting as the emails. Because you look at the speeches and you look at the people who are paying all of that money for those speeches and then approvals of … going to be granted are granted. To me that’s as big a deal. People have forgotten about that.

What do you think of David Koch?

Yes, he’s a member of my club. Well you saw my Tweets on David where all these guys … they’re tying to get money and influence … He’s a member of my club… Big guy. So is his brother, a big guy. And I think they’re well meaning people too by the way. I think they’re actually very well meaning people. But when I see all these guys running over to go get money – okay so when David calls and needs something do you think they’re going to say no? Possible. It’s just something that’s pretty far out. It’s pretty much impossible.

You’ve said that you can’t tear up an Iran deal on Day One.

I’m a deal maker, when a person makes a deal … But I’ve taken on some really bad deals and made the other side suffer.

Do your rivals who say they’d tear up the deal understand how the world works?

They don’t…It’s a terrible deal. But I would enforce that deal like they never saw … I’d demand to go – and the twenty-four day thing is ridiculous. And the fact that we didn’t get the prisoners back is ridiculous.

There are so many things wrong with it….I’m a dealmaker…There are things in the deal that I’m sure Kerry doesn’t even know about that I will find. And if they make a mistake they’ve got big problems.

What do your daughters give you a hard time about?

I’ve been very lucky, they’re both smart and both went to the Wharton School. Tiffany goes to Penn and Ivanka went to the Wharton School, both very good students. Tiffany’s got all A’s, Ivanka the same, very good students.

Ivanka was interesting because I’m very strong on women’s health issues. And I couldn’t believe what Bush said last week about he wouldn’t fund, essentially wouldn’t fund women’s health issues. And I hit him hard. And she came back and she said I’m so glad you did that Dad, because people don’t know how you respect women, they don’t know how you get it, and you have to get that word out.

There still seems to be a ceiling in the polls that there’s a big chunk of the country who know you very well and don’t want to see you in the Oval Office. How can you deal with that?

Well they’ve been saying the ceiling from the time I started in six. When I first got in it was six. Well that’s the ceiling and he’ll stay around there …There was one poll that said thirty-two.

People are surprised, it’s the Tea Party but it’s also straight across the board. It’s men, it’s women, it’s a lot of Democrats. In fact … said you were better with the Democrats…The states where they know me best there’s a huge positive. In fact I had the biggest swing of anybody that they’ve seen. You know what I mean, right?

So I think that’s just a question of time. And I think that I will be the one to beat Hillary.

You’d told people that Bill Clinton told you a third party ticket is possible.

Well he’d love that. I love a third party too. I think Bernie Sanders should run on the Green Party. I think that Bernie Sanders should run. I would love to see Bernie Sanders…Now look, I’m running as a Republican. I’m running as a Republican … And honestly they’ve been treating me fairly. I don’t want nice or anything I just want fair. They’ve been very fair.

Both parties approval ratings are falling even as yours have gone up. What’s the problem?

Because I don’t think the people running for office are real. Because Jeb Bush and others will come out against women’s health issues because – and then he’ll say he misspoke. You’ll see that. He misspoke. Five hours late he comes in with the opposite…I really think they have to throw a lot of their consultants away and just be themselves. I think it’s one of the things that’s helped me. You know, I’m a smart person. I don’t have somebody telling me what I should say.

And I don’t want to go against myself either when I believe in something. Because that’s false. I saw it today with … you saw it big league with [Wisconsin Gov. Scott] Walker today. When he made a statement based on my immigration plan and then his consultants said you’ve got to change that. But I think they would do better if they were themselves.

Do you think there’s any chance watching what has happened with you, that here will be a wave of authenticity?

I think that’s what they need. There’s so little authenticity in many of the people that I’m watching. And that includes the other side. Hillary. I mean it certainly includes Hillary…

What’s the most significant learning experience in your life?

Look, I do say this. Just in watching – I give speeches on success for friends and for charities. I put the money into charity. And they pay me a lot. I will say this, over my lifetime I’ve seen a lot of very smart people who were quitters. They never made it. And I’ve seen people that weren’t as smart who never ever, ever gave up. And those were the people that made it. And I’ve seen it to this day. I’ve seen people that graduated … in school who were super geniuses. And they never made it. And I’ve seen people that were not as smart as them and they’re the biggest people out there. And the ones that are the biggest people are the people that never gave up. It’s something I’ve just observed over the years.

So I take it you’re not giving up.

No, I don’t give up.

TIME Scott Walker

Scott Walker’s Obamacare Replacement Sounds Familiar

Republican presidential candidate and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker speaks to fairgoers during the Iowa State Fair on August 17, 2015 in Des Moines, Iowa.
Justin Sullivan—Getty Images Republican presidential candidate and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker speaks to fairgoers during the Iowa State Fair on August 17, 2015 in Des Moines, Iowa.

When Scott Walker launched his campaign for the Republican nomination in July, he said that his first goal would be to repeal Obamacare. On Tuesday, the Wisconsin Governor detailed what he’d do next, and it sounds familiar.

In a speech in the neighboring state of Minnesota, Walker outlined a plan for overhauling America’s healthcare system that draws on the broad principles behind the Affordable Care Act.

There are differences in specifics: the insurance exchanges are now called pools, where small businesses can band together to buy coverage for employees; young adults can stay on their parents’ plans but only if states OK it; and Americans without job-based insurance would qualify for government subsidies based on age instead of income.

And there are some conservative ideas in the mix too: states would run more of the program, insurance regulations would be scaled back or scrapped and medical malpractice lawsuits would be limited.

But overall, the plan reflects a reluctant realization that there are few alternatives to fix many of the problems that Obamacare addressed and that after two Supreme Court decisions, a presidential election and two midterms, the law will be hard to completely upend.

That’s not to say that Walkercare is Obamacare Light.

“On paper, it certainly does provide protections. There are just some holes,” said Larry Levitt, a senior vice president at the non-partisan Kaiser Family Foundation, which has studied the law extensively. If enacted with as little as oversight as outlined, Walker’s plan would likely lead to coverage at levels even lower than pre-Obamacare. “At the talking point level, Governor Walker’s plan sounds an awful lot like Obamacare,” Levitt said. Look a bit deeper, though, and “there are some big differences.”

For instance, the popular prohibition against denying coverage to individuals with chronic conditions such as cancer only is in place if the patient had maintained continuous insurance. Those who let their insurance policies lapse are potentially locked out of private coverage for life. Separately, pricing discrepancies between genders and ages could return. The extremely poor would still have access to health coverage, although it would not meet the current standards. There are no limits to out-of-pocket health costs, although Walker would allow Americans to set aside more money for their own health care tax-free.

Yet Walker includes some of Obamacare’s most popular provisions, such as guaranteeing access to health insurance to all Americans. “In the very broad brushstrokes, that’s also what Governor Walker’s plan does. The similarities end there,” said Topher Spiro, a former Capitol Hill senior aide who helped lawmakers write Obamacare.

For instance, older and poorer Americans would be treated less fairly under Walkercare than under Obamacare. Tax credits would be even for all Americans, regardless of income; that benefits wealthier Americans who don’t need the help. “If you’re making $150,000, you’re getting the tax credit. It’s not very efficient. It’s very wasteful,” said Spiro, now at the liberal Center for American Progress.

Democrats were fast to criticize the proposal. “Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, 16 million Americans have gained health insurance, the uninsured rate is at its lowest point ever recorded, health spending grew at the slowest rate in 50 years, all while we’ve had 65 months of consecutive private sector job growth,” Democratic National Committee spokesman Eric Walker said. “This law saves money and lives, but Republicans’ only plan is repeal.”

The plan also drew criticism from one conservative rival. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, badly trailing in the polls, called Walker’s subsidies a “new entitlement program.” “It is frankly shocking that a Republican candidate for President would author a cradle-to-grave plan like this,” Jindal said in Iowa.

Perhaps most problematic, however, is that Walker’s plan ignores the political realities. Repealing Obamacare requires votes from both chambers of Congress and a President’s signature. Under the current rules, it would take 60 votes in the Senate to get past a key procedural hurdle. Republicans currently only have 54 Senators and the 2016 map is no cakewalk for the GOP.

Then, there is the actual legislating. Walker’s replacement plan would require states to pick up the slack, but state Legislatures do not meet year-round and there’s no guarantee that even Republican-led statehouses would rush to set up a healthcare system based on Washington’s offers.

“If the federal government put the responsibility for regulating insurance and creating new programs back on the states, it would take time to put those in place. Every state Legislature would have to go through a debate about what kinds of rules they wanted in the insurance market,” Levitt said. “We’re talking about several years, even if the law based on this plan were to pass.”

Walker’s plan also is likely to face opposition from the healthcare industry. After years of preparation and adjustments to comply with Obamacare, yet another fundamental shift is hardly one they—and their shareholders—are going to embrace. Most rewrote policies to comply with the new mandates.

Then, there are the actual consumers. The Urban Institute estimated that roughly 2.6 million Americans had to switch health plans to shift onto Obamacare-compliant policies. In many cases, they were most costly but also more comprehensive. A few consumers would want cheaper plans, but fewer would want to go back to plans that lacked serious coverage or protections. Asking Americans to give up existing benefits, whether it is a prescription plan or Social Security, is never a political winner.

Half of Americans disapprove of the Affordable Care Act, while only 44 percent approve, according to the most recent Gallup survey. But there’s a big distance between disliking a law and agreeing on what should replace it.

TIME 2016 Election

Lindsey Graham Would Raise a Glass With Democrats If Elected

Lindsey Graham republican presidential candidate
John Minchillo—AP Republican presidential candidate Lindsey Graham speaks during a pre-debate forum on Aug. 6, 2015, in Cleveland.

South Carolina Republican promises a boozy, bipartisan White House as President

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham is promising one big change if his White House bid proves successful: “If I’m President, we’re going to drink more.”

The South Carolina Republican made the pledge during a Monday trip to the Iowa State Fair, a must-hit stop for political candidates from both parties. Graham, who is struggling to gain traction in the polls, was telling voters near deep-fried food booths that Republican President Ronald Reagan met with Democratic House Speaker Tip O’Neill over cocktails and the two enjoyed a warm relationship in private.

Graham said that was a model he would adopt if he wins the GOP nomination and then the White House: he would drink with any Democrat who wanted to join him in addressing steep challenges facing the country, such as Social Security, national security or health care. “After a few drinks, we’re going to stop the B.S. and work together,” Graham said.

Graham’s pledge of bipartisanship, however, ran counter to his description just minutes earlier of the current White House occupant, whose relationship with Congress is distant at best.

“No one respects our current commander-in-chief,” Graham lamented, outlining his disagreements both foreign and domestic with Obama. “You’ve elected someone president who has never run a lemonade stand or bought a car,” the recently retired Air Force officer added.

The answer, Graham proposed: “Make me commander-in-chief because we need one who knows what the hell they’re doing.”

TIME 2016 Election

Fiorina Urges Republicans to Face Reality on Iran Deal

Carly Fiorina - Iowa
Joshua Lott— Reuters Carly Fiorina waits to be introduced before speaking during a campaign event at the Jewish Federation of Greater Des Moines in Waukee, Iowa on Aug. 16, 2015.

GOP hopeful says there is little Congress can do to improve the nuclear pact

White House hopeful Carly Fiorina said Monday it’s time to be realistic about the pending deal with Iran over its nuclear ambitions: the current parameters are likely to be put into place and there’s nothing to be done until President Barack Obama leaves office.

“I earnestly hope that Congress will vote down this deal,” she said. “But we should be realistic. The rest of the world has moved on.”

The Republican former tech executive told voters at the Iowa State Fair that she would go to work negotiating a new deal if she were elected President. Fiorina said the United States could put pressure on Iran to return to the negotiating table by limiting its ability to move money internationally, as well as lobbying other world leaders to join Washington in pressuring Tehran.

But in the coming weeks, there’s not much anyone can do, she lamented. “New deal, new deal,” she said, taking questions from voters who wandered between stalls of deep-fried food and livestock.

She said her message to Iranian leaders would be direct if elected President: “Until you open every military and every nuclear facility to real anytime, anywhere inspections, the United States of America, without anyone’s permission or collaboration, will make it as difficult as possible for you to move money around the global financial system.”

Fiorina, a never-before-elected candidate and the lone woman seeking the Republican nomination, has captured voters’ interest during this summer lull. A polished performance during an undercard debate helped her poll numbers climb, and she is spending much time camped out in early nominating Iowa and New Hampshire.

More voters are starting to give her a listen. And they’re finding the former Hewlett Packard CEO’s conservative message includes a pragmatism not found in some of her rivals’ promises. For instance, she said it is unlikely Congress can derail the agreement with Iran and renegotiating it with the current partners seems unrealistic. “China and Russia have never been negotiating on our side of the table,” she said.

China, Russia, France, the United Kingdom, Germany and the United States negotiated the deal with Iran. Under the deal, Iran will get relief from sanctions and regain access to international oil markets, which will bring it a windfall of about $100 billion. In exchange, Iran must dispose of most of its low-enriched uranium, stop efforts to produce or acquire more nuclear fuel and consent to inspections. The deal is expected to block Iran from obtaining the technology needed to build a nuclear weapon for at least a decade.

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