Posts Tagged Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker
Donald Trump took to Twitter Saturday morning to strike back at everyone criticizing him for not correcting a man who said President Obama is a foreign-born Muslim.
“Am I morally obligated to defend the president every time somebody says something bad or controversial about him? I don’t think so!” Trump wrote.
The Republican presidential candidate, who routinely attracts press with his biting put-downs, said this is the first time he caused controversy by not saying something.
Trump added that there is no way Obama would have corrected a person who made misguided statement about him.
“If someone made a nasty or controversial statement about me to the president, do you really think he would come to my rescue? No chance!” he said.
The incident that kicked off the latest media frenzy occurred at the beginning of the brash billionaire’s town hall event Thursday in Rochester, N.H.
For the event’s first question, Trump called on an audience member wearing a Trump T-shirt who said he thinks the U.S. needs to “get rid” of Muslims.
“We have a problem in this country. It’s called Muslims. We know our current president is one. We know he’s not even an American. Birth certificate, man!” the man said, alluding to the “birther” movement. “We have training camps growing where they want to kill us. That’s my question: When can we get rid of them?”
While the unidentified man was speaking, Trump chuckled to other supporters, and asked, “We need this question?”
In response to the man’s query, he said that he would “look into that.”
Many people, including Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, were offended that Trump did not explain to the man that Obama is in fact a Christian from Hawaii rather than a Muslim from outside the country.
“Donald Trump not denouncing false statements about POTUS & hateful rhetoric about Muslims is disturbing, & just plain wrong. Cut it out,” she wrote.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest asked Friday morning if anyone was truly caught off guard that this sort of behavior reared its head at a Trump event.
“Is anybody really surprised this happened at a Donald Trump rally?” Earnest asked. “I don’t think anybody who has been paying attention to Republican politics are really surprised.”
Trump says that he would ‘absolutely’ consider appointing a Muslim-American to his Cabinet if he’s elected president in 2016.
Trump made the latest comment while responding to questions from students at an appearance ahead of Urbandale High School’s homecoming dance in Iowa on Saturday night.
One of the students told the Republican presidential front-runner that she considered Muslim-Americans to be an important segment of the country and asked him if he would include one on his ticket or in his Cabinet.
‘Oh, absolutely.No problem with that,’ Trump responded.
‘I love the Muslims. I think they’re great people.’
The real estate mogul also told the students to avoid alcohol and drugs as well as cigarettes.
He encouraged the teens to follow their hearts and to do something they love, even it means making less money than they desire.
‘You represent so much. You represent the future. You represent something very important,’ he said.
‘You have to go and follow what you love, you have to do it.
‘And you just have to follow your heart and you’ll be successful.
‘And it may not be pure monetary success, because I know people that are the wealthiest people in the world and they’re not happy.’
A social media campaign brought The Donald to the celebration at the high school and hundreds of students, parents and others came to hear him speak.
Prior to visiting the high school, Trump spoke to about 1,000 Christian conservatives at an Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition presidential forum and banquet.
The moment he hit the stage, Trump told the crowd ‘I brought my Bible!’
He then read some of the messages he tweeted earlier on Saturday, in an effort to defend himself.
‘This is the first time in my life that I have caused controversy by not saying something,’ Trump told the audience.
‘If I would’ve challenged the man, that’s the man they said was somewhat maybe negative to the president, the media would’ve accused me of interfering with that man’s right of free speech. A no-win situation.’
Later on in his speech, Trump said that he’s a Presbyterian and that ‘Christians need support in our country and around the world.’
He stated that his ‘first priority’ of his administration would be ‘to preserve and protect religious liberty.’
In addition to Trump, eight GOP presidential hopefuls were scheduled to appear at the fundraising banquet held at the Iowa State Fairgrounds, including former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, former New York Governor George Pataki, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, Senator Lindsey Graham and Senator Ted Cruz.
Republican presidential contender Donald Trump disparaged U.S. Senator John McCain’s war record on Saturday, saying the former prisoner in North Vietnam was only considered a war hero because he was captured.
The confrontational real estate mogul, who has been feuding with the Republican senator from Arizona for days, also criticized McCain’s work in the Senate and called him “a loser” for his defeat in the 2008 White House race.
“He’s not a war hero,” Trump said at a gathering in Ames, Iowa, of religious conservatives after the event’s moderator, pollster Frank Luntz, used the phrase to describe McCain. “He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”
At a news conference later, Trump softened his comments, saying, “If a person is captured, they are a hero as far as I’m concerned.”
McCain, a Navy fighter pilot, spent more than five years during the Vietnam War in a Hanoi prison after being shot down, and was tortured by his captors.
Trump also criticized McCain for failing to do enough in the Senate for military veterans.
“John McCain talks a lot, but he doesn’t do anything,” Trump told reporters.
His comments drew swift denunciations from many rival Republican presidential contenders and became the latest in a series of controversies to engulf the publicity-loving billionaire since he jumped into the race with harsh rhetoric about Mexican immigrants.
The comments also were certain to remind party leaders, already nervous about Trump’s recent rise to the top of opinion polls, about his unpredictability ahead of the first Republican debate in early August.
The harsh reaction seemed to indicate that many Republicans had lost patience with Trump.
“There is no place in our party or our country for comments that disparage those who have served honorably,” said Sean Spicer, chief strategist for the Republican National Committee.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker said on the campaign trail in Sioux City, Iowa, that McCain was clearly a hero. “Enough with the slanderous attacks,” former Florida Governor Jeb Bush said on Twitter.
“Donald Trump owes every American veteran, and in particular John McCain, an apology,” said former Texas Governor Rick Perry, who said Trump’s comments called into question his legitimacy as a potential president and commander in chief.
In a statement released after his appearance, Trump said he was “not a fan” of McCain and added: “I have great respect for all those who serve in our military, including those that weren’t captured and are also heroes.”
But Trump said at the news conference he would not apologize to McCain. McCain did not immediately respond to Trump.
Trump told reporters he used student deferments and later a medical deferment for what he said was a bone spur to avoid military service during the Vietnam War.
“I was not a big fan of the Vietnam War,” he said.
He made the McCain comments during the summit sponsored by Christian conservative groups. Iowa is the first state to vote in the nominating contests leading up to the November 2016 election.
Luntz, the event’s moderator, launched the discussion when he questioned Trump’s recent criticism of McCain as a “dummy,” which came after the senator said Trump’s candidacy had brought out the “crazies.”
“I supported McCain for president,” Trump said of the Arizonan’s 2008 run. “He lost and let us down. … I’ve never liked him as much after that. I don’t like losers.”
“I am officially running for president of the United States, and we are going to make our country great again,” Trump said in remarks at New York City’s Trump Tower.
Trump spoke in his traditional straight talking manner as he blasted everyone from Mexican immigrants to Jeb Bush and U.S. ally Saudi Arabia in announcing his bid for the Republican nomination.
“I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created,” Trump predicted in a long, combative speech in the atrium of Trump Tower on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue.
The billionaire, brings an outsized personality and a penchant for controversy to an unusually large group of Republicans vying for the presidency.
In highly provocative comments, Trump accused Mexico of sending rapists and other criminals to live in the United States.
“They’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing their problems,” he said. “They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists, and some I assume are good people, but I speak to border guards and they tell us what we are getting.”
Eleven other Republicans have announced they are running for next November’s election, the latest being former Florida Governor Jeb Bush who officially launched his bid on Monday.
Trump hit out at Bush for backing the Common Core education initiative to set national education standards, which is mistrusted by many Republicans.
“Bush is totally in favor of Common Core. I don’t see how he can possibly get the nomination. He’s weak on immigration, he’s in favor of Common Core. How the hell can you vote for this guy? You just can’t do it.”
Trump, who owns several hotels and hosts the reality show “The Celebrity Apprentice” on NBC, boasted having $8.7 billion in net worth, a number he says he released so that America understands he is not a loser.
Trump has flirted with the notion of running in past elections, but has ultimately backed out each time. This time, he said, the United States needs him to come to the rescue and revive a “dead” American dream.
“Our enemies are getting stronger and stronger by the day and we as a country are getting weaker,” he said.
Republican strategists and officials cringe at the thought of Trump grabbing attention away from the party’s more serious candidates as it tries to win back the White House after defeats in 2008 and 2012.
“Donald Trump is a great entertainer and developer, but his ideas of what to do as president won’t grow the economy,” said David McIntosh, president of the influential Club for Growth, a conservative group which advocates for small government.
Trump’s first big challenge is to make it into a Fox News debate of Republicans in August that will be open to only the top 10 candidates in national polling.
As it stands, Trump languishes in 12th place, ahead only of former New York Governor George Pataki, in a Reuters/Ipsos online poll of 13 Republicans who have either declared their candidacies or, like Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, are likely to. Bush leads the poll.
In other surveys, Trump has high negative ratings, with more than 50 percent of Americans saying they will never consider voting for him.
On Tuesday, he saved his wildest attacks for foreign policy, frequently accusing China of stealing American jobs through crafty business practices and portraying himself as a tough negotiator who would beat Beijing at its own game.
“Hey, I’m not saying they’re stupid. I like China. I just sold an apartment for $15 million to somebody from China,” he said.
“No, I love them, but their leaders are much smarter than our leaders,” he said. “It’s like, take the New England Patriots and Tom Brady and have them play your high school football team. That’s the difference between China’s leaders and our leaders. They are ripping us.”
He urged Saudi Arabia to be more appreciative of the military and diplomatic support it has received from the United States for decades. “Saudi Arabia without us is gone,” he warned.
The Democratic National Committee mocked Trump in a statement sent to reporters, referring to the businessman as “the second major Republican candidate to announce for president in two days.” Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush entered the race on Monday.
“He adds some much-needed seriousness that has previously been lacking from the GOP field, and we look forward hearing more about his ideas for the nation,” spokeswoman Holly Shulman said.
Republican Rick Santorum, who fell short in his 2012 presidential bid, launched another run for the White House on Wednesday with a promise to restore the economic power of middle-class American workers.
Santorum, 57, a former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania, emphasized his working-class roots as he formally opened his long-shot 2016 presidential bid near his childhood home in Cabot, in western Pennsylvania.
Looking to build support beyond the social and religious conservatives who bolstered his 2012 campaign, Santorum said “big government” and “big business” had left behind American workers.
“Today is the day we are going to begin to fight back,” he said. “As middle America’s hollowing out we can’t sit idly by. Working families don’t need another president tied to big government or big money.”
Santorum promised to eliminate the Internal Revenue Service, back a flat tax and crack down on illegal immigration that he says has robbed jobs from American workers. He also vowed to cut federal spending and revoke “every executive order and regulation that costs Americans jobs.”
In the 2012 race, Santorum won Iowa’s kickoff contest and 10 other state contests with strong support from voters drawn to his social and religious conservatism and wary of the more business-oriented Mitt Romney.
Santorum outlasted other White House hopefuls to become the last remaining challenger to Romney, who ultimately captured the 2012 Republican nomination.
Santorum, whose support has languished in the low single digits in most polls ahead of the 2016 race, faces a stronger and potentially tougher field of Republican hopefuls this time.
He is the seventh Republican to formally declare a bid for the nomination, more than a year ahead of the November 2016 presidential election, joining a group that includes U.S. Senators Marco Rubio, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz. Other Republicans expected to jump into the race include former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.
Santorum will face competition for Christian conservative voters, who helped propel his 2012 bid, from former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, Cruz and others, while his low poll ratings raise the possibility that he could be excluded from the early Republican debates, which begin in August.
At his launch event, Mr. Santorum pledged to restore the manufacturing industry, to create more jobs for American workers and to restore the U.S.’s global standing. Of the extremist group Islamic State, he said, “They know who I am and I know who they are,” and said as president he would defeat the group.
He also promised to shrink the size of government, saying the U.S. “doesn’t need another president tied to big government or big money.”
“I know what it’s like to be an underdog,” Santorum said, adding he managed to win 11 state nominating contests because “I stand for someone, the American worker.”
“The last race, we changed the debate. This race, with your help and God’s grace, we can change the nation,” he said.
For the third consecutive year, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul grabbed a victory in the Conservative Political Action Committee’s presidential straw poll. Paul won 25.7 percent of the 3,007 votes cast, down slightly from 2014, when 2,459 total attendees gave him 31 percent of the vote. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who placed fifth in 2014’s poll, floated to a strong second place– 21.4 percent–continuing a run of successes with conservative activists that started last month at the Iowa Freedom Summit.
The days of potential presidential candidates barreling into CPAC with full campaigns, buying up blocks of tickets for straw-poll voters, are largely past. Paul, Walker, Ben Carson, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, and Texas Senator Ted Cruz all had street teams of various sizes; Paul was supported by Young Americans for Liberty, Carson by an unofficial draft presidential campaign. But Santorum, Walker, and Paul focused more on barnstorming events in the conference hotel than on making an obvious show of support on the convention floor.
“The constitutional conservatives of our party have spoken in a loud and clear voice today,” Paul said in a statement. ” I plan on doing my part and I hope you will join me as I continue to make the GOP a bigger, better and bolder party.”
Walker’s second-place showing at 21.4 percent represented a significant show of support among conservatives and suggested his potential candidacy will have real staying power as he seeks to remain among the front-runners for the nomination.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz came in third with 11.5 percent of a total of 3,007 who registered votes at the CPAC gathering.
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, an establishment candidate who is amassing millions of dollars for a campaign should he decide to run, took fifth place with 8.3 percent of the vote, a not-unexpected showing given conservative opposition to some of his moderate stances.
Boos rang out in the audience when Bush’s tally was announced. The Bush camp made clear that he did not compete in the straw poll, which is a survey of people attending the conference.
The straw poll concluded the four-day conference at a hotel along the Potomac River, where conservatives heard from more than a dozen potential contenders for the chance to represent the Republican Party in the November 2016 election.
Walker, 47, was clearly among the most popular at the event.
But Paul had a strong showing from activists, and his victory in the straw poll marked the third year in a row in which he came out on top, dominating the event just as his father, former Texas Congressman Ron Paul, had.
The CPAC straw poll, however, does not necessarily identify the next Republican presidential nominee. Mitt Romney won the straw poll in 2012 and went on to win the nomination. But the 2008 nominee, John McCain did not win the poll.
The poll also asked respondents about other issues, with 41 percent saying they would like to legalize marijuana.
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush asked skeptical conservatives to consider him a “second choice” on Friday but refused to back down from policy positions that have led many right-leaning activists to view his potential presidential candidacy with suspicion.
“I’m a practicing, reform-minded conservative,” the 62-year-old former Florida governor told the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Maryland near Washington.
Many attending the annual gathering of grassroots activists made clear they prefer a potential Bush rival, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, among others.
Bush was heckled and booed, but the antipathy was balanced out by enthusiastic supporters who showed up shortly before he spoke and clapped heartily and aggressively.
While some audience members walked out of the packed auditorium as he began talking, there was no mass walkout and he was well-received overall.
Bush, the son of former President George H.W. Bush and brother of former President George W. Bush, has emerged as the favorite of the Republican Party’s establishment wing. He has been on a fund-raising binge that has raised millions of dollars for a potential 2016 presidential campaign.
But the party’s conservative base has been alarmed at Bush’s support for a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants and for an education policy known as Common Core.
Referring to skeptics in the audience, he said, “I’m marking them down as neutral and I want to be your second choice if I go beyond this.”
A Bush critic, conservative talk radio host Laura Ingraham, reflected some of the right’s concern about Bush in an early morning talk at CPAC. She said she saw little difference between him and the overwhelming favorite for the Democratic presidential nomination, Hillary Clinton.
“Why don’t we just call it quits, and Jeb and Hillary can run on the same ticket,” she said. “I’m designing the bumper sticker. It could be ‘Clush.’ What difference does it make?”
Facing a crowd angered by Democratic President Barack Obama’s executive order relaxing immigration policy, Bush stuck to his position that Americans should be more accepting of immigrants and be willing to provide legal status for those already here.
He said it would help expand the U.S. economic base, and help his party extend its reach.
“We will be able to get (the) Latinos and young people that you need to win,” he said.
On Common Core, Bush said the policy was one element of a broader education reform effort that included conservative priorities like charter schools, vouchers and an end to affirmative action.
Asked about gay marriage, Bush said he supported “traditional” marriage, meaning between a man and a woman, without the caveats expressed by others that it should be a matter for the states.
He said he opposed marijuana legalization but said it should be up to states to decide.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said Wednesday during a swing through London that there are “very real threats” around the world, but he refused to share his foreign policy vision, saying he is there on a trade mission and that it is impolite to take potshots at President Obama during trips abroad.
The United Kingdom is becoming a regular stop for the emerging field of 2016 GOP White House contenders, who are eager to bolster their foreign policy chops, and make sure that the party does not cede ground on global issues to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the likely Democratic nominee.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal also recently traveled to London where they criticized President Obama on foreign policy.
Mr. Walker took a different tact.
“I just don’t think it is wise to undermine the president of your own country,” Mr. Walker said.
“I prefer being old fashioned and having respect for the president,” he said. “I just don’t think you talk about foreign policy when you are on foreign soil.”
Mr. Walker would only say that he knows, through the risk assessments he receives as governor, that there are “very real threats in this risks in this world not only around the world, but in our own country.”
“We take those very seriously,” Mr. Walker said.
His remarks came during an appearance at the Chatham House in London, where Mr. Walker spoke for about 15 minutes. He said the “special relationship” between the United States and the United Kingdom is built on “shared values.”
“Together we triumphed over the forces of evil, not once, but twice during two different world wars, and it is why we will conquer the new forces of evil that have affected the world even as we speak today,” he said.
During a question and answer session, Mr. Walker punted when given the chance to weigh in on the threat from the Islamic State and on whether the United States should “arm the Ukrainian rebels.”
“When I return to the states, I will probably give you an answer,” Mr. Walker said. “I don’t think it is polite to respond on policy regarding the United States interactions with other countries when you are in a foreign country.”
“I defer to the president, even though I don’t always believe in the same things he does politically,” he said. He noted that “a few of late” had weighed in on the Obama administration’s approach. “I just think it does against common practice.”
Mr. Christie traveled to London earlier this month, where he did not give a formal address during his trip to England, but did criticize Mr. Obama’s negotiations with Iran and Cuba.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal also delivered a speech in London last month in which he slammed the prospect of so-called Muslim “no-go zones” and suggested that the Obama administration has weakened the nation in international affairs.
“The events of the past several years clearly suggest that America’s allies are often less than certain that they can count on us, and our enemies too often do not fear us,” Mr. Jindal said.
Fresh off his third election win in four years, Mr. Walker has shot to the front of the pack in early 2016 polls.
The Des Moines Register also reported Tuesday that Mr. Walker because the first 2016 presidential hopeful to open an office in Iowa.