August, 2015

New Trump Aide Used to Scorn Him

“Leaked emails show that the Iowan who is Donald Trump’s new national co-chairman was throwing bombs at him as recently as last month, expressing grave misgivings about the authenticity of Trump’s religious faith and his conservatism,” the Des Moines Register reports.

Sam Clovis defected from Rick Perry’s team “at a time when the former Texas governor has been struggling to cover his campaign aides’ salaries. Iowa Republicans said Wednesday that Clovis’ move raises questions about how he reconciles endorsing Trump with his previous stances and statements, and whether he was motivated less by ideology and more by the promise of a big paycheck from a business mogul who has said he is willing to spend as much as a billion dollars to get elected.”

Trump Plans Iran Deal Protest with Cruz

Donald Trump revealed that “he’s been coordinating with Ted Cruz for a joint appearance at an event opposing the Iran deal in Washington,” the Washington Post reports.

Said Trump: “We are talking to Ted Cruz, who is a friend of mine and a good guy, about doing something very big over the next two weeks in Washington. It’s essentially a protest against the totally incompetent deal that we’re making with Iran.”

Trump Insulted Bush 33 Times in One Interview

“Earlier this week, Trump had a 35-minute call with the Washington Post. Several of his observations and answers made it into Thursday’s story on the long-simmering melodrama between him and the Bush family. But, due to space limitations, many of the mogul’s 33 jabs at the Bushes – which we numerated in the transcript and is about one put-down per minute – did not.”

Trump’s Lean Campaign Breaks the Mold

“Not only is Donald Trump an unconventional candidate, he’s got a campaign operation that turns the conventional wisdom of electoral politics on its head. While Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton boasts an army of more than 350 paid staffers, Trump’s operation fields less than a tenth that number,” U.S. News reports.

“It includes a coterie of about a dozen paid staffers operating out of the campaign headquarters at Trump Tower on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue — the same building where Trump lives and runs his real estate empire. His team has no pollster, fundraisers or media consultant and only announced its first full time, big-name policy adviser this week. The rest of the 25 or so paid members of the Trump campaign are mostly in the early- voting states of New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina.”

Hillary Clinton’s Wobbly Summer

Joe Klein: “Clinton has seemed rather wobbly this summer to a new generation of journalists—and citizens—who know only the myth of the Clintons: a brilliant, undefeatable political juggernaut. But the Clintons have always been a high-wire act. There have always been press conferences like the one in Las Vegas; there have always been crises like the server…. The Clintons, in essence, were the Donald Trumps of their time: you just didn’t say, or do, the things they said and did, and survive in American politics.”

“So if you’re Hillary and you’re fretting through a hostile press conference in Vegas, here’s what’s going through your mind: here we go again. Another cycle of dust and blather to be endured…. Smart politicians have a different sense of chronology than journalists. They are not concerned with ‘winning the day’ or the week. They know that the memory of the public is an eyelash in the wash of time…. Hillary Clinton is a tough politician but not an especially artful one…. There have been too few fine moments, and a new stage of the campaign begins now.”

Trump’s Insults Shock Even Seasoned Politicians

Donald Trump “is turning the schoolyard taunt into a political art form,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“These aren’t gaffes or off-script asides. They are part of a strategy, people close to Mr. Trump say, of knocking his Republican presidential rivals off their game. That, at least for now, is getting him the attention and poll ratings he wants among voters looking for an antidote to the artifice of U.S. politics.”

“But the intensely personal nature of Mr. Trump’s insults, sometimes mocking his rivals by mimicking them, is startling even to those who have grown accustomed to the sometimes low levels of civility in politics today.”

Sanders Plans Next Phase of Campaign

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) “huddled with advisers at his home here Wednesday to chart what he describes as the second phase of a campaign that has exceeded all expectations but still lacks the infrastructure and support from the party elites that could help him compete with Clinton on a national level,” the Washington Post reports.

“He said he will issue a slew of detailed policy proposals, including for a tax system under which corporations and the wealthy would pay significantly more for initiatives that would benefit the poor and middle class, and will pour resources into voter outreach in early nominating states.”

Trump Would Raise Taxes on the Wealthy

Donald Trump told Bloomberg that his economic vision for America includes raising taxes on the wealthy.

Said Trump: “I would change it. I would simplify it.”

He would also tax hedge fund managers: “I would take carried interest out, and I would let people making hundreds of millions of dollars-a-year pay some tax, because right now they are paying very little tax and I think it’s outrageous. I want to lower taxes for the middle class.”

Inside the Trump-Bush Feud

Washington Post: “The 2016 campaign is merely the latest manifestation of decades of discord between Trump and the Bush family. Since the gilded 1980s, when Trump and George H.W. Bush rose as forces in their respective spheres, the relationship between Trump and the Bushes has been a melodrama — veering between displays of public affection and acerbic insults.”

“At the core, there are clashes of style, manner and class between the Bushes — a patrician clan of presidents, governors and financiers who have pulled the levers of power for generations — and Trump, a hustling New York City deal-maker who turned his father’s outer borough real-estate portfolio into a gold-plated empire.”

Biden Not Sure Family Ready for Another Run

Vice President Joe Biden told DNC members “that he was uncertain if his family had the ’emotional fuel’ for another presidential campaign,” the New York Times reports.

Were he to run, he would “have to be able to commit to all of you that I would be able to give it my whole heart and my whole soul,” he said, “and right now, both are pretty well banged up.”

He added: “I’m not trying to skirt your question. That’s the truth of the matter, but believe me, I’ve given this a lot of thought and dealing internally with the family on how we do this.”

First Read: “Folks, this isn’t a way to stoke the 2016 fire. Indeed, it’s more throwing water on it. It’s as if Biden was trying to tell the political world: calm down.”

Clinton Softens Tone on Email

Hillary Clinton “has often dismissed questions over her use of a private email server as secretary of state, suggesting last week that it’s only reporters who care about the matter. On Wednesday, she took a more conciliatory tone,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

Appearing before cameras after a speech in Iowa, she said she understands the concerns: “I know people have raised questions about my email use as secretary of state, and I understand why. I get it.”

Michigan Political Sex Scandal Gets Weirder

“Someone using the name ‘Todd Courser’ purchased a cell phone used to send anonymous text messages to Michigan state Rep. Todd Courser (R) and other figures at the center of a political sex scandal,” MLive reports.

“It’s the latest bizarre twist in the sex scandal involving Courser and fellow Republican Rep. Cindy Gamrat (R), who are accused of trying to cover-up their extra-marital affair… News of the sex scandal broke earlier this month when a former staffer shared audio recordings of Courser plotting a fake email that accused himself of having sex with a male prostitute and doing drugs, an apparent attempt to discredit any real revelation.”