Clinton pitches job training in South Carolina, Bush talks faith and climate in Iowa

Welcome to Wednesday on the the campaign trail, where three candidates are continuing their announcement tours. Hillary Clinton hit South Carolina and talked jobs and taxes with community colleges student in North Charleston. Jeb Bush is swinging through Iowa. Donald Trump is hitting the cable circuit. 

What we're watching:

  • Clinton's campaign says she'll propose a $1,500 tax credit for companies that hirre apprentices. 
  • Jeb Bush talked about his faith and Climate change
  • Trump gets blowback for his comments about Mexicans


LA Times video: Campaign status check

Kurtis Lee serves up a status check on the campaign and the candidates. Want to know who's in and who's out front? Get up to speed here.

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Bush: I don't go to mass for economic policy

Bush says he's drawing lines between his faith and his policy positions -- at least some positions.

Traveling in Iowa, Bush, a Catholic, told reporters he hasn't read Pope Francis' draft encyclical on climate change. But he suggested he didn't intend to let the pope influence his views on the subject.

"I respect the pope, I think he's an incredible leader, but I think it's better to solve this problem in the political realm." Bush told reporters, according to the Washington Post. "I'm going to read what he says, of course, I'm a Catholic and try to follow the teachings of the Church."

"I don't go to Mass for economic policy or for things in politics. I've got enough people helping me along the way with that."

The pope's letter, as leaked to Italian media Tuesday, blames human activity for climate change and issues an urgent calls to reduce carbon emissions. This isn't a popular view in Republican politics.

Bush acknowledges that the climate is changing, but he has not said he believes that humans are responsible -- the view of most scientists.

The papal encyclical is the first chapter in what may be an ongoing subplot of the presidential race: Pope Francis vs. the GOP. Pope Francis has increasingly spoken out on economic inequality and climate -- issues where the church deviates from American conservatives -- and downplayed the importance of abortion, gay marriage and birth control -- the issues where the church's views align with the conservatives.

The new emphasis and its political implications will likely gets a full airing this fall, when the pope makes his first visit to Washington.

Despite his remarks, Bush hasn't been consistent in creating distance between his politics and his church. He's often mentioned his faith in high profile speeches, including his announcement speech on Monday, when he gave a shout out to the Little Sisters of the Poor and their fight against the Obama administration over coverage for birth control for employees. (Notably, Bush tends to refer to himself as 'Christian' not Catholic in such situations. On Monday, he called the Sisters, a 150-year-old Roman Catholic order with congregant around the world, a 'Christian charity.')

“The next president needs to make it clear that great charities like the Little Sisters of the Poor need no federal instruction in doing the right thing,” Bush said.

A profile of Jeb W. Bush

Mark Z. Barabak has a fantastic portrait of the brothers Bush. It's a must read about rivalry and respect, complete with adorable, grainy family photos. Your trail guide was struck by this quote from cousin Ellis Bush. Only when they were young?

When they were young, Jeb was somebody for George to torture.
Ellis Bush, “The Bushes: Portrait of a Dynasty”

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