Donald Trump shows immigrants at border near Morocco, not Mexico

Next stop for Bill Clinton: Iowa

Bill Clinton is just getting warmed up. After campaigning for Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire on Monday, he's expected to be in Iowa on Thursday. He's scheduled to hold events in Cedar Rapids and Dubuque. 

The Times' Michael A. Memoli covered the former president's speeches in New Hampshire and analyzed some of the potential risks and rewards as he hits the trail. 

Snapshot: Donald Trump in Massachusetts

Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz criticize standoff at Oregon wildlife refuge

 (Les Zaitz / Oregonian)
(Les Zaitz / Oregonian)

Republican presidential candidates Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz assailed the standoff by armed activists at a rural Oregon wildlife refuge on Monday, with Rubio dismissing it as "lawless" and Cruz urging for a peaceful end.

Cruz, who is the front-runner in Iowa, where voters will kick off the fight for the nomination Feb. 1, told reporters while traversing the Hawkeye State on a bus tour that he hoped the standoff would soon end. 

"Every one of us has a constitutional right to protest, to speak our minds," Cruz said. "But we don't have a constitutional right to use force and violence and to threaten force and violence against others. So it is our hope that the protesters there will stand down peaceably, that there will not be a violent confrontation."

The activists, including Ammon and Ryan Bundy,  are pushing for limits on the federal government's control over Western land and have been in place at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Burns, Ore., since Saturday.

They are the sons of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, who led a weeks-long armed standoff over $1 million in federal grazing fees in 2014. During that standoff, federal and local agents were a constant presence. 

In a Iowa talk radio interview Monday, Rubio labeled the standoff “lawless" and called it an unwise way to protest. 

“You can’t be lawless. We live in a republic," Rubio said. "There are ways to change the laws of this country and the policies. If we get frustrated with it, that’s why we have elections. That’s why we have people we can hold accountable."

A resolution Hillary Clinton can stick to?

Four days into the new year, Hillary Clinton showed a new way to be dismissive of Donald Trump at a campaign event in Cedar Rapids, Iowa:

Ben Carson's new plan would cut taxes for wealthy and raise them for poor

 (Rich Hein / Associated Press)
(Rich Hein / Associated Press)

Ben Carson released long-promised details of what he calls his "flat tax" plan Monday -- offering a far-reaching proposal that would eliminate deductions for mortgages and charitable contributions and sharply reduce taxes for high-income taxpayers.

Carson is the last of the major GOP candidates to release details of a tax plan. He originally talked of a plan based on the biblical injunction to tithe, but until now had not said how his plan would work.

In a statement announcing his plan, Carson said that it would impose a single rate and eliminate all existing tax credits. That would mean that "two people who earn the same amount of income will pay the same amount of taxes," he said.

That would be true, however, only if both people received their income from wages. Carson's plan would end all taxes on dividends and capital gains, so a person who earned most of his or her income from investments -- as is often the case for wealthy Americans -- might pay no income tax. He would also eliminate inheritance taxes.

At the other end of the scale, Carson's plan would exempt incomes up to 150% of the poverty level from most tax. But he would wipe out the Earned Income Tax Credit, which cuts taxes for some 40 million low-income working Americans. As a result, a large share of the working poor could see a major increase in their taxes. 

Trump ad shows immigrants at 'southern border,' just not U.S. border

 (Scott Olson / Getty Images)
(Scott Olson / Getty Images)

The ad hits a key note of Donald Trump's campaign: building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border to quell illegal immigration.

Yet in Trump’s advertisement – his first of this election cycle – the immigrants he shows swarming a border fence as a narrator talks about building a wall along "our southern border" are nowhere near the U.S. frontier. They're actually in Morocco, the nonpartisan fact-checking site PolitiFact discovered.

The video clip shows immigrants trying to get into the Spanish enclave of Melilla, along the Moroccan coast, Politifact reported. The organization traced the footage to the Italian television network Repubblica TV, which shot the pictures in May 2014. 

Trump's campaign manager brushed aside the deception.

"It's not the Mexican border, but that's what our country is going to look like," Corey Lewandowski, told NBC News. He claimed the use of the Moroccan footage "was 1,000% on purpose." 

Trump, who leads national polls for the GOP presidential nomination, but trails in Iowa, says he plans to broadcast the ad in Iowa and New Hampshire starting Tuesday. It has gotten a lot of free attention in advance.

As the Feb. 1 Iowa caucuses approach, Trump plans to spend $1 million in television in the Hawkeye State and another $1 million in New Hampshire, according to a news release from his campaign.

Hillary Clinton: Republicans aren't ignorant; they're doing the bidding of energy industry

Republicans will roll back President Obama's policies if they win the White House this year, Hillary Clinton warned Monday before a crowd of hundreds at her first stop in Iowa in the new year.

While praising Obama's expected rule changes this week to strengthen gun-control laws, Clinton said, "They could be undone the first day by a Republican president."

Facing a Republican majority in Congress that is all but certain to block any new legislative initiatives, Obama has turned to existing law to find ways to use his executive authority to accomplish his policy priorities. Thus any rules he enacts are within any succeeding president's power to enforce -- or strip away.

The Obama administration's regulations on power plants intended to stem pollution and curb climate change fall into that category, and Clinton criticized Republicans for denying the science of climate change. 

"I don't think all Republicans are that ignorant," she said. "I think they’re doing the bidding of the fossil fuel industry, the Koch brothers, and others of their big donors and puppeteers." 

Clinton has five more campaign stops scheduled in Iowa before she heads to Nevada on Wednesday. 

Bill Clinton returns to New Hampshire, where he's among 'so many' old friends

 (Jim Cole / Associated Press)
(Jim Cole / Associated Press)

Don't call it a comeback: He's been here for years.

Bill Clinton, who famously dubbed himself the "comeback kid" after a strong second-place finish in the 1992 New Hampshire primary, couldn't help but be in a nostalgic mood as he returned here Monday to campaign for his wife. (As are we, with the quarter-century-old LL Cool J reference.)

In his familiar soft Southern accent, Clinton started off with an expert retail politicking move: noting "so many of my old friends" were in the audience, including Nashua's new mayor, who just won the job back after serving until 1992. Clinton called it a "good omen," referring to his own ascendance to the White House that year.

Clinton, 69, conceded that as he has watched the 2016 election play out -- especially the Republican race -- he feels like "I don't fit anymore."

So he played the role of the elder statesman that he is. In a sober, yet concise, 30-minute speech to more than 700 supporters, the former president laid out what he saw as the critical questions of the election.

"How do you have inclusive prosperity, inclusive social policy, more inclusive politics, and stop us from going in reverse at the very moment when we’re poised to grow together?" he asked.

He detailed his wife's record in elected and appointed office but just as importantly, he said, what she did before she "was elected to anything" - citing programs she launched and bipartisan policy she pursued as Arkansas' and the nation's first lady.

"Everything she touched, she made better," he argued. "She was just a change maker."

He made little mention of his wife's potential Republican opponents and none of the Democrats she must first defeat to win the nomination. But there were occasional allusions to the policies of Republicans like Donald Trump as he urged voters not to discount the heated rhetoric of the opposition.

"It's kind of scary this year, but believe it or not, most everybody actually tries to do what they say they're gonna do when they're running," he said. "They are telling you what they believe. And so you’ve got to take them seriously.”

California influence comes through for Hillary Clinton's campaign

 (Steven Senne / Associated Press)
(Steven Senne / Associated Press)

California may not hold caucuses, but take a look at Hillary Clinton’s campaign and you can see the state’s influence on display.

The  Democratic front-runner on Thursday will hold an event in San Gabriel to kick off "Asian  Americans and Pacific Islanders for Hillary." Joining Clinton is  Democratic Rep.  Judy Chu, chairwoman of the Congressional Asian Pacific  American Caucus and the first Chinese American woman elected to Congress. San  Gabriel’s population is 48.9%  Asian.

Clinton,  who overwhelmingly  won the Asian vote during the 2008 Democratic primary, "will  discuss what’s at stake in this election for the AAPI community, and how she’ll  fight for them as president," according to a release from the campaign  that promises "a number of events and activities that will engage,  energize and organize AAPI voters." 

A   Clinton news release from a similar kickoff in 2007 boasted that the growing group  of voters has "particular political strength in several early  caucus/primary states" and cited California’s eligible voter pool of  Asians more than doubled from 1990 to 2005. 

She won the Asian vote in California over then-Sen. Barack Obama by 3 to 1 in 2008.

Later  Thursday, Clinton will raise money in what is being billed as a "family  celebration" at the Jim Henson Co. Lot in Los Angeles. 

As we  reported last month, the event is hosted by Lisa Henson and David Pressler.  Lisa is Jim Henson’s daughter and CEO of the company that the Muppets built.  Pressler, a well-known artist and illustrator, is her husband. The afternoon  fundraising event costs $500 for general admission, $1,000 for one adult and one  child under age 16 and $2,700 for two adults and children. Or event hosts  can raise $10,000 or contribute $5,400 in primary dollars for a family photo  with Clinton for two adults and children. 

Clinton  also will join mega investor and the "Oracle of Omaha" Warren Buffett at  the home of Karen and Russell Goldsmith in  Los Angeles on Thursday night. Tickets are $2,700. Co-hosts must raise $10,000  to get a photo with Clinton and hosts can attend a host reception and get the photo if they raise $50,000.

Democratic  National Committee member Shefali  Razdan Duggal, on Clinton’s National Finance Committee, sent an  email to her network urging them to buy tickets for what she dubbed two "inspiring  events."   

On  Friday, Clinton will have another "family celebration" at the  Innovation Hangar in San Francisco and an event at the home of Sarah and Greg Sands in  Palo Alto. 

The  California stops come after Clinton pointedly  lauded new laws here and  in Oregon to expand voter registration.

"California and Oregon have the right idea. I hope more states follow their lead," she said in a statement on Saturday. (Clinton has called for automatic voter registration when citizens turn 18, a position also supported by her chief primary rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders.)

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Hillary Clinton kicks off swing through Iowa and western U.S.

With less than a month until the Iowa caucuses kick off the presidential nominating contests, Hillary Clinton will spend two days bouncing around the state this week. 

Her first event is Monday morning in Davenport, across the Mississippi River from Illinois. She'll also be in Des Moines, Sioux City and Council Bluffs. 

Clinton then heads to Nevada on Wednesday, where she'll hold another campaign event and attend a forum with the other two Democratic presidential candidates, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley. Finally, she'll travel to California on Thursday and Friday, mostly to raise money.

Hillary Clinton's campaign unleashes a weapon: Bill

 (Charlie Neibergall / Associated Press)
(Charlie Neibergall / Associated Press)

Hillary Clinton's campaign is launching a four-week sprint to the first nominating contests of the 2016 election by deploying its most significant supporter -- former President Bill Clinton -- to the campaign trail Monday.

For her campaign, his presence provides a boost and a risk. He is stepping out from his largely behind-the-scenes role of fundraising as popular as ever with Democrats and even some swing voters, but he's also susceptible to headline-grabbing, message-scuttling unpredictability that vexed his wife's campaign eight years ago.

And Republican front-runner Donald Trump, never shy about shining a spotlight on even the most trivial liability of a rival, has in recent days eagerly talked up the former president's history of sexual indiscretions.

Clinton, though, will be on friendly turf as he stumps across New Hampshire -- a state that revived his candidacy in 1992, setting him on a path to the White House, and delivered an unexpected victory to Hillary Clinton in 2008. Now she is eager to snuff out Sen. Bernie Sanders' unlikely challenge before he can do to her what she did to President Obama in 2008 -- extend a nomination fight that might well have ended in New Hampshire.

Unlike the 2008 contest, though, Bill Clinton is being dispatched to the campaign trail from a position of strength. It was exactly eight years ago, the day after Barack Obama’s shock victory in the Iowa caucuses, that Clinton ramped up his campaigning on his wife’s behalf in the Granite State. His schedule would soon rival that of many of the candidates, packing in big crowds at school gymnasiums and small ones at local watering holes.

In the days before the first primary, he infamously struck at what he viewed as then-Sen. Obama’s muddled record on the Iraq war, labeling Obama's portrayal of himself as a staunch foe to the conflict a “fairy tale.” Weeks later, on the day of the South Carolina primary, the former president dismissed Obama’s expected victory by noting that Jesse Jackson, another African American candidate, carried the state in 1988.

Still, Clinton provided real value to his wife as the primary season slogged on, holding event after event in states such as Ohio and Pennsylvania that Hillary Clinton would ultimately win to extend the nomination battle.

Any bitterness over the 2008 race seemed forgotten after Obama won the White House. Bill Clinton’s 2012 convention speech on behalf of Obama’s reelection provided a crucial shot in the arm for the Democratic ticket.

Just how active the former president will be on his wife’s behalf this year is still uncertain. As he campaigned for a Democratic Senate hopeful in 2014, he joked that he was mostly retired, but like a stabled race horse, every so often he'd be trotted out to see whether he could still round the track.

Hillary Clinton, who held three campaign events of her own in New Hampshire on Sunday, teased his arrival as an unalloyed asset.

“He’s so excited,” she told voters in Derry.

But soon after, she stared down a woman, reported to be a Republican state representative, who was shouting from the audience about Bill Clinton’s infamous past.

"You are very rude and I'm not going to ever call on you," Clinton responded. The audience cheered her.

Here's Donald Trump's first TV ad

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump has pledged repeatedly to air ads, and now his campaign has released its first, saying it will be broadcast in Iowa and New Hampshire starting Tuesday.

The Iowa caucuses are four weeks out - get to know the presidential candidates

 (Ethan Miller / Getty Images)
(Ethan Miller / Getty Images)

The Iowa caucuses are four weeks from today. Get to know the candidates and stay informed with this Los Angeles Times graphic on the 2016 field.