Cleveland’s attempt to restrict protests outside Republican convention is unconstitutional, court rules
Restrictions on speeches and parades outside next month’s Republican National Convention were struck down by a federal judge Thursday as unconstitutional.
At a Thursday morning hearing, U.S. District Judge James S. Gwin said he would issue a preliminary injunction forcing the city of Cleveland to rewrite its restrictions for a potentially contentious convention expected to draw up to 100,000 politicians, delegates, supporters, protesters and media.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio had sued the city of Cleveland in a lawsuit that also included a liberal group, Organize Ohio, and a conservative group, Citizens for Trump, that had hoped to hold parades near the convention events in the heart of the city.
The city’s regulations restricted parades to 18 separate 50-minute time slots on a single route near the convention. The city also had banned all sound amplifiers larger than bullhorns and all speaking platforms within a security zone that stretches more than three square miles within the city.
Libertarian Gary Johnson wants no part of name-calling battle between Clinton and Trump
In a general election campaign dominated by back-and-forth accusations of lies and bickering over temperament by the presumptive nominees of the major parties, Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson has no plans to jump into the fray.
And he’s certain it will help him pick off some votes.
“Really, stick to the issues, stick to issues that are facing this country, and there are plenty,” Johnson, a former New Mexico governor, said Wednesday night at a town hall hosted by CNN, when talking about his long-shot campaign for the White House.
Johnson, who was also the Libertarian Party’s nominee four years ago, is fighting for attention as Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, and Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, castigate each other daily in speeches and on social media.
More than candidates in past elections, Trump and Clinton are struggling to make voters like them.
Polls indicate neither is succeeding – a fact not lost on Johnson and his running mate, former Massachusetts GOP Gov. Bill Weld, who joined him at the town hall Wednesday. In low-key campaign appearances, both have called the two-party system broken and a major problem facing the country.
A CNN/ORC poll released this week showed voters disenchanted with Clinton and Trump – a trend that’s been consistent for both candidates throughout the primary and now into the general election. In the survey, 60% said they had an unfavorable view of Trump, compared with 56% for Clinton. By contrast, 15% had an unfavorable view of Johnson, but half said they’d never heard of him.
When asked at the town hall to describe Clinton in a single word, Johnson called the former secretary of State “a wonderful public servant.”
A single-word to describe Trump?
“I’m sure there’s something good to say about Donald somewhere,” said Johnson, who has publicly condemned Trump for his rhetoric about Mexicans and Muslims.
Johnson also fielded questions about gun control, abortion rights and healthcare.
When a survivor of the June 12 attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., asked Johnson why he’s not a proponent of stricter firearm reforms, he demurred.
But when pressed by the moderator about whether he supports the gun-control sit-in on Capitol Hill, Johnson said he did not. Among prime reasons for the sit-in was the rejection by a committee to hold a House vote on a proposal that would have prevented terrorism suspects on FBI watch lists, such as Orlando shooter Omar Mateen, from buying guns.
Both Clinton and Trump supported the proposal.
“I think that these lists are subject to error,” Johnson said, before adding it’s a “really difficult issue.”
Sanders acknowledges Democratic race is over
Bernie Sanders acknowledged on Wednesday that he is unlikely to win the Democratic presidential nomination, but did not end his campaign or endorse rival Hillary Clinton.
“It doesn’t appear that I’m going to be the nominee,” Sanders said during an hour-long interview with C-SPAN.
It was the clearest public statement Sanders has made acknowledging that the contest is over. He is scheduled to deliver a speech titled “Where We Go From Here” on Thursday in New York City.
Sanders had already moderated his message after Clinton clinched the nomination earlier this month, ending his attacks on her and turning to presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump.
But Sanders has held back his endorsement of Clinton as he has sought to push her to the left on issues that were centerpieces of his campaign, including income inequality, campaign-finance reform, education and healthcare.
“We have disagreements. She is clearly an establishment Democrat,” Sanders said in the interview.
He said his staff was negotiating with Clinton’s aides “every day” about these issues. He called on Clinton to pick a “progressive” running mate rather than one who is “backed by Wall Street,” and said he is not being vetted for the vice presidency.
Sanders also said he hopes to land a speaking slot at next month’s Democratic National Convention, but said one has not been confirmed.
The general election might have begun, but Hillary Clinton still sounds a lot like she did during the primaries
The end of the primary season doesn’t mean that Hillary Clinton is running to the center.
On Monday in Ohio, Clinton will be joined on the campaign trail for the first time by Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, a favorite of the Democratic Party’s progressive base.
And on Wednesday, Clinton used an economic speech here to double down on some of the more liberal themes of her primary campaign against democratic socialist Bernie Sanders — and even use some of his own rhetoric.
She outlined five key goals for her administration on the economy: a major investment in infrastructure, raising the minimum wage; making college “debt-free for all,” encouraging businesses to engage in profit-sharing and a revamp of the tax code so that Wall Street and the “super-rich” pay their share.
“When people say the game is rigged, the best evidence is the tax code,” she said.
Clinton also renewed her promise not to raise taxes on the middle class.
In whole, Clinton said her economic platform was progressive and pragmatic, reviving a favorite line of her primary stump speech.
Even in a dysfunctional Washington, Clinton said she was sure she could get results. She cited her record of working with Republicans as first lady and later as senator, including launching the Children’s Health Insurance Program even after her attempt at broader health reform failed.
“It’s not easy to change Washington or how corporations behave,” she said. “It takes more than stern words or a flashy slogan. It takes a plan. And it takes experience, and the ability to work with both parties to get results.”
What is different now from the primary is that she has a Republican to compare her plans with. She said Donald Trump had no ideas about how to address the debt crisis, no “credible plan for rebuilding our infrastructure” apart from his proposal to build a wall along the border with Mexico and no strategy for creating jobs beyond a “string of empty promises.”
“We can’t let Donald Trump bankrupt America the way he bankrupted his casinos,” she said. “We need to write a new chapter in the American dream, and it can’t be Chapter 11.”
Is the vice presidency worth more than a bucket of warm spit?
The selection of a vice presidential running mate is one of those political rituals so firmly fixed you can practically set a watch by it.
The presumptive presidential nominees quietly vet assorted prospects. Observers loudly — if blindly — speculate on who’s in the running. Names are floated, then shot down.
The pundits solemnly remind us this will be The First Executive Decision the White House hopefuls make after emerging from the muck of the primaries, offering a glimpse inside their heads if not their political souls.
Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump are both now deeply immersed in the process, having narrowed their prospects to roughly half a dozen finalists, though few know the actual number, much less the names of those under serious consideration.
Brent Scowcroft, top foreign policy advisor to four GOP presidents, endorses Clinton
Brent Scowcroft, the national security advisor to President George H.W. Bush and one of the leading figures of the Republican national security establishment, endorsed Hillary Clinton for president Wednesday.
The endorsement is the most high-profile indication yet of the depth of discomfort that Republican foreign policy figures feel about Donald Trump as their party’s nominee.
The Clinton campaign sees doubts about Trump’s ability to handle foreign policy as a major plus for their side. Endorsements by well-known Republican foreign policy figures could add to her advantage on that front.
“The presidency requires the judgment and knowledge to make tough calls under pressure,” Scowcroft said in a statement in which he did not mention Trump’s name. Clinton “has the wisdom and experience to lead our country at this critical time.”
Scowcroft, 91, served in senior positions under Presidents Ford and Reagan, in addition to his post in the first President Bush’s White House. He served as an informal advisor to President George W. Bush, although his public warnings against going to war in Iraq distanced him from the administration.
Trump has alienated many Republican foreign policy experts with his criticism of NATO, his seeming embrace of Russian president Vladimir Putin, his trade protectionism and his casual statements about nuclear weapons.
The Clinton campaign has largely kept those GOP figures at arm’s length so far. Any overt connection with them could worsen tensions with Sen. Bernie Sanders and his supporters. Scowcroft, however, is somewhat less of a lightning rod than others because of his skepticism about Iraq.
Hillary Clinton brushes off Donald Trump’s attacks with a sigh
Hillary Clinton offered a determined rebuttal Wednesday to Donald Trump’s scathing speech, calling his attacks baseless and a sign that perhaps she had “gotten under his skin.”
She defended the work of her husband’s post-presidential foundation, an occasional source of controversy since she launched her campaign.
“The Clinton Foundation helps poor people around the world get access to lifesaving AIDS medicine,” she said. “Donald Trump uses poor people around the world to produce his line of suits and ties.”
Speaking to more than 2,000 people at the North Carolina state fairgrounds, Clinton seemed at ease in brushing off Trump’s attacks, which, she noted, even extended to her own faith.
“Sigh,” she said, a one-word rebuttal to Trump speculating a day earlier that Clinton’s faith life was an unknown. In fact, she has talked repeatedly over the years about her Methodism.
Calling her rival simply “Donald,” she said Trump “hates it when anyone points out how hollow his sales pitch really is.” He attacked her personally because he has no substantive solutions, she charged.
“All he can do is try to distract us,” Clinton said.
Earlier, she alluded to Trump’s attack as she discussed the birth of her second grandchild this month. She said that all children, even those who don’t have former presidents and secretaries of State as grandparents, deserve a chance to succeed.
“That has been the cause of my life,” she said. “It’s rooted in values that I learned from my family and my faith. We are all in this together. And we have a responsibility to lift each other up.
“As we Methodists like to say, do all the good you can to all the people you can in all the ways you can.”
C-SPAN isn’t showing the House sit-in because lawmakers turned off the cameras
For nearly two hours, Democrats have staged a sit-in on the House floor, demanding a vote on stricter gun laws. But you won’t see it on C-SPAN.
House majority leaders control the network’s TV cameras. Republicans have turned them off, which they do whenever the House is in recess, as it was when the sit-in began.
Representatives and media, including the Los Angeles Times’ Sarah Wire, are using Twitter, Snapchat and Periscope to fill the void.
This isn’t the first time members of the House have stopped the cameras from rolling. In 2008, Nancy Pelosi shut off the lights and cameras on the House floor while Republicans spoke about offshore drilling.
Donald Trump delivers broadside against Hillary Clinton: ‘She gets rich making you poor’
Donald Trump attempted to relaunch his troubled campaign Wednesday with a scripted speech fusing his anti-trade economic message with a series of attacks on Hillary Clinton that ran the gamut from harsh, to unprovable to false.
It was in many ways two speeches, one designed to show a more disciplined politician who could capitalize on Americans’ economic anxieties over globalism with promises to restore manufacturing jobs and protect blue-collar workers from what Trump characterized as a threat from immigrant labor.
The second major aspect of the speech, the attack on Clinton, mixed controversies in her career and serious questions about her record with allegations that came largely from a book, “Clinton Cash,” which chronicled various scandals in her career but draws some conclusions that go beyond the available evidence.
The unifying theme was the allegation that Clinton has personally benefited from trade deals that have hurt the American economy.
“We got here because we switched from a policy of Americanism – focusing on what’s good for America’s middle class – to a policy of globalism, focusing on how to make money for large corporations who can move their wealth and workers to foreign countries all to the detriment of the American worker and the American economy,” Trump said, reading from a teleprompter in one of his New York properties.
Put more succinctly: “She gets rich making you poor.”
House Democrats hold sit-in to push for vote on gun-control bill
Citing concerns about either a Clinton or Trump presidency, Marco Rubio says he will run for reelection to Senate after all
Sen. Marco Rubio announced Wednesday that he will seek reelection, a risky political move and a reversal from his vow to return to private life following a failed White House bid.
Rubio’s about-face launches a high-stakes gamble for the charismatic young Republican. If he wins a second term, he could help Republicans in their uphill struggle to keep control of the Senate this fall. But an embarrassing defeat would brand him as a two-time loser, potentially damaging the Floridian’s future presidential prospects.
In a statement released Wednesday, Rubio, 45, said his decision was motivated by a concern that neither a Hillary Clinton or a Donald Trump administration will be able to adequately handle the challenges ahead, ranging from terrorism to a slowing economy.
“No matter who wins the White House, we need a strong group of principled, persuasive leaders in Congress who will not only advance limited government, free enterprise and a strong national defense, but also explain to Americans how it makes life better for them and their families,” Rubio said. “I ultimately changed my mind about this race because on that front, and in that fight, I believe I have something to offer.”
Trump makes claims about Clinton that fall short of evidence
Two weeks after California’s primary, Clinton’s lead over Sanders narrows slightly while many ballots remain
California election officials continued to count ballots on Tuesday, with the latest tally showing a slight narrowing in the Democratic presidential race and most of the uncounted votes cast as provisional ballots.
In all, more than 7.8 million ballots have been counted from the statewide primary that’s now two weeks in the rear-view mirror. A report published late Tuesday by Secretary of State Alex Padilla showed more than 784,000 ballots still had to be reviewed.
Play the race to 270 votes
A presidential candidate needs 270 electoral votes to win the White House. Most states predictably vote red or blue, but a small handful swing either way and make up the main election battlegrounds. What does it take to win the presidency?
Green Party candidate courts Sanders’ supporters
Green Party candidate Jill Stein sent a message to Bernie Sanders supporters on Wednesday: Get behind my already existing revolutionary party.
“[Bernie Sanders] was trying to have a revolutionary campaign in a counter-revolutionary party,” Stein said in an interview with CNN’s “New Day.” “I’m basically inside of a revolutionary party that supports this agenda.”
Stein lauded Sanders’ efforts but said the Democratic Party worked against the Vermont senator’s more socialist-leaning agenda.
Like Sanders, Stein calls for free college tuition and erasing student debt, which she said the government can pay for without a significant burden on taxpayers.
“If we bailed out the guys who crashed the economy through their waste, fraud and abuse, it’s certainly time that we need to bail out our younger generation,” Stein argued.
In the last election, Stein received less than 1% of the vote nationwide. Green Party activists hope to do better this time around, in part by capitalizing on Sanders’ success. Relatively few polls have asked voters their opinion about her candidacy.
Trump: Clinton uses ‘blood money’ to fund her campaign
Donald Trump slammed donations to Hillary Clinton as “blood money” fueling her campaign, during an interview that aired Wednesday.
“Every time she raises this money, she is making deals. [Donors are] saying, ‘Can I be the ambassador to this, can I do that? Make sure my business is being taken care of,’” Trump, the presumptive GOP nominee, told CBS.
Trump’s accusations that Clinton will hand out favors to donors came amid his efforts to confront his own fundraising woes. He reported having just $1.3 million in cash on hand at the end of May, compared with Clinton’s $42 million.
Clinton warned voters in a speech Tuesday against Trump’s economic ideas and said that if he were president, his inflammatory remarks could put global markets in jeopardy.
“He’s written a lot of books about business — they all seem to end at Chapter 11. Go figure,” Clinton tweeted on Wednesday, quoting her speech and alluding to Trump’s bankruptcies.
Clinton zings Trump on his economic plans: ‘Alexander Hamilton would be rolling in his grave’
Hillary Clinton warned Tuesday that Donald Trump’s business record disqualified him from overseeing the nation’s economy, arguing that his policies and temperament risked sending the U.S. into a recession and setting off a global panic.
The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee’s address to a battleground-state audience here followed the same template as one she delivered on national security on the eve of the California primary, featuring several barbed attacks on Trump, her likely Republican general-election opponent.
“Just like he shouldn’t have his finger on the button, he shouldn’t have his hands on our economy,” Clinton said.
And just as she did in her national security address in San Diego, Clinton repeatedly used Trump’s words and the few policy details he’s offered against him — confessing at one point even she had to ask her own staff: “He really said that?”