Obama's advice for the next president: The White House isn't the campaign trail

Welcome to Trail Guide, your host through the wilds of the 2016 presidential campaign. It's Tuesday, Dec. 1, and here's what we're talking about:

  • President Obama  warns 2016 hopefuls that the job looks different from the White House
  • Ben Carson says Syrian refugee camps are "quite nice"
  • Hillary Clinton's emails offer a glimpse into the mundane and occasionally the absurd
  • As world leaders convene in Paris for major climate talks, the debate over global warming as a national security issue is popping up on the campaign trail , the L.A. Times' Evan Halper reports
  • The members of California's congressional delegation are starting to line up behind candidates

A notable absence from Hillary Clinton's big night with supporters from Capitol Hill

 (Alex Wong / Getty Images)

(Alex Wong / Getty Images)

Warren, of Massachusetts, has not yet made any endorsements in the presidential race but is expected to do so.

Donald Trump on climate talks: 'What a ridiculous situation'

Donald Trump posted his thoughts on President Obama's visit to the Paris climate change summit Tuesday.

"While the world is in turmoil and falling apart in so many different ways, especially with ISIS, our president is worried about global warming," said Trump, shown sitting at a desk in a leather chair.

"What is Obama thinking?" read the caption that accompanied the clip.

Trump said this week that Obama's statements about the threat of climate change are among the "dumbest statements" in politics.

Trump is not the only presidential hopeful taking shots at the president's attendance in Paris.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Sen. Marco Rubio and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush have said Obama is placing too much emphasis on the climate.

Read updates on the Paris climate talks

If politics doesn't pan out, Trump could try poetry

 (Scott Olson / Getty Images)

(Scott Olson / Getty Images)

If Donald Trump doesn't win the presidency, there's always a chance he could be the next U.S. poet laureate.

Just ask reporter and humorist Hart Seely, who's managed to find the poetry in the Donald's interviews, speeches and tweets. Seely has turned the Republican presidential front-runner's words into verse in his book "Bard of the Deal: The Poetry of Donald Trump," out Dec. 15.

Seely told that he's no poetry expert, but he's fascinated by the New York real estate mogul. "He's clearly a brilliant man. He goes to all of these speeches and talks about how smart he is, though," Seely said. "Nine out of 10 people who come up to you to tell you how smart they are, they're idiots."

Read more at The Times' Jacket Copy for a sample of his work.

Read more

Cruz: ‘Anyone who wants contraceptives can access them’

Ted Cruz says birth control is as easy as plopping 50 cents in a vending machine “and voila!”

Cruz was swatting back Democratic criticism that Republicans have engaged in a “war on women,” in part by efforts to block access to contraception coverage including in the Affordable Care Act.

“Last I checked, we don’t have a rubber shortage in America,” the Republican presidential hopeful said at a town hall meeting in Iowa, as nervous chuckles filled the room.

“Jiminy Cricket, this is a made-up, nonsense example,” said Cruz, the 44-year-old senator and father of two young girls. “Look, when I was in college we had a machine in the bathroom you put 50 cents in, and voila!”

“So yes, anyone who wants contraceptives can access them,” Cruz said.

Democrats suggested that Cruz quit “mansplaining” women’s health and “listen to women.”

“His insistence that condoms are a substitute for the contraception many women need to prevent unintended pregnancies, and for other health reasons, shows he hasn’t got a clue when it comes to women’s health,” said Kaylie Hanson of the Democratic National Committee.

Cruz has been surging in Iowa, in part thanks to his outreach to Christian voters who appear to be providing momentum to his campaign.

Obama to GOP field: climate threat looks different when you're president

President Obama speaks at a news conference in Paris this morning. (Getty Images)

President Obama speaks at a news conference in Paris this morning. (Getty Images)

President Obama offered his would-be successors a piece of advice on Tuesday, suggesting they might have to eat their words from the campaign trail if they ever actually end up in the White House.

“One of the things you find is when you're in this job,” he said, is that “you think about it differently than when you're just running for the job.”

In a news conference wrapping up his participation in the massive United Nations summit on climate change in Paris, Obama warned that the U.S. president can’t adopt a parochial view in the fight against global warming.

“American leadership involves not just playing to American constituency back home,” Obama said. As president, he went on, “you now are in fact at the center of what happens around the world. And that your credibility and America's ability to influence events depends on taking seriously what other countries care about.”

Though he didn’t reference the recent comments of Republican presidential candidates in particular, he did seem aware of rhetoric from the GOP field on the subject of climate change.

Donald Trump said this week that Obama’s assertions about the climate threat are among the “dumbest statements” in politics. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie thinks Obama puts too high a priority on fighting global warming, arguing on NBC on Tuesday that the president should focus more on “the climate right now between people and their government.” Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida echoed the sentiment.

But speaking with reporters before his departure from Paris, Obama suggested that a GOP president might find himself or herself at odds with the wider world on the subject of carbon emissions.

“Whoever is the next president of the United States, if they come in and they suggest somehow that that global consensus, not just 99.5% of scientists and experts, but 99% of world leaders, think this is really important,” he said. “The president of the United States is going to need to think this is really important. And that's why it's important for us to not project what's being said on a campaign trail but to do what's right and make the case.”

That said, Obama predicted that it won't be a Republican president trying to address these issues in 2017.

“I'm anticipating a Democrat succeeding me,” Obama said. “I’m confident in the wisdom of the America people on that front.”

Carson: Syrian refugee camps 'quite nice'

After visiting Syrian refugees in Jordan last week, Republican candidate Ben Carson told CNN that the camps are “really quite nice” but acknowledged that the refugees want to return home rather than stay in a temporary settlement. He recalled his experience in an interview with NBC on Tuesday and insisted that the Americans should support the efforts to care for Syrians, but not by inviting them into the country.

“Bringing them into this country does not solve the problem, and it exposes us to danger,” Carson said during an interview with “Today” host Matt Lauer on Tuesday.

Carson went to Jordan last week to shore up his platform on foreign policy. He said that the Syrians he met with expressed a desire to return to their homes after the violence in Syria subsides and that they don’t want to resettle in an unfamiliar culture.

But Carson’s comments ignored that the refugee camps are intended to be only a way station for some of the millions of Syrians who’ve fled the country during its five-year-old civil war. Their plight has been the subject of fierce debate over whether to allow some Syrian refugees into the U.S., with dozens of governors and most Republican presidential candidates deeming such a move too much of a security risk. The Obama administration has said it will accept at least 10,000 Syrians here this fiscal year.

During interviews with CNN and elsewhere, Carson also tried to explain his earlier comment that Syrians are “rabid dogs,” saying the media misinterpreted his words. He said the Syrians he met were welcoming in their temporary homes.

“They are satisfied to be in the refugee camps if the refugee camps are adequately funded,” Carson said. “[They] recognize that in these camps they have schools, they have recreational facilities that are really quite nice. And there are all kind of things that make life more tolerable.”

Bringing them in, though, opens a door for potential terrorists, too, Carson insisted. He said the U.S. needs to send funds and resources until the refugees can return home.

Trump wants to charge CNN $5 million for the debate

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to supporters at a Nov. 28 campaign rally in Sarasota, Fla. (Steve Nesius / Associated Press)

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to supporters at a Nov. 28 campaign rally in Sarasota, Fla. (Steve Nesius / Associated Press)

It may cost CNN $5 million to bring Donald Trump on stage at the Dec. 15 Republican debate. Trump suggested at an event in Georgia on Monday that he will consider charging the network for his appearance and donating the funds to wounded veterans.

“How about we do this with CNN? I won't do the debate unless they pay me $5 million and the money goes to wounded warriors or vets,” Trump said.

He previously said he would charge $10 million, to go to charities, for the Sept. 16 debate.

The Republican front-runner said the high ratings from each debate rake in considerable money in advertising. He said he may back out if the network doesn’t pay, but also that an absence would provide more chances for his opponents to attack his goals.

"So what will happen is they'll say, ‘Oh, Trump is chicken,"' he said.

Trump continued to guarantee a wall on the border with Mexico to keep people from entering the U.S. illegally.

"If you don't have borders, you don't have a country,” Trump said. “I'm sorry. ... We've gotta get our country back, folks."

Obama has a 2016 prediction and it won't surprise you

Omarosa: Once a surprise Hillary guest, now a Trump 'personal friend'

Reality television followers might have experienced some whiplash Monday after Omarosa Manigault showed up for a two-hour private meeting between the Coalition of African American Ministers and Donald Trump in New York.

In a statement, Trump said they discussed "issues of faith, job creation, illegal immigration and unifying communities to Make America Great Again."

As Seema Mehta points out, Manigault, who starred in Trump’s "The Apprentice" series, was a surprise guest at a "Ready for Hillary" event in Los Angeles in late 2013.

At the time, the reality television star who once worked in Bill Clinton’s White House offered praise for the former first lady as organizers encouraged Hillary Clinton to run for president.

"All of us have to stick together and get behind this sister because I’m going to tell you, when I was at the White House, she cared about each and every one of us and she made sure we stayed connected to the issues that were important," Manigault said two years ago.

But Monday, she called Trump a "personal friend" and predicted, "The more America gets to know the billionaire candidate, the more they will love him and they will support him."

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Hillary Clinton's emails: the remainders

More than 7,800 pages of Hillary Clinton's emails from her time as secretary of State were released Monday, and while we brought you some already, others merit a look, too, whether they're revealing or just plain absurd. We'll let you decide which is which:

Read more