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Potential Trump running mate takes abortion rights position

Democrats gathered in Florida this weekend to hash out their platform ahead of the party’s convention later this month.

Obama to go to Dallas on Tuesday for memorial

(Susan Walsh / Associated Press))

President Obama will travel to Dallas on Tuesday for a memorial for the victims of Thursday’s sniper attack in that city, the White House announced.

The announcement from White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest came Sunday as the president wrapped up an abbreviated visit to Spain and prepared to head home.

Speaking to U.S. service members at a naval base before leaving Spain, Obama noted the anxieties Americans are feeling about security threats at home and abroad.

“As tough as the challenges are, as serious as the threats that we face, the one thing that I have learned during the time I have had the privilege to be president of the United States is that the American people are good, and they are decent,” he said.

“People of good will will ultimately overcome the forces that seek to divide us.”

The White House said Obama would speak Tuesday at an interfaith service at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center at the invitation of Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings.

Potential Trump running mate says he supports abortion rights

Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who has been widely discussed in the last few days as a possible running mate for Donald Trump, said Sunday that women should be the ones to decide about abortion and that same-sex marriage is not a big issue, positions that dramatically conflict with the views of many conservative Republicans.

In an interview with ABC’s Martha Raddatz, Flynn, who has been an outspoken critic of the Obama administration’s policies toward counter-terrorism, said he did not know if he was being vetted as a potential running mate, but that he was “honored” to be considered.

The New York Post and the Washington Post have both reported that Trump was actively considering Flynn, along with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.

“Service to this country is an honor. I am honored to be even in this discussion,” Flynn said. “If people are serious about it, I have to be serious about it.”

But he appeared unprepared for the spotlight on some domestic policy issues.

Asked about his views on same-sex marriage, he initially responded, “I don’t have any” before adding, “I’m all about national security.”

“What people do in their private lives, these are not big issues that our country is dealing with,” he said.

That stand might be enough of a problem for conservatives within the GOP, many of whom do see same-sex mariage as a big issue. But Flynn’s response on abortion likely will generate even greater opposition to his potential candidacy.

“I think women have to be able to choose what they — it’s sort of a right of choice,” he said. “They are the ones that have to make the decision.”

The Republican party has staunchly opposed abortion in nearly all cases since the 1980s, and a candidate who favors abortion rights would be unthinkable for many delegates to the GOP nominating convention, which begins in Cleveland in just over a week.

Flynn also said he remains a registered Democrat, having grown up in a “very Democratic family” in Rhode Island.

“The Democratic party that exists in this country is not the Democratic party that I grew up around in my upbringing, not at all, totally different,” he said.

But, he added, he had not changed his registration because “I vote for leadership.”

During his long military career, he seldom voted, he added. He served in the Army from his graduation from college in 1981 until 2014. At the time of his retirement, he was the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency.

Flynn also criticized Hillary Clinton for her speech Friday in Philadelphia, where she talked about the responsibility that white Americans have to heed what African Americans have to say about their experience with abuse at the hands of police.

It was “totally irresponsible where she talked about white people being to blame,” Flynn said.

“There’s one race that we have to worry about, and that’s the human race,” he said.

Flynn also criticized FBI Director James B. Comey for publicly saying that he would not recommend criminal prosecutions of Clinton or her aides stemming from the investigation of her handling of classified emails.

Comey should have made his recommendation privately to the Justice Department, he said.

Who will win 270?

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?

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