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PEABODY — Following state Rep. Leah Cole's weekend announcement of her plans to resign from office, House Speaker Robert DeLeo can only confirm at this point that there will be a special election, but not when.

“In the near future, Speaker DeLeo, in consultation with the Secretary of State, will issue a precept setting dates for a special election to fill the vacancy in the Twelfth Essex District," said Whitney Ferguson, a staffer in DeLeo's office, via email.

Peabody is in the midst of its regular city election, with Election Day quickly approaching Nov. 3.

"The Speaker wishes Representative Cole success in her future endeavors and thanks her for her service to the Commonwealth and City of Peabody,” Ferguson wrote.

Cole, 26 and a Peabody Republican, released a statement Sunday, saying she planned to step down after just a term-and-a-half in office to pursue her nursing degree full-time.

She plans to resign effective Sept. 28. Cole was first elected in a special election in 2013 to succeed late Peabody Rep. Joyce Spiliotis, who had died in office. Cole  was re-elected in 2014.

The 12th Essex District represents most of the city except for one precinct in Ward 5 and all of Ward 6.



LYNN — City Council President Daniel Cahill announced his candidacy Thursday afternoon for the special election to fill the legislative seat being vacated by veteran state Rep. Robert Fennell. His announcement came  an hour after the Massachusetts House of Representatives approved a May 10 special election to fill the 10th Essex District seat.

“Having served the residents of Lynn over the past 12 years as a School Committee member, Councilor at large and Council president, I can continue my service as your next state representative,” Cahill wrote in a Facebook posting.

Fennell, a 21-year House veteran, is scheduled in a week, perhaps longer, to start his job as Water and Sewer CommissionDeputy Director. The commission hired him last December with a  $119,000 annual salary.

Elected to the School Committee in 2004 and to the council in 2007, Cahill has been Council president since January, 2014. Cahill said he  will continue serving on the council , while running for representative.

“You don’t replace 21 years of seniority and experience, but I feel I am the candidate who can hit the ground running,” Cahill said.

Nomination papers for the special election were sent by the Massachusetts Secretary of State’s election division to the City Clerk’s office on Thursday. Candidates must file by 150 certified signatures of voters by March 1. Democratic and Republican primaries are scheduled for April 12.

As of 5 p.m. Thursday, Cahill was the only candidate to take out papers for the May 10 election.

“I don’t see a lot of people going for it,” said former Councilor at large Loretta Cuffe O’Donnell.

The 10th Essex District includes voters living in Ward 1, Precincts 3 and 4; Ward 2; Ward 3, Precincts 1 and 3; Ward 4, Precincts 1 and 2 and Ward 5, Precincts 2 and 3.

Fennell is the fourth area legislator in three years to leave office for other pursuits. Peabody state Rep. Leah Cole announced her exit last year and former state Reps. Stephen Walsh and Kathi-Anne Reinstein departed the House in 2014.

There is a special election underway to fill Cole’s seat. Former Councilor Brendan Crighton won election to the West Lynn andNahant seat Walsh represented in a three-candidate Democratic primary and longtime Reinstein aide RoseLee Vincent now represents Revere in the House along with House Speaker Robert DeLeo.



By Jon Schuppe

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson announced Wednesday he would not attend the next GOP debate in Detroit, admitting that his poor primary performance left him without much of a plan.

RELATED: Ben Carson has no plan to win the nomination – or drop out

“I do not see a political path forward in light of last evening’s Super Tuesday primary results,” Carson said in a statement Wednesday afternoon.

Carson picked up just eight delegates in the 12 nominating contests held Tuesday, by far the least of any of the five remaining Republican candidates.

The announcement appeared to indicate he was withdrawing from the race. But Carson, a wealthy retired surgeon, did not explicitly say that was the case. He vowed to continue his “grassroots movement.”

Carson said he’d clarify things in a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland on Friday.


Who Spent the Most on the Air in Super Tuesday States?

From our ad-tracking partners at SMG Delta, here's what the Republican candidates spent in the 11 states where they competed tonight.

Team Trump: $1.1 million

Team Kasich: $282,000

Team Rubio $4 million

Team Cruz: $7 million


And here's what the Democrats spent:

Team Sanders $5.2 million

Team Clinton $6.4 million


Clinton's Big Margins with African-American Voters

One of the big headlines on the Democratic side tonight is just how overwhelming Clinton's support was with African-Americans

Take a look at these margins among black voters, according to exit polls:



Clinton 92%

Sanders 6%



Clinton 90%

Sanders 10%



Clinton 83%

Sanders 16%



Clinton 75%

Sanders 22%



Clinton 80%

Sanders 18%



Clinton 85

Sanders 12



Clinton 84

Sanders 16




Bernie Sanders


Bernie Sanders is running for the Democratic nomination even though he has never officially described himself as a Democrat before. A self-described Democratic Socialist, the Vermont senator is an independent in politics and chooses to caucus with the Democrats in the Senate. Sanders has had a long career in politics, rising from mayor of Burlington (1981 to 1989) to the U.S. House (1991-2007), then the Senate (2007-present).

When his campaign started, Sanders was viewed as a kind of protest candidate. The unofficial but widely-acknowledged leader of the liberal wing of the Democratic Party, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, decided not to run despite an effort to draft her into the race. So Sanders opted to run instead to represent similar views.

 The Democratic Socialist: Bernie Sanders Scouting Report 2:41

As expected, Sanders has proposed policies, like free tuition at all public colleges and a Medicare-for-all health system, that are to the left of Hillary Clinton and the Democratic establishment.

A big part of Sanders' authenticity is his consistent commitment to economic inequality reform. He bemoans rising income inequality and the growing concentration of wealth. His message has helped close the gap nationally between him and Clinton, but is viewed as unlikely to defeat Clinton.

So far in the primary contest, Sanders has seen victories in New Hampshire, Vermont, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Minnesota.


Hillary Clinton


It's her second and likely final shot at the Democratic nomination. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton launched her 2016 presidential bid on April 12 with a Tweet and a campaign video in which she cast herself as the champion of a middle class still struggling to emerge from recession. "Americans have fought their way back from tough economic times, but the deck is still stacked in favor of those at the top," Clinton said. "Everyday Americans need a champion, and I want to be that champion." Clinton repeated that theme in the formal announcement speech she gave June 13 on Roosevelt Island in New York. "Prosperity can't be just for CEOs and hedge fund managers. Democracy can't be just for billionaires and corporations," she said.

Since her announcement, Clinton has since become even more bold while speaking about economic issues. The unexpected rise of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has pushed Clinton's economic posture to the left, including announcing her support of debt-free college, crack down of large financial institutions and opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.

After losing a fierce campaign against then-Senator Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination in 2008, Clinton served four years as his Secretary of State. Clinton has been a fixture in American politics since her husband, Bill Clinton, was elected president in 1992. The former First Lady began her electoral career by winning a senate seat from New York in 2000, just as the Clintons were preparing to leave the White House.

Clinton has faced a unexpected challenge by independent Sen. Bernie Sanders who has appealed to young voters and middle income Americans. Clinton, however, continues to be the Democratic frontrunner, winning 10 states so far in the primary contest.


Donald Trump

 “presumptive nominee”


Donald Trump has been a fixture of American culture for decades. As a real estate mogul, Trump has made his mark -- literally -- on cities across the country, branding hotels, casinos, resorts and even airlines with the "Trump" name. His 1987 best-selling book, "The Art of the Deal" helped Trump become a celebrity, a status that was cemented with his reality television series, "The Apprentice."

Trump had flirted with running for president many times and in 2000, he briefly ran for the Reform Party nomination. Few took him seriously in 2015 when he began talking about running for the Republican Party nomination until he actually announced and began seriously campaigning.

 Donald Trump Scouting Report: Big Bucks, Big Words 2:56

In a much-criticized announcement speech, Trump made illegal immigration his top cause, calling Mexicans crossing the southern border into the United States criminals and rapists. Trump's rallies attracted large crowds and the businessman began rising in the polls, eventually rising to the top of the GOP field in early primary states and nationally.

While his poll numbers rose, so did his rhetoric. Trump has criticized his fellow Republicans, often in personal ways. He has criticized Washington leaders of both parties for being ineffective in halting illegal immigration and making international trade deals and has made a rallying cry of his campaign slogan, "Make America Great Again."



The results are in, here is how the North Shore voted.

Democratic Primary

Lynn: Clinton 6,068 (50.88%) Sanders 5,580 (46.79%)

Saugus: Sanders 2129 (48.63%) Clinton 2,112 (48.24%)

Swampscott: Clinton 1,913 (53.81%) Sanders 1,590 (44.72%)

Peabody: Clinton 4,986 (50.32%) Sanders 4,534 (45.76%)

Revere: Clinton 3,690 (52.27%) Sanders 3,060 (43.35%)

Lynnfield: Clinton 991 (52.24%) Sanders 859 (45.28%)

Marblehead: Clinton 2,701 (55.06%) Sanders (43.91%)

Nahant: Clinton 498 (50.50%) Sanders 467 (47.36%)


Republican Primary

Lynn: Trump  2,491 (63.05%) Rubio 479 (12.12%) Kasich 395 (10.00%) Cruz 384 (9.72%) Carson 87 (2.20%)

Saugus: Trump 2,512 (68.45%) Rubio 428 (11.66%) Kasich 330 (8.99%) Cruz 259 (7.06%) Carson 58 (1.58%

Swampscott: Trump 824 (45.44%) Kasich 438 (24.15%) Rubio 324 (17.87%) Cruz  129 (7.11%) Carson 30 (1.65%)

Peabody: Trump 4,222 (61.37%) Rubio 921 (13.38%) Kasich 870 (12.64%) Cruz 509 (7.39%) Carson 148 (2.15%)

Revere: Trump 2,280 (72.92%) Rubio 294 (9.40%) Kasich 223 (7.13%) Cruz 205 (6.56%) Carson 45 (1.44%)

Lynnfield: Trump 1,381 (56.06%) Kasich 409 (16.60%) Rubio 391 (15.87%) Cruz 192 (7.79%) Carson 34 (1.38%)

Marblehead: Trump 1,230 (39.74%) Kasich 830 (26.81%) Rubio 696 (22.48%) Cruz 195 (6.30%) Carson 47 (1.51%)

Nahant: Trump 280 (58.33%) Kasich 91 (18.95%) Rubio 57 (11.87%) Cruz (6.25%) Carson 16 (3.33%)



New York (CNN)Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders tangled over her judgment and his grasp of policy in a tense and at times personal debate here Thursday, less than a week before the pivotal New York primary.

Held in prime time and on a weeknight -- unlike most Democratic debates -- the CNN-sponsored event was the highest-profile opportunity for both campaigns to make their final arguments before Tuesday's crucial vote in a state where both contenders have strong roots. Clinton is looking to New York to solidify her role as front-runner, while a strong showing -- or a victory -- for Sanders would deal a significant blow to her confidence and bolster his campaign's argument that the party's so-called super delegates should switch their allegiance to him.
Here are six takeaways from the most combative Democratic debate yet:

1. A question of judgment

Bernie Sanders on Clinton: 'I do question her judgment'


Bernie Sanders on Clinton: 'I do question her judgment' 02:44
The Democratic candidates took sharp aim at one another almost immediately over a series of issues, including the Iraq War, Wall Street and questions about judgment and qualifications to be president.
Both contenders shifted back and forth between offense and defense, a sharp departure from the calmer tone of the party's earlier debates.
Sanders began by explaining a recent comment he made on the campaign trail in which he suggested Clinton was "unqualified" to be president.
"Does Secretary Clinton have the experience and intelligence to be president? Of course she does. But I do question her judgment," Sanders said, pointing to her Senate vote for war in Iraq, her willingness for her campaign to benefit from millions of dollars spent on her behalf by super PACs and her relationship to Wall Street.
"Senator Sanders did call me unqualified. I've been called a lot of things in my life. That was a first," Clinton responded, pointing to the fact that she was elected twice to the Senate and chosen as secretary of state.
Clinton then counter-attacked, citing an interview Sanders gave to the New York Daily News in which he struggled to provide specifics about his plans for breaking up banks and other issues.
"Talk about judgment and talk about the kinds of difficulty he had answering questions, including his core issues," Clinton said.
The sparring continued throughout the night, so much so that at one point, CNN debate moderator Wolf Blitzer moved to break up the fighters.
"If you're both screaming at each other, the viewers won't be able to hear either of you," Blitzer said after Clinton and Sanders spent several seconds talking over each other.

2. Clinton further than ever from a general election pivot

Hillary Clinton

to win New York Democratic Primary

live odds

Will the odds go up or down?

Just a month ago, Clinton appeared poised and eager to pivot to the general election and start building a case against a Republican nominee.
But Thursday's attacks on Sanders showed that her campaign realizes that she has to turn all of her attention to her left flank.
At previous debates, she seemed to spend as much time talking about Republicans as Sanders. Not in Brooklyn.
Clinton arrived at Thursday's debate with policy knives sharpened and ready. An hour before the contest, her campaign released a memo outlining the case she would make against Sanders and repeatedly released briefings throughout the night that both tried to defend her from attacks. At every turn possible, she criticized him on gun regulation, the release date of his tax returns, how he would break up big banks, provide Medicare for all and other issues.
Her campaign knows that next week's primary could be a major opportunity for her to stop Sanders' fast-growing momentum -- or else. With time running out before Democrats go the polls, Clinton's aggressive tactics suggest that she knows she needs to start making some of the blows against Sanders count.

3. 'Think big' or get things done?

A key difference in Clinton's and Sanders' approaches to governing was on full display during the debate over climate change.
Clinton is a politician who is content with incremental change, seeing it as the most realistic -- if not the only -- way to achieve her goals. The Vermont senator wants sweeping change, and believes the nation's problems are too big for singles and doubles. He wants to swing for the fences.
Their debate over climate change, in particular, highlighted their contrasting philosophies.
"Incremental steps are not enough," Sanders said after Clinton knocked him for faulting the recent international Paris agreement on climate change.
Clinton fired back, "I don't take a back seat to your legislation that you have introduced that you have been unable to get passed."
This is the heart of their differences: To Sanders, the Paris climate agreement does not go far enough, and therefore isn't good enough. To Clinton, the Paris agreement was the best deal possible.

4. Clinton won't give on transparency

Clinton campaign won't release speech transcripts


Clinton campaign won't release speech transcripts 02:30
Once again, Clinton came under fire for keeping the content of her highly paid speeches to financial firms under wraps after she left the State Department.
Sanders has hammered her for refusing to release transcripts of remarks she made to companies like Goldman Sachs, gigs that have earned her millions.
"Why not just release the transcripts and put this whole issue to bed?" CNN co-moderator Dana Bash asked Clinton.
Clinton tried to use the question to criticize Sanders over financial reform, but Bash continued to press the issue. Clinton said she only would release transcripts if Republicans did the same.
"There are certain expectations when you run for president. This is a new one. And I've said, if everybody agrees to do it -- because there are speeches for money on the other side. I know that," Clinton said, and again pivoted to Sanders by criticizing him for not yet releasing his tax returns.
Sanders responded that he planned to release a year of tax returns Friday and would unveil more soon, which turned the attention back on Clintons' unwillingness to release the transcripts.
The exchange highlighted Clinton's struggle with transparency--whether it's over her State Department emails or what she tells Wall Street behind closed doors.

5. One place where Sanders and Clinton agreed: Regrets

Hillary Clinton apologizes for husband's crime bill


Hillary Clinton apologizes for husband's crime bill 01:12
Clinton and Sanders both acknowledged that the aggressive measures they championed in the 1990s to fight crime have proven to have disproportionately negative affects on African American communities, a fact for which she apologized Thursday.
When asked if the move was a "net positive" in the fight against crime, Clinton defended the good intentions of the measure, saying "it had some positive aspects to it," but conceded that as new information has come to light about the adverse affects of policy, so should approaches to problems.
"If we were to have the balance sheet on one side there are some positive actions and changes. On the other side there were decisions that were made that now we must revisit and we have to correct," she said, adding later: "I'm sorry for the consequences that were unintended and that have had a very unfortunate impact on people's lives. I've seen the results of what has happened in families and in communities. That's why I chose to make my very first speech a year ago on this issue... because I want to focus the attention of our country and to make the changes we need to make."
In a rare moment of agreement during an otherwise contentious night, Sanders also expressed regret for some of the outcomes of the bill.
"Much of what Secretary Clinton said was right. We had a crime bill. I voted for it. It had the Violence Against Women Act in it," he said. "But where we are today is we have a broken criminal justice system. We have more people in jail than any other country on Earth. And in my view, what we have got to do is rethink the system from the bottom on up. And that means, for a start -- and we don't talk about this. The media doesn't talk about it -- you got 51 percent of African-American kids today who graduated high school who are unemployed or underemployed. You know what I think? Maybe we invest in jobs and education for those kids, not jails and incarceration."

6. But no apology from Sanders on guns

The apologies largely stopped there, however, as Clinton took on Sanders over gun policy.
When Blitzer said that a parent of a victim of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings had called on Sanders to apologize for opposing a measure that would allow victims of gun violence to sue firearms companies, he declined.
"I voted against this gun liability law because I was concerned that in rural areas all over this country, if a gun shop owner sells a weapon legally to somebody, and that person then goes out and kills somebody, I don't believe it is appropriate that that gun shop owner who just sold a legal weapon to be held accountable and be sued," Sanders said. "But, what I do believe is when gun shop owners and others knowingly are selling weapons to people who should not have them -- somebody walks in. They want thousands of rounds of ammunition, or they want a whole lot of guns, yes, that gun shop owner or that gun manufacturer should be held liable."
"So, Senator, do you owe the Sandy Hook families an apology?" Blitzer asked.
"No, I don't think I owe them an apology. They are in court today, and actually they won a preliminary decision today. They have the right to sue, and I support them and anyone else who wants the right to sue."


Bundle up for politics in the dead of winter.

Dates for elections to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Republican state Rep. Leah Cole have been set with Feb. 2 as a special state primary and March 1 for the final special election.

The dates were set by the office of Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo and Secretary of State William Galvin. The primary is designed to winnow down each party’s candidates to a single person.

The March 1 final will be held on the same date as the state’s presidential primary, which should, among other things, save the city some money.

The presidential election could also impact the state representative race with a larger than average turnout.

At present, two Peabody Republicans have announced their intention to compete in a city GOP primary. Stephanie Close Peach, 24, was Cole’s legislative aide, while Jaclyn Corriveau, 25, just recently joined the party and is the campaign manager for City Councilor Anne Manning-Martin.

On the Democrat side, only City Councilor Jim Moutsoulas has declared his intention to run, although others, including colleague and former state Rep. Tom Walsh, have said they are considering entering the race.

The winter elections somewhat mirror the situation that first sent Cole, a political novice, to Beacon Hill in 2013. In that case, as well, it was a special election precipitated by the death of Rep. Joyce Spiliotis.

With a low turnout, Cole won the April 2013 final, garnering fewer than 2,000 votes. Cole had the luxury, however, of competing against a Democrat and an independent who had previously been a Democrat.

Much of the post-election analysis revolved around the belief that Beverley Griffin Dunne and Dave Gravel split the Democrat vote, thereby handing Cole a narrow victory. She did go on to handily win re-election the following year, however, in a two-person race versus Dunne, who had defeated Moutsoulas in the primary.

This election comes relatively soon. “And in a short period of time,” notes former Mayor Mike Bonfanti.

“It’s the better known candidate and the one that has the most money that has an edge. ... The best known and the one who hustles the most,” he said. The latter qualification, he considers, is the “Peter Torigian principle,” citing the former, longtime mayor famous for his nonstop, door-to-door campaigns.

Bonfanti also applauds the decision to schedule the election the same day as the presidential primary. He estimates the savings to Peabody at around $25,000.

For his part, Moutsoulas is bullish on his chances regardless of who may later enter the Democratic primary. “I made my official announcement on Monday,” he said. Renting a private room at Kelly Square Pub, he was pleasantly surprised, he says, when 128 people showed up. He’s raised $3,500. “My signs are up and going. They’re all over the place.”

“It’s going really well,” says Corriveau of her effort. “People are so enthusiastic. And I’m knocking on doors every day.” While not able to cite an exact figure, she adds that money is “not going to be an issue.” She is the only candidate to have pulled papers thus far, according to Brian McNiff, spokesman for the Secretary of State’s office.

Peach did not return a phone call for comment by this paper’s deadline on Thursday.

Those interested in running for the 12th Essex District seat, which represents Ward 1 to 4 and two precincts in Ward 5, have until 5 p.m. on Dec. 22 to submit their nomination papers with 150 signatures that can be certified.

Hillary Clinton didn’t just lose New Hampshire – she got clobbered, losing to rival Bernie Sanders across virtually every demographic.

Despite the campaign’s attempt to downplay the defeat as “long anticipated,” the astonishing turnout for Sanders now raises serious questions about the former secretary of state’s appeal going into the next round of contests – not just South Carolina, but Nevada and the many delegate-heavy states that vote in March.

Republicans were all too eager to point out that the Democrats’ longtime front-runner has a problem on her hands.

“The word momentum is very important, and certainly, there's not a lot of momentum there,” Donald Trump, the Republican winner Tuesday night, told Fox News.

Whether Clinton is facing a 2008-level crisis remains to be seen. Democratic strategist Joe Trippi said the “test” for Sanders will be whether he can expand his support to black and Latino voters, or if New Hampshire was his “high water mark.”  

The Clinton campaign minces no words in suggesting that once states with a bigger minority population vote, Clinton will recover.

“The nomination will very likely be won in March, not February, and we believe that Hillary Clinton is well positioned to build a strong – potentially insurmountable – delegate lead next month,” campaign manager Robby Mook said in a memo Tuesday night, noting the electorates in the first two contests are largely rural/suburban and white.

But Clinton, who won New Hampshire in 2008, still lost across virtually every voting group Tuesday including women, exit polls show.

The exit polling showed Sanders won among women, 55-44 percent; among moderates, 58-39 percent; and among voters under 50 by a huge margin.

Sanders won across voters of every education level and every income level – except for those making over $200,000, among whom Clinton had the edge.

The major demo won by Clinton Tuesday night was the over-65 bloc, which backed her 55-44 percent.

Overall, Sanders won the state, 60-38 percent.

Clinton still leads heavily in the polls in critical states like South Carolina and Florida, and it’s unclear whether Sanders will be able to transfer his momentum from the Northeast – his home turf – to the South.

While non-Hispanic white residents make up more than 91 percent of the New Hampshire population, Census figures show they make up just 62 percent of the overall U.S. population – meaning minority voters will be a bigger factor going forward.

In New Hampshire, though, exit polls show Clinton only won the state’s small non-white demographic by a single percentage point. 

The exit polling data in the Granite State still holds troubling signs for the campaign. She lost big among voters looking for a candidate who is honest and trustworthy – though won among voters whose priority in a candidate is experience. It’s a factor Clinton is likely to hit hard in the days ahead, as she squares her foreign policy record at the State Department against Sanders’ – whose main foreign policy resume item was his vote against the Iraq war, which he mentioned again at his victory rally Tuesday night.

“Tonight we serve notice to the political and economic establishment of this country,” Sanders declared.

Meanwhile, Clinton’s loss revives speculation about a possible campaign shake-up.

The Clinton campaign had denied such reports before the New Hampshire vote. 

But while Clinton also told MSNBC on Monday she has “no idea what they’re talking about or who they are talking to” regarding the Politico piece, she did acknowledge her campaign is “going to take stock." Reports indicate the campaign may be looking more to add staff -- rather than fire people.

The Republicans, meanwhile, charge into South Carolina and Nevada with the race remaining tight and unpredictable. Trump scored a decisive win over the rest of the Republican field, recovering after his second-place finish last week in Iowa to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

But Ohio Gov. John Kasich, among the worst performers in Iowa, scored second in New Hampshire. And the race for third was tight, potentially giving every candidate in the top five a reason to keep running.

Cruz was ultimately declared the third-place finisher by Wednesday, followed by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

All three are indeed vowing to keep charging ahead. Bush told CBS News on Wednesday that the field will “whittle down” and he is a “patient person.”

Cruz potentially heads to more friendly territory in South Carolina, looking to build on his Iowa win which was aided by the strength of the evangelical vote. And Rubio, who stumbled in a rocky debate performance Saturday, vowed to supporters Tuesday that he’ll keep fighting and a performance like that “will never happen again



NORTH CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA George W. Bush returned to the campaign trail on Monday for the first time since he left the White House, mounting a defense of his legacy and his brother Jeb's campaign after both were targeted by Donald Trump during the South Carolina Republican debate last weekend.

The former President issued a series of thinly-veiled attacks on Trump and touted his brother as a "steady hand" in a time of emerging national security threats.

"I understand that Americans are angry and frustrated but we do not need someone in the Oval Office who mirrors and inflames our frustration," George W. Bush told a crowd of 3,000 gathered in North Charleston. "We need someone who can fix the problems that cause our anger and frusturation, and that's Jeb Bush."

George W. Bush never mentioned the Republican frontrunner's name, but the contrast he drew between "his big little brother" and Trump was obvious as he defined "real strength" coming from "integrity and character."

"Strength is not empty rhetoric, it is not bluster," George W. Bush said, flanked on stage by former First Lady Laura Bush and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, who has endorsed Jeb's campaign. "And in my experience, the strongest person usually isn't the loudest one in the room.


Jeb Bush spoke directly after his brother, ditching his signature eyeglasses and delivering one of the more impassioned speeches of his campaign -- embracing his brother's record in the same words he used during the GOP debate Saturday.

"While Donald Trump was building a reality TV show, my brother was building a security apparatus to keep us safe and I'm proud of what he did," he said.

Bush called it "weird" for Trump to discuss "impeaching a Republican two-term president who is extraordinarily popular for good reason among Republicans" on the debate stage.

"Some of the dialogue back and forth made me wonder - if closed my eyes, I thought it was Michael Moore on the stage," Jeb joked.

But Bush said the campaign was bigger than Trump.

"I can beat Hillary Clinton. I can promise you that," he told a roaring crowd, which appeared as equally enamored with him as they were with his brother. "The only way we win is to do what Republicans, when they win, always do. Campaign like George W. did. Campaign like Ronald Reagan did."

The younger Bush has been reluctant for most of the race to publicly draw on his brother's support, but he finally decided to put his brother to work in South Carolina, with its heavy population of veterans and multiple military bases.

It remains to be seen whether this gambit will pay off. While it's true the former president is personally popular in the state and won a competitive primary in South Carolina, that was sixteen years ago.

The crowd here, though, only wished that he had come out onto the trail sooner.

"Bringing in his brother would have brought more spotlight to him than he got," Aaron Holley, an undecided Republican voter from Charleston, told CBS News. "I think bringing in George was a good idea. And I think he should have done it earlier."

George W. Bush privately met with South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley prior to his appearance in Columbia, South Carolina. He praised the nation's first Indian-American woman to become Governor. Haley's endorsement is highly coveted -- especially by the campaigns of Bush and Marco Rubio.

"Thank goodness our country welcomed her parents from India when they immigrated here in 1969," George W. Bush said of Haley.


Donald Trump is now leading Saturday’s South Carolina Republican primary by 5 points – down from his 16-point lead in the state a month ago, according to results from a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll.

Trump gets support from 28 percent of likely Republican primary voters in the state, while Ted Cruz gets 23 percent. They’re followed by Marco Rubio at 15 percent, Jeb Bush at 13 percent and John Kasich and Ben Carson at 9 percent each.




Feb 23: Nevada Republican Caucus

In the United States, Super Tuesday, in general, refers to the Tuesday in February or March of a presidential election year when the greatest number of states holdprimary elections to select delegates to national conventions at which each party's presidential candidates are officially nominated. The phrase "Super Tuesday"[1]has been used to refer to presidential primary elections since at least 1976.[2] More delegates can be won on Super Tuesday than on any other single day of the primary calendar; accordingly, candidates seeking the presidency traditionally must do well on this day to secure their party's nomination. In 2008, Super Tuesday was February 5; 24 states held primaries or caucuses on this date, with 52% of all pledged Democratic Party delegates and 49% of the total Republican Partydelegates at stake.[3] The 2016 Super Tuesday will be held on March 1.

Since Super Tuesday primaries are typically held in a large number of states from geographically and socially diverse regions of the country, Super Tuesday typically represents a presidential candidate's first test of national electability. Convincing wins in Super Tuesday primaries have usually propelled candidates to their party's nomination. The particular states holding primaries on Super Tuesday have varied from year to year.




The 1984 primary season had three "Super Tuesdays".[4] Decided on "Super Tuesday III" were delegates from five states: South DakotaNew MexicoWest Virginia,California and New Jersey.[5] The proportional nature of delegate selection meant that Walter Mondale was likely to obtain enough delegates on that day to secure the support of a majority of delegates and hence the nomination, no matter who actually "won" the states contested. However, Gary Hart maintained that unpledgedsuperdelegates that had previously claimed support for Mondale would shift to his side if he swept the Super Tuesday III primary.[6] Once again, Hart committed afaux pas, insulting New Jersey shortly before the primary day. Campaigning in California, he remarked that while the "bad news" was that he and his wife Lee had to campaign separately, "[t]he good news for her is that she campaigns in California while I campaign in New Jersey." Compounding the problem, when his wife interjected that she "got to hold a koala bear", Hart replied that "I won't tell you what I got to hold: samples from a toxic waste dump."[6] While Hart won California, he lost New Jersey after leading in polls by as much as 15 points. Mondale secured the majority of delegates from the primaries, leading the way for him to take the Democratic nomination.[4] (The 1984 Republican Party primaries were uncontested as incumbent President Ronald Reagan was the assured nominee).[citation needed]

The phrase "Super Tuesday" was next used to describe the primary elections that took place on March 8, 1988, in the Southern states of TexasFloridaTennessee,LouisianaOklahomaMississippiKentuckyAlabama, and Georgia leading up to the 1988 November election. In the 1988 Democratic Party primariesSouthern Democrats came up with the idea of a regional primary in an effort to nominate a moderate candidate who would more closely represent their interests. (Their plan ultimately did not succeed as Dick GephardtJesse JacksonAl Gore, and Michael Dukakis split the Super Tuesday primaries, and Dukakis was subsequently nominated.) Meanwhile, George H.W. Bush secured most of the delegates in the 1988 Republican Party primaries. From 1996 to 2004, most of these Southern primaries were held the week after Super Tuesday, dubbed "Southern Tuesday" by news commentators.[citation needed]

In 1992, Super Tuesday was on March 10. After losing earlier primaries, Democrat Bill Clinton emerged as a candidate "back from the dead" when he convincingly won a number of Southern primaries on Super Tuesday. Clinton ultimately went on to win the Democratic nomination and the presidency, defeating incumbent H.W. Bush, who was largely uncontested in the Republican primaries.[citation needed]

In 1996, Super Tuesday was on March 12. Bob Dole's Super Tuesday sweep sealed his bid for the Republican nomination. Clinton, as the incumbent president, was unopposed in the Democratic primaries.[citation needed]

In 2000, Super Tuesday was on March 7. Sixteen states held primaries on Super Tuesday, the largest presidential primary election day in U.S. history up to that point. In 2000, approximately 81% of Democratic delegates and 18% of Republican delegates needed to secure nomination were up for grabs on Super Tuesday. That year, Democrat Al Gore and Republican George W. Bush cemented their nomination bids with Super Tuesday victories, and both went on to win their parties' nominations.[citation needed]


Seven states held caucuses or primary elections on Mini-Tuesday in 2004. Bluedenotes Democratic-only contests (4) andPurple represents states that held elections for both parties (3).
Main article: Mini-Tuesday

In 2004, several states moved their presidential contests up to February 3, 2004 in order to increase the relative importance of their election results. Ultimately, five states held primaries and two held caucuses on this date, a date eventually christened Mini-Tuesday or, alternatively, Super Tuesday I by pundits, with the traditional March Super Tuesday date, March 2, christened Super Tuesday II, or just simply "Super Tuesday."


Twenty-four states held caucuses or primary electionson Super Tuesday, 2008Blue denotes Democratic-only contests (3), Red illustrates Republican-only contests (2), and Purple represents states holding elections for both parties (19). Notes: American Samoa (not shown) is Democratic only.

To increase importance of their votes, many states moved up their primaries to February 5, 2008. This new, earlier cohort of primaries and caucuses has thus come to be referred to as "Super Tuesday." (By way of denoting its political magnitude, some pundits have variously dubbed it "Giga Tuesday," "Mega Giga Tuesday," "Tsunami Tuesday" or even "Super Duper Tuesday."[7] "Super Tuesday" is, however, the nominal term and the one most widely used.)

In the spring of 2007, 24 states with over half the delegates to the national conventions moved to change their primary dates to February 5, 2008, creating the largest "Super Tuesday" to date. Newswriters and political pundits noted that it would dwarf the Super Tuesday primaries in previous cycles.[7] With only four states holding elections on the year's other Super Tuesday of March 4, 2008, one pundit said "this year, however, Super Tuesday isn't so super."[8]

Democratic primariesHillary ClintonBarack Obama
Number of states won on Super Tuesday 12 11
Number of delegates won on Super Tuesday 834 847
Republican primariesJohn McCainMitt RomneyMike HuckabeeRon Paul
Number of states won on Super Tuesday 9 7 5 0
Number of delegates won on Super Tuesday 511 176 147 10


Main article: Super Tuesday, 2012

Super Tuesday in 2012 took place on March 6, 2012, totaling 419 delegates (18.3% of the total) in 10 states on the Republican side.[9] (The Democratic primarieswere uncontested as incumbent President Obama was the assured nominee.) While the impact of this week in 2012 was dwarfed by preceding Super Tuesday contests, frontrunner Mitt Romney was able to pad his lead significantly, with wins in six states and over half the delegates at stake going into his column. However, Santorum's three wins (and a near-win in Ohio) allowed him to carry on for at least another month.

Republican primariesMitt RomneyRick SantorumNewt GingrichRon Paul
Number of states won on Super Tuesday 6 3 1 0
Number of delegates won on Super Tuesday (OH 4 unalloc.) 225 89 80 21


Super Tuesday in the 2016 election cycle is scheduled to be held on March 1, 2016. This date has been dubbed the "SEC Primary", since many of the participating states are represented in the U.S. collegiate Southeastern Conference.[10][11]

The participating states include: AlabamaAlaska Republican caucuses, ArkansasColorado caucuses, GeorgiaMassachusettsMinnesota caucuses, Oklahoma,TennesseeTexasVermontVirginia, and Wyoming Republican caucuses.[11]




President Obama named federal appeals judge Merrick Garland on Wednesday as his pick to succeed Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court – setting up a showdown with Republicans who have vowed to block the choice.

Obama, who said he went through a rigorous and comprehensive screening process, said Garland would bring “integrity, modesty and an even-handedness” to the Supreme Court.

“I said I would take this process seriously, and I did,” Obama said at the Rose Garden ceremony. 

Yet within minutes, Republicans doubled down on their opposition to confirming any nominee in an election year, insisting that the vacant seat not be filled until a new president is sworn in.

“It is a president’s constitutional right to nominate a Supreme Court justice and it is the Senate’s constitutional right to act as a check on a president and withhold its consent,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor. 

Obama, anticipating the swift resistance, urged Republicans to reconsider, adding it would be unprecedented for Garland not to at least get a hearing.

“I hope they’re fair. That’s all,” Obama said. “To give him a fair hearing and up or down vote.”

Obama said earlier Wednesday that it was both his “constitutional duty to nominate a justice and one of the most important decisions that I – or any president – will make.”

He added, “I’m doing my job. I hope that our senators will do their jobs, and move quickly to consider my nominee.”

A Senate confirmation is required for any nominee to join the bench. 

Before the announcement, Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, also told Fox News that neither he nor his GOP colleagues on the Senate Judiciary Committee would back down and declared once more he would stop the nomination from going forward.

“We’ve been clear,” Lee said of his plan to reject Garland’s nomination.

Garland has served under both Republicans and Democrats. He clerked for the court’s liberal icon, Justice William J. Brennan Jr. In 1997, 32 Republicans voted in favor of his nomination, including seven who are still members of the Senate.

Garland was mentioned as a possible nominee when Justice Paul Stevens retired in 2010.

The vacancy ultimately went to Justice Elena Kagan.

Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, the No. 3 Democratic leader, called Garland's section, "a bipartisan choice," adding: "If the Republicans can't support him, who can they support?"

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, who spoke to Obama Wednesday morning, said in brief remarks on the Senate floor that Republicans must act on the president's choice. "He's doing his job this morning, they should do theirs," said the Nevada Democrat.


JUPITER, Fla. -- The media advisory read, "Donald J. Trump for President Press Conference." On GOP frontrunner Donald Trump's campaign website, under "Schedule," it said, "Press Conference in Palm Beach, FL" with the location listed at Mar-a-Lago, Trump's private Palm Beach club.


And Trump took the stage in front of supporters, with reporters exiled to the back primed to yell questions, just as the campaign has set up at three previous election night events. Everything seemed normal - normal for a Trump election night, anyway.

One problem: Trump took the stage, spoke for about twenty minutes, and then left without taking questions, which is typically the point of a press conference.

There was no infomercial-like touting of the Trump brand like last week. There were no "Trump Steaks" off to the side. It was just another odd election night with Trump.


NEW YORK – In what could have been the final Democratic presidential debate of the 2016 election, Bernie Sanders, the 74-year-old socialist insurgent, positioned himself as the future of the Democratic Party, while Hillary Clinton steamrolled her rival with a steady stream of facts and pragmatism.

Thursday’s debate at Brooklyn’s Navy Yard, the ninth this cycle, was the most contentious yet, and it came just days before the make-or-break New York primary on April 19.

“History has outpaced Secretary Clinton,” Sanders said, a day after 27,000 (mostly) young people filled Washington Square Park in Manhattan to see him.

Sanders made that point discussing criminal justice reform, an issue that underscores more than any other how far the Democratic Party has come during Clinton’s career in public life. Her introduction to the political stage came in 1992, when her husband, then-Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton, made a show of taking time off the presidential campaign trail to oversee the execution of a black man in Arkansas.

Hillary Clinton has evolved with her party and adroitly found the pulse of the broad Democratic coalition. Where she’s out of step with the base, it’s by choice, such as her defense Thursday night of a $12 federal minimum wage instead of the $15 floor favored by Sanders and most labor unions.




4/14/16, 10:07 PM ET

Sanders calls 'super predator' a racist term

The debate reminded voters that Clinton has been in the center of politics for a long time and has had to abandon a lot of former positions to get here.


Her invocation of “super predators” once in the 1990s has haunted her and her husband on the campaign trail this year. “It was a racist term, and everybody knew it was a racist term,” Sanders said Thursday.

Sanders has been in politics a long time as well but always on the outskirts. The progressive base, though so far not the wide party coalition, has caught up with where Sanders has been along.

“I think the future of the Democratic Party is not simply raising money from wealthy campaign contributors,” he said on his signature issue about campaign finance.

The dynamic produced a fiery and illuminating debate. Here are five takeaways.

A debate conducted in all caps

All signs suggested this would be the most feisty debate yet between the Democratic nominees, and it did not disappoint. The tone was loud – the debate was conducted at a near yell for the entire two hours – and at times even sarcastic.

“Secretary Clinton called them out?” Sanders said of his rival’s tough talk on Wall Street. “Oh, my goodness, they must have been really scared by this. Was that before or after you received huge sums of money from them?”

The rowdy crowd, stacked with supporters of both sides, cheered on their candidates and booed the other. Each campaign was given 400 tickets to hand out to loyal fans.

4/14/16, 9:25 PM ET

Clinton: Sanders also attacking Obama over Super PACs


The candidates repeatedly spoke over each other, leading moderator Wolf Blitzer of CNN to scold them like children. “You’re both screaming at each other. The voters won’t be able to hear either of you,” he said.

When not talking past each other, they glared and rolled their eyes.

Clinton on offense

Clinton has typically alternated between ignoring and attacking Sanders, but tonight, she delivered some of her fiercest pummeling yet.

She came swinging immediately out of the gate, saying Sanders was out of his depth on foreign policy and unable to talk about it “without having some paper in front of him.”

In one sentence, she summed up her argument: “It’s easy to diagnose the problem; it’s harder to do something about the problem.”

Clinton landed blows once again on guns. “He kept his word to the NRA,” she said of Sanders. And she delivered one of the loudest applause lines of the entire night by noting that throughout so many debates, “We’ve not had one question about a woman’s right to make her own decisions about abortion.”


Jewish voters make up nearly 1 of every 7 New York Democratic primary voters, according to a new NBC News poll, and Israel emerged as a key issue between Clinton and Sanders.

The candidates played against type on the Israeli-Palestinian debate, with Sanders, who is Jewish, speaking up for the rights of Palestinians, while the more hawkish Clinton advocated for Israel’s conservative government. The argument at times was a toxic well of lefty political debates, with each adopting positions that would be familiar to any college dorm room debater.

Sander criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s rigidity. And he knocked Clinton for devoting so little time to the plight of Palestinians in her recent speech to AIPAC, the Jewish lobby group that Sanders snubbed last month by declining to speak to them.

Clinton defended Netanyahu – his job is “very difficult,” she said – and said the U.S. should engage in the region only “without ever undermining Israel’s security.”

New York state of mind

Both candidates claim New York connections, but Clinton, the state’s former senator, worked harder to highlight them. “I love being in Brooklyn. This is great,” Clinton said at one point. In her opening remarks, she made sure to praise “New York values” – the term Sen. Ted Cruz used to smear Donald Trump as an East Coast liberal.

4/14/16, 11:08 PM ET

Sanders predicts nomination win


Sanders, with his outer-borough accent, declares his origin with every word he speaks. But he reserved direct appeals for his closing argument. “I grew up in Brooklyn the son of an immigrant,” he said, telling his family’s story.

Meanwhile, Sanders continued to downplay Clinton’s large wins with Southern black voters. He got “murdered” in the Deep South, he acknowledged, but “we are out of the Deep South now.” It’s a risky proposition for a candidate who needs to perform better with people of color and who owes many of his own wins to red states like Utah and Nebraska.

Failure to disclose

Clinton still doesn’t have a good answer on why she hasn’t released transcripts of the paid speeches she gave to Goldman Sachs and other private groups for hundreds of thousands of dollars each.

This time, rather than trying to answer the question. Clinton pivoted to attacking Sanders on other issues. First, she moved to a financial reform vote Sanders took and, when that didn’t satisfy the moderators, hit him for not releasing his tax returns.

That led to Sanders revealing that he still doesn’t have a great answer on that subject. “Jane does our taxes. We’ve been a little bit busy, you’ll excuse us,” Sanders said of his wife. He did, however, announce that he will release his 2014 tax returns Friday.


2016 General Election Match-Ups

Looking ahead to some possible November election match-ups between the remaining presidential candidates, registered voters give Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton a 10-point lead over Donald Trump, the same as last month.

But Clinton does not fare as well against the other two Republican candidates actively seeking their party's nomination -- Ted Cruz and John Kasich. Clinton holds just a three-point lead over Cruz, and she trails Kasich by six points in head-to-head match-ups.


Clinton's Democratic rival, Bernie Sanders, fares better. Bernie Sanders beats all three Republican candidates among registered voters: he holds a 17-point lead over Trump, a 12-point lead over Cruz, and a five-point lead over John Kasich.


2016 General Election Match-Ups: The Demographics

Women and younger voters favor the Democratic candidate - whether Clinton or Sanders - in all of these scenarios, with Trump faring the worst among these two groups. Bernie Sanders is the stronger candidate among younger voters, and he outpaces Hillary Clinton among men. While men choose all three of the Republican candidates over Clinton by double-digit margins, Sanders runs evenly with Trump and Cruz among men (though he loses to Kasich).

Independents vote Democratic against both Donald Trump and Ted Cruz no matter which candidate runs against them. Trump does particularly poorly with independents, losing them by 18 points against Clinton and 26 points against Sanders.

John Kasich - the only Republican who beats Hillary Clinton in these match-ups - wins against Clinton among independents by nine points, but loses independents against Sanders by six points. Kasich gets strong support against both Clinton and Sanders from voters over 65.


Nearly six in 10 registered voters are now paying a lot of attention to the presidential campaign, and interest is about the same among both Democrats and Republicans. Among this group of voters, John Kasich has a slight lead over Bernie Sanders. Trump does slightly better among this group as well, though he still trails both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

Views of the Candidates

The two party's frontrunners are both the best known and the most disliked candidates among registered voters overall. Sixty-three percent of registered voters view Donald Trump unfavorably, a six-point increase from just last month. Trump's unfavorable rating has risen 10 points among independent voters.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton fares better, but over half (54 percent) of registered voters still view Clinton unfavorably, similar to a month ago. Ted Cruz is also viewed negatively - more than twice as many voters view him unfavorably (48 percent) than favorably (22 percent).

Bernie Sanders and John Kasich are both viewed more favorably than unfavorably, though just over half still don't have an opinion of Kasich.

All of the candidates have net favorable ratings among the members of their respective parties, but Democrats are more favorable towards their two potential nominees. About six in 10 Democrats view both Clinton and Sanders favorably, though more view Clinton unfavorably (20 percent) than Sanders (12 percent).

In contrast, just about half of Republicans view Donald Trump favorably, while less than half have favorable opinions of Ted Cruz or John Kasich. Negative views are also higher among Republicans for their candidates, particularly for Trump and Cruz -- about a third of Republicans have unfavorable opinions of each of them. It's noteworthy that just under half of Republicans don't have an opinion of Kasich.

Most independents view Trump, Clinton, and Cruz unfavorably, though they have a net favorable opinion of both John Kasich and Bernie Sanders.

Views of Trump

For voters who view Trump favorably, his outspokenness is most often volunteered as what they like best about him (27 percent), followed by what they see as his honesty and integrity (15 percent). Further down on the list are that they think he's not beholden to special interests (9 percent), that he's a political outsider (8 percent



Ohio Gov. John Kasich will suspend his presidential campaign on Wednesday, senior campaign advisers tell NBC News.

Kasich cancelled a press conference in Virginia earlier in the day and announced he would make a statement in Columbus, Ohio, Thursday afternoon.

The decision comes one day after Kasich finished a distant third in the Indiana primary. Top campaign aides had vowed that the governor would stay in the race, even after Ted Cruz, who formed an informal alliance with Kasich, suspended his campaign.

RELATED: It’s Donald Trump’s GOP after Ted Cruz drops out

Kasich will end his run with just one primary victory, which came in his home state of Ohio. He remained in the race long after he was mathematically eliminated from clinching the GOP nomination, arguing that no candidate will earn a majoirity of the delegates ahead of the convention in Cleveland, Ohio, this summer.

But Donald Trump’s commanding win in Indiana on Tuesday made stopping the front-runner nearly impossible. Party leaders like Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus called Trump the “presumptive nominee” even with Kasich still in the race.


Though Kasich suspends his campaign as one of the final two remaining GOP candidates, he currently sits fourth in total delegates earned, trailing Trump, Cruz and Marco Rubio – who suspended his campaign March 15.

Kasich campaigned on a message of positivity, largely trying to stay away from the personal attacks that have defined the tumultuous Republican primary. The former congressman earned a number of high-profile endorsements, and voters on the campaign trail frequently thanked him for delivering an optimistic message. In addition to his Ohio victory, he earned a surprisingly strong second-place finish in New Hampshire, where he soundly beat better known rivals like Jeb Bush and Chris Christie.

In the final weeks of their campaigns, Kasich and Cruz entered into an informal alliance. Each focused their campaigns’ efforts on nominating contests where they had the best shot at defeating Trump. But the agreement proved ineffective in the Hoosier State, where Trump easily rolled to victory even though Kasich did not compete in the state. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll showed the pact was largely unpopular among GOP primary voters.

The governor justified his continuation in the race by arguing he is the best Republican to defeat the Democratic nominee in a general election. Out of the final three remaining candidates, Kasich was the only one who consistently beat Hillary Clinton in one-on-one polling.

“You win a primary, you lose the general, what’s the point?” Kasich said last month at an MSNBC town hall. “What do you hang a certificate on your wall? …I’m the only one who consistently beats Hillary.” 


Elizabeth Warren on VP nod: ‘I’m not thinking about another job’

05/11/16 11:49 AMUPDATED 05/11/16 12:20 PM

Elizabeth Warren is declining to say whether she would consider running on the Democratic ticket with Hillary Clinton, insisting instead that she’s focused on her current job and that Democrats still have to “get all of our nominations settled.”

Asked during an interview with Mic whether or not she would consider serving as Hillary Clinton’s vice president, Warren demurred, saying “I love my job. I’m here in the United States Senate doing exactly what the people of Massachusetts sent me here to do.”

“This is something we’ve got to get all of our nominations settled on the Democratic side,” she added. “For me, I’m going to keep doing my job every single day and I’m not thinking about another job.”

Warren added that she has not spoken to Clinton recently.

The progressive Massachusetts senator is considered most ideologically aligned with Senate colleague Bernie Sanders, who shares her aggressive rhetoric on income inequality and Wall Street.

‘But Warren has pointedly declined to endorse either candidate in the Democratic race, focusing instead on attacks aimed at presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump.




Donald J. Trump pushed back aggressively on Thursday against what he called “false smears” from women who claimed unwanted advances, seeking to stabilize his campaign as Michelle Obama declared “it doesn’t matter what party you belong to, no woman deserves to be treated this way.”

The New York Times reported on Wednesday night that Mr. Trump had touched two women inappropriately, groping them and kissing them forcefully in ways that echoed the boasts of being able to sexually assault women that he made in a 2005 video that was unearthed last week. Other news organizations, including The Palm Beach Post, BuzzFeed and People magazine, reported stories about women who had similar encounters with Mr. Trump, who has said that he never acted on his “locker-room talk” in the 2005 video.

In a series of messages posted on Twitter on Thursday morning, Mr. Trump said that the story in The Times was a “total fabrication” and denied the incident described by Natasha Stoynoff, the writer for People magazine, who said that Mr. Trump forced his tongue down her throat while she was working on an assignment about his first anniversary with his wife Melania.


At a rally in West Palm Beach, Fla., Mr. Trump lashed out at the media for buttressing Hillary Clinton’s campaign, calling the reports about his inappropriate behavior “false smears.”

“Anyone who challenges them is deemed a racist, a sexist, a xenophobe and morally deformed,” he said of the media, repeatedly singling out The Times.

“They will seek to destroy everything about you, including your reputation,” Mr. Trump said. “They will lie, lie lie and they will do worse than that.”

Mr. Trump also threatened to take legal action in response to the new allegations and warned through his lawyer that he might sue The Times for libel if it did not retract the article and apologize.

“Your article is reckless, defamatory and constitutes libel per se,” Marc E.Kasowitz, Mr. Trump’s lawyer, wrote in a letter to The Times. “It is apparent from, among other things, the timing of the article, that it is nothing more than a politically motivated effort to defeat Mr. Trump’s candidacy.”

Eileen Murphy, a spokeswoman for The Times, said in a statement, “We stand by the story, which falls clearly into the realm of public service journalism.”

The Clinton campaign said that the latest revelations were more evidence that Mr. Trump is unfit to be president and that they showed that he lied on the debate stage on Sunday night.

At a rally in New Hampshire, Mrs. Obama, the first lady, ripped into Mr. Trump and said that his treatment of women was a sign weakness. “We simply cannot endure this or expose our children to it any longer, not for another minute let alone another four years,” Mrs. Obama said.

She added, “Now is the time to stand up and say enough is enough.”

The Trump campaign has been thrown into turmoil by the allegations and the damage that the video has done to his standing with women and with the Republican leaders who have disavowed him or revoked their endorsements.

National and state polls show Mr. Trump’s support has cratered in the last two weeks. In an effort to turn things around, he has stepped up his personal attacks on Mrs. Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton. Mr. Trump has also dispatched his daughter, Ivanka, to the Pennsylvania suburbs on Thursday in the hope that she can lift his standing in the crucial swing state.

Some of Mr. Trump’s staunchest allies have been unusually critical of him during the most difficult stretch of his campaign.

Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker and presidential candidate in 2012 who wanted to be Mr. Trump’s running mate, suggested on Thursday that there were two Donald Trumps.

“There’s a big Trump and a little Trump,” he said in an appearance on the Fox Business Network. “The little Trump is frankly pathetic.”

However, not all of Mr. Trump’s supporters are ready to ditch him.

Jerry Falwell Jr., a prominent evangelical Christian leader who is the president of Liberty University in Virginia, said that he did not believe the allegations made against Mr. Trump and defended his character.

“That videotape that was released last week, I think there’s a different Donald Trump now,” Mr. Falwell told CNN. “Unlike Hillary, I believe all people are redeemable, and I believe his life has changed.”

At Mr. Trump’s rally in West Palm Beach, the candidate’s most ardent fans stood by him.

“I hope it’s not true, but I can’t look at that right now,” said Karen Hainline, 54, of Wellington, Fla. “I have to look at who is going to run our country and make jobs. We’re getting people beheaded in our own country. We need security.”



The battleground map is shifting once again in Donald Trump’s favor, according to the latest Fox News Electoral Scorecard, portending a potentially tight race Tuesday against Hillary Clinton, who continues to hold the electoral-vote advantage.

According to an update to the scorecard released Monday, Clinton can still get to the necessary 270 electoral votes by winning all the states rated “solid” or “leaning” Democratic.

But just barely. Doing so would get Clinton to 274.

Trump is looking at a narrow – but expanding – path to 270, and he could win by snatching up the toss-ups and flipping at least one state currently seen as leaning toward Clinton. 


The following updates were made Monday morning to the Fox News Decision Team’s ratings for key battlegrounds:

See the Fox News 2016 battleground prediction map and make your own election projections. See Predictions Map →

  • Arizona changes from “toss up” to “lean Republican”
  • Iowa changes from “toss up” to “lean Republican”
  • Nevada changes from “toss up” to “lean Democrat”
  • North Carolina changes from “lean Democrat” to “toss up”
  • Utah changes from “toss up” to “lean Republican”

All but the rating change in Nevada reflect an improving picture for the Republican nominee, even as the latest polls show a mixed picture. A Fox News poll released Monday morning showed Clinton expanding her lead to 4 points nationally.

If Trump wins the “solid Republican” states along with those currently seen as leaning in his direction he’d come away with 215 electoral votes. Winning the toss-up states and their 49 electoral votes wouldn’t be enough for Trump -- he’d have to steal a blue state.

Trump and Clinton are both keeping an aggressive campaign schedule on the eve of the election, trying to drive out supporters in the final swing.

Trump, speaking Monday in Saratoga, Fla., the first of five rallies, said if he wins, “corrupt politicians and their donors lose.”

On the heels of the FBI once again closing its Clinton email investigation, he said: “Now it’s time for the American people to deliver justice at the ballot box.”

Before embarking on a final campaign swing through three battleground states, Clinton told reporters that she has "some work to do to bring the country together" and that she wants to be president for those who vote for her and those who don't.

In the latest ratings, North Carolina was shifted to “toss up” amid a heated race for the critical battleground.

Clinton long held a small lead in the polls there, but the race has tightened to the point where neither candidate has a clear advantage.

Utah has been a hard state to gauge, with independent candidate Evan McMullin surging in several October polls. McMullin could still potentially surprise Tuesday night, but Trump now seems to have the advantage.

Nevada, meanwhile, is shifting to “lean Democrat” as early voting in the state suggests a turnout surge among Hispanic voters coming out against Trump.