<![CDATA[NBC4 Washington - Politics]]> Copyright 2016 http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/politics http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/WASH+NBC4+BLUE.png NBC4 Washington http://www.nbcwashington.com en-us Tue, 09 Feb 2016 03:01:53 -0500 Tue, 09 Feb 2016 03:01:53 -0500 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Bloomberg Talks WH Bid: Report]]> Mon, 08 Feb 2016 22:55:41 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/214*120/GettyImages-501810656.jpg

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has confirmed that he is thinking about running for president as an independent candidate in 2016.

In a story published Monday in the Financial Times, Bloomberg said for the first time that he was considering a White House bid and that he was "looking at all the options" for the upcoming election.

“I’m listening to what candidates are saying and what the primary voters appear to be doing,” he told Financial Times.

The New York Times had reported last month that the billionaire former mayor was telling advisors to work on plans for an independent campaign with a March deadline.

NBC News later confirmed the mayor's plan, noting that Bloomberg would be most likely to run if either Donald Trump or Ted Cruz were nominated as the Republican candidate and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders received the nod from Democrats.

Bloomberg told the Financial Times he would need to start the process of getting his name on ballots by the beginning of March. 

If he ran, the 73-year-old Bloomberg would be the second-oldest candidate in the field; Sanders is 74. If either won, they would eclipse Ronald Reagan as the oldest candidate to win the office. 

Rumors of Bloomberg's presidential aspirations have been swirling since 2007 when the then-NYC mayor left the Republican party and registered as an Independent.

The billionaire and former CEO of his financial services company was a life-long Democrat before switching to the GOP for his first mayoral run. 



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<![CDATA['I Need Your Vote': Trump in NH]]> Sun, 07 Feb 2016 19:42:01 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/214*120/Donald+Trump+NH+020716.jpg

Donald Trump, the billionaire business mogul who has enjoyed the top spot atop the Republican polls in New Hampshire, urged his supporters to come out for him in Tuesday's primary.

Trump held a rally Sunday afternoon at Plymouth State University in Holderness.

"If you're not going to vote for me, do not vote," Trump told the large crowd gathered in a university athletics center.

Not everyone at the rally had their minds made up about how they will vote Tuesday. Nancy McIver of Holderness said she will vote Republican, but is still checking out all the candidates, especially Trump and his opponents who have served as governors.

"Here it is, Sunday, and I have to vote on Tuesday, and I still don't know," McIver said, noting the economy and how to care for veterans and the elderly are of prime interest to her. "I'm running out of time - I've got to make up my mind!"

McIver's husband, Jeff, said he is strongly leaning toward Trump, but noted he did want to first check out the candidate's temperament in person, to gauge how well he may hold up in a general election.

"There's going to be an onslaught of negativity if Mr. Trump is the nominee, I believe, thrown at him," Jeff McIver said. "And he has to prove, to me anyway, that he has a way of dealing with that without losing his temper and prove to the American people that he's a leader."

Two other rally attendees, who described themselves as being "95 percent" and "99 percent" leaning toward Trump, said they had some concerns about the way the candidate, known for his bluntness and sometimes politically incorrect remarks, may treat others if he is the Republican party's nominee.

"He's not very thick-skinned, so I'm a bit worried about that," said Susan Peoples of Salem. "But I do like all his ideas."

"It's the way he words things to people - he might need to tone it down," Kelley Teunessen of Gilmanton told necn, adding she likes Jeb Bush, but was drawn to Trump because he is not a career politician.

At one point during the rally, a shirtless protestor calling Trump "racist," in reference to the candidate's call on a temporary ban on Muslims who want to move to the U.S. from foreign countries, was escorted from the venue.

While security removed the man, who had "Trump is racist" written on his body, Trump supporters loudly chanted the candidate's name.

Outside, another Trump protestor, Plymouth State student Hannah Dutton, said the candidate's presence on campus did not reflect her values or those of many other students.

"I will not be voting for Donald Trump, that is for sure," Dutton told necn. "I do not support his America."

In his energetic speech, Trump claimed victory in Saturday night's Republican debate on ABC, and said he is the candidate who can be tough with foreign leaders while addressing issues at home like growing jobs and stemming the flow of heroin from Mexico into the United States.

Furthermore, Trump promised his supporters in Holderness that because his campaign is largely self-funded, he is not beholden to special interest groups or wealthy donors, so will not always side with influential lobbies.

"I don't need your money; I need your vote," Trump told the crowd at the rally.



Photo Credit: necn]]>
<![CDATA[Gloria Steinem Apologizes for Comments About Young Women]]> Sun, 07 Feb 2016 18:26:06 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GloriaSteinem-GettyImages-508082072.jpg

Feminist icon Gloria Steinem has apologized for implying that younger women have chosen to support Sen. Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton because they want to meet men, NBC News reported.

"In a case of talk-show Interruptus, I misspoke on the Bill Maher show recently, and apologize for what's been misinterpreted as implying young women aren't serious in their politics,” she said in a statement posted on Facebook.

On the Friday edition of HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher,” the host asked why so many young women were not supporting Clinton during her bid for presidency. Steinem replied that young women were thinking “’Where are the boys?’ The boys are with Bernie.” 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Hillary Clinton Calls Flint Water Crisis 'Immoral']]> Sun, 07 Feb 2016 17:10:42 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/ClintonFlint-AP_578549665494.jpg

Hillary Clinton called for “action now” to fight the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, in a speech she made to a packed congregation in the city, NBC News reported.

Clinton, who stepped away from the campaign trail in New Hampshire to visit Flint, called on Congress to pass a $200 million bill to replace the city’s water infrastructure.

"This has to be a national priority," Clinton said at the House of Prayer Missionary Baptist Church. "What happened in Flint is immoral. The children of Flint are just as precious as the children of any part of America."

Clinton promised residents she would return to the city and not to be discouraged. With the DNC sanctioning an additional debate in Flint for March 6, Clinton will be back in the city two days before the Michigan primary.
 



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Says Iowa Caucus Results 'Very Unfair']]> Sun, 07 Feb 2016 17:23:21 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Trump+MTP+New+Hampshire.png

Donald Trump said Sunday that he does not need to win the New Hampshire primary and that the Iowa caucus results were "very unfair" to him and Ben Carson.

"There are those that say I actually came in first, depending on how you want to count the votes, to be honest, because that was a horrible thing that took place," Trump said on "Meet The Press."

Iowa caucus winner Ted Cruz apologized to Ben Carson after supporters spread rumors that Carson was planning to end his campaign in an effort to get them to support Cruz. Trump has said it may have pushed Cruz over the top and caused him to fall to second.

Trump said he would like to do well in the Granite State, but dismissed the idea it is a must win. 



Photo Credit: NBC News
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<![CDATA[Sanders Defends His Foreign Policy Credentials]]> Sun, 07 Feb 2016 12:53:19 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Sander+Defends+Foreign+Policy.png

Senator Bernie Sanders defended himself Sunday against criticism that he does not have sufficient depth or interest in foreign policy matters.

"Let me reassure the American people…it goes without saying that a president must be well-versed in foreign policy, must have a foreign policy position. And I will of course do that," Sanders said on NBC's "Meet the Press" in response to criticism by some of his debate performance Thursday on the issue of foreign policy.

Sanders has faced intense scrutiny during his presidential campaign for not being as comfortable or fluent as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when discussing foreign affairs.

"It is not just experience that matters, it is judgment," argued the Vermont senator.



Photo Credit: NBC News
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<![CDATA[Ben Carson Waits in the Wings in Debate Introduction]]> Sun, 07 Feb 2016 12:23:07 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/BenCarsonDebate-AP_47261554959.jpg

The Republican debate in Manchester, New Hampshire, got off to a bit of an awkward start on Saturday.

It began on a high note, when ABC moderator David Muir introduced New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. 

Ben Carson's name, drowned out by applause, was called second. But instead of making his way onto the stage, he stood off to the side as the moderators continued on down the candidate list. 

Carson then started to make his way out, but suddenly stopped short when the moderators called out Ted Cruz’s name. 

Someone from backstage, who popped his head out from behind the curtain, tried shooing Carson to walk out, but to no avail. 

Donald Trump appeared in the wings after his name was called, but instead of coming to the stage, he stood back with Carson. Marco Rubio barreled past the two other candidates, smiling as he walked past them. Next came former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who gave the two a quizzical look before leaving Carson and Trump behind.

Social media lit up with reaction to Carson’s late entry onto the stage.

Others were more sympathetic to the GOP candidate and laid the blame elsewhere. 

But it didn't end there. Muir could faintly be heard calling out Ohio Gov. John Kasich's name, but that too, was drowned out by applause. Both Muir and fellow moderator, Martha Raddatz, who had their backs to the stage, then realized they were missing and gave Carson and Trump another call to the stage.

“Dr. Ben Carson, please come out on the stage, he’s standing there as well,” Muir said.

“And Donald Trump,” Raddatz said.

As the moderators took their seats, Kasich was still missing.

“Where’s Kasich?” someone could be heard saying.

“Yes, yes, we’re going to introduce Ohio Gov. John Kasich.” 



Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[GOP Debate in NH: Christie vs. Rubio, More Top Moments]]> Mon, 08 Feb 2016 10:15:14 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/rubio-at-debate.jpg

Donald Trump was back, Carly Fiorina was out, excluded by the rules of the ABC News debate, and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida was drawing attacks after his strong showing in Iowa.

The GOP presidential candidates were on stage Saturday night for the final debate before the New Hampshire primary, where some of the Republicans must do well if they are to continue. Trump, who finished second behind U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas in the Iowa caucuses, returned after skipping the previous debate. 

Here are some of the liveliest moments of the evening. 

GETTING ON STAGE
The debate got off to an awkward start as Dr. Ben Carson hesitated going onto the stage even as he was waved on. Trump lingered with Carson until they both entered, but then Kasich was left behind. He later said that he did not hear his name called.

RUBIO ATTACKED FOR "30-SECOND SPEECH"
Rubio tried to defend his relatively short time in the U.S. Senate by saying if years spent as a senator were the measure of a candidate everyone on the stage should be rallying around Vice President Joe Biden. Biden represented Delaware for 36 years.

But New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie quickly attacked Rubio for failing to make a single decision of consequence in the Senate for which he was held accountable and mocked him for giving his “30-second” prepared speech. Memorized speeches don’t get the snow plowed or help rebuild a state destroyed by superstorm Sandy, he said. And he criticized Rubio for listing the Hezbollah Sanctions Act as an accomplishment but failing to show up for the vote.

“That’s not leadership," Christie said. "That’s truancy.”

Rubio rejoined by telling Christie he had to be shamed into returning to New Jersey from New Hampshire during the recent blizzard. And he brought up New Jersey’s credit rating, downgraded nine times since Christie became governor.

But Rubio also continued to repeat himself several times with the same comments criticizing President Barack Obama.

"You see everybody. I want the people at home to think about this. That's what Washington, D.C., does," Christie rebutted. "The drive-by shot at the beginning with incorrect and incomplete information and then the memorized 25-second speech...Marco, the thing is this: When you're president of the United States, when you're a governor of a state, the memorized 30-second speech where you talk about how great America is at the end of it doesn't solve one problem for one person."

"WASHINGTON ETHICS"
Carson was asked about messages sent by Cruz’s campaign just before the Iowa caucuses, claiming falsely that Carson was leaving the race.

“I’m not going to use this opportunity to savage the reputation of Senator Cruz,” he said.

Carson said he owed it to his volunteers, one of whom died in a traffic accident in Iowa, to stay in the competition. And he added that he was disappointed in the display of what he called “Washington ethics” — doing what is needed to do to win, not what is right.

Cruz apologized, and blamed CNN for reporting that Carson was taking a break from his campaign.

But Carson responded that CNN’s initial tweet was quickly followed by a second one saying he was still in the race. Voters can make their own judgement, he said.

At the end of the debate, Trump got a dig in, saying Cruz had received Carson's votes.

"TOUGH GUY"
Trump and Bush got into a sharp disagreement over eminent domain, the process by which the government can take private property for public good. Trump, who has benefited from it, defended it as a way to build roads and schools.

Bush countered with a jab at Trump's attempt to take a woman’s house in Atlantic City to use as a parking lot for limousines, next to one of his casinos.

"Jeb wants to be a tough guy,” Trump snapped.

The woman went to state court and ended up keeping her home.

TRUMP VERSUS THE CROWD
Trump at one point said his team was unable to get tickets for the audience because they had gone to “donors, special interests, the people who put up the money.”

As the audience booed, he added, “The reason they’re not loving me is I don’t want their money.”

Trump makes a point of saying he is funding his campaign himself.

FEELING LEFT OUT
Carson showed his frustration at not getting as much time as the others.

"I’m not here just to add beauty to the stage," Carson said as he jumped into a discussion about the Middle East.

In his closing remarks he said the media had tried to ignore him

"I’m still here and I’m not going any place either," he said.

HEROIN EPIDEMIC
Cruz, asked about the heroin epidemic in New Hampshire, talked about the death of his half-sister, Miriam, from a drug overdose. He and his father, Rafael, tried to rescue her from a crack house, but failed, he said. After his sister’s death, he put her son, Joey, into a military school with a $20,000 loan on a credit card.

He joins Christie and Fiorina in discussing addictions from the vantage of their families. 

Christie talks about a law school friend who died after injuring his back and becoming addicted to Percocet.

Fiorina's step-daughter, Lori, died at age 35 after a struggle with alcohol and prescription pills.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Fiorina Uses Debate Exclusion As Fuel to Fight On]]> Sat, 06 Feb 2016 16:43:28 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/CarlyFiorina-AP_707918705720.jpg

Carly Fiorina told a crowd of supporters on Saturday morning that "the game is rigged," assailing ABC News for not inviting her onto Saturday's GOP debate stage because of her low polling numbers nationally, NBC News reported.

"Sorry, I thought votes counted in elections. Sorry, I thought delegates counted in elections," Fiorina said during a campaign town hall in Goffstown, adding that she "will go all the way to Cleveland," referencing the site of the Republican National Convention this summer.

ABC News announced on Thursday that Fiorina - who is garnering roughly two percent of support, nationally, in polling averages - was not invited to participate in the final debate before Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire. The former Hewlett-Packard CEO called ABC the "Anybody But Carly" network.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Illinois Dems Move to Make Obama’s Birthday a State Holiday]]> Sat, 06 Feb 2016 13:23:29 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/obama4.png

Illinois State Rep. Andre Thapedi introduced a new bill this week that could make President Barack Obama’s birthday a state holiday.

 

The proposed legislation, House Bill 4654, would close schools and state offices on Aug. 4, Obama’s birthday. If the date falls on a Sunday, the following Monday will be observed instead.

The bill is co-sponsored by representatives Thaddeus Jones, Rita Mayfield and Arthur Turner.

"As President Obama serves his final year in office, the timing to make his birthday a state holiday is critical to recognizing his accomplishment and the legacy that he will leave behind for future presidents, Illinois officials and young people who aspire to serve their community," Jones said in a statement.

Before becoming a U.S. Senator and subsequently the country’s Commander-In-Chief, Obama served as an Illinois senator from 1997-2004.

The president will address the state’s General Assembly next week in Springfield amid the state’s historic budget impasse and pension crisis.

Obama became the first black president in the nation’s history when he was sworn into office in January of 2009.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: John Kasich's Snow Day in N.H.]]> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 22:53:17 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/john-kasich-snowball-fight-new-hampshire.jpg

Considering how much time he has spent campaigning in New Hampshire, it's perhaps no surprise that Republican John Kasich took some time Friday to have a snowball fight.

The governor of Ohio, whose disappointing finish in Monday's Iowa caucus leaves him a long shot for his party's nomination, took part in "an impromptu snowball fight with members of the media and volunteers," according to his campaign.

The video showed him ducking snowballs and launching some of his own in front of a snowy red barn.

According to the latest NBC News poll, Kasich has 10 percent of support among likely primary voters in New Hampshire, trailing only Donald Trump, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz.

Kasich has campaigned heavily in the Granite – the snowball fight took part between his 99th and 100th town hall events in the state.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[The Week Ahead: Primary Time!]]> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 18:55:27 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/20141205+The+Week+Ahead.jpg

Finally, New Hampshire voters head to the polls, Italian President goes to Washington and the Dems hold another debate.


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<![CDATA[Las Vegas Newspaper Endorses Marco Rubio]]> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 17:38:55 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/MarcoRubio-AP_480187241596.jpg

The Las Vegas Review-Journal endorsed Florida Sen. Marco Rubio Friday, NBC News reported.

"Our reasons for endorsing Sen. Rubio are many. Notably, the Florida senator has deep personal connections to the state," the editorial board wrote, noting that he spent ages eight to 14 in Las Vegas.

The paper said it required the candidate needed to meet with its editorial board. The paper also insisted the owner, Sheldon Adelson — who has yet to personally endorse a candidate — played no part in its decision.

Republicans in Nevada caucus in two-and-a-half weeks on Tuesday, February 23.  



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Clinton Fights Back After Low N.H. Poll Numbers]]> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 08:24:36 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AP_617541352129-debate.jpg Hillary Clinton is way behind in the latest New Hampshire polls, and she came out swinging in last night's Democratic Debate.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Megyn Kelly Talks Trump Boycott on 'Tonight Show' ]]> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 01:45:39 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/KELLY_AP_828085981256.jpg

Megyn Kelly explained on "The Tonight Show” that she was just doing her job as a journalist during the Republican debate she moderated that featured a clash with Donald Trump.

“We never thought anyone would react to the questions that way,” she said to host Jimmy Fallon. “He got a tough question but they all got tough questions.”

Kelly, who hosts the “Kelly File” on Fox News, appeared on the “Tonight Show” on Thursday night where she described the “surreal six months” after Trump accused her of being biased against him because of her line of questions during an Aug. 6 debate last year.

During that debate, she asked Trump about his treatment of women.

“You've called women you don't like ‘fat pigs,’ ‘dogs,’ '’slobs’ and ‘disgusting animals’,” she said to Trump. “Does that sound to you like the temperament of a man we should elect as president? And how will you answer the charge from Hillary Clinton, who is likely to be the Democratic nominee, that you are part of the war on women?"

Kelly explained to Fallon Thursday night that the point of a debate is to ask “tough questions.”

“All those guys got it right it in the kisser. But that’s what they have to do,” she said. “They want George Washington’s job”

She continued, “I’m a member of the press and that’s what I do, press.”

Fallon praised Kelly for not bowing to Trump’s boycott of the Jan. 28 debate and asked her if Trump would be attending the upcoming Republican debate on March 3.

“He hasn’t committed,” she said and then went on to note that Trump has inspired many on the right.

“He’s electrified the Republican debates,” she said. “He’s introduced a lot of issues in this election that Republicans wanted to talk about.”



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Poll: Trump Holds Lead in N.H., Rubio Gains Ground]]> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 07:50:49 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Rubio-Trump-Split.jpg

Donald Trump continues to lead Tuesday's New Hampshire primary after his second-place finish in Iowa, but Marco Rubio has gained ground on him, according to a new NBC/WSJ/Marist poll conducted after the Iowa results.

Trump gets support from 30 percent of likely Republican primary followers — followed by Rubio at 17 percent, Ted Cruz at 15 percent, John Kasich at 10 percent, Jeb Bush at 9 percent and Chris Christie at 4 percent.

Last week — before the results in Iowa, where Cruz finished first and Rubio third — Trump was at 31 percent, Cruz 12 percent, Rubio 11 percent, Kasich 11 percent, Bush 8 percent and Christie 7 percent.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Clinton '100 Percent Confident' Emails Won't Hurt Campaign]]> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 08:26:26 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/HillaryClintonDebate-GettyImages-508470704.jpg

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was faced with the nagging issue of her private email server once again during MSNBC’s Democratic debate in Durham, New Hampshire, on Thursday.

Clinton said she is “100 percent confident” the investigation will not be problematic in her bid for the White House.

“I have absolutely no concerns about it whatsoever,” she told debate moderators Chuck Todd and Rachel Maddow.

It was the first time Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders debated in a one-on-one face off since former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley suspended his campaign on Monday. It is also the last time the two candidates will meet before the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday.

Clinton called the server issue a “political ploy” before turning to news that former Secretary of State Colin Powell and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice are now facing a similar problem. The State Department said it found “secret” or “confidential” information on 12 emails from personal servers of Powell and Rice's staff.

“There are going to have to be security reviews of a lot of other people — including Republican office holders,” she said. “We've got to get to the bottom of what's going on here and I hope that will happen.”

The State Department said last week it would not release 22 emails from Clinton’s private email server because it said they contained classified information.

“I never sent or received any classified material,” she said. “They are retroactively classifying it.”

As for Sanders, he said he will not politicize the issue.

“The secretary probably doesn’t know that there’s not a day that goes by when I am not asked to attack her on that issue, and I have refrained from doing that,” he said.  



Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Jeb Bush Campaigns With Mom in New Hampshire]]> Thu, 04 Feb 2016 22:47:39 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/JebBarbaraBush-AP_83444133525.jpg

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has started to rely more on his family as he continues to campaign. 

Bush was joined by former first lady Barbara Bush Thursday, for the first time since he announced his bid for the White House, NBC News reported.

Barbara Bush sat directly behind Jeb as he delivered an emotional campaign speech in which he described his father — the 41st president — as "the greatest man alive" and his daughter's drug addiction and recovery. 

George W. Bush's aides have hinted that the former president will make an appearance on his brother's campaign trail in the coming weeks.  



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[ABC News Pressured to Include Fiorina in Debate]]> Thu, 04 Feb 2016 16:41:07 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/CarlyFiorina-AP_707918705720.jpg

Carly Fiorina is attracting sympathy, as more people are coming to her defense for being excluded from the last Republican debate hosted by ABC News on Saturday, NBC News reported.

New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte and Mitt Romney have supported the former Hewlett Packard executive. Romney urged ABC News not to “exclude (the) only woman.”

Fiorina is the only Republican candidate that is not invited to the debate because she does not meet ABC News’ criteria. ABC News has only invited candidates who ranked in the top three in Iowa, who placed in the top six places in New Hampshire polls and in national polls.

She met with Republican National Committee chair Reince Priebus Thursday, following up on a letter she sent to the RNC to press ABC to let her debate.  

The debate will be the last time the candidates will square off before the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Sanders Leads Clinton by 20 Points in NH: Poll]]> Thu, 04 Feb 2016 16:19:47 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Bernie-Sanders-Hillary-Clinton.jpg

Bernie Sanders has a significant double-digit lead over Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire, according to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll, NBC News reported.

Sanders has the support of 58 percent of likely Democratic primary voters, compared to 38 percent for Clinton.

"So far in New Hampshire, it's all Sanders as Clinton faces an uphill fight," says pollster Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.

The numbers come out before Thursday night’s debate on MSNBC, the first one-on-one encounter between the two candidates. Martin O’Malley dropped out of the race on Monday.  

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<![CDATA[Watch: Bernie Sanders Tries to Help Man Who Falls]]> Thu, 04 Feb 2016 14:13:40 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/sanders-concord.jpg

Stand up moment for Bernie Sanders.

Sanders briefly halted a campaign event in New Hampshire Thursday to try to help a man who collapsed on stage.

"Oh my God," Sanders said when the man fell just after the Democratic presidential candidate was taking a question in Concord about the schedule of debates. The scary thump could be heard on video that captured the moment. 

Sanders waited near the man until he was helped off the stage about a minute later.

The specifics of why the man had collapsed and his condition after walking away were not immediately clear.

The man was a supporter of Sanders who worked for the state chapter of the Sierra Club, according to The Wall Street Journal. 

It wasn't the first time Sanders was caught on video trying to aid someone in distress.

The Vermont senator yelled at camera crews to back up when NBC News' Andrea Mitchell was reportedly nearly crushed by other members of the media following a Democratic debate in October.

Sanders will face off against Hillary Clinton in a debate on MSNBC later Thursday ahead of the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday, Feb. 9.  



Photo Credit: NECN
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<![CDATA[Former DC Mayor Gray Running for Ward 7 Seat]]> Thu, 04 Feb 2016 21:05:01 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Vincent-Gray-AP_247605509720.jpg

Former D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray has entered the race for a seat on D.C. Council. 

Gray announced his plans Thursday to run for the Ward 7 seat.

Gray lost his chances for a second term as mayor when Muriel Bowser defeated him in the Democratic primary. He lost in part due to a long-running federal probe into a shadow campaign scandal that helped elect Gray mayor in 2010. In December, prosecutors ended that probe without charging Gray.

"When people ask why I am returning to the campaign trail, I tell them, 'Because we have a lot of work to do. If we don't do it, who will?'," Gray said Thursday. 

Gray previously served on the Council, representing Ward 7 and as Council chairman before he was elected mayor.

Gray had been publicly eyeing the At-Large seat held by Democrat Vincent Orange and his old Ward 7 seat, now held by Yvette Alexander. A professional poll paid for by Gray supporters last month showed Gray is popular in his home of Ward 7, leading Alexander 48 percent to 32 percent.

Asked if a Ward 7 campaign was just a warm-up to running for mayor in 2018, Gray said no.

"There's no way I would do this as some way to seek retribution," he said. "There's too much work to be done in this city."

The Democratic primary will be held on June 14. Gray will file paperwork in the next few days. 



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[DC Program Will Give Children Books From Birth]]> Thu, 04 Feb 2016 06:04:11 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GenericBooks.jpg

A new program in Washington, D.C. will give area children free books for the first five years of their lives. 

City officials will launch the "Books From Birth" program Thursday. 

The early childhood literacy program will mail a book to each child in the District every month from the time they are born until they area 5 years old. The program will also connect families with resources and educational information at the city's public libraries. 

Click here if you're interested in participating in the program. 
 



Photo Credit: Fairfax Media via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Virginia Bill Targets Out-of-State Toll Violators]]> Thu, 04 Feb 2016 05:43:00 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/ez+pass+pic.JPG

Virginia lawmakers are looking to crack down on toll violators who live out of state.

A bill that was advanced by a House subcommittee this week would allow Virginia to enter into enforcement deals with other states so that people who aren't paying their tolls can be penalized, WTOP reports.

The states would be able to share information about toll cheaters who haven't paid so that officials in the drivers' home state could prevent them from renewing their vehicle registration.

The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles has estimated that 200,000 drivers who live outside of Virginia owe the state about $8.8 million in tolls, penalties and fees.

Officials say the largest number of out-of-state toll violators in Virginia live in Maryland and Washington DC.

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<![CDATA[170 Black Women Leaders Support Clinton]]> Wed, 03 Feb 2016 20:43:14 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/HillaryClinton-AP_206070213195.jpg

The Clinton campaign announced Wednesday that more than 170 prominent African American women leaders have endorsed the former secretary of state, NBC News reported.

The list includes actress Uzo Aduba, North Carolina Congresswoman Alma Adams, and BET CEO Debra Lee.

The women, who will serve as surrogates for Clinton, will rally other African American voters South Carolina and in March primary states.

They will host neighborhood meetings, debate watch parties and will also walk door-to-door to businesses carrying Clinton’s message about closing the gap for women, paid family leave, raising the minimum wage and protecting women’s reproductive rights.  



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Sanders Staffer Criticizes Fellow Dreamer on Twitter]]> Wed, 03 Feb 2016 20:20:39 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/ErikaAndiola-AP_811293247246.jpg

A Bernie Sanders staffer came under fire Wednesday after publicly criticizing an immigration activist after her endorsement of Hillary Clinton, NBC News reported.

Erika Andiola criticized Astrid Silva’s endorsement of Clinton as a “press hit.”

Both Andiola and Silva are Dreamers, or immigrants who arrived or stayed in the country legally, usually because their parents did.

Twitter reacted, coming to Silva’s defense with supporting tweets. Silva, however, didn’t seem phased, saying “I crossed a river at 4 years old to get to this country. A little water hardly means anything.” 



Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Former DC Mayor Gray Planning Run for Council]]> Wed, 03 Feb 2016 19:53:56 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Vincent-Gray-AP_247605509720.jpg

Former D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray is expected to announce Thursday that he's ready to run for office again -- this time, for the D.C. Council.

There's no question that Gray loved being mayor, and that he was popular. But Gray lost his chances for a second term when Muriel Bowser defeated him in the Democratic primary. He lost in part due to a long-running federal probe into a shadow campaign scandal that helped elect Gray mayor in 2010. In December, prosecutors ended that probe without charging Gray.

Gray will be on the WAMU Kojo Namdi show at noon Thursday to announce his expected run for the D.C. Council. Gray previously served on the Council, representing Ward 7 and as Council chairman before he was elected mayor.

Gray has been publicly eyeing the At-Large seat held by Democrat Vincent Orange and his old Ward 7 seat, now held by Yvette Alexander. Sources say Alexander's Ward 7 seat is Gray's choice.

"I have my eye on Ward 7," Alexander said. "I'm continuing to do the work, so you know, I'm going to continue to do the things that I do no matter who runs, whether it be Vince Gray or not."

A professional poll paid for by Gray supporters last month showed Gray is popular in his home of Ward 7, leading Alexander 48 percent to 32 percent.

At-Large Democrat Vincent Orange has kept an eye over his shoulder for a possible Gray challenge. The same poll showed Gray leading Orange 49 percent to 26 percent.

"I have a clear path to victory on June 14; that's the only thing I'm focused on, and I don't see [Gray] or anyone that's not registered in that path," Orange said.

But Bowser isn't anxious to see Gray back on the Council -- Orange and Alexander are both strong supporters of Bowser. With his deep knowledge of the city government, Gray could be a tough adversary for Bowser on the council.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Jeb Bush Asks N.H. Audience to 'Please Clap']]> Wed, 03 Feb 2016 14:53:42 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/508009668-jeb-bush-new-hampshire.jpg

Speaking about how he'd lead the United States military as president, Jeb Bush put his leadership skills to the test, imploring an audience in New Hampshire for a round of applause as he pushes for a big showing in the state's primary election next week.

Bush, whose father and brother have both been president, was saying at a Hanover meeting that he would "have the back of the military" as commander-in-chief, and wouldn't be "blow-hardin', talking a big game without backing it up."

He wound up by saying: "I think the next president needs to be a lot quieter, but sending a signal that we're prepared to act in the national security interests of this country to get back in the business of creating a more peaceful world."

And when the audience didn't react, he added, "Please clap," breaking into a wry smile when the crowd obliged.

Bush will need all the support he can get in the Feb. 9 New Hampshire primary, where the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll puts him in fifth place among Republicans, with just 8 percent of likely Republican voters and 10 percent of the party's potential electorate.

Bush is trailing Donald Trump and Marco Rubio in the polls despite receiving over $31 million in the campaign so far, more than either of those candidates, according to Federal Election Commission filings. He also trails Ted Cruz, whose $47-million campaign was boosted by victory in the Iowa caucuses this week, and John Kasich.



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Sanders on Contesting Iowa: 'We're Looking at It Right Now']]> Wed, 03 Feb 2016 07:57:29 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/193*120/AP_576595660443-%281%29.jpg

Bernie Sanders said Wednesday his campaign is looking into contesting Hillary Clinton's razor-thin win over him in Tuesday's caucuses in Iowa.

"We're looking at it right now," the Vermont senator said on NBC's "Today" show. "But the important thing is that at the end of the day we came from nowhere to really startle the entire world."

The Iowa race Monday was so close the Democratic Party didn't announce a winner until Tuesday afternoon. Sanders lost to Clinton by just .3 percentage points, 49.6 percent to 49.9 percent, according to the Iowa Democratic Party.

"The Iowa caucus is so complicated it's not 100 percent sure that we didn't win it, Sanders said on NBC's "Today" show Wednesday morning. "But we feel fantastic. We came a long, long way in Iowa and now we're in New Hampshire. We have a lot of momentum." 

Clinton, who called New Hampshire Sanders' "backyard," won the state's Democratic primary in 2008.



Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Sherwood's Notebook: So, Metro, Where You Going?]]> Wed, 03 Feb 2016 05:47:45 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/093015+metro.jpg

Have you stopped using the Metrorail transit system?

Why?

It’s not reliable or quick? It’s bad enough on weekdays, maybe worse on weekends? “Track work,” whatever that is, always seems to be happening on the line you’re using? The newest line — Silver — was hobbled by snow? You’re sick of non-working escalators and/or elevators?

And worse, whether you are young or old, you are feeling or starting to feel unsafe? Yes, when the train breaks down, but even more from the threat of serious violence and harassing crime?

You are certainly not alone.

The new chair of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority board says he hears you.

“The whole [safety] element of the system and your feeling safe has to be addressed,” said Jack Evans, speaking Friday on Kojo Nnamdi’s WAMU “Politics Hour.” Evans, the Ward 2 D.C. Council member, said a lot more after being elected Metro chair last week:

  • “Public transportation works when two things exist, when it’s inexpensive and convenient. And Metro is neither.”
  • “Riders must have confidence [the system] is safe.”
  • “No fare increases. I will not support any fare increases while I am on the board.”

Evans said on the “Politics Hour” that he would support a simpler fare system, if the finances can be worked out, with maximum fares of maybe $5 for suburban rides and $2 in the city.

“You have to be a mathematical wizard with a computer to figure out these fares. It’s crazy,” he said. “Why not make it simple. You would fill your subway cars.”

Reports of more crime on Metrorail, specifically groups of young people screaming vulgarities and intimidating riders, could scare away even more riders.

But where are police? Metro Police Chief Ronald Pavlik says he has a force of fewer than 500 officers with a 10 percent vacancy rate. That’s for a rail system of 117 miles and 91 stations, not counting the expansive bus system.

Evans said riders must “have confidence it’s going to be safe. It may mean that we’re going to have to add additional police officers; I think that’s what we are going to have to do on Metro.” Even the subdued lighting in rail stations, initially seen as groundbreaking, is now seen as too dark. Brighter lights are coming.

Evans recalled the more hopeful days of Metro’s past. When he served on the Metro board from 1992 to 1999, “Metro was a shining example of regional cooperation,” he said. Now, “15 years later, we are anything but.”

Evans wants to help mend professional and personal strains among the 16-member board to ease management woes.

But mostly he wants to lend a strong hand to new general manager Paul Wiedefeld, who Evans says “knows what needs to be done.”

It’s not like Metro needs to fix this or that — it basically needs to fix everything: organization, finances, management, labor and infrastructure. You can arrange those in any order you wish.

Before he became chair, Evans said he went to a recent community meeting in Ward 2, where he is running for re-election. He said 13 of the 15 questions were about Metro, not the ward.

In the cruelest cut of all, Evans told the “Politics Hour” that Metro today reminds him of the near-bankrupt District government in 1995 when a federal control board took over city finances. “We have to show Congress and the jurisdictions that we can run this system,” he said.

That means Evans will approach Congress for operating funds, but not anytime soon. As much as 70 percent of rail riders in rush hour can be federal workers, Evans said. But Congress won’t be likely to support Metro operations for the first time if its reputation reminds everyone of the old D.C. government.

A management shakeup is necessary, Evans says, but the system also can’t continue to absorb soaring labor costs.

“Over the years, the contracts we have lost either by arbitration or entered into have produced a situation where all of our labor issues are the most expensive of any system in the country,” Evans told us. “I know the contracts are up and they will be coming back looking for increases, et cetera. If we don’t raise fares, which we are not going to do, the money has to come from somewhere if we are to agree to these changes.”

Evans and the Metro board don’t have a full plate — they have a full platter or two.

■ Costs of snow. WTOP radio reported that Metro lost about $7 million in revenue because of the big snowstorm, in part because of riders not showing up or the free rides offered on Monday. Metro still is adding up the overtime and other operating costs. General manager Wiedefeld said he expected the total to be “significant.”

■ Another surplus. D.C. officials on Monday announced a surplus of $293 million for the fiscal year that ended last Sept. 30. It is the 19th year in a row of audited balanced budgets. And this audit is the first with no major accounting suggestions.

The city now has about $1 billion in its required reserves — a far cry from the days of near-bankruptcy and federal control in the 1990s.


Tom Sherwood, a Southwest resident, is a political reporter for News 4.
 

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<![CDATA[Campaign Workers Pose as Volunteers for Opponents in MD]]> Tue, 02 Feb 2016 20:25:02 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/159977439.jpg

A candidate for Congress fired two campaign workers accused of posing as volunteers for his opponents in Maryland’s 8th District.

Montgomery County businessman David Trone confirmed to News4 Tuesday workers posed as volunteers at the campaign of Kathleen Matthews and Jamie Raskin. Trone said he fired those workers and their supervisor.

Matthews’ campaign manager sent a letter to Trone’s campaign manager documenting an incident in which a man named Joseph offered to volunteer for Matthews and was sent out to canvass Monday. He raised suspicion when he returned in just 45 minutes with a completed walk packet, according to the letter.

Matthews’ campaign called the voters on Joseph’s walk list and learned he hadn’t knocked on their doors. The campaign then identified him as a staffer for Trone’s campaign.

Raskin told Bethesda Magazine his staffers noticed a young volunteer’s bizarre behavior with a large group of volunteers.

“I called Kathleen Matthews and Jamie Raskin to apologize and to assure them that this activity is unacceptable and contrary to how my campaign will operate,” a statement from Trone read.

Matthews, Raskin and Trone are running for the Democratic nomination for the seat of Rep. Chris Van Hollen, who is running for Senate.



Photo Credit: Christian Science Monitor/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Takes to Twitter to Complain of Media Coverage]]> Tue, 02 Feb 2016 12:50:46 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/218*120/AP_933692224883.jpg

Billionaire Donald Trump began complaining about the media’s treatment of his campaign Tuesday morning after his loss to U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz in Iowa, tweeting that it was covering his “long-shot great finish” unfairly.

He said he had finished strong despite experts who said he could not do well in the country's first presidential nominating contest.

Trump went uncharacteristically silent ahead of Monday's results with a 7:30 p.m. tweet -- that appears to have since been deleted -- encouraging supporters to caucus for him.

Trump returned to his nearly 6 million followers just about 11 a.m. ET with a fusillade of attacks. Besides going after the media, he tweeted that voters were not giving him credit for self-funding his campaign.

The often bombastic businessman typically starts his day with a battery of tweets: insults about his competitors or exhortations to followers to, in the words of his campaign, “Make America Great Again.”

After weeks of packed rallies and poll numbers that suggested he had passed Cruz, Trump finished second in the country’s first nominating contests in Iowa Monday night, a loss that raised questions about the depth of his support. The Texas senator got the support of 28 percent of caucus-goers to 24 percent for Trump. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida had a strong third-place finish with 23 percent.

After his defeat, Trump told supporters Monday night: “We're leaving tonight and tomorrow afternoon we'll be in New Hampshire and that will be something special. It's going to be a great week.... I think we're going to be proclaiming victory I hope."

In New Hampshire on Tuesday, Trump's rivals were ready with "loser" barbs.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said at his campaign headquarters in Bedford that, "we can stop with the Donald Trump inevitability, because the guy who does nothing but win lost last night."

Trump, who has been leading in New Hampshire polls, is scheduled to speak at a rally in Milford at 7 p.m.



Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Iowa Entrance Polls: Who Backed Clinton, Sanders]]> Tue, 02 Feb 2016 12:14:00 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/sanders-clinton-split.jpg

Hillary Clinton did best in the Iowa caucuses with married women, moderates and Democrats at least 65 years of age, while Bernie Sanders outperformed among Democrats between the ages of 17 and 44, first-time caucus-goers and those who described themselves as very liberal, according to according to Iowa entrance polls.

Clinton dominated Sanders among Democrats who value experience and electability in November, NBC News also reported.

Sanders trounced Clinton among Democrats who placed the most value on a candidate who is honest and trustworthy and those who want a president to advance policies that are more liberal than Obama. 



Photo Credit: AP]]>