Following Ted Cruz ‘s Monday victory in Iowa, Ben Carson’s campaign claimed the Texas senator leaked information that the former neurosurgeon was suspending his campaign just before the votes were cast.
According to Time, several members of Carson’s staff have brought forward evidence “alleging misconduct by the Cruz campaign.”
Carson’s Iowa director Ryan Rhodes reportedly received text messages from Mike Huckabee supporters claiming “the Cruz speakers at our caucus announced Carson was suspending his campaign for a while after caucus. They did this before the vote. Same thing happened at another caucus. Sounds like slimy Cruzing to me.”
Additionally, a precinct chair in Muscatine sent Carson’s team an email claiming that a Cruz supporter told the precinct “Ben Carson was taking a break after Iowa, and then stated, ‘so you might want to rethink wasting your vote on him.’”
“That is really quite a dirty trick,” Carson told reporters late Monday night. “That’s the very kind of thing that irritated me enough to get into this quagmire.”
Furthermore, campaign manager Ed Brookover called Cruz’s alleged actions “the lowest of low in American politics,” while Carson’s Iowa co-chair state representative Rob Taylor noted that, “this is horseshit.”
The Cruz campaign has denied any wrongdoing.
Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign is rejecting Ben Carson’s assertion that it torpedoed his chances in Iowa’s Republican caucuses Monday night.
“On the Ben Carson allegation, it’s just false,” said Rick Tyler, the Cruz campaign’s communications director, on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “We simply as a campaign repeated what Ben Carson had said in his own words,” he continued. “That’s not a dirty trick.”
“He said after Iowa he was going to go back to Florida for a couple of days and then he was going to go to D.C. for the prayer breakfast,” Tyler added. “And what that told us was he was not going to New Hampshire.
“That was really surprising by a campaign who was once leading in Iowa saying he’s not going to come to New Hampshire. That’s a news item.”
Carson criticized his Republican presidential rivals, without naming names, for “dirty tricks” in Iowa.
The retired neurosurgeon lashed out following tweets from Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), who also serves as co-chairman of Cruz’s national campaign. King said departing Iowa is “the equivalent” of suspending an Oval Office bid after Carson returned home to Florida that evening.
Tyler also argued that GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump made several decisions that blunted his own Iowa momentum.
“It hurt him,” he said of Trump’s decision to skip the last Republican presidential debate before the Iowa contest. “I don’t think it hurt him badly, but it definitely hurt him.”
Tyler then charged that Sarah Palin’s endorsement of the outspoken billionaire last month did not boost his standing with voters.
“[It gave him] no real bump,” he said of the backing from the former Republican vice presidential nominee.
Cruz celebrated his win in Iowa as a “victory for the grass roots” late Monday after conquering the first-in-the-nation caucuses there.
That American democracy would allow even one vote to be decided by a coin toss seems bizarre – but somehow the outcome of six separate Iowa Caucus precinct elections were decided by the flip of a coin Monday. And Hillary Clinton won them all.
The Democrats’ Iowa Caucus appears to be a “virtual tie” between Bernie Sanders and Clinton – or a hairline win for Clinton, depending on whom you ask. But before eking out the narrowest of victories against Sanders, Clinton won a truly bizarre-sounding six coin tosses used to decide which candidate would get the votes of several Iowa precincts that were too tied up to call.
Precincts in Des Moines, Newton, West Branch, Davenport and Ames were decided by coin tosses, according to Reuters, and became crucial parts of Clinton’s Monday night win. Democratic Party counts show Clinton ultimately winning the Iowa Caucus by just four delegates.
If you’re still scratching your head over how this could happen, the Iowa Democratic Party sort of explains: On the night of the caucus, Iowans vote for their favorite candidate. Each precinct receives a set number of delegates, and the number of precinct delegates each candidate gets is proportional to the votes he or she got from the precinct’s population. Votes from those delegates ultimately determine the night’s big winner. When a precinct’s delegates vote and it results in a tie, the precinct leaders can flip a coin to figure out which candidate should win their majority.
You can watch some Democracy in action below:
Apparently Iowa is just one of 35 states to use “chance procedures” – a.k.a. throwing a coin in the air in exasperation and walking away in shame – to determine tied elections, according to the Washington Post.
The Iowa Democratic Party informed the campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernard Sanders late Monday night that it has no results for 90 precincts across the state, which could account for as much as 5 percent of the total vote. And the party has asked the campaigns for help in getting a tally for those missing results.
“We are, right now, calling all our precinct captains on precincts where we have knowledge of what’s missing, to report what we think happened there,” a visibly irate Robert Becker, Sanders’ state director told Roll Call after Sanders’ speech at the Holiday Inn near the Des Moines airport.
“They’ve asked the other campaigns to do the same thing. At the end of the day, there’s probably going to be squabbles on it,” he added.
An Iowa Democratic Party official disputed Becker’s characterization.
“We are currently getting results from our small number of outstanding precincts, and results continue to be reported on our public website,” an Iowa Democratic Party official told Roll Call. “The reports of precincts without chairs are inaccurate. These outstanding precincts have chairs who we are in the process of contacting to get their results. It is inaccurate to report that these precincts did not have chairs.”
“We have reached out to the campaigns for help in contacting the chairs for our outstanding precincts. We are not taking results from the campaigns. We are taking them from the chairs who are in these precincts,” the official added.
Clinton and Sanders were locked in a virtual tie for most of the evening, with the state party announcing early Tuesday morning that Clinton achieved a slight edge in delegate counts.
“The party has a responsibility to staff 1,681 individual precincts. And what we’re seeing right now is that they had no-shows. People not showing up with the materials, not showing up with the app to report it. And when they’re telling us an hour ago that they have basically lost 90 precincts, it’s an outrage,” Becker said. “It’s insulting to the people who worked their asses off across this state that they can’t come up with people to cover these things.”
Attempts to reach the Clinton campaign early Tuesday were unsuccessful.
“I’m assuming they’re in the same boat. And they should be just as outraged as we are,” Becker fumed.
It has now been confirmed – The photograph of Ted Cruz campaign shaming letters is legit (see below). The letters are officially from the Ted Cruz campaign.
Cruz spokesman Rick Tyler confirmed to IJ Review that the mailer was theirs in a phone call Friday evening, saying that the targeting had been “very narrow, but the caucuses are important and we want people who haven’t voted before to vote.” (link)
The personalized letters target individual Iowa voters and identifies them as having failed to vote in prior elections. They are admonished and then encouraged to vote this year. In addition the letters identify the neighbors of the voter, and provides their voting history.
The text reads:
“You are receiving this election notice because of low expected voter turnout in your area. Your individual voting history as well as your neighbors’ are public record. Their scores are published below, and many of them will see your score as well. CAUCUS ON MONDAY TO IMPROVE YOUR SCORE and please encourage your neighbors to caucus as well. A follow-up notice may be issued following Monday’s caucuses”.
In an effort to shame the recipient, the notice also informs the targeted voter their neighbors have also been notified of the recipients poor voting record.
How the Cruz Team would think a public shaming campaign is a good idea is just staggeringly unbelievable.
The campaign scheme was exposed via Twitter where “Tom Hinkeldy, a resident of Alta, Iowa, tweeted a photo (which was later deleted because it included his personal address) on Friday evening of a mailer Sen. Ted Cruz’s campaign sent addressed to his wife, Steffany” – link –
Word spread rapidly.
10:30 PM – 29 Jan 2016
The first name on the mailer list matches the name on the envelope at the top of the page. The envelope also has a returned address as “Paid for by Cruz for President”, the official campaign name of Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign (not a super-pac):
Another Iowan, Braddock Massey, tweeted a photo of the mailer he received:
This has the very real potential to be a massive fail and seriously backfire against the Ted Cruz campaign. He might have just given Marco Rubio a considerable gift with the Iowa election only two days away.
From the candidate who prefers to keep his own records, well,… sealed.
UPDATE 5:00am: It looks like Howie might have found the trail, via a professor in Northern Iowa named Christopher Larimer. Describing a previous stunt like this in Alaska. As outlined in a 2014 PBS article:
[…] “Why would they think that shaming would make people comply?”
Because, well, it does. That’s according to Chris Larimer, associate professor of political science at the University of Northern Iowa. And he’s done the research to prove it.
“We found that when you make people aware of the norm of voting and that somebody else is going to observe whether or not you vote, people are more likely then to vote,” he said.
The letter from the so-called Alaska State Voter Project is nearly identical, word for word, to one that Larimer and other researchers tested in Michigan, right down to the typography and punctuation. In that 2006 research, Larimer and colleagues sent voters one of four different letters.
The softest message just urged people to do their civic duty and vote. The most aggressive letter matched the Alaska mailer. It included the addressee’s voting history as well as those of their neighbors, and contained something of a threat by promising a follow-up letter to show the results of the upcoming election.
Larimer says they got complaints, but the technique worked quite well. (read more)
That emboldened segment describes the current Cruz Campaign mailer 100%. Also, Chris Larimer is noted in this recent Texas Tribune article about the controversial debate:
[…] For Cruz, the No. 2 candidate in many polls, Trump’s snub could make him the center of action at the Iowa Events Center, a role that comes with both risks and rewards.
“If Trump’s not there, it affects the strategy other candidates take toward Cruz,” said Christopher Larimer, a political science professor at the University of Northern Iowa. “Do they treat Cruz like the frontrunner, or do they talk about Trump?”
At the same time, Larimer added, the debate could be a “lost opportunity” for Cruz to challenge Trump on his conservative credentials in what’s likely their last meeting before the caucuses. (read more)
Looks like another one of those ever brilliant political consultant types sold the Cruz campaign on a version of their already extensive “psychographic analytics“. Wouldn’t be surprised if billionaire Phd Robert Mercer, via Cambridge Analytica targeting – isn’t involved in the engineering of this too.
UPDATE: Chris Larimer distances himself from this fiasco via the Washington Post:
The blogosphere rumor is completely false. I do NOT work for the Cruz (or any) campaign and have absolutely nothing to do with mailings.
2:13 PM – 30 Jan 2016
[…] “As a researcher who has done randomized field experiments with get out the vote mailings,” Larimer wrote in an email, “what I can say is that mailings that call attention to an individual’s vote history as well as that of their neighbors’ have been shown to be effective in terms of significantly increasing voter turnout. We draw on norm compliance theory which suggests that publicizing behavior regarding a social norm increases the likelihood of norm compliance.”
That was if the ad was crafted in a smart way. “The Cruz mailing is more negative than anything we have done and has the potential to elicit a negative response or what psychologists call ‘reactance’ or ‘boomerang effect,’” warned Larimer. “The mailing also states that a ‘follow up notice’ will be sent following the caucuses on Monday. This is not possible as caucus turnout is private and maintained by the parties.” (link)
Hillary Clinton struggled through three minutes of a foreign policy speech Monday in Iowa as a lengthy coughing fit took hold of her.
An audience of about 150 at the Jewish Federation of Greater Des Moines had gathered to hear the Democratic presidential candidate’s views on Israel.
But ten minutes into her address, phlegm interrupted – leading to a lengthy hacking cough that left the former secretary of state hoarse and raspy.
Her next campaign event in Knoxville, Iowa was a placid affair as a soft-voiced Clinton seemed unwilling to test the boundaries of her limited vocal power.
‘We’ve got to get back to making people’s voices and votes count,’ she warbled during that speech to a crowd of 250, sounding older than her 68 years.
A few more coughs punctuated Clinton’s Knoxville speech as she discussed the need for mental health reform.
Clinton has one more afternoon event on her schedule, and then a televised town hall event at night.
Her coughing spell sent her hunting through her podium for water, and in her pockets for a cough drop.
The first hint of trouble turned up when Clinton was addressing the need to ‘distrust and verify’ Iran’s actions in response to last year’s nuclear deal with the Obama administration and ‘counter Iran across the region.’
‘And how we handle enforcement in these early months will set the tone for years to come, so we have to get it right,’ she said, clearing her throat and looking distressed.
‘There must be consequences – let me see if I get some water here – (COUGH) You do talk a lot in this campaign!’ she said, sipping water before descending into a full-blown cough attack.
‘(COUGH) (COUGH) (COUGH) Um, excuse me, just one second here. (COUGH) (COUGH) (COUGH) (COUGH)’
‘A lozenge! (COUGH) (COUGH) (COUGH) (COUGH) I have one. (COUGH)’
Three more coughs rang out as she unwrapped the cough drop – and finally asked Jewish Federation president David Adelman to take over from offstage.
‘(COUGH) (COUGH) (COUGH) Here David, You talk,’ she said.
‘(COUGH) (COUGH) (COUGH)’
‘Well, we’re starting the all-in-one campaign,’ her audience heard from Adelman as she let out a ‘(COUGH) (COUGH) (COUGH) (COUGH) (COUGH) (COUGH) (COUGH)’ and popped the lozenge in her mouth.
‘Pledge cards will be by the door,’ he continued as Clinton regained her composure but became progressively more and more hoarse.
‘There must be consequences to, (CLEARS THROAT) excuse me, snap sanctions back into place. (CLEARS THROAT) And we have to make sure that Iran knows that if they try (COUGH) to develop or acquire nuclear weapons, the United States will stop them. (COUGH) We will act decisively.’
‘Now (COUGH) (COUGH) Iran has not had some change of personality,’ Clinton continued. ‘They will test our resolve with actions. Like their ballistic missile test. And I supported and am glad we are opposing (COUGH) (COUGH) new sanctions in response, to hold the Iranian government and its Revolutionary Guard Corps accountable for their support of terrorism (CLEARS THROAT), their missile program, human rights violations (COUGH) (COUGH), detention of Americans, and other illicit behavior like cyber crime.’
‘We also need to push for a political solution in Syria, as hard as that may be, because (COUGH) (COUGH) that is Iran’s real objective: to control Syria, to have a swath of territory up to Israel’s doorstep (CLEARS THROAT) and to connect with Hizbollah.’
‘The second thing is,’ she added, sounding her hoarsest and most aged, ‘we have to go after the tide of extremism (COUGH). This is a threat also on Israel’s doorstep. An ISIS affiliate in the Sinai is becoming more aggressive and sophisticated (COUGH), likely responsible for the destruction of the Russian airliner. And Israeli media reported that an ISIS commander for the Sinai recently visited Gaza, raising the stakes even higher.’
As she spoke, Clinton’s campaign was distributing a fundraising email focused on the Feb. 1 statewide caucuses in Iowa.
‘One week from today, Iowans will head to schools and firehouses (and in at least one precinct, their neighbors’ living room) to make their voices heard,’ the email said, before asking for contributions.
‘We don’t yet know what they’ll say – but we saw in 2008 just how profound an impact those voices can have.’
The Iowa Caucus, which will be held on February 1, is the first caucus in the country. As a result, it is a key focal point for nearly everyone running for president. It is a critical state to win as it helps set the stage for all the caucuses that follow.
For a Republican to win the caucus in Iowa, there is one man’s endorsement that is critical to secure. He is a top evangelical leader in the state and his endorsement matters. On Thursday morning, Bob Vander Plaats, President and CEO of Family Leader, announced his endorsement for the 2016 presidential race and the weight of his name behind this candidate is expected to be a game changer.
Vander Plaats announced that he is endorsing Texas Senator and constitutional conservative Ted Cruz for the presidency. The blessing of the Cruz campaign by Vander Plaats carries a lot of weight with the coveted and important evangelical Christian voting bloc in Iowa.
Speaking with the Des Moines Register, Vander Plaats shared why he chose to endorse Ted Cruz instead of one of the other 14 candidates in the GOP presidential race. He said, “At the end of the day, we truly believe that Ted Cruz is the most consistent and principled conservative who has the ability to not only win Iowa but I believe to win the (Republican) nomination.”
The majority of the GOP presidential candidates were trying desperately to secure Vander Plaats’ endorsement. Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, Carly Fiorina, Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum and Lindsey Graham were all hopefuls for this endorsement. Each auditioned with Vander Plaats in an attempt to get his support. The only two candidates who did not work to get his endorsement were Jeb Bush and Chris Christie.
Vander Plaats not only shared why he chose to endorse Cruz, but also explained why he chose Cruz over a few of the other candidates.
In regards to Donald Trump, Vander Plaats said, “Mr. Trump, he was probably taken off our radar when he made the decision not to attend the forum.” He said the two will move on as friends, however.
Though he described Marco Rubio as a conservative, his history regarding amnesty and illegal immigration played a major role in Rubio not getting Vander Plaats’ endorsement.
“However, I do believe the one issue he decided he was going to lead in Washington, D.C., with (Democratic New York U.S. Sen. Chuck) Schumer and (Republican Arizona U.S. Sen.) John McCain and the ‘gang of eight’ gave and gives everybody a little bit of cause for pause. And with immigration being such a big issue today, I think that’s going to be a hurdle that’s going to be a very steep for Marco Rubio to clear.”
Though some have attempted to portray Ted Cruz as a DC insider since he is a sitting senator, Vander Plaats begged to differ with such a description of Cruz. He contended, “But I think what’s appealing about Ted Cruz is he still gives that ‘outside’ appearance. He has not been embraced by the Washington establishment community, on either side of the aisle. So he’s still viewed as that outside candidate who really knows how this thing works and what needs to be changed.”
More than half of U.S. states are now refusing to cooperate with Barack Obama’s insane importation of 200,000 so-called ‘Syrian Refugees’ in the wake of the Paris terror attacks.
As public outrage has exploded since revelations that at least two of the Paris terrorists came into Europe as “Syrian refugees,” the number of governors opposing Obama’s plan has increased almost hourly on Monday, from just one – Michigan – overnight, to at least 27 at this hour… including one Democrat in a tight race (Maggie Hassan, NH).
As Top Right News has reported, at least two of the Paris terrorists entered Greece posing as so-called “Syrian refugees” in September – and were able to make their way to France to prepare, arm and execute a massive terrorist attack just 90 days later. This, after a Syrian informant revealed over 4,000 ISIS fighters have already been smuggled into Western nations – “hidden among innocent refugees.”
Obama’s own DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson actually said “we don’t know a whole lot” about Syrian refugees coming into America, and that DHS has “no active protocol” for properly screening them.
Yesterday, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) announced that, to protect the safety of his citizens, he would BLOCK any future importation of Muslim “refugees” to his state. A virtual avalanche of U.S. governors quickly followed suit. And although Federal law gives Obama the ability to import refugees as he sees fit, through the Jimmy Carter-era Refugee Act (1980), the states are essential parts of the settlement process. Without their cooperation, few if any refugees are likely to be moved to those states.
In a press conference this morning in Turkey, Obama said that ‘the United States has to step up and do its part,’ while chiding those in the opposition party for suggesting there be a ‘religious test’ for entry into the United States.
Clearly, the American people do not agree, and the brutal Paris attacks were the critical mass that has spurred massive political action.
White House blasts Republican states for rejecting needy Syrian refugees, says “Xenophobia is not the answer to terror” #paris
11:47 AM – 16 Nov 2015
Here is a map of the states currently defying Obama on his Muslim importation program (updated hourly):
As of 11/17/2015 3:00EST
STATES OPPOSING SYRIAN REFUGEES (27):
Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire (D), New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin
UPDATE: Gov. Susana Martinez (R-NM) is opposed to the resettlement of Muslim migrants. This remains missing from all other internet maps/lists hours later, for some reason.
UPDATE: We have Alaska in green because its Republican Gov. Bill Walker (I, former R) said he “can’t be bothered” to address this issue due to other concerns, angering many Alaskans who want him to oppose it.
UPDATE: Gov. Jay Nixon (D-MO) has refused to bar Obama’s refugees from Missouri, despite 105 of 114 counties being opposed to it.
Is your state welcoming any of the 200,000 so-called “refugees” Obama is demanding be imported into the heart of America, despite there being no “effective protocol” to properly vet them for ISIS ties?
If so you may wish to contact your governor at THIS link.
A poll released in November but ignored by the mainstream media shows a third of Syrian refugees do not want the Muslim terrorist group ISIS defeated. The survey results buttress concerns by the dozens of U.S. governors who have announced opposition to President Barack Obama’s plan to import 10,000 Syrian refugees over the next year.
The poll shows thirteen percent of Syrian refugees have a completely positive opinion of ISIS with another ten percent having mixed feelings on the terror group, suggesting that nearly one quarter are open to recruitment by ISIS.
Factoring the survey results with the 10,000 Syrian refugees Obama plans to bring to the United States means Obama will bring in 1,300 ISIS supporters and a total of 3,100 who do not want the US to defeat ISIS.
The Obama administration imported about 1,600 Syrian refugees in the past fiscal year. That means around 200 Syrian refugee ISIS supporters and a total of nearly 500 Syrian refugee ISIS sympathizers are already in the country.
The telephone poll of 900 Syrian refugees was conducted by the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies as part of a larger survey of six hundred people in each of six Arab nations and the Palestinian territories about ISIS. The group surveyed Syrian refugees in “equal proportion” located in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon. The survey also covered residents of Iraq, Egypt, Lebanon, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the Palestinian territories.
The poll has a margin of error rate of plus or minus four percent.
The survey result for the other Arab countries show similar levels of support for ISIS which ought to prompt a reevaluation of the U.S. policy for immigrants and refugees from the Middle East. The sole exception is Lebanon where less than one percent have a positive view of ISIS.
At the other end of the spectrum, even more supportive of ISIS than the Syrian refugees, are Palestinians.
The survey shows twenty-four percent of Palestinians have a positive view of ISIS with another thirty-six percent only having a somewhat negative opinion of ISIS. The survey also shows Palestinians as the only group where less than fifty percent (48) support the defeat of ISIS .
A Google News search shows only Investors Business Daily and The Blaze have reported on the survey. In Canada, which has pledged to take in 25,000 Syrian refugees, it appears only The Rebel has reported on the survey.
The former chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence says President Obama has no coherent strategy to defeat ISIS, and he alleges one of Obama’s top advisers “lied to the American people” to perpetuate a misguided program allowing tens of thousands of refugees into the U.S.
Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes appeared on multiples Sunday morning news shows. When asked whether the news that one and possibly two of the Paris terrorists came to Europe as refugees would alter the Obama administration’s plan to accept tens of thousands of refugees, Rhodes said there would be no re-evaluation.
“No, Chuck,” Rhodes told “Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd. “We have very extensive screening procedures for all Syrian refugees who would come to the United States. There’s a very careful vetting process that includes our intelligence community, our National Counterterrorism Center, the Department of Homeland Security. So we can make sure we’re carefully screening anybody who comes to the United States.”
Peter Hoekstra spent 18 years in Congress and spent much of his time focused on intelligence matters. He is now with the Investigative Project on Terrorism and is the author of “Architects of Disaster,” which outlines the failure of the Obama administration’s policy in Libya.
“I think (Rhodes) basically lied to the American people,” Hoekstra told WND and Radio America. “He said we’ve got a good vetting process in place where we can vet those that are coming from Syria into the United States.”
He continued, “No we do not. The records don’t exist in Syria, especially after you’ve had five years of civil war. We don’t have a relationship with the regime. It’s an ungoverned area. We don’t know who these people are. Ben, shame on you for even implying that we’ve got a good vetting system. We’re lucky if can get the names right.”
In fact, even before the terrorist attacks in Paris, Hoekstra said the idea of bringing in tens of thousands of refugees was a fool’s errand. As such, he said the announcements from a growing number of governors that they won’t accept refugees is a good sign.
“I think it’s a good decision,” he said. “I wasn’t quite sure why we were ever welcoming these folks in. We are a welcoming nation to refugees and to these kinds of individuals, but only after they’ve been vetted.”
Hoekstra said spreading all these refugees around the Western world does nothing to solve the real problem.
“This problem is not solved by accepting refugees into Europe and the United States,” he said. “This problem is solved by eliminating ISIS and bringing some stability back into the Middle East. You’ve got to wipe ISIS out.”
The issue is taking on additional scrutiny after the European Union revealed only one-fifth of the refugees it has accepted (or about 44,000 of some 213,000 total) are actually from Syria.
But the refugee issue is just one element of the Obama administration’s approach to ISIS that baffles Hoekstra. On Monday, Obama told reporters at the G-20 Summit in Turkey that the Paris attacks would not alter the U.S. strategy toward ISIS. Hoekstra said the existing strategy is a proven disaster, as evidenced by Yemen and Libya turning into lawless wastelands and both Syria and Iraq getting increasingly unstable and deadly to Christians, Yazidis and others.
“I’m not sure what strategy this president is looking at that he believes it working,” Hoekstra said. “When you’ve got at least four countries that are no longer governed and are failed nation-states and are home for the planning and training and preparation for attacks against the West, that is not my view of success.”
Another statement from Obama in Turkey is getting even more attention. After announcing he was sticking with his existing strategy toward ISIS, Obama slammed those who want to America taking a more decisive role.
“What I’m not interested in doing is posing, or pursuing some notion of American leadership or America winning or whatever other slogans they come up with that has no relationship to what is actually going to work,” Obama said.
Hoekstra was stunned.
“This message is clear: When the president says, ‘I have no intention of following or implementing a strategy about America leading’ or whatever slogan they may come up with, it is clear that this president does not have a strategy in place for America leading in Northern Africa, the Middle East or, for that matter, any other place in the world,” Hoekstra said.
And he said America’s credibility is taking a beating as a result.
“I hate to be that critical of this president, but America is at risk,” Hoekstra said. “We are in danger, and we’re in danger of losing our influence in the world. We’ve been a voice of stability, security, democracy and human rights. We are just losing all credibility throughout significant portions of the world.”
In addition to his frustrations with the Obama administration, Hoekstra is alarmed at how unprepared the intelligence communities were for the Paris attacks.
“What I’m hearing is that there was some general awareness that there were some attacks or an attack was imminent in Europe,” Hoekstra said. “That was out there, but again no tactical insight into exactly where the attack would take place or when it would take place.”
He said the truth is, it’s really hard to find these small plots before they happen.
“It just tells you that ISIS and these radical jihadist groups in a country of 80 million people or in a country of 300-plus million people like the United States, it’s not that hard to hide and organize and prepare to carry out an attack like this,” Hoekstra said.
So what can be done to improve America’s odds of stopping future attacks?
“We need closer intelligence sharing between our agencies,” Hoekstra said. “We need to push the technology envelope as quickly as we can, and we need to improve our human intelligence.”
Intelligence experts say efforts to infiltrate ISIS have essentially “gone dark,” partly due to former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden exposing tactics for tracking terrorist suspects.
Hoekstra said this confirms what everyone should have known about Snowden from the outset.
“As I said at the time, this was not an American hero protecting American liberties,” he said. “This was an American traitor that was giving away some of America’s secrets that would make us more vulnerable to these kinds of groups and these kinds of individuals and these kinds of attacks.”
A new national poll of Republican primary voters indicates that Ben Carson has taken a small lead in the race for the party’s presidential nomination, knocking Donald Trump from a position he has held for months.
Twenty-six percent of likely voters say Carson is their top pick for the nomination, four points ahead of Trump at 22 percent. The poll, conducted by CBS and The New York Times, has shown Trump on top ever since it began surveying voters last July. Out of more than 30 polls tracked on the website RealClearPolitics, this is only the second since early July that doesn’t have Trump in the top spot. The news comes on the heels of a poll giving Carson a big 14-point lead in Iowa, whose caucuses kick off the primary season.
No other Republicans are in double digits in the new poll. Marco Rubio is third with 8 percent support, followed by Jeb Bush and Carly Fiorina with 7 percent apiece. Every other candidate is clustered at 4 percent or less.
Carson’s rise is based on picking up more support from just about all groups, but his core base still shows substantial differences with Trump’s. Carson has amassed tremendous support among evangelical voters, who support him over Trump by more than 20 percentage points. Carson is also more popular with women than men, and attracts more conservatives, while Trump appeals more to moderates and those without a college degree.
Carson’s lead could be quite unstable, though. Only 19 percent of his supports say they are firmly committed to backing him, while more than half of Trump’s supporters say the same, meaning the business mogul likely has a firmer base on which to rely.
The poll was conducted from Oct. 21-25 and had a sample size of 575 Republican primary voters. The margin of error was plus or minus 6 percentage points.
Ben Carson has overtaken Donald Trump in Iowa, surging to a 14-point lead, according to a new poll.
A Monmouth University survey released on Monday found Carson taking 32 percent support in Iowa, followed by Trump at 18 percent.
That’s a 9-point gain for Carson from the same poll in late August, while Trump has fallen five points in that time.
The poll found Carson with the best favorability rating in the field, with an astounding 84 percent of Iowa Republicans having a positive view of him, compared to only 7 percent who view him negatively.
Trump’s favorability rating is at 53 percent positive and 38 percent negative. His favorability rating is essentially unchanged from late August, although the percentage of those who view him unfavorably has increased by 5 points in that time.
Trump has led in nearly every poll of Iowa since early August, but the Monmouth survey is the third recent poll to show Carson with a healthy lead over the field in the Hawkeye State.
A Des Moines Register-Bloomberg poll released last week showed Carson with a 9 point lead, and a Quinnipiac University survey found Carson ahead by 8.
Carson is ahead among all demographic groups in Iowa, according to Monmouth. He leads among Republicans who describe themselves as “somewhat” and “very conservative,” as well as self-described moderates.
Carson also leads among evangelicals, non-evangelicals, men and women in the poll.
“Trump’s support has eroded in a number of key areas, with the beneficiary being another outside candidate,” said Monmouth pollster Patrick Murray. “One question is how secure Carson’s new found support really is.”
Only 19 percent of likely Iowa Republican caucus-goers said they have made up their minds on whom to support, giving hope to lower polling candidates.
Rounding out the field are Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), at 10 percent each, and Jeb Bush at 8 percent.
Businesswoman Carly Fiorina take 5 percent support in the poll. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is at 3 percent, while Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal and John Kasich each take 2 percent support.
Outsider candidates such as Trump and Carson, though, appear to have the advantage based on the deep anti-establishment sentiment among likely caucus-goers. Fifty-seven percent said the Republican Party has done a bad job representing their views.
“While the leader board positions have changed, the outsider candidates still dominate this race,” said Murray. “The GOP’s leadership may hope that an establishment figure will emerge, but that may not happen while their voters remain dissatisfied with the party as a whole.”
Bush, Kasich, Paul and Christie are the only candidates with negative favorability ratings in Iowa, according to the poll.
The Monmouth University survey of 400 likely Republican caucus-goers was conducted Oct. 22-25 and has a 4.9 percent margin of error.
H/T Right Scoop
Bernie Sanders continues to cut into Hillary Clinton’s once-commanding lead among Iowa Democrats, closing to just 7 points of the party front-runner in the first-in-the-nation caucus state, a new poll has found.
A survey released late Saturday afternoon by the Des Moines Register and Bloomberg Politics finds that Sanders, the fiery progressive senator from Vermont, trails Clinton 37% to 30%. The former secretary of state has lost one-third of her supporters since May.
Sanders’ support owes more to voters’ enthusiasm for his candidacy than opposition to Clinton, the poll found. A whopping 96% of his backers say they support him and his ideas, with just 2% saying their vote is motivated by a desire to stop a Clinton candidacy. As for the controversy surrounding Clinton’s use of email while leading the State Department, 61% of likely Democratic caucusgoers say the issue is not important to them.
Sanders has a deeper reservoir of support, the poll found. Thirty-nine percent of likely caucusgoers say their feelings about Sanders are very favorable, with just 8% having a negative view of him. That’s a sharp contrast to Clinton: 27% view her very favorably, but 19% view her negatively.
Saturday’s poll marks a remarkable eight-month climb for the self-proclaimed Democratic socialist from Vermont, who is garnering support in part from his anti-establishment rhetoric. Back in January, half of likely Democratic caucusgoers were unfamiliar with Sanders, and he was pulling in just 5% of support.
“What this new poll shows is that the more Iowans get to know Bernie, the better they like him and what he stands for. We’ve seen the same thing in New Hampshire and across the country,” Sanders campaign spokesman Michael Briggs said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Vice President Joe Biden, who has not declared whether he’ll seek the Oval Office next year, captured 14% of the vote, easily distancing himself from former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (3%), former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb (2%) and former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee (1%).
Speculation has heated up in recent weeks about whether Biden, 72, will join the race. He faces several obstacles in a potential run, including the need to raise enough campaign cash to compete with the Clinton machine and carving out enough support among key Democratic voting blocs. And he’s still grieving over the loss of his son, Beau Biden, who died of brain cancer three months ago; in a conference call with Democrats this week, Biden said he was still determining whether he had the “emotional fuel” to run.
But the vice president’s hesitation didn’t prevent his supporters from responding enthusiastically to Saturday’s poll.
“These results are the latest sign that voters respect and trust the Vice President and are looking for a candidate who speaks authentically and openly about the issues important to them,” according to a statement from “Draft Biden.” “They make clear the Vice President would have the support needed to mount a strong, competitive campaign.”
Ben Carson and Donald Trump are tied at the top of the Republican field in a new survey of likely Iowa caucus-goers with 23 percent each, according to the results of a Monmouth University poll released Monday.
The good news continues for the retired neurosurgeon with his favorability ratings, as 81 percent said they view him favorably, compared to just 6 percent who do not. And Trump’s favorability went up as well, at 52 percent to 33 percent, up from 47 percent and 35 percent last month.
Carson has steadily gained support over the summer despite keeping a relatively low profile, especially compared to Trump. But Carson, who has never held political office, has similarly tapped into a strong anti-Washington sentiment among voters.
In the poll released Monday, the two non-establishment candidates are followed by another, former Hewlett-Packard executive Carly Fiorina with 10 percent. Following Fiorina are Texas Sen. Ted Cruz at 9 percent, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker at 7 percent, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush at 5 percent, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio at 4 percent, and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul at 3 percent. No other candidates registered more than 2 percent, including the last two winners of the caucus – former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (both at 2 percent).
The latest survey showed Carson making inroads on key voting blocs that Trump has been winning in recent polls. Women preferred Carson at 30 percent to 19 percent, while Trump did better with men voters, at 27 percent to 17 percent.
Among those identifying with the tea party, 27 percent pledged their support for Trump, compared to 22 percent for Carson, with Cruz behind with 16 percent. But Carson leads among non-tea-party-affiliated Republicans, taking 25 percent to Trump’s 19 percent.
Voters who described themselves as very or somewhat conservative were split between the top two, while moderate and liberals went for Trump at 26 percent, Fiorina at 18 percent and Carson at 17 percent.
Carson leads among Evangelical voters, earning 29 percent to Trump’s 23 percent, while non-Evangelicals backed Trump with 24 percent, followed by Carson at 18 percent and Fiorina at 13 percent.
Nearly a third of likely caucusgoers – 66 percent – said that the next president needs to be someone who can bring experience from outside of Washington, compared to 23 percent who indicated a preference toward candidates with government experience.
The survey was conducted Aug. 27-30, polling 405 likely caucus participants with an overall margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.
Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson has emerged as a leading Republican presidential candidate in Iowa and is closing in on frontrunner Donald Trump in the state that hosts the first 2016 nomination balloting contest.
The latest Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register Iowa Poll shows billionaire Trump with the support of 23 percent of likely Republican caucus participants, followed by Carson at 18 percent. When first and second choices are combined, Carson is tied with Trump.
Trump finds himself in a vastly better position than when the previous Iowa Poll was taken. He has become a credible presidential candidate to many likely Republican caucus-goers. The real estate mogul is rated favorably by 61 percent and unfavorably by 35 percent, an almost complete reversal since the Iowa Poll in May. He finds his highest ratings among those planning to attend the caucuses for the first time (69 percent) and limited-government Tea Party activists (73 percent). Just 29 percent say they could never vote for him, a number cut in half since May.
Although he isn’t generating the headlines enjoyed by Trump, Carson has quietly built a dedicated network of supporters in Iowa. During the past month, he also aired more ads than any other presidential candidate in Iowa. Carson has the highest favorability rating among Republican candidates, with 79 percent of likely GOP caucus-goers seeing him positively.
Those glowing views of Carson, who has a compelling life story and is seeking to become the nation’s second black president, could make it hard for Trump or other rivals to attack him as the campaign heats up this fall. Christian conservatives, who represent nearly 40 percent of likely caucus participants in the poll, may be starting to coalesce around the former director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins.
The poll displays the political benefit, at least for now, of not being part of the Republican establishment. When their totals are combined, Trump and Carson – two men without any elected experience – are backed by more than 4 in 10 likely caucus participants. Add in former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, who also has never held elective office, and Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who is running an explicitly anti-establishment campaign, and the total reaches 54 percent of the likely electorate.
“Trump and Carson, one bombastic and the other sometimes soft-spoken, could hardly be more different in their outward presentations,” said J. Ann Selzer, president of West Des Moines-based Selzer & Co., which conducted the poll. “Yet they’re both finding traction because they don’t seem like politicians and there’s a strong demand for that right now.”
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, the previous Iowa frontrunner, has been hurt the most by the Trump and Carson summer surges and is now backed by just 8 percent of likely caucus-goers, less than half what he recorded in the last Iowa Poll in late May. Cruz, who will need to cut into Carson’s support among social conservatives if he’s to advance in Iowa, is tied with Walker at 8 percent.
Jeb Bush, who continues to face major headwinds in Iowa, scored below Walker and Cruz. The former Florida governor is backed by just 6 percent, has one of the highest unfavorable ratings among the 17 Republican candidates tested, and has the support of just 16 percent of those who consider themselves business-oriented establishment Republicans, the group most central to his brand.
Bush’s fellow Floridian, Senator Marco Rubio, is also backed by 6 percent. He’s closely followed by Fiorina, who is supported by 5 percent after her strong showing in the Aug. 6 debate.
In the 2008 and 2012 Republican caucuses, Christian conservatives broke late in the race and helped determine the outcome in Iowa. While some of their leaders have expressed skepticism about the potential to unify behind one candidate in such a crowded race, there’s an opening for that. More than three-quarters of Christian conservatives in the poll say they could be convinced to back someone other than their first or second choice, if they could be assured that another Christian conservative would win.
At the moment, Carson is leading with voters in that bloc at 23 percent, followed by Trump at 16 percent and Cruz and Walker tied at third. If his competitors can successfully raise questions about Trump’s credentials as a Christian conservative, they could potentially peel off some of the front-runner’s support.
One major unknown for the caucuses is the size of the electorate, which has been around 120,000 on the Republican side for the past two Iowa caucuses. One of Trump’s campaign goals is to get thousands of new people to vote, a move that helped Barack Obama score an upset on the Democratic side in 2008.
First-time caucus-goers are clearly an important part of Trump’s Iowa base. Among those who say they’ll be attending for the first time, Trump is ahead of Carson, 28 percent to 20 percent.
For now, the poll suggests about a fifth of those attending the Feb. 1 precinct meetings will be doing so for the first time. That’s comparable to four years ago, when 24 percent said that on the Republican side in an October 2011 Iowa Poll.
Trump’s supporters in Iowa a have a higher level of trust in their candidate than others in the field to make the right decisions, if he makes it to the White House. Among all Republicans likely to attend the caucuses, 41 percent want their candidate to be clear about the specific policies they would address if elected, while 57 percent trust their candidate to figure it out once elected.
For Trump, nearly two-thirds of his supporters trust him to figure out the right decisions once in office. That’s in keeping with a claim he made to reporters Aug. 15, shortly after landing by helicopter outside the Iowa State Fair, saying it’s mostly the media that cares about policy papers and positions.
Among most of the subgroups measured in the poll, Trump has the advantage, although Carson beats him or comes close with several. Carson has an 11-percentage-point advantage over Trump among seniors and 7-percentage-point edge among Christian conservatives.
“I’m sick and tired of the political class,” said Lisa Pilch, 54, a middle school physical education teacher leaning toward Carson who lives in Springville, Iowa. “I just like his tone and think he’s someone who could pull us together, rather than the polarization we have right now. He has a lot of wisdom, even if he doesn’t have political savviness.”
While Carson is doing slightly better than Trump among women, the billionaire has the advantage among men, 28 percent to 17 percent.
“He’s got a no-nonsense approach,” said Patrick Messmore, 32, a construction equipment sales manager who lives near Grundy Center and plans to back Trump. “His history as a businessman is potentially a good change for our country, so that we don’t just have another life-time politician taking over as president.”
In some ways, Messmore sees Trump as an antidote to Bush. “I’m not OK with another Bush presidency,” he said. “We’ve had two of them now and I don’t see that there will be enough of a different approach than his dad or brother had. It’s just not something I’m interested in.”
The poll shows Walker and Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, especially, aren’t performing anywhere close to earlier expectations.
Paul, who was backed by just 4 percent, was perceived a year ago to have an advantage in Iowa, given the third-place finish in the 2012 caucuses recorded by his father, former Representative Ron Paul of Texas. In October, his favorable rating outweighed his unfavorable by nearly 3-to-1.
“Whatever advantage he had has eroded,” Selzer said. “Now, more Iowa caucus-goers have negative than positive feelings about him.”
For Walker, who has been in a slump since his lackluster debate performance, the poll is certain to further reduce expectations around his performance in Iowa, which had grown to the point where anything short of a win would have been viewed as a loss. One upside for him in the poll: Besides Carson, he’s the only candidate to exceed 70 percent in favorability.
Iowa Republicans are showing little interest in re-runs. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who won the 2008 Iowa Republican caucuses, is at 4 percent. He’s followed at 2 percent by candidates who are governors, Chris Christie of New Jersey, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and John Kasich of Ohio.
Former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, who narrowly beat eventual nominee Mitt Romney in the 2012 caucuses, is backed by just 1 percent, the same level of support recorded by former Texas Governor Rick Perry, who is also struggling in his second White House bid even amid heavy spending in Iowa on the part of a super political action committee backing him.
Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, former New York Governor George Pataki and former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore all recorded support of less than 1 percent.
The survey, taken Aug. 23-26, included 400 likely Republican caucus participants. On the full sample, it has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.
Besides the nearly the nearly 40 percent of likely Republican caucus-goers who say Christian conservative is the best way to identify them, “business-oriented establishment Republicans” and Tea Party activists are roughly tied as the next largest groups, at 22 percent and 21 percent. Those who feel they are most closely aligned with the “liberty movement,” a bloc associated with Paul, represent only about 8 percent.
To offer another assessment of candidate strength – something difficult to divine in such a crowded field – Selzer created an index built on multiple measures in the poll. The index takes into account first and second choices, as well as a question that was asked on whether respondents could ever – or would never – support each candidate they didn’t name as their first or second pick. First choices were given double weight, while “ever support” was given a half weighting.
Using that system, Carson is narrowly ahead of Trump, 75 to 73. Walker comes next at 55, followed by Cruz at 53 and Rubio at 50. The index and never/ever question also show some of the candidates could struggle to expand their support. Nearly half of likely Republican caucus participants, 48 percent, say they could never support Christie. For Paul, it’s 43 percent and for Bush it’s 39 percent.