On women’s health, Clinton compares Republicans to ‘terrorist groups’

28 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Beau Biden’s friends and supporters: We’re ready for Joe Biden.

As Democratic Party insiders gather for their summer meeting, there is a growing undercurrent of concern whether Hillary Clinton would be the party’s strongest candidate to keep the White House next year. CLEVELAND — Hillary Rodham Clinton on Thursday drew parallels between terrorist organizations and the field of Republican candidates for president when it comes to their views on women, telling an audience her potential rivals were pushing outdated policies. “Now extreme views about women.Friends and supporters of Beau Biden, the late son of the vice president, are emerging as a key force behind efforts to help Joe Biden become president.

Speaking at a Cleveland rally, Clinton criticized the positions of Republican presidential candidates on issues such as banning abortion even in the case of rape and incest, calling them “extreme views” and “dead wrong for 21st century America.” “We expect that from some of the terrorist groups,” she said. “We expect that from people who don’t want to live in the modern world. Many of them were classmates at the University of Pennsylvania or Syracuse University’s law school, where Beau Biden met several dozen rising stars.

But it’s a little hard to take coming from Republicans who want to be president of the United States.” That drew a rebuke from the Republican National Committee, which said she should apologize for “inflammatory rhetoric” and that “to equate her political opponents to terrorists is a new low for her flailing campaign.” Clinton returned to Ohio for a “grassroots organizing” event and fundraiser amid sagging poll numbers and controversy about using a private e-mail server when she was secretary of state. Mr Biden, who lost his oldest child Beau to brain cancer in May, has himself questioned whether he has the “emotional fuel” for a grueling 14-month battle for the presidency. “If I were to announce to run, I have to be able to commit to all of you that I would be able to give it my whole heart and my whole soul, and right now, both are pretty well banged up,” he said. Some from Penn in particular vividly recall meeting then-senator Joe Biden, both at the Ivy League school and when he hosted his son’s friends at their home just 25 miles from the Philadelphia campus. “We all want to give back to somebody like that,” said Jonathan Blue, a fraternity brother of Beau Biden’s who now runs a private equity firm in Louisville. Republican contender Jeb Bush, former governor of Florida, lashed back, raising the recent controversy over Planned Parenthood workers’ handling of fetal tissue. “@HillaryClinton compares pro-life Americans to terrorists, but defends despicable PP treatment of unborn?

It buoyed her, though she ultimately lost to Barack Obama. “I will never forget what Ohio did for me in 2008,” Clinton told the crowd on the campus of Case Western Reserve University estimated at about 3,000. “You lifted me up when I was down and out.” Ohio may determine the presidency, so campaigning there makes sense — especially now — for Clinton, said Joe Trippi, a Democrat who was campaign manager for Howard Dean in 2004 and worked against Clinton for John Edwards in 2008. The first television debate for Democrat candidates in on October 13 in Las Vegas. “Note to Biden: They like you, they really like you, or they like you more than the others,” he said. “If he is sitting on the fence, his scores in the matchups and his favourability ratings may compel him to say, ‘Let’s do this’.” Eighty-three per cent of Democrats view Mr Biden favourably, compared to 76 per cent for Mrs Clinton.

Often maligned for speaking too frankly, Mr Biden’s reputation for shooting from the lip might be one of his biggest weapons if he does decide to run against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination. The controversy over Clinton’s emails “muddles the thinking of a lot of people,” said Alexandra Rooker of West Sacramento, vice chair of the state party in California. “The email issue is affecting her campaign,” said Nancy Jacobson, a member of the Democratic National Committee from Orlando, Fla. Voters in a Reuters/Ipsos survey who said they were open to backing Mr Biden for the nomination described him as an honest and forthright political veteran who is free of scandal despite decades in Washington. He leads the 16 other candidates with 28 per cent support among registered voters nationwide, up from 20 per cent in a similar July 30 survey – the widest margin for any Republican so far in the election cycle. John Kasich of Ohio, telling supporters he had banned state funding for some rape crisis centres because they sometimes referred women to other health facilities that provide abortion services.

A Quinnipiac poll released Aug. 20 also found that while Clinton had a clear lead in the battlegrounds of Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, her high negative ratings presented an opening for Biden. A new Quinnipiac University poll Thursday, for example, showed Biden doing better than her against potential GOP opponents Donald Trump, Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio. Republicans, who will hold their nominating convention in Cleveland next year, have been hammering at her, and raising questions about her use of the private server. The videos have prompted investigations by congressional committees and Republicans in Congress, and several states have sought to block government payments to the group.

Their point of contact is Joshua Alcorn, who was Beau’s top political adviser and, after wrapping up his financial affairs this summer, moved over to the “Draft Biden 2016” super PAC. While many opinion polls have been throwing Mr Biden’s name into the mix for some months, few have examined the reasons for his relative popularity among many Democrats. “He says what he means. The super PAC expects to reach between $2.5 million to $3 million in donations in the coming month as new fundraisers and donors come aboard, according to national finance chair Jon Cooper. It’s not always good, but he’s upfront and honest,” said Mary Lampron, 70, of North Providence, Rhode Island. “Maybe it’s not what he should say, but it’s what he thinks, which I admire,” she said.

In 2012, Mr Biden surprised his boss, President Barack Obama, when he said he was “absolutely comfortable” with gay couples getting married, forcing Mr Obama to publicly declare his own support for same-sex marriage. Alcorn — a Wilmington native who graduated in 1999 from Archmere Academy with the vice president’s daughter, Ashley — has known the family for years and worked as a field operative in Waterloo, Iowa, for Biden’s failed 2008 presidential bid. Mr Biden polls better nationally against the leading three Republican candidates than Ms Clinton, and has a higher favourability rating, too, a separate poll shows.

But his deepest connection to the family comes through working as a top political operative for Beau, who was Delaware’s attorney general before his death. On Thursday, Clinton also vowed to be her own president, a contrast to previous remarks from Biden, who said he would embrace the Obama administration’s achievements. “I’m not running for my husband’s third term, and I’m not running for President Obama’s third term,” Clinton said in the Cleveland speech. “I’m running for my first term.” Even as these groups promote another Biden campaign, however, some longtime friends continue to express reservations about both the ability to defeat Clinton in a primary and also what such a loss could do to the already grieving vice president. Mark Gitenstein, the former ambassador to Romania who served as Biden’s counsel during the 1980s Supreme Court confirmation battles, wrote a $1,000 check to the Biden super PAC in early May, soon after he learned that Beau’s cancer had returned.

I don’t trust her,” said Icie Farnsworth, 53, a lifelong Democrat, of Martinsville, Virginia, who said she liked Mr Biden’s voting record on the economy, civil rights and education. He’s been through hell.” Some Democrats, while fond of Biden, “don’t want him to do something that would be very difficult and painful,” according to a former colleague in the Senate who requested anonymity to speak freely about the issue. Last month Ms Clinton blamed a “constant barrage of attacks that are largely fomented by and coming from the right”. “People should and do trust me,” she told CNN in an interview. They want to hear more about the email controversy. “I do hear that a fair amount, even among people for her,” said Donald Fowler of South Carolina, national party chairman during part of Bill Clinton’s administration.

Some Biden advisers believer, however, the only way to win is to get into the arena and fight, because the Clintons have spent 25 years in national politics weathering scandals that seemed far worse than questions about an e-mail server. Restricted to just $1,200 donations, he and Alcorn raised about $1.2 million in just six months — a large number by Delaware standards and one that made him the unquestioned front-runner. Clinton turned over 30,490 official emails to the State Department in December, and in March said she simultaneously deleted more than 31,000 personal emails. State Department officials first found classified information in Clinton’s official emails last May, long before the controversy reached its current fever. Two emails on Clinton’s private account have since been classified above “Top Secret.” When Clinton appeared at a Democratic gala with her presidential rivals in Iowa Aug. 14, she joked about the emails.

The next day, she offered a vigorous defense during a news conference at the Iowa State Fair, saying she never sent classified material on her email and never received any classified information.

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