The Daily 202: Anger won and Rubio lost last night’s debate

22 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Analysis: Bush strong in GOP debate but it may not matter.

You’ve probably heard the hoary old tale of the boiling frog. Longshot presidential candidate Jeb Bush on Wednesday took a victory lap just hours after the latest GOP 2016 presidential debate, in which he frequently and furiously tangled with front-runner Donald Trump. “I did think the debate was great.The Republican presidential candidates’ fifth debate focused on national security and included misleading claims on terrorism, immigration and foreign oil. • Former Florida governor Jeb Bush misconstrued the words of businessman Donald Trump in claiming that Trump said that “ISIS was not our fight” and that “ISIS was not a factor.” • Sen.LAS VEGAS — There were big fights on Tuesday night in Las Vegas, some meaty policy exchanges and a much-anticipated conflict that never materialized.(CNN)Donald Trump may have given Ted Cruz a pass at Tuesday night’s Republican debate, but the rest of his primary challengers do not appear ready to let him off the hook so easily.

LAS VEGAS – The final Republican debate of the year featured sharp exchanges over national security, personal insults and regular interruptions, but in the end there were no outright winners. As the Republican horse race approaches a holiday season slow down, Cruz’s campaign is moving to maximize his two fundamental advantages over the GOP field: his money and the map.

Candidates clashed over the balance between surveillance and privacy as they sought to prove their security credentials as potential commander-in-chief. Bush called the billionaire businessman “the chaos candidate,” insisted Trump couldn’t “insult his way to the presidency,” and dismissed Trump’s proposal to block all Muslims from entering the country as dangerous and “not serious.” Yet with little more than six weeks before voting begins, Bush is struggling for relevancy in a presidential election that has begun to leave him behind. And despite his high poll numbers, Bush said, Trump is ill-prepared for the job. “I don’t know if the front-running candidate fared that well in that kind of context,” Bush said. “His policies, what he’s advocated, just won’t do it. The temperature goes up little by little, and so gradually, that the frog doesn’t even notice — until eventually the water boils and it’s cooked to death. Marco Rubio cosponsored in 2013 would have allowed the president to admit refugees without “any background checks whatsoever.” And Cruz claimed that the FBI director told Congress “they cannot vet [Syrian] refugees.” That’s not exactly what the director said. • Rubio and Cruz disagreed over the impact of the USA Freedom Act, which amended government surveillance provisions of the Patriot Act.

Trump, meanwhile, beat back repeated attacks from his Republican rivals in the primetime faceoff to ensure a central role in the 2016 contest, fueled by deep anti-establishment frustration among the GOP’s angry electorate. The turn toward national security seemed to suit Bush, whose core message was that Trump was a “chaos candidate” who would be a “chaos president.” Trump got in his usual barbs about Bush’s poll numbers and energy level, and some surely stung. “You’re a tough guy, Jeb, you’re real tough,” Trump told his rival. “Well let’s see, I am at 42 percent and you’re at 3, so, so far I’m doing better.” But Bush didn’t seem fazed and stuck to a consistent strategy of attacking Trump’s proposals on raw efficacy, rather than principle.

And on Thursday, Cruz will kick off a 10-city, seven-day national tour meant to reinforce that Cruz is not an Iowa-only candidate, with Cruz touching down in Super Tuesday states from Minnesota to Oklahoma. It dealt with some of the most serious issues of the moment but broke down in shouting and interruptions that seemed to underscore the determination of all the candidates to make their mark as the campaign heads into the holidays and a short respite before resuming in January.

It improved the previous legislation, he claimed, because it allowed the National Security Agency (NSA) to monitor mobile and internet phones as well as landlines. “The old programme covered 20 to 30% of phone numbers to search for terrorists,” he said. “The new programme covers nearly 100%. And I think I won.” Bush said that while Americans have a right to be scared — following bloody terror attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif. and most recently a hoax terror threat that shut down 900 schools in Los Angeles — he said the Republican Party should not be stoking fear. Rubio accused Cruz of supporting “legalizing people who are in this country illegally,” a “500% increase in H1-B visas” (the skilled guest worker temporary visas), and “doubling the number of green cards.” Rubio is wrong on all three points. I don’t know if that’s Saturday morning or Sunday morning,” Bush said in response to a question over why he felt he was better equipped than Trump to deal with international figures like Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Lindsey Graham repeated the claim that the U.S. spends $350 billion “to buy oil from people who hate our guts.” Thirty-seven percent of those oil imports in 2014 came from Canada, with another 9 percent from Mexico. • Former senator Rick Santorum was incorrect in claiming Muslim immigration to the U.S. has doubled since 9/11. Most notably, he argued that a Muslim travel ban would alienate Muslim allies abroad who are needed to fight ISIS rather than raise concerns about discrimination or religious freedom. But between now and the next time that Republicans debate in South Carolina in mid-January, Cruz is likely to be a constant target by his GOP rivals unwilling to let Cruz ride into Iowa. Donald Trump, who dominates the national polls, came under repeated fire for proposing to bar the entry of Muslims into the United States and for saying he would go after the families of Islamic State terrorists. That gives us greater ability to stop acts of terrorism.” But Marco Rubio, the Florida senator, went on the offensive, saying the authorities had lost an important tool for keeping America safe. “Let me just be very clear: there is nothing that we are allowed to do under this bill that we could not do before,” he said.

Bush, who has struggled to boost his failing poll numbers, expressed confidence that he would make a comeback, especially in the early primary and caucus states where voters aren’t yet wedded to a candidate. In August, Trump had said he received his military and foreign policy advice by watching Sunday morning political talk shows. “Jeb Bush had a tough night at the debate.

Estimated legal immigration by Muslims has gone up that much from 1992 to 2012. • Santorum also said “10 years ago I put the sanctions on Iran’s nuclear program.” He sponsored a bill that largely codified existing sanctions. • Trump said the mother of the San Bernardino shooter had advance knowledge of her son’s plans, but officials have made no such charges or accusations. Trump, for his part, helped make Bush’s case by stumbling on a question about how he would manage the nuclear trident (America’s land/sea/air nuclear strike capability).

Thanks to early endorsements from two Hawkeye State conservative kingmakers, Cruz is leading recent Iowa polls with less than 50 days to go until the caucuses. Though appearing flustered at times, he held firm on his positions and refused to concede any ground, seemingly confident that his harsh rhetoric continues to find support. They were concerned that he was “perhaps worse” than Trump on immigration after Cruz’s campaign expressed to them that he believes in “attrition through enforcement”—the idea that if life is miserable enough for immigrants, this will act as a deterrent to other potential immigrants, thus solving the immigration crisis in one easy, inhumane step.

Backed by much of the Republican establishment, the son and brother of former presidents quickly amassed a mountain of campaign cash — more than $100 million — that was supposed to scare off potential rivals and offer an easier path to his party’s presidential nomination. And yet, amazingly enough, the slow-motion train wreck that’s been playing out over the past five months of the GOP primary process has put these two candidates in first and second place.

This is also known as Mitt Romney’s “self-deportation” immigration position that cost him the Latino vote in 2012, and thus, many argue, the presidency. Chris Christie, meanwhile, also doubled down on many of the comments he made Tuesday, calling the ongoing dispute in the Middle East “World War III.” “The problem for folks like Sen. Rubio shot back that their current positions were similar given that Cruz had for months refused to rule out eventual legal status for undocumented immigrants (although not citizenship). Asked if he regretted his vote to end the NSA’s bulk collection, Cruz said the reform bill had been mischaracterized. “What the Obama administration keeps getting wrong is whenever anything bad happens, they focus on law-abiding citizens instead of focusing on the bad guys,” Cruz said. Cruz did once support increasing the yearly quota for H1-B visas, but last month walked that proposal back, saying his administration would put a freeze on these visas for six months while it conducts an investigation on allegations of abuse.

Paul is they don’t realize we’re already in World War III,” Christie said Wednesday on CBS’ “This Morning.” “The fact is that this is a new world war and one that won’t look like the last two. That was the furthest Cruz had gone and it appeared to tie him decisively in the “self-deportation” strategy Mitt Romney backed in 2012 en route to a 27 percent showing with Latino voters. Law enforcement authorities “need the tools and the tools involve encryption, where we cannot hear what they’re even planning, and when we see red flags – a father, a mother, a neighbour who says we’ve got a problem here – then we have to give law enforcement the ability to listen so they can disrupt these terrorist attacks before they occur” said Ohio governor John Kasich. “We can do this but we gotta get moving. And Trump, who has spent by far the least of the major presidential candidates, is firmly entrenched as his party’s front-runner. “I think it’s interesting that none of the other candidates saw fit to challenge Mr.

Even as summer stretched into fall, they kept comforting themselves by saying that it’s still early — accurately pointing to the fact that early polls have frequently been wrong in the past, and that outsider candidates like Trump have lost in the past. But he then went on to spin his own set of misrepresentations, saying he led the fight against “Rubio’s legalization and amnesty bill,” referring to the Gang of 8 bill, a bipartisan bill sponsored by Senators Lindsey Graham, John McCain, and Rubio, among others. Rand Paul attacked Christie for his aggressive rhetoric, saying that, “I think if you’re in favor of World War III, you have your candidate.” “The rules of engagement would be very clear,” he said. “If they go into our no-fly zone after we have warned them to stay out, then they would be shot down. Trump said he would be happy to let ISIS and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, with the backing of Russia, duke it out, while the U.S. took on ISIS in Iraq.

We’ll let readers decide if that amounts to saying ISIS is “not our fight,” but it is inaccurate to say that Trump’s comment was that ISIS is “not a factor.” Bush was making the point that Trump displayed a “lack of seriousness” as a presidential candidate and cited the comments Trump made about ISIS in late September as an example. But they have not been asked.” Fiorina told an anecdote about how she had worked with the NSA shortly after the September 11 2001 terrorist attacks. “Soon after 9/11 I got a phone call from the NSA. And neither of them have strayed far from the Republican party’s hardline against immigration, a fact Latino groups have duly taken note of, calling them “traitors” and “sellouts.

But the truth is that even though Cruz’s claims about Rubio were wrong, and even though Latino groups are angry at them both, Rubio is slightly softer—or as I like to call it, slightly more humane—on immigration. And retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson sought to counter impressions that his inexperience in foreign affairs makes him a poor candidate for the presidency. Chuck Schumer, S. 744, would have authorized the president, under Section 3403, to declare certain groups with common characteristics refugees for special humanitarian purposes. In order to qualify for refugee status, individuals would only have to prove that they were a member of the refugee group designated by the president instead of demonstrating, as required under current law, that they can’t or won’t return to their home country because of “persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.” “Even if they somehow were found to fit the criteria as laid out (including having a specific vulnerability, justified in the national interest, etc.) and be designated as a group, they would still need to go through all of the same security vetting as other refugees,” wrote Joanne Kelsey, assistant director for advocacy with the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, in an email to “The provision does NOT waive or ease any of the security or other admissibility requirements. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Trump all criticized their rivals for supporting interventions in Libya before and Syria today to depose dictators, arguing that such interventions opened the door for chaos and radical Islamic groups. “When we toppled Gadhafi in Libya, I think that was a mistake,” Paul said. “I think ISIS grew stronger, we had a failed state, and we were more at risk.” Rubio, by contrast, defended his support for the Libya intervention, which he said shortened an already active civil war that could have produced even worse consequences, and reiterated his call to remove Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. “He has been so brutal toward the Sunni within Syria that he created the space that led to the people of Syria themselves to stand up and try to overthrow him,” Rubio said. “That led to the chaos which allowed ISIS to come in and take advantage of that situation and grow more powerful.” New Jersey Gov.

Cruz worked through the weekend to downplay the tension, but Trump and his campaign unleashed a torrent of attacks at an Iowa rally and in weekend interviews, calling Cruz a “maniac” and promising to make Cruz regret his double-talk behind closed doors. At other points, the frustrations of a campaign that has defied predictions and expectations, in which governing experience has proved to be no asset and outsiders have drawn significantly more support, spilled onto the stage. The exchanges between Bush and Trump were particularly revealing as a measure of how the race has unfolded in ways the former governor never expected. It makes the process faster and more efficient for designated groups, but not less secure.” First, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, or sometimes a U.S. embassy, refers a refugee for resettlement in the U.S. Trump, a Cruz ally turned potential Cruz slayer, became a defender once again. “Let me just say that I have gotten to know him over the last three or four days.

He had some flubs: At one point he talked about his plan to work with “King Hussein” of Jordan, who is dead and has been replaced by King Abdullah II. He called Trump’s proposals “crazy” and “unhinged.” Trump, as has been his style all year, swatted back by talking about his strength vs. what he said was Bush’s weakness. Don’t worry about it.” Then came the ominous warning from Trump to the man standing alongside him, four words that could foreshadow what could be an ugly seven weeks until the Iowa caucuses: “You better not attack.”

But Rubio actually seemed like a stronger general election nominee than Bush in many ways — younger, more charismatic, with more potential appeal to Hispanics, and lacking a controversial legacy name. But overall he sounded confident positioning himself as someone who had personal experience on security and his argument might fit the post-Paris, post-San Bernardino times for GOP voters. Appropriately, his debate performances got rave reviews from pundits. “Marco Rubio is the nominee in waiting,” wrote Slate’s William Saletan in November. “Another winning debate performance seals it.” Yet both Republican elites and voters keep stubbornly refusing to rally behind Rubio.

Rubio’s goal was to undermine Cruz’s effort to consolidate conservatives of all stripes – tea party, evangelical and libertarian – by questioning whether he is as conservative as he claims. Cruz’s rebuttals were designed to paint Rubio as an establishment conservative, out of touch with an electorate that includes many voters angry at the party’s leadership. And though he’s gotten a few new endorsements from GOP politicians (and a couple of billionaires), he hasn’t amassed a particularly impressive overall total. Rubio is not out of the picture by any means, but the past month hasn’t inspired much confidence that he’s well-positioned to wrap the whole thing up. You can see clear as day in FiveThirtyEight’s endorsement charts that at this point in the nomination contest, every eventual GOP winner for decades had more endorsements than any candidate in this year’s race so far.

That’s not the case in Syria. “The challenge we face with Syria is that we don’t have that richest set of data, so even though we have gotten better, in querying what [records] we have we certainly will have less,” Comey said. Comey disagreed with Labrador’s characterization of the database for Syrians as “obsolete.” Comey said it is a “less robust database, dramatically” than what was available from Iraq, but the intelligence community is committed to mitigating the risk by “querying well” the records that do exist and seeking additional sources of information. Trump and Carson, two nonpoliticians, and Cruz, an anti-establishment senator, stood together as a symbol of the electorate’s fury with the established order. In fact, the Senate immigration bill that Rubio co-sponsored in 2013 (but has since distanced himself from) includes numerous border security measures including the construction of hundreds of miles of border fencing and thousands of new border patrol agents.

Arranged farther out on the stage were a series of elected officials – among them two governors, a former governor and two senators – who have struggled to find their balance in a year when records in office, governing experience and policy white papers have been given short shrift by rank-and-file conservatives. He is the one for an open border that is leaving us defenseless.” Paul has criticized Rubio for his one-time support of S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, which included a path to citizenship for people in the country illegally. The Washington Post’s Matea Gold and Robert Costa shed some light on this in a report last month, writing that GOP financiers are reluctant to do much against Trump for these two reasons. When the campaign resumes in earnest after the holidays, Iowa’s caucuses will be only a month away and New Hampshire’s primary a short five weeks in the future.

Instead of a sweeping collection of data from phone carriers, the NSA must now make specific requests of certain data, limited “to the greatest extent reasonably practicable” by a “specific selection term.” That term could be “a person, account, address, or personal device, or any other specific identifier,” according to the legislation. The government can’t request information based on a zip code, or ask for everything from a certain carrier, and it must demonstrate “reasonable” suspicion that the matter concerns terrorist activity.

The legislation, which became law in June and was implemented in late November, also included provisions for increased transparency, requiring the disclosure of proceedings from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court — unless they could affect national security. Rubio said the recent legislation took away “a valuable tool,” but whether it’s more valuable to collect bulk records or have a process to request specific records is a matter of opinion.

And most of that came from Saudi Arabia, which just announced it has formed a coalition of 34 Muslim nations to fight terrorism and counter Islamic extremism. It did three major things with respect to Iran: • Allowed for new sanctions against “any entity that contributes to Iran’s ability to acquire chemical, biological or nuclear weapons,” as described by The Washington Post. As the CRS report documents, there were more sanctions in later years that were put in place by legislation and executive orders — so for Santorum to describe his legislation as “the sanctions” is also a stretch. But so far officials have not brought any charges or made any accusation against the mother, whose lawyer says that his client didn’t know what her son was planning.

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