This article titled “Former House GOP leader Eric Cantor backs Donald Trump – as it happened” was written by Scott Bixby (now) and Tom McCarthy (earlier), for theguardian.com on Tuesday 10th May 2016 02.07 UTC
Today in Campaign 2016
The Republican leadership crisis continued apace today, as the highest elected party member in the land seemed to dare the Grand Old Party’s presumptive presidential nominee to dismiss him as co-chair of the Republican National Convention this summer, while a long line of senators, governors and éminences grises made clear their disinterest in serving as a potential second-fiddle on the national ticket.
Here’s a quick rundown of the biggest news from the campaign trail today:
- House speaker Paul Ryan told reporters this morning that he is willing to step down from role as co-chairman of the Republican National Convention in July if presumptive nominee Donald Trump asks him to do so.m The comment, made in an interview with the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, was the latest sign that many Republican leaders are willing to walk away from their party’s presumptive nominee and distance themselves from the controversy and chaos of his campaign.
- Meanwhile, in the same interview, Ryan softened his opposition to Trump a bit in advance of a meeting on Thursday between the two top Republicans brokered by party chieftains. “I never said never,” Ryan said about an endorsement. “I just said [not] at this point. I wish I had more time to get to know him before this happened.”
- One person who is willing to say never? Florida senator Marco Rubio, who tweeted that he’d rather do basically anything than serve as a potential vice president to a candidate with whom he has so many fundamental disagreements. “My previously stated reservations about [Trump’s] campaign and concerns with many of his policies remain unchanged,” Rubio tweeted. “He will be best served by a running mate and by surrogates who fully embrace his campaign.”
- Trump wasn’t just getting attacked from the right – Vermont senator Bernie Sanders, speaking in Atlantic City, New Jersey, told his supporters that Trump is a honcho of “casino capitalism.” “What we’re seeing in Atlantic City encapsulates the ugliness and the greed,” the Democratic hopeful told a crowd just off the famous casino strip in the New Jersey gambling town, “the greed and the recklessness we have seen from Donald Trump and Carl Icahn.”
- London’s new mayor, Sadiq Khan, has said he will visit the US before this year’s presidential elections “in case Donald Trump wins”, in a reference to the presumptive Republican nominee’s call for a ban on Muslims entering the country. Khan, who last week became the first Muslim mayor in a major western capital, expressed admiration for his counterparts in New York and Chicago and said he wanted to meet them. But in an interview with Time magazine, he said: “If Donald Trump becomes the president I’ll be stopped from going there by virtue of my faith, which means I can’t engage with American mayors and swap ideas.”
- North Carolina and the federal government mustered for a legal showdown today, in the battle over bathrooms and civil rights for LGBT people in the state. Attorney general Loretta Lynch announced that the justice department had filed suit against North Carolina over the law. Lynch said the law amounts to “state-sponsored discrimination” and has caused transgender people to suffer “emotional harm, mental anguish, distress, humiliation and indignity”.
That’s in for today – stay tuned tomorrow for more up-to-the-minute coverage from the campaign trail!
Donald Trump campaign surrogate Ben Carson is not happy with attorney general Loretta Lynch’s comparison of North Carolina’s so-called “bathroom bill” to Jim Crow laws, dubbing the comparison “a bunch of crap” on Fox News tonight.
“That’s what they always say,” Carson said on-air tonight. “Everything is like Jim Crow. Everything is like racism and segregation and slavery. What a bunch of crap. You know, they want to do that so that they can always gain the sympathy, but thinking people know better.”
“You know, we need to go back to recognizing data and science. You know, we know what men are, and we know what women are, and we’ve known that for thousands of years,” Carson continued. “You know, if there are some people who are confused about it, we can make some accommodations for them, but it doesn’t have to involve everybody.”
Lynch, who today announced a federal lawsuit against North Carolina’s government for its implementation of a bill that stripped LGBT citizens of discrimination protections and banned transgender North Carolinians from using bathrooms that comport with their gender identity, said that governor Pat McCrory “created state-sponsored discrimination against transgender individuals” in violation of federal law.
Onetime presidential candidate Ben Carson is availing himself as a go-between in the Game of Thrones episode that is the Republican leadership crisis, telling House speaker Paul Ryan that he would like to meet privately ahead of the speaker’s meeting with presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
Carson, according to the Washington Post, reached out to Ryan’s office in the hopes of setting a pre-meeting meeting with the most high-ranking Republican in the US. The retired neurosurgeon has become a highly visible – and at times highly unreliable – representative for the Trump campaign.
The request is likely an attempt to calm the waters between Trump and Ryan, who has refused to endorse the nominee-to-be, ahead of their meeting on Capitol Hill this coming Thursday.
Carson confidante Armstrong Williams told the Washington Post that Carson “is a guy who can bring people together.”
“Donald Trump trusts him and the speaker trusts him,” Williams said. “He wants to do the will of the people.”
Carson will have his work cut out for him: Ryan told reporters this morning that he is willing to step down from role as co-chair of the Republican National Convention in July if Trump asks him to do so.
The comment, made in an interview with the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, was the latest sign that many Republican leaders are willing to walk away from their party’s presumptive nominee and distance themselves from the controversy and chaos of his campaign.
One of the Republican party’s most influential donors declared to a who’s-who of conservative one-percenters in New York tonight that he will sit out this election cycle.
Paul Singer, billionaire hedge-fund manager and prominent Republican donor, told attendees of a Manhattan Institute of Policy Research dinner at chichi Cipriani on 42nd Street that true conservatives “stand up for what we believe, which is not embodied by either choice on the menu in November.”
The declaration, reported by the National Review, featured Singer describing presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump as a “blizzard” of contradictions who presaged a “difficult time, if not a bleak time” for conservatism.
Fox News has teased out another clip from Megyn Kelly’s summer-blockbuster-level-highly-anticipated sitdown interview with presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, in which Kelly asks Trump whether his umbrage towards her was real or a political ploy.
Kelly previewed the interview on ABC’s Live with Kelly and Michael, in which Kelly asks Trump: “You seemed to stay angry for months. Was that real, or was that strategy?” Kelly is shown asking Trump in the interview preview.
“Well, I’m a real person,” Trump responded. “I have great respect for you that you were able to call me and say, ‘Let’s get together, let’s talk.’ To me, I would not have done that.”
The full interview – which you’d better believe we will be liveblogging – will air on May 17.
Video has finally hit the ‘net of comedian Jon Stewart putting presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on serious blast this morning, telling an audience at the University of Chicago that Trump is “a man-baby” who might be constitutionally prevented from serving in the nation’s highest office – because of his tiny hands.
“I don’t know that a man-baby can be president,” Stewart said. “He is a man-baby: He has the physical countenance of a man, and a baby’s temperament and hands. Character is destiny, and he is the most thin-skinned individual.”
“They keep saying, ‘Don’t worry – when he becomes president, he’ll become totally mature.’ What does that say about your constituency if what you’re saying to them is, ‘Look, the only way I can win this part of the race is by being an unrepentant, narcissistic asshole because that’s what my voters like.’ ”
Stewart pinned Trump’s rise to the top of the Republican pantheon to the preponderance of conservative talk radio and conservative media outlets, as well as the confirmation bias of those who only take in forms of media that comport with their preexisting political views.
“He makes sense if you view it through the prism of talk radio,” Stewart said. “This is not, ‘We really need to do something about this country, we’re facing incredible problems.’ This is, ‘You are run by a tyrant, he is going to take away your rights, we are falling, there are rapists and murderers at the border coming to kill you.’ ”
“If that’s what you’ve been fed and that’s what you’re buying into, Donald Trump makes more sense than anybody out there because he’s going, ‘Great, the Visigoths are at the gate, let’s build a fucking wall.’ “
“It makes total sense.”
Donald Trump has told the New York Times how he comes up with his surprisingly sticky schoolyard nicknames for his opponents – think “Lyin’ Ted,” “Liddle Marco” and, now, “Crooked Hillary.”
“I feel it, it’s an instinct,” Trump said, before deeming the spelling and punctuation of the insults paramount to their effectiveness. “It matters – it matters as to the look and feel and touch.”
Asked if he runs the names by anyone else before throwing them out to the public, Trump was dismissive. “I do focus groups,” he said, pressing both of his thumbs to the front of his head, “right here.”
Hillary Clinton shrugged off reporters’ questions about Republican rival Donald Trump’s attacks over the weekend on her personal life and her husband’s infidelities this morning.
Clinton said she would keep the conversation on campaign issues, following an event in Stone Ridge, Virginia, with women and families. “I’m running my campaign. I’m not running against him. He’s doing a fine job of doing that himself,” Clinton said.
Senate Republican leaders are planning to meet with presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on Thursday, according to Politico, citing congressional aides.
Trump will reportedly meet with Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell on the same day as he is scheduled to meet with House speaker Paul Ryan in a bid to mend fences with congressional Republican leadership after Ryan refused to endorse Trump and others, including McConnell, gave tepid endorsements of the real estate tycoon.
Georgia Republicans are uneasy about nominee-to-be Donald Trump’s palce at the top of the ticket, and rightly so: According to a new poll of Peach State voters, he’s in a statistical tie with presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
According to the Landmark Communications/Rosetta Stone poll, Trump only leads Clinton by nine-tenths of a point, 42.3% to 41.4% – well within the poll’s 4.1% margin of error. It’s a shocking result for a state that has gone Republican in every presidential election since 1992, when it broke for Clinton’s husband.
The former secretary of state leads Trump among independent voters in the state, and among women.
Jeff Sessions endorsed Donald Trump’s presidential bid in February – now he’s putting himself forward as a potential running mate.
One potential issue: Sessions may be one of the few elected officials in Congress who has a more politically problematic history on race than Trump. In 1986, prior to being elected to the Senate, he was nominated to federal judgeship by Ronald Reagan. The nomination was rejected by the Senate judiciary committee after accusations by former aides that he had repeatedly made racist statements.
This included the allegation that Sessions had said he though the Ku Klux Klan “were OK until I learned they smoked pot”.
In his commencement address to Howard University graduates on Saturday, Barack Obama made specific mention of a new generation of black activists, including those involved in Black Lives Matter and “black Twitter”, for raising national awareness over inequality in the criminal justice system.
After seven years, Barack Obama is in his last months in the White House. When he leaves, nothing will be the same. For black people, nothing will be resolvedRead more
His praise came with a series of suggestions about how activists could most easily create actual change: through electoral politics and compromise.
“To bring about structural change, lasting change, awareness is not enough,” Obama said. “It requires changes in law, changes in custom.”
Obama stressed the need for willingness to sit at the table with opponents and openness to imperfect victories in his address to the historically black university in Washington DC.
“You consolidate your gains and then you move on to the next fight from a stronger position,” he said.
For many of the activists Obama appeared to be addressing, the advice was welcome but not necessarily new. According to Brittany Packnett, whom Obama mentioned by name, it is what many in the movement “have been advocating for from the start”.
London’s new mayor, Sadiq Khan, has said he will visit the US before this year’s presidential elections “in case Donald Trump wins”, in a reference to the presumptive Republican nominee’s call for a ban on Muslims entering the country.
Khan, who last week became the first Muslim mayor in a major western capital, expressed admiration for his counterparts in New York and Chicago and said he wanted to meet them.
But in an interview with Time magazine, he said: “If Donald Trump becomes the president I’ll be stopped from going there by virtue of my faith, which means I can’t engage with American mayors and swap ideas.”
Drawing a link between Trump’s comments and the mayoral campaign, which saw his Tory rival, Zac Goldsmith, criticised for attempts to link him to extremism, Khan added: “Conservative [party] tacticians thought those sort of tactics would win London and they were wrong. I’m confident that Donald Trump’s approach to politics won’t win in America.”
In December, Trump called for a “total and complete shutdown” of the country’s borders to Muslims in the wake of the San Bernardino terrorist attack in California. He said there was such hatred among Muslims towards Americans that it was necessary to stop them coming to the US until the problem was better understood.
Asked if he believed that London’s reputation had been damaged by the tactics of the mayoral campaign, Khan said the record turnout had shown “what a wonderful city” it was.
“We’re not simply tolerating each other – you tolerate a toothache, I don’t want to be tolerated. We respect, we embrace, and we celebrate, which is fantastic.”
Marco Rubio to CNN: I don’t want to be Trump’s VP pick
The “sent from my iPhone” is a good note to end on.
Iowa governor Terry Branstad has backed Iowa senator Joni Ernst as a potential vice presidential running mate under Republican nominee Donald Trump today, calling her “a very well-respected person that, I think, can work with the other people in Congress.”
“She also has a background of having served in county government, having served in state government,” Branstad told reporters during a weekly briefing, according to the Des Moines Register. “She certainly was a team player that we enjoyed working with here in the state of Iowa. So I think that if you want to put together an ideal profile of somebody who would be a great vice presidential candidate, she would be helpful to Republicans in Iowa, as well.”
Ernst’s spokesperson told the Des Moines Register that the senator is focused on serving Iowans. “She is continuing her 99-county tour across the state to hear Iowans’ concerns and ideas firsthand, and is working to turn that feedback into action in Washington,” she said.
The Department of Justice has filed a federal lawsuit against North Carolina over House Bill 2, calling it a “violation of the Civil Rights Act.”
Study: Bernie Sanders’ economic plan would add $18 trillion in debt
A study from a nonpartisan think tank has found that Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ economic plan would add $18 trillion to federal debt over a decade, an amount so high that it would damage the US economy.
The study, conducted by the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center and the Urban Institute Health Policy Center, found that even Sanders’ significant proposed tax increases, which would raise $15.3 trillion over the next decade, would fail to pay for Sanders’ expansion of government benefits, which would include tuition-free public college education, expanded Social Security benefits and, most notably, government-financed single-payer healthcare.
“For most households, additional government benefits would more than offset the tax increases,” the study found. “But the additional revenue would fall far short of paying for the new spending programs. Without more revenue, the Sanders plan would increase federal deficits by more than $18 trillion over the next decade.”
To get into the nitty-gritty, Sanders’ plan would increase federal revenues by the aforementioned $15.3 trillion, but the expansion of federal programs would increase federal outlays by $33.3 trillion – largely due to the healthcare expansion, which the study found would increase federal spending by $29 trillion – increasing the cumulative budget deficit by $18 trillion, or roughly 7.5% of the US GDP.
In a statement from Sanders policy director Warren Gunnels,the campaign disputed the numbers, saying that the estimated cost of the healthcare expansion doesn’t account for increased efficiency.
“This study significantly underestimates the savings in administration, paperwork, and prescription drug prices that every major country on earth has successfully achieved by adopting a universal health care program,” he said. “The US spends far more per capita on health care with worse health outcomes than any major country on earth. And unlike every major country on earth over 28 million of our people are still uninsured.”
“If every other major country can spend less on health care and insure all of their people, so can the US.”
Even for an insult from a Democratic Senate minority leader to a Republican presidential nominee, this is aggressive:
Hillary Clinton is campaigning in northern Virginia’s Loudoun county, where swing voters have in past presidential elections helped tip the state. The fight here in 2016 is for suburban and working moms, among the state’s unusually large share of centrist voters. Clinton may have slightly easier going across the state thanks to a move by governor Terry McAuliffe to reinstitute voting rights for some felons. Separately, African-American voters in Virginia, who helped deliver the state to Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, boosted Clinton to a 2-1 win over rival Bernie Sanders in the March primary.
Donald Trump played himself in a 1989 romantic comedy called Ghosts Can’t Do It co-starring 1980s screen siren Bo Derek as the determined widow of a dead businessman trying to help Derek’s character from beyond the grave strike a real estate deal with Trump even as the couple (parted by death) seek a new lover for Derek’s character whose body her ghost husband would inhabit to fulfill a plan for the two once again to be able to make love.
The electricity of the Trump-Derek scenes makes the screen shiver and the effect is not diminished by the sly entendre of their shared dialogue e.g.:
Bo Derek: I think you like to make mischief.
Donald Trump: You noticed that, too.
Cantor backs Trump
Former House majority leader Eric Cantor, a Republican, has told the Boston Globe that he will back Donald Trump for president, staking out common ground with an increasing share of the current House leadership in (temporary?) opposition to House speaker Paul Ryan.
Cantor’s current constituency is not Virginia voters, however, but the interests represented by his current employer, the New York investment bank Moelis & Co.
Cantor reports that his colleagues in the business community do not necessarily share his support for Trump – but neither are they enticed by Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton (and there’s no suggestion that they might fall in love with her rival, Bernie Sanders).
“They’re looking at a Trump-Clinton election as probably not the best choice for anybody,” Cantor told the Globe. “He’s a businessman . . . [but] he’s been on so many sides of every issue that you never know.”
Read the full piece here.
Hillary Clinton, a ‘nasty, mean enabler’? The claim is ludicrous
“Now Donald Trump is playing the woman card,” writes Jill Abramson for the Guardian:
With sustained force, he is using Bill Clinton’s sexual misconduct with women to attack Hillary Clinton as his “enabler”. At a rally in Oregon on Friday night, Trump accused Hillary Clinton of trying to “destroy the lives” of her husband’s accusers. “She was an unbelievably nasty, mean enabler, and what she did to a lot of those women is disgraceful,” he thundered, offering no evidence. He repeated the same charges the next day in Washington state.
Could the sex scandals of the 1990s become an issue that harms Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign? Probably not. But Trump thinks it could help him narrow a gender gap that could reach historic proportions in November and reduce Clinton’s margins with an electorate that is expected to be 53% women.
So Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey and Juanita Broaddrick, three of Bill Clinton’s accusers, may once again become familiar names in the campaign. Jones sued President Clinton for sexual harassment (he paid $850,000 to settle the suit out of court). Willey accused him of groping her in the White House. Broaddrick said he raped her when he held office in Arkansas. Their allegations, which Clinton denied, resurfaced during the Monica Lewinsky scandal and impeachment proceedings against Clinton.
Read the full piece here:
Trump consistent on making wealthiest pay (a little bit)
Donald Trump said at the weekend that taxes on the wealthy would “go up a little bit” if he were president, echoing a declaration he made when he first unveiled his tax plan last September.
“It eliminates the loopholes available to the very rich,” Trump said at the time of his plan. “In other words, it’s going to cost me a fortune, which is true.”
Trump repeated those assertions, which violate the current Republican orthodoxy of low taxes for the rich, in talk shows at the weekend. The “wealthy are willing to pay more,” Trump told ABC News. “I have a feeling we may pay some more.”
But if Trump has shifted on taxes, it was not enough to alienate Grover Norquist, the anti-tax Grand Inquisitor, whose Americans for Tax Reform group helped Trump draft his tax policy and immediately endorsed it.
Norquist said in an interview Monday that what Trump meant was that the closure of certain loopholes and elimination of certain deductions might raise some people’s tax bills. But make no mistake, rates will go way down.
“What perhaps Trump is talking about is some people who benefit from a tremendous number of tax credits and so on… Some people who organize their lives around tax credits and tax deductions might see some increase,” Norquist told CNBC.
After he went on air, Norquist emailed the cable outlet a clarifying statement:
“Because Trump takes the top personal rate from 39.6 percent to 25 percent and the corporate rate from 35 percent to 15 percent, there is no way anyone would see an actual tax increase,” Norquist’s statement said.
“Trump’s tax cut would be a tax cut for every American,” it added.
“Sarah Palin’s attack on Paul Ryan yesterday because the House Speaker is not now supporting Donald Trump’s presidential bid confirms yet again that she is among the more witless people to have ever held public office.”
That’s the lead of a new Peter Wehner piece titled “Palin’s Ongoing Self-Humiliation” in Commentary. Here’s the top:
There are several things worth noting in what she said. For one thing, the claim that Ryan’s career is “over but for a miracle” is wishful thinking on her part. Paul Ryan was a Republican long before Donald Trump decided he was – and he’ll be in office long after Trump has left the political stage. He’s popular in his district, and he’s not going to be defeated in a primary.
Beyond that, Palin has yet to offer an intelligent defense of Trump. When she has spoken out on his behalf, it is cringe-inducing.
Read the full piece here.
What do Ryan’s new round of statements on Trump portend for their meeting Thursday?
Will the great Republican rift be healed by Friday?
Ryan suffered some high-level defections from his #StopTrump movement at the weekend, with two of his top lieutenants – House whips Lynn Westmoreland of Georgia and Dennis Ross of Florida – telling Politico their leader was wrong:
“I honestly don’t understand what Paul’s thinking — I don’t get it,” said Westmoreland, who is retiring after this year. “I try not to give advice to the speaker, but I think it just really brought about, in my opinion, even more confusion to this thing.”
“Trust me, I haven’t been on the Donald Trump bandwagon, but I will support him, and I disagree with Ryan’s comment,” Ross said. “I think it’s time we unite (and) … extend an olive branch and start working this out.”
Read the full piece here.
Ryan on Trump: ‘I just want to get to know the guy’
The Journal-Sentinel has more from Paul Ryan in their interview write-up:
“He’s the nominee. I’ll do whatever he wants with respect to the convention,” Ryan said…
“I just want to get to know the guy … we just don’t know each other…
“I never said never. I just said [not] at this point. I wish I had more time to get to know him before this happened. We just didn’t.”
Read the full piece here.
Ryan open to giving up convention post
House speaker Paul Ryan, who in that role is expected to serve as chairman of the Republican national convention in July, has told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that he would bow out if Donald Trump so wishes.
Trump is to be formally nominated for president at the convention. Ryan last week said he was not ready to endorse the presumptive nominee. The two were scheduled to meet this coming Thursday in an attempt to sort out their differences, which some view as posing an existential threat to the Republican party.
Ryan told the Journal-Sentinel that he was “just speaking my mind” about Trump and that that the two don’t really know each other. The paper’s Mary Spicuzza and Christian Schneider tweet:
NC governor sues justice department over bathroom discrimination law
North Carolina governor Pat McRory sued the justice department Monday after a finding last week that the state had violated the Civil Rights act of 1964 by failing to protect bathroom access for transgender people.
McRory’s lawsuit said that “transgender status is not a protected class” under the Civil Rights act, which bars discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin and religion.
McRory accused the justice department of “an attempt to unilaterally rewrite long-established federal civil rights laws in a manner that is wholly inconsistent with the intent of Congress and disregards decades of statutory interpretation by the courts.”
McRory has been under pressure to withdraw support from the law, which he signed, amid boycotts of the state and accusations of discrimination.
The justice department has not commented on the lawsuit.
Trump’s multiple positions on a minimum wage
Donald Trump seemed at the weekend to call for a higher minimum wage, and acknowledged that the position was a “change” for him, but he also said he favors abolishing the federal minimum wage.
Trump in his remarks seemed to make at least one reversal on the issue without establishing where he now stands.
Asked at a Republican debate in November whether he supports a minimum wage increase, Trump said, “I can’t be.” He went on to say, “taxes too high, wages too high, we’re not going to be able to compete against the world. I hate to say it, but we have to leave it the way it is.”
On Sunday, Trump said he was “looking at” the issue and had not “decided in terms of numbers, “but I think people have to get more.”
Trump then conceded, under questioning by ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, that it was a new stance for him.
“Well, sure it’s a change,” he said. I’m allowed to change. You need flexibility… But my real minimum wage is going to be – I’m going to bring companies back into this country and they’re going to make a lot more than the $15 even. They’re going to make a lot more than that.”
Trump then gave an interview to NBC News in which he said he opposes a federal wage “floor.”
“No, I’d rather have the states go out and do what they have to do,” Trump said.
It appears, from all of the above, that Trump is not in favor of a federally mandated minimum wage, but he is in favor, in principle, of wage growth through a combination of economic growth and government intervention on the state level. Removing the federal minimum wage, as Trump appears to want to do, however, could mean that workers living in states that fail to “do what they have to do” would get paid less.
Both Democratic candidates for president favor raising the federal minimum wage. If implemented, the policy could have a huge impact on the 59% of US workers who are paid by the hour, writes Guardian US data editor Mona Chalabi:
Currently, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that 870,000 workers who are paid by the hour earned exactly the federal minimum wage in 2015 – but they estimate that an addition 1.7 million workers had hourly wages below the federal minimum.
In total, 78.2 million people in the US are paid by the hour. Of those, about 4% of women and 3% of men had wages at or below the federal minimum. Currently, 18 states have set their minimum wages at the same level as the federal rate.
Christie to lead Trump transition team
The Donald Trump campaign has appointed Chris Christie to lead a team that would vest the candidate with the powers of the presidency, should Trump be victorious in November.
A statement released by the Trump campaign said the presumptive Republican nominee was preparing to run against Hillary Clinton “or whoever”:
Mr. Trump is the presumptive Presidential nominee for the Republican Party and continues to take critical steps to gear up for the general election against potential Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, or whoever.
The statement quotes Trump on Christie’s virtues.
“Governor Christie is an extremely knowledgeable and loyal person with the tools and resources to put together an unparalleled Transition Team, one that will be prepared to take over the White House when we win in November,” the statement says Trump says. “I am grateful to Governor Christie for his contributions to this movement.”
Christie endorsed Trump after dropping his own presidential bid.
Sanders spotlights Trump’s failures in Atlantic City
About 1,500 people gathered at Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall to see Bernie Sanders Monday Morning, hoping that a victory in New Jersey for Sanders on 7 June will be part of a longshot comeback story.
The significance of the location in this seaside resort town shouldn’t be understated – it’s steps from the now shuttered Trump Plaza casino, writes the Guardian’s Jessica Glenza:
The presumptive Republican nominee recently sued to have his name removed from the hulking, vacant black building. “What we’re seeing in Atlantic City encapsulates the ugliness and the greed,” said Sanders. “The greed and the recklessness we have seen from Donald Trump and Carl Icahn.”
The crowd lustily booed the names.
“Oh, you know Donald Trump?” said Sanders. “Well, I take it you don’t think he is a brilliant, successful businessman who can bring the kind of prosperity to America that he has brought here.”
Union workers who took on a fight against the Trump Taj Mahal casino for benefits, and lost, had a heavy presence at the rally.
Casino jobs were “good jobs,” Valerie McMorris, a Unite Here Local 54 member and cocktail waitress, told the crowd. “All these things are gone because a billionaire from Wall Street used the bankruptcy laws to strip the workers,” she said about Carl Icahn, the majority stakeholder at Trump Taj Mahal. Trump owns 10% of the business.
The crowd roared boos to Trump’s and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s names. Atlantic City is currently locked in a battle with the Christie, who wants to take over the city’s extremely tenuous finances.
“How many of you are sick and tired of being sick and tired?” asked Mo Delgado, an Atlantic City councilman. He said Christie’s support for Trump was “his loss.”
Trump theory about printing money to resolve debt provokes skepticism
Trump is taking flak for saying that default on the national debt isn’t a problem “because you print the money,” after another unorthodox monetary prescription Trump advocated for again on Sunday: taking care of debt by stiffing creditors.
Here’s Tyler Durden writing on the blog zerohedge about Trump’s idea to print currency to pay off debt:
Aside from the comment that “one never has to default if one is printing the money”, which has not exactly led to favorable outcomes for countries which have done just that and the only difference in the case of the US is possession of the reserve currency for now, what Trump is really talking about is inflating away the debt, something the Fed and all other central banks have been desperately trying to do for the past 7 years, so far without much success. [read further]
Here’s a transcript of what Trump said:
Trump objects to question about attack on Clinton
Donald Trump refused to answer an interviewer’s question Monday morning about a sharp attack he made on Hillary and Bill Clinton a day earlier in a campaign appearance in Spokane, Washington.
“She’s married to a man who was the worst abuser of women in the history of politics,” Trump said Sunday. “She’s married to a man who hurt many women.”
CNN anchor Chris Cuomo tried to ask Trump about the attack Monday morning, only to be attacked himself.
“Well, this is a nice way to start off the interview,” Trump said. “First of all, you should congratulate me for having won the race.”
When Cuomo justified the question by saying that the attack on Clinton was “the first thing you’ve come out with, hot and heavy,” Trump denied it.
“That wasn’t the first thing I came out with,” Trump said. He said he had instead been talking about trade and rebuilding the military and border security.
Hello and welcome to our live-wire coverage of the 2016 race for the White House. Sarah Palin, the former Alaska governor, said she was already sufficiently vetted to be Donald Trump’s running mate in the fall, in a weekend interview in which she also warned that House speaker Paul Ryan would pay with his career for his hesitancy on Trump.
Asked on CNN if she would be willing to be vetted as a possible Trump veep, Palin replied, “I think I’m pretty much as vetted as anybody in the country could be vetted already.”
“I want to help and not hurt,” she added. “And I am such a realist that I realize there are a whole lot of people out there who would say anybody but Palin.”
Palin said Ryan had made a misstep in failing to fall in line behind Trump. “I think Paul Ryan is soon to be ‘Cantored’, as in Eric Cantor,” she said on CNN, referring to the former House majority leader who was beaten in a 2014 primary election by a candidate running as a Washington outsider. Ryan faces a heretofore little-known and under-funded rival, Paul Nehlen, in a primary election in Wisconsin set for 9 August.
“It kind of screws his chances for the 2020 presidential bid that he’s gunning for,” Palin said of Ryan’s stance on Trump, whom the House speaker will meet with Thursday.
Trump, meanwhile, said he did not really need Ryan, and the Republican party does not need to be unified for him to win, reported Ed Helmore:
“I think it would be better if it were unified,” said the presumptive Republican nominee in an interview with NBC’s Meet the Press broadcast on Sunday. “And I think there would be something good about it. But I don’t think it actually has to be.”
Trump also stood by his suggestion that the United States could manage its debt by squeezing creditors to take less than what they’re owed. Pressed in an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos about whether such conduct might be harmful to the full faith and credit of the United States or affect interest rates, Trump said, “When you can take advantage, you do that.”
On CNN Monday morning he added: “First of all, you never have to default because you print the money.”
He also reversed some of his previous ideas about taxing the rich and the minimum wage.
We’ll be talking about the electoral map today – warm up with Mona Chalabi’s reality check here.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010