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Wake Up To Politics - December 8, 2015

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Tuesday, December 8, 2015
55 Days until the Iowa Caucuses
336 Days Until Election Day 2016 I'm Gabe Fleisher for Wake Up To Politics, and reporting from WUTP world HQ in my bedroom - Good morning: THIS IS YOUR WAKE UP CALL!!!
To send me questions, comments, tips, new subscribers, and more: email me at wakeuptopolitics@gmail.com. To learn more about WUTP and subscribe, visit the site: wakeuptopolitics.com, or like me on Twitter and Facebook. More ways to engage with WUTP at the bottom.    2016 Central

  • Trump: Don’t Let Any Muslims In Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump shook the political world Monday with a statement calling for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States”.
  • Trump has been known to make surprising comments on the campaign trail, but this rhetoric was so shocking that it has been condemned by Democrats and Republicans alike, from the Obama Administration to former Vice President Dick Cheney; lawmakers in both parties to the Republican Party chairs in the three presidential early states (Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina).
  • However, among Trump’s supporters – and those he seeks to bring over to his camp, from the Ben Carson and Ted Cruz bases – his call for an end to Muslim immigration was well-received. Trump’s statement is an answer to the fears of many evangelical Republicans, and others across the political spectrum, in the light of the Islamic State group’s Paris attacks and the San Bernardino shooting by a Muslim-American last week.
  • At a rally in Charleston, South Carolian just hours after releasing his statement, Trump called his ban on Muslims in the United States a “common sense” proposal.
  • “We have no choice. We have. No. Choice. We have no choice,” Trump said at the rally, to loud cheers from the attendees.
  • How would such a ban work? When asked if it would be applied to immigrants, tourists, and Muslim-Americans currently abroad, Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandoski told the Associated Press, the proposal will ban “everybody”.
  • In the statement, Trump’s campaign said the ban will last “until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on”. The campaign also cited two organizations in defense of its proposal.
  • “According to Pew Research, among others, there is a great hatred towards Americans by large segments of the Muslim population,” the statement reads.
  • Pew Research Center responded: “The statement released by Mr. Trump doesn't specify a data point, so we can't identify the report he may be referencing.”
  • Trump also cited “a poll from the Center for Security Policy [that] released data showing ‘25% of those polled agreed that violence against Americans here in the United States is justified as a part of the global jihad’ and 51% of those polled, ‘agreed that Muslims in America should have the choice of being governed according to Shariah.’”
  • The Center for Security Policy, meanwhile, was founded by Frank Gaffney, Jr., who has been called “one of America's most notorious Islamophobes” by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The validity of that poll Trump cited has been called into question as well.
  • “Without looking at the various polling data, it is obvious to anybody the hatred is beyond comprehension,” Trump says in the statement. “Where this hatred comes from and why we will have to determine. Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life.”
  • GOP Candidate Responses to Trump, Ranked Of Donald Trump’s 13 rivals for the Republican presidential nomination, 10 responded to his Muslim immigration statement Monday. All of these tweets and statements were negative responses, but some were much more vicious than others. Here is my ranking of each response, from harshest to kindest:
  1. Lindsey GRAHAM on Twitter: [Donald Trump] has gone from making absurd comments to being downright dangerous with his bombastic rhetoric… He’s putting at risk the lives of interpreters, American supporters, diplomats, & the troops in the region by making these bigoted comments.”
  2. John KASICH in statement: “This is more of the outrageous divisiveness that characterizes his every breath and another reason why he is entirely unsuited to lead the United States.”
  3. Jeb BUSH on Twitter: “Donald Trump is unhinged. His “policy” proposals are not serious."
  4. Jim GILMORE on Twitter: “Trump’s fascist talk drives all minorities from GOP."
  5. George PATAKI on Twitter: “[Donald Trump’s] remarks are Idiotic, next thing we will be banning loudmouth, racist billionaires.”
  6. Marco RUBIO on Twitter: “I disagree with Donald Trump's latest proposal. His habit of making offensive and outlandish statements will not bring Americans together."
  7. Chris CHRISTIE on The Michael Medved Show: “In my view that’s a ridiculous position and one that won’t even be productive."
  8. Carly FIORINA to reporters in Iowa: “Unfortunately I think Donald Trump's overreaction is as dangerous as Obama’s underreaction…Donald Trump always plays on everyone’s worst instincts and fears. And saying we’re not going to let a single Muslim into this country is a dangerous overreaction.”
  9. Ted CRUZ to reporters in South Carolina: “That is not my policy…The way to [keep this nation safe] is focusing in particular on radical Islam terrorism which is exactly what I intend to do.”
  10. Ben CARSON in statement: “Everyone visiting our country should register and be monitored during their stay as is done in many countries. I do not and would not advocate being selective on one’s religion.”
  11. Mike HUCKABEE, Rand PAUL, Rick SANTORUM (tie): no public statements
  • One takeaway: this ranking seems to be a near-switch of how the candidates stack up in polling. Cruz and Carson, who occupy the tier after Trump in polling, both rank at the bottom. Graham, Kasich, Bush, Gilmore, and Pataki – who all struggle in polling – were some of the most outspoken on Trump’s statement. And Rubio, Christie, and Fiorina – who are somewhere in the middle in most polls – are also in the middle of the ranking.
  • Today on the Trail Where are the presidential candidates today?
  • New Hampshire: Hillary CLINTON holds a town hall in Salem, Jeb BUSH holds a town hall in Hooksett.
  • Iowa: Carly FIORINA will hold a town hall in Des Moines, Martin O’MALLEY will hold three forums in Iowa City, Keota, and Williamsburg.
  • Washington, D.C.: Ted CRUZ will hold a press conference with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott at the U.S. Capitol to discuss the Terrorist Refugee Infiltration Prevention Act, Cruz’s bill to bar refugees from countries that contain “territory substantially controlled by a foreign terrorist organization.”

White House Watch

  • The President’s Schedule At 3:05pm, President Obama will meet with Defense Secretary Ashton Carter.
  • At 4:40pm, Obama will attend a DNC fundraiser at a Washington, D.C.-area hotel.
  • Vice President’s Schedule Vice President Joe Biden remains in Kiev, Ukraine today, where he will address the Ukranian parliament, or the Verkhovna Rada.
  • First Lady’s Schedule At 1:15pm, First Lady Michelle Obama will speak at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling. While at the Washington, D.C.-area military base, Obama will also deliver toys and gifts from White House staffers to the Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Campaign.

Capitol Hill News

  • Senate: Today At 11:30am, the Senate will hold a cloture vote on the Every Child Achieves Act conference report, an overhaul of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). While NCLB granted much power in public education to the federal government, the Every Child Achieves Act would swing the pendulum back in favor of state and local governments. The bill also makes significant changes to testing and teacher evaluations in public schools.
  • The original version of the bill passed the Senate in an 81-17 vote in July of this year, with presidential candidates Ted Cruz (R-TX), Rand Paul (R-KY), and Marco Rubio (R-FL) among the “nay” votes. The conference report passed the House last week in a bipartisan 359-64 vote.
  • Today’s cloture vote requires 60 “yeas,” and sets up a final vote on passage for later this week. After the conference report is approved by the Senate, the historic education measure will go to the President’s desk.
  • House: Today Meanwhile, the House will vote on eight bills today, chief among them the Visa Waiver Program Improvement Act, which will add “terrorism risk” as a factor for consideration in accepting alien travel. The bill would also authorize the Secretary of Homeland Security to “suspend a country from the visa waiver program without prior notice if the country fails to comply with an agreement to share information regarding whether its citizens and nationals traveling to the United States pose a U.S. security threat.”
  • In light of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, the bill tightens the visa waiver program, which allows citizens of 38 countries to visit the United States without a visa.

Question of the Day

  • Yesterday’s Answer Monday’s trivia question was on President Obama’s first two Oval Office addresses.
  • Lyle Hendricks, Steve Gitnik, Joe Bookman, Rick Isserman, Maddy Smith, and @darkenator (who answered via Twitter) all correctly answered with at least one of the two possible answers: the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico on June 15, 2010; and the end of U.S. combat operations in Iraq on August 31, 2010. Great job all!

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For more on Wake Up To Politics, listen to Gabe on NPR's "Talk of the Nation, the Political Junkie podcast, and St. Louis Public Radio; watch Gabe on MSNBC's "Up with Steve Kornacki, and read about Gabe in Politico, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Globe, and the St. Louis Jewish Light