Friday, September 16, 2016
10 Days until the first Presidential Debate (Sept. 26)
14 Days until the Government Funding Deadline (Sept. 30)
53 Days until Election Day 2016 + my 15th birthday (Nov. 8)
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!!!
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Need to Know
- Trump Campaign Puts Birther Issue to Rest Five and a half years after Donald Trump first expressed skepticality about Barack Obama's birthplace, his presidential campaign released a statement Thursday announcing that Trump now believes the president was born in the United States.
- Trump did not invent "birtherism" - the movement claiming that Obama was not born in Hawaii, but in Kenya - but by 2011, he was the most public face of the fringe group. Trump's repeated claims about Obama's birthplace in the spring of 2011, as he was mulling a presidential run, set into motion his political activism. Combined with Obama's sarcastic take-down of Trump at the 2011 White House Correspondent Dinner, when Trump was in the audience, just days after Obama released his birth certificate, birtherism in many ways set Trump down the path that may end with him in the White House next year.
- Even after the birth certificate was made public, Trump has never really dropped the issue - and refused to say if he has been convinced of Obama's U.S. birth. In a statement Thursday, senior communications advisor Jason Miller put the issue to rest for the campaign: "Having successfully obtained President Barack Obama's birth certificate when others could not, Mr. Trump believes that President Obama was born in the United States."
- Noticeably absent in the statement: an apology, or any signal that Trump was wrong. In fact, the statement paints Trump as the hero of the story. "In 2011, Mr. Trump was finally able to bring this ugly incident to its conclusion by successfully compelling President Obama to release his birth certificate," Miller said. "Mr. Trump did a great service to the President and the country by bringing closure to the issue...Inarguably, Donald J. Trump is a closer."
- Who, then, is the villain? Hillary Clinton, of course. "Hillary Clinton's campaign first raised the issue to smear then-candidate Barack Obama in her very nasty, failed 2008 campaign for President," the statement read. "This type of vicious and conniving behavior is straight from the Clinton Playbook." According to the Tampa bay Times' Politifact.com, the Annenberg Public Policy Center's Fact Check, and The Washington Post's Fact Checker have all concluded that although the challenges to Obama's birthplace originated with Clinton supporters, Hillary Clinton and her campaign never did anything to further the claims.
- Also noticeably not included in the statement: a quote from Donald Trump, who has still yet to go on the record saying he believes Obama was born in the U.S., which is now the official position of his campaign. Many aides have pushed Trump to echo the Miller statement, as they encounter opposition among African-Americans based on his former birther stance.
- In fact, a number of Trump surrogates (including running mate Mike Pence, campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, and former New York City mayor Rudy Giulani) have insisted in recent weeks that Trump no longer has any questions about the president's citizenship. However, when given the opportunity to personally address the issue Thursday (in an interview conducted mere hours before the campaign's statement was published), Trump refused to say that he believed Obaam's birthplace was Hawaii.
- "I'll answer that question at the right time," Trump said. "I just don't want to answer it yet."
- Blast to the Past Should the Trump campaign be believed when saying that Trump is past birtherism if Trump himself hasn't said that? According to a tweet by Donald Trump from May 2016, no. Trump tweeted: "Don't believe the biased and phony media quoting people who work for my campaign. The only quote that matters is a quote from me!"
All times Eastern.
- Campaign 2016 Both major-party presidential nominees will be in Washington, D.C. today. Hillary Clinton will address the 39th Annual Symposium Workshop and Awards Luncheon of The Black Women's Agenda, Inc. (BWA), a group "devoted to advancing, securing, and protecting the rights" of African-American women. The symposium is being held at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Washington, D.C.
- Meanwhile, Donald Trump is scheduled to hold a 10am press conference at the newly-opened Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. - right down the street from the White House. After the D.C. event, Trump will hold a 6pm rally at James L. Knight Center in Miami, Florida.
- Finally, Green Party nominee Jill Stein will hold an event at the George Wilson Center in Newark, Delaware at 10:30am and an event with her running mate Ajamu Baraka at the Downtown Cultural Arts Center in Baltimore, Maryland at 6:30pm.
- White House President Obama meets today with leaders in business, government, and national security to "discuss how the Trans-Pacific Partnership can benefit American workers and businesses and further our national security."
- The Oval Office meeting will be attended by former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire founder and CEO of Bloomberg LP; Govs. John Bel Edwards (D-LA) and John Kasich (R-OH); Paulson Institute chairman Henry Paulson, who served as Treasury Secretary under George W. Bush; Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed (D); IBM president and CEO Ginni Rometty; and former NATO Supreme Allied Commander James Stavridis.
- After the meeting, Kasich and Reed will join Press Secretary Josh Earnest to speak about the 11-nation Pacific Rim trade agreement at the daily press briefing. Kasich, who was one of Donald Trump's final rivals for the GOP presidential nomination, told CNN's Dana Bash on Thursday that it is "very unlikely" he could vote for Trump. Kasich also addressed criticism that he is betraying his party by meeting with Obama today.
- "I welcome the fact that people will criticize me for putting my country ahead of my party. It's time we start doing this in this country. We are not a parliamentary system and we were never taught to hate people because they may be in a different political party," Kasich said. "You know, when it comes to the president, he and I have a lot of disagreements. But there are areas that we can agree. If I can become somebody in the front that leads an effort for people to hear this and say you know what maybe he's right, what would I do? Shrink? Go hide somewhere? That's not who I am."
- Also today: Obama will participate in an ambassador credentialing ceremony, receiving new Ambassadors to the Untied States from Malawi, Latvia, Guyana, Luxemborg, Myanmar, Brazil, and Belgium, among other nations.
- In addition, First Lady Michelle Obama will hit the campaign trail for Hillary Clinton today, speaking at a 1pm event at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. The First Lady is incredibly popular, and is hoping to tap into that popularity to persuade young and African-Americans who suported her husband to vote for Clinton. Vice President Joe Biden will fly to Austin, Texas for a Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) fundraiser.
- Congress Neither house of Congress is in session today.
- Polls, Polls, Polls A roundup of polls released in the past 24 hours (source: RealClearPolitics). The national polls show a race tighter than it has ever been before, a sign that Trump is bridging the gap that has separated the two nominees in recent weeks. Some polls give Clinton or Trump slight edges - and one even shows the race tied.
- The state polls also show a tightening race, with Donald Trump taking leads in states that have previously been leaning Clinton. If Trump can pull of wins in Obama states he is now leading the polls in (such as Colorado, Iowa, and Ohio), added to Romney states previously believed to be competitive (such as Missouri, North Carolina, Georgia, and Texas) - the electoral map shifts in a huge way and offers a real path to a Trump victory for the first time.
- Fox News Clinton 41, Trump 40, Johnson 8, Stein 3 (Clinton +1)
- CBS/New York Times Clinton 42, Trump 42, Johnson 8, Stein 4 (Tie)
- Rasmussen Reports Trump 41, Clinton 40, Johnson 7, Stein 2 (Trump +1)
- Colorado Emerson Trump 42, Clinton 38, Johnson 13, Stein 2 (Trump +4)
- Iowa Monmouth Trump 45, Clinton 37, Johnson 8, Stein 2 (Trump +8)
- Michigan Detroit Free Press Clinton 38, Trump 35, Johnson 10, Stein 4 (Clinton +3)
- Ohio Suffolk Trump 42, Clinton 39, Johnson 4, Stein 1 (Trump +3)
- Missouri Emerson Trump 37, Clinton 34, Johnson 7, Stein 6 (Trump +13)
- Virginia Univ. of Mary Washington Clinton 40, Trummp 37, Johnson 8, Stein 1 (Clinton +3)
- North Carolina Civitas Clinton 42, Trump 42, Johnson 5 (Tie)
- Fox 5 Atlanta Trump 46, Clinton 42, Johnson 10 (Trump +4)
- Emerson Trump 45, Clinton 39, Johnson 6 (Trump +6)
- Texas Texas Lyceum Trump 39, Clinton 32, Johnson 9, Stein 3 (Trump +7)
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