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Mitt Romney, Bob Dole Stump for Sen. Pat Roberts in Kansas

Mitt Romney, Bob Dole Stump for Sen. Pat Roberts in Kansas

Inset: US Senate(OVERLAND PARK, Kan.) -- With just a week left until Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., learns his fate in his toughest reelection bid yet, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney stumped for Roberts alongside fellow failed presidential candidate Bob Dole in Kansas Monday. With three-term incumbent Roberts facing a dead heat, according to recent polls, with his Independent challenger Greg Orman, Romney, sporting a Kansas City Royals jacket, told supporters in Overland Park that a vote for Orman would count as a “third vote” for President Obama. Romney and Dole are just two of the more than half a dozen big-name GOP members to come to Roberts’ aid. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., is now set to enter the fight with a six-figure ad buy in the state. Kansas has arguably emerged as the GOP’s most unexpected investment in 2014, and one that prospective 2016 candidates may not soon forget.

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POLL: Economic, Political Discontent Make for a Midterm Double Punch

POLL: Economic, Political Discontent Make for a Midterm Double Punch

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A double punch of economic and political dissatisfaction marks public attitudes in the closing week of the 2014 midterm campaign -- a dynamic that reflects poorly on the president’s performance, bolstering his Republican opponents.The discontent in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll is palpable. Despite its fitful gains, seven in 10 Americans rate the nation’s economy negatively and just 28 percent say it’s getting better. In a now-customary result, 68 percent say the country’s seriously off on the wrong track.

[See PDF with full results, charts and tables here.]

There’s no respite politically. Six in 10 express little or no trust in the federal government to do what’s right. Fifty-three percent think its ability to deal with the country’s problems has worsened in the last few years; among likely voters that rises to 63 percent.Views of the president’s performance suffer in kind. Barack Obama’s job approval rating, 43 percent overall, is virtually unchanged from his career-low 40 percent two weeks ago. A steady 51 percent disapprove, essentially the same all year. His ratings on the economy -- still the country’s prime concern, albeit one of many -- are similarly weak, a 10-point net negative score.These elements appear poised to depress voting by dispirited Democrats, tipping the scale to customarily higher-turnout Republicans. Disapproval of Obama reaches 56 percent among likely voters, and three in 10 say they’ll show up at the polls to express opposition to him -- twice as many as say they’ll vote to show him support.The result is a 50-44 percent Republican advantage among likely voters in preference for U.S. House seats in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates. That compares with a +3-point Democratic tally among all registered voters, showing how differential turnout shifts the balance.EXPECTATIONS and DISAFFECTION – Other results may be equally cheering to the GOP.  While the unpredictable nature of key Senate races makes it premature to be measuring for drapes in leadership offices, Americans by 13 points, 46-33 percent, expect the Republicans to win control. By nine points, 32-24 percent, more also call a good rather than a bad thing.Four in 10, though, say who’s in control won’t make much difference -- one sign of the more general public annoyance any incoming leaders are likely to face.Disaffection may impact participation, as well. Just 68 percent of registered voters say they’re closely following the midterms, well down from 76 percent at about this time in 2010 and 80 percent in 2006. The share saying they’re certain to vote (or already voted), 65 percent, likewise is down, from 71 percent in 2010 and 76 percent in 2006. Actual turnout is lower still.There’s another turn-off for prospective voters: the tone of the midterm campaigns. Americans by 2-1, 50 vs. 26 percent say the candidates in their congressional district have been mainly attacking each other rather than discussing the issues. The remaining quarter has no opinion, suggesting they’ve just tuned it all out.When not firing salvos, campaigns have been working the phones: About one in four likely voters, 27 percent, say they’ve been personally contacted by an individual or organization working to support a House or Senate candidate. About equal numbers say they’ve been contacted on behalf of Republican vs. Democratic candidates; most by far have been contacted by both. No partisan advantage is apparent, suggesting a stalemate, at least overall, in this element of political trench warfare.PRESIDENT OBAMA – Midterms often are seen as referendums on the president, especially given the customary six-year itch. So it is with Obama: This year on average has been his worst in overall job approval since he took office, and it’s the first year a majority has disapproved.Among groups, 2014 marks the first year Obama has averaged less-than-majority approval among moderates (48 percent this year so far), as well as approval only in the 30s among independents (37 percent on average). He’s averaged 33 percent approval among whites and 65 percent among nonwhites in 2014 -- a vast difference, but both annual lows since he took office.Obama’s troubles help explain another result -- a 42-37 percent edge among likely voters for the Republican Party over the Democrats to handle the country’s main problems. Even among all adults, there’s just a 2-point gap between the parties on this question.VOTING GROUPS – The results in congressional vote preference include notable divisions among groups. While Democratic candidates are a scant +5 among women, that turns to a 17-point Republican lead among men. Republican candidates likewise lead by a hefty 17 points among political independents. And while Democrats are +12 points among moderates, the GOP comes back with a vast 61-point advantage among conservatives, who rival moderates in their share of likely voters.The Democrats have a typical lead among nonwhites, but they often also look to college-educated white women as key supporters. This year they’re only running evenly in that group, while losing 66 percent of white men and 57 percent of white women who lack a college degree.Attitudinal groups also mark the GOP advantage. Democratic candidates lead by 71-24 percent among those who say the government’s ability to deal with problems has held steady or improved in recent years -- but Republicans have nearly as large an advantage among those who say this has worsened, and there are far more of them. Republican candidates lead broadly, as well, among those who rate economic conditions negatively -- again, the predominant group.For all this, another result points to a lost opportunity for the Democrats. Seventy-one percent of all adults in this survey, and two-thirds of likely voters, think the U.S. economic system favors the wealthy rather than treating most people fairly. And likely voters who see a systemic bias for the wealthy prefer Democratic candidates over Republicans by a 20-point margin.The tide turns because the minority who thinks the system is fair favors Republican candidates far more broadly -- by 47 points, 72-25 percent. It’s an issue on which Democrats may find room to push back -- if not this year, then in the presidential election two years off.METHODOLOGY – This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by telephone Oct. 23-26, 2014, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 1,204 adults, including 1,032 registered voters and 758 likely voters, including landline and cell-phone-only respondents. Results have a margin of sampling error of 3.0, 3.5 and 4.0 points for the general population, registered voters and likely voters, respectively, including the design effect.Partisan divisions in this survey, Democrats-Republicans-independents, are 32-24-36 percent among the general population, 35-26-33 percent among registered voters and 33-30-31 percent among likely voters.The survey was produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates of New York, N.Y., with sampling, data collection and tabulation by Abt-SRBI of New York, N.Y.Get real-time results pushed to your phone on Election Night. Click here to sign up for the races that matter most to you.Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Economic, Political Discontent Make for a Midterm Double Punch(NEW YORK) — A double punch of economic and political dissatisfaction marks public attitudes in the closing week of the 2014 midterm campaign – a dynamic that reflects poorly on the president’s performance, bolstering his Republican opponents.The discontent in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll is palpable. Despite its fitful gains, seven in 10 Americans rate the nation’s economy negatively and just 28 percent say it’s getting better. In a now-customary result, 68 percent say the country’s seriously off on the wrong track.See PDF with full results, charts and tables here.There’s no respite politically. Six in 10 express little or no trust in the federal government to do what’s right. Fifty-three percent think its ability to deal with the country’s problems has worsened in the last few years; among likely voters that rises to 63 percent.Views of the president’s performance suffer in kind. Barack Obama’s job approval rating, 43 percent overall, is virtually unchanged from his career-low 40 percent two weeks ago. A steady 51 percent disapprove, essentially the same all year. His ratings on the economy – still the country’s prime concern, albeit one of many – are similarly weak, a 10-point net negative score.These elements appear poised to depress voting by dispirited Democrats, tipping the scale to customarily higher-turnout Republicans. Disapproval of Obama reaches 56 percent among likely voters, and three in 10 say they’ll show up at the polls to express opposition to him – twice as many as say they’ll vote to show him support.The result is a 50-44 percent Republican advantage among likely voters in preference for U.S. House seats in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates. That compares with a +3-point Democratic tally among all registered voters, showing how differential turnout shifts the balance.EXPECTATIONS and DISAFFECTION – Other results may be equally cheering to the GOP.  While the unpredictable nature of key Senate races makes it premature to be measuring for drapes in leadership offices, Americans by 13 points, 46-33 percent, expect the Republicans to win control. By nine points, 32-24 percent, more also call a good rather than a bad thing.Four in 10, though, say who’s in control won’t make much difference – one sign of the more general public annoyance any incoming leaders are likely to face.Disaffection may impact participation, as well. Just 68 percent of registered voters say they’re closely following the midterms, well down from 76 percent at about this time in 2010 and 80 percent in 2006. The share saying they’re certain to vote (or already voted), 65 percent, likewise is down, from 71 percent in 2010 and 76 percent in 2006. Actual turnout is lower still.There’s another turn-off for prospective voters: the tone of the midterm campaigns. Americans by 2-1, 50 vs. 26 percent say the candidates in their congressional district have been mainly attacking each other rather than discussing the issues. The remaining quarter has no opinion, suggesting they’ve just tuned it all out.When not firing salvos, campaigns have been working the phones: About one in four likely voters, 27 percent, say they’ve been personally contacted by an individual or organization working to support a House or Senate candidate. About equal numbers say they’ve been contacted on behalf of Republican vs. Democratic candidates; most by far have been contacted by both. No partisan advantage is apparent, suggesting a stalemate, at least overall, in this element of political trench warfare.OBAMA – Midterms often are seen as referendums on the president, especially given the customary six-year itch. So it is with Obama: This year on average has been his worst in overall job approval since he took office, and it’s the first year a majority has disapproved.Among groups, 2014 marks the first year Obama has averaged less-than-majority approval among moderates (48 percent this year so far), as well as approval only in the 30s among independents (37 percent on average). He’s averaged 33 percent approval among whites and 65 percent among nonwhites in 2014 – a vast difference, but both annual lows since he took office.Obama’s troubles help explain another result – a 42-37 percent edge among likely voters for the Republican Party over the Democrats to handle the country’s main problems. Even among all adults, there’s just a 2-point gap between the parties on this question.VOTING GROUPS – The results in congressional vote preference include notable divisions among groups. While Democratic candidates are a scant +5 among women, that turns to a 17-point Republican lead among men. Republican candidates likewise lead by a hefty 17 points among political independents. And while Democrats are +12 points among moderates, the GOP comes back with a vast 61-point advantage among conservatives, who rival moderates in their share of likely voters.The Democrats have a typical lead among nonwhites, but they often also look to college-educated white women as key supporters. This year they’re only running evenly in that group, while losing 66 percent of white men and 57 percent of white women who lack a college degree.Attitudinal groups also mark the GOP advantage. Democratic candidates lead by 71-24 percent among those who say the government’s ability to deal with problems has held steady or improved in recent years – but Republicans have nearly as large an advantage among those who say this has worsened, and there are far more of them. Republican candidates lead broadly, as well, among those who rate economic conditions negatively – again, the predominant group.For all this, another result points to a lost opportunity for the Democrats. Seventy-one percent of all adults in this survey, and two-thirds of likely voters, think the U.S. economic system favors the wealthy rather than treating most people fairly. And likely voters who see a systemic bias for the wealthy prefer Democratic candidates over Republicans by a 20-point margin.The tide turns because the minority who thinks the system is fair favors Republican candidates far more broadly – by 47 points, 72-25 percent. It’s an issue on which Democrats may find room to push back – if not this year, then in the presidential election two years off.METHODOLOGY – This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by telephone Oct. 23-26, 2014, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 1,204 adults, including 1,032 registered voters and 758 likely voters, including landline and cell-phone-only respondents. Results have a margin of sampling error of 3.0, 3.5 and 4.0 points for the general population, registered voters and likely voters, respectively, including the design effect.Partisan divisions in this survey, Democrats-Republicans-independents, are 32-24-36 percent among the general population, 35-26-33 percent among registered voters and 33-30-31 percent among likely voters.The survey was produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates of New York, N.Y., with sampling, data collection and tabulation by Abt-SRBI of New York, N.Y.Get real-time results pushed to your phone on Election Night. Click here to sign up for the races that matter most to you.<a class="twitter-follow-button" href="https://twitter.com/ABCNewsRadio">Follow @ABCNewsRadio</a><script>!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");</script></br>Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Many Americans Living Abroad Consider Renouncing Citizenship

Many Americans Living Abroad Consider Renouncing Citizenship

John Moore/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Not everyone who's an American wants to stay an America, a new report in Forbes magazine reveals.Forbes says that 73 percent of the 7.6 million Americans living outside the U.S. are considering giving up their citizenship, according to a survey of 400 people living aboard by the independent financial advisory organization deVere Group.That works out to approximately 5,548,000 Americans. Meanwhile, 16 percent said they won't renounce their citizenship while 11 percent aren't sure.The major reason for this inclination to become a non-American, says deVere Group founder Nigel Green, is the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act or FATCA, which taxes citizens regardless of where they live in the world.Penalties are steep for evading FATCA, such as fines and prison time, and while some expatriates believe they can bypass the law with a non-U.S. passport or foreign address, Forbes says they could put themselves in further legal jeopardy with the IRS by doing so.

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Massachusetts and West Virginia at Opposite Ends of Politically Engaged Spectrum

Massachusetts and West Virginia at Opposite Ends of Politically Engaged Spectrum

John Moore/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The midterm elections are one week from Tuesday and the two major political parties are hoping for big turnouts by their constituents, particularly in the House and Senate races.While it's impossible to predict the actual outcome at this point, a survey by the personal finance website WalletHub has come up with the nation's most and least politically engaged states, including the District of Columbia.WalletHub use six metrics to come up with its findings that included percentage of registered voters in the 2012 presidential election; percentage of citizens who actually voted in the 2010 midterm elections; and percentage of citizens who actually voted in the 2012 presidential election.The top 10 most politically engaged states are:

Massachusetts Colorado Minnesota District of Columbia Wisconsin Maine Iowa Mississippi Montana Oregon

The bottom 10 are:

42. Arizona43. Arkansas44. Nevada45. Indiana46 Tennessee47. Utah48. Texas49. Hawaii50. Oklahoma51. West Virginia

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White House Press Secretary: Ebola Nurse’s Work in West Africa ‘Should Be Honored and Respected’

White House Press Secretary: Ebola Nurse’s Work in West Africa ‘Should Be Honored and Respected’

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest spoke at Monday's press briefing, discussing the controversial quarantine that nurse Kaci Hickox was placed in after arriving at Newark International Airport in New Jersey.Hickox was released to return home to Maine on Monday, after having been put in quarantine at a New Jersey hospital on Friday. She had arrived in the U.S. from Sierra Leone."She didn't travel over there because she was getting a big paycheck," Earnest said, "presumably she's not going to be inducted into the Nurses Hall of Fame for it. She did it out of concern for her fellow man." That concern is part of what will, in the long-term, help in stopping the spread of Ebola in West Africa, Earnest said. "So her service and commitment to this cause is something that should be honored and respected...and I don't think we do that by making her live in a tent for two or three days."Still, Earnest pointed out, the decision to quarantine Hickox was not one to be made by the White House. "In some ways you can sort of take this up with James Madison, right? We have a federal system in this country in which states are...given significant authority for governing their constituents."Hickox had criticized the restrictions put in place in New York and New Jersey last week.  She has also hired a lawyer and is considering a lawsuit.

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US Airstrikes in Iraq, Syria Have Cost $580 Million Since August 8

US Airstrikes in Iraq, Syria Have Cost $580 Million Since August 8

peterfz30/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The U.S. has spent more than half a billion dollars on airstrikes in Iraq and Syria in just over two months.According to the Pentagon, the cost of the strikes, which began on Aug. 8, has totalled $580 million as of Oct. 16. That figure represents $8.3 million per day -- higher than the previous cost estimate, through Oct. 1, that totalled $424 million and $7.6 million per day.What remains unclear is the cost of operations undertaken prior to the airstrikes, including the personnel and equipment sent to Iraq to improve security between June 16 and Aug. 8.

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What’s Behind the 2014 Midterm Election Cycle’s Trendiest Attack Line

What’s Behind the 2014 Midterm Election Cycle’s Trendiest Attack LineCredit: Architect of the Capitol(WASHINGTON) -- This midterm election cycle’s trendiest attack line has put incumbent members of Congress in a no-win situation.The more time that these lawmakers spend away from the committee rooms of Capitol Hill...

Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff to Recommend Quarantine for All Military Forces Returning from Liberia

Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff to Recommend Quarantine for All Military Forces Returning from Liberia

US JCS(WASHINGTON) -- Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is expected to recommend to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel that all military services adopt the 21-day quarantine that the Army ordered this weekend in response to the ongoing Ebola situation in West Africa.Army soldiers returning from deployments to Liberia were to be quarantined for 21 days for monitoring to ensure that they had not contracted Ebola. The only soldiers who have left Liberia since the order was put in place are currently under quarantine at a base in Italy, though they were not directly in contact with Ebola patients while in Liberia.Under the current policy, returning service members will have monitored temperature checks for 21 days and will be asked about potential symptoms. Any service member exposed to the bodily fluids of an Ebola patient would be medically evacuated to the U.S. for treatment at either the National Institutes of Health facility in Bethesda, Maryland, or Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.

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Kerry to Visit Ottawa Tuesday, Offer Condolences Following Shooting

Kerry to Visit Ottawa Tuesday, Offer Condolences Following Shooting

State Dept(WASHINGTON) -- Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to Canada on Tuesday in order to hold bilateral meetings with Canadian leaders and offer condolences following last week's shooting at Canada's National War Memorial outside the Canadian Parliament.Kerry, according to a statement from State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki, will "express America's solidarity with the Canadian people." Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird confirmed the meetings on Monday, noting that the two nations have been "partners, allies and friends through good times, as well as through some of our most tragic moments in history." He also said that Kerry and President Obama were among the first people to reach out to Canada during the shooting."I am grateful that Secretary Kerry will visit Ottawa and stand by Canadians as we mourn...and as we move forward in pursuit of our shared values," Baird said.Kerry and Baird are expected to discuss issues including the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, tension in Ukraine, North American energy security and the relationship between the two nations, among other topics.

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Chris Christie Hasn’t Tweeted About Anything Besides Ebola Since Thursday

Chris Christie Hasn’t Tweeted About Anything Besides Ebola Since Thursday

Governor's Office/Tim Larsen(TRENTON, N.J.) -- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has been tweeting up a storm and, since Thursday, he’s tweeted about nothing but Ebola.He’s used his account to promote the state’s mandatory quarantines for health workers returning from West Africa -- and made his case for New Jersey’s controversial quarantine of nurse Kaci Hickox after she returned from the Ebola zone in Sierra Leone.He’s discussed New Jersey’s coordination with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in rolling out those quarantines, even in the face of criticism from the White House.He’s reassured the public that there are no Ebola cases in New Jersey, and he’s reminded everyone that Ebola can only be spread through bodily fluids of an infected person showing symptoms.

 

When it comes to #Ebola you need to know the facts. @CDCgov pic.twitter.com/tdnvmoAQXU

— Governor Christie (@GovChristie) October 22, 2014

Christie’s last non-Ebola tweet had to do with housing. In fact, Christie has only posted four non-Ebola-related tweets since last Monday.Christie’s Twitter storm kept up Monday, even as New Jersey decided to release Hickox from quarantine as her lawyer threatened to sue. In fact, the furor over Hickox’s quarantine in a tent at a Newark, New Jersey, hospital fueled Christie’s Twitter output from the start.

 

 

Today, a healthcare worker arrived at Newark Airport, w/ a recent history of treating patients w/ Ebola in West Africa, but w/ no symptoms.

— Governor Christie (@GovChristie) October 24, 2014

 

 

After @CDCgov alerted @NJDeptofhealth of the traveler, @NJDeptofhealth made the determination that a legal quarantine order should be issued

— Governor Christie (@GovChristie) October 24, 2014

 

 

This woman, while her home residence is outside of this area, her next stop was going to be here in NY.

— Governor Christie (@GovChristie) October 24, 2014

 

 

.@NYGovCuomo and I discussed it before we came out today and a quarantine order will be issued.

— Governor Christie (@GovChristie) October 24, 2014

Hickox later penned an op-ed in the Dallas Morning News chronicling her Ebola quarantine travails and suggesting mandatory quarantines will discourage volunteerism.The White House, which opposes mandatory quarantines, spent the weekend obliquely bashing the policy. The administration raised concerns with Christie and Cuomo, a senior administration official told ABC News on Sunday, suggesting the quarantines are “not grounded in science,” a position shared by Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top infectious-diseases official at the National Institutes of Health.President Obama met with his team of Ebola advisers on Sunday, the White House announced, asking its members to develop federal policies on how to handle Ebola workers, with an eye toward not discouraging volunteerism. New guidelines are on the way, a senior administration official said.Christie has defended the quarantines in interviews, and Sunday night he took to Twitter to clarify that workers can undergo quarantine at home if they live in the state. Hickox was sequestered in a hospital tent because she doesn’t live there.

 

 

Non-residents would be transported to their homes if feasible and, if not, quarantined in New Jersey.

— Governor Christie (@GovChristie) October 27, 2014

 

 

As I said on Friday, we & the @NJDeptofhealth will make those judgements were need be, what the most appropriate location for that is.

— Governor Christie (@GovChristie) October 27, 2014

 

 

IF the person is not a resident of our state already.

— Governor Christie (@GovChristie) October 27, 2014

 

 

Obviously, if they're already a resident of NJ then they can quarantine in their own homes under a quarantine order. https://t.co/ZK3zIAAaL4

— Governor Christie (@GovChristie) October 27, 2014

 

On Monday, he took to Twitter to address Hickox’s allegations of mistreatment:

 

"While in isolation, every effort was made to insure that she remained comfortable..." (cont) @NJDeptofhealth

— Governor Christie (@GovChristie) October 27, 2014

 

 

"...with access to a computer, cell phone, reading material and nourishment of choice." - @NJDeptofhealth

— Governor Christie (@GovChristie) October 27, 2014

 

And to hit back at critics of New Jersey’s quarantine policy:

 

My greater responsibility is to the public. https://t.co/4NdrKvUAT0 #Ebola

— Governor Christie (@GovChristie) October 27, 2014

 

 

The fact of the matter is we're not going to step away for a minute from protecting the people of my state. https://t.co/4NdrKvUAT0 #Ebola

— Governor Christie (@GovChristie) October 27, 2014

 

 

So the critics are the critics no matter what you do there will be critics and you don’t worry that. https://t.co/4NdrKvUAT0 #Ebola

— Governor Christie (@GovChristie) October 27, 2014

 

 

You worry about doing what’s right for the people you represent and that’s what we've done. https://t.co/4NdrKvUAT0 #Ebola

— Governor Christie (@GovChristie) October 27, 2014

 

 

Our preference always is to have people quarantined in their homes. https://t.co/4NdrKvUAT0 #Ebola

— Governor Christie (@GovChristie) October 27, 2014

 

 

Now in this instance it wasn't possible because given her condition at the time. https://t.co/4NdrKvUAT0 #Ebola

— Governor Christie (@GovChristie) October 27, 2014

 

 

I know she didn't want to be there. No one ever wants to be in the hospital, I suspect. https://t.co/4NdrKvUAT0 #Ebola

— Governor Christie (@GovChristie) October 27, 2014

 

 

So, I understand that. But, the fact is I have a much greater, bigger responsibility to the people of the public. https://t.co/4NdrKvUAT0

— Governor Christie (@GovChristie) October 27, 2014

 

The White House’s response to Ebola cases in the U.S. has become a growing political issue for Republican candidates, who have mentioned the disease alongside national security threats posed by ISIS in arguments against Obama’s leadership abilities. Christie, widely seen as a possible Republican contender for the White House in 2016, has quickly become the leading spokesman opposing the White House’s stance on the public policy debate over how to confront Ebola.

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Biden Hits the Campaign Trail for Democrats in Iowa, Illinois

Biden Hits the Campaign Trail for Democrats in Iowa, Illinois

Pete Souza / The White House(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama won’t hit the campaign trail until Tuesday but in the meantime, his top surrogates continue to stump for candidates. Vice President Joe Biden is in Iowa Monday -- another state where Obama will not be seen this campaign season. Biden is attending an event for Democratic Senate candidate Rep. Bruce Braley. Later in the afternoon, Biden travels to Illinois to rally support for Gov. Pat Quinn, Sen. Dick Durbin and Rep. Cheri Bustos.

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“Boston Globe” Backs Charlie Baker for Mass. Governor

“Boston Globe” Backs Charlie Baker for Mass. Governor

Darren McCollester/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Newspapers across the country endorsed candidates this weekend, but perhaps no choice was more surprising than The Boston Globe backing of Republican Charlie Baker over Democrat Martha Coakley in the bright blue Bay State of Massachusetts. Remembered for her loss to Scott Brown in 2010, it looks like this year the very same thing could happen to the gubernatorial candidate now being called Martha "Choke-ly." The Globe says they endorsed Baker because during this campaign he "has focused principally on making state government work better" and the "emphasis is warranted." They also note his split from the national Republican Party on social issues. In their editorial, The Globe describes Coakley's "assessment of the status quo" as "fundamentally upbeat." They also noted her "campaign up to now suggests an odd reluctance to seize the initiative" and said during her primary she was "unwilling to spell out an issue agenda” -- all reasons they say they went with Baker.Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Senator Wants Auto Makers to Reveal Secret Settlements

Senator Wants Auto Makers to Reveal Secret Settlements

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., took his recent criticism of federal highway safety regulators to the next level Sunday calling for an end to secret legal settlements, saying they delay solutions to potentially deadly problems on America's roadways.The senator has been critical of the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration over its handling recalls related to defective airbags. Reports have linked automotive supplier Takata to four deaths and many more injuries over 10 years because its airbags can improperly deploy, turning the metal housing into shrapnel.Honda was aware of the problem as early as 2004 and settled lawsuits with injured drivers on the condition that the victims could not reveal the terms of their agreements, a common term in settlements."If the public were aware of the lawsuits that are brought, if they were settled in open view, available to the public, there would be much quicker and more vigorous action to end the defects that lead to these horrendous crashes and exploding airbags, in this case," Blumenthal told ABC's Chief Global Correspondent Martha Raddatz Sunday on This Week.Blumenthal, with Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-S.C., proposed legislation earlier this year to force manufacturers to publicize litigation and settlements when consumers sue them for alleged misdeeds that implicate public safety. That bill, the Sunshine in Litigation Act, was referred to committee in May.Such disclosure provisions are not part of new legislation that Blumenthal is currently sponsoring to strengthen safety oversight of the auto industry.The new bill would overhaul the NHTSA, the government's watchdog for the auto industry, housed within the Department of Transportation. An overhaul is necessary, Blumenthal argued on This Week, to root out what he calls a "culture of capture" in which regulators trust the manufacturers they oversee."There are times when a good working relationship is fine," Blumenthal said about the NHTSA's relationship with auto manufacturers. "But there are also times when the relationship has to be confrontational, not collegial."Earlier this week, Blumenthal wrote a letter, with Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., to NHTSA director Anthony Foxx, criticizing NHTSA for not stepping in earlier to force wide recalls of the defective airbags, for issuing an incomplete list of recalled models, and for allowing manufacturers without enough replacement airbags to simply disconnect the defective ones, leaving drivers without the protection of the required safety equipment.The senator expanded on this last critique on This Week."Disabling the airbags is of very questionable legality," he said. "In fact, I'd argue it is blatantly illegal without a finding from the Secretary of Transportation that there's a basis for this exemption."Blumenthal said NHTSA should require that auto manufacturers offer loaner vehicles to drivers affected by the recall.Automakers have recalled about 7.8 million vehicles in connection with the defective airbags just this year.Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Bill Clinton: Gender and Racial Politics ‘Greatest Threat’ to Country’s Future‏

Bill Clinton: Gender and Racial Politics ‘Greatest Threat’ to Country’s Future‏

Scott Olson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Former President Bill Clinton warned Saturday night that despite great gains for the gay and transgender community, the lines of gender and race in politics could still cast a shadow in the years ahead.

Clinton was the keynote speaker at the Human Rights Campaign’s annual black tie dinner Saturday night. And as Hillary Clinton continues to lay the groundwork for a possible presidential run of her own, the leading lobby for gay and transgender rights represents a strong Democratic constituency profoundly affected — both positively and negatively — by his time in the Oval Office.

“I believe that in ways large and small, peaceful and sometimes violent, that the biggest threat to the future of our children and grandchildren is the poison of identity politics that preaches that our differences are far more important than our common humanity,” he told the crowd of activists, celebrities, and lawmakers.

The head of the Human Rights Campaign is himself a former veteran of the Clinton White House.

Buoyed by recent legislative victories for their cause, the HRC has been trying to expand its focus into formerly unreachable areas, including the rural and religiously conservative Deep South, and overseas.

Clinton, recollecting the Human Genome Project of his administration, had this advice for the volunteers heading into new territory: “When the HRC goes to Arkansas, Mississippi, and Alabama, and you see the first person who cusses you out, just remember we’re 99 and a half percent the same.”

Clinton also noted that at his recent high school reunion — he attends every year — he learned a close childhood friend had finally wed their partner.

The president’s years in office were not completely rosy ones for the gay community — stymied by the creation of the now-defunct “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in the military, and his signing of the Defense of Marriage Act. That signing was politically expedient at the time, because the law passed Congress with wide enough margins to overcome a presidential veto. Facing reelection, Clinton also feared losing the right-leaning rural Americans that had helped propel the former Arkansas governor into office.

Clinton spent 17 years first defending, then inching away from the decision. His evolving position came full circle last year, when in an editorial published in the Washington Post, the man who signed the Defense of Marriage Act called for its overturn in the Supreme Court.

Should Hillary Clinton run for president, that reluctant history is likely to provide ammunition to a challenger from the left.

Outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder also spoke briefly in a surprise visit to the dinner. Holder, who will leave behind a reputation of civil rights activism in office, trumpeted the Justice Department’s announcement Saturday that the agency would expand recognition of same-gender marriage licenses to an additional six states, bring the total of those recognized by the Obama administration to 32.

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Rep. Michael McCaul: ISIS Waging War Online; Recent Homegrown Attacks Examples of ‘Where They’re Winning’

Rep. Michael McCaul: ISIS Waging War Online; Recent Homegrown Attacks Examples of ‘Where They’re Winning’

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call(WASHINGTON) -- House Homeland Security Committee Chair Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, said on This Week that ISIS is waging a war against the West online, with three attacks this week against law enforcement and military personnel – two in Canada and one in the United States – serving as examples of “where they’re winning.”“I think all the markings are there of radical Islamist ties,” McCaul said of the Thursday New York City subway attack, in which an unemployed recent Muslim convert – identified by authorities as 32-year-old Zale Thompson – attacked four NYPD officers with a hatchet in broad daylight, striking one in the head before being shot and killed by police.New York police said Friday that Thompson appears to have been self-radicalized on the Internet watching videos of ISIS and al Qaeda.“This is the profile of the enemy within: self-radicalization within the United States,” McCaul told ABC News’ Martha Raddatz. “We worry a lot about ISIS traveling overseas from Syria to the United States, but I think one of the greatest fears are those already within the United States who are being radicalized and inspired by the ISIS propaganda that’s out there on the Internet.”The attack came just a day after the deadly rampage in the Canadian capital when another 32-year-old Muslim convert, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, put the city of Ottawa on lockdown after he allegedly killed a soldier who was guarding Canada’s National War Memorial and then stormed the Canadian parliament building. On Monday, another Canadian soldier was killed when his car was run off the road by a man boasting ties to ISIS.“They are waging a campaign of war against the West and the United States, and these are three examples just last week of where they’re winning,” McCaul said of the attacks.McCaul said because these homegrown violent extremists – so-called “lone wolves” – are inspired from overseas but often act alone, it is not easy to track them down.“These are people in a basement being radicalized over the internet,” McCaul said on This Week. “They’re not mentally all that sound. They’re really one of the most difficult to stop. It’s like finding a needle in a haystack.”But McCaul said one solution is to intervene on the local level. “What I would urge is we have greater community involvement within the mosques,” he said, noting that radical behavior noticed in a mosque should be reported to local law enforcement, who could work with the FBI.“Remember Tamerlan Tsarnev, the Boston bomber, got literally kicked out of his mosque, and yet there was no reporting of that at that time,” McCaul said. “Had there been, just maybe we could have stopped that particular bombing from happening.”

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Jeb Bush Will ‘More Than Likely’ Run in 2016, Says His Son

Jeb Bush Will ‘More Than Likely’ Run in 2016, Says His Son

William Thomas Cain/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) --  Will another member of the Bush family dynasty make a run for the White House? In an interview in College Station, Texas, this week, George P. Bush told ABC News’ Jonathan Karl he thinks his father, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, will “more than likely” run for president in 2016.“I think it’s actually, I think it’s more than likely that he’s giving this a serious thought in moving forward,” George P. Bush told Karl aboard his campaign bus in College Station, Texas.“More than likely that he'll run?” Karl asked.“That he'll run,” Bush said. “If you had asked me a few years back, I would've said it was less likely.”Bush said his family will support his father “a hundred percent” should he decide to launch a bid for the White House.

While his father still assesses a bid for the presidency, George P. Bush is making his first run for elected office, campaigning for the position of Texas land commissioner. The position carries a portfolio ranging from managing the state’s land and mineral resources to administering programs for veterans. It also oversees the Permanent School Fund, which is the nation’s largest educational endowment at $37.7 billion.Though this is his first run for office, Bush was immersed in Republican politics at a young age. When he was 12 years old, he recited the pledge of allegiance at the 1988 Republican National Convention, which nominated his grandfather, George H.W. Bush. In his 20s, he campaigned for his uncle George W. Bush’s presidential run.George P. Bush, whose mother Columba was born in Mexico, has also led a crusade to expand the Republican Party’s appeal to Hispanics, young people and moderates. He’s launched two groups aimed at fulfilling that mission -- Maverick PAC and the Hispanic Republicans of Texas.In the weeks before the November election, the 38-year-old has crisscrossed the state on a campaign bus as he makes his pitch for the land commissioner post. At stops in San Antonio, Victoria, Goliad and College Station this week, voters repeatedly approached Bush to talk about his famous grandparents, father and uncle, a constant reminder that he’s following in the family’s political footsteps.“It’s an overall positive for me,” Bush said of the Bush family name. “But I said from day one of my campaign, 23 months ago, that I am a man of my own right, who stands on my own two feet with my vision. And I need folks to evaluate me based on what I bring to the table.”Prior to seeking elected office, Bush taught high school history, worked as an attorney, deployed to Afghanistan as an intelligence officer in the Naval Reserves and now runs his own investment firm focusing on the oil and gas business. He and his wife Amanda, whom he met in law school at the University of Texas, have one son, Prescott.If he wins next Tuesday, George P. will hold the distinction of being the only Bush to win their first campaign. Though it’s unclear what other political office he might pursue in the future, Bush is often mentioned as a potential Republican candidate for governor in Texas and maybe one day a candidate for the White House – a position he says he’s never considered.“I haven’t, actually. I actually haven’t,” Bush said. “I’ve thought about service, but I never really understood how it would manifest itself.”

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Record Disapproval for Dems in Congress; GOPers, Congress Overall are Even Lower

Record Disapproval for Dems in Congress; GOPers, Congress Overall are Even Lower

Architect of the Capitol(WASHINGTON) -- With congressional elections virtually upon us, public disapproval of the Democrats in Congress has hit a new high in ABC News/Washington Post polls dating back 20 years. And disapproval of their Republican counterparts – while not a record – is even higher.

Congress overall, for its part, has a 20 percent approval rating, one of its worst heading into a midterm election in polling dating back even farther, to 1974. With something there for nearly everyone to dislike, a bipartisan 77 percent disapprove of its job performance.

See PDF with full results, charts and tables here.

Evaluating just the Democrats in Congress, 67 percent disapprove, a high in polling since 1994 (albeit by a single point). Even more, 72 percent, disapprove of the Republicans in Congress, narrowly missing their all-time record for public scorn, 75 percent in January 2012.

The results sum up the public’s broad political discontent and send another ominous signal to the Democrats, whose favorability rating, another measure of public sentiment, fell to a 30-year low in a recent ABC/Post poll. (The GOP again rated even lower, albeit not at a record low.)

While the Republican Party has weaker ratings overall, history suggests that the risk is more the Democrats’, as the party that holds the presidency. From 1974 through 2010, using available data closest to each midterm election, approval of Congress has correlated with losses for the then-president’s party at a substantial .63 (on a scale in which 1 is a perfect, positive match).

Congress was about this unpopular heading into a midterm twice before, with 18 and 21 percent approval in a pair of polls in October 1994 and 23 percent (among registered voters) in October 2010. Both times the incumbent president’s party got nailed, losing 54 and 63 House seats, respectively. Analysts aren’t suggesting anything like that kind of rout this year, given other dynamics – but the pattern marks the Democrats’ risk, as do similar analyses, reported last week, correlating presidential approval and “wrong track” sentiment with in-party losses (.68 and .65, respectively).

This poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, suggests that things could be worse – a little. Congress’ approval rating is up 8 points from its 40-year low after the partial shutdown of the federal government a year ago. The Republicans’ 25 percent approval is 5 points better than their worst ever, in December 2011. And the Democrats’ approval rating, 30 percent, is a non-significant three points from their low, also in December 2011.

Best for Congress, in a bleak situation, is that the intensity of negative sentiment is down from its peak – though, again, still high. While 50 percent of Americans “strongly” disapprove of the way Congress is doing its work, that’s down from a record 70 percent after the shutdown a year ago.

AVERAGES – Comparison to averages also helps tell the story. Congress, in 126 available polls since 1974, has averaged 37-57 percent, approve-disapprove – unpopular on average, but less so than now (and with occasional forays into majority approval).

The Democrats and Republicans in Congress, in 34 ABC/Post polls since 1994, have averaged 40-55 percent and 31-64 percent, respectively. The Republicans thus are customarily more unpopular, as now – but the Democrats are a bit farther than usual from their average approval rating, and Congress overall, even more so.

GROUPS – Negative views of Congress, as noted, are bipartisan; roughly three-quarters or more disapprove across political and ideological lines. There are differences by age and race, with young adults and nonwhites less negative – but still broadly disapproving.

Predictably, partisanship roars back when it comes to approval of each party in Congress. What’s most interesting is each party’s weakness in its own base. A substantial 42 percent of Democrats disapprove of the way the Democrats in Congress are doing their jobs, and an identical number of Republicans say the same about the Republicans in Congress.

METHODOLOGY – This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by landline and cell phone Oct. 15-19, 2014, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 1,004 adults. Results have a margin of sampling error of 3.5 points. The survey was produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates of New York, N.Y.

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Department of Transportation to Review NHTSA Following Handling of Automobile Recall

Department of Transportation to Review NHTSA Following Handling of Automobile Recall

csakisti/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The Department of Transportation will conduct a review of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, on the heels of a number of automobile recalls this year, a senior administration official confirmed to ABC News.The New York Times reports that the administration is concerned about the NHTSA's handling of recent recalls. Earlier this week, the agency urged drivers to "act immediately" to have repairs done regarding faulty airbags, however, several automakers were unprepared to make those repairs.Additionally, a tool on the NHTSA website that helps drivers identify whether their car is affected by outstanding recalls was non-responsive for more than a day.The most recent recall, of Takata Company airbags, involved nearly eight million vehicles.

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Holder Announces Federal Government to Recognize Same-Sex Married Couples in Six More States

Holder Announces Federal Government to Recognize Same-Sex Married Couples in Six More States

Photo by Earl Gibson III/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The U.S. government will recognize same-sex married couples in six more states, Attorney General Eric Holder said Saturday. The move is yet another development after the Supreme Court decided earlier in October not to hear any pending cases regarding same-sex marriage. The federal government will now recognize same-sex married couples in Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, North Carolina, West Virginia and Wyoming.Holder made a similar announcement last week with respect to seven other states. Saturday's action brings the total number of states where the federal government recognizes same-sex married couples to 32, plus the District of Columbia. "With each new state where same-sex marriages are legally recognized," Holder said in a statement, "our nation moves closer to achieving...full equality for all Americans." The government will work with those states "to ensure that same-sex married couples...receive the fullest array of benefits allowable under the law."Holder also announced Saturday that the Department of Justice determined that it can legally recognize marriages performed in Indiana and Wisconsin in June. A number of marriages were performed after federal district courts ruled those states' bans on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, but later legal developments created confusion about the status of those marriages.'

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Obama Talks About Ebola in America in Weekly Address

Obama Talks About Ebola in America in Weekly Address

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- In this week's address, President Obama talks about Ebola in America, from the death of Thomas Eric Duncan to the most recent case in New York City.

Obama addresses what he says are some "basic facts." "First, you cannot get Ebola easily," he says. "You can’t get it through casual contact with someone.  Remember, down in Dallas, even Mr. Duncan’s family—who lived with him and helped care for him—even they did not get Ebola.  The only way you can get this disease is by coming into direct contact with the bodily fluids of someone with symptoms.  That’s the science.  Those are the facts."

Obama also highlights the newest CDC guidelines and travel measures going forward.

Read the full transcript of the president's address:

"Hi everybody, this week, we remained focused on our fight against Ebola.  In Dallas, dozens of family, friends and others who had been in close contact with the first patient, Mr. Duncan, were declared free of Ebola—a reminder that this disease is actually very hard to catch.  Across Dallas, others being monitored—including health care workers who were most at risk—were also declared Ebola-free.

Two Americans—patients in Georgia and Nebraska who contracted the disease in West Africa—recovered and were released from the hospital.  The first of the two Dallas nurses who were diagnosed—Nina Pham—was declared Ebola free, and yesterday I was proud to welcome her to the Oval Office and give her a big hug.  The other nurse—Amber Vinson—continues to improve as well.  And in Africa, the countries of Senegal and Nigeria were declared free of Ebola—a reminder that this disease can be contained and defeated.In New York City, medical personnel moved quickly to isolate and care for the patient there—a doctor who recently returned from West Africa.  The city and state of New York have strong public health systems, and they’ve been preparing for this possibility.  Because of the steps we’ve taken in recent weeks, our CDC experts were already at the hospital, helping staff prepare for this kind of situation.  Before the patient was even diagnosed, we deployed one of our new CDC rapid response teams. And I’ve assured Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio that they’ll have all the federal support they need as they go forward.  More broadly, this week we continued to step up our efforts across the country.  New CDC guidelines and outreach is helping hospitals improve training and protect their health care workers.  The Defense Department’s new team of doctors, nurses and trainers will respond quickly if called upon to help.  New travel measures are now directing all travelers from the three affected countries in West Africa into five U.S. airports where we’re conducting additional screening.  Starting this week, these travelers will be required to report their temperatures and any symptoms on a daily basis—for 21 days until we’re confident they don’t have Ebola.  Here at the White House, my new Ebola response coordinator is working to ensure a seamless response across the federal government.  And we have been examining the protocols for protecting our brave health care workers, and, guided by the science, we’ll continue to work with state and local officials to take the necessary steps to ensure the safety and health of the American people. In closing, I want to leave you with some basic facts.  First, you cannot get Ebola easily.  You can’t get it through casual contact with someone.  Remember, down in Dallas, even Mr. Duncan’s family—who lived with him and helped care for him—even they did not get Ebola.  The only way you can get this disease is by coming into direct contact with the bodily fluids of someone with symptoms.  That’s the science.  Those are the facts.Sadly, Mr. Duncan did not survive, and we continue to keep his family in our prayers.  At the same time, it’s important to remember that of the seven Americans treated so far for Ebola—the five who contracted it in West Africa, plus the two nurses from Dallas—all seven have survived.  Let me say that again—seven Americans treated; all seven survived.  I’ve had two of them in the Oval Office.  And now we’re focused on making sure the patient in New York receives the best care as well.  Here’s the bottom line.  Patients can beat this disease.  And we can beat this disease.  But we have to stay vigilant.  We have to work together at every level—federal, state and local.  And we have to keep leading the global response, because the best way to stop this disease, the best way to keep Americans safe, is to stop it at its source—in West Africa.And we have to be guided by the science—we have to be guided by the facts, not fear.  Yesterday, New Yorkers showed us the way. They did what they do every day—jumping on buses, riding the subway, crowding into elevators, heading into work, gathering in parks.  That spirit—that determination to carry on—is part of what makes New York one of the great cities in the world.  And that’s the spirit all of us can draw upon, as Americans, as we meet this challenge together."

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