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Wendy Davis Discusses Shocking Memoir Revelations

Wendy Davis Discusses Shocking Memoir Revelations

Erich Schlegel/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis has made headlines for revealing in a new memoir that she had two abortions, but the Democrat, who rose to national prominence for her 13-hour filibuster of a bill that would have restricted women’s access to abortion, denied that her revelations were designed to gain her a political advantage ahead of the elections.

Speaking in an interview with ABC’s Good Morning America co-anchor Robin Roberts that aired Monday on the show, Davis said the book, Forgetting to Be Afraid, was intended to give people insight into her.

“You’re running for governor. And people are going to question the timing. …Are you trying to pull at the heartstrings, people are going to say, of the voters that you’re trying to win votes with sympathy?” Roberts asked.

Davis replied: “I wanted to share a book about my life, how I came to be who I am. I wanted people to feel like they’re not alone…The struggle of being a single mom. The struggle, after my parents divorced, and that I came through it. I came through it, through my faith in God. I came through it because of my education.

“I wanted to be very honest in my story, and not leave pieces aside,” she added. “I wanted people to understand.”

In the memoir, Davis reveals that after her parents divorced, her mother became so depressed that she almost killed herself and her three children, Davis included.

At the time, Davis’ mother was in her 20s with three children aged 5 and under.

She became depressed after Davis’ birth and, after the separation, her husband remarried. Davis’ mother was all alone.

“She almost took her life and ours,” Davis told Roberts.

Her mother put her children in the trunk of the car because “she couldn’t imagine leaving the world and leaving us behind…she had intended to start the car in the garage,” Davis said. “And an angel came into our lives that day. A neighbor who had never come to our home before rang the bell. And he sat in the living room. He held my mother’s hand. He talked to her for quite a long time. And by the time he left, she was through it. And she came and collected us from the car and put one foot in front of the other and pushed on for all of us, and did a beautiful job of it.”

Davis, 51, credits her mother’s life experiences for giving her the strength to persevere in the face of her own challenges of being a single working mother.

Davis, a graduate of Harvard Law School, is running for governor against Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott.

The mother of two daughters talked with Roberts about her headline-making filibuster last year. Dressed in a pair of pink sneakers, Davis went on for nearly 13 hours against a bill in the legislature. Although her filibuster succeeded in delaying the restrictions, they were eventually implemented.

“For me, it was very important to give voice to the women and men that I stood for that day. …And of course I couldn’t help but reflect upon my own journey,” she said.

In the memoir, Davis disclosed for the first time that she terminated two pregnancies in the 1990s. One was terminated after tests showed the fetus was developing outside the uterus and therefore not viable.

Two years later, Davis was pregnant again with a daughter she and her then-husband, Jeff Davis, had already named, but a routine exam detected a serious problem.

“Our baby had a severe brain abnormality — one that was such an extreme abnormality that we were told she would likely not survive to term,” Davis told Roberts. “If she did survive to term, she likely would not survive delivery. And if she did survive delivery, she likely would be in a vegetative state.”

Davis and her husband decided that “the most loving thing that we could do for our daughter was to say goodbye,” she said, adding that the decision was difficult and made with love.

“Her name was Tate Elise Davis,” Davis said. “And we loved her as we love our living daughters, Dru and Amber. And she forms, of course, a very important part of my life.”

Asked by Roberts whether she could understand that some people would say they would have handled the matter differently, Davis replied: “This was how my family confronted this tragic experience. I respect so much that people make their own decisions, and that that decision is the one that is right for them.”

Forgetting to Be Afraid goes on sale Tuesday.

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President Obama to Address ISIS Strategy in Speech

President Obama to Address ISIS Strategy in Speech

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) — President Obama will give a speech next week outlining his strategy for taking on the threat posed by ISIS, ABC News has learned.

The president will use the speech to outline the nature of the threat — serious, but not an imminent threat to the homeland — and the strategy for confronting it.

It is not expected that he will make any major new announcements such as a decision on Syria air strikes, but he will describe the efforts he is already taking, including air strikes in Iraq and building an international coalition.

In other words, the president wants to leave no doubt he does in fact have a strategy for taking on ISIS despite his words two weeks ago — “We don’t have a strategy yet” — when asked about taking on ISIS in Syria.

The president will also begin stepped up consultations with Congress and meet with Congressional leaders Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell from the Senate, and John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi from the House on Tuesday to talk about ISIS. The following week, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey will be testifying before Congress.

There is no timeline for a presidential decision on ordering airstrikes on ISIS targets in Syria, and it sounds like such a decision is unlikely to happen before late September at the earliest.

Of course, none of this rules out an isolated strike on a high-value target in Syria along the lines of the strike in Somalia on Monday that killed al-Shabab leader Ahmed Abdi Godane, along with two other high-ranking members of the terror group.

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After 30 Years and a Return to NH, Bob Smith Faces His Last Campaign

After 30 Years and a Return to NH, Bob Smith Faces His Last Campaign

Craig Herndon/The Washington Post/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Sen. Bob Smith is fighting to return to the Senate, trying to regain his former title as U.S. Senator from New Hampshire, but he has to first beat another former U.S. Senator, one from Massachusetts who is heavily favored in Tuesday’s primary, Scott Brown.

Yes, two formers, one battle for the Senate, a fight against incumbent Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen that could determine if Democrats retain control. Brown and Shaheen have essentially been fighting a general election battle for months, facing off head to head and ignoring Brown’s GOP opponents.

That hasn’t deterred Smith, who has a 30-year political resume — with several non-traditional moments — but admits Tuesday is his last political campaign, no matter what happens.

“I doubt very much I would be a candidate again,” Smith told ABC News. “Some people I might help probably, but not as an elected official.”

He’s confident, saying he still very much thinks he will be the nominee and doesn’t like to think about the possibility of losing, but acknowledges that if he doesn’t win, he will stay busy writing a book he is about one-fifth of the way done with. He says this race will be the book’s “final chapter.”

Smith was first elected to New Hampshire’s 1st District House seat in 1984. In 1990, he ran for Senate and won, going on to serve two terms before losing in 2002 to then U.S. Rep. John Sununu.

His second Senate term was not without its share of headlines. In 1999, after a short primary bid for the GOP presidential nomination, he left the Republican Party and launched a long-shot White House campaign as a candidate for the U.S. Taxpayers Party. He had a subsequent presidential bid as an independent, which also was brief. That hurt him in his 2002 bid and he moved to Florida soon after his loss and mounted two bids for the GOP Senate nomination from the Sunshine State in 2004 and 2010, both unsuccessfully.

Now that he’s back in New Hampshire, Smith is running as the “true conservative” in the race, but it’s not only the fact that he left the GOP that has undermined his claim to that title: In 2004, just before Election Day, he endorsed John Kerry over George W. Bush.

Smith admitted that the endorsement was a “mistake made in anger” when Bush did not endorse him in his 2002 election, something he said Bush promised him.

Smith said most of the reaction he gets on the campaign trail, something he calls the “Dunkin Donuts poll” is positive, but said “I would be lying” if he said people didn’t bring up these parts of his record. He says he tells them, “If you can’t get past that I understand it fully,” and counsels them to vote for another candidate.

He said the one thing people never are upset about is the fact he changed parties briefly, saying conservatives he meets now are “so angry at the establishment and this national party and some in the state party who have all endorsed Brown…it’s not the way it’s supposed to be, primaries are supposed to be left to the voters.”

He said he left the party in 1999 to make a statement that the GOP “can’t desert our principles,” which he thinks some in the party, notably Brown, have done. The former Massachusetts senator is more moderate than Smith and the Republican Party on issues including abortion and gun control.

Smith says his early stance against what he calls the “catastrophe” with the national debt shows that he was “tea party before the tea party was cool.”

Smith may be 73, but he says he’s been hitting the campaign trail hard. On Friday, he did 11 appearances, including two radio interviews, a stop at a gun manufacturer, two gun shops, and a block party.

“I did it the old fashioned way,” Smith said. “As if I had never run before, I re-introduced myself and I think it has worked.”

In their final GOP primary debate on Thursday, Smith was the only one of the three candidates who declined to commit to endorsing Tuesday’s victor, saying “I’ll make that decision when the primary election is over.”

Smith said he did that because he doesn’t “like to pre-judge…I like to think I’m going to be the nominee. That’s always the way I think, but I also said that I would support every Republican that supports the Republican platform.” Another clear non-committal about whether he would endorse Brown or the other challenger, former New Hampshire state Senator Jim Rubens.

He said he isn’t wistful as he looks at his final campaign, and he has “no bitterness for the past.”

“I think if you are bitter you aren’t healing yourself, you have to forgive and move on,” he said.

Looking back, he said that during his time in the Senate, Capitol Hill was less divided than it is now, noting, “Ted Kennedy and I were bitter political enemies, but we were friends. I liked him a lot and I think he liked me…that’s respect.”

Watchers of Smith’s bid say his irregular path, despite the years, could still be having an impact.

“Some voters are not forgetting,” Director of the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College Neil Levesque said.

“Leaving the party, endorsing Kerry, then running for the U.S. Senate in Florida. That’s three pretty big things that could be central to voters’ minds,” Levesque said. “He’s certainly been a longtime candidate, but he hasn’t been necessarily here for a while. He’s been in Florida. It was kind of a surprise then when he came back.”

Smith’s final message to voters is something he says he hasn’t held back from telling Brown on the campaign trail.

“I think Scott Brown is more like Shaheen than he’s like me,” he said, before recalling Ronald Reagan’s famous phrase. “If he’s the nominee there are so many issues he agrees with Shaheen on, I don’t see him winning, but with me bold colors, not pale pastels…there is a sharp contrast between Shaheen and myself.”

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Should Mitch McConnell Be Next Senate Majority Leader? Cruz Won’t Say

Should Mitch McConnell Be Next Senate Majority Leader? Cruz Won’t Say

ABC News(CONCORD, N.H.) — In an interview with ABC News, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, predicted his party would reclaim the Democratic-controlled Senate in November, but he declined to endorse current Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., as the party leader, should there be a transfer of power in the upper chamber of Congress.

“You know, I am very optimistic. I believe in November Republicans are going to retake the Senate and we’re going to retire [Sen.] Harry Reid as majority leader,” Cruz told ABC’s Jeff Zeleny in New Hampshire on Saturday night.

But when asked if he would endorse McConnell — currently embroiled in a tight race for his Kentucky Senate seat — as Senate majority leader, the Texas Republican said that is a decision that would be made “when the time is right.”

“Well, that will be a decision for the conference to make, but I am confident we will have a new majority leader,” he said.

“I will support the leader of the Republican Party,” Cruz added when pressed by Zeleny.

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Rep. Luis Gutierrez Hits Obama for ‘Playing it Safe’ on Immigration

Rep. Luis Gutierrez Hits Obama for ‘Playing it Safe’ on Immigration

ABC News(WASHINGTON) — President Obama is “playing it safe” on immigration reform by announcing that he will delay executive action until after the midterm elections in November, Democratic Rep. Luis Gutierrez said Sunday on This Week.

“It’s clear that playing it safe is what is going on at the White House and among Democratic circles,” Gutierrez, D-Ill., told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos. “Playing it safe means walking away from our values and our principles.”

The White House announced Saturday that President Obama recently made the decision to postpone executive action on immigration until after the upcoming midterms.

The decision to put off executive action on immigration reform comes just days after President Obama promised to act “soon” on the issue. In a news conference Friday, the president said, “In the absence of Congressional action, I intend to take action to make sure we are putting more resources on the border, that we are upgrading how we process these cases, and that we find a way to encourage legal immigration, and give people some path so they can start paying taxes and pay a fine and learn English.”

“President Barack Obama in the last five years has deported more people than any other president in the history of the United States,” Gutierrez said. “And while we wait until November, because that’s the president’s decision, there’s going to be another 60,000 people deported. So there is pain and suffering in the community and there’s a lot of anguish and anger.”

Critics say Obama’s decision is a political one designed to help vulnerable Senate Democrats in red states up for re-election. Some analysts – including FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver – project that the GOP will likely take control of the Senate in November.

Gutierrez said that action on immigration reform shouldn’t be based on party politics.

“Playing it safe might win an election,” he said. “Sometimes you lose an election playing it safe also. But it’s almost never leads to fairness, to justice, and to good public policy that you can be proud of.”

Republicans have also criticized Obama for failure to act more quickly on the immigration issues facing the country. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said the decision to hold off on immigration reform until after the midterms “smacks of raw politics,” while Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., called it “Washington politics at its worst.”

Gutierrez said he’s still hopeful for progress on immigration reform in the coming weeks.

“I’ve called the president, called the White House, I expect that we will be meeting this week so that we can continue,” the lawmaker said.

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On ISIS, Ted Cruz Tells Obama to ‘Take Them Out’

On ISIS, Ted Cruz Tells Obama to ‘Take Them Out’

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Sen. Ted Cruz accused President Obama of underestimating and misjudging the threat posed by ISIS, but said he should seek congressional approval before deciding whether to escalate the military campaign against the Islamic extremists.

“What we ought to have is a directed, concerted, overwhelming campaign to take them out,” Cruz said in an interview on ABC’S This Week. “The focus should be Iraq, but the real focus should be taking out ISIS. Within Syria, it should not be our objective to try and resolve the civil war.”

Cruz, a Texas Republican, said the president “has not demonstrated that he’s taking ISIS seriously.” Even as Cruz delivered a blistering critique of the administration’s foreign policy, he conceded that Republicans have their own foreign policy debate unfolding inside their party, which he said makes him more inclined to seek the presidency.

“The American people in 2014 and also November 2016 are going to be looking for leaders who want to work to restore America’s leadership in the world,” Cruz said.

When pressed whether the challenges abroad made him more inclined to open his own bid for the Republican presidential nomination, he declared: “It increases my interest in doing everything I can to change the direction we’re on.”

Not all Republicans agree with Cruz’s view that the president should seek congressional approval. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., sent a letter to the White House on Friday, saying the president should act swiftly without the input of Congress.

For Republicans eyeing the White House in 2016, early divisions are becoming clear.

Sen. Rand Paul now says he would “destroy ISIS militarily.” But his tough talk is at odds with his earlier views, which prompted him to write an essay this week in TIME magazine, titled: “I am Not an Isolationist.”

When asked whether he agreed, Cruz demurred, but did not come to Paul’s defense.

“Oh look, I’m going to let Rand characterize his own views,” Cruz said. “And I will leave that to the American people to make their own judgments.”

Among some grassroots Republicans, there is a growing non-interventionist strain with deep resistance to another war.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, also visiting New Hampshire over the weekend, said it was a fine and dangerous line for the party to walk.

“The country, the world, needs America to be strong and predictable,” Jindal told This Week. “The world is getting more dangerous and less predictable because of a lack of American leadership.”

ISIS, along with a growing list of foreign policy challenges, are already front-and-center in the early stages of the 2016 campaign. Positions staked out now are likely to become a lasting part of a candidate’s record.

“It is absolutely true that there is a war weariness. We are tired of sending our sons and daughters to find in distant battles for years,” Cruz said, but added: “I don’t think the American people are at all reluctant to defend America. They’re just not interesting in nation building.”

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Obama Delays Immigration Decision Past November Elections

Obama Delays Immigration Decision Past November Elections

The White House(WASHINGTON) — With his Democratic Party facing uneasy odds ahead of the fall congressional elections, President Obama has decided to delay any executive action on immigration until after voters hit the polls.

The decision, confirmed to ABC News to by a senior administration official, abandons a prior pledge to address the surge of undocumented immigrants across the southwest border by the end of summer.

In a White House speech in June, Obama said he had ordered Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Attorney General Eric Holder to draw up solutions to the crisis the administration could pursue if Congress refused to act.

The president said Friday that he would act soon.

“In the absence of Congressional action, I intend to take action to make sure we are putting more resources on the border, that we are upgrading how we process these cases, and that we find a way to encourage legal immigration, and give people some path so they can start paying taxes and pay a fine and learn English,” Obama said Friday. “My expectation is fairly soon I’ll be considering what the next steps are.”

Officials now say the decision will come before the end of the year.

But that promise of executive action is playing poorly for Democrats in red-state Senate contests. Administration officials tell ABC News the president was concerned it would “bog down” debate going into November. The decision to delay is one thing the White House can try to do in its quest to hold the chamber.

Immigration enforcement agencies have overseen an estimated 1,000 deportations a day of undocumented immigrants, including large numbers of children. It is a number likely to rise as the administration grapples with an overwhelmed system, creating a humanitarian crisis. The migrants come mostly from Central America, fleeing violence and epidemic poverty.

The White House had previously gone to Congress asking for $3.7 billion to relieve pressure on the agencies. But the Republican-controlled House of Representatives balked, yielding only a fraction of the request. Further, the House measure made it easier to deport children arriving at the border, a move opposed by progressives and immigration reform groups. Ultimately Capitol Hill entered its summer recess with no solution.

Regardless, last week ABC News surveyed Democrats in a dozen key races but only one gave a thumbs up to the president acting alone.

Sen. Mark Pryor of Arkansas was among the sharpest critics, voicing his disapproval like this: “I, too, am frustrated with the partisanship in Washington, but that doesn’t give the president carte blanche authority to sidestep Congress when he doesn’t get his way.”

Michelle Nunn, the Democratic candidate for Senate in Georgia, echoed Pryor’s views.

“I do believe that we need to have Congress and the president work together,” Nunn said at a campaign forum late last month. “We need to get out of the executive order business and into the compromising, collaboration and partnership business in Washington.”

Even Democrats in blue states have raised concern about the president acting alone on immigration.

Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota, whose re-election bid is becoming increasingly competitive, said last week that Congress should hammer out an immigration deal — not the White House.

“We need to fix our nation’s broken immigration system, which is why I supported the Senate’s bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform bill,” Franken said in a statement to ABC News. “I have concerns about executive action. This is a job for Congress, and it’s time for the House to act.”

Immigration groups are criticizing the president’s delay.

“The President’s latest broken promise is another slap to the face of the Latino and immigrant community,” said Cristina Jimenez of United We Dream, who estimates an additional 70,000 deportations will occur before the election.

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Wendy Davis, Who Fought Abortion Restrictions in Texas, Reveals She Had an Abortion

Wendy Davis, Who Fought Abortion Restrictions in Texas, Reveals She Had an Abortion

Win McNamee/Getty Images(AUSTIN, Texas) — Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis, who made national headlines last year after her marathon filibuster against a bill that would have restricted women’s access to abortions, made a “difficult decision” when she had an abortion in the 1990s, she told Good Morning America‘s Robin Roberts in an exclusive interview.

Davis had the abortion in 1996 when doctors said her baby girl would be blind, deaf and in a permanent vegetative stage if she survived to term.

“Our baby had a severe brain abnormality,” Davis told Roberts. “We knew that the most loving thing that we could do for our daughter was to say goodbye.”

Two years before, doctors deemed it medically necessary for Davis to terminate an ectopic pregnancy, when an embryo implants outside the uterus.

The Texas state senator made headlines last year when she donned a pair of hot pink sneakers and filibustered for nearly 13 hours against bill in the legislature that would have severely restricted women’s access to abortions. She is running for governor against Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott.

In her conversation with Roberts, Davis said her baby, who she named Tate Elise, still forms “a very important part of my life.”

“We loved her as we love our living daughters, Drew and Amber,” Davis said. “This was how my family confronted this tragic experience. I respect so much that people make their own decisions, and that that decision is the one that is right for them.”

Davis’ complete interview will air Monday morning on Good Morning America. Her memoir Forgetting To Be Afraid goes on sale Tuesday.

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Hillary Clinton on 2016: Will Decide ‘Probably After the First of the Year’

Hillary Clinton on 2016: Will Decide ‘Probably After the First of the Year’

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — How soon until Hillary Clinton will decide if she will run for president again?

On Friday the former Secretary of State said she will be making her decision “probably after the first of the year.”

Clinton dropped this hint while speaking at an event in Mexico City honoring thousands of scholarship students.

“It’s a very serious undertaking so obviously I’m thinking about it but I have not made a decision yet,” Clinton said.

Clinton added that she has “a unique vantage point and set of experiences about what makes the United States operate well and what doesn’t and what a president can do and should be doing.”

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Biden Highlights Economic Boosts for Middle Class in Weekly Address

Biden Highlights Economic Boosts for Middle Class in Weekly Address

The White House(WASHINGTON) — In this week’s address, Vice President Joe Biden discussed America’s economic recovery, emphasizing the action needed to benefit middle class families.

Biden highlighted the recent job’s report, also underlining the reduction in nation’s unemployment rate. Still, the vice president stressed that more work is necessary for America’s working families.

“If an employee contributed to the growth and profitability of the company, they got to share in the profits and the benefits as well.  That’s what built the middle class,” he said. “It’s time to restore the bargain, to deal the middle class back in.  Because, folks, when the middle class does well, everybody does well – the wealthy get wealthier and the poor have a way up.”

Read the full transcript of the weekly address:

Ladies and gentlemen, this is Joe Biden, I’m filling in for President Obama, while he addresses the NATO summit in Wales.

When the President and I took office in January of 2009, this nation was in the midst of the greatest economic crisis since the great depression.  Our economy had plummeted at a rate of 8% in a single quarter – part of the fastest economic decline any time in the last half century.  Millions of families were falling underwater on their homes and threatened with foreclosure.  The iconic American automobile industry was under siege.

But yesterday’s jobs report was another reminder of how far we’ve come.  We’ve had 54 straight months of job creation. And that’s the longest streak of uninterrupted job growth in the United States’ history.

We’ve gone from losing 9 million jobs during the financial crisis to creating 10 million jobs.  We’ve reduced the unemployment rate from 10% in October of 2009 to 6.1% today.  And for the first time since the 1990s, American manufacturing is steadily adding jobs – over 700,000 since 2010.  And surveys of both American and foreign business leaders confirm that America once again is viewed as the best place in the world to build and invest.

That’s all good news.  But an awful lot of middle class Americans are still not feeling the effects of this recovery.   Since the year 2000, Gross Domestic Product – our GDP – has risen by 25%. And productivity in America is up by 30%.  But middle class wages during that same time period have gone up by only fourteen cents.

Folks, it’s long past time to cut the middle class back into the deal, so they can benefit from the economic growth they helped create. Folks, there used to be a bargain in this country supported by Democrats and Republicans, business and labor.  The bargain was simple. If an employee contributed to the growth and profitability of the company, they got to share in the profits and the benefits as well.  That’s what built the middle class.  It’s time to restore the bargain, to deal the middle class back in.  Because, folks, when the middle class does well, everybody does well – the wealthy get wealthier and the poor have a way up.

You know, the middle class is not a number. It’s a value set. It means being able to own your home; raise your children in a safe neighborhood; send them to a good school where if they do well they can qualify to go to college and if they get accepted you’d be able to find a way to be able to send them to college. And in the meantime, if your parents need help, being able to take care of them, and hope to put aside enough money so that your children will not have to take care of you.

That’s the American dream. That’s what this country was built on. And that’s what we’re determined to restore.

In order to do that, it’s time to have a fair tax structure, one that values paychecks as much as unearned income and inherited wealth, to take some of the burden off of the middle class.  It’s time to close tax loopholes so we can reduce the deficit, and invest in rebuilding America – our bridges, our ports, our highways, rails, providing good jobs.

With corporate profits at near record highs, we should encourage corporations to invest more in research and development and the salaries of their employees.  It’s time for us to invest in educational opportunity to guarantee that we have the most highly skilled workforce in the world, for 6 out of every 10 jobs in the near term is going to require some education beyond high school.  Folks, it’s long past due to increase the minimum wage that will lift millions of hardworking families out of poverty and in the process produce a ripple effect that boosts wages for the middle class and spurs economic growth for the United States of America.  Economists acknowledge that if we do these and other things, wages will go up and we’ll increase the Gross Domestic Product of the United States.

My fellow Americans, we know how to do this. We’ve done it before. It’s the way we used to do business and we can do it that way again.  All the middle class in this country want is a chance. No guarantee, just a chance. 

Americans want to work. And when given a fair shot, the American worker has never, ever, ever, let his country down. Folks, it’s never a good bet to bet against the American people.

Thanks for listening.

May God bless you, and may God protect our troops.

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GOP Weekly Address: Obama Administration ‘Stuck in the Last Century’

GOP Weekly Address: Obama Administration ‘Stuck in the Last Century’

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call(WASHINGTON) — In this week’s Republican address, U.S. Senate candidate Dan Sullivan of Alaska criticizes President Obama and Senate Democrats for stifling job growth.

“Unfortunately, I worry that my three teenage daughters won’t be able to take full advantage of all that our state has to offer,” Sullivan says. “Why? Because rather than being a partner in prosperity, the federal government has become an obstacle to progress.”

The nominee proposes a Republican-controlled Senate to approve Keystone XL pipeline jobs and expand America’s energy trade.

“As we do, we’ll create new jobs. We’ll reduce our debt. We’ll improve our energy security and we’ll drive the cost of energy down – not up – for families and businesses,” he said.

Read the full transcript of the Republican address:

Hello, this is Dan Sullivan from the great state of Alaska.

I’m a 20 year Marine, currently serving as a Lieutenant Colonel and commanding officer of 6th ANGLICO, United States Marine Corps Reserve. I’ve served as Alaska’s Attorney General and Natural Resources Commissioner. And just a couple weeks ago, I was honored to be chosen as Alaska’s Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate.
Alaska is a beautiful state with incredible opportunities. We have oil, natural gas, hydropower, minerals, fisheries, timber, tourism – and a young, energetic, highly-skilled workforce.
Unfortunately, I worry that my three teenage daughters won’t be able to take full advantage of all that our state has to offer. Why? Because rather than being a partner in prosperity, the federal government has become an obstacle to progress.
Federal agencies won’t allow Alaskans to build crucial roads and bridges. The EPA and Washington, DC try to dictate how we manage our state-owned lands. The Interior Department locks up huge swaths of oil and gas resources, stifling our economic potential and costing us high-paying jobs.
This problem isn’t specific to Alaska. It’s actually nationwide, and it’s being quarterbacked by President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
The Obama-Reid agenda has locked up America’s natural resources, burdened small businesses throughout the country with an avalanche of regulations and suffocated job growth through a complete disrespect for the rule of law.
What our friends on the other side of the aisle don’t understand is that none of this is helpful. We all lose when the federal government stifles responsible resource development – it means fewer jobs, less revenue, higher energy costs and a diminished manufacturing ability to grow our economy.
But the American Dream is resilient. Time and again, Americans have proven themselves up to the challenge of creating new opportunities and handing off a better world to our children. All we need is new leadership in Washington to make it happen once again.
A Republican Senate would approve Keystone XL pipeline jobs, because Canada is our neighbor and ally.
We’ll authorize more offshore development, because it’s good for coastal states and the rest of the country.
We’ll seize the opportunity to expand our energy trade, because that will benefit our nation, and others who need energy – like Ukraine.
And, when it comes to Alaska, instead of watching federal agencies say ‘no way,’ ‘not here’ or ‘never going to happen,’ we’ll open up areas like the National Petroleum Reserve and the Arctic Coastal Plain to responsible development and will do so, maintaining the highest standards to protect our environment.
As we do, we’ll create new jobs. We’ll reduce our debt. We’ll improve our energy security and we’ll drive the cost of energy down – not up – for families and businesses.

Another important way we can empower Americans, especially here in Alaska, is to reform our burdensome federal regulations in a way that makes sense for today’s economy.
Right now we’re stuck in the last century and the old system is needlessly stifling us. 
Solving problems does not have to mean big government solutions dictated by DC bureaucrats. Republicans like me believe that the key to getting our country back on track is less government intrusion into our lives and more freedom for you.
If we empower Americans to control their own destiny, we can reinvigorate our economy, build a brighter future for our kids and get our country back on track.
I hope you’ll join us.
Thanks for listening. May God bless Alaska – and may God bless America.

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Candidates Clash Over Tesla Deal in California Gubernatorial Debate

Candidates Clash Over Tesla Deal in California Gubernatorial Debate

California Office of Governor(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — Tensions flared at California gubernatorial debate Thursday as the two candidates discussed electric car maker Tesla’s decision to take its business to Nevada.

The only scheduled debate of this year’s governor’s race fell on the same day Nevada’s Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval announced that California-born Tesla would build its battery factory in the Silver State.

GOP candidate Neel Kashkari called out incumbent Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown, saying he failed to do enough to land the Tesla plant in a multi-state bid.

“I don’t think Governor Brown did nearly enough on Tesla and any other number of businesses. Governor Brown frequently says, ‘Well businesses come and go,’” Kashkari said. “It’s not businesses coming and going, it’s Tesla, it’s Toyota, it’s Schwab, it’s Nestle, on and on and they’re all going.”

The challenger added that for four years in a row, California ranked 50th out of 50 states for business climate while Brown has been in office.

The governor reponded by claiming that the Golden State is number one when it comes to renewable energy and electric car production.

“When Tesla wanted to build an electric car, they built it in Freemont, California, and cars are coming off the line every day. Electric cars are a big part of our future,” Brown said. “We have a million electric car goal in California and we’re going to meet it.”

“We fought hard for Tesla but Tesla wanted a massive upfront payment that I don’t think would be fair to the taxpayers of California,” the governor added.

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Obama Reviews Immigration Recommendations

Obama Reviews Immigration Recommendations

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) — On his flight back from Europe, President Obama had some important reading assignments to attend to Friday.

Aboard Air Force One, the president looked over briefing papers on immigration changes.

“Jeh Johnson and Eric Holder have begun to provide me some of their proposals and recommendations,” Obama said. “I’ll be reviewing them.”

With the expectation that Congress will not reform immigration laws, the president is considering what he can do with executive action.

“In the absence of congressional action, I intend to take action,” the president added.

Among his to-do list, Obama is expected to look-over procedures on slowing deportations and speeding up legal status.

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ISIS Strategy a Moving Target for Obama Administration

ISIS Strategy a Moving Target for Obama Administration

Yunus Kaymaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Since President Obama departed for Europe this week he and other administration officials have sent mixed messages about what exactly the mission is with regard to the Islamist extremist group ISIS.

The president, who spoke about the adminstration’s ISIS objectives again Friday at the NATO conference in Wales, has laid out several different goals, ranging from completely destroying ISIS to shrinking its sphere of influence.

Below is a list of the various objectives against ISIS, which is also known as ISIL, that Obama and his team have laid out in the past week:

“Our objective is clear, and that is to degrade and destroy ISIL.” – President Obama, NATO press conference, Sept. 3

“Our objective is to make sure that ISIL is not an ongoing threat to the region.” – Obama, NATO press conference, Sept. 3

“We know that if we are joined by the international community, we can continue to shrink ISIL’s sphere of influence, its effectiveness, its financing, its military capabilities to the point where it is a manageable problem.” – Obama, NATO press conference, Sept. 3

“We will follow them to the gates of Hell!” – Vice President Joe Biden, speech, Sept. 3

“Our goal is to destroy [ISIS’] capacity to conflict harm on our people and western values.” – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, CNN interview, Sept. 3

“Certainly our objective here is to degrade and destroy ISIS.” – State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki, daily briefing, Sept. 3

“We have taken the fight to this kind of savagery and evil before. And believe me, we will take it again. We’re doing it today.” – Secretary of State John Kerry, remarks, Sept. 3

“I think the president has been very clear that the objective is to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL.” – Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes, ABC interview, Sept. 4

“What we can accomplish is to dismantle this network, this force that has claimed to control this much territory, so that they can’t do us harm, and that’s going to be our objective.” – Obama, NATO press conference, Sept. 5

“We are going to achieve our goal. We are going to degrade and ultimately defeat ISIL.” – Obama, NATO press conference, Sept. 5

“… to degrade and, ultimately, to destroy the threat posed by ISIL,” – Kerry/Hagel joint statement, Sept. 5 Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Chris Christie Wraps up Mexico Trade Mission Trip

Chris Christie Wraps up Mexico Trade Mission Trip

NJ Governor’s Office/Tim Larsen(MEXICO CITY) — From eating at a traditional Mexico City taqueria to inking trade and education deals, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has been cruising around Mexico City all week, tweeting and Instagramming about his three-day trade mission trip.

Here’s a recap of seven things Christie did while in Mexico:

1. Avoided taking position on immigration, until he’s a candidate for president
Dodging questions from the media about immigration overhaul, 51, Christie would not talk about his views on the issue. That time will come, he told reporters Thursday, “if and when I become a candidate for president of the United States.” Christie has reportedly been more reserved than usual on his Mexico trip.

2. Met with President Enrique Pena Nieto

In what proved to be a nice photo-op, Christie, who traveled with a translator, shook hands with Mexico’s president the first day of his trade mission. Christie and Nieto met last year at a conference in Idaho, where Nieto invited Christie to Mexico.

3. Signed a higher education pact
The agreement Christie signed at the Secretariat of Public Education in Mexico City will promote student exchanges, fellowship programs and online educational programs. “This partnership will help solidify a vibrant exchange of academic, cultural and professional ideas between New Jersey and Mexico,” Christie said.

4. Got in touch with N.J. constituents’ roots  
Christie’s trip to Puebla on Friday was interesting because it’s the hometown of many of New Jersey’s Mexican-American families. The visit was seen as an effort by Christie to appeal to Latino voters in 2016.

5. Pushed for Keystone XL Pipeline to be “done today”
“My view is that we are missing an enormous opportunity when we delay development of the Keystone XL Pipeline,” Christie said in his address at the American Chamber of Commerce of Mexico. He believes that Keystone will create jobs, drive down the price of oil and grow the U.S. gas trade with Mexico.

6. Rubbed elbows with Mexican CEOs
Christie talked business over breakfast with about 25 members of the Mexican Business Council. It was a closed-door meeting in which Christie said he talked about expanding New Jersey’s relationship with business leaders that would benefit both the Garden State and Mexico.
7. Acted like a true tourist
While in Mexico City, Christie tried authentic Mexican tacos at Taco El Caminero and met with the owner. He praised the local taqueria, saying, “If you’re ever in Mexico City, it should be on your list.” And on the second day, Christie, who’s Catholic, took a tour of one of the most famous religious sites, the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

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Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

President Obama Checks Stonehenge Off His Bucket List

President Obama Checks Stonehenge Off His Bucket List

Matt Cardy/Getty Images(STONEHENGE, England) — After a grueling week of foreign policy crises that must have often seemed like trying to push boulders up a mountain, President Obama took a surprise detour on the way home Friday. Marine One flew him halfway across England so he could walk amid the mysterious and awe-inspiring boulders of Stonehenge.

“Spectacular” he kept saying.

The president walked alone amid the towering slabs at sunset, humbled.

“How cool is this?” he asked.

The ring of stones have been dated back to before 2000 BC, with few clues as to how prehistoric hands were able to move them into their circular setting.

Clouds made the scene appear somewhat haunting, and most tourists seemed to be kept away, giving the president a few moments of peace. He expressed surprise that Stonehenge was smaller than it appeared as he flew in.

Before he turned to go, President Obama sounded satisfied.

“Knocked this off my bucket list,” he said.

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Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Lawsuit Challenging Louisiana Senator’s Residency Thrown Out

Lawsuit Challenging Louisiana Senator’s Residency Thrown Out

Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images(BATON ROUGE, La.) — The legal challenge to Sen. Mary Landrieu’s Louisiana residency is now a thing of the past.

A judge threw out the lawsuit Friday morning, dismissing it on the basis that it was filed prematurely, according to local reports.

Paul Hollis, the former Senate challenger of Landrieu’s who brought the case, was ordered to pay all court fees. And according to a source with the Landrieu campaign, the judge gave Landrieu the ability to sue Hollis for the attorney fees incurred in fighting the suit.

The Landrieu campaign celebrated the case’s dismissal in a statement sent to media.  

“Today’s decision by the judge to throw out this frivolous lawsuit highlights just how desperate Congressman Cassidy and his allies have become in an attempt to win this Senate seat,” said Landrieu campaign communications director Fabien Levy. “The judge was clear — Senator Landrieu resides in Louisiana and is qualified to run for the Senate, as she has three times in the past.”

The dismissal of the suit means that Landrieu, a vulnerable three-term Democrat facing a tough reelection bid in a heavily red state, can re-focus her campaign’s energy back on the issues in the campaign

However, her campaign is still dealing with another distraction related to Landrieu’s improper use of taxpayer funds to charter flights to a couple of campaign events. Though Landrieu has since paid back the taxpayer funds that were misused and has even launched an internal legal review of all her expenses as senator to root out and correct any other errors that may exist,  this continues to be a major issue in the right’s attempts to discredit Landrieu.

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Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Obama Says US Will ‘Degrade and Ultimately Defeat’ ISIS Like Al Qaeda

Obama Says US Will ‘Degrade and Ultimately Defeat’ ISIS Like Al Qaeda

ABC News(NEWPORT, Wales) — ISIS, the terrorist group believed to have beheaded American journalists Steven Sotloff and James Foley, “poses a long-term threat to the safety and security of NATO members,” President Obama said Friday.

“We have a critical role to play in rolling back this savage organization,” Obama said at a news conference in Newport, Wales.

The president, in Wales for a NATO summit, joined British Prime Minister David Cameron on Thursday in pressing the alliance to stand firm against ISIS’ “brutal and poisonous extremism.”

In a London Times column, the leaders panned an “isolationist approach” and vowed that America and Britain “will not be cowed” by ISIS.

“Whether it is regional aggression going unchecked or the prospect that foreign fighters could return from Iraq and Syria to pose a threat in our countries, the problems we face today threaten the security of British and American people,” they wrote.

Obama, who has authorized over 100 airstrikes to aid Iraqi and Kurdish forces combating ISIS in Iraq, last week acknowledged “we don’t have a strategy yet” to confront the militant group in neighboring Syria.

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John Kerry’s Call for Strategy on ISIS Excludes Ground Troops

John Kerry’s Call for Strategy on ISIS Excludes Ground Troops

State Department photo(WASHINGTON) — On Friday U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry issued a clarion call for an international strategy to confront ISIS, even as he drew a different kind of “red line,” saying the United States and other western powers would not commit to ground troops.

“So we’re convinced that in the days ahead we have the ability to destroy ISIL,” Kerry said. “It may take a year, it may take two years, it may take three years. But we’re determined it has to happen.”

But his words and tone were quite different than those of his boss.

In Estonia Wednesday, President Obama said, “We know that if we are joined by the international community, we can continue to shrink ISIL’s sphere of influence, its effectiveness, its military capability to the point where it is a manageable problem.”

But Kerry, speaking Friday before a meeting with the British Foreign and Defense secretaries in Wales, said there is “no containment policy for ISIL.”

“They’re an ambitious, avowed, genocidal, territorial-grabbing, caliphate-desiring quasi state with an irregular army, and leaving them in some capacity intact anywhere would leave a cancer in place that will ultimately come back to haunt us.”

He added, however, that the president has a strategy and is totally committed to defeating ISIS, without ground troops.

“Contrary to what you sort of heard in the politics of our country, the president is totally committed; there is a strategy that is clear, becoming more clear by the day,” he added. “And it really relies on a holistic approach to ISIL.”

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Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

US Interior Secretary Surprised Redskins Team Name Not Changed

US Interior Secretary Surprised Redskins Team Name Not Changed

DOI (WASHINGTON) — It’s “surprising” that the Washington Redskins football team hasn’t changed its name, U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said, though adding that the issue isn’t high on the agenda of Native-American tribes with whom she has spoken.

“Personally, I think we would never consider naming a team the ‘Blackskins’ or the ‘Brownskins’ or the ‘Whiteskins.’ So, personally, I find it surprising that in this day and age, the name is not different,” Jewell, who heads the department that includes the Bureau of Indian Affairs, told ABC News’ David Kerley when asked whether the name should be changed.

“But in talking with tribal leaders, this has not been the issue that they have talked about with me, and I think that there is debate, even among the Native American community, on the Washington Redskins, and certainly there are a lot of people who have pride in that team,” Jewell added. “So, my personal views are not necessarily reflected in the tribes that I talk to. It isn’t high on their agenda.”

Jewell’s comments, made during an interview at Acadia National Park in Maine for an upcoming feature on This Week, come as a coalition of Native-American groups, which includes the National Congress of American Indians and the Oneida Indian Nation, are urging broadcasters not to use the Redskins name.

Fellow Obama cabinet secretary Attorney General Eric Holder told ABC News in July that he believes the Redskins name is “offensive” and should be changed.

A recent poll for ESPN, however, found that 71 percent of Americans support allowing the Washington Redskins to keep their name. The owner of the team, Dan Snyder, has defended the Redskins name, telling ESPN in a recent interview that “the name really means honor, respect.”

The Washington Redskins are scheduled to play the Houston Texans Sunday in their NFL season opener.

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Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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