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Why Sen. Mark Pryor Calls His Opponent ‘Superior Tom’

Why Sen. Mark Pryor Calls His Opponent ‘Superior Tom’

US Senate(CONWAY, Ark.) -- Sen. Mark Pryor’s campaign has a name for its Republican rival, Rep. Tom Cotton, that at first may sound sort of like a compliment, but it’s definitely not.They’re calling him Superior Tom.On Pryor’s website, an entire page is devoted to describing Cotton as Harvard-educated and out-of-touch, claiming Cotton believes he is superior to Arkansans.But when reporters caught up with Pryor on Monday, after former President Bill Clinton rallied supporters for Pryor and his fellow Democrats in Conway, a Pryor campaign aide tried to abruptly cut off questions.Byron York, a conservative writer at the Washington Examiner, asked Pryor simply: “Your campaign has called Tom Cotton ‘Superior Tom.’ What do you mean by that?”Pryor hesitated as he said, “Well, I just mean that ummm sometimes uhhh. I would say sometimes he sort of gives the …”Then, Erik Dorey, a deputy campaign manager for Pryor, interjected: “We’re going to cut if off, thanks guys.”But Pryor tried to continue, saying, “Yeah he just -- I think he’s out of touch with Arkansas. He’s out of touch with Arkansas.”As he seeks a third term, Pryor is in the most difficult political battle of his career. Six years ago, Republicans didn’t field a candidate against him.Now is a different story, and Cotton’s campaign has been attacking Pryor by tying him to the nation’s top elected Democrat -- President Obama.“The person who clearly thinks he knows better than Arkansans is Mark Pryor, since he votes with Barack Obama 93 percent of the time,” said David Ray, a spokesman for Cotton’s campaign. “He didn’t listen to Arkansans when they overwhelmingly told him to vote against Obamacare. There aren’t many Arkansans who agree with Barack Obama 93 percent of the time, but Mark Pryor still thinks he knows better than the people of Arkansas.”Asked whether Obama is a drag on the ticket this year, Pryor demurred.“To me, it doesn’t matter who’s in the White House,” Pryor said. “You know, I worked with President Bush on some things. And I’ve opposed President Obama on some things. We all know that.”

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WATCH: Bill Clinton Takes Selfies While Stumping for Democrats

WATCH: Bill Clinton Takes Selfies While Stumping for Democrats

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(CONWAY, Ark.) -- President Bill Clinton showed off his master campaigning skills in Arkansas this week as he stumped for Democratic candidates in the state and reveled in the new selfie age.The selfie phenomenon wasn’t around when Clinton first campaigned for the White House in 1992, but when he returned home to Arkansas on Monday, the former president, long considered one of the best retail politicians in the country, added posing for selfies to his glad-handing routine.And it wasn’t just voters who wanted to snap a picture with the president. Politicians got in on the action too.“Mr. president, or should I say grandpa, grandpa, can I get a selfie?” Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Arkansas, asked as they stood on stage. Never one to turn down a photo, Clinton of course obliged.

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GOP Candidate Features Clip of ISIS Execution Video in Controversial Ad

GOP Candidate Features Clip of ISIS Execution Video in Controversial Ad

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- With the Nov. 4 election rapidly approaching, candidates across the country are in the final stretch of campaigns that are increasingly going negative and raising the bar for controversy.Retired Air Force pilot Wendy Rogers, who is challenging Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema in Arizona’s 9th Congressional District, is using part of an ISIS execution video in a new political advertisement to attack her opponent’s national security record.The ad begins with a clip featuring a member of the Islamic State holding a knife as he stands over American journalist James Foley kneeling in the desert sun, moments before he is beheaded.While a handful of campaigns have invoked Foley’s grisly execution since the journalist was killed in August, Rogers’ take is arguably the most provocative.“Terrorist threats are growing. Are we secure? Are we protected?” the narrator asks as several ominous clips play out on screen. “Keeping us safe and secure is Congress’ job. Kyrsten Sinema hasn’t done her job.”The ad then cites two votes the freshman Democrat has cast in the 113th Congress, attacking her for voting “to give terrorists full legal rights under the Constitution” and supporting a measure “to allow Guantanamo terrorists to return to their countries.”Sinema declined to comment and referred inquiries to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which called on Rogers to take down the ad.“It is reprehensible and unbecoming of anyone seeking elected office to use the footage of an American tragedy for political gain, and Wendy Rogers should remove this ad immediately and apologize to Mr. Foley’s family,” Tyrone Gayle, Western Regional Press Secretary at the DCCC, wrote in an email. “For Wendy Rogers to use such a reprehensible tactic to make baseless claims just to smear Representative Sinema proves how desperate her campaign has become.”Sinema appears to be gaining ground on Rogers, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel, in one of the most closely-watched races of the election cycle. ABC News currently rates the race as “Likely Democrat.”

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Gay Couple Unhappy with Supreme Court’s Same-Sex Marriage Decision

Gay Couple Unhappy with Supreme Court’s Same-Sex Marriage Decision

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- While the Supreme Court paved the way Monday for several more states to allow gay marriage, some gay couples wish the court had acted differently.“I think there is still a lot of hardship out there,” L. Havard Scott III, a lawyer in Shreveport, Louisiana, says.He had hoped the Supreme Court might step in, agree to hear a challenge to a state ban on gay marriage and rule on the issue once and for all by June. Scott wants his marriage to Sergio March Prieto that was performed in Vermont in 2010 recognized in Louisiana.But the Supreme Court sent a strong signal Monday when it declined to hear several cases that it wants the issue to play out in the states for now. That could take some time in conservative states like Louisiana.“Every day the uncertainty goes on, the more hardship and pain will be felt,” Scott says. “I think enough lower courts have made it clear that marriage is a fundamental right, and I think the Supreme Court needs to come out and say so. I think they need to sooner rather than later.”Scott is quick to add that he is happy for those couples who were able to marry because of the court’s decision to deny review of cases in five states: Indiana, Virginia, Utah, Oklahoma and Wisconsin.“This battle has been going on for a long time, a partial victory is still always welcome and I feel very happy for the couples that this will have immediate impact on,” he says.But he lives in a conservative part of Louisiana. “We are up in the northwestern corner, so it’s the ‘Bible belt,’” he says.Scott and March Prieto are plaintiffs in a case challenging Louisiana’s ban on gay marriage. In late September, a federal judge upheld the state ban on gay marriage.“Louisiana’s laws and constitution are directly related to achieving marriage’s historically preeminent purpose of linking children to their biological parents,” Judge Martin Feldman of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana wrote in his 32-page opinion.“The court is persuaded,” Feldman, a Reagan appointee, said, “that a meaning of what is marriage that has endured in history for thousands of years, and prevails in a majority of states today, is not universally irrational on the constitutional grid.”James Esseks, director of the ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender & AIDS Project, says “there are people all across the country who literally cannot wait for this to play out slowly in the courts.”Esseks points to spouses dealing with terminal cancer and trying to get on employer’s health care plans. Others are seniors living in states like Florida who are trying to survive on Social Security benefits that would be larger if they could get access to the higher benefits their deceased spouse earned.“Others have been married for decades,” Esseks said. “They aren’t sure how much time they have left, and just want to get married before it’s too late.”For Scott and March Prieto, it comes down to being treated as a sub-class.“At the end of the day,” March Prieto says, “we hope the dignity of our marriage is recognized.”

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Is Carly Fiorina the GOP’s Answer to Hillary Clinton in 2016?

Is Carly Fiorina the GOP’s Answer to Hillary Clinton in 2016?

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Carly Fiorina is hitting the campaign trail in all the key presidential battleground states.The former Hewlett-Packard CEO and unsuccessful 2010 Senate candidate makes no secret of the fact that she has not closed the door to a bid for the White House in 2016, but says her recent trips to places like Iowa and New Hampshire are for the express purpose of helping to elect Republicans this fall.“We're trying to unlock the potential of conservative women to persuade other women to get out and vote,” Fiorina told ABC News during a recent interview at The Iron Gate restaurant in Washington, D.C.It’s all part of her “Unlocking Potential Project” aimed at building a network of engaged Republican women voters to close the “gender gap” that Fiorina says gives Democrats an “undeniable” advantage among women.“As a conservative woman, I'm tired of the Democrats’ war on women,” she said. “I'm tired of [House Minority Leader] Nancy Pelosi saying outrageous things like a Republican majority will end civilization as we know it, and the GOP is the Ray Rice of politics. I'm just tired of it.”Many of the women Fiorina is signing up as advisors for her initiative come from key early voting states that could be helpful if she did decide to explore the Republican presidential nomination. And though she declined to discuss her political plans, Fiorina said she has not ruled out a potential White House run.“I never shut doors, it's not wise to shut doors,” Fiorina said.When the door to 2016 does open, however, Fiorina expects Republicans to face a “unique challenge” in countering former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton if she runs as expected.“It’s a unique challenge because she's a woman,” Fiorina said. “It’s a unique challenge because she inherits a fantastic ground game from President Obama…It's unique because she will come into the race with a ton of money behind her and virtually unchallenged.”Fiorina believes that Clinton is “beatable,” but it will require Republicans to branch out and speak out to “everyone in the country, regardless of where they live, or who they are or what they look like.” And in reaching those voters, Fiorina says, Republicans need to work on their messaging.“We tend to talk, as Republicans, about less taxation and less regulation,” Fiorina said. “It's kind of a different thing to say, imagine you're a single mom with your two kids and you work hard and you go out and get a cosmetology license and you want to open a hairdresser…It's going to take you over a year to get through all the regulations, all the permits -- everything you need to do to open that salon. You may not make it a year.”“And so as a single mom, you might decide the window of opportunity is closed to me, and if someone is marketing food stamps to you, you might think the window of entitlement is a lot easier,” she said. “So, I think we need to speak in personal empathetic terms about why our policies work better.”

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Former “American Idol” Star Clay Aiken Endures Jabs in Political Debate

Former “American Idol” Star Clay Aiken Endures Jabs in Political Debate

Chris Seward/Raleigh News & Observer/MCT via Getty Images(PINEHURST, N.C.) -- Clay Aiken is no stranger to competition.The former American Idol star, 35, found himself on a different sort of stage Monday, participating in a political debate. The singer is running in the second congressional district in North Carolina. Aiken, a Democrat, is facing Republican incumbent Renee Ellmers.Aiken and Ellmers traded barbs Monday in their only head-to-head debate, with both accusing the other’s party for the dysfunction in Washington.“This Obama-Aiken economy is just killing us,” Ellmers said.“You might need to get a new writer because calling it the Obama-Aiken economy is just preposterous,” Aiken responded.Ellmers also took a jab at Aiken’s celebrity status.“It's almost as if as an entertainer, you believe that you can just go in with a song and dance and change the mind of the military leaders,” she said.Aiken, considered an underdog, seemed to hold his own Monday, discussing his frustration over political partisanship.

The singer was the runner-up in the show’s second season in 2003, losing to Ruben Studdard. He hopes to avoid another second-place finish in his current challenge.“The most embarrassing reality show in the country right now is Congress,” he said.

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Obama Hints at Travel Screening to Stop Spread of Ebola; Aides Walk Comment Back

Obama Hints at Travel Screening to Stop Spread of Ebola; Aides Walk Comment Back

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- As the Ebola scare continues, President Obama says the administration is, "going to be working on protocols to do additional passenger screening both at the source and here in the United States.”  But soon after he made those comments in the Oval Office, White House aides sought to downplay their significance, saying the remark was in line with what officials said Friday, that additional screening measures remain under discussion but that no decisions have been made.   They could offer no additional details on the draft protocols to which Obama referred. Obama acknowledged Americans’ concern about Ebola -- calling it “a very serious disease” -- but asserted “the chances of an Ebola outbreak in the United States is extremely low.” “Procedures are now in place to rapidly evaluate anybody who may be showing symptoms,” Obama said. He cited the response at Newark Liberty International Airport over the weekend as an example. “In recent months we’ve had thousands of travelers from West Africa, but only had one come down with disease.”The president said the “lessons learned” from the case of Thomas Eric Duncan, the Ebola patient in critical condition in a Dallas hospital, is the importance of getting the word out to hospitals, clinics and health workers on, “what to look out for and to follow protocols strictly.” Hospital employees released Duncan back into the population, even after he allegedly revealed his symptoms and travel history.“The key here is just to make sure that each step along the way, whether it’s a hospital admissions desk, the doctors, nurses, public health officials, that everybody has the right information. If they have the right information and are following those protocols then this is something that we’re going to be able to make sure that won’t have the impact here in the us that we’re worried about.”

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Bill Clinton Concedes Obama’s Unpopularity, Tells Voters ‘Vote Your Heart’

Bill Clinton Concedes Obama’s Unpopularity, Tells Voters ‘Vote Your Heart’

ABC/Heidi Gutman(LITTLE ROCK, Ark.) -- Former President Bill Clinton bluntly acknowledged President Obama’s unpopularity in a speech Monday, but warned Arkansas voters against casting a “protest vote” in the midterm elections.“Vote your heart. Don't vote for what they tell you you have to be against. Vote for what you know you should be for,” Clinton told the crowd at the University of Central Arkansas. Clinton also implored voters to send Sen. Mark Pryor back to Washington for a third term. He belittled Pryor’s Republican opponent -- without using his name, Tom Cotton -- and said his message was nothing more than a protest against Obama. “Give me a six year job for a two year protest,” Clinton said. “That's Mark Pryor's opponent's message.”He touted the economic improvements in the country since Obama took office, but said it was not surprising that Americans didn’t feel that things were getting better.“Remember what I said four years ago, or two years ago in Charlotte,” Clinton said, referring to his speech at the Democratic convention. “Financial crises take an average of 10 years to get over, We just crossed over, and we’re now creating more jobs above where we were before the crash.” 

Clinton blasted the third-party groups -- albiet only the conservative ones, naturally -- that have turned the Arkansas contest into one of the most expensive in the country. “Everybody’s trying to hijack our politics, but you have to own it here. Only your lives are affected. You’ll be stuck with the people who get elected.”Clinton stopped just short of saying the opposition to Obama was because of his race. “Ever since I was a little boy and we had all that civil rights trouble here I have been sick and tired of people trying to stir people up, make them foam at the mouth, and vote for what they're against instead of what they're for,” Clinton said. In the 18 years since Clinton’s name has been on a ballot here, Southern white Democratic politicians have moved from the endangered list to near extinction. He told voters that they should vote their economic self-interest.“Be faithful to the true heritage of your state,” Clinton said.

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Same-Sex Marriage: Meet the First Couples to the Courthouse in Alexandria, Va.

Same-Sex Marriage: Meet the First Couples to the Courthouse in Alexandria, Va.

Jeffrey Hamilton/Digital Vision/Thinkstock(ALEXANDRIA, Va.) -- “Are you kidding?” Dawn Turton asked a cluster of reporters and cameramen outside the courthouse in Arlington, Virginia. “We couldn’t wait.”Turton and her partner, Beth Trent, came as soon as they heard that the Supreme Court had declined to hear challenges to same-sex marriage. That announcement, made Monday morning, paved the way for lower-court rulings to stand and for same-sex marriage to be legally recognized in Indiana, Virginia, Utah, Oklahoma and Wisconsin -- and for clerks at courthouses like this one, to begin offering marriage licenses.“We had our ceremony in 2011, and so this was just, you know, making it official,” Turton told reporters. She said she never expected same-sex marriage to be recognized in Virginia so quickly. Scoffing at the idea, she said she thought her home state would be last in the nation to do so.“We did this in front of God and our congregation,” she said. “This is just a legal step, and I think that’s a huge affirmation.”Virginia’s attorney general announced that licenses could be issued at 1 p.m. ET, and after about an hour during which Alexandria’s clerk said no official word had been given, Turton and Trent got their paperwork done and headed outside to be legally married by their Baptist pastor, Marty Anderson, with a few friends looking on. Justin Smith and Jim Schey have been planning to marry at the end of the month, and they came from their reception site to the courthouse to be among the first same-sex couples in Virginia to obtain a marriage license.They planned to hold their wedding in a park in Washington, D.C.; now, they say, they’ll hold it in their home state of Virginia.“I’m former military, 26 years in the Coast Guard, and I gotta tell you, this is better than repealing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ by a long shot,” Schey told reporters. “We just got something I’ve waited 48 years for."

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Attorney General Holder: Supreme Court Decision to Restrict Early Voting ‘A Major Step Backward’

Attorney General Holder: Supreme Court Decision to Restrict Early Voting ‘A Major Step Backward’

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, in a video massage posted to the Department of Justice's website on Monday, criticized the Supreme Court decision to restrict early voting in Ohio."It is a major step backward to allow these reductions to early voting to go into effect," Holder said. "Early voting is about much more than making it more convenient for people to exercise their civic responsibilities. It's about preserving access and openness for every eligible voter, not just those who can afford to miss work or who can afford to pay for childcare."A federal judge ruled that an Ohio law violated the voting rights act and blocked it from taking effect, a ruling upheld by a Federal appeals court judge. The Supreme Court, however, ruled that the law, putting limits on early voting ahead of November's election, should go into effect immediately. Early voting would have begun last week, if not for the Supreme Court's decision. Critics of early absentee voting claim it makes the electoral system susceptible to fraud, and can also depress voter turnout.

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Survey: Most Americans Confident in US Government’s Ability to Prevent Ebola Outbreak

Survey: Most Americans Confident in US Government’s Ability to Prevent Ebola Outbreak

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- Despite the ongoing Ebola outbreak in West Africa and multiple patients who have received or are receiving treatment for the disease in the United States, most Americans remain confident in the government's ability to prevent a major outbreak in the U.S.According to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, just 11 percent of respondents say they are "very worried" that they will be exposed to Ebola. Conducted among over 1,000 adults between Oct. 2 and Oct. 5, the poll found that 58 percent of adults say they have either a "fair amount" or a "great deal" of confidence in the U.S. government to prevent an outbreak. Respondents also were asked how worried they were that they or a relative would be exposed to the disease, with 67 percent saying they were "not at all" worried or "not too" worried. The survey results are somewhat politically aligned, with 69 percent of Democrats saying they have a "great deal" or "fair amount" of confidence in the government, compared to just 48 percent of Republicans. Conversely, 51 percent of Republicans say they have "not much" or no confidence in the government -- far higher than the 28 percent of Democrats.The figures on Ebola are, interestingly, very different from numbers from a November 2005 survey regarding the Bird Flu outbreak. During that outbreak, with a Republican president in office, Republicans by a 74-24 majority said they had a "great deal" or "fair amount" of confidence in the government's handling of the outbreak, compared to a 63-35 majority of Democrats saying they had "not much" or no confidence in the government.

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What the Supreme Court Move on Gay Marriage Means

What the Supreme Court Move on Gay Marriage Means

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- In a move that surprised almost everyone, the Supreme Court Monday decided that it would not hear any of the gay marriage cases currently before it -- dramatically expanding the number of states that allow gay marriage.The decision means that, for now, the Supreme Court has sent the message it doesn’t want to step into the debate regarding gay marriage. It also means that same sex couples in Indiana, Virginia, Utah, Oklahoma and Wisconsin will be able to marry in short order.

The move directly affects the five states, but other states in those jurisdiction will also be affected -- possibly bringing the number of states that allow gay marriage up to 30. It sends a strong signal that the Supreme Court wants this issue to percolate in the states.Why is this a surprise? Because the Court has twice stepped in and stopped marriages from going forward pending the appeal.In a news release, Human Rights Campaign said the decision was “joyous” for thousands of couples across the country, but said it did want the issue to eventually be decided nationally.“Let let me be clear,” said Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin. "The complex and discriminatory patchwork of marriage laws that was prolonged today by the Supreme Court is unsustainable. The only acceptable solution is nationwide marriage equality and we recommit to ourselves to securing that."

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White House Says Joe Biden Apologized for Latest Gaffes

White House Says Joe Biden Apologized for Latest Gaffes

Official White House Photo by David Lienemann(WASHINGTON) -- Twice in as many days, Vice President Joe Biden did something Obama administration officials rarely do -- apologize for offending a foreign leader.Biden called Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan on Sunday to try to quell an international diplomatic furor he created during a speech at Harvard on Friday, according to the White House.Biden had suggested that several Arab state allies of the U.S. in the Middle East, including Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, are the “biggest problem” in the effort to combat Islamic extremists in Syria. He said the countries had “poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens of thousands of weapons into anyone who would fight against [Syrian President Bashar al-] Assad. Except that the people who were being supplied were [Jabhat] al-Nusra and al-Qaeda.”Biden also claimed that Erdogan conceded to him privately in a recent conversation that Turkey had erred in allowing insurgents to flow across its border into Syria.The comments drew a swift rebuke from Turkish and Emirati authorities, injecting new tension to relations at a time when the U.S. is courting their support in the fight against ISIS.Biden “wanted to clarify that his recent remarks regarding the early stages of the conflict in Syria were not meant to imply that the UAE has facilitated or supported ISIL, al-Qaida or other extremist groups in Syria. And that was the message that he conveyed,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said of the call to the crown prince.He added that Biden’s conversation with Erdogan apologized for “mischaracterizing the president’s views in a private conversation.”The White House does not outright deny, however, that the substance of what Biden said was true -- that Arab states are partly responsible for fueling the rise of ISIS, a point which President Obama made publicly earlier this year, though he did not identify specific countries by name.As for Biden’s standing in the White House after a recent string of gaffes, Earnest said the vice president remains a treasured “core member” of Obama’s team.“The vice president is somebody who has enough character to admit when he’s made a mistake,” Earnest said. “He did that both publicly…when his office generated readouts of these calls, but he also did it privately when he took the telephone to clarify and apologize for his comments over the weekend.”No word on whether Biden apologized to Obama.

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Bill Clinton Says Granddaughter Is ‘Wonderful’

Bill Clinton Says Granddaughter Is ‘Wonderful’

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(CONWAY, Ark.) -- President Bill Clinton returned to his home state of Arkansas Monday, boasting a new title on his accomplished resume -- grandfather.While shaking hands at Central Arkansas University, Clinton told ABC News’ Jeff Zeleny that his new granddaughter Charlotte is doing “wonderful.”“She’s wonderful,” Clinton told Zeleny, giving him a big thumbs up.Clinton, who is in Arkansas for two days of campaigning for Democratic candidates this election cycle, briefly shared with voters what it’s like to be a grandfather and why his Arkansas roots are important to him.“I just became a grandfather, and you care more about the future when you get a kid or grandkid, that’s true,” he said. “But all my life, I thought one of the greatest privileges I ever had was  being born and growing up here, where I was taught not to turn away from anybody because of their race, income or political party, or just because they disagreed with me on something.”

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Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal Outlines Foreign Policy Vision

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal Outlines Foreign Policy Vision

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal on Monday laid out his foreign policy vision, a plan in which the United States reinvests in and rebuilds the nation’s military in order to defend its national security, values and strategic interests. Jindal began his speech at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C., with the notion that the Obama administration is constantly blaming the “third person.”“Time and again he [President Obama] turns to the third person to explain the ineffectiveness of his leadership. It is always they who stand against his noble aims to help the people. They who botch Obamacare. They who underestimated the threats of ISIS. For this president there is always somebody else to blame,” he said.Jindal outlined a military plan Monday -- a plan which he claims will save the American military from the extensive damage President Obama has done. The solution? Undo the president’s harmful spending cuts and spend more on defense. The governor was particularly critical of the Obama administration’s approach to airstrikes to defeat ISIS. He did say the president’s rhetoric on ISIS has improved but thought “it was extremely foolish to announce unilaterally to ISIS that we would not deploy ground troops.”Jindal called for the United States to spend at least 4 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) on the military going forward. He emphasized the importance of returning to the 2011 budget proposed by then Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, arguing that this budget was developed with a real examination of the threats America faces. Jindal said this 4 percent must be used carefully. It should not be used to nation-build overseas or as a police force, but rather as a deterrent for adversaries and as a tool to eradicate threats to American lives and interests.

Jindal noted there is less of a need to use the military when it is feared and respected. The best approach to reducing global risk would be to move decisively to rebuild the tools of military power. Spending the majority of the time breaking down Obama's failures over the past six years and seemingly splitting the responsibility between Obama and Hillary Clinton, Jindal said, “If only he [Obama] had the help of a wise steady hand. A policy expert in dealing with foreign affairs, he would have come up with better answers. But instead, he just had Hillary Clinton. Today we are living with the consequences of the Obama-Clinton ideas when it comes to foreign, domestic and defense policy.” On the domestic front, Jindal claimed the United States is faltering slowly through a lackluster recovery -- a nation that is marked by exhaustion, discouragement and fear, where the people feel they no longer have a voice.Internationally, he claimed things are arguably even worse. He wondered why Obama has come to the conclusion that the United States should “lead from behind” on the international stage.“Today we see a world in which the Obama administration has neglected or abandoned America’s longstanding allies,” he said. “Our special relationship with Britain is gone, NATO is drifting, Eastern Europe is disaffected, and Israel has been purposefully alienated from the United States.” Jindal then asked to consider the consequences over the last year, noting the rise of ISIS and the capture of the Mosul Dam in Iraq; Russia’s expansion and invasion in Crimea and Ukraine; new heights of crisis in the Middle East and Israel; and genocide and destruction of religious minorities in Iraq, among others.Jindal also touched on 2016 and Ebola in the media Q&A. He said he will most likely decide whether to run for president in 2016 after the holidays. As for Ebola, he said he’s not calling for a ban on medical personnel and other experts, but still thinks flight bans are a common sense approach. He said it seems like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has taken their eye off the ball and thinks they must be more focused.

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US Responds to Netanyahu’s Comments on West Bank Settlements

US Responds to Netanyahu’s Comments on West Bank Settlements

Uriel Sinai/Getty images(WASHINGTON) -- State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki on Monday responded to criticism by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, when he said Sunday that U.S. condemnation of Israeli settlements in the West Bank goes “against American values.”Speaking in the on-camera daily briefing, Psaki said “it was a bit odd to use American values when we've had a consistent view on this particular issue.”The Obama administration has long held that settlement construction in the West Bank is counterproductive to peace efforts between Israelis and Palestinians, and it’s been one of the thorniest issues between President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Netanyahu for their entire tenure together. Netanyahu’s remarks were from his appearance on CBS’ Face the Nation, where he said he would not accept restrictions on where Jews could live. “It's against the American values. And it doesn't bode well for peace," he said. "The idea that we'd have this ethnic purification as a condition for peace, I think it's anti-peace.”

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Bill Clinton Doesn’t Worry Arkansas GOP Senate Hopeful

Bill Clinton Doesn’t Worry Arkansas GOP Senate Hopeful

ABC News(HOT SPRINGS VILLAGE, Ark.) -- Tom Cotton grew up watching the political rise of Bill Clinton. Today, as one of the country’s top Republican prospects to take a Senate seat away from the Democrats, Cotton will be in Clinton’s crosshairs.But you won’t hear Cotton say an ill word about Clinton. He needs some of those former Clinton supporters to vote for him if he’s going to defeat Sen. Mark Pryor, a two-term Democrat.Cotton is reserving his fire for President Obama.“I’m not worried about Bill Clinton’s support for Mark Pryor. I’m worried about Mark Pryor’s support for Barack Obama,” Cotton told ABC News. “And in the end, it’s Mark Pryor who’s on the ballot, not Bill Clinton. And it’s Mark Pryor’s support for Barack Obama’s policies that Arkansans are going to be voting on.”Pryor faces a challenging political environment in Arkansas, a state where Obama lost by 25 points and has increasingly turned Republican. Six years ago, Pryor had no opposition, but now is one of the top Democratic targets in the country.With the midterm elections one month away, Clinton is kicking off an aggressive campaign schedule back home in Arkansas. He is trying to persuade voters in Arkansas to send Pryor back to Washington, rather than electing Cotton.Cotton grew up in a Democratic household, but today he’s the new face of conservatism in Arkansas. His parents voted for Clinton, he said, so he uses them as an example for other voters he hopes to reach.“My parents, you know, were Democrats for most of their lives. Voted for Bill Clinton on numerous occasions,” Cotton said. “There are a lot of Arkansans who used to vote Democratic, but they realize now that the Obama Democrats simply don’t represent Arkansas’ conservative values.”Cotton is trying to link Pryor to Obama, mentioning him again and again at campaign stops and in television ads.“Barack Obama said last week, I may not be on the ballot, but every single one of my policy’s on the ballot and he’s right about that,” Cotton told a Republican audience in Hot Springs Village. “And if you want to find his name on the ballot this year, it’s called Mark Pryor. And if you’re happy with Barack Obama’s policies, then Mark Pryor’s your guy.”

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Biden Walks Back Comment About Allies Helping to Arm ISIS

Biden Walks Back Comment About Allies Helping to Arm ISIS

Official White House Photo by David Lienemann(WASHINGTON) -- Vice President Joe Biden has issued an apology to the Turkish government after saying in a speech last week that Washington's Middle Eastern allies inadvertently helped the rise of the Islamic State.In the meantime, the United Arab Emirates is also looking for a "clarification" of Biden's remarks.The controversy began when Biden said that in their zeal to bring down the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the Turks, Saudis and Emirates "poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens, thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad."Without meaning to, U.S. allies help fuel the growth of ISIS, according to Biden, which not only threatens the stability of both Syria and Iraq but is considered a new terrorist enemy of America.Furthermore, Biden claimed, "We could not convince our colleagues to stop supplying them" although he said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan admitted to him that too many foreign fighters came through his border.Erdogan is now saying that's not true and demanded an apology from Biden, which came over the weekend.  It read in part, "The Vice President apologized for any implication that Turkey or other Allies and partners in the region had intentionally supplied or facilitated the growth of ISIL or other violent extremists in Syria."Meanwhile, the UAE is also upset while there's been no comment from the Saudis.

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Jack Lew: ‘Important’ That Hong Kong Protests be Resolved Through Peaceful Discussion

Jack Lew: ‘Important’ That Hong Kong Protests be Resolved Through Peaceful Discussion

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said Sunday it is important to resolve the ongoing pro-democracy protests by thousands in Hong Kong peacefully.“Obviously, we’re watching the situation closely. It’s very important that the situation be resolved through peaceful discussion,” Lew told This Week anchor George Stephanopoulos, adding that he believed the message had been communicated to the Chinese government.“I think that there have been conversations through our national security channels. The president dropped by when the foreign minister was visiting just last week at the White House,” Lew said. “And I think we all need to send the same message. It’s important this be resolved through discussion and peaceful discussion.”Stephanopoulos also asked Lew about the hacking incident linked to JP Morgan Chase earlier this year that affected tens of millions of American households’ personal information. Lew declined to comment specifically and would not confirm reports of involvement by the Russian government.“We have a lot of concerns about the sources of attacks because there are many different sources. But I’m not going to comment on the specifics in JPMorgan,” he said.During his interview on This Week, Lew was asked about the tax exempt status of the NFL. He acknowledged he had followed the domestic violence problems plaguing the league, but said he has not focused the league’s tax-exempt status.“So I will say that I’ve, like everyone else, paid attention to what’s been going on in the NFL recently. I haven’t paid attention to their tax status. So I can’t comment specifically on it,” Lew said.“I think that what clearly is in order is to do some soul-searching about some of the things going on,” he added.Lew’s comments come as some lawmakers in Washington have proposed legislation that would strip the NFL of tax exemption.

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Obama Thanks Wounded Vets at Opening of New Memorial

Obama Thanks Wounded Vets at Opening of New Memorial

White House(WASHINGTON) -- Delivering a somber speech at the opening of the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial, President Obama expressed gratitude, recounted the struggles of wounded vets’ long recoveries, and said the United States has not always done enough to care for its veterans returning from war.“With this memorial we commemorate, for the first time, two battles our disabled veterans have fought: The battle over there and the battle here at home,” the president said, referring to the long recoveries of American soldiers seriously wounded in fighting wars overseas.Obama called on Americans to welcome veterans home with thanks and dignity.The president also said the memorial reminds America not to “rush into war” and to give soldiers the “strategy” they need to succeed.The memorial, which opened Sunday, is National Mall’s first monument specifically to veterans wounded in combat. It joins monuments to veterans of World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam war.The president admonished Americans to thank veterans and not to turn away from the injuries they sustained serving in the U.S. military.“If you’re an American and you see a veteran, maybe with a prosthetic arm or leg, maybe burns on their face, don’t ever look away. Do not turn away,” Obama said. “You go up and you reach out to shake their hand and you look them in the eye and you say those words every veteran should hear all the time: Welcome home, thank you, we need you more than ever, you helped us stay strong, you helped us stay free. Every wounded warrior, every disabled veteran thank you.”Veterans’ health care has drawn growing attention as more Americans return home from Iraq and Afghanistan suffering physical injuries and the psychological and emotional scars of post-traumatic stress disorder. This year’s scandal over Veterans Administration health care has driven the issue further into the national conversation.Obama expressed admiration for veterans who have struggled “through years of recovery and surgeries and rehab, learning the simple things all over again — how to button a shirt or how to write your name, in some cases how to talk or how to walk, and how when you’ve stumbled, when you’ve fallen, you’ve picked yourselves up and carried on and never given up.”

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