Posts from Emily Atkin

‘I’d Rather Vote For Hillary:’ Ted Cruz Voters Explain Why They’ll Never Vote Trump

Emily Atkin Reporter, Climate Progress

‘I’d Rather Vote For Hillary:’ Ted Cruz Voters Explain Why They’ll Never Vote Trump

Decked out in cowboy hats, American flag jackets, and various Cruz-adorned swag, the men and women at Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) final rally before the Super Tuesday had a message for Donald Trump: Not you. Never you.

In interviews with ThinkProgress, several attendees at the Texas Senator’s rally in Houston said they were officially joining the #NeverTrump movement, a Twitter-led push
for Republicans to oppose billionaire Trump if he wins the nomination. The campaign gained momentum after Thursday night’s CNN Republican presidential debate, eventually becoming the top trend on Twitter worldwide on Friday night.

“He has no business being in charge of our country,” said Jason Siebold, 44, a Houston resident for the last 12 years. Wearing a Cruz T-shirt designed by the street artist who famously created posters depicting former Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis as “abortion barbie,” Siebold said he’d sooner vote for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton than Trump.

“Quite honestly, I would probably vote for Hillary Clinton before I would vote for Donald Trump, because I think Donald Trump is going to destroy the Republican party,” he said. “I’m a Republican, but if Donald Trump wins the election, then the party’s left me. I haven’t left the party. At that point, I’m no longer going to be a Republican.”

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The Story Behind Donald Trump’s Undocumented Polish Workers

Emily Atkin Reporter, Climate Progress

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) took some unexpected digs at billionaire Donald Trump during the CNN Republican presidential debate on Thursday, the most provocative of which surrounded Trump’s past employment and alleged mistreatment of undocumented immigrants.

The attack on Trump came during a discussion of immigration policy. Trump was defending his plan to deport all 11 million undocumented people in America, but keep the “really good” ones. The billionaire said he alone was responsible for bringing the issue of immigration into the presidential race — and Rubio wasn’t having it.

“If you’re going to claim that you’re the only one that lifted this issue into the campaign, then you acknowledge that, for example, you’re the only person on this stage that’s ever been fined for hiring people to work on your projects illegally,” he said.

Trump fired back almost immediately: “No, I’m the only one on the stage that’s hired people. You haven’t hired anybody.”

“Yeah, but you hired a thousand people from another company, another country … he hired workers from Poland and he had to pay a million dollars or so in a judgement,” Rubio responded. “That’s a fact. People can look it up — I’m sure people are googling it right now.”

Watch:

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Trump: I Would Intentionally Kill Families To Defeat ISIS

Emily Atkin Reporter, Climate Progress

Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump defended his proposal to kill the family members of ISIS terrorists on Tuesday, saying the policy would be warranted because family members “know what is going on” with their relatives.

“We have to be much tougher and much stronger than we’ve been,” Trump said at the fifth Republican debate hosted by CNN in Las Vegas. The answer came in response to a question from Josh Jacob, a student at Georgia Tech, who asked, “How would intentionally killing innocent civilians set us apart from ISIS?”

“You look at the attack in California the other day — numerous people, including the mother that knew what was going on,” Trump responded. “They saw a pipe bomb sitting all over the floor. They saw ammunition all over the place. They knew exactly what was going on.”

“I would be very, very firm with families,” he added. “Frankly, that will make people think, because they may not care much about their lives, but they do care, believe it or not, about their families’ lives.”

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Ted Cruz, Defender Of Religious Liberty, ‘Commends’ Donald Trump’s Anti-Muslim Plan

Emily Atkin Reporter, Climate Progress

This past summer, Sen. Ted Cruz tweeted that he would “never hesitate to defend religious liberty — both at home and abroad.”

On Tuesday, Cruz declined to condemn Donald Trump’s latest plan to ban all Muslims from entering the United States. Instead, he said, Trump should be commended for bringing the issue to the general public.

“I do not believe the world needs my voice added to that chorus of critics,” Cruz said at a Tuesday press conference, referencing the large group of Republican and Democratic presidential candidates who have criticized the plan.

“And listen,” Cruz added, “I commend Donald Trump for standing up and focusing America’s attention on the need to secure our borders.”

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Black Pastor: Donald Trump Isn’t Telling The Whole Truth About Closed-Door Meeting

Emily Atkin Reporter, Climate Progress

In the minutes following a closed-door meeting with black pastors on Monday afternoon, billionaire presidential candidate Donald Trump touted the event as a huge success. More than 100 leaders of the black Christian community were in attendance, he said, and virtually no one asked him to change his often controversial tone regarding minorities and immigrants.

“I thought it was an amazing meeting,” he said, flanked by about a half dozen pastors who said they would endorse the Republican frontrunner. “The beautiful thing [was] that they didn’t really ask me to change the tone. I think they really want to see victory, because ultimately it is about, we want to win and we want to win together.”

But not everyone who was present at the closed-door gathering fully agreed with Trump’s characterization of the event. Namely, Bishop Victor Couzens, who told ThinkProgress that the meeting was smaller and more critical than the candidate described.

“That’s not true,” Couzens said when told about Trump’s assertion that he wasn’t asked to change his rhetoric. “We spent a lot of time just discussing the overall tone of the campaign. I personally said to him, he needs to apologize. He needs to repent.”

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Proof That The Benghazi Investigation Is Totally Unlike Any Other, In Two Charts

Emily Atkin Reporter, Climate Progress

On Thursday, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will testify in front of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, where Republicans will try to prove that the former secretary of state mishandled the events leading up to and following the 2012 terror attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

Lately, however, those same Republicans have found themselves trying to prove something different: That their intense focus on Benghazi is not primarily driven by a political desire to undermine Clinton. Recently, a number of Republicans have said that targeting Clinton is part of the investigation’s purpose. But others, like House Benghazi Chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), suggest they’re treating Benghazi like they would any other terrorist attack.

But are they?

An analysis of Congressional attention to previous high-profile terror incidents suggests that significantly more emphasis has been placed on Benghazi than other terrorism acts. The 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, the 2000 attack on the USS Cole, the 1998 embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, the 1996 Khobar Tower bombing, the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, and even the attacks of September 11, 2001 — all received less Congressional attention than Benghazi in the form of formal hearings and investigations into their respective causes.

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Marco Rubio Questioned By Republican College Student On Climate And Energy Policy

Emily Atkin Reporter, Climate Progress

When Dan Herrera asked Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) about the environment at a town hall meeting in Iowa last week, it almost seemed like a set-up.

After all, environmental groups have been known to plant their advocates among the crowds of Republican candidates’ events across the country, attempting to pressure them on issues like clean air and climate change. And Herrera’s question was framed the way any good environmentalist would ask it — first, an appeal to Rubio’s Catholic faith, and then, a direct question about specific policy.

“Pope Francis in the past couple days said a lot about the environment,” the 20-year-old Herrera said, smiling into the brightly lit stage where Rubio stood. “What environmental policies, if any, will you implement if you’re president?”

As it turned out, Herrera was not a member of 350.org or NextGen Climate Action, but a member of the Augustana College Republicans. Located at Augustana College just across the Missisippi River, the group was is dedicated “to promoting the ideals and candidates of their party.”

The Republican party — at least in Washington, D.C. — has been roundly accused of being anti-environment. More than 56 percent of current Congressional Republicans deny climate change, and the chairman of the House Environment committee is a coal-loving climate science denier. Week after week, congressional Republicans hold hearings to decry the EPA’s proposed regulations on smog, coal ash, and drinking water, while calling other hearings to promote fracking, offshore drilling, and crude oil exports.

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What Language Experts Find So Strange About Donald Trump

Emily Atkin Reporter, Climate Progress

Donald Trump talks funny. You’ve probably noticed, but can’t quite put your finger down on why. Does he use unique words? Weird rhetorical tics? Maybe it’s the way he seems to emphasize the first vowel of every word: L-ooo-ser. M-ooo-ron. Ch-iii-na.

Whatever it is, Trump is still surging in the polls, so it’s clear something about him is resonating with voters. Many have attributed this to his anti-establishment, outsider persona, and as it turns out, that also extends to his use of language. Two professional linguists told ThinkProgress that Trump is unlike other presidential candidates in almost every way in terms of his speech — his word choice, his way he tells stories, and even how he uses his hands.

We’ll be hearing a lot from Trump this week, as he literally takes center stage at the second Republican presidential debate on Wednesday. Beyond his favorite insults, here’s what the experts we talked to find particularly fascinating about Trump’s way of talking — and what that might say about why he’s so popular.

Politicians use big words. Trump does not.

When ThinkProgress asked University of Pennsylvania linguistics professor Mark Yoffe Liberman about Trump’s speech, he decided to do a rough comparison to another presidential candidate: Jeb Bush. We sent him the transcripts of both Trump and Bush’s announcement speeches, plus some press conferences and one-on-one interviews.

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Meet The Trickle-Down Conservatives Behind Jeb Bush’s Tax Plan

Emily Atkin Reporter, Climate Progress

Jeb Bush is scheduled to release his tax plan on Wednesday, and the Washington Post says it knows who helped him with it.

Citing “two Republicans familiar with Bush’s schedule,” the Post reported that Bush met with Heritage Foundation economist Stephen Moore, publishing executive Steve Forbes, and CNBC commentator Larry Kudlow for an hour on Tuesday morning to discuss the details of the Republican presidential candidate’s economic plan. The three men are supply-side conservatives — meaning, among other things, that they believe in tax breaks for the rich and less economic regulation.

But these men aren’t just any trickle-down economists. They’re all high-profile proponents of Reaganomics — they all actually advised Reagan while he was in the White House. It’s also not an accident that the three of them met with Bush together. Kudlow, Forbes, and Moore recently formed a new group called the Committee to Unleash American Prosperity which, according to a summer press release, wants presidential candidates to advocate for traditional, Reaganesque economic policies — a low rate, flat tax; limited government spending; free trade; and little regulation. For what it’s worth, all three men have denied the science of global warming.

The group’s website is still under construction. But considering its founders are all advising a man who wants to be the next president, it’s worth getting to know each, one at a time.

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Is Scott Walker Terrible At Science?

Emily Atkin Reporter, Climate Progress

If elected president, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker might make a very science-literate commander-in-chief. At least that’s if his high school science teacher’s memory is correct.

“I do recall that Scott was very accepting of everything in science class,” Ann Serpe, the chair of Walker’s high school science department, told TIME back in February. “He had a good sense of it.”

It would certainly be refreshing if it were true. In the vast field of Republican presidential contenders, science seems low on the collective list of priorities. Almost every Republican candidate denies that climate change exists and is caused by humans, a premise that 97 percent of climate researchers accept. Some stand by the idea that creationism should be taught in schools, and others refuse to talk about evolution at all. Nearly 100 percent of scientists accept the science of evolution.

All of which begs the question: Is Scott Walker different? Does he have a “good sense” of science?

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