This Week in Politics (8)

Post date: Mar 17, 2016 2:43:39 PM

By: Chelsey Zhu

This Week in Politics – 8 – Super Tuesday

The Polls (Updated March 3rd)

Super Tuesday Results (in Number of Delegates)

Saturday and Sunday Results

The Candidates

David Duke, former leader of the KKK, came out in support of Donald Trump and encouraged his followers to vote for him. During an interview on CNN, host Jake Tapper asked Trump if he would disavow the white supremacist; Trump simply said he wasn’t familiar with the figure and refused to state his position, though it was clear from previous interviews that Trump indeed knew him. Later on, Trump claimed that he had a faulty earpiece and couldn’t hear the question well enough to answer. He stated once and for all that he did not want David Duke’s support.

During the Conservative Political Action Conference, Ben Carson announced that he was “leaving the campaign trail.” After the Super Tuesday primaries, in which he earned only 3 delegates, the candidate declared that he did not see a “political path forward” towards winning the race, and he opted out of attending the Republican debate in Michigan. However, Carson made it clear that he would stay involved in politics, citing an initiative to encourage Christian voters to head to the polls.

Mitt Romney came out against Donald Trump during a speech on Thursday, calling him a “fraud” and his promises “worthless.” The former presidential nominee criticized Trump’s positions in a variety of topics. In foreign policy, Romney told his audience that Trump “calls for the use of torture” and “the killing of innocent children and family members of terrorists.” He also tore apart Trump’s economics, claiming that his plans would cause a “prolonged recession” and “lead entrepreneurs and businesses of all stripes to flee America.” Most notably, Romney went after the Republican frontrunner’s personality. “…[T}his is an individual who mocked a disabled reporter, who attributed a reporter’s questions to her menstrual cycle, who mocked a brilliant rival who happened to be a woman due to her appearance, who bragged about his marital affairs, and who laces his public speeches with vulgarity,” Romney said reprovingly as the audience applauded. He encouraged voters to poll for whichever Republican candidate was ahead of Trump in their state in order to topple him from 1st place. In response, Trump pointed out Romney’s graciousness towards him in the 2012 election and claimed that Romney “was begging” for his endorsement at the time.

The 11th GOP debate occurred on Fox News on March 3rd in Detroit, Michigan. For most the night, candidates Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz put on a united front against Donald Trump. Cruz attacked Trump for donating money to Clinton in the past and for refusing to release a secret interview with the New York Times. Allegations have been made that in the interview Trump divulged views on immigration contrary to previous statements. Rubio also went after Trump for his vague plan on foreign policy and his seeming support for Vladimir Putin. Trump responded with more personal insults, repeatedly referring to his competitors as “little guy,” “little Marco,” and “lying Ted.”

Even the Fox News moderators seemed biased against the billionaire. During the debate, moderators fact-checked Trump’s plan to cut government spending and showed its implausibility on stage; later on, they presented clips of past interviews showing Trump’s various stance changes over the years.

In an effort to stand out, John Kasich encouraged the audience to look at the successes he’s had as governor, using his state’s balanced budget as an example. He also supported lifting the minimum wage but specified that states should decide for themselves.

Despite the ferocious attacks, all candidates agreed to support the eventual Republican nominee, which will likely be Trump.

The New York Times recently released information detailing that there was “no evidence of hacking” in Hillary Clinton’s private email server, which she had used to store and send classified information about the U.S. government as Secretary of State. Though this is not definitive proof that the classified information was completely safe, it further bolsters the claim from Hillary Clinton supporters that the Secretary’s mistake did not put national security at risk. The FBI investigation into the matter is scheduled to end by May, after which it will decide whether or not to prosecute.

The 7th Democratic debate aired on CNN on March 6th in Flint, Michigan, where candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders squared off on policies affecting the people of Michigan. The event began with a moment of silence for former first lady Nancy Reagan, who passed away at the age of 94 on Sunday. The first discussion was about the Flint water crisis, in which the state government, in an effort to lower costs, transferred to a cheaper water source that caused residents to be poisoned by lead-contaminated water. Both candidates urged for the current Michigan governor to resign and talked about their own plans for fixing the problem, which included involving local, state, and federal governments to divert resources, deliver fresh water to residents, and track the health of affected children.

When asked about the economy, Sanders once again called for Clinton to release the public transcripts of her paid speeches for Goldman-Sachs. Clinton diverted the question and simply responded that she has had a long history standing up to Wall Street and will do so as president.

The debate then moved on to gun control. Clinton attacked Sanders for his 2005 vote granting gun manufacturers immunity from lawsuits for crimes committed with their products; Sanders pushed back with his low rating with the NRA and talked about several pro-gun control legislations he has helped to pass over the years.

Senator Sanders also took the debate as an opportunity to show voters his long history of working with civil rights, citing his early efforts to desegregate schools. Clinton also shared her own experiences with the movement, such attending a speech by Martin Luther King Jr. as a teenager. The candidate openly admitted to being less experienced with the matter and simply said, “I have not had the experience you have had,” addressing black audience members.

As the debate drew to a close, both candidates notably came out against fracking. However, Clinton implied she was only against it when the local community was against it, while Sanders outright did not support it, most likely due to its environmental effects. The night ended on a few personal questions about religion; Sanders explored the impact of Judaism and the Holocaust in his life while Clinton discussed her private prayers for people in need.

Upcoming Events

The next Democratic debate will take place in Florida on March 9th on the Univision Television Network, followed by the Republican debate in Florida on CNN the following day. Hawaii, Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi, and Washington D.C. will be voting in the primaries on March 8th and March 12th.