The Curious Case of Carson’s Foreign Policy

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Ben Carson has been having a hard time defending his stance on foreign policy. So to put any suspicion of his credentials to bed, Carson spent his Thanksgiving weekend at a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan. During his trip he came to the conclusion that the refugee crisis was actually Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton’s fault.

Syrian Refugee Crisis? Thanks Obama!

In this ad, Carson accuses the president of directly attacking him for his opposition to accepting refugees. Carson then adds that the region’s turmoil was the result of Obama and Clinton’s “failed tough-talk, but do-nothing policies.”

After blaming the President (not ISIS) for the displacement of thousands of Syrian refugees, Carson channels a bit of Donald Trump (or maybe Charlie Sheen) and says we need “leaders who will stop whining, and start winning.”

What Did Ben Carson Learn From His Field Trip to Jordan?

The November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris shifted the country’s attention to foreign policy – not one of Carson’s strong suits. Since then, Carson has been quickly losing ground to his better-rehearsed Republican rivals. 

But Carson seems to have had a change of heart since he compared Syrian refugees to rabid dogs, only two weeks ago. Now, he is promoting a policy of increasing U.S. aid to Jordan – a policy his conservative counterparts will surely challenge.

But after all, the retired neurosurgeon is on a foreign policy “learning curve,”according to his top advisor – so maybe his critics should go easy on him… or would that count as whining?

Marco Rubio and the (Cuban) American Dream

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Marco Rubio’s campaign rolled out its second T.V. ad over the holiday weekend – a $20 million toast to his father who immigrated to the United States from Cuba and worked as a bartender. If you have ever heard Rubio’s stump speech (or read a Steinbeck novel), then his story probably sounds familiar.

‘My father was an immigrant… Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.’

The ad tells the story of what Rubio calls the “essence of the American dream.” Sounding much like Barack Obama in 2008, (who was also a junior senator at the time) Rubio wants to remind voters that he came from humble beginnings.

In the ad, Rubio reminisces of being a kid and hearing his father’s keys clack against the door when he came home late at night – a sound many working-class Americans are probably familiar with.

Rubio then recalls how his father worked hard to make sure that “all the doors that closed for him,” were open for Marco and his siblings. And as Rubio explains, it was his father standing “behind a portable bar, in the back of a room, for all those years,” that allowed Marco the opportunity to eventually “stand behind this podium… in this nation.”

Rubio’s $20 Million Toast to his Bartending Dad

The 60-second biographical ad began airing in Iowa and New Hampshire on Thanksgiving Day – perfect for all those other humble American families huddled around the T.V. screen for Turkey Day football games.

The spot is set to air through February and will also run in South Carolina and Nevada.

John Kasich’s Not-So-Warm Welcome For Donald Trump

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Donald Trump made his first campaign stop in Ohio last night, but he didn’t do so with the blessing of the state’s governor, John Kasich. Instead, Kasich’s welcoming gift for Trump was the announcement of an all out ad blitz attacking the real estate tycoon from all sides.

New Day for America, a pro-Kasich super PAC, backed him up with their own $2.5 million attack, bankrolled by nearly a dozen new major donors, all dedicated to knocking Trump out of first place.

Kasich Hits Trump’s Plan for a Muslim Database

Late last week, Donald Trump told NBC news that he “would certainly implement” a database system to list and track Muslims in the United States. Although he has since walked back the statement, it didn’t stop his criticizers to go as far as tocompare him to Adolf Hitler.

Trump’s Republican rivals were quick to call such a database “unconstitutional,” and John Kasich wasn’t going to let him get away with a flip-flop. This ad from the Kasich campaign features the raw footage of Trump’s endorsement for a religious database, before cutting to a Fox News interview where Trump denies he supported one.

The ad ends asking, “Does Donald Trump even know what he’s talking about?”

Kasich’s Super PAC Follows Up With Another Blow

After Kasich’s campaign released their attack ad, New Day for America released “Trump’s Greatest Hits – Part 1” – a litany of Trump’s most controversial statements since he announced his candidacy. The web video ends with “To Be Continued,” – a safe bet that Trump is likely to make more controversial statements in the future.

This 47-second web video is part of a $2.5 million ad buy that will include radio, T.V., mail and online ads in New Hampshire and other early voting states.

Is John Kasich Trying to Command the Anti-Trump Army?

John Kasich staked out his position as a fervent Trump disbeliever in the last two GOP debates where he warned Republican voters they were on the verge of“picking someone who cannot do this job.” He also said Trump’s plan to deport 11 million immigrants was “not an adult argument.”

Kasich’s push against Trump is the latest establishment war waged against the front-running billionaire. Club for Growth, a Republican 501(c)(4) with wealthy backers, is still working towards dismantling Trump’s campaign.

And last week Liz Mair, a well-regarded Republican aide, announced that secret, wealthy GOP donors are planning a “guerrilla campaign” to “defeat and destroy” Trump’s candidacy.

But so far, the bombastic billionaire has broken all the laws of presidential campaign physics and he still commands the top spot in the polls. If establishment Republicans want to prevent a Trump regime, it’s going to take a serious insurgency.

SEIU and Pro-Immigrant Group Team Up to Take on GOP Candidates

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Republican presidential candidates and their top political consultants are probably not watching the Latin Grammys anyway, but if they do tune in tonight they should brace themselves for a new blast from immigrant rights activists.

The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) joined forces with iAmerica Action, a pro-immigration group, to blast leading Republican candidates for their forceful “anti-immigrant” messages.

The groups released this ad in both English and Spanish and will air the Spanish version nationwide during tonight’s Latin Grammys on Telemundo – which drewnearly 10 million viewers last year.

In 2014, the Latin Grammys start time was delayed 20 minutes while President Obama announced a massive immigration program that would protect millions of immigrants from deportation. The SEIU’s ads are meant to correspond with the anniversary of that executive action, which is currently tied up in court.

The ads specifically target Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush and Donald Trump, denouncing their incendiary remarks about immigrants. The spot has the added message, “These candidates may be different, but their messages are all the same.”

The ad ends by encouraging immigrant Americans to take action and “not accept hate” or “anti-immigrant attacks.”

The six-figure ad buy comes just days after the union announced their endorsement of Hillary Clinton for president – so one can expect more attacks against the GOP to come down the pipes.

In the Wake Terrorist Attacks in Paris, Marco Rubio Echoes George W. Bush

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Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris immediately propelled foreign policy to the front of the 2016 presidential campaign – the Democratic debate turned on a dime to focus on foreign policy, and GOP hopefuls dominated Sunday talk shows promoting their own aggressive plans to wage war on ISIS.

In his newest web video Marco Rubio goes as far as to resurrect familiar September 11 rhetoric to assert that the West’s war against ISIS is more than just geopolitical turbulence – it’s a “clash of civilizations.”

‘Why do they hate us?’

Flashback to September 20, 2001. President George W. Bush addressed a joint session of Congress where he officially declared a “war on terror” – a war that continues to define American foreign policy today.

He famously raised the question that many Americans were asking in the confusing days after September 11: “Why do they hate us?”

“They hate our freedoms,” he presumed. “Our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other.” Unknown to most Americans at the time, this ideology would echo throughout the next 14 years of warfare.

‘They hate us because of our values’

Marco Rubio revived a key component of the Bush Doctrine on Sunday when he told ABC’s This Week that the war against ISIS was “a clash of civilizations.”

He fleshed out that argument more in this video, saying, “They hate us because of our values. They hate us because young girls here go to school. They hate us because women drive. They hate us because we have freedom of speech – because we have diversity in our religious beliefs.”

How Will the Attacks in Paris Influence the 2016 Race?

A poll released by Reuters on Monday found that “63 percent of Americans were fearful that a Paris-style attack could happen near them,” suggesting that national security would take a more active role on the 2016 campaign trail.

Rubio was criticized for subtly conflating “radical Islam” with Muslims in general; but some of his fellow Republicans were even less concerned about making the distinction.

Bobby Jindal, presidential hopeful and governor of Louisiana, signed an executive order Monday to prevent Syrian refugees from being settled in his state. Twenty-six other governors have since followed his lead.

Sen. Ted Cruz proposed only allowing Christian Syrian refugees into the U.S. arguing, “There is no meaningful risk of Christians committing acts of terror.”

In a September Gallup poll, Republicans enjoyed a 52 percent to 36 percent edge over Democrats on which party would do a better job of protecting the country from international terrorism and military threats.

With that dynamic, expect the terrorist attacks in Paris to haunt the 2016 campaign trail for some time to come.

Donald Trump Brings an Attack Ad to a Knife Fight

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Only in this election cycle would a front-runner defend claims that he once tried to kill someone. But in recent weeks that is exactly what Ben Carson has had to do – and his primary rival, Donald Trump, is having none of it.

Capping off a week of mercilessly attacking Carson, Trump cut this Friday the 13ththemed Instagram attack ad, challenging Carson’s life story of personal redemption.

Set to a tune reminiscent of the theme song to the 1980s slasher flick, Halloween, we see footage of Carson recalling the time he tried to stab his friend with a “large camping knife” – Jason Voorhees-style. The ad then jumps to a CNN interview of Carson’s former neighbor who suggests the story may be false.

The ad asks in bold letters if Carson is a “violent criminal” or a “pathological liar” before concluding: “We don’t need either as president.”

Carson responded to the ad by saying, “I think its gonna’ hurt him.” Hopefully for Trump, Ben Carson doesn’t mean that literally.

10 Ways Ben Carson Mocks the Media ‘Witch Hunt’ Against Him

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A renewed barrage of media investigations into Dr. Ben Carson’s past has the potential to put the retired neurosurgeon on the defensive just as he is enjoying his newly-minted status as Republican frontrunner.

So in order to stay ahead of any other potentially damaging stories from the media, Carson’s campaign cut this ad mockingly listing trivial missteps Carson made in his youth.

‘Next week it’ll be my kindergarten teacher who said I peed in my pants!’

The video features ten of Carson’s campaign staffers holding up paper signs, ironically “confessing” to some insignificant mistake he made growing up, like “accidentally offending a cupcake by calling it a muffin.”

Carson tweeted out the video saying his campaign, “wanted to make sure to stay ahead of ‘breaking stories’ in the news.”

Ben Carson Says He Is a ‘Threat to the Secular Progressive Movement’

Carson’s impressive and influential life story has made him a household name in the African-American community. His 1990 memoir Gifted Hands, chronicled his troubled childhood and road to redemption – a life journey that is key to his campaign platform (since he has no experience in public office).

But details of Carson’s inspirational life story have been challenged in recent weeks, as many media outlets have expanded their investigations into his past.

But on Friday, Carson told journalists at a press conference, “My prediction is that all of you guys piling on is actually going to help me.”

Well for the time being, that prediction may be coming true. From the last week alone, his campaign announced that it raised $3.5 million from “10,000 donations each day.”