<![CDATA[NBC Bay Area - Bay Area Political News, Bay Area Politics]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/politics http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/nbc_bayarea_blue.png NBC Bay Area http://www.nbcbayarea.com en-us Sat, 10 Oct 2015 11:10:10 -0700 Sat, 10 Oct 2015 11:10:10 -0700 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Social Media Reacts to Kanye/Obama Appearance in SF]]> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 20:30:36 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/TLMD-kanye-west-MTV-2015-Getty-Images-486015706.jpg

Social media users are discussing the Saturday appearance from Kanye West and Barack Obama at San Francisco's Warfield Theatre.

The afternoon event, a fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee expected to include a musical performance by West, is open to an all ages audience, with tickets ranging from $250 for general admission to $10,000 for "VIP clutch."

West's wife Kim Kardashian tweeted her intention to attend the proceedings, which was retweeted almost 1,000 times, favorited more than 3,000 times and received reactions including praise for her potential as a future First Lady (a nod to West's recent announcement that he wants to run for President in 2020) and lots of complaints about not having a student price.

"$100 still too much for students," tweeted one.

Reactions have ranged from anger and bemusement to amusement. Even comedian Roseanne Barr jumped to join into the numerous humorous voices in the discussion when she tweeted "to paraphrase Kanye West, Obama doesn't care about Jewish people."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Fan: 'I'm Hispanic...We Vote for Mr. Trump']]> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 09:59:36 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_8630881865610-Trump.jpg

Donald Trump, who has called for mass deportation of undocumented immigrants but insisted that he loves Latinos, found an ecstatic Hispanic supporter at a rally in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Thursday.

Appearing at a campaign event at the Treasure Island hotel and casino on the Strip, the Republican presidential candidate called on a woman holding a copy of People magazine, where Trump was recently featured with his family.

The woman, who said she was from Colombia, jumped on stage and screamed when Trump led her to the microphone.

"Where you from?" Trump asked.

"I'm from Colombia. I'm Hispanic, and I vote for Mr. Trump. We vote for Mr. Trump," she said. "We love you, we love you, all the way to the White House.”

Trump smiled broadly and put his hands on her shoulders, then appeared to have placed his hands on the woman’s hips. He kissed her several times.

"I swear to you, I think she's totally beautiful and great, I never met her before, I swear," Trump said.

The Las Vegas Sun spoke to the woman, identified as Myriam Witcher, after the event. She told the paper she supports Trump’s stance on immigrants who come to the U.S illegally.

"He needs to send illegal [immigrants] out of the country. I came here legally," she told the Sun, "I'm Hispanic, Latina and I love me some Trump."

According to a NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Telemundo survey from Sept. 30, nearly three in four Latinos say they have a negative view of Trump.

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[President Obama in Bay Area After Contentious Oregon Visit]]> Sat, 10 Oct 2015 11:01:56 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/206*120/obamamain2.PNG

Hours after visiting with grieving families in Oregon, where a school shooting took the lives of ten students last week, President Barack Obama touched down in San Francisco Friday to attend a couple of fundraising events for the Democratic National Committee.

The President arrived at 8:45 p.m. at San Francisco International Airport and was greeted by Gov. Jerry Brown and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee. His motorcade then made its way to San Francisco for a DNC Rountable, where around 20 supporters are contributing around $33,400 a person.

The President's visit comes hot on the heels of a slightly controversial visit in Roseburg, Oregon, where he received a rather tepid welcome from some community members who disagree with the President's views on gun control.

"He's not wanted here," Roseburg resident Michelle Finn told The Associated Press before the President's visit. "He's coming here purely to push his garbage, and we don't want it."

Finn organized protests near the airport where Obama's helicopter landed, the Associated Press reported.

The President's presence in San Francisco will likely receive a warmer welcome than in staunchly conservative Roseburg, Oregon.

After arriving at SFO, he will promptly head to a private residence where he will lead a roundtable discussion with members of the Democratic National Committee. Details on the discussion are being kept quiet, according to a news release, though it is expected that he will be talking with prominent donors.

On Saturday, his last day in the Bay Area, the President will be attending a fundraising concert at the Warfield in San Francisco where Kanye West is slated to perform. The two have apparently buried the hatchet since 2009, when the President called Kanye West a "jackass" for interrupting Taylor Swift's acceptance speech at the MTV Video Music Awards.

Ticket packages for the concert range from $100 to $10,000.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Carson Defends Linking Gun Control to Holocaust]]> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 10:51:21 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_597656294333.jpg

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson defended his controversial statement in which he suggested that the Holocaust would have been "greatly diminished" if German Jews had been armed with guns.

“It is well known that in many places where tyranny has taken over, they first disarmed the people,” Carson said in an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s "Good Morning America.” “There’s a reason that they disarm people. They don’t just do it arbitrarily.”

Carson was asked Thursday by CNN's Wolf Blitzer about an excerpt from his book "A More Perfect Union," in which the retired neurosurgeon links the disarming on German citizens with the killing of 6 million Jews by Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime.

In his book, Carson says "the likelihood of Hitler being able to accomplish his goals would have been greatly diminished if the people had been armed."

The Anti-Defamation League condemned Carson's comments, noting the "small number of personal firearms available to Germany's Jews in 1938 could in no way have stopped the totalitarian power of the Nazi German state."

"Ben Carson has a right to his views on gun control, but the notion that Hitler’s gun-control policy contributed to the Holocaust is historically inaccurate," National Director of the Anti-Defamation League Jonathan A. Greenblatt said in a statement. "When they had weapons, Jews could symbolically resist, as they did in the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and elsewhere, but they could not stop the Nazi genocide machine.

Greenblatt added that "Nazism and anti-Semitism," not gun control, caused the Holocaust.

Carson called the response by the Anti-Defamation League "total foolishness," adding that he'd be happy to discuss it "in depth" with anybody.

Earlier this week, Carson drew criticism by calling for potential victims of mass shootings to rush the attacker.

In an interview on Wednesday, Carson also offered a shaky explanation of his opposition to raising the debt ceiling, appearing to confuse the borrowing limit with the federal budget.

"Let me put it this way: if I were the president, I would not sign an increased budget. Absolutely would not do it. They would have to find a place to cut," Carson said in a radio interview on "Marketplace."

In a statement to NBC News, Carson later said, “critics have blown this way out of proportion” but does make clear that he understands "raising the debt ceiling is about paying for obligations the federal government has incurred.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[School Shooting Numbers Difficult to Define]]> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 22:31:39 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/LIVEREALITY.PNG

The tragic shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon last week has reignited the gun control debate nationwide, and parents and policymakers alike have taken to citing an oft-used statistic that there have been 143 school shootings in the United States since the Sandy Hook massacre in late 2012.

That figure is provided by Everytown for Gun Safety, a gun reform group established by former New York City mayor, Michael Bloomberg, after the events in Newtown, Connecticut in 2012.

But do those numbers check out?

That depends how you define a school shooting, experts say.

“I think a common sense way to look at school shootings is any time a gun is discharged in a school building or on school grounds,” says Kath Tsakalakis, a volunteer with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a gun safety group that is part of Everytown.

That definition covers a lot of ground.

NBC Bay Area read through the Everytown list incident by incident.

Some cases detail the horrors of high school and college students opening fire in classrooms or cafeterias.

Others are incidental, like the case of an Idaho professor who accidentally shot himself in the foot during chemistry class. In total, NBC Bay Area identified nine cases of misfire on the list.

Around twenty-seven events—a conservative estimate—were unrelated to the school except for location.

For instance, earlier this year, two Florida men engaged in an altercation over crab traps. The fight made its way onto school properly, and one man shot the other in the hand. Many of these types of incidents took place after school hours.

Fifteen incidents were suicide or attempted suicide on campus.

Can all of these cases be classified as school shootings?

“The whole area of gun violence is such a complicated and multifaceted thing that the mass shootings are the most visible and most disruptive societally,” said John J. Donohue III, a public policy expert from Stanford University's law school. “But they’re a relatively small number when you think of the huge number of deaths that we have overall by gun or by other means.”

According to FBI data, there were 8,124 gun homicides in the United States last year.

The FBI has no formal definition for school shooting, but the agency did release a report last year that analyzed more than a decade of active shooter incidents, which is defined as “an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area” like a school, an office building or a mall.

According to that report, 160 active shooter incidents occurred in the U.S. between 2000 and 2013. Of those incidents, 39 occurred at schools.

The report lists four incidents that had the highest casualty counts. Two of those incidents were school shootings: 32 people killed at Virginia Tech in 2007, and 27 dead after the events at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.

On average, 11.4 active shooter incidents occurred each year.

“I think the trend over time between 2000 and 2013 has been an increase per year,” said David J. Johnson, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's San Francisco Division. “I think overall it’s averaging a little less than one incident per month.”

Stanford’s Donohue recognizes the danger in citing numbers around this issue.

“Passions are so high on this issue that people grab the numbers that make their side look better, and sometimes they may not be aware of the full nuance of that number,” he said.

Johnson agrees. “I think you have to pause when it comes to the statistical data that is out there,” he said.

That doesn’t mean the Everytown numbers should be ignored, he added. “I think it’s a great starting point. If it calls attention to the issue that’s a good thing.”

While opposing sides continue to argue the scale of the problem, the nation and its president continue to grieve.

“Somehow this has become routine,” President Obama said in his speech following the Umpqua shooting last week. “I hope and pray that I don’t have to come out again during my tenure as president, to offer my condolences to families in these circumstances.”

The only number he and parents like Kath Tsakalakis care about now is zero. Moving forward, that’s how many massacres, deaths, or firearm discharges they want to see on school campuses.

“Parents in other countries are not sending their children to school with bulletproof backpacks that are sold in America," she said. “I think Newtown changed many things."

That’s why she’s made it her mission to advocate for gun reform.

“We can implement these better gun laws and get guns out of schools, out of criminal hands, and make these kinds of mass murder situations a lot less frequent,” she said.

<![CDATA[GOP, Dems React to McCarthy Announcement]]> Thu, 08 Oct 2015 11:37:28 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_689482047515.jpg

In a stunning move that came as a surprise to many in the Republican party, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy took his name off the running for House Speaker.

McCarthy announced his decision moments before GOP lawmakers were set to nominate the California Rep. as their speaker.

The front-runner threw Congress' Republican leadership race into chaos and disarray Thursday and forced outgoing House Speaker John Boehner to abruptly end the closed-door session and reschedule the vote.

In a statement, Boehner said he will continue to serve as speaker until the House votes to elect a successor.

"We will announce the date for this election at a later date, and I’m confident we will elect a new Speaker in the coming weeks," Boehner said. "Our conference will work together to ensure we have the strongest team possible as we continue to focus on the American people’s priorities.” 

Presidential hopefuls and lawmakers from both sides of the aisle had mixed reactions to McCarthy’s announcement.

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson said McCarthy was "unselfish" by prioritizing the Republican conference ahead of his own political ambitions, while anti-establishment GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump expressed enthusiasm over the news in a tweet.

Meanwhile, Democrats warned that the GOP's internal strife shouldn't keep the House from conducting serious business — like raising the debt ceiling before Nov. 5, when the nation risks defaulting on its loans.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest says it's easy to "poke fun at the chaos" triggered by McCarthy's stunning move. But Earnest says the challenge facing the next speaker is the same one that McCarthy would have faced — and what outgoing Speaker John Boehner had to deal with.

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Murdoch Apologizes for 'Real Black President' Tweet]]> Thu, 08 Oct 2015 06:04:08 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_508647646484.jpg

Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch has apologized for comments he made suggesting President Barack Obama is not a "real black president,” NBC News reported.

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The 84-year-old tweeted late Wednesday that Republican presidential nominee Ben Carson would give the U.S. "a real black president who can properly address the racial divide."

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Murdoch's tweet praised Carson, the only African-American running in the 2016 race, and his wife, Candy, as "terrific," shortly after promoting the nominee's appearance on "The Kelly File" on his Fox News Channel.

The message sparked controversy on Twitter as thousands voiced their disapproval of his comment, ranging from funny to serious. 

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Photo Credit: Andy Kropa /Invision/AP
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<![CDATA[In Ad, GOP Candidate Fires Gun and Says: 'I'm Hunting RINOs.']]> Wed, 07 Oct 2015 17:44:44 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_110511112754.jpg

Rep. Renee Ellmers is being challenged by House GOP primary candidate, Kay Daly, who in a new ad saying she's "hunting RINOs."

Daly's ad calls Ellmers a "feminist" and a "RINO" (an acronym for "Republican in Name Only") before she fires her gun at the end of the video. The narrator of the ad accuses Ellmers' for voting "to let homosexuals pretend they're married" and for raising "the debt ceiling twice to pay for abortions in D.C. to fund 'Planned Butcherhood.'"

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[California to Make Cheerleading an Official High School Sport]]> Wed, 07 Oct 2015 16:43:44 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/pom-poms.gif

Gov. Jerry Brown has approved legislation to make competitive cheerleading an official high school sport in California.

The governor on Wednesday announced signing a bill requiring the California Interscholastic Federation to oversee competitive cheerleading as it does other high school sports.

Democratic Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez of San Diego says at least eight other states treat competitive cheerleading as a sport. She says the formal recognition will give the sport the respect and safety standards that athletes deserve.

Her bill, AB949, requires the change by the 2017-18 school year.

Gonzalez is a former high school and college cheerleader.

The Democratic governor previously signed a bill by Gonzalez requiring minimum wage pay and overtime for cheerleaders of professional sports teams.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Hillary Clinton Campaigns in Iowa]]> Wed, 07 Oct 2015 08:16:56 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_293658131134.jpg

Hillary Clinton holds a community forum to affordable health care and the economy in Mount Vernon, Iowa. 

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Man Paints 'Trumpkin']]> Wed, 07 Oct 2015 02:26:19 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/candidate+pumpkins.jpg

What started out as a $5 pumpkin from Walmart became a viral Internet sensation after an Illinois man painted Donald Trump's face on the pumpkin and dubbed it "Trumpkin." 

John Kettman, of La Salle, Illinois, has since painted two more pumpkins with candidates' faces — Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. The three candidates were chosen in part because the excitement they were generating on his Facebook feed.

"This year is very political," Kettman said. "We've got a lot of important topics that are representing different people, too. We've got a surgeon, we've got a billionaire, we've got Hillary Clinton." 

Inspired by his sister, Kettman, who a portrait artist, painted his first pumpkin 22 years ago, he said. He picked up the hobby again about six years ago, and this year he turned political with his gourd art.

Kettman wasn't a complete newcomer to the art form, however. In the past, he dabbled in political cartoons, and he also has a collection of portraits he painted on single grains of rice, including one of Abraham Lincoln and another of Jimmy Fallon.

After the "Trumpkin" went viral, Kettman decided his next candidate portraits would be painted on foam pumpkins instead of real ones, so they'll last longer.

Kettman said he'll likely paint a few more candidates' likenesses on pumpkins, but he hasn't decided on which ones. Ben Carson is a contender, but Kettman said he wants to see what the next poll numbers show.

Photo Credit: John Kettman]]>
<![CDATA[Carson: Loss of Gun Rights 'More Devastating' Than Bullet Wounds]]> Tue, 06 Oct 2015 08:56:59 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_388941844272.jpg

In one of his signature Facebook Q&As Monday night, Ben Carson again weighed in on the Oregon school shooting, writing that he had operated on victims of gun violence "but I never saw a body with bullet holes that was more devastating than taking the right to arm ourselves away," NBC News reported. 

Responding to a question on whether he changed his position on the Second Amendment, Carson suggested new gun-control laws wouldn't solve the problem and accused Democrats of "us[ing] these tragedies to advance a political agenda."

In a separate interview with USA Today released Tuesday, Carson suggested that, if he had a child in kindergarten, he would want school security guards - and even possibly that child's teacher - to be armed.

"If the teacher was trained in the use of that weapon and had access to it, I would be much more comfortable if they had one than if they didn't," he said.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Fremont Man Shot Mom, Cut Out Her Heart: Police]]> Wed, 07 Oct 2015 17:47:55 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/PETTIGEN.jpg

Grisly details have emerged in the case of Omar Malik Pettigen, the 31-year-old Fremont resident suspected of killing his mother in her apartment.

According to a court affidavit by Fremont police Detective Craig Gaches, Pettigen told detectives he assaulted his mother with a tomahawk axe, shot her, stabbed her chest and used a serrated blade knife to cut it open.

Once her chest was cut open, he grabbed her heart with his hand and picked it up and then put it back on her.

He then walked out of the apartment and rented a room at the Fremont Hotel where he stayed for a short time. Pettigen then took BART to San Francisco and rented a room at the Omni Hotel. He even stopped by a friend’s workplace to say hello.

Pettigen told officers he killed his mother because she was killing herself with the oxycodone she had become addicted to due to problems with her hip and knees. He told officers his mother had become crazy and had pointed a gun at him while sitting on her bed, according to court documents.

“I asked how he felt about his actions and he said ‘good,’” Gaches said in the affidavit. “During the interview, Omar did not show any signs of remorse by crying or being upset in any way.”

The Fremont Unified School District has identified Pettigen’s mother as 64-year-old Nailah Pettigen, a retired teacher who taught special education at American High School in Fremont. Pettigen retired in 2013.

Officers who were conducting a welfare check on Nailah Pettigen found her disemboweled in her apartment in the 3900 block of Monroe Avenue around 11 a.m. on Sept 29.

Deputies investigating the scene of the crime believe Nailah Pettigen suffered a gunshot wound to her head and upper torso.

Pettigen was arrested in Kensington in unincorporated Contra Costa County at about 6 a.m. Sunday after police received a call about a suspicious person with a duffel bag on the porch of a home on Lake Drive. Officers found him walking along the road and detained him, police said.

He is being held without bail at the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin and was arraigned in court Tuesday.

Pettigen told officers that he has traveled to Morocco before settling somewhere between the Lake Tahoe and Sacramento area. He said he was living in a tent and working on a marijuana farm.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Fremont Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[2016 Election: Is Rubio the New GOP Favorite?]]> Tue, 06 Oct 2015 05:03:59 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_105374863179.jpg

A series of strong performances on the campaign trail and in the two debates as well as missteps by other candidates have helped improve Marco Rubio's presidential prospects, and some top party operatives say the Florida senator is for now the favorite to win the GOP presidential nomination, NBC News reported. 

The withdrawal of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker eliminated one of the Republicans who, like Rubio, had the potential to appeal to both the establishment and conservative wings of the party. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has not overcome reluctance from the GOP to elect a third president from the same family and has made a number of gaffes on the campaign trail.

Senior Republicans say they still think it is unlikely the party will turn to Donald Trump or Ben Carson, who have led in many polls but have little political experience and have made a number of controversial statements that could hobble them in a general election.

Republicans say Rubio must now withstand media scrutiny of his years as member and eventually speaker of the Florida House of Representatives and as a U.S. senator.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Clinton Ad to Highlight McCarthy Benghazi Comments]]> Tue, 06 Oct 2015 03:47:40 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_293658131134.jpg

Hillary Clinton's first ad to air on national cable will highlight House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy's comments linking the House Benghazi Committee to Clinton's political fortunes, NBC News reported.

In the ad, a narrator says "The Republicans finally admit it" before airing McCarthy's remark that "Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee. What are her numbers today?"

The 30-second ad starts on Tuesday.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Ed Lee to Debate SF Mayoral Candidates]]> Mon, 05 Oct 2015 20:54:22 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/02-24-2014-sf-mayor-ed-lee-ellis-act.jpg

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee has agreed to appear at a comprehensive candidate forum alongside other mayoral candidates.

League of Women Voters San Francisco presents the non-partisan forum, which is free and open to the public, on Thursday at 6:30 pm in Genentech Hall at UCSF Mission Bay. The event will also be live streamed on the League website.

Stuart Schuffman, a candidate who left a note on Lee's office door last week to challenge him to a debate, told NBC Bay Area that the community may submit questions for Thursday's forum to l.edwards@lwvsf.org.

Lee is not expected to be significantly challenged for his position, but Schuffman has formed a coalition with two other mayoral candidates, Amy Farah Weiss and Francisco Javier Herrera Brambila, in order to encourage voters to rank them first, second and third in any order so that they can collectively de-seat him.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Poll: Trump's Lead Narrows as Fiorina, Carson Close In]]> Sun, 04 Oct 2015 07:42:45 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Fiorina-Trump-Carson.jpg

Donald Trump remains ahead in the early Republican nominating contests of Iowa and New Hampshire, but his lead has shrunk from a month ago, according to new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist polls of these two states.

In New Hampshire, Trump holds a five-point advantage over Carly Fiorina among GOP primary voters, 21 percent to 16 percent. But a month ago Trump's lead over the nearest competition in the Granite State (John Kasich) was 16 points, 28 percent to 12 percent.

Trump is ahead of Carson by five points among potential GOP caucus-goers in Iowa, 24 percent to 19 percent - with Fiorina in third at 8 percent. Trump's lead over Carson in the same poll a month ago was seven points.

Meanwhile, in the Democratic race, Hillary Clinton maintains her lead in Iowa with 47 percent support of caucus voters, and Bernie Sanders is still ahead in New Hampshire, leading the former secretary of state by nine points, 48 percent to 39 percent.  

Photo Credit: Getty]]>
<![CDATA[Clinton Campaign Courts Latino Voters]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 21:48:50 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/HilaryClinton-HumanRightsFoundation.jpg

Capitalizing on her still positive polling numbers with Latinos, Democrat Hillary Clinton is making the most of Hispanic Heritage Month to bolster her backing in the community and overall nationally, NBC News reported.

The campaign said Thursday it is launching "Latinos for Hillary" with several events that it will roll out over the next several weeks.

Clinton, the frontrunner early in the 2016 election, has seen her positive ratings drop among all voters and the wide lead over closest rival for the Democratic nomination, Sen. Bernie Sanders, shrink or disappear in New Hampshire and Iowa.

The most recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released this week shows Clinton with a negative popularity rating, 39 percent to 47 percent (-8) favorable/unfavorable among all voters. 

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Bush on School Shooting Reaction: 'Stuff Happens']]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 16:56:12 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_183581022528.jpg

Presidential candidate Jeb Bush drew a rebuke from the president for comments he made Friday about the university shooting that left nine people and a gunman dead in Oregon the day before.

Speaking at a campaign stop in South Carolina, Bush urged caution on the government's reaction to the Umpqua Community College shooting, using the phrase "stuff happens" in reference to crises.

"I resist the notion -- and I had this challenge as governor -- 'cause look, stuff happens, there's always a crisis and the impulse to do something and it's not necessarily the right thing to do," Bush said.

Bush called the shooting "heartbreaking," but was speaking about the larger issue of how to set rules in the face of tragedy. 

"We're taking people's rights away each time we do that and we're not necessarily focusing on the right challenge," he said.

He said "the best laws" are usually at the state level.

Bush's campaign addressed the outrage over his comments in statement:

“It is sad and beyond craven that liberal Democrats, aided and abetted by some in the national media, would dishonestly take Governor Bush’s comments out of context in a cheap attempt to advance their political agenda in the wake of a tragedy. Taking shameless advantage of a horrific tragedy is wrong and only serves to prey on people's emotions.”

President Barack Obama was asked to respond to Bush’s comments at a news conference Friday afternoon.

"I don’t even think I have to react to that one. I think the American people should hear that and make their own judgment based on the fact that every couple of months we have a mass shooting. And they can decide whether they consider that 'stuff happening,'" Obama said.

Bush, pressed by a reporter in Greenville about the phrase "stuff happens," said the choice of wording was not a mistake but about tragedies in general. He cited as an example an "impulse" to pass a law about fencing after a child drowns in a pool. 

Photo Credit: File - AP
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<![CDATA[WATCH: Carly Fiorina Attends Town Hall]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 09:01:51 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_615136142641.jpg

 Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina speaks at a South Carolina town hall.

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Kevin McCarthy Attempts to Clarify Benghazi Comments]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 01:49:43 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_380749363036.jpg

Republican Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Thursday that he never meant to link a congressional investigation into Benghazi to Hillary Clinton's faltering poll numbers, and that the outrage over his remarks has been a setback to his hopes of becoming the next House speaker, NBC News reported.

In an appearance on Fox earlier this week, McCarthy said, "We put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are [Clinton's] numbers today? Her numbers are dropping."

The comment drew criticism from both sides of the aisle, including some of his fellow members of the House GOP.

McCarthy, the favorite to become speaker once John Boehner retires later this year, said the comments have "been a setback," but he is still confident he will have the votes to become the next leader of the House Republicans.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Obama Calls For Gun Reform After Ore. Shooting]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 14:28:09 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/obama-AP_749073385113.jpg

President Barack Obama spoke passionately and with frustration Thursday night after a gunman opened fire on a community college campus in Oregon, killing nine people.

"Somehow this has become routine," Obama said. "My response here, at this podium, is routine. We’ve become numb to this. It cannot be this easy for someone who wants to inflict pain on someone else to get their hands on guns.”

The president called upon Congress to implement what he called common sense gun control laws. He noted that critics would say that he had "politicized" the issue.

"This is something we should politicize— it is relevant to our common life together," he said.

The shooter, 26-year-old Chris Harper Mercer, also wounded at least nine others at the college in Roseburg, before dying himself.

Obama compared the United States to other advanced countries, saying that they changed their gun policies after only "one mass shooting." States with more gun control laws have less gun violence, he said.

Other countries also have people who are mentally ill, but the United States is the only developed country that sees shootings like the one in Oregon every month, the president said.

Obama added that "our thoughts and prayers are not enough."

Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee criticized Obama in a statement on Facebook, saying that his "passion is grossly misplaced into destroying the Second Amendment" and that gun violence is "the fault of evil people doing evil things."

"With few facts, Obama is quick to admittedly politicize this tragedy to advance his liberal, anti-gun agenda," Huckabee wrote. "For this president to make a political pronouncement is at best premature and at worst ignorantly inflammatory."

Ohio governor and Republican presidential candidate John Kasich learned of the shootings during a taped interview with NBC News. He said that "stripping" citizens of their guns won't "get the job done" to prevent these tragedies.

"You can strip all the guns away, but the people who are going to commit crimes or have problems are always going to have the guns," Kasich said. Instead, he criticized the lack of treatment for the mentally ill in order to prevent shootings.

Earlier Thursday, other presidential candidates and politicians tweeted their thoughts and prayers for victims of the shooting.

Republicans Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Lindsey Graham and Kasich and Democrats Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders were among those sending condolences.

Many of the initial messages streered away from the politics of gun control but not all, including Rep. Xavier Becerra, a Democrat from California and chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, who challenged Republicans over gun safety.

Here is additional reaction from other public figures. 

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA['They're Going Back': Trump on Syrian Refugees in U.S.]]> Thu, 01 Oct 2015 04:35:31 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_150044116061.jpg

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump says he’s going to toughen up on Syrian refugees if he wins the upcoming federal election, NBC News reported.

"I'm putting people on notice that are coming here from Syria as part of this mass migration, that if I win, they're going back!" he said at a town hall on Wednesday in Keene, New Hampshire.

The comments are a departure from Trump’s previous, softer remarks about the ongoing refugee crisis. In a speech in Rochester, New Hampshire, two weeks ago, Trump said the U.S. can do something about the crisis, but “we have to get other people to help us.”

This is Trump’s 14th visit to New Hampshire.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Secret Service Apologizes to Rep. Jason Chaffetz ]]> Thu, 01 Oct 2015 02:57:51 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_814422308089.jpg

The Secret Service apologized to Rep. Jason Chaffetz on Wednesday for violating federal privacy law, NBC News reported.

The agency improperly accessed sensitive personal information about him dozens of times in little more than a single week. The handling of his information was confirmed Wednesday in a 29-page report by the inspector general's office of the Department of Homeland Security, which includes the Secret Service.

"It's a bit scary. If they would do this to me, I just, I shuddered to think what they might be doing to other people," he told NBC News. "I'd like to tell you how tough I am, but it's scary, and it's intimidating, and I will continue to investigate the Secret Service and others, but this should have never ever happened."

Chaffetz, R-Utah — who applied to the Secret Service in 2003 — has aggressively pursued allegations of Secret Service misconduct as chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[All 15 GOP Candidates Pay Hefty Fee for S.C.]]> Wed, 30 Sep 2015 12:06:19 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_730791540628.jpg

 All 15 top running Republican presidential candidates have paid the hefty filing fee to qualify for South Carolina's primary. 

The Palmetto State's deadline is the first in the nation and requires the most expensive filing fee in the country: $40,000.

All the major candidates, including low-polling, lesser known candidates such as former Virginia Governor James Gilmore and former New York governor George Pataki have submitted the forms and paid. Pataki was the last one to file, having to overnight a package to the South Carolina Republican Party, which received the package midday on Wednesday.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[More Money, More Problems for 2016 Candidates]]> Wed, 30 Sep 2015 09:10:51 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_233926444912.jpg

How much does money matter in the current presidential contest? So far, not that much — at least in terms of those who have spent the most on TV ads.

According to the latest ad-spending data by NBC partner SMG Delta, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s campaign and super PAC Right to Rise spent a combined $5.4 million on TV ads, followed by $4.9 million by Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s campaign and $4.1 million by Hillary Clinton’s team. Louisiana Gov.Bobby Jindal and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie have shelled out nearly $3 million each on TV ads, money that has not translated to surges in polls.

Meanwhile, like an inverse to the current polling, GOP front-runner Donald Trump and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders — who has made a considerable cut into Clinton’s national lead in the latest NBC News pol l— have spend $0 on TV ads. 

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Poll: Latinos Have 'Very Negative' View of Trump, GOP]]> Wed, 30 Sep 2015 07:18:35 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-463702166.jpg

Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump - and the GOP as a whole - are deeply underwater with American Latinos, a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Telemundo survey shows.

Nearly three in four Latinos say they have a negative view of Trump, with 67 percent saying their view is "very negative." Trump, who has called for mass deportation of undocumented immigrants and has derided opponent Jeb Bush for speaking Spanish at campaign events, gets a thumbs up from just 11 percent of Latinos.

The Republican Party is viewed negatively by a plurality of Latinos as well. More than four in ten have a poor impression of the GOP, compared to 24 percent who view the party positively. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Clinton's Not-So-Subtle Message to Sanders]]> Tue, 29 Sep 2015 04:47:15 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_6845836253611.jpg

Even though the first Democratic presidential debate is just two weeks away, frontrunner Hillary Clinton isn’t engaging with opponent Bernie Sanders, NBC News reported.

Clinton hasn’t even mentioned Sanders’ name while on the campaign trail, but did point out some of his weaknesses in an interview with NBC/MSNBC's Chuck Todd.

"Well, I'm not in any way going to criticize Sen. Sanders," Clinton told Todd in an interview for the new MSNBC show "MTP Daily." "And he's running a great campaign and I respect that."

During the interview, Clinton said Democratic lawmakers have lined up behind her, not him.

Photo Credit: AP]]>