Every presidential nominee over the past four decades has released his tax returns for all to devour, but Donald Trump says his effective tax rate is “none of your business”. That snippy response to an ABC interviewer’s question dominated the presidential news.
He did say “you’ll see it when I release it’, then added something that has got less attention: “I fight very hard to pay as little tax as possible.” That’s hardly unusual coming from a canny billionaire, but it carries a certain irony as Trump doesn’t seem to think it’s OK for other businesses to do the same thing. Read more
The Trumpistan rollercoaster is running at full tilt. Paul Ryan, the Republican speaker of the House of Representatives, declared that he was “not ready” to endorse Trump. Given that Ryan is the most powerful and most popular Republican in the country, that is a blow to Trump who claims that he wants to unify the party. Trump hit back by saying that he was “not ready” to support Ryan’s agenda.
Trump also reversed policy on accepting big donations and revealed that a former Goldman Sachs partner would help him raise money. That is a stunning development as, over the past three months, most of the people I have talked to at Trump rallies have listed the tycoon mostly funding his own campaign as one of the reasons that they were supporting him. Trump needs a lot of money to compete against Hillary Clinton, but he also risks losing some of his core support unless he can convince people, once again, that he is Houdini. Read more
Are we headed for a Trump vs. Clinton general election race?
The latest round of the US presidential election has seen big victories for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. So is it now all-but-certain that we are looking at a Trump-Clinton contest in November? The FT’s digital comment editor Sebastian Payne puts the question to Gideon Rachman and Washington bureau chief Demetri Sevastopulo.
Bernie Sanders brought his “Feel the Bern” revolution to Gettysburg where Abraham Lincoln delivered one of the most famous speeches in US history. Playing tag-team with Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, a rising star in the Democratic party, he recited part of Lincoln’s 1863 Gettysburg Address: “This nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.” Watch his speech for yourself.
Sanders frequently talks about the need to reform the criminal justice system. In Gettysburg, he lambasted a system that allows private companies to run prisons. He also reminded the packed room about the infamous “kids for cash” scandal in the state that involved a businessman who ran prisons bribing a judge to send more business – jailed kids – in his direction. Read more
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Donald Trump is hoping for a big victory in the Republican primary in New York tomorrow to erase the painful memories of the past few weeks, which have included losses to Ted Cruz in Utah and Wisconsin. The Texan has also vacuumed up, and locked in, delegates in states in ways that will help him if the GOP presidential battle ends up in a contested convention. Read more
After a rough and tumble debate with Hillary Clinton on Thursday night in Brooklyn, Bernie Sanders flew overnight to Rome for a conference on inequality where he was scheduled to meet Pope Francis. Unfortunately for Sanders, whose trip cost him two days of valuable campaigning time in New York: the pontiff had to cancel the meeting to travel to Greece.
Instead of a photo-op with one of the strongest voices for tackling inequality, Sanders ended up sitting beside Evo Morales, the leftist president of Bolivia, whose appearance in the same shot probably does not help Sanders an awful lot with American voters. Read more
Donald Trump has had a tough few weeks. He was hammered in Utah and Wisconsin and failed to win any delegates in Colorado which has a complicated multi-tiered electoral process that the tycoon says shows that the system is “rigged” against outsiders like him. But he is heading into the New York primary on Tuesday with a commanding lead of more than 30 points over John Kasich and roughly 35 points over his main rival, Ted Cruz. Trump also learned today that Florida prosecutors have decided not to prosecute his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, who had beencharged with “battery” for allegedly manhandling a female reporter at a rally.
Cruz appeared with his wife Heidi, a Goldman Sachs banker, and their two young daughters at a CNN town-hall debate last night. The presence of the children helped humanise Cruz who is sometimes compared to a vampire and has almost no friends in Washington. This is just one of the jokes about Cruz in the US capitol: “Why do people take an instant dislike to Ted Cruz? Because it saves time!” Read more
Paul Ryan, the popular House Speaker, poured cold water on the idea that he would rescue his party from Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, the main rivals for the Republican nomination, at July’s convention in Cleveland. Trying to end speculation about his ambitions, he said he would not accept the nomination should the Republican race end up being decided by a contested convention in July.
“Let me be clear. I do not want, nor will I accept the nomination for our party,” the 46-year old Wisconsin congressman declared following a trip to the Middle East where he was repeatedly quizzed about the 2016 race. Read more
Donald Trump has a big poll lead in New York ahead of the April 19 primaries in the Empire State. But the mogul revealed on Monday that he has already lost the votes of two key supporters: his children Ivanka and Eric. The pair were not registered as Republicans and failed to meet the registration deadline. “They had a long time to register, and they were, you know, unaware of the rules, and they didn’t register in time,” Trump told Fox News. “So they feel very, very guilty.” Watch the interview in which he also poured cold water on suggestions that he would pick Ivanka as his VP.
Trump lashed out at the GOP electoral process after Ted Cruz won most of the delegates in Colorado over the weekend. The Texas senator notched up 34 delegates in the state where voters are excluded from a process in which party members pick the representatives that will head to the Republican convention in Cleveland. “That is not the way that democracy is supposed to work,” Trump railed. “The system is rigged. It is crooked.” Read more
The 2016 political circus is travelling to the Big Apple, and some candidates are surviving the move better than others. On Thursday, Ted Cruz got a Bronx cheer from the New York Daily News. “Honey, how do we get out of the Bronx…Take the F-U Train, Ted!” read the paper’s front page, emblazoned with a photograph of Cruz and his wife Heidi. Read more
Donald Trump had a terrible night on Tuesday, although you would not know that from his Twitter feed, which went uncharacteristically dark for hours after it emerged that Ted Cruz had crushed him in Wisconsin, aka the Badger State. Looking beyond the headline results should make the tycoon even more concerned, as his Texas rival has started making inroads into some groups – lower-educated and lower-income voters – that had been fertile terrain for Mr Trump.
The creator of this Trump colouring book may need to add some kryptonite to the superhero image of the billionaire on the cover. As for Mr Cruz’s image, he likes to make a virtue out of the fact that he is anti-establishment (which has inspired T-shirts like this), but the Texan may need to change his tune now that the establishment is coming on board to defeat Trump. Read more
After a 10-day lull in the primary calendar, we are back to the races with Tuesday’s Democratic and Republican primaries in Wisconsin. Over the past week, the parties’ contenders have fought it out in Wisconsin, aka “America’s Dairyland” – a key battleground. Read more
April Fools! These aren’t your real candidates. Oh, wait.
For every 2016-themed April Fools meme dominating the internet, there is yet another reminder that this campaign is very much for real. Read more
Ted Cruz is famous for having almost zero friends in Washington. But the Texas senator seems happy with that situation and is not about to add Donald Trump to his circle even after the New York property mogul visited the US capital to attempt to build bridges with the Republican Party. Appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Wednesday night, Cruz was asked whether he preferred President Barack Obama or Trump more. Here was his response:
“I dislike Obama’s policies more, but Donald is a unique individual,” Cruz told the comedian. “If I were in my car and getting ready to reverse and saw Donald in the backup camera, I’m not confident which pedal I would push.” Read more
On Super Tuesday 2, the five primary races — in Florida, Ohio, Illinois, Missouri and North Carolina — helped to draw the contours of the nomination for the White House. Donald Trump knocked Marco Rubio out of the Republican race by winning Florida and three more states, reinforcing his status as the party frontrunner, but lost to John Kasich in Ohio, complicating his path to Washington. Hillary Clinton secured overwhelming victories in Florida, Ohio and North Carolina, and a far narrower win in Illinois, putting her much closer to securing the Democratic nomination.Track the results and reaction as it happened:
The Republican debate on Thursday elevated farce to new heights. Donald Trump raised eyebrows when he hit back at earlier innuendo by Marco Rubio about his masculinity.
“He referred to my hands [suggesting that] if they are small, something else must be small. I guarantee you there is no problem. I guarantee,” he told the roughly 17m viewers who tuned in to the debate. Read more
Just when you thought the White House race could not get any uglier, Mitt Romney, the patrician former Republican presidential nominee, took direct aim at Donald Trump, the clear GOP frontrunner following Super Tuesday.
Mr Romney skewered Mr Trump, calling him a “fraud” who was unfit to serve as president. Read our story for the full attack, but here is a taster: “There is dark irony in his boasts of his sexual exploits during the Vietnam War while John McCain, whom he has mocked, was imprisoned and tortured.” Read more
Donald Trump is the only story in town. As I write in a hotel in Boca Raton, the punters at the bar are waxing lyrical about the billionaire who last night said he felt “awfully good” at his plush resort just up the coast. Trump will now focus on winning Florida on March 15 to try to deliver a fatal blow to Marco Rubio, the young Cuban-American from the Sunshine State, who was the great hope of the establishment but has only won one state so far, Minnesota.
The Republican establishment is in complete shock over the state of the race, which has widened the deep fissures in the party of Reagan. Read our story on how a group of Republican foreign policy experts, including former deputy secretary of state Robert Zoellick, are about to release a harsh attack on Mr Trump. Read more
(Charleston, South Carolina) Jeb Bush is wobbling. The last thing he needed the day before the crucial South Carolina primary was headlines like “Bush machine running on fumes” about his campaign coffers running dry and reports that – barring a miraculous surge in the state – friends will soon urge him to quit the race to clear the way for Marco Rubio.
That would narrow the establishment field to two: John Kasich, the Ohio governor whose relatively moderate stance makes him a difficult sell to conservatives in the Bible Belt states that dominate the Super Tuesday grouping of primaries on March 1, and Rubio. Mainstream Republicans increasingly view Rubio, a 44-year-old telegenic Cuban-American, as the candidate with the best chance of beating Donald Trump and Ted Cruz and giving the GOP its best shot at winning the White House in November. Read more
Hillary Clinton faced her next big challenge in her quest for the 2016 US presidential race with an appearance before a Republican led congressional committee to testify about the 2012 Benghazi attack that left four Americans dead, including US ambassador Christopher Stevens. Barney Jopson followed the action from Washington with Demetri Sevastopulo, DC Bureau Chief and Emiliya Mychasuk, US Online News Editor. A link to the live stream of the hearing is here