Pa. Republicans Favor Trump, Carson

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Good morning, Philadelphia. Here’s what you need to know today.

Donald Trump and Ben Carson are tied for first among Pennsylvania Republicans.

Looks like Keystone State Republicans are as enamored of “outsider candidates” as their brethren across the country, according to a new poll from Mercyhurst University. Trump and Carson share the lead among Pennsylvania Republicans, with 18 percent each. In third place? Jeb Bush, at a mere 9 percent.

“Indeed, Pennsylvania Republicans express a clear preference for a nominee who is a political outsider,” the pollsters report. “When asked how important it is that the Republican nominee for president be an outsider, a solid majority (57 percent) said it was important (21 percent “very important,” 36 percent “somewhat important”). “ Fun fact: Zero percent of state Republicans said Congress is doing an excellent job. Read more »

Report: Chris Christie Uses An AOL Email Address

clinton - christie

Chris Christie is not going to win the Republican presidential nomination. He’s in the single digits in nearly every poll, statewide and nationally, and he trails at least seven candidates. Even a well-regarded second debate from the New Jersey governor hasn’t moved him in the polls. He trails Donald Trump among New Jersey Republicans. Et cetera.

The guy a lot of people thought should run in 2012 is now a 2016 afterthought. That doesn’t mean he’s any less fun to write about. Just yesterday on ABC’s This Week Christie said he would “rather jump off the Brooklyn Bridge than be in Congress.” That talk should win him points with the “those clowns in Congress” crowd!

This comes on the heels of last week, when Christie called residents of Margate “amongst the most selfish people in the state of New Jersey” for opposing a dunes project that would fight beach erosion. He stopped short of invoking the health of Lucy the Elephant, however. Read more »

Chaput Slams Trump on Immigration

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Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput assailed GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump on Tuesday, saying Trump’s rhetoric on immigration “plays on our worst fears and resentments.”

The comments were reported by the Associated Press, which said they were “prepared for a church forum that was part of the run-up of activities to a visit by Pope Francis.”

In those comments, Chaput disputed Trump’s proposal to end “birthright citizenship” — the automatic granting of citizenship to babies born on American soil, even if their parents are illegally.

“This is a profoundly bad idea,” Chaput said. Read more »

What Can Joe Biden Learn From Five Pennsylvania Presidential Losers?

From left: James Buchanan, Arlen Specter, Joe Biden, Rick Santorum, William Scott Hancock.

From left: James Buchanan, Arlen Specter, Joe Biden, Rick Santorum, William Scott Hancock.

Pennsylvania has long been regarded as a kingmaker when it comes to presidential politics — we still get awarded “swing state” status by pundits even though it’s been a generation since the state swung to Republicans in a presidential election. But we do a lousy job of electing our own.

The only native of the Keystone State to actually win the presidency? James Buchanan. You might remember him from his stint as The Worst President in American History. (That tends to happen when you stand by and let the nation devolve into ugly, bloody Civil War.) As Joe Biden — Scranton native, longtime U.S. senator from neighboring Delaware (aka “Pennsylvania’s third senator“)  — contemplates his own run for the presidency, he might want to consider the woes that have befallen his predecessors.

Here are five notable Pennsylvanians who failed to win the White House: Read more »

Biden Pondering Presidential Run


Vice President Joe Biden — the Scranton native and former longtime U.S. Senator from Delaware — is pondering a late entry into the 2016 presidential race, multiple reports say.

“Vice President Joe Biden met privately with Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Saturday in his residence at the Naval Observatory, CNN has learned, another sign he is seriously deciding whether to jump into the Democratic presidential race,” CNN reports. “Warren and Biden discussed economic policy during a meeting that lasted about two hours, a person familiar with the discussion told CNN, adding that the presidential campaign or Biden’s future was not a particular focus of the discussion.” Read more »

Rand Paul Has a (Very) Rich Friend in Philadelphia

Kentucky senator Rand Paul has received major support for a Bala Cynwyd tycoon.

Kentucky senator Rand Paul has received major support for a Bala Cynwyd tycoon.

If Kentucky senator Rand Paul somehow makes it all the way to the Oval Office — though the prospects of that are looking a bit slimmer than they were not long ago — we know one guy who will probably have a direct line to the big desk: Jeff Yass, the mysterious super-rich man behind Bala Cynwyd’s almost equally mysterious Susquehanna International Group. Read more »

GOP Candidate Hates Rap So Much He Tossed a Roots CD Out His Car Window

Photo by Marc Nozell / Flickr

Photo by Marc Nozell / Flickr

John Kasich is the governor of Ohio. Last week, he joined the enormous, Donald Trump-dominated field for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

And he really hates The Roots.

Via the Cincinnati Enquirer comes the story that Kasich, 63, wrote in his 2006 book Stand for Something: The Battle for America’s Soul. According to Think Progress, he wrote he wanted to “give hip-hop a fair shake,” but quickly determined The Roots were not for him: Read more »

Chris Christie Forsakes Bruce Springsteen

Christie 2016 campaign video

Et tu, Bruce?

Chris Christie is a Bruce Springsteen fan. This has been one of the more charming parts of the Jersey governor’s prickly personality for the last few years, even if it sometimes seemed to discomfit The Boss himself.

But now Christie has committed what The Daily Beast calls his “biggest flip-flop” ever: He told a website he prefers Bon Jovi to Bruce.

“In an interview with Lifezette, right-wing radio darling Laura Ingraham’s website, Christie and his wife, Mary Pat, confessed they now favor Bon Jovi. ‘This is a hard one,’ Mary Pat said when the interviewer asked her to choose. She ultimately decided ‘Bon Jovi.’ Christie, sitting next to Mary Pat, paused and smirked. ‘Bon Jovi,’ he answered.”

We’d already noted the surprising answer on our entertainment blog, Ticket, but the media is treating the revelation like a big deal: Read more »

We Owe Mr. Trump a Big “Thank You”

Developer Donald Trump displays a copy of his net worth during his announcement that he will seek the Republican nomination for president, Tuesday, June 16, 2015, in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Developer Donald Trump displays a copy of his net worth during his announcement that he will seek the Republican nomination for president, Tuesday, June 16, 2015, in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Now, more than ever, I’m a huge fan of Donald Trump.

The guy’s having a tough week, to be sure, but as NBC cuts their ties with The Apprentice host and the GOP tries to avoid eye contact in the hallway, I’ve come around. While he left a little to be desired as a reality TV star and is just plain creepy as a Miss USA overlord, as a presidential candidate, I can finally understand his value.

Read more »

Chris Christie Announces Presidential Run

Christie 2016 campaign video


Speaking at his high school alma mater in Livingston, New Jersey, Chris Christie officially announced his bid for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination today.

“This country needs to work together, not against each other,” he said. “We must tell each other the truth about the problems we have and the difficulty of the solution.… Truth and hard decisions today will lead to growth and opportunity tomorrow for every American in this country.… We are going to tell it like it is today so we can create a better opportunity for every American tomorrow. The truth will set us free, everybody.”

Christie didn’t really expand on what those truths are, but added that “our government isn’t working any more for us… and it’s the fault of our bickering leaders.” Christie leaned heavily on his six years as governor of New Jersey in his announcement, singling out the overhaul of teacher tenure. “Not only can you govern this state, you can lead it to a better day,” he said.

So what kind of campaign is Christie going to run? He said the usual: He’d be an honest, blunt campaigner. He said he wouldn’t be focus-grouping his answers, and would not rely on political consultants to give him his answers to questions. He said the country was anxious, adding “that anxiety can be swept away by strong leadership.” He tried to strike a bipartisan, anti-Washington tone, talking (in vague terms) about the failures of both Republicans and Democrats.

Christie joins a crowded field. There are currently 14 Republican candidates for the presidency, another declaring next month and a few others expected to join the field. His popularity has slid since 2012, and he appears to have no real path to the presidency. Read more »

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