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This Week on the Campaign Trail

Overview

This week, President Barack Obama delivered his final State of the Union address, offering the American people an optimistic vision for the future of the country. But he also made it clear just how far we’ve come since the last Republican president left office, when our country was losing 800,000 jobs a month, families were losing their homes as foreclosure signs popped up on every block, and too many Americans had to face bankruptcy just to pay for healthcare. The president was widely praised for delivering a hopeful and inspiring message – one that stands in stark contrast to the doom and gloom that Republicans have been spewing on the campaign trail.

Later in the week, Americans saw that doom and gloom featured on stage during two Republican presidential debates in South Carolina. The Republican candidates shouted, bullied each other, told flat-out lies, and failed to hold a substantive discussion.  The only thing the candidates seemed to agree on was that they want to undo the progress we’ve seen after seven years of the Obama administration. In short, Republicans made one thing crystal clear: if we want to move America forward, we must elect a Democrat to be the next president of the United States.

DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz released a statement following the gloomy GOP debate, which reads in part: “The American people deserve better. They have worked too hard to finally climb out of the recession that the last Republican president left behind. We’ve come too far – from losing 8 million jobs in the Bush recession to creating 14 million new ones with a Democrat in the White House.”

Thankfully, the serious, substantive ideas that our Democratic candidates have to offer to keep America moving forward will be on full display this Sunday night at our debate in South Carolina. Make sure to tune into NBC at 9 pm ET!

2016 Republican Presidential Candidates

Marco Rubio 

There’s no other way to put it: Marco Rubio had a terrible week. It all started Monday, when, believe it or not, he actually decided to show up for work to attend a classified briefing on North Korea. But let’s be clear about two important details: first, he missed about 80 percent of the briefing, and second, he only decided to attend after getting called out by the press for scheduling a fundraiser during the briefing. He clearly would’ve preferred raising money and rubbing elbows with donors to doing his job and keeping up-to-date with serious national security issues. As if that wasn’t bad enough, later in the week, Marco Rubio was once again called out — this time by one of his fellow Republicans. South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley slammed Rubio for his position on immigration. This, of course, is just the latest example of Republican incoherence on immigration and a setback for Rubio, who has a long history of distorting his record on the issue for political gain. Finally, during the Republican presidential debate, Rubio recklessly argued against commonsense measures that would protect Americans from gun violence, saying “we cannot afford to have a president of the United States that supports gun control,” and that “about every two weeks” the President “holds a press conference talking about how he can’t wait to restrict people’s access to guns.” It’s crystal clear that Rubio isn’t ready to be our next Commander-in-Chief. 

Ted Cruz 

As for Senator Ted Cruz, on Tuesday he decided to skip President Obama’s State of the Union address. That takes some nerve for a member of congress, but it’s especially hypocritical of Cruz, who made the country listen to a 21-hour filibuster justifying a government shutdown that cost our economy $24 billion. Then on Thursday, following the Republican presidential debate, Cruz went on Fox Business and said this: “There are always nuts who will sue any president. And yes, whoever the president is will have a gazillion suits by a gazillion nuts.” Funny you should say that, Senator Cruz – we found stories about some of the nuts that fit your description here. And, of course, let’s not forget that Cruz was taken to task this week for the story he’s told repeatedly about making sacrifices with his wife to start his U.S. Senate campaign, which is not so accurate after all.

Chris Christie

Chris Christie spends so much time on the campaign trail nowadays, specifically in New Hampshire, that it’s easy to forget he’s still the governor of New Jersey. But despite all his travels he is still technically the Chief Executive of the Garden State, so this week he had to deliver a State of the State address. And what did he have to say? Nothing good. Here’s a quick look at just how damaging his policies have been for his constituents.

Latest Polling

  • According to a poll conducted by CNN/ ORC, 53% of viewers had a “very positive” reaction to the President’s speech, matching the highest rating of his presidency reached following his 2013 address.
  • According to a poll conducted by The Hill, two thirds of GOP voters could imagine backing Trump as a presidential candidate.
  • According to a poll conducted by Quinnipiac University, nominee Donald Trump is leading the polls in Iowa with 31 percent.

What people are writing in the states

·       On Monday, Sen. Karen Carter Peterson, chairwoman of the Louisiana Democratic Party, released the following statement on Governor John Bel Edwards’ inauguration: “Repairing the damage done by eight years of failed Jindal policies won’t happen overnight, but we believe Gov. Edwards will rise to the challenge and offer the kind of leadership our state deserves. It’s the beginning of a new day for Louisiana.” Read the full press release here.

·       On Tuesday, Nevada State Democratic Party Chair Roberta Lange released the following statement in response to President Obama’s State of the Union Address: “Tonight’s State of the Union address reminded Democrats how important it is to get involved in this election so that we continue President Obama’s achievements on everything from reforming our health care system and protecting LGBT Americans to acting on climate change and ending two wars.” Read the full press release here.

·       On Friday, the Iowa Democratic Party released the following statement on Trump’s visit to the Hawkeye state: “Donald Trump’s return to Iowa today, where he remains a favorite on Caucus night, is marked by his increasing support from the establishment wing of the Iowa Republican Party.” Read the full press release here.

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