Trump Vows to Counter Attack Ads With Social Media

Republicans not named "Donald J. Trump" are throwing everything they can at the GOP front-runner. The growing anti-Trump movement is pouring more than $10 million into ads targeting the real estate mogul in the upcoming primary battleground states of Illinois and Florida in an effort to stymie Trump's momentum. But Trump, who has continually turned the conventional campaign wisdom on its head this race, is hoping to use the anti-Trump ads against his rivals with a much cheaper—but so far effective—medium: his social media accounts.

Trump did not dominate Super Saturday the way he did Super Tuesday last week. Though he won states like Kentucky and Louisiana, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas performed well enough to keep Trump's candidacy on this side of inevitability. Trump has now turned his attention to the next round of important primaries—perhaps none so pivotal as the Florida primary on March 15—using, of course, his Twitter account.

Trump is hoping to turn his Twitter fingers into trigger fingers and aim squarely at Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and the rest of the GOP establishment. In a series of tweets on Monday morning, Trump vowed to use Facebook and Twitter to combat commercials aired by other candidates using more traditional media and, more specifically, to "expose dishonest lightweight Senator Marco Rubio."

Trump has had success posting bombastic comments on platforms such as Instagram and Twitter, while his competitors spend much more money on television and radio ads. But with Trump struggling among late-deciding voters, it's not clear that doubling down on his social media strategy will succeed in countering a moneyed advertising blitz.

In thirty-eight US states, women are required by law to receive abortion counseling from their physician before undergoing the procedure. But often these women are getting medically inaccurate and misleading information about the procedure from government-authored informational brochures, according to a new study from Rutgers University.

Informed consent laws became popular among state legislatures after the Supreme Court's 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision, which said, among other things, that states could require abortion counseling to ensure women's decisions are "informed." Though the laws vary state by state, they most commonly require that an abortion physician give women, either verbally or in writing, specific, state-authored information on gestational development, physical characteristics of the fetus, and risks associated with abortion. The laws often go hand-in-hand with waiting period requirements. In Missouri, for example, a 2014 law requires that women receive in-person counseling on abortion 72 hours ahead of the appointment.

"States say women are ignorant of the health risks of abortion and the development of the fetus, so these laws will inform them" says Cynthia R. Daniels, a political science professor at Rutgers and the study's lead author. "That's justified because lawmakers say women often come to regret their decision, so counseling will help them avoid regret."

But nearly one-third of that counseling, and over 40 percent in some states, includes information that's scientifically or medically inaccurate, according to Daniels' report. To study the counseling, Daniels and her team compiled the informed consent brochures from 23 states and brought in a team of experts in embryonic and fetal development from the American Association of Anatomists to review the material and rate each statement of fact for scientific and biological accuracy as well as the extent to which the statement is misleading.

The researchers found that just over 40 percent of information in the materials, which are prepared by the state and given to doctors, is completely accurate, and that 31 percent of that information is inaccurate (the remaining 27 percent were rated more accurate than inaccurate). Thirty-three percent of the materials was also misleading, meaning it gives the wrong impression, according to the researchers.

The highest percentage of inaccuracies were related to the first trimester of pregnancy, when 90 percent of abortions occur. In Michigan, where informational texts were 45 percent inaccurate, women learn that in the fourth week of pregnancy, the embryo's head forms, by week six brain activity can be recorded and the fetus's eyes open, and by the twelfth week, soft nails have grown on the fingers and toes. And in North Carolina, women read that by six weeks "the heart is pumping the embryo's own blood to the brain and body," and by week nine, the hands move and the neck turns. The researchers rated each of these statements as completely inaccurate.

"This is giving people the wrong impression of what is happening to them" says Grace Howard, a PhD candidate at Rutgers and one of the study's authors. "It also undermines the legitimacy of the medical profession, because physicians are being compelled by law to make these inaccurate statements."

Daniels and Howard also say that, given the level of misinformation, the state-authored brochures may be unconstitutional. Though the Supreme Court's 1992 Casey decision upheld the constitutionality of informed consent laws, the content also must be "truthful and not misleading" and designed "to convey only accurate scientific information about the unborn child."

"There aren't many of us who would want a state legislator sitting in our doctor's office with us," says Daniels, "We want to feel that relationship is unconstrained by politics, and this study suggests they are not."

 

Donald Trump, Don't Take the BaitThe "machine's" deception and nonsensical attack on Trump isn't really an attack on the candidate, it's an attack on conscientious, hardworking, patriotic Americans who know we need a revolution to stop the complicit politicians who are fundamentally transforming America. We found the revolutionary. Donald Trump is the shock the Permanent Political Class needs to wake them up... to destroy their selfish cabal... to respect the will of the people... to make America safe and solvent... to make America great again. Don't take the bait, Mr. Trump. It's not about you. It's about us. And we've got your back. - Sarah Palin https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=zSpQaqoTnnMhttp://theconservativetreehouse.com/

Posted by Sarah Palin on Thursday, March 3, 2016

Since receiving her endorsement prior to the Iowa caucus, the Donald Trump campaign has kept its Sarah Palin card close to the vest, but Mitt Romney's Thursday morning rebuke of the GOP front-runner spurred Palin to return fire.

The video, posted to Palin's Facebook page, calls into question Romney's credentials as a "great conservative."

"The 'machine's' deception and nonsensical attack on Trump isn't really an attack on the candidate," Palin wrote under the Facebook video, "it's an attack on conscientious, hardworking, patriotic Americans who know we need a revolution to stop the complicit politicians who are fundamentally transforming America. We found the revolutionary. Donald Trump is the shock the Permanent Political Class needs to wake them up…to destroy their selfish cabal…to respect the will of the people…to make America safe and solvent…to make America great again."

"Don't take the bait, Mr. Trump. It's not about you. It's about us. And we've got your back."

Donald Trump addressed a frenzied crowd in Portland, Maine, on Thursday afternoon during a campaign press conference.

The GOP front-runner hit all his usual marks—calls for building a border wall and deporting undocumented immigrants, reading polls from pieces of paper he pulls from his inside jacket pocket—but devoted a fair chunk of his time to lashing back against former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who publicly criticized Trump and questioned whether he was fit to be president.

"Mitt is a failed candidate. He failed. He failed horribly," Trump said in response to Romney's criticism.

"Mitt is a failed candidate. He failed. He failed horribly," Trump said. "That was a race—I have to say, folks—that should have been won. That was a race that absolutely should have been won. He disappeared, and I wasn't happy about it, to be honest, because I am not a fan of Barack Obama."

Romney had begged for his support, Trump claimed, during Romney's bid to unseat President Obama in 2012: "You can see how loyal he was, he was begging for my endorsement. I could have said, 'Drop to your knees!' and he would have dropped to his knees."

Trump also claimed he intimidated Romney, who "choked" and "chickened out" of running for president in 2016.

Romney responded to Trump's comments in a tweet posted on 2:13 p.m. Eastern.

Responding to recent criticism that he has been overly occupied with Donald Trump's presidential campaign, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie held a press conference on Thursday to defend his recent endorsement of the real estate magnate and reassure his state's residents that he remains focused on the state's agenda.

"I am not a full-time surrogate for Donald Trump," Christie said. "I do not have a title or position in the Trump campaign. I am an endorser."

Since Christie shocked the political world by by endorsing the GOP presidential front-runner—a move that gave establishment cred to Trump's outsider campaign—several newspapers in New Jersey have derided Christie and called on him to resign, pointing to his extended absences from Trenton.

Christie's endorsement of Trump has won him no praise within Republican circles. And on Super Tuesday night, when Trump racked up a string of significant victories, Christie appeared less than thrilled to be up on stage with him. He was wildly mocked on social media for looking like a hostage or a fellow with a profound case of buyer's remorse. (Read this.)

Hogwash, Christie declared at the press conference: "I was standing there listening to him. All those arm-chair psychiatrists should give it a break. No, I wasn't being held hostage."

Still, he felt it was necessary to deny it.

Conservatives Defend Trump Over KKK Dodge

Last Sunday, Donald Trump declined to disavow David Duke, a white supremacist and former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan who asked his supporters to back Trump for president. The next day, Trump blamed his response on a bad earpiece garbling the question. It wasn't until Thursday morning that he finally came around to condemning Duke. By then, the media and Trump's GOP rivals had spent five days attacking Trump over the issue and hand-wringing about the state of the Republican Party. "So is this how the party of Abraham Lincoln dies?" asked Joe Scarborough, the conservative co-host of MSNBC's Morning Joe.

But the fact that it took Trump days to condemn a white supremacist didn't faze many Republican voters at the Conservative Political Action Conference, the annual conservative gathering just outside of Washington, DC.

"Ridiculous," said Sharon Begosh, 54, of Maryland, when asked about the furor over Trump's response to the David Duke question last week. She's pretty sure Trump didn't hear the question correctly. "There's not a racist bone in his body," she said.

Begosh, who is supporting Cruz, said the Duke controversy is an example of people playing the "race card" when they have nothing else on their political opponents.

"The Ku Klux Klan won't rise again," said Grace Hagerty, 83, of Virginia, who voted for Trump on Super Tuesday.

While pundits have pointed to Trump's KKK dodge as evidence that the Republican front-runner is riling up racist elements in the party, CPAC attendees saw it differently. One of the most common responses to questions about the Duke issue was that politicians simply are not responsible for who their supporters are or what they believe.

"I don't think you can control who your supporters are," said Nestor Riano, 53, of Minnesota.

Brian Bledsoe, 35, of Texas echoed that sentiment. "Can't blame the candidate about who's supporting him," he said.

 

Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney slammed Donald Trump on Thursday as "a phony" and "a fraud," urging fellow Republicans to disavow the real estate magnate's bid for the White House.

"His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University," Romney said at the University of Utah. "He's playing the American public for suckers. He gets a free ride to the White House and all we get is a lousy hat."

Romney went on to make the case against Trump's increasingly likely nomination, arguing that it would hurt the Republican Party and ultimately mean a loss to Hillary Clinton in the general election. Romney's speech represents a larger effort by Republican leaders to put an end to Trump's momentum.

The blistering remarks, which took aim at Trump's economic promises, foreign policy plans, and character, come just two days after Trump's overwhelming Super Tuesday victories in the Republican primaries.

"Dishonesty is Donald Trump's hallmark," Romney told the crowd.

Responding to excerpts of the speech that were released early, Trump hit back at the former Massachusetts governor with the following tweets, including a reminder that Romney embraced Trump's support back when Romney was running for president:

In his speech, Romney referred to these tweets as an example of Trump's lack of "suitability" to be president. He somehow neglected to mention any of this when he accepted Trump's endorsement back in 2012.

Brian Cahn/ZUMA

After briefly taking the lead in the Republican primary race in the fall, Ben Carson's campaign is basically over. He is currently in last place in the GOP primary. On Wednesday, the neurosurgeon sent a statement to supporters informing them that he sees no "path forward" to the nomination and that he will not attend Thursday night's GOP debate.

So he's dropping out, right? That is actually unclear. As the Washington Post put it:

Carson, however, will not formally suspend his campaign. Instead, the Republicans said, he has decided to make a speech about his political future on Friday at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland, just outside of Washington.

Carson is scheduled to speak at CPAC on Friday afternoon.

Here's Carson's full message to his supporters:

As one of my most dedicated supporters, I wanted you to hear this directly from me.

I have decided not to attend the Fox News GOP Presidential Debate tomorrow night in Detroit.

Even though I will not be in my hometown of Detroit on Thursday, I remain deeply committed to my home nation, America.

I do not see a political path forward in light of last evening's Super Tuesday primary results.

However, this grassroots movement on behalf of "We the People" will continue.

Along with millions of patriots who have supported my campaign for President, I remain committed to saving America for future generations. We must not depart from our goals to restore what God and our Founders intended for this exceptional nation.

I appreciate the support, financial and otherwise, from all corners of America.

Gratefully, my campaign decisions are not constrained by finances; rather by what is in the best interest of the American people.

I will discuss more about the future of this movement during my speech on Friday at CPAC in Washington, D.C.

Thank you for everything.

Sincerely,

Ben Carson

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously voted Tuesday to raise the legal age to buy cigarettes and e-cigarettes to 21. The city joins more than 120 others, including New York City and Boston, that have enacted similar legislation.

Supervisor Scott Weiner, who cosponsored the legislation, argues that restricting access to cigarettes helps reduce the likelihood of getting hooked in the first place. A 2015 report from the Institute of Medicine, for example, found that 90 percent of daily smokers started before 19.

But Tom Briant, executive director of the National Association of Tobacco Outlets (that's right, NATO), notes that California law not only stipulates that the smoking age is 18, but specifies that state law preempts local legislation: "No city, county, or city and county shall adopt any ordinance or regulation inconsistent with this section," it reads. A measure to raise the smoking age 21 across the state stalled in the state assembly last year.

Two other California cities that passed similar legislation have veered in different directions: Healdsburg, in Sonoma County, suspended enforcement of the raised age limit after threats of litigation from NATO. Meanwhile, Santa Clara continues to enforce its age limit of 21.

Wiener is unfazed by potential challenges, reports KQED: "Our city has a history of taking on major industries in the name of public health, in the name of consumers, and winning. And we will do so here."

Donald Trump supporters were seen attacking and shoving a young black woman out of a Super Tuesday rally in Louisville, Kentucky, last night. The incident, which was recorded and posted on social media by a local television reporter, is the latest in a string of events for the Republican front-runner that have turned violent. Several men are seen shoving the woman until she stumbles, as others cheer.

The video comes a day after a Time photographer was seen being manhandled and thrown to the ground by a member of Trump's security team. In December, a Black Lives Matter demonstrator was dragged out of a Trump rally as people were screaming violent exhortations such as "light the motherfucker on fire" and "kick his ass."

The real estate magnate has largely dismissed the violence, at one point suggesting one black activist "should have been roughed up"—comments that do not appear to have affected his support in the Republican primaries.