Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 11, 2016

Posts in "Marco Rubio"

February 10, 2016

As Intraparty Divisions Fade, New Hampshire Gears Up for Next Competitive Race

UNITED STATES - AUGUST 26: Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., arrives for a tour of Mikrolar Inc., a robotics company in Hampton, N.H., on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

With presidential campaigns emptying out, New Hampshire is getting ready for a competitive Senate race.  (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Presidential campaign signs are piling up at New Hampshire’s transfer stations (more colloquially known as dumps), their temporary place of rest until called up for their next mission — a deployment to Massachusetts’ or Maine’s nominating contests, perhaps, or a repeat Granite State tour in November.

After the first-in-the-nation primary, public works crews pluck yard signs from the state’s highway medians and deliver them to transfer stations, where campaigns can retrieve them. With candidates now long gone for sunnier states, their entourages and the national media flock to the next stop on the primary trail, leaving Manchester quiet, save for the local chatter about how well Donald Trump performed Tuesday night and what a bad couple of days Florida Sen. Marco Rubio had.

However, New Hampshire voters are famously politically engaged, and this isn’t the end for them. Once packed up and sent on its way, the presidential infrastructure will give way to one of the nation’s most competitive Senate races. Polls have showed Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte and Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan nearly tied in a race that’s expected to be a nail-biter until the end.

But first, the respective parties have to get back on the same page after a surprisingly divisive Democratic primary and a Republican primary that saw a record number of contenders. Full story

What We Learned From New Hampshire


Trump passed a big test in New Hampshire but he’ll face a bigger one in South Carolina. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Donald Trump and Sen. Bernard Sanders scored big wins in New Hampshire but the campaign for each party’s nomination turns south and west, where the real race begins, according to political analysts and strategists Roll Call asked to analyze the Tuesday’s results.

Here are their takes on what happened on Tuesday and what will happen next in South Carolina and Nevada:

Full story

February 9, 2016

The Big Question in New Hampshire: Where Does Rubio Finish?

In their last two presidential primaries, Republicans left New Hampshire with a much clearer view of who would become their party’s White House pick thanks to victories from eventual nominees John McCain and Mitt Romney.

Whether the GOP will gain the same clarity Tuesday night might depend entirely on Marco Rubio’s performance — and if one of a trio of gubernatorial rivals can knock him off his new perch as the pick of the party establishment.

Full story

February 4, 2016

Tim Scott Hits South Carolina Airwaves for Marco Rubio

Just days after endorsing Sen. Marco Rubio for president, Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina is hitting the airwaves back home for his GOP colleague from Florida.

The ad, obtained ahead of release by Roll Call, appears to be from the same video shoot as the endorsement video, as Scott’s shown by his childhood home.

Full story

February 3, 2016

Pat Toomey Endorses Marco Rubio for President

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.)

Toomey is up for re-election this year.

Updated: 5:30 p.m | Pennsylvania Sen. Patrick J. Toomey endorsed Sen. Marco Rubio for president Wednesday during an interview on CNN.

“We face a huge national security crisis, obviously, emanating from the Middle East. There is tension all across the world,” he said. “Marco has demonstrated clear understanding. He’s done the hard work, he’s knowledgeable, thoughtful and a smart guy.”

Full story

February 1, 2016

Ad Politicizing Violence Against Women Law is Pulled


Kasich is focusing his attention on the Grantie State. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Kasich is focusing his attention on the Grantie State. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

An ad criticizing presidential hopeful Sen. Marco Rubio for voting against the Violence Against Women Act will not be making it to the airwaves in New Hampshire, after the state’s GOP Sen. Kelly Ayotte objected strenuously.

The ad, created by a presidential Super PAC supporting Ohio Gov. John Kasich, featured Ayotte’s support for reauthorizing the law, which became contentious and political in 2012 and 2013. The Senate GOP split on the question, with Ayotte among the vocal supporters. Rubio, a Florida Republican, opposed it.

Full story

Going Full Grassley on the Iowa Caucuses

UNITED STATES - JANUARY 29 - Republican presidential candidate, Ohio Gov. John Kasich speaks as Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, departs during a campaign stop at the National Czech & Slovak Museum and Library, Friday, Jan. 29, 2016, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Kasich, left, and Grassley address a rally at the National Czech & Slovak Museum and Library in Cedar Rapids. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

WATERLOO, Iowa — Republican candidates learn a lot on the trail when they’re competing in Iowa’s first-in-the-nation presidential caucuses. Along with the sanctity of ethanol and the primacy of pork products, they eventually grasp this is Sen. Charles E. Grassley’s state. When you run for president here, at some point, Iowa’s senior senator will appear alongside you, and everyone knows who he is.

“I didn’t know Grassley was going to show up,” said Bill Davidson, a bartender at The Supervisors Club, where the senator was introducing New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Davidson sounded impressed, as if the event, being repeated over and over throughout the state in the run-up to Monday’s caucuses, had been elevated.

Full story

January 20, 2016

What Does It Take to Bring Cruz, Rubio and Paul to D.C.?

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The chance to vote for a procedural measure on a bill that would enact more stringent restrictions on Syrian and Iraqi refugees trying to enter the country drew all all three Republicans seeking their party’s nomination for the presidency to Washington 12 days before the Iowa caucuses. Full story

January 15, 2016

Obama Suggests Trump’s Dominance Is Doomed

UNITED STATES - JANUARY 15 - Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump arrives at an event at the Living History Farms Visitor Center in Urbandale, Iowa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2016. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Republican presidential candidate Trump arrives at an event at the Living History Farms Visitor Center in Urbandale, Iowa, on Jan. 15. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

President Barack Obama poured cold water on Donald Trump’s dominance of the Republican presidential primary, saying Friday he bets voters soon will look to other candidates.

Obama suggested Trump’s big lead nationally could be doomed, saying it is merely the latest example of a long-running trend of bombastic candidates getting a lot of attention early in the process. But when it comes time to actually vote, Americans tend to get “serious” and vote for other candidates, Obama said during a YouTube-hosted online interview.

Full story

January 7, 2016

Rubio Taps Former Romney Aide As Press Advance Chief


(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Marco Rubio’s presidential campaign is poaching a former Mitt Romney staffer from the Senate.

Kristine Michalson, who has worked as press secretary for Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., and the Joint Economic Committee, will be the director of press advance for the Rubio campaign, she confirmed to Roll Call.

Full story

December 28, 2015

Can Gowdy Help Rubio in Iowa?

Gowdy is running for re-election, despite retirement reports. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Gowdy is scheduled to campaign with Rubio in Iowa. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Update Dec. 29 3 p.m. | Sen. Marco Rubio will get a boost ahead of the Iowa caucuses as Rep. Trey Gowdy will join him to campaign on Tuesday.

Gowdy gained clout with many on the right for his work as chairman of the House Benghazi Committee that investigated the deadly 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in the Libyan city as well as Hillary Clinton’s response to it as secretary of state. Gowdy conducted a marathon hearing with Clinton in the hot seat in October.

A Des Moines Register and Bloomberg poll earlier this month showed Rubio in fourth place in Iowa, with Sen. Ted Cruz in the lead, followed by Donald Trump and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson.

Cody Hoefert, co-chairman for the Republican Party of Iowa, praised Gowdy’s efforts regarding Clinton and said the South Carolina congressman is well-respected by activists.

“He asks tough questions,” Hoefert said. “He is seen as a real pit bull for the cause.”

The Tea Party Leadership Fund pushed for Gowdy to replace John Boehner as speaker of the House upon the latter’s resignation.

The Tea Party Leadership Fund had earlier attempted to draft Gowdy as speaker to replace while at the same time attempting to raise money off its efforts. But Gowdy spokeswoman Amanda Duvall said the group’s donation to the congressman was returned as soon as it was discovered.

Trump jumped on Gowdy for campaigning with rival Rubio, retweeting others’ condemnation.

But Trump gave Gowdy $2,000 in 2014, according to Federal Election Commission documents, Similarly, in February, Right to Rise PAC, Inc., which is affiliated with Rubio’s opponent Jeb Bush, gave $5,200 to Gowdy in committee contributions.

B.J. Jahn, chairman of the Des Moines County Republican Party, said while he liked Gowdy, he takes candidate endorsements “with a grain of salt.”

“I choose candidates based on their own merits,” Jahn said.

The endorsement could help Rubio in the primary in South Carolina, where Gowdy is the state’s most popular Republican politician. Like in Iowa, Rubio is polling a distant fourth in South Carolina, according to a Winthrop University poll from early December, with Trump in the lead, followed by Cruz and Carson.

An ARG poll of likely Republican primary voters in New Hampshire, which votes between Iowa and South Carolina, released on Christmas Day showed Rubio running second to Trump.

Conservative news outlet first reported Gowdy would campaign with the presidential hopeful as part of Rubio’s “Out with the Old, In with the New” tour.

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December 25, 2015

Later Caucuses Allow Iowans to Enjoy Holidays

The U.S. Capitol Christmas tree is seen on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, on Monday. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

With the Iowa caucus coming a month later, some say this will allow people to enjoy their holidays. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Veterans of the Iowa caucuses say having the contest a month later than the past few will allow them to enjoy their Christmas season and that the date change could affect candidates’ trajectories.

The past three Iowa caucuses were held in January, with the 2008 and 2012 caucuses held two days after New Year’s Day. But they’re scheduled for February 1 this year.

Full story

December 24, 2015

Poll: Low Confidence in Leaders Dealing With Terrorism

MINNEAPOLIS, MN -  DECEMBER 15: Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at the University of Minnesota on December 15, 2015 in Minneapolis, MN. During the speech Clinton announced her counterterrorism strategy to protect the United States if elected President. Ten Minnesota men have been arrested and charged with attempting to join the Islamic State. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

While 40 percent said they were confident with how Clinton would deal with terrorism, 46 percent said they would be uneasy. (Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

A new poll shows more Americans are concerned about terrorism than the economy for the first time since the Great Recession, and they don’t have much confidence in how President Barack Obama is handling it or how those running to replace him would.

A Economist/YouGov poll shows that 18 percent of Americans say terrorism is their most important issue while 15 percent say the economy is.

Full story

December 20, 2015

Races Where Spending Bill Vote Could Be an Issue

Neither the Republicans nor Democrats, whose Senate committee is led by Tester, above, see a clear political win from the omnibus vote.  (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Neither Republicans nor Democrats, whose Senate committee is led by Tester, see a clear political win from the omnibus vote. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Congress hadn’t even left town when political campaigns in some of the most competitive House and Senate races zeroed in on Friday’s vote on a massive government spending bill.

But rather than cleaving along partisan lines, Democrats and Republicans — incumbents and challengers alike — came down on both sides of the issue depending on their states and districts, suggesting national party committees aren’t likely to take up the vote in their national messaging. Full story

December 15, 2015

Ted Cruz Gets First Starring Role in Debate

Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump, second from left, listens as fellow Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, right, speaks, during a rally opposing the Iran nuclear deal outside the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Trump is trailing Cruz for the first time going intoTuesday’s debate. (Susan Walsh/AP File Photo)

When Sen. Ted Cruz walks on stage for his fifth presidential debate Tuesday in Las Vegas, it will be his first as the center of attention.

The Texas Republican, who has been reluctant to publicly go after front-runner Donald Trump, is now closing in on him in two polls of likely Iowa caucus voters released over the weekend. One of them, commissioned by the Des Moines Register, showed Cruz with a 31 percent to 21 percent lead over Trump, while another, commissioned by Fox News, showed him with a 28 percent to 26 percent lead. Full story

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