ABC News(MANCHESTER, N.H.) -- The most crowded field of Republican candidates in history descended upon New Hampshire Monday to square off in a rapid-fire question and answer session at the Voters First Forum.
Eleven candidates came to St. Anselm College in Manchester, and another three joined via satellite. The result was a one-by-one parade of candidates across the stage, where they answered questions posed by a moderator.
For those hovering near the bottom of the polls, it was a chance to appear alongside the frontrunners. For those at the top, it was a chance to appear on a stage without Donald Trump. He walked away from the forum, organized by the New Hampshire Union Leader, over a lack of endorsement from the paper.
Only ten candidates will get to appear at the first officially sanctioned debate of the 2016 cycle on Thursday in Ohio -- and those looking to crack the top ten came out forcefully.
Sen. Lindsey Graham said China was "cheating" and he promised he would offer China “a clenched fist or an open hand. You choose.”
He was also the first to bring up Hillary Clinton. But he wasn’t the last.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal gave Clinton a bit of a backhanded compliment saying “at least he’s honest enough to call himself a socialist. Hillary Clinton, President Obama – they are no better. They’re just not honest enough to call themselves socialists.”
The only candidates not to participate in the forum were Trump, Mike Huckabee, and Jim Gilmore, who missed the deadline for inclusion.
Even with Trump out of the state, he still made news Monday. He’s the new leader in ABC News affiliate WMUR-TV’s “Granite State” poll, leaping ahead of favorites like Scott Walker and Jeb Bush.
Asked if it was really possible to grow the economy by his promised 4.4 percent per year, Bush said “absolutely. And the fact that Paul Krugman says it’s not warms my heart.”
For as much infighting Trump has caused the past few weeks, the candidates were united on many fronts. Every person who was asked said they would de-fund Planned Parenthood. Every candidate hammered President Obama, on topics ranging from Iran to immigration to the economy. And every candidate spoke quickly – under the unique format, candidates could answer as many questions as they could within the time limit.
George Pataki found out the hard way. As he finished a thought, he tried to tack. “By the way, Jack,” he began – before being cut off by the moderator.
Heath did offer a chance for Rick Perry to redeem himself – albeit it four years later.
“What specific government agencies would you cut or reform?” Heath asked, to the candidate whose 2012 was derailed by his inability to name the Department of Energy.
“I’ve heard this question before,” said Perry, who avoided the urge to list specifics.
Jeff Fusco/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The White House isn’t ready to pick sides in a hypothetical primary battle between Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden. But Press Secretary Josh Earnest made clear Monday that the president believes Biden is up for the job should he decide to run.
“I won’t get into rating the qualifications of any candidates or possible candidates,” Earnest told ABC News, “but I think the president has indicated that one of the reasons he chose Joe Biden to be his running-mate and to be the vice president of the United States is that he thinks he would be a good president, there's no doubt about that.”
“But I would also point out that the president has spoken warmly of others who've served in his administration, including Secretary Clinton,” Earnest continued.
Earnest listed off Biden’s experience as a senator and chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in addition to his time as vice president as the basis for his strong qualifications as the second in succession and a possible presidential candidate.
“This is somebody that had a long career as a fighter for the middle class, he is someone that as the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee developed important relationships with world leaders and has used those relationships to advance the interests of the United States, and so whether it is working with leaders in Iraq or leaders of Ukraine or other countries in Latin America, the vice president has been a very effective advocate for U.S. interests around the world and that was certainly true when he was in the Senate and that has certainly been true as vice president. That gives him a unique set of skills and experience and it's not surprising to me that there are people who are talking about this possibility."
Earnest batted off the suggestion that Vice President Biden only has an opening to run because of the controversy over Clinton’s emails as secretary of state.
“I disagree with that principally because there are a lot of people speculating about the possibility of a Biden presidency long before anybody knew what Hillary Clinton’s email address was,” Earnest said
Asked if the president has spoken to the vice president about his possible presidential ambitions, Earnest would not say.
“What I would anticipate is that the president will keep his private discussions with the Vice President of the United States private, and so I don’t have a lot of insight to share with you about either about the vice president’s thinking or his discussions with the president on this issue,” he said.
With Biden’s intentions still undeclared, Earnest reiterated several times in the briefing that the vice president should be allowed to make the decision on his own timeframe.
“Somebody with the extensive experience of the vice president and someone who has made such a significant contribution to the safety and prosperity of his country should be afforded the opportunity to make that decision on the timeframe that he chooses and it sounds like that’s exactly what he’s doing,” Earnest said.
He also offered praise for the Clinton campaign for taking what he called a “wise approach” of staying focused on their own campaign in light of the news that Biden may also enter the race.
“Having worked on one successful campaign for the presidency one of the recipes for success is focusing on the race at hand and on the things that you can actually control and it sounds like that’s the approach the Clinton campaign is taking … and I think it's wise approach,” he said.
Andrew Burton/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Comedian Amy Schumer is joining forces with her cousin, Sen. Chuck Schumer, to push for new gun control legislation on Capitol Hill.
The Trainwreck star appeared with the New York senator Monday morning at a news conference with a sign saying "Enough Is Enough" by their side.
"Amy may have started out as a comedian but this subject is really serious," the senator said, adding, "I have a lot of press conferences but I almost never get this many people."
For Amy Schumer, the subject of gun violence and mass shootings became "extremely personal" last month, when John Russell Houser opened fire in a movie theater in Lafayette, Louisiana during a screening of her film Trainwreck, killing two people and injuring nine others.
"Two lives were tragically lost and others injured and I've thought about these victims each day since the tragedy," the comic actress said, while refusing to say the name of the gunman who took his own life during the mass shooting.
But Schumer did go into detail about the two women, Jillian Johnson and Mayci Breaux, who were killed.
"My heart goes out to Jillian and Mayci, to the survivors, and anyone who was tied to this tragic, senseless, and horrifying actions of this man who shouldn’t have been able to put his hands on a gun in the first place," she said. "I’m not sure why this man chose my movie to end these two beautiful lives and hurt nine others, but it was very personal for me."
She called the three-pronged plan Sen. Schumer is putting forward in Congress "sensible measures."
The senator wants to compel states to share information about felons, spousal abusers and the adjudicated mentally ill with the federal government for the national background check system; to survey all 50 states on their standards for involuntary commitment for the mentally ill and put forward national best practices; and to get Congress to fully fund mental health and substance abuse programs.
"No one wants to live in a country where a felon, the mentally ill or other dangerous people can get their hands on a gun with such ease," his star cousin said.
She added, "These are my first public comments on the issue of gun violence, but I can promise you they won’t be my last."
iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The first Republican Presidential debate is just three days away, but the question remains: who will be on stage and who will be watching from home?
Fox News, which is hosting the first debate this Thursday in Cleveland, says that they will include the top 10 candidates from an average of the five most recent national polls. But Fox News hasn't said which polls they will use to calculate their average, leaving the rest of us to play a guessing game.
With the addition of a new Monmouth University poll on Monday morning and an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll out Sunday morning, an updated ABC News analysis of five recent national polls shows that Rick Santorum and Bobby Jindal are likely to fall short of the debate threshold, earning them a place in the "who's out" column.
John Kasich and Chris Christie currently hold the final two podiums, with Rick Perry missing from the debate stage by just six-tenths of a percentage point.
John Kasich ousted Rick Perry for the 10th and final podium at the debate last Thursday, at least for now. Donald Trump, meanwhile, has solidified his lead over the GOP pack, clocking in at 26 percent support in Monday's new Monmouth University poll.
More national polls may come out in the next few days -- and we will watch as GOP candidates jockey for every last percentage point they can earn.
Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Will Pierce is never far from Vice President Joe Biden.
The 27-year-old executive director of Draft Biden 2016, a super PAC dedicated to luring the vice president into the presidential race, is greeted by Biden’s face on a life-sized cutout every morning. Pierce works from a desk surrounded by Draft Biden signage and stickers.
After working for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2008 and volunteering for then-Sen. Barack Obama’s that same year, Pierce held a number of jobs in Congressional and gubernatorial campaigns, mostly doing field organizing.
In a recent interview with ABC News, Pierce said he is convinced his efforts to recruit Biden are working. And with a new wave of speculation about a potential Biden run, he may be on to something. Josh Alcorn, an advisor to the late Beau Biden, has even signed on to join Pierce’s super PAC team.
Below is an edited Q&A with Pierce:
ABC: As the co-creator of this group, what’s the specific appeal of Joe Biden?
Pierce:There’s a lot of different reasons, but ... Quinnipiac pretty much summed it up in a poll: What is the number one issue that you want out of a presidential candidate? And they [Democrats and Republicans] said trust and honesty. They want to be able to trust whoever is our leader. And they asked all of the different candidates from Trump to Hillary to Biden to Lincoln Chafee, you know, what’s the percentage on trusting or not trusting? And the Vice President polled the best out of all of those candidates. And basically, I just hear time and time again from past supporters of the Vice President who fall back from ’88, even back to the ‘70s when he was a senator, they say his word is his bond. You know he’s real, he’s genuine, and I’ve been hearing this from people who literally had the Vice President sit in their living room.
ABC: Like whom?
Pierce:One of our endorsers is the state representative from Iowa, Bruce Hunter. Whenever the Vice President runs or thinks about running, they go to Iowa with him and his wife, Bev Hunter. Bev ... literally runs the unions in Iowa, and they basically consider the Vice President a close personal friend. They say when he comes to Iowa, he’s not , like, trying to get something- he just wants to know how their family is doing. He wants to know how their neighbor, who’s 80 years old is doing.
ABC: Is this your full time job?
ABC: Have you worked for Biden before?
Pierce:I’ve been working with Biden on campaigns for 8 to 10 years -- since 2006. Mainly I was with the vice president 2008 and 2012 as an advance staffer so I traveled mostly with Dr. Biden but I did travel a little bit with the vice president.
ABC: Have you had any direct contact with him since you started the super PAC?
Pierce: No, since we’re a super PAC we try to avoid any direct contact.
ABC: How big is your staff now?
Pierce: We have 10-15 people right now. We have people on the ground in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina. We have about 10 people in our Chicago headquarters, and then right now we have 180,000 supporters across the country.
ABC: How late is too late for Biden to enter the race?
Pierce: The timeline that we were hearing was that the end of August, early September, is when the Vice President will most likely make a decision. I think that’s going to be the perfect time, just because of the debates as well as everything the Vice President is working on right now. He’s working up on the hill- he’s trying to push the Iran deal through. So, he’s primarily focused on doing his job. That’s why a lot of people like the Vice President. He’s focused on his current job, not his future.
ABC: What are the odds he actually runs?
Pierce: We haven’t seen any signals saying he’s not going to run. I actually said on MSNBC one time, I called him out and I said, “if you don’t want us to keep doing this, let us know.” We heard nothing from him then, we didn’t hear a no, we didn’t hear a yes, just silence. And that’s beauty to us. But a lot of our supporters, we’re just waiting for whatever he decides. We know he’s not just going to sit there and leave it as an open-ended answer.
ABC: Are you raising money?
Pierce:Last quarter, we raised $80,000 to $90,000. John Cooper, who was a major bundler for the President in 2008, he signed on to support us. We also had Shiva Sarram, who raised the most for President Obama in one event: she raised about half a million dollars in one night; she came on. And then Dr. Howie Mandel -- not the actor -- he came on to support us and he’s going to be doing a major event for us up in LA.
ABC: Have you talked to supporters of the other Democratic candidates who have said that they would transfer their support if Biden ran?
Pierce: Yeah. A lot of supporters, they’re supporting the other candidates because the vice president isn’t a candidate yet. But there’s a lot of support out there. e have seen that with a lot of the people who signed our petition. They say, “Right now, I’m supporting O’Malley. I’m supporting Bernie. But when the Vice President gets in, I want to throw my support 100% behind him.” ABC: How do you think the death Beau Biden will affect the vice president’s decision whether to run or not?
Pierce: I actually knew Beau. When news came out in May about Beau’s passing, we were very supportive. A lot of our supporters actually knew Beau. One thing that is really key--a Wall Street Journal article came out and said that Beau actually wanted the Vice President to run. And one thing about the Vice President, he’s resilient. And when he was elected to the United States Senate, his wife and daughter were tragically killed in a car crash. And a lot of people thought he wasn’t going to not serve in the Senate because of that. But instead, he Amtrak’ed back and forth to Delaware to be with his sons, Hunter and Beau. What a lot of people are saying, and speculating, is that he can use that as motivation-Beau wanted him to run… personally, I do see him using that to motivate him. There’s been a lot of momentum. We’re urging our supporters to sign the petition- just when and if the Vice President runs, he has an army ready to go behind him.
ABC News(WASHINGTON) — On Monday, the Granite State is in the spotlight. The New Hampshire Union Leader's Voters First Presidential Forum is Monday evening and almost all of the GOP candidates will be there.
Donald Trump, Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore are out, but Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Ben Carson, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Carly Fiorina, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, George Pataki, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio are all expected to attend.
The event begins at 6:45 p.m. ET Monday night at St. Anselm College in Manchester.
The forum is a response to the debates and the 10-candidate limit. Don’t call it a debate, though. Instead, candidates will be questioned individually by a moderator.
iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The Obama administration is lobbying Congress -- and the American public -- to get on board with its Iran nuclear accord. But a new poll shows that may be a tough sell.
American voters oppose the nuclear deal with Iran, 2 to 1, according to the latest polling from Quinnipiac University. And a majority says the pact will ultimately make the world less safe.
The nuclear agreement, which is currently under congressional review, gets only lukewarm support from Democrats and overwhelming opposition from Republicans and independent voters.
ABC News(FRANKLIN, N.H.) — Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders landed the sweetest food endorsement so far of the 2016 election cycle: Ben Cohen, the co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s.
The ice cream magnate spoke Sunday to a gymnasium of supporters in Franklin, New Hampshire, telling them “as a person who has been his constituent for the last 30 years, I can tell you: this guy is the real thing.”
In an interview with ABC News, Cohen explained his involvement.
“Finally, there’s a politician worth working for,” he said with a grin. “So I’m working for him.”
Along with an endorsement and some prepared remarks, the former CEO brought along ice cream. A line formed around the front door as he personally handed out favorites, including Chocolate Fudge Brownie and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, to anyone who wanted a scoop. Nearly all of the hundreds of attendees stayed.
It was ice cream weather, too. A day after sweating through his shirt at a town hall without air conditioning, Sanders spoke for almost 90 minutes, over the whir of several fans.
He spent much of his time railing against the “millionaire class,” which he claimed was destroying the country.
“We are going to end their greed, whether they like it or not,” Sanders said to applause.
The message has resonated with Ben Cohen.
“The big issue for me has always been poverty and income inequality. And that’s really the core issue for him,” he said.
Ben & Jerry’s became famous for its employee-friendly structure — until 1995, no manager made more than five times the salary of an entry-level employee. That policy ended when Cohen stepped down as CEO. But even since, the Vermont-based company formed a tight relationship with its senator, who identifies as socialist.
Cohen told the crowd his buddy Bernie has a chance.
“If we work for him, if we get out there, and knock on the doors, and wear the buttons, and put the bumper stickers on our cars ... he’s going to upset the pundits again,” he predicted.
Cohen plans to chip in, too.
“Whenever I come somewhere, I have to come with ice cream," Cohen said. "What’s the ice cream man without the ice cream?”
ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- There's one person Hillary Clinton really want the voters of America to get to know more than anybody else. And her name is Dorothy Rodham.
Dorothy is Clinton’s late mother. She died in 2011. But she's playing a starring role in her daughter’s presidential campaign, and is the focus of Clinton’s first television ads.
On Tuesday, Clinton’s campaign will begin broadcasting two TV ads in Iowa and New Hampshire. The one-minute spots, which will air over the course of five weeks, emphasize Clinton’s mother’s story over her own.
The first ad, titled “Dorothy,” is almost completely devoid of any discussion of Clinton’s credentials. Instead, it's focused on recounting her mother’s trauma-filled childhood.
Clinton, who narrates the story over old photos of her mom, describes how her mother is the person who most influenced her desire to fight for families and to run for president.
“I think about all the Dorothy’s all over America who fight for their families, who never give up,” Clinton says while video of a mother tucking her daughter in to bed plays. “That’s why I’m doing this. That’s why I’ve always done this. For all the Dorothy’s.”
The second ad, titled “Family Strong,” opens with Dorothy’s story, but then transitions to lay out more of Clinton’s resume -- beginning with her first job out of law school at the Children’s Defense Fund to her new role as grandmother.
At one point the narrator bluntly refers to President Obama as “the man who defeated her" when saying Clinton served in the president's cabinet as Secretary of State.
The "Family Strong" ad also includes a photo of Hillary and Bill Clinton with their new granddaughter, Charlotte. Clinton's daughter, Chelsea, however, is not mentioned or pictured in either spot.
The strategy for Clinton to talk about her mom is one that her campaign has been pushing since its launch. The hope is that telling personal stories will soften Clinton's image and re-introduce her to voters.
"We’re going to make sure everyone knows who Hillary Clinton really is -– who she fights for and what has motivated her lifelong commitment to children and families,” Clinton's Campaign Manager Robby Mook said in a statement. “Since Day One, we’ve planned for a competitive primary with Hillary herself working to earn every vote and, ultimately, the nomination. This is the natural next step.”
The two ads, released online Sunday, are part of an initial five-week buy costing the campaign a total of roughly $2 million -- about $1 million in each state.
YURI GRIPAS/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama will announce a major effort to fight climate change this week, with the White House posting a preview video on its Twitter account on Sunday.
The White House says Obama's Clean Power Plan will be announced Monday and will represent "the biggest step we've ever taken to #ActOnClimate." In the video, the commander in chief calls for strong action, particularly tougher regulations on power plants and carbon emissions.
"Out climate is changing," Obama says, "changing in ways that threaten our economy, our security and our health." That concept, he notes, "isn't opinion. It's fact."
"If you believe like I do, that we can't condemn our kids and grandkids to a planet that's beyond fixing, then I'm asking you to share this message with your friends and family," the president said.
(US Congress)(WASHINGTON) -- Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders said he's "very fond" of Vice President Joe Biden, but that "the American people... want to go beyond conventional establishment politics."
Sanders made the statements in response to a question from ABC News' Jonathan Karl about Biden considering another run for president.
Sanders suggested that voters are looking for a change in 2016 . “The government has to respond to the needs of the middle class, not the billionaires,” he said, “I think that’s what going on in this country, and I am not sure conventional politics will do it anymore.”
Sanders is the longest serving independent member Congress, but he is seeking the Democratic nomination for president. The 73-year-old has mobilized an impressive grassroots campaign since announcing his candidacy in May. Last week, more than 100,000 people RSVP’d to attend one of 3,700 events across the country, but his support continues to be concentrated in liberal, urban centers.
Sanders defended his campaign, saying it will be able to expand its support to a wider and more diverse base across the country.
“We have made phenomenal progress in the last three months, and we are going to continue to make that kind of progress,” he said.
“We are going to be reaching out effectively to the African-American community, because I have not only one of the strongest civil rights voting records in the United States Congress, we have an agenda that calls for creating jobs, for raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, making public colleges and universities tuition free. That is going to appeal in a significant way, I believe, to the African-American community, to the Hispanic community.” He predicted that three months from now his campaign will have made “significant inroads all across the country.”
As for his primary challenger Hillary Clinton, Sanders refused to answer "yes or no" as to whether he thinks the former secretary of state and Democratic frontrunner is honest and trustworthy.
According to a Quinnipiac poll released last week, 57 percent of registered voters do not think she is trustworthy. “I have a lot of respect for Hillary Clinton,” Sanders said. “I am not going to be engaging in personal attacks against her.”
He did concede, however, that he “had a hard time understanding” her refusal to take a position on the Keystone pipeline this week. Sanders has helped lead the opposition against the project.
Republican contender Donald Trump, however, did take the opportunity to attack Hillary Clinton, adding that Vice President Joe Biden could possibly topple her for the nomination.
“I think she's got a big problem with the emails and obviously her numbers are going down drastically, so somebody like Biden could probably go in and do very well and maybe win," he said.
ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Republican presidential contender Donald Trump played down expectations for the first GOP debate slated for Thursday, saying “I’m not a debater” and he would not be "throwing punches" against his opponents on the stage.
“These politicians, I always say, are all talk no action. They debate all the time," Trump told ABC News’ Jonathan Karl on This Week Sunday. “I don’t debate, I build. I've created tremendous jobs, I've created a great company.”
“Maybe my whole life is a debate in a way, but the fact is I’m not a debater, and they are,” Trump added. “With that being said, I look forward to it, we’ll see what happens.”
The current 2016 GOP frontrunner went on to say that he doesn't anticipate attacking his opponents on the stage, saying that every attack he's made on the campaign trail has been a counterattack.
"I don't think I"m going to be throwing punches," he said. "I'm not looking to attack."
The real estate mogul is currently in first place in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. A Quinnipiac poll out this week shows Trump with 20 percent support. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker follows with 13 percent and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has 10 percent.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum said Sunday that the criteria for the first Republican debate this week, which will limit participation to the Top 10 GOP candidates according to recent national polls, are “arbitrary.”
“These national polls are irrelevant,” Santorum, a former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania who ran for president in 2012, said on ABC's This Week. “I was at 1 percent in the national polls four years ago and ended up winning 11 states, four million votes, won the Iowa caucus.”
Santorum is polling low nationally and is not expected to gain entry to the first Republican debate on Thursday, according to an ABC News analysis.
RNC Chair Reince Priebus responded to criticism from Santorum and others by saying he was grateful that the first two debates would include all the candidates, even if the ones polling lower would be featured in a lower-profile forum earlier in the evening.
“We’re proud of the fact that everyone running is going to have an opportunity,” Priebus said on “This Week” Sunday. “And the reality is, and it might be a little harsh, but you can’t necessarily treat someone that’s polling at 18 or 20 percent the same as someone that’s polling at a half a percent or 1 percent.”
But Santorum argued low national poll numbers are not indicative of who might surge at the right time and win primaries and caucuses in early-voting states like Iowa and New Hampshire. He said the Republican National Committee has erred in agreeing with television networks that national polls should determine participation.
“National polls mean nothing,” he said. “It’s just an arbitrary figure. And unfortunately the networks and the RNC have gone along with this irrelevant legitimacy of candidacy and then have the ability to influence who is in the top ten by the amount of coverage they get and the amount of advertising dollars.”
Alex Wong/Getty Images(MANCHESTER, N.H.) -- Lindsey Graham took his secret weapon to New Hampshire Saturday: John McCain.
The two attended several functions, including a barbecue for veterans, a house party, an outdoor concert and a town hall meeting in New Hampshire.
McCain is still revered by many New Hampshire Republicans, and Graham tried to tap into that enthusiasm as they took questions together. Several questions were addressed directly to McCain –- not the current presidential candidate standing right next to him.
This isn't the first time these senators have had each other's backs. Graham stumped for McCain in 2008, along with Joe Lieberman. Together, they were known as the "three amigos." This weekend, McCain returned the favor.
“Great experiences in my life have been in New Hampshire,” said McCain, who surprised many by winning the 2000 and 2008 primaries. “If you’ve been impressed today, as I hope you have been, by this candidate, then I want you to do me one favor. Tell your friends, “go see Lindsey Graham.”
Each had harsh words for President Obama’s foreign policy, and took turns criticizing Hillary Clinton.
Graham, though, wouldn’t use the former Secretary of State’s name, calling Clinton only “her.”
Graham fielded several hostile questions, including a young man who called Edward Snowden a hero. To one attendee who criticized the alliance between the U.S. and Israel, Graham said “I’m the worst possible choice for you. You don’t want to vote for me.”
He also poked fun at his recent clash with Donald Trump, who revealed Graham’s cellphone number. To a question about Chinese hacking practices, he quipped, “I had the only cellphone in America they couldn’t hack into. And Donald Trump blew that."
The two walked off stage to McCain’s favorite campaign song: ABBA’s "Take A Chance on Me." Of course, McCain never had to overcome odds like this. Graham is looking up at over a dozen GOP candidates in the polls in the lead-up to Monday’s “Voters First” forum in New Hampshire –- the last chance for candidates to make their marks before the field is set for the first official debate on Thursday.