2016 Election

Poll: Half Of American Voters Would Be “Embarrassed” To Have Donald Trump As President

Real estate mogul Donald Trump leads the 2016 GOP pack but faces problems with the broader electorate, according to a new poll that found half of U.S. voters would be embarrassed to have Mr. Trump as president and showed Mr. Trump trailing the two leading Democratic contenders. Mr. Trump led the 2016 GOP presidential field at… Read More

Cruz Surges To Second Place In Latest Poll

There’s yet another Republican debate scheduled before February’s Iowa caucuses, and the long run-up to the GOP presidential primaries is far from over. But if polls are any indication, Texas Senator Ted Cruz may have a real shot at winning the party’s nomination once the dust from these debates has settled and actual voting begins. In… Read More

The Pragmatist’s Populist: Ted Cruz Visits Alabama

I was not totally unfamiliar with the fandom for Sen. Ted Cruz prior to attending his rally in Trussville, AL on Sunday.

I didn’t exactly understand why he had a seemingly strong following, but I knew who these people were- disaffected lower to middle class folk with a strong distrust of government. Of course in such a strong populist election cycle, I couldn’t understand why these people weren’t attracted to one of the other anti-establishment candidates when there were so many seemingly “better” alternatives.

Rand Paul’s brand of libertarianism is engineered to be more acceptable to the anti-neocon wing of the party, Ben Carson is about as outsider as you can be in national politics while still being a man of strong faith, and does anything else need to be said about the bombastic Donald Trump?

Each of these candidates seem to epitomize a more extreme version of what Cruz offers, so why does the comparatively moderate and “establishment” Cruz have 18% of the vote in a recent FOX News survey? These are the questions I had when pulled up to the Trussville Civic Center.

Trussville is a city of about 20,000 people in north central Alabama, just a short drive from Birmingham. The community is overwhelmingly white, and tends to be more affluent than the rest of the state. It was a short drive from my house to the community center, about 5 minutes, but parking took quite a bit longer. Cars encircled the white stone structure in anticipation of the first visit of a candidate for President of the United States, to the best of the City’s collective recollection.

As I arrived at the entrance about 5 minutes before the expected time of the start of the event, I was informed that a line had been stretching outside of the building before the doors opened.

I saw some family, friends, and neighbors, but there was also quite a bit in the entrance that was alien. I suspected that most of these people had driven quite a ways further than I had to see Cruz speak.

As I made my way past the booth selling copies of the Senator’s book, my suspicions were confirmed. I was asked to sign onto a slip of paper with places for three sets of names and information. The two previous spots had been filled. The apparent contact list asked for my name, address, phone number, County of residence, and whether or not I openly supported the Senator’s candidacy.

I glanced at the two entries above mine and saw that both were from neighboring Shelby County, which is a drive that can range from twenty minutes to one hour depending on where they were coming from.

Read More: Trump People-A Rise Reporter Spends The Day At An Alabama Donald Rally With His Liberal Girlfriend And Mexican Friend

After giving my name and phone number I made my way over to the auditorium. I was told that unless I had reserved seating that I would have to make my way to the overflow in the indoor basketball court. I made the turn down the hall, and walked to the far side of the room. When I turned around I noticed that the crowd had gotten much more bulky in one section that it had been when I passed. It took a moment to realize that the Senator and his entourage had come into the room on my heels.

Cruz was difficult to spot. He was heavily embedded into the crowd, honoring requests for selfies at least a couple of times. The crowd shook his hand, and offered him pats on the back as he made his way across the front of the mob gathered on the court. A woman yelled out “President Cruz” to get his attention towards the end of his gauntlet of handshakes.

When finally the crowd’s needs had been sated, the Senator offered brief but unintelligible remarks due to the poor quality of the microphone. With that he was gone off to the auditorium to go to the main event, whilst the projector was turned on for us late arrivals to view it simultaneously.

When I inquired further, he told me that Senator Cruz was honest and had principles. After being given a Chick Tract by his mother, I moved on.

Both Mo Brooks, the representative for the 5th Congressional District, and Mrs. Cruz spoke prior to the Senator. They were fairly well received, with Brooks offering the crowd an opportunity to boo both government spending and amnesty for illegal immigration, and Mrs. Cruz offering cute anecdotes of their relationship and the curiously well received line that Senator Cruz finally offers people an “articulate Republican candidate”.

This may be a subtle dig at President Bush, and by proxy his brother Jeb, or Trump but it could very well have been a throwaway line as well.

Despite the politely received opening acts, one could feel the anticipation for the main attraction. When the Senator went on stage with his family we could hear the applause from the auditorium.

The Senator preempted the meat of his remarks with a 10 minute long standup comedy routine. He primarily dug into the Democratic debates, offering condolences to those who watched them, and the well crafted line that the Democratic party is choosing between a “crazy haired socialist… and Bernie Sanders”.

He then offered familiar rhetoric, including detailing several policies that he plans to enact on his first day of office, including giving Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions a cabinet position, moving the American Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and the particularly well received line that the “persecution of religious liberty ends today”.

Cruz continued with well received buzz words and phrases, drawing greater applause nearly every time, like:”flat tax”, “abolish the IRS”, “destroy ISIS”,” abolish Department of Education”, and “remove and replace Obamacare”. Closing with a prayer, the crowd shuffled out in short order.

I managed to catch up to a few of the people exiting the Civic Center. The first was a young man by the name of Josh. I asked him who he intended to support, and he indicated that Cruz was his man, followed by Paul, and Dr. Carson. When I inquired further, he told me that Senator Cruz was honest and had principles. After being given a Chick Tract by his mother, I moved on.

I met a jolly older man named Mack next. He was a loud spoken man wearing several pieces of Ted Cruz merchandise, and a small American flag in his pocket. He told me that he was a Cruz man because “He’s the only honest man!”.

Ted Cruz greets voters at the Trussville Civic Center on Sunday Dec. 20, 2015. Photo Credit: John Massey/ Rise News

Ted Cruz greets voters at the Trussville Civic Center on Sunday Dec. 20, 2015. Photo Credit: John Massey/ Rise News

When I asked if he had a second choice, he replied “NO! Why would I need a second? He’s the man!”

After shaking hands with Mack one last time, I spoke with a young lady named Marissa. When I asked her why she supported Cruz, she sheepishly told me that she was actually a supporter of Bernie Sander’s candidacy. After the initial shock wore off, I learned that she attended for the same reason I did, because it was so close to home.

She told me that she liked some of what the Senator said, but by no means clapped for all of it. Expressing disgust for Republicans in the state government and Secretary Clinton, she did express some appreciation for Carly Fiorina, calling her “highly intelligent”, and for Carson, though she remarked “I’d like Carson if he had more balls.”

After leaving the event, I feel I have a better understanding of Cruz’s supporters.

Cruz is very personable, and charismatic. He seems to strike a strong balance between the contradictory social conservative, civil libertarian, and neocon wings of the Republican Party.

Paired with a record of defying “the establishment”, but not so much that his name is mud by association, seems to have created a strong base of supporters among those disenfranchised by the previous unfettered free market capitalist bent of the GOP. (Just ask his “friends” in the Senate.)

The Cruz campaign is banking on a strong performance on the so-called “SEC Primary“, also known as March 1, the day when voters in Alabama, Arkansas, Texas, Tennessee and Georgia go to the polls.

It seems highly probable that they can perform well in Jefferson County, and perhaps in the whole of Alabama.

Have a news tip? Send it to editor@risenews.net. Like to write? You can become a Rise News contributor.  

Cover Photo Credit:Jamelle Bouie/Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Lindsey Graham Is So Sick Of The GOP Right Now

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is running for president and he isn’t doing very well. That’s probably best demonstrated by the fact you just had to copy/paste and Google search “Sen. Lindsey Graham.”

Graham, who is next in line of the totally nationally successful McCain and Lieberman triumvirate spoke at the highly anticipated Republican Jewish Coalition in Washington, D.C. today.

Graham’s speech was something else. Part attack on Ted Cruz and Donald Trump, part doom and gloom lecture on the failings of the Republican party, Graham’s address made quite the impression in the room.

“It’s not about turning out evangelical Christians, it’s about repairing the damage done by incredibly hateful rhetoric driving a wall between us and the fastest-growing demographic in America,” Graham said according to Jezebel, referencing Trump. “It’s about looking Hispanic Americans in the eye and saying, ‘We get it, be part of our cause.”

But it was Graham’s comments on the GOP at large that has many people buzzing.

From CNN’s report of the speech: 

“He took issue with Cruz’s preceding remarks that Republicans need to vote in strength, and low turnout is why the party failed to win in 2008 and 2012.

“How many of you believe we’re losing elections because we’re not hard-ass enough on immigration?’ Graham asked the crowd, to light applause. ‘Well, I don’t agree with you.'”

WATCH: Lindsey Graham bashes hardline conservatives on immigration and abortion

Graham also questioned hardline conservatives on the issue of abortion, saying that the party needed to support an exception in the case that a woman was raped.

Otherwise, the party would continue to be alienate the “majority” of the county on the abortion issue.

H/T: The Hill

Cover Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

John Kasich Ad Subtly Compares Donald Trump To Hitler

In a new video by Gov. John Kasich, Donald Trump is subtly compared to Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler.

Seriously.

The ad is titled “Trump’s Dangerous Rhetoric” and was paid for by Kasich’s actual presidential campaign and not some sort of shadow Super Pac.

The video features statements from Col. Tom Moe who spoke in favor of Kasich in an Ohio rally earlier in the week. In the speech, Moe paraphrased a well known passage from German pastor Martin Niemöller about how apathy among the general German populace  allowed for the rise of the Nazis.

Niemöller’s quote about the rise of Hitler is well known among scholars of World War II and the Holocaust:

“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

WATCH: Kasich support  Col. Tom Moe compares Trump to Hitler

H/T: Blue Nation Review

Cover Photo Credit: Michael Vadon/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

New Poll: Trump and Cruz In Iowa Dead Heat

By Alex Austin

A poll published this morning shows businessman Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz neck-and-neck among Iowa voters.

The results of the most recent survey by Quinnipiac University of 600 likely Republican Iowa Caucus participants has Trump leading with 25 percent of the vote, and Cruz just behind at 23 percent. Ben Carson is third at 18 percent.

This is a major shift from just a month ago, when a survey done by the same university published on October 22 showed Carson in the lead with 28 percent, Trump with 20 percent, and Cruz at 10 percent.

Terrorism and foreign policy were the most important issues to the voters sampled, with 30 percent of those polled citing one of these two issues as the deciding factor in who they would vote for.

Of that 30 percent, 27 percent would vote for Cruz, enough to give him the lead on that front.

According to The New York Times, issues of foreign policy in the wake of the November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris has played a major part in Cruz’s surge, noting that he has “aggressively criticized President Obama’s handling of the rise of the Islamic State”.

Furthermore, Cruz is against allowing refugees from war-torn Syria into the United States, an opinion he shares with 81 percent of Iowan Republicans polled.

Cruz was also seen as the most capable of handling foreign policy, garnering 24 percent of the poll, in comparison to Trump at 18 percent. He was also seen as the candidate with the best experience, as 75 percent of those polled agreed that he had the experience needed to be president. This compares to Trump with 62 percent and Carson with 49 percent.

The Iowa Republican Caucus takes place on February 1 of next year.

Cover Photo Credit: Marc Nozell/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Trump People: A Rise Reporter Spends The Day At An Alabama Donald Rally With His Liberal Girlfriend And Mexican Friend

“I don’t know, man. He’s just gonna talk about all of the issues and what he’s going to do to solve them. That’s what fucking presidents do.”

The back of Jacob’s crisp, white T-shirt read, “I think, therefore I TRUMP.”

His buddy’s shirt skipped the metaphysics, opting instead for the pithy “ISIS SUCKS.” They had caught me trying to photograph their clothing from a short distance, leaving me with no choice but to shove my thumbs through my belt loops and sidle up. We were just over an hour away from Donald Trump’s appearance at his Birmingham, AL campaign rally, and I figured this man’s guess about the specifics of Trump’s inevitable diatribe was as good as anybody else’s.

Trump would definitely have something to say about ISIS, and the need to blow them to smithereens sooner rather than later.

“They’re easier to find than you think,” Jacob explained, whipping out his iPhone to illustrate. “If I was a person of interest, they could look up exactly where I am on this thing and drag me out of here before you and me even finished talking. Did you tell your phone number to Facebook?”

“Not even pictures,” I said. “I don’t want ‘em knowing anything about me.”

“You got that right.” The friend offered an affirmative nod, too.

Cristian made it past security without any trouble, having shaved his beard down to tight stubble the night before in an effort to pass as Puerto Rican.

At last, we had found Trump People. I’d heard tell of them since late summer, and as summer slipped into fall, debate polls and survey results on the TV told the story of their continuing growth, but I had yet to find anyone who would admit to me in the flesh that they actually supported Trump’s candidacy for President of the United States of America. Or even that they liked him, for that matter.

Maureen, my girlfriend, can’t stand the dude. She’s a staunch feminist and pinned a Bernie Sanders bumper sticker up in her office back in August, and so naturally I have spent the past several months of dinner conversations feigning solidarity with whichever flavor of ridiculous bombast Trump had unleashed that day, in the interest of seeing her get riled up.

Our friend Cristian is the son of Mexican immigrants, but he, too, relishes any opportunity to get Maureen’s goat. We ordered three tickets the day they were made available online.

We made it past the woman snatching tickets from hands as she barked at the line to keep moving. We made it past the security checkpoint on the second try, after I had been escorted by Trump’s Head Goon, who was unyielding but exceptionally polite, to and from our car to deposit my pocket knife.

Cristian made it past security without any trouble, having shaved his beard down to tight stubble the night before in an effort to pass as Puerto Rican.

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A man selling Trump related campaign clothes outside of the Birmingham–Jefferson Convention Complex on Nov. 21, 2015. Photo Credit: Jordan Cissell/ Rise News.

We made it through the long lines outside of the bathroom, located just to the left as we entered the convention hall. The woman who filed into the much-longer women’s line behind Maureen told her husband to wait for her by the pillar.

“I may be awhile, unless you want me to turn into a transgender and go in the men’s,” she warned. He assured her that he was content to wait.

Yes, these were the elusive Trump People for whom I had been searching. And for the next two hours, by virtue of association, I would be Trump People, too.

After parting ways with Jacob and Friend, Cristian and I spotted a choir group huddled in the far corner, the men clad in crimson ties, gray suit coats, and black pants, the women clad in shimmery red tops and black slacks. We picked two guys off from the herd, one white and one black, and introduced ourselves.

They had driven down from Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee, the night before and would be today’s opening act. They were noncommittal when I asked what they would be singing, so I asked them whether or not they actually liked Trump. They shifted uncomfortably and wrung their hands for at least 20 seconds until the white guy forced out, “I guess he seems alright.”

I heard the guy in the flame-print bowling shirt behind me say that he figured there were about 8 or 9 million in attendance. Seemed about right.

We rejoined the throng pressing against the fence stage left, just in time for a guy who looked like Wrath of Khan-era William Shatner whose name I don’t remember to introduce a former colonel and current pastor to the stage to lead our opening prayer.

After calling upon the help of the Lord in granting us a president who would put an end to the twin specters of ISIS and Planned Parenthood in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen, the Colonel stepped down and returned the mic to the faux Shatner.

“Alright, let’s continue these proceedings in the correct and patriotic way. I would like to direct you all to my rear.” The crowd tittered, and faux Shatner scrambled to recover. “And that beautiful, old flag.”

We dutifully directed our attention and recited the Pledge, and then Jason Perkins, a Dress Blues-clad Marine with a chest like Gaston, was ushered onto center stage.

“I gotta tell you… Isn’t this the best-looking devil you ever saw? And he has the best voice you’ll ever hear. Without further ado, let’s just let him do what he’s gonna do here today.” faux Shatner ceded the mic to Gaston with stars in his eyes. Gaston’s baritone soared, and the crowd went wild.

Donald Trump supporters listen to the candidate speak. Photo Credit: Jordan Cissell/ Rise News.

Donald Trump supporters listen to the candidate speak. Photo Credit: Jordan Cissell/ Rise News.

They cleared the stage, and the teeming hordes pressed closer around us. I heard the guy in the flame-print bowling shirt behind me say that he figured there were about 8 or 9 million in attendance. Seemed about right.

Like Noah’s Ark, the crowd had at least two of everything: white people, black people, Mexican people, country club types, scruffy hipsters in Levi’s 511s, and NASCAR clodhoppers, every one of them hopped up on democracy.

There was a multigenerational family of six directly in front of us, and four of them were each bearing a red or blue sweatshirt with each successive word of “Make America Great Again” embroidered in white on the chest. When faux Shatner had first stepped on stage a few minutes earlier, I had shouted, “It’s Trump!” in hopes of seeing some heads turn.

Read More: Batman of Birmingham- The Curious Story Of Willie J. Perry

Mrs. Again, the matriarch of the outfit, had turned her head back just enough to spit a terse, “No.” It was plain to see that she was onto us. We’d have to proceed cautiously.

The Lee University Campus Choir was up next, all plastered-on smiles and shimmying shoulders as they tore through a glee club-y patriotic medley and Pharrell’s “Happy.” My favorite part was their weird chorale interpretation of the Declaration of Independence, in which they layered on harmonies like a bunch of jingoistic, Pet Sounds-era Beach Boys.

LISTEN: Lee University Campus Choir sings the preamble to the Declaration of Independence at Trump rally

Two black women swapped lead on Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me,” and they both sang beautifully. A man and wife slow-danced on the outer edge of the fray. The throng, by now whipped into a blind, nostalgic frenzy, slathered them with uproarious applause.

A cross-eyed brute with slick-backed hair in a boxy Brooks Brothers suit prowled the fence line.

At exactly 10:32 AM, a guy in a brown suit and yellow tie who Trump later referred to as Mark shuffled up to the podium with a 20-ounce Dasani water bottle with a green cap, foggy like it had just been removed from the fridge.

He slid the water bottle into the shelf underneath the podium surface bottom-first, taking deliberate pains to make sure, with his outstretched thumb and pointer finger as ruler, that the cap end of the bottle was sticking out by just the right amount, which seemed from where I was standing to be about 3.22 inches.

Read More: How Discrimination Forces Transgender People Of Color Into Poverty And Prostitution In Alabama

Mark shuffled a few papers on the podium and adjusted the mic, then made another concerted effort to check that the water bottle was appropriately positioned before scurrying back off of the stage.

At exactly 10:59, Mark ran back up, grabbed the water bottle from the shelf, and stepped off to the side to stand with the cross-eyed brute.

Trump burst onto the convention floor at precisely 11:00, the tsunami of the mob’s hysterical glossolalia drowning the bent-note splendor of “Sweet Home Alabama.”

He bulled his way along the fence, a cross between Bret “The Hitman” Hart and Jesus Among the Lepers as he fist-bumped the outstretched knuckles of his frothy disciples. He ranted and raved for exactly one hour.

After a breather by the trashcan, Black Lives Matter guy yelled, “Fuck everybody here!” and exited the hall chanting “Fuck Donald Trump!” as the loiterers by the door jeered.

Early on, Trump suggested that President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry need to read his 1987 book Trump: The Art of the Deal.

Without warning, the words “They can’t read!” were ripped from my larynx and thrust into the torrent, earning us the approving chuckle and renewed confidence of Mrs. Again and her daughter, Mrs. Make, in the process.

Spittle flashed in the stage lights, and tempers flared among the horde. A staggering woman with the complexion of a catcher’s mitt was ostracized for touching someone’s baby one too many times, but that proved to be just the undercard.

In the main event, a scrum formed around a Black Lives Matter supporter and dragged him to the ground. Police, Secret Service, Mark, and the Head Goon peeled the man off the ground and started directing him towards the exit, so I followed.

“Get him the hell out of here,” Trump ordered from the podium. As the man whirled around in a wild-eyed daze and staggered toward a trashcan, Trump People who had moments before applauded the Lee Choir soloists hurled cries of “Taze him!” and “All lives matter.”

A Black Lives Matter supporter, later identified as Mercution Southall was removed from the Trump rally. Photo Credit: Jordan Cissell/ Rise News.

A Black Lives Matter supporter, later identified as Mercution Southall was removed from the Trump rally. Photo Credit: Jordan Cissell/ Rise News.

A disgusted fraternity brother said, “Get the fuck out of here, man,” and Mark told him to shut up.

After a breather by the trashcan, Black Lives Matter guy yelled, “Fuck everybody here!” and exited the hall chanting “Fuck Donald Trump!” as the loiterers by the door jeered.

Maureen and Cristian told me afterward that Mrs. Again and Mrs. Make had extended their middle finger to Black Lives Matter guy as a parting gesture.

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Black Lives Matter Removed From Trump Rally In Alabama

Trump concluded his remarks and dismissed us all into the sunshine.

On our walk to lunch Cristian said he was going to take a shower when we got back home.

Maureen said, “I’m just sad.”

Hungry, disgusted, and upset. Trump People.

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Cover Photo Credit: Jordan Cissell/ Rise News. 

POLL: Donald Trump Jumps 17 Points, Dominates Field Among Likely GOP Voters

surprising new poll by Reuters/Ipsos finds businessman Donald Trump with a commanding lead over his Republican rivals in the 2016 presidential election.

The poll was conducted over the course of five days and included a sample size of 534 Republicans.

According to Reuters, “The pool of likely Republican primary voters was based on sample of 257 voters with a credibility interval of 7 percent.”

According to the poll, Trump leads with 34 percent while Carson finishes a distant second with 20 percent. Marco Rubio is stuck at 10 percent while Jeb Bush is struggling at 4 percent.

This is big change from the Reuters/Ipsos that was released on November 6th. That poll showed Trump and Carson nearly tied with both around 25% of support.

Since then, Trump has hosted Saturday Night Live and a GOP debate was held.

Cover Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Bernie Sanders Releases First TV Ad Of Campaign

Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) released his first television ad of the 2016 presidential campaign yesterday.

The advertisement is titled “Real Change” and serves as a sort of greatest hits of Sanders’ life in public service starting from his activity in the Civil Rights Movement.

According to NBC News, Sanders’ campaign says that the ad buy is for $2 million and will run in the early vote states of New Hampshire and Iowa. It will start running on television on Tuesday.

WATCH: “Real Change”, Bernie Sanders’ first 2016 campaign TV ad

What do you think? Do you buy into Sanders’ vision for the country? Tell us in the comments below.

Like this piece? Rise News just launched a few weeks ago and is only getting started. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with global news. Have a news tip? (No matter how big or small!) Send it to us- editor@risenews.net. 

Cover Photo Credit: Bernie Sanders Campaign (Screenshot/ Youtube)

WATCH: Bernie Sanders Goes Trick Or Treating With Grandkids In New Hampshire

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders went Trick Or Treating with some of his grandchildren in the important early voting state of New Hampshire last night.

Sanders wore a gray sweater and interacted with a few home owners and even grabbed a piece of candy from one of the homes.

H/T: Gawker

Like this piece? Rise News just launched a few weeks ago and is only getting started. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with global news. Have a news tip? (No matter how big or small!) Send it to us- editor@risenews.net. 

Cover Photo Credit: Screenshot/ Captions for Bernie on Youtube

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