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Donald Trump, Explained

Bob Deutsch   |   January 20, 2016   10:25 AM ET

Every time I think of Donald Trump a Peanuts cartoon pops into my mind. It has Lucy holding a football for a field goal kick from Charlie Brown. Just as Charlie goes to put toe to pigskin, Lucy pulls the ball away and good ol' Chuck goes flying off his feet. Lucy then walks off the field with her right hand index finger held high: The caption reads: "We're #1." Forget the facts, forget the circumstance, Lucy wants to think of herself as number one. Deep need trumps the truth.

Some say Trump is smart. Others say Trump is crazy. As someone who is trained in cognitive science and anthropology, and studies the fit or mismatch between leaders and the cultural context they exist in, I think it's not informative to think about whether Trump is a brain or not. It's more instructive to view Trump as doing what we all do -- he's being himself. Temperament -- a personal structuring that predates personality -- is something none of us can get away from.

Trump is acting out his own temperament -- being a spectacle, startling people, dominating people...before they do it to him. Trump is all about preemptive strikes. It's a perversion of the Golden rule.

In one sense, there is no difference between Trump and the man in Tiananmen Square who walked out from the sidelines to stand in front of a military tank moving towards him. That wasn't a thought-out strategy by that Chinese young man. It was an instinctual expression of his inner being that he couldn't control. It was an enactment, that if aborted, would be tantamount to psychological suicide.

Fitting Your Context

There is another lesson from Tiananmen. A person, product or idea vying to be the leader becomes popular by fitting into the context of the times, therefore gaining the largest possible followship. That Chinese young man momentarily halting the system was one of the most projected images worldwide that year. I interviewed people in a sampling of cities around the world, asking why this photo was so often in the media. The answers I got back were encapsulated by one particular answer: "I know what that photo stands for. That's betrayal. Everyone has the experience of someone in their life whom they thought was with them, turns out to be against them. We all see a lot of that these days."

The Current Context Is Fear

The American context Donald trump is currently riding is FEAR. Fear of jihadis, fear of terrorists and terrorism, fear of horrific death, fear of randomness and -- because of 911 and 2008 -- fear of seeing one's future receding into the distance.

Much of the media likes to criticize Trump, but his attentional pull is that he's going with the contextual flow. It might seem as if the media likes politicians who swim upstream, but it's the same affection bears hold for migrating salmon. Presidential candidates cannot change the contextual climate. The national agenda is increasingly impervious to campaign stratagems or economic, social or moral crusades. Candidates must swim with the tides.


One can reasonably speculate that Mr. Trump incurred or witnessed some slight in his early years, and the impact was fundamental. So he erects the biggest buildings, flaunts the biggest lifestyle, has the biggest hairdo, and trash talks the loudest. His ethic is BE BIG and steam-roll over others. Trump doesn't care about the details of geopolitical and domestic policy. In the place of policy he inserts a way of behaving, and that way is performance -- condense and exaggerate everything and display it exclusively for communication purposes.

In the age of the internet, voters choose presidents like Hollywood bestows Oscars -- based on a portfolio of performances, past, present and imagined. "Persona" is the real issue. Candidates do not "run" for president, they audition for the part. The ones that exude confidence in debates and vigor on the stump, are usually victorious. Jeb Bush may exhibit empathy with children, but his persona is one of being too weak. He can't win. Marco Rubio's persona, regardless of his thoughtful rhetoric, is blemished by his boyish looks. He lacks the gravitas to win, now. Maybe in eight years he will age into the part.

Donald Trump seems to fit today's bill, perfectly.

The Danger of Fear and Humiliation

Yet, there is a problem. At rock bottom, presidential campaign 2016 is about humiliation -- either the fear of humiliation or the felt humiliation of those who feel modernity has disqualified their ancient civilization. The difficulty with humiliation is its buried deep in the most ancient part of the brain -- the "reptilian" brain.

Do we want our next president to see everything as a reptile, as a high-noon battle? Fear vs s. Hope. That's the choice American voters will soon make. Their task is to fit a square peg into an Oval Office.

Blow_hot_and_cold Brings Individuals and Political Views Together

Brad Hobbs   |   November 9, 2015    9:28 AM ET

Do Something Good, is an incubation collective based out of New York City focusing on interactive experiences for the public.

Their blow_hot_and_cold exhibition features a life size politician mounted to a flagpole surrounded by eight high powered fans each representing a political subject with pro & anti opinions on the subjects of gun laws, climate change, health care and abortion.

The way the exhibit works is by reading tweets on the subjects featured with the power of the fans rising and decreasing when one of the issues are tweeted in real time, as each fan fluctuates the flag changes direction to face the option with the strongest support.



I caught up with the collective at I.M.A.G.E gallery in Brooklyn to find out why and how they came up with this project.


Tell me about Do Something Good and the project.

Do Something Good is an Incubation Collective primarily focused on realizing interactive experiences that arise at the cross section of art and technology; driven with the purpose of creating unique transformative experiences. blow_hot_and_cold is the first piece to manifest itself outside the digital realm and is a collaborative project of Damjan Pita, Derek Harms, Vasco Barbosa and Samar Zaman.

How did you come up with the concept?

We believe that politicians, particularly in the United States, no longer stand for what they truly believe. Their opinion is based on the topics and viewpoints that receive the most attention in media. The strategic teams behind these politicians are increasingly using data analysis like A/B testing to determine what opinion will be the most advantageous to their campaign.

Politicians are now in constant search of being on the leading side of popular opinion, with their beliefs vacillating like a flag in the wind.

How does it work?

Each political issue is represented by two opposing fans, one for and one against. By processing the sentiment of tweets in real-time, the power of each fan rises and falls based on the support that issue receives online. As each issue fluctuates, the politician shifts direction to face the opinion with the strongest support. Visitors are encouraged to interact with the installation by walking between the flag and the fans to disrupt the wind.

Why these topics?

As election day nears, there is a shift in focus of what topics politicians choose to dedicate their time and effort to. The four topics in the work currently have the largest volume of conversation on social media, and therefore likely to be the most influential in shaping the opinions of a potential candidate.

What are your views on these topics?

All members in our group are in support of gun regulation, female reproductive rights, universal healthcare and legislation that encourages the protection of the environment.

What would you like the outcome to be for this?

With blow_hot_and_cold we are calling out the unfortunate truth that politicians no longer stand for what they truly believe. Our hope is that visitors will be more aware of their influence on elected leaders.

What's next for you and this project?

With exactly one year today before the presidential election, we'd like to demonstrate the influence of this on the installation. And as this political phenomenon is not only a U.S. problem, we intend to bring the work to other countries and localise the topics to be relevant in that country.

You can follow Do Something Good at the below links. The exhibition is running until Thursday 12th November 2015 at I.M.A.G.E Gallery in Brooklyn.

I.M.A.G.E Gallery
1501 Broadway,
Brooklyn, NY

Why We Need The PC Police

Gil Kidron   |   October 7, 2015   11:29 AM ET

Though conservatives and liberals have come to inhabit separate universes, with differing views on when life begins, taxes and even on science, it seems there is one thing they can all agree on: political correctness is destroying the country.

Everybody's taking shots at the PC police, from comedians like Bill Maher, Jerry Seinfeld and Donald Trump and all the way to politicians. The reactions are: PC has gone too far, people can't take a joke or look reality straight in the eye.

Well, though it is far from perfect, I'd like to make an outsider's case for political correctness, because the way I see it, while it certainly has its downsides, it is very valuable in ways that are too often overlooked.

I have only traveled in the U.S. but never lived there. I do follow religiously the U.S political process and consume its many cultural exports. I've spent most of my life in Israel (or America's 51st state) as well as some of my formative years in Europe.

Even though Israel is not nearly as politically correct, the same complaints about the PC police are heard here too, and the targets are those same damn feminists, gays, animal rights activists and other groups as well.

True, we would all prefer to speak our minds whenever and wherever we want, but that's not really what's at stake. Excluding Charlie Hebdo-style terrorist attacks that are more related to religious fanaticism, people can still say whatever they want. It's just that there is a price on free speech: other people can use their own first amendment rights to respond that those opinions are not only wrong, but also objectionable.

So when someone speaks their mind and someone else responds - that is, to me, what a conversation looks like. It's not always a very productive one, but a conversation nonetheless.

This would be a good time to draw a line: internet lynching or global shaming of private individuals is one thing, and ridiculing politicians or people that are in the public sphere is another. The first is indeed dangerous, and I would argue that the latter is a virtue that every society should hold dear. The people with power have constantly to be held in check.

PC doesn't always work the right way, as stand-up comedians can attest to. They do have it the hardest and I'm not un-sympathetic to their plight, because they are not afforded the same protection that other types of artists are afforded when they put their work out there. If a movie has outrageous racist characters, no one accuses its writers of being racist, but with stand-up comedians we're basically watching a person saying controversial things into a microphone, and we tend to forget that he or she is in fact in character. This blurs the line between the individual and the material, and I'm not sure there's a quick fix there. But the fact that PC is not perfect is not a reason to get rid of it altogether.

There is another problem that highlights PCs downsides: technology. While in the past no one would know that Jonah Hill blurted the gay F-word to a single incredibly annoying paparazzi, the pervasiveness of technology has made it easier to take things out of context and make news out of thin air, which can be terrible.

But, on the other hand, PC has made the world better for many people. There is a clear line that extends all the way from attacks by politicians on LGBTQs, to LGBTQs being discriminated against. And the opposite is also true: there is a clear correlation between it being considered illegitimate to disparage LGBTQs and the incredible change in the popular opinion about them. There were other factors at play (Will And Grace and Queer As Folk, perhaps), of course, but PC has some shares in the great victory in the Supreme Court ruling that made it unconstitutional to discriminate gays in marriage.

There's more. Isn't it a good thing that the N-word is no longer acceptable? Sure, it gets ridiculous at times, but as a norm it has probably helped the American society to accept the fact that a black man can be elected president.

And if Hillary Clinton gets to be the next president, she should use her inauguration address to thank the feminist PC police for fighting harmful stereotypes, conventions and policies that hurt women at every turn.

So while it might seem petty to focus on words (and sometimes it is petty), language has a lot of power to shape hearts and minds.

PC is not perfect because when social norms change so quickly, many are slow to catch on. Hating LGBTQs has been a fixture of human society for past couple of millennia, and is deeply rooted in religious teachings, so the fact that views on gay marriage has taken such a sharp U-turn is nothing short of incredible.

As Sarah Silverman said of late, she was clinging to the word "gay" as a way for her to describe something lame. Then, she determined that even though she did not mean it in a malicious way, she did not want to be that old conservative douche who just clings to an old (mostly white, mostly male) world.

It's a good thing that people get crazy when a megalomaniac billionaire running for president says that most Hispanic immigrants are rapists or that we should judge a female presidential hopeful by her face. He can be a hateful bastard and still get his air-time, but we should all be happy that we have the option of telling him he's being a hateful bastard.

Bottom line, free speech does not end when we express our opinions. The first amendment extends to those who want to respond, and we can only hope that as we get used to the new means of communication and to changing norms, the PC police would be less reckless and fickle as it sometimes is today.

Though it can get uncomfortable when we don't know what we can say around other people - these problems pale in comparison to us living in human societies that are becoming more tolerant of different races, religions, genders and sexual preferences.

Dreams Becoming Reality

Jackson Richman   |   September 18, 2015    2:24 PM ET

There are three definitions of the word "dream" in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary: "A series of thoughts, visions or feelings that happen during sleep; an idea or vision that is created in your imagination and that is not real; something that you have wanted very much to do, be, or have for a long time." The saying "Chase your dreams" is related to the third definition. This article about pursuing my journalistic ambition wouldn't have been possible had I not seen a post on social media by the 61st most powerful woman in the world.

Three weeks ago on Twitter, Huffington Post founder and editor-in-chief Arianna Huffington posted the following:

"Some of the world's best ideas were inspired by dreams. Anything creative your dreams have inspired?" She provided her email address and without hesitation, I replied: "I'm a student and aspiring journalist who believes in seeking nothing but the truth. I like to explore and though I don't specifically remember my childhood dreams, they were about facing, but at the same time, not being afraid of fear."

Since childhood, I have been interested in journalism and politics. When I was in my early teens, I frequently watched the early local news. Now as a young adult, attending school in Washington, D.C. I can take advantage of a plethora of journalistic opportunities.

A couple years ago, on behalf of my school's radio station I interviewed two Pulitzer Prize-winning writers: New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman and Washington Post syndicated columnist and Fox News commentator Charles Krauthammer.

Fast-forward to November 12, 2014. The day before I was intensely interviewed for the internship program at the National Journalism Center (NJC), which places interns at prominent media outlets such as The Weekly Standard,, Washington Examiner, and The Daily Caller. I received a voice message from the director of NJC and called back. Upon answering why I should be part of the Spring 2015 class and be part of a program that's trained well-respected media personalities such as Malcolm Gladwell and Fox News' Greg Gutfeld, he responded, "You're in."

My internship through the National Journalism Center placed me at The Weekly Standard. I interned four days a week with a seminar at the NJC headquarters in Reston, Virginia every Friday. In addition to learning from the best in the profession, such as executive editor Fred Barnes, this internship afforded me the opportunity to be published a few times under my byline.

Last April I also had the opportunity to be on the set of one of my favorite cable news shows, Special Report with Bret Baier on Fox News. There I met an inspiration of mine: Charles Krauthammer, who incidentally remembered my interview with him last year.

Define your dreams. Be active in causing them to become reality. To quote a Yiddish proverb: "If you want your dreams to come true, don't sleep."

Amanda Terkel   |   August 27, 2015    9:08 AM ET

Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) said Tuesday he may run for Senate in 2018, which would pit him against Sen. Angus King (I-Maine). 

"I'm thinking about it very strongly," LePage told conservative radio host Howie Carr. 

In January, LePage also told Carr that he was looking at a Senate run, although the following day, he said he was joking

LePage has been a controversial governor known for making outlandish statements -- like joking that he wanted to shoot a newspaper cartoonist and comparing the IRS to the Gestapo. He won re-election in 2014, despite abysmal approval ratings. 

Carr tweeted out a photo with LePage Tuesday, showing the governor wearing a hat with Donald Trump's presidential slogan on it.  LePage, however, has endorsed New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) for president, and Carr had to tweet a clarification that LePage hadn't switched allegiances. 

LePage, who has never shied away from making eyebrow-raising comments about his critics, said Trump needs to knock off his feud with Fox News host Megyn Kelly.

"You’ve got to let this stuff go and move on," LePage said. "Move on to the issues."

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Michael McAuliff   |   July 21, 2015    1:49 PM ET

WASHINGTON -- If you had any doubt that Donald Trump’s candidacy for president was being treated by the media -- besides The Huffington Post -- as an entertainment story, all you had to do was listen in to Senate Democrats’ news conference on Tuesday.

The topic at hand was the highway bill, a massive measure that the Senate hopes to move by the end of the month to prevent bridge and road construction projects from grinding to a halt when current funding expires at the end of the month.

There were plenty of questions about that, but then there was one reporter who decided to ask about Trump. She could have asked about what his surge in the polls represented -- a topic Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) himself had addressed on the Senate floor earlier in the day. Or perhaps what Reid thought Trump’s impact might be on the Latino vote. 

Instead, she asked about Trump’s grade school-level stunt of revealing the cell phone number of a rival, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), and managed to win some of the best looks of disgusted amusement that you’ll see from Reid’s fellow leaders.

“I’m wondering what you think of behavior like that, whether it’s befitting of a presidential candidate, whether he should be in the race still,” the reporter asked.

“Who, Lindsey?” Reid asked back, with a perfect deadpan. 

Reid declined to weigh in on the vital importance of Trump going all third grade on Graham, but he was happy to reprise his floor speech from the morning. Watch Reid above, especially the expressions of Sens. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) as they realize what question is being asked.

Michael McAuliff covers Congress and politics for The Huffington Post. Talk to him on Facebook.


Paige Lavender   |   July 20, 2015   11:14 AM ET

July 20 (Reuters) - U.S. Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush vowed on Monday to shake up Washington's culture if he reaches the White House, calling for stricter controls on government spending and a longer ban on lobbying by former members of Congress.

Bush proposed a federal balanced budget amendment and presidential line-item veto power, as well as a freeze on government hiring.

"It will not be my intention to preside over the establishment, but in every way I know to disrupt that establishment and make it accountable to the people," Bush, the former Florida governor, said in a speech in state capital Tallahassee.

Bush, whose father and brother both served as U.S. president, has been eager to distance himself from Washington or any appearance of continuing a political dynasty.

He has pointed to his record in Florida to cast himself as a reformer and to separate himself from the large pack of Republicans seeking the party's nomination for president in the November 2016 election.

On Monday, Bush said Floridians called their capital "Mount Tallahassee" before he took over as governor, because its leaders held themselves apart from their constituents. He said the problems in Washington were similar.

He said he supported a federal balanced budget amendment to limit spending and would institute a rule to hire just one new federal worker for every three who leave.

He also said the president should have "constitutionally sound" line-item veto power to eliminate spending measures from legislation approved by Congress.

Many state governors have some form of line-item veto authority, which lets them strike provisions of bills without rejecting the entire legislation. Congress authorized presidential line-item vetoes in 1996, but the U.S. Supreme Court later ruled the law unconstitutional.

Bush also said he cracked down on lobbying in Florida and would do the same if elected president.

"We need to help politicians to rediscover life outside of Washington, which - who knows? - might even be a pleasant surprise for them," Bush said.

He said lawmakers should have to disclose on their websites when they meet with lobbyists, and members of the House of Representatives and Senate should have to wait six years before they can lobby their former colleagues.

Currently, members of the House have a one-year cooling off period, and senators must wait two years before lobbying. (Reporting by Emily Stephenson and Luciana Lopez; Editing by Bill Rigby)


Paul Ryan Explains What Jeb Bush Meant When He Said Americans Should Work Longer Hours

Michael McAuliff   |   July 10, 2015    3:17 PM ET

WASHINGTON -- Rep. Paul Ryan, who was Mitt Romney's vice presidential nominee in 2012, declined Friday to say whether 2016 contender Jeb Bush's recent declaration that "Americans need to work longer hours" was as damaging as Romney's infamous "47 percent" remarks.

"You're Huffington Post aren't you? What the hell?" the Wisconsin Republican joked at first.

But Ryan, a notorious data geek, did offer his interpretation of what Bush meant to say.

"I think what he’s talking about is the fact that there are too many people in America who have part-time jobs who want full-time jobs. That’s a problem; that's what he’s talking about," Ryan said. "If you get into the labor force participation rates, inside of that, there’s a lot of part-time workers who don’t want to be part-time workers, who want to be full-time workers.”

Bush was hammered over the remark by commentators and the campaign of Hillary Clinton, which noted that Americans are the most productive workers in the world, and that while productivity has kept on rising, it is pay that has lagged. On top of that, Gallup reports that American workers already average nearly 47 hours per week.

Still, part-time workers' share of the workforce has been slowly falling since it peaked at 20 percent after the recession. It still stands at 18.6 percent, a couple of points higher than before the recession.

Asked how many times Bush would now have to say it Ryan’s way, Ryan said, "Welcome to politics."

Michael McAuliff covers Congress and politics for The Huffington Post. Talk to him on Facebook.

Lawmaker Wants To Make Federal Laws Gender Neutral To Reflect Marriage Equality

Amanda Terkel   |   July 9, 2015   11:15 AM ET

WASHINGTON -- Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif.) introduced a bill Wednesday to make federal laws that reference marriage gender neutral, now that the Supreme Court has legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.

"We need to have our values reflected in our laws," she said, adding, "This is a piece of what we have to do to readjust the way everything is framed."

Capps' legislation, which has 23 cosponsors, identifies 31 portions of the federal code that need to be updated. Instead of words like "wife" and "husband," there will be the terms "spouse" or "married couple."

The bill would also fix some areas of gender discrimination written into federal laws. The Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, for example, refers only to miner's wives as being eligible for survivor benefits. With Capps' change, spouses of miners, regardless of gender, would qualify. It is also currently illegal to kill the president's wife, but not his or her husband.

"We appreciate Rep. Capps introducing legislation to ensure that the words in the U.S. Code appropriately reflect the Supreme Court's decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, that all marriages are equal," said Human Rights Campaign spokesman Jason Rahlan.

There have also been efforts to make laws gender neutral at the state level. In Washington state, "fisherman" became "fisher" and "journeyman plumber" became "journey-level plumber."

The Justice Department announced on Thursday that the government will extend federal benefits to same-sex couples in light of the Supreme Court ruling.

'Space Guy' Jeb Bush Would Increase Funding To NASA

Igor Bobic   |   July 8, 2015    4:37 PM ET

WASHINGTON -- If elected president in 2016, Jeb Bush would propose an increase in funding to NASA.

"I'm a space guy," Bush said in a Wednesday sit-down with the New Hampshire Union Leader's editorial board.

The former of governor of Florida, where a large portion of the country's aerospace industry resides, said he would also support increasing federal spending on research and development.

The Obama administration proposed a half-billion dollar increase to NASA's budget earlier this year, totaling $18.5 billion for fiscal year 2016. That request could run aground in the Republican-controlled Congress, where Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), a presidential candidate and the chairman of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Science, Space, and Competitiveness, feels that a reordering of the space agency is in order.

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"We must refocus our investment on the hard sciences, on getting men and women into space, on exploring low-Earth orbit and beyond, and not on political distractions that are extraneous to NASA’s mandate," Cruz said in a statement earlier this year.

Cruz, a Tea Party Republican who denies the existence of global warming, objects to NASA's focus on Earth science and climate change and wants to return the agency to its "core priorities.” It's unlikely that he would zero out funding for programs studying the planet entirely, but he made clear his intent to alter NASA's direction in a budget hearing earlier this year.

It's not entirely clear where the rest of the 2016 Republican presidential field stands on space exploration. Like Bush, Sen. Marco Rubio also hails from the state of Florida, the home of the Kennedy Space Center. He has fought to maintain funding to NASA, and is a booster for a manned mission to Mars. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), on the other hand, would drastically cut funding to the space agency -- by as much as 25 percent, according to his 2014 budget.

Reid Slams Entire GOP Over 'Disgusting' Trump Remarks

Michael McAuliff   |   July 8, 2015    4:03 PM ET

WASHINGTON -- Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) slammed not just Donald Trump but the rest of the Republican Party Wednesday over the wealthy businessman's anti-Mexican slurs.

Trump has repeatedly described undocumented immigrants from Mexico as "rapists" and "drug dealers," adding, "Some, I assume are good people.”

After calling Trump's comments "distasteful, disgusting," Reid went further, hammering his GOP colleagues in the Senate and on the campaign trail for not denouncing the remarks.

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"Frankly, I'm terribly disappointed that my Republican colleagues here in leadership positions in the Senate and those running for president have basically kept their mouths shut," Reid told reporters. "I think that's unfortunate and I think that speaks of where the Republican Party is today."

One Republican senator running for president, Florida's Marco Rubio, has condemned Trump's comments, as has another candidate, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

But Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) was captured on video avoiding the topic and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has said Trump should not apologize.

Michael McAuliff covers Congress and politics for The Huffington Post. Talk to him on Facebook.

Jacob Kerr   |   July 7, 2015    5:14 PM ET

Already vying with 13 other Republicans for the party's presidential nomination, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) may have to face another challenge during his bid for the White House: his state legislature.

Two Democratic state senators are working on a bill that would require the state’s governor to resign in order to run for president, which would force Christie to give up the remaining two and a half years he has left in his term if he wants to keep his presidential bid going.

“He's not doing the state any good by spending the bulk of his time out of state," state Sen. Raymond Lesniak (D), who is expected to be one of the bill’s sponsors, told "And even when he's in-state, he's focusing on what he has to do to get elected president — which often runs contrary to what he ought to do for the state."

Christie spent a significant amount of time out of New Jersey this year in preparing his presidential run. Speaking in New Hampshire in April, Christie said his son joked with him that New Hampshire is his "new home state."

After his campaign announcement in Livingston, New Jersey last week, Christie flew to New Hampshire for a town hall on the same day. He then spent the next four days campaigning in the Granite State.

In an interview on NBC's "Today Show" last week, Christie said he would not consider resigning during his bid for the presidency.

If the bill passes through the legislature, it faces the major hurdle of having to be signed by Christie in order to become law. According to, the state legislature has never been able to get enough votes to override a veto since Christie took office in 2010.

Lesniak jokingly suggested the state’s lieutenant governor, Republican Kim Guadango, could sign the bill on a day Christie is out of the state.

Christie's office declined to comment on the bill to

Although Christie was easily reelected to a second term in 2013, his approval rating in New Jersey has dropped to 30 percent since then. Once the Republican frontrunner in early presidential polls, Christie’s numbers have dropped since the Bridgegate scandal. According to HuffPost Pollster, he’s currently polling at 3 percent.

Dhyana Taylor   |   July 6, 2015    4:27 PM ET

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) went after Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) Monday, accusing him of making the country "weaker" on national security.

“In town hall meetings, people are really worried about ISIS, they're really worried about the threat of terrorism," said Christie during an appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "And that’s why what Rand Paul has done to make this country weaker and more vulnerable is a terrible thing. And for him to raise money off of it is disgraceful."

He added that if the country is ever attacked, Paul should be hauled in front of Congress and made to testify.

"He should be in front of hearings and in front of Congress if there is another attack, not the director of the FBI or the CIA," said Christie.

Christie has frequently criticized Paul on national security issues. In June, he called Paul's opposition to the Patriot Act "shortsighted." He has also compared the senator's views to those of Edward Snowden, the contractor who leaked classified National Security Agency information.

“He’s [Snowden is] a criminal and he’s hiding in Russia, and he’s lecturing to us about the evils of authoritarian government while he lives under the protective umbrella of Vladimir Putin? That’s who [Sens.] Mike Lee and Rand Paul are siding with? With Edward Snowden? Hey, come on," said Christie in May.

Paul has also gone after Christie, saying his "bully demeanor" -- his tendency to yell at voters -- isn't what the country needs.

"I grew up in the South," said Paul in 2014. "And we're 'yes, ma'am' and 'no, sir' and a little bit more polite."

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Amanda Terkel   |   July 6, 2015   10:35 AM ET

The sons of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) were disappointed with their father's criticism of the Supreme Court's recent ruling on marriage equality, exemplifying the generational divide within the Republican Party on gay rights.

"I believe this Supreme Court decision is a grave mistake," Walker said on June 26, when the Supreme Court struck down state bans on same-sex marriage.

That response didn't sit well with his two sons, Matt and Alex, who are taking time off from college to help their father with his upcoming presidential campaign. In an interview with The Washington Post, Walker's wife, Tonette, said she immediately heard from her sons about their displeasure with Walker's comments.

“That was a hard one,” Tonette said. "Our sons were disappointed. ... I was torn. I have children who are very passionate [in favor of same-sex marriage], and Scott was on his side very passionate."

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Last year, Alex served as the witness and best man at the wedding of Shelli Marquardt, Tonette's cousin, and her partner, Cathy Priem.

"It’s hard for me because I have a cousin who I love dearly -- she is like a sister to me -- who is married to a woman, her partner of 18 years," added Tonette.

Walker toned down his criticism of the Supreme Court the day after the ruling, when he went to Colorado with his wife for an event to a friendly crowd of conservatives. There, he instead said, "We should respect the opinions of others in America. But that in return means that they not only respect our opinions, they respect what is written in the Constitution."

The governor told The Washington Post that he doesn't necessarily change his position on an issue when his family disagrees with him, but he does work on "finding a different way of explaining it, so they can appreciate where I am coming from."

In early June, Walker said he supports a constitutional amendment allowing states to ban same-sex marriage.

There is growing acceptance of marriage equality in the Republican Party, although there is still a significant generational gap. A 2014 Pew Research Center poll found that 61 percent of people under 30 who are Republican or lean Republican support same-sex marriage, compared to just 22 percent of those 65 or older.

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