The Note: Clinton, Sanders And The Keys To Keystone

ByABC News
July 29, 2015, 8:58 AM
Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, April 29, 2015.
Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, April 29, 2015.
Carolyn Kaster/AP Photo


--HILLARY CLINTON STILL WON'T TAKE A POSITION ON KEYSTONE: At an event in New Hampshire yesterday, Hillary Clinton was asked by a voter if "yes or no" she would vote to approve the Keystone pipeline. Once again she punted -- saying it's "President Obama's decision," but, she gave a little more insight in to when she might take a stance, according to ABC's LIZ KREUTZ. "If it is undecided when I become president, I will answer your question."

--READ CLINTON'S FULL RESPONSE: "No other presidential candidate was secretary of state when this process started, and I put together a very thorough deliberative, evidence based process to evaluate the environmental impact and other considerations of Keystone. As such, I know that there is a very careful evaluation continuing, and at the final decisions pending to be made by Secretary Kerry and President Obama, very simply, the evaluation is determined whether this pipeline is in our nation's interest and I'm confident that the pipeline's impact on global greenhouse gas emissions will be a major factor in that decision, as the president has said. So I will refrain from commenting because I had a leading role in getting that process started and we have to let it run its course."

--BERNIE BATS BACK: Democratic presidential candidate and Clinton rival Bernie Sanders has, for a long time, said Keystone was one of the defining differences between him and Clinton, ABC's MARYALICE PARKS notes. Yesterday he put out the following statement: "We have to address the planetary crisis of climate change and there is no question that we must move aggressively toward energy efficiency and the development of sustainable energy sources such as wind, solar, geothermal and biomass. That is why I have introduced legislation that would create 10 million solar rooftops on homes and businesses in the United States. So I agree with Secretary Clinton about the need for substantial investment in sustainable energy."

--"BUT THAT IS NOT ENOUGH," Sanders added. "We must make significant reductions in carbon emissions and break our dependency on fossil fuels. That is why I have helped lead the fight in the Senate against the Keystone pipeline which would transport some of the dirtiest fossil fuel in the world. It is hard for me to understand how one can be concerned about climate change but not vigorously oppose the Keystone pipeline."

--ANALYSIS -- ABC's RICK KLEIN: You can thank Donald Trump for taking away the attention from the clashes that could leave the GOP with more battle scars than anything the Donald has to offer. On Capitol Hill, talk of Reagan's 11th Commandment is well past over, amid some of the worst intraparty fighting in this current era of Republican control of Congress. Sen. Ted Cruz is accusing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of lying to his colleagues. McConnell is accusing Sen. Mike Lee of secret alliances with outside groups aimed at pressuring fellow GOPers. And in the House, a surprise move by Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., leaves a rare formal motion to oust House Speaker John Boehner lingering through the August recess. At a minimum, the breakdowns mean that we can pretty much close the books on meaningful accomplishments by the current Congress, with about three-quarters of the term still to go. It's worth remembering that these divisions -- the establishment wing's continued never-ending struggles with tea party-aligned and a growing network of outside groups -- are likely to impact the presidential primaries more than any damage Trump might do to his Republican rivals.

HAPPENING TODAY: The AFL-CIO Executive Council meets in Silver Spring, Maryland to host several presidential candidates including Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Martin O'Malley, Jim Webb, and Mike Huckabee is the lone Republican. The candidates will try and woo the important union and while it's very unlikely Huckabee would get the group's backing, he's there to push his populist message, ABC's SHUSHANNAH WALSHE notes. The AFL-CIO describes the meetings as "individual discussions about working people and the AFL-CIO's Raising Wages Agenda."

--ELSWHERE ON THE TRAIL: Donald Trump is off the trail and leaving today for the Women's British Open in Scotland. The Open is at the Trump Turnberry resort. Bernie Sanders is in Washington, DC and his campaign is hosting thousands of video livestream parties in all 50 states at 7:30pm. Chris Christie is in New Hampshire. At 8:00AM Christie will attend a "meet and greet" at Robie's Country Store in Hooksett. At 11:30AM, Christie attends the Americans for Peace, Prosperity & Security Forum in Manchester. Rick Perry is in New York City. He will lay out his plan for Wall Street reform at an event hosted by the Committee to Unleash Prosperity. He will speak at 1:20pm at the Yale Club.


WHY MIKE HUCKABEE IS TALKING ABOUT THE HOLOCAUST. By evoking Nazi death camps when discussing the Iran nuclear agreement, Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee elicited harsh criticism -- but also spoke to a key constituency of voters who agree with him, ABC's BEN GITTLESON notes. Jewish groups, Israelis, Democrats and some of his competitors for the Republican nomination characterized his assertion that President Barack Obama was marching Israelis "to the door of the oven" as "unacceptable" and "out of line." But Huckabee may be betting that his language will resonate with the conservative Christian voters on whom he is relying to turn out for him in the Republican primaries. Evangelical white Protestants comprise 38 percent of people who identify as Republicans and 41 percent of people who identify themselves as registered Republican voters. Huckabee did well among this group when he last ran for president in 2008.

--BY THE NUMBERS: The most recent ABC News-Washington Post poll, released last week, showed that the Iran deal is less popular among Republicans. Overall, 56 percent of Americans support the deal, 37 percent are opposed. Among Republicans, those numbers flip: 54 percent oppose it, while 41 percent support it. Among evangelical white Protestants, a core Republican group, opposition is similar: 57 oppose it while 34 percent support it.

DONALD TRUMP'S EX-WIFE IVANA DISAVOWS OLD 'RAPE' ALLEGATION. Donald Trump's first wife, Ivana Trump, said Tuesday that she is "the best of friends" with her ex-husband, responding to a report in the Daily Beast on Monday that cited her 1989 divorce case deposition in which the former Mrs. Trump claimed Trump allegedly raped her once. A statement Tuesday from Ivana Trump appeared to refute the allegations in the deposition, which were revealed in a 1993 book, "The Lost Tycoon: The Many Lives of Donald J. Trump," according to ABC's JOHN SANTUCCI. "I have recently read some comments attributed to me from nearly 30 years ago at a time of very high tension during my divorce from Donald," she said in the statement today. "The story is totally without merit. Donald and I are the best of friends and together have raised 3 children that we love and are very proud of." Ivana Trump had already walked back the rape allegation in 1993 as the book was about to be published.


"UNDER OATH, DONALD TRUMP SHOWS HIS RAW SIDE," by The New York Times' MICHAEL BARBARO and STEVE EDER. "Donald J. Trump seemed irritated. He had been grilled for two hours in a lawsuit over a failed Florida real estate project, and he told the lawyer that her questions were 'very stupid.' When the lawyer, Elizabeth Beck, asked for a medical break, Mr. Trump and his lawyers objected, demanding that the deposition continue. Ms. Beck said it was urgent - she needed to pump breast milk for her 3-month-old daughter, and she took the pump out to make her point. Mr. Trump erupted. 'You're disgusting,' he told Ms. Beck, in a remark that is not disputed by either side. He then walked out of the room, ending the testimony for the day. In his unorthodox campaign for the Republican nomination for president, Mr. Trump has portrayed himself as a teller of difficult truths, whose wealth unburdens him from the careful pronouncements of ordinary candidates. ... Hundreds of pages of sworn testimony by Mr. Trump over the past decade show something less flattering. Some of his claims, made under oath, and under pressure, are shown to be hyperbolic overstatements, and others to be shadings of the truth or even outright misstatements. And in rare instances, he turns boorish and demeaning."


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