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Jan 4, 2016 10:00 PM

The Latest: Sanders to push plan to hold banks accountable

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) The latest developments in the 2016 presidential campaign (all times EST):


9:50 p.m.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is rolling out a plan to hold Wall Street banks accountable. In a reference to Oliver Stone's 1980s film, "Wall Street," Sanders plans to say Tuesday that "greed is not good."

The Sanders campaign says he will note that the federal government bailed out several financial institutions in 2008 but now three of the four largest financial institutions JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo are nearly 80 percent bigger than before the bailout.

Sanders is pledging to require the Treasury secretary to establish a "Too Big to Fail" list of commercial banks, shadow banks and insurance companies whose failure would pose a "catastrophic risk" to the U.S. economy.

He says within a year he will break up those financial institutions on the list and push for legislation to separate commercial and investment banking.


9:10 p.m.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump steered clear of attacking Bill Clinton on Monday evening, after days of charging the former president and husband of Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton of having a history of abusing women.

Trump drew a crowd of thousands to a sports arena rally in Lowell, Massachusetts. Bill Clinton headlined his first solo events on behalf of his wife Monday.

Trump did go after Hillary Clinton, mocking her for using "the biggest teleprompters I've ever seen" at her events and comparing her with a group of protesters who interrupted his speech.

He said the protesters "remind me a little bit of Hillary. No energy, no stamina, no strength."

Trump was interrupted repeatedly by protesters, who drew loud boos from the crowd.


8:50 p.m.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz says the U.S. Supreme Court is "out of control" and if Hillary Clinton is president she will appoint justices to solidify an "ultra-liberal, lawless majority" and make it illegal to own a firearm.

The Republican presidential candidate made the comment Monday during an event in Winterset, Iowa, where he took questions from Focus on the Family evangelical leader James Dobson.

Cruz says the next president will appoint up to four Supreme Court justices, and if it's Clinton the court will rule that the government can make it a felony to own a firearm. That motivated one person in the crowd to shout, "Come and take it!"

Cruz quipped in reaction, "I think Iowa and Texas have some things in common here."

Cruz says the Supreme Court's recent rulings upholding President Barack Obama's health overhaul law and allowing same-sex marriages are "fundamentally illegitimate" and were "lawless and will not stand."


8:30 p.m.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz says he still sees himself as the underdog in Iowa though he also believes increasing attacks from fellow Republicans suggest he's the one to beat.

Cruz told reporters Monday before a town hall in Winterset, Iowa, that he won't "engage in the back-and-forth mudslinging and the insults."

Cruz says: "A couple of weeks ago almost every Republican candidate in the field was attacking Donald Trump. Today, almost every Republican candidate in the field is attacking me. It kind of suggests maybe something has changed."

Cruz is in the first day of a six-day swing through Iowa that's taking him to 28 counties. He says the only way he's campaigned is as the underdog, "and that is certainly how I continue to view myself."

Earlier Monday, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio criticized Cruz during an Iowa speech, questioning comments Cruz had made promising to carpet-bomb the Islamic State until the sand glowed. Trump has accused Cruz of copying his call for building a wall along the Mexican border.


8 p.m.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is accusing Donald Trump of running a campaign based on demagoguery and division, a strategy Sanders says has been used for decades to pit Americans against each other.

Sanders says, "That's the oldest trick in the book he didn't invent it."

He says Trump's rhetoric on Muslims and immigrants is designed to "create a nation of hatred."

Sanders says turning Americans against each other only makes the rich richer while ordinary people are "fighting with each other for the crumbs."

The Democratic candidate was speaking to a raucous crowd of nearly 1,000 people in New Hampshire.


5:30 p.m.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is rolling out a new set of policies aimed at curbing addiction and stopping the flow of illegal drugs. His proposal comes a day before he joins five other presidential hopefuls at an addiction forum in early-voting New Hampshire, where an estimated 400 people died from drug overdoses in 2015.

Bush's team says his new policy focuses on heroin and other drug abuse as both a health and criminal justice issue. His ideas include creating more drug courts to send non-violent drug offenders through treatment programs and cracking down on the overprescribing of painkillers and the flow of illicit drugs into the country. He says he'd make the Director of the Office of the National Drug Control Policy a cabinet-level position.

A summary of Bush's plans provided by the campaign do not outline how much Bush would spend on drug-related policies. But his plan suggests the federal government is currently spending money inefficiently, and he promises a review and overhaul of spending to focus on evidence-based practices. Several presidential candidates have visited a peer-based recovery center while campaigning in New Hampshire, and Bush specifically highlights support for such programs in his plan.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and former technology executive Carly Fiorina will also speak at Tuesday's addiction forum.


3:40 p.m.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's campaign says they intentionally used footage of a Spanish enclave in Morocco in a television ad that touches on U.S. border security. The campaign said in a statement the images were "selected to demonstrate the severe impact of an open border and the very real threat Americans face if we do not immediately build a wall and stop illegal immigration."

The campaign insists "the biased mainstream media doesn't understand, but Americans who want to protect their jobs and their families do."

The billionaire celebrity launched his campaign characterizing Mexican immigrants as criminals and rapists, and promising to build a wall "with a big, beautiful door," to stop illegal immigration from Mexico.


2:10 p.m.

Hillary Clinton is opening her first campaign event of the year in Iowa by condemning congressional Republicans plans to repeal President Barack Obama's health care law.

The Democratic presidential candidate, in Davenport Monday, said that Republicans are "willing to turn their back on 19 million Americans" who have benefited from the law. She warned it would empower the insurance and drug industry.

The legislation will be considered in the House later this week and is expected to mark the first time a bill repealing the health care law reaches Obama's desk. Obama will veto the measure, which would repeal the law and cut money for Planned Parenthood.

Clinton said Republicans have "no plan" of their own and only want to "undo what Democrats have fought for decades."

She said if a Republican is in the White House, "it will be repealed and then you will have to start all over again."

The longstanding fight over the so-called Obamacare law is expected to continue during January. GOP leaders in Congress are planning to hold a veto override vote later this month to coincide with events in Washington with anti-abortion activists.


1:30 p.m.

Supporters of Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz say they are spending $1 million on television and radio advertisements that portray rival Marco Rubio as unserious using fantasy football as a means for getting their message across. Left unsaid is that the Rubio footage included is a spoof made by the candidate himself.

The 30-second TV version of the ad opens with images of armed soldiers and a warning that the Islamic State terrorist group is "plotting to kill Americans." It soon pivots to the question, "What would Marco Rubio's leadership look like?" and shows him at a laptop computer and on a mobile phone. "Yeah, I know I have a debate, but I've got to get this fantasy football thing right, OK?" The ad concludes by saying "America can't afford to gamble with its safety."

The fantasy football clip is from Rubio's own campaign. It was meant as comedy relief before the GOP debate in October. The campaign put the video on Youtube and included a link to sign up to support Rubio.

The anti-Rubio ad is paid for mostly by Robert Mercer, a New York hedge fund magnate who is contributing to a super political action committee that faces no campaign finance restrictions and has pledged support to Cruz.

Rubio's aides dismissed the strategy, with his New Hampshire-based senior adviser Jim Merrill writing on Twitter that the ad is "redefining dumb."


1:15 p.m.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is speaking out against armed protesters who have taken over a national wildlife refuge in Oregon.

Cruz told reporters Monday before a campaign stop in Boone, Iowa, that he hopes the protesters will "stand down peaceably" with no violent confrontation "sooner rather than later."

Cruz says that while everyone has a right to protest, "we don't have a constitutional right to use force of violence or threaten force of violence on others."

11:30 a.m.

Jeb Bush is hinting strongly that his closing argument to New Hampshire voters will be about U.S. military buildup specifically aimed at defeating the Islamic State group.

In a new television advertisement Monday, the former Florida governor, whose campaign rests on how he competes in the leadoff primary next month, features excerpts from a speech he delivered last month in South Carolina. The ad debuted as he gears up for a three-day campaign trip in New Hampshire beginning Tuesday.

Bush has called for a broad international coalition led by the United States and Arab nations to destroy the group, now rooted in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere in the region. The group claimed responsibility for the November bombings and shootings in Paris in which roughly 130 were killed. U.S. residents, said to have been loyal to the militant group, were also responsible for the deadly shootings in San Bernadino, Calif. last month.

Though Bush is not a military veteran, he has been traveling throughout New Hampshire frequently with retired military veterans and Congressional Medal of Honor recipients, to boost his national security credentials. The ad features footage from a speech gave at the Military College of the South, known as the Citadel, in Charleston South Carolina last month.

Bush is scheduled to campaign in Dover Tuesday.


9:45 a.m.

Marco Rubio is lashing out at Republican rivals in a New Hampshire speech focused on national security.

The Florida Republican declined to call them out by name in the Monday morning address, but said some Republican presidential candidates would weaken the nation's military and intelligence programs designed to prevent terrorism.

"They talk tough," Rubio said in prepared remarks, "yet they would strip us of the ability to keep our people safe."

The shot, and others like it, was a clear reference to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.

Cruz in particular has emerged as a top competitor to Rubio with Iowa's leadoff caucuses less than a month away. Cruz has called for limits on U.S. intervention abroad, while Rubio has aligned himself with his party's national security hawks.

The Florida senator is looking to strengthen the U.S. government's intelligence gathering programs at home. He also said in the Monday address he has "no qualms" about treating Americans as enemy combatants if they betray their country by refusing to disclose "actionable information" about terrorist threats.


8:40 a.m.

Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie will lay out the case for his candidacy in a speech Monday that will paint him not only as the only candidate who understands the anger felt by GOP voters, but the only one who has the experience to fix what's broken.

"It's not enough to just express anger--we must also elect someone who knows how to get things done," the New Jersey governor will say, according to excerpts released by his campaign early Monday.

The speech appears aimed at trying to sell Christie as a less risky alternative to Trump.

It takes numerous veiled shots at the billionaire businessman who dominated the race in late 2015.

"These times and these challenges demand a grown-up," the preview detailed.

Christie closed out the year with growing momentum in early-voting New Hampshire.

He'll also call on the Republican Party to unite behind a single candidate and focus on defeating Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.


8:30 a.m.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's first television campaign ad features dark images of the San Bernardino shooters, body bags, and images of masked men and sets a tone of unapologetic strength.

The ad is the billionaire businessman's first foray into the world of television advertising after spending 2015 dominating polls and headlines while largely avoiding major spending.

"The politicians can pretend it's something else. But Donald Trump calls it radical Islamic terrorism. That's why he's calling for a temporary shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until we can figure out what's going on," a narrator says.

The ad continues by saying that Trump will "quickly cut the head off ISIS and take their oil," using an acronym for the Islamic State group. "He'll stop illegal immigrants by building a wall on our southern border that Mexico will pay for."

It ends with Trump, at one of his rallies, vowing to "make America great again."

The ad will begin airing in Iowa and New Hampshire on Tuesday, Trump's campaign said in a statement.


7:00 a.m.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has debuted his first campaign ad, which is set to air in early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire.

The billionaire businessman said in a statement Monday he will begin spending at least $2 million dollars per week on his campaign, with $1.1 million allocated to television ads in Iowa and close to $1 million on TV ads in New Hampshire

The initial ad, scheduled to begin airing on Tuesday, focuses on key issues including national security and illegal immigration.

Trump has already aired radio ads in the first three primary states. The Iowa caucus the first in early voting is scheduled for Feb. 1.


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