Republicans aren’t only worried about what might come out of Paul Broun’s mouth. Here are others who have party strategists worried.
Ken Buck: “You can choose who your partner is. I think birth has an influence over [homosexuality], like alcoholism and some other things, but I think that basically you have a choice.” Senate debate in 2010
Any list of disastrous Republican Senate candidates since 2010 always includes Christine O’Donnell, Sharron Angle, and Todd Akin, but Buck should be on it, too. The 2010 GOP nominee in Colorado cost the party a winnable seat by running a gaffe-prone campaign that let Sen. Michael Bennet squeak out a victory. No misstep was more prominent than the one when, during a nationally televised debate on Meet the Press, he called being gay a choice and compared it to alcoholism. The sharp-edged social conservatism doesn’t play well in increasingly liberal Colorado.
Mark Harris: “There is not the medical evidence that an individual that chooses the homosexual lifestyle is born that way. That is a choice.” Interview on Speak Out Charlotte in July 2013
Harris would be a newcomer to office, but not to politics. The Baptist pastor last year led the movement in North Carolina to adopt a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, a measure that passed overwhelmingly. But a renewed debate over same-sex marriage is the last thing national Republicans want, especially as public support for it swells. Harris would dash those plans, and his unapologetic evangelicalism will make him prone to other rhetorical mistakes.
Joe Miller: “Ultimately, we’ve got to transition out of the Social Security arrangement and go into more of a privatization.” Interview with ABC News in July 2010
The best thing many Republicans say about Joe Miller is that they don’t think he can win. The 2010 GOP nominee already suffered one embarrassing defeat three years ago, when Sen. Lisa Murkowski ran a write-in campaign to defeat him in the general election. Now in a three-person primary race, GOP operatives hope rank-and-file voters remember him as the man who has vowed to ultimately rid the country of Social Security. Not to mention the man whose campaign once put a reporter in handcuffs.
Phil Gingrey: “[Akin] went on and said that in a situation of rape, of a legitimate rape, a woman’s body has a way of shutting down so the pregnancy would not occur. He’s partly right on that.” According to the Marietta Daily Journal in January 2013
He’s not Paul Broun, but he’s close. The 71-year-old House member has a voting record every bit as extreme as his colleague’s, and his rhetoric is nearly as controversial. Gingrey made headlines early this year when he defended Akin’s infamous suggestion that a woman can stop herself from becoming pregnant after a rape. Republicans will have a better shot at defeating Michelle Nunn if he, not Broun, is the nominee, but just barely. Democrats are confident they will win if they face either one.
Bob Vander Plaats: “If we’re teaching the kids, ‘Don’t smoke, because that’s a risky health style,’ the same can be true of the homosexual lifestyle. That’s why I think we need to speak the truth once in a while.” Interview with ThinkProgress in April 2011
Everyone who follows Iowa politics knows Bob Vander Plaats. And everyone who knows Bob Vander Plaats knows the outspoken social conservative loves to court controversy. His suggestion that homosexuality is a public-health risk is his best-known gaffe, but it’s hardly the only comment that would haunt him in a general election. The group he runs, the Family Leader, suggested during the last presidential campaign that black men and women were better off during slavery because at least then they lived in a two-parent household. Even many Republicans find him off-putting: In 2010, he lost the party’s gubernatorial fight to Terry Branstad.
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At the end of the debate, moderator Lester Holt asked Donald Trump if he stands by his statement that Hillary Clinton didn't have the look of a president. Trump responded by saying Holt misquoted him, instead saying that Clinton "doesn't have the stamina." Clinton responded by saying that when Trump visits 112 countries as secretary of state, he can talk to her about stamina.
Donald Trump, when pressed by Lester Holt on why he finally admitted that President Obama was born in America, repeated his widely debunked claim that it was started by Hillary Clinton.
Hillary Clinton went point by point on how race can so often determine the treatment that people receive, mentioning recent shootings in Tulsa and Charlotte, calling for restored trust between communities and police, and demanding criminal justice reform. Trump responded by calling for law and order and touting his endorsements from police unions. He then said that “African Americans are living in hell,” saying they are just walking down the street and getting “shot ... being decimated by crime."
Just as Hillary Clinton was inviting debate viewers to visit her site for real-time fact checking, there appeared to be a problem with Donald Trump's own campaign website. For about a 15-minute period, a blank page or an error message appeared when we tried to load the Trump site.
Donald Trump has come out in the first segment of this debate raring to go. Trump has interrupted nearly every answer being given by Hillary Clinton, talking over her time and again. Clinton is sticking to her guns, smiling while Trump speaks and then calling on people to go to her website and see the fact checking being done.