Politics & Government

Politics, elections, law, military and veteran's affairs

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

The last presidential debate before the Iowa caucuses, hosted by the Fox News Channel, brought some surprises.

Donald Trump, who helped Fox reach 24 million viewers in the first debate, decided not to attend. He thought moderator Megyn Kelly treated him unfairly in last August's debate and didn't want to suffer a repeat offense. Instead, Trump hosted his own event — apparently a benefit for veterans — during the debate.

Get Caught Up:

  1. In the Trump-less debate, arrows were shot at Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who was center stage. He complained Fox News was trying to goad his rivals to attack him, taking on a Trump-ian line. The sharpest elbows were thrown between Cruz and Rubio over immigration after Fox News showed past clips of each of them espousing different views and having to defend whether or not they were opposed to legalization for immigrants in the country illegally.

A long-standing principle of U.S. politics, that voters prefer candidates with strong faith beliefs, has been called into question in the 2016 presidential campaign. Recent opinion surveys suggest that voters don't see either Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders as very religious, but that perception does not seem to be damaging their political prospects.

Two trends are evident from new surveys by the Pew Research Center and the Public Religion Research Institute:

  • Voters are themselves generally less religious than they used to be.
Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Four days before the Iowa caucuses, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders' campaign has released a doctor's letter declaring Sanders "in overall very good health."

The letter, from Dr. Brian Monahan, Congress' attending physician, states that Sanders' last physical was "normal." The exam included a blood pressure exam, cholesterol count and electrocardiogram.

Once again this week, an investigation into Planned Parenthood's alleged sale of fetal tissue came up empty.

People are complicated.

That was certainly true of Vincent A. Cianci, better known as Buddy. He was the enigmatic former mayor of Providence, who died Thursday morning at the age of 74.

If Donald Trump keeps his promise not to appear at Thursday night's Fox News debate, it will be the first time in recent history that a top candidate, let alone the front-runner, will skip such a high-profile event so close to Election Day.

But, if anyone can pull off such a stunt and still come out on top, it's probably Trump. He's been breaking all the usual political rules this cycle.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Donald Trump said this week if he went out on Fifth Avenue in New York and shot someone, he probably wouldn't lose any votes.

He chose a pretty big someone — Fox News (whose offices are one block over from Fifth).

Tune in to Thursday night's Republican debate on Fox (9 p.m. EST) in Iowa, the last one before Monday's caucuses, and you'll notice one very big elephant not in the room — Trump. The man who helped Fox to a record 24 million viewers in the first primary debate of this campaign season won't be there.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Bernie Sanders spent some time today in the office he hopes to win - the Oval Office. He paid a visit to the White House and met with President Obama for about 45 minutes. Here's Sanders after that meeting.

President Obama and Vice President Biden "have tried to be fair and even-handed" in the primary process, Sen. Bernie Sanders said Wednesday following a meeting with the president at the White House.

Calling the meeting "constructive and productive," Sanders cautiously praised the Obama administration's economic work, saying there is still work to be done. The two also talked talked about foreign and domestic policy and "a little bit of politics," according to Sanders, who spoke to reporters after the meeting.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Where a mainstream fashion magazine might do a special "black issue," like Italian Vogue back in 2008, or a black lifestyle magazine might run a queer feature, the perspective of queer black folks tends to occupy occasional outskirts in fashion and lifestyle glossies, never the mainstay.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Donald Trump says he's out, not out of the presidential race but out of the final Republican debate before the Iowa caucuses. Here's NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson.

It's a challenge making sure that low-income children who get free- and reduced-priced meals during the school year continue to get fed during the summer.

Government meal programs served 3.8 million children on an average summer day last year — far fewer than the 22 million children who got subsidized meals during the school year.

While most of the presidential field descends on Iowa for next week's caucuses, at least one candidate won't be there. Ohio Gov. John Kasich plans to hold a town hall in New Hampshire on Iowa caucus night.

He has held more town halls in the Granite State than any other candidate — 80 to date, with plans to surpass 100.

Kasich is spending so much time in New Hampshire, he's even become comfortable joking about it.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This post was updated Wednesday at 8:45 a.m. ET

The stage is set for Thursday's Fox News Channel final debate ahead of the Iowa caucuses — but front-runner Donald Trump won't be there.

After teasing earlier Tuesday evening that he "probably won't bother" with the debate, Trump's campaign confirmed he won't participate, citing unfair treatment from the network:

The Obama administration took another step to try to reform the country's prisons this week, banning the use of solitary confinement for juveniles and charging the Bureau of Prisons with finding alternatives to that punishment for the mentally ill.

Pages