Politics & Government

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

Some party loyalists are scrambling to try to course correct Donald Trump's erratic presidential campaign after the nominee suffered a startling number of self-inflicted campaign wounds in just the kick-off week of the general election race.

(Editor's note: Both major presidential candidates this year are Protestants. Both of their running mates were raised as Catholics. Beyond that, their faith profiles are very different. We dug into the faiths of the Democratic candidates below and of the Republican ticket here.)

In an unusual electoral twist, it was the GOP establishment who claimed victory over conservatives with the primary defeat of Kansas Rep. Tim Huelskamp on Tuesday night.

Buoyed by agriculture interest groups and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, obstetrician Roger Marshall easily ousted the three-term congressman who was one of the most hard-line conservative members of the House and a member of the rabble-rousing Freedom Caucus.

On the final night of the Republican National Convention last month, as Donald Trump formally accepted his party's nomination for president, my Code Switch co-host Shereen Marisol Meraji fired off a tweet about how unnerved she was watching Trump's address, with its angry denunciations of Muslims and Mexican immigrants.

"This speech is difficult to listen to as a Latina and an Iranian," she wrote. "So much fear-mongering."

Even before Hillary Clinton chose him as her vice presidential running mate, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine was on TV, explaining how he had been completely open about gifts and free travel he had accepted between 2006 and 2010 as the state's governor.

"The key was disclosure," he said on MSNBC, "and nobody's ever raised a concern that anybody who contributed, whether a campaign contributor or a gift giver, ever got anything for it."

Two retired generals spoke at the national political conventions last month — one in favor of the Democratic candidate and one for the Republican.

At the Democrats' convention, Marine Corps Gen. John Allen offered a thinly-veiled swipe at Donald Trump.

"But I also know that with [Hillary Clinton] as our commander in chief, our international relations will not be reduced to a business transaction," Allen said.

At the Republican convention, Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn joined in the crowd's chants to arrest Hillary Clinton.

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

In an election year filled with anti-Muslim vitriol, some mosques are urging their worshipers to vote in an attempt to make their voices heard. To do so, they're borrowing a strategy used by African-American churches and organizing "souls to the polls" campaigns.

All summer long, the clock has been ticking on voting rights cases. Judges don't like to change voting rules too near an election, and November is creeping ever closer.

And the last two weeks, in particular, have been eventful: Five courts in five states ruled against voter ID and proof-of-citizenship laws.

There's still time for appeals and stays. But for now, advocates for voting access are celebrating.

"It's been like Christmas Day," one activist told CNN on Monday.

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WATCH: Donald Trump Kicks Baby Out Of Rally

Aug 2, 2016

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has a history of barring people from his campaign events. He's banned reporters from the Washington Post and anti-Trump protesters are routinely escorted out.

And now a baby joins their ranks outside the perimeters.

What would Ivanka Trump do if she were sexually harassed on the job?

GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump says she would quit.

"I would like to think she would find another career or find another company if that was the case," Donald Trump told Kirsten Powers in a USA Today column published Monday.

The Department of Justice has broad-ranging powers to decide who gets prosecuted with the full weight of the federal government. And some of the rhetoric used on the campaign trail this year, especially by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, worries some department veterans about the possibility of major political interference in law enforcement by the next administration.

President Obama reiterated that he believes Donald Trump is "unfit" to be president, issuing a sharp rebuke of the Republican nominee from the White House East Room on Tuesday.

"Yes, I think the Republican nominee is unfit to serve as president," Obama said in response to a question from a reporter during a news conference with Lee Hsien Loong, the prime minister of Singapore. "I said so last week, and he keeps on proving it."

Hillary Clinton can consider her convention a modest success. Gallup reported this week that 45 percent of Americans said they were more likely to vote for her, compared to 41 percent who said less likely.

Historically, that's not a terribly impressive number. But if you compare that to Donald Trump's convention, Clinton and her friends in Philadelphia last week did phenomenally well. Just 36 percent of Americans said the Republican convention made them more likely to vote for Trump, compared to 51 percent who said less likely.

Rep. Paul Ryan is a powerful member of Congress — he's House speaker serving his ninth term, and up for re-election. But some persuasive forces — including GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump and conservative pundit Ann Coulter — are expressing support for his Wisconsin primary opponent Paul Nehlen.

The state holds its Republican primary next Tuesday, Aug. 9.

The NPR Politics team is back with a quick take to discuss the ongoing controversy over GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump's response to the parents of a Muslim-American solider who was killed in Iraq in 2004.

They also talk about the GOP establishment's reactions to Trump's comments and what it could all mean for Trump's campaign.

On the podcast:

  • Campaign Reporter Scott Detrow
  • Campaign Reporter Asma Khalid
  • Political Editor Domenico Montanaro

The recent hacking of Democratic Party databases — and strong suspicions that the Russian government is involved — have led to new fears that America's voting systems are vulnerable to attack and that an outsider could try to disrupt the upcoming elections.

Now that the political conventions are over, its time to start thinking about the transition to the next president.

Yes, really.

As of August 1st, the federal government is making office space available to representatives of the Clinton and Trump campaigns to start making plans for taking over in January. If this seems a bit early, those who have been there say it's not.

"This is the most complicated takeover, not only on the planet, but in history," says Max Stier, President of the Partnership For Public Service.

Khizr Khan, whose speech at the Democratic National Convention about his slain son has garnered admiration from Democrats and some Republicans, but ire from Donald Trump, says the candidate needs to have "patience and tolerance for criticism."

In an implicit rebuke of Donald Trump, President Obama praised the nation's Gold Star families, saying those who've lost loved ones in military service are "a powerful reminder of the true strength of America."

"No one has given more for our freedom and our security than our Gold Star families," Obama said Monday, in a speech to the Disabled American Veterans in Atlanta. "Our Gold Star families have made a sacrifice that most of us cannot even begin to imagine."

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Whoever moves into the White House next, his or her policies will not only affect Americans, but people around the world.

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