Don Gonyea

Former GOP presidential hopeful Linsdey Graham has announced his endorsement of Jeb Bush for president.

Graham's presidential campaign went nowhere, but as a senator from the early voting state of South Carolina he hopes to still have some clout.

Graham praised Bush's temperament Friday morning, following Thursday night's GOP debate. "He hasn't tried to get ahead in a contested primary by embracing demagoguery ... he's not running to be commander-in-chief by running people down," he said.

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Here's a candidate for understatement of the year: The current presidential race has not exactly followed the script that the pundits, journalists and even that know-it-all news junkie at your book club or local diner predicted. You might say it was the year that conventional wisdom got humbled ... or Trumped.

The first, big moment of the 2016 race came just over a year ago, in the form of a tweet from the handle @JebBush:

Here's what Bush told TV station WPLG back then:

This story is part of NPR's series Journey Home. We're going to the places presidential candidates call home and finding out what those places tell us about how they see the world.

Few presidential candidates go around invoking Richard Nixon. But that's exactly what GOP hopeful John Kasich does. It all goes back to a complaint Kasich had about his dorm room and a meeting with a university president 45 years ago.

The Republican presidential hopefuls debate in Las Vegas Tuesday night will be the first since the terrorist attacks in Paris and in San Bernardino, Calif. In recent weeks, ISIS and how to keep Americans safe have dominated the campaign and shot to the top of Americans' concerns.

The latest pronouncement from the presidential campaign of Donald Trump calls for the U.S. to refuse to let any Muslim — from anywhere — into the United States.

It has prompted very strong criticism, including from some of his fellow Republican candidates and state party leaders.

The Philadelphia Daily News cover Tuesday morning labels Trump "The New Furor."

Trump's proposal came the day after President Obama's Sunday night televised address from the Oval Office in which the president urged Americans to reject discrimination against Muslim Americans.

There's a new addition to the statue-lined hallways of the U.S. Capitol — a marble bust in the likeness of Dick Cheney.

It's a tradition — and a perk — afforded vice presidents since the late 1800s.

On Thursday morning, former President George W. Bush, Vice President Biden and other dignitaries offered effusive praise — and polite jokes as the sculpture was unveiled.

"Nobody could accuse Dick Cheney of living an inconsequential life," House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said of the nation's 46th vice president, who played a strong role in the lead-up to the Iraq War.

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It is hard to overstate the importance of New Hampshire for the presidential hopes of Jeb Bush.

He entered the year as the clear frontrunner. Now, after months of unfocused answers in interviews, unimpressive performances in the three GOP debates, and a general lack of enthusiasm on the campaign trail, he's in the middle of the pack in polls and stunned to be looking up at the likes of Donald Trump and Ben Carson.

Ben Carson and Donald Trump have very different personalities — one is as low-key as the other is over-the-top bombastic. They currently lead the rest of the field in the GOP presidential race and, unlike many political newcomers, each is building an organized ground game in Iowa to make sure his supporters actually turn out for the Feb. 1 caucuses.

At a recent Trump rally at a Sioux City high school, loudspeakers blasted an unofficial head-banging campaign anthem by Twisted Sister, to pump up the crowd for the candidate who wouldn't speak for another hour.

One candidate came out of Wednesday night's Republican presidential debate with a lot of questions to answer — Jeb Bush.

Supporters were disappointed by his performance and inability to stand out at a critical time for his campaign. As Bush struggles, his chances may come down to the early primary state of New Hampshire.

Bush had a big moment preplanned in that Colorado debate. It was aimed at Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., for missing so many votes in the Senate while campaigning.

There's nothing new about a big Donald Trump rally in Iowa. But what was different Tuesday was that it was Trump's first Iowa event in more than three months when he wasn't sitting atop the polls in the state.

All of the surveys of Iowa voters in the past week have put Dr. Ben Carson in the top spot. And Trump seemed perplexed by the turn of events — and let his audience know it.

"I love New Hampshire," Trump told the Sioux City, Iowa, crowd. "We've got great numbers, 38 to 12."

As Democrats gain from the nation's growing diversity — attracting solid majorities among Hispanic and African American voters — Republicans are gaining among white, working-class voters, a group that was once a Democratic stronghold.

Nowhere is this clearer than in West Virginia, where the president touched down this week to talk about drug addiction.

Updated at 3:55 pm ET.

The nation's largest public-employee union is backing Hillary Clinton for president. The board of the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees voted to endorse the former senator and secretary of State on Friday.

"AFSCME members want a candidate who is committed to fixing our out-of-balance economy and raising incomes for hardworking people, who are still struggling to make ends meet," said AFSCME president Lee Saunders in a statement.

These are critical days for the presidential campaign of Jeb Bush.

The former Florida governor has been traversing Iowa this week, in effect reintroducing himself to voters, with the first-in-the-nation caucuses in that state now less than four months away.

This is not where Bush and his advisers expected to be when he got into the race early this year. Back then he was quickly labeled the front-runner — the man to beat.

No one calls Bush that anymore, with the topsy-turvy, crowded GOP field and its outsiders named Trump, Carson and Fiorina sitting atop the polls.

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So a little history. And for events of today, we have Don Gonyea here live in the studio now. Good morning.

DON GONYEA, BYLINE: Good morning.

The meeting between Pope Francis and President Obama at the White House continues a tradition going back nearly a century between U.S. presidents and the head of the Roman Catholic Church.

The talks are private, often personal and, always, they take place against the backdrop of the politics of the time. That was the case at the very first such meeting, at the Vatican, as Europe was recovering from World War I.

Woodrow Wilson, the growing Catholic Democrats in the U.S. and the first awkward moment between a president and pope

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For months, one name at a time, the Republican presidential field grew.

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Now it's shrinking. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was at one time considered a leading contender. Yesterday, he officially called it quits.

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The still-huge GOP presidential field just got a little smaller. One of the candidates considered early on to be a top-tier contender is out - Wisconsin governor Scott Walker.

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Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, whose battles with labor unions in his own state made him a hero to Republicans, is now proposing huge restrictions on unions nationally as he seeks to revitalize his presidential campaign.

On Monday, Walker released an eight-page plan to take on unions, titled "My Plan to Give Power to the People, Not the Union Bosses."

He's vowing to:

  • Eliminate the National Labor Relations Board, or NLRB.

Jeb Bush likes to tell audiences that he's his own man. It's a way to put distance between himself and the two members of the Bush family who've already won the White House.

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