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Republican Senator Rob Portman rules out 2016 bid for White House

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Republican Senator Rob Portman, a former White House budget chief and trade representative who broke with fellow conservatives to back gay marriage, has ruled out a presidential run in 2016 and will seek a second term.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Ohio lawmaker said he could not be an effective senator and campaign for the White House at the same time, and sees potential in the new Republican majority in Congress to tackle issues such as revamping the tax code, overhauling the nation’s energy sector and boosting exports.

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His decision comes as Republicans prepare to take over the Senate in January after November elections that gave the party control of both houses of Congress.

“With the new Republican majority, I see a real opportunity over the next two years to break the gridlock in Washington and actually get things done to help Ohioans and all Americans,” Portman said.

Portman gained some Democratic allies when he became one of the most prominent Republican politicians to support gay marriage rights in 2013, two years after his son told him he was gay.

He is also known for his focus on fiscal matters. He served as head of the Office of Management and Budget and was the U.S. trade representative under Republican President George W. Bush.

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While in Congress, he was a member of the so-called “super committee” that failed to reach a grand bargain on the nation’s spending. With no deal, “sequester” automatic spending cuts across the board began in early 2013.

Despite that failure, Portman said he sees potential to work through political differences in Congress and said lawmakers “must pass a responsible budget to address the record levels of debt.”

Other potential Republican presidential candidates in 2016 include Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

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“I know it will not be easy to break the gridlock and make Washington work,” Portman said.

(Reporting by Amanda Becker, Richard Cowan and Karen Brooks; Writing by Susan Heavey)


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Trump has figured out how to get taxpayers to renovate one of his golf courses: MSNBC panel

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President Donald Trump has figured out how to have taxpayers pay to renovate his Trump National Doral Miami golf course, according to an analysis by MSNBC's Stephanie Ruhle.

"Before setting himself on fire on Ukraine yesterday, Mick Mulvaney came into the White House briefing room to break to the nation the fact the that the Trump Doral golf resort turns out to be -- in his estimation, organically, just sitting there -- the best possible place to have a G-7 Summit of world leaders," MSNBC's Brian Williams reported. "That was provision number one. There’s no better place that we can find. Number two was, the president will not profit from said G-7."

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Bill Maher reveals plan to ‘bribe’ Trump with one billion dollars — for him to leave office

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The Constitution has two mechanisms to remove President Donald Trump from office prior to his term ending on January 20, 2021: impeachment and the 25th Amendment.

HBO "Real Time" host Bill Maher noted that Trump could also choose to resign.

Maher waved around a $1 million check that he said he would give to Trump to quit.

He said he also knew 1,000 people who would do the same -- which would land Trump over $1 billion.

Maher said even poor people would pawn their wedding rings to add to the pot.

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Trump can’t fire Mulvaney because nobody else wants to be his chief of staff: report

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White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney will likely stay on at the White House despite his public confession of a quid pro quo in the Ukraine scandal at the center of the impeachment inquiry, The New York Times reported Friday.

"But Mr. Mulvaney’s job has been anything but normal since the news conference on Thursday at which he seemingly undermined the Trump administration’s strategy for avoiding impeachment by acknowledging that Mr. Trump had sought a quid pro quo for providing Ukraine with American aid," the newspaper reported. "In the chaotic aftermath, the president’s Republican allies are questioning Mr. Mulvaney’s savvy and intelligence even as the Trump campaign is defiantly turning one of his lines from the news conference into a T-shirt."

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