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‘A sweet soul’: Mitt Romney’s reflexive cough tells you everything you need to know about Ben Carson

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Mitt Romney’s answer to a question about Ben Carson’s presidential campaign suggested over the weekend that the former GOP nominee does not have a lot of confidence in the current candidate’s chances.

“I think there are some very positive attributes that are associated with a number of people that are running for president,” Romney told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday. “Marco [Rubio] has very compelling attributes, but look at Chris Christie. This is a guy that’s taken on some really tough situations in New Jersey. He’s a great debater, he speaks his mind clearly and forcefully.”

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“Jeb Bush as well has an extraordinary record as the governor of Florida, an education governor, a guy who’s made a difference there,” he continued. “He could be a very strong nominee. John Kasich has done a terrific job in the state of Ohio, rebuilt the economy. You’ve got four right there that are amazing individuals. And of course, Carly Fiorina has risen dramatically. So, we got some good folks.”

Tapper pointed out that Romney had omitted Ben Carson, which prompted the guest to begin coughing.

After a short pause to clear his throat, Romney said that he did not know much about Carson.

“He’s obviously a very gentle and sweet soul who speaks his mind,” Romney opined. “And I think people are very drawn to somebody who is so willing to express his views, as he is.”

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It’s not the first time that Romney has left Carson out of his list of qualified Republican candidates.

Speaking at the Washington Ideas Forum last month, Romney named Bush, Christie, Fiorina and Rubio as candidates who could win the presidency. He even included South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham in the list, and specifically mentioned Donald Trump as someone who could not win. Carson, however, was excluded from Romney’s list of winners.

Watch the video below from CNN’s State of the Union, broadcast Oct. 10, 2015.

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After Trump: No free pass for Republicans — they own this nightmare

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With the impeachment inquiry leveling up this month as public hearings begin, and with an election that might actually be the end of Donald Trump now less than a year away, the campaign to let Trump's Republican allies — even the most villainous offenders — move on and pretend this never happened is already underway.

This article first appeared in Salon.

Sadly, the clearest articulation of the let-bygones-be-bygones mentality has come from a Democrat — unsurprisingly, former Vice President Joe Biden.Biden, who is still, somehow, the frontrunner in Democratic primary polling, spoke at a chi-chi fundraiser on Wednesday, and dropped this pearl of wisdom: "With Donald Trump out of the way, you’re going to see a number of my Republican colleagues have an epiphany."

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As climate crisis-fueled fires rage, fears grow of an ‘uninhabitable’ California

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As activist Bill McKibben put it, "We've simply got to slow down the climate crisis."

With wildfires raging across California on Wednesday—and with portions of the state living under an unprecedented "Extreme Red Flag Warning" issued by the National Weather Service due to the severe conditions—some climate experts are openly wondering if this kind of harrowing "new normal" brought on by the climate crisis could make vast regions of the country entirely uninhabitable.

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Elections 2016

‘A profound emoluments clause violation’: Andrew Napolitano slams Trump’s hosting the G7 at Doral

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In the wake of acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney's announcement this Thursday that next year's G7 summit will be hosted at President Trump's Doral golf club, Fox News senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano pointed out that Trump would be violating the emoluments clause if he were to go through with the move.

At the outset of the segment, Fox Business Network anchor Neil Cavuto said that the announcement is "effectively saying the president has given himself this contract."

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