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Jeb Bush: I’d still support Trump over Clinton because ‘anybody is better than Hillary’

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Jeb Bush would support Donald Trump if the real-estate billionaire were to win the Republican presidential nomination, “because anybody is better than Hillary Clinton”.

Related: What will it take to stop Donald Trump?

The former Florida governor thinks that outcome unlikely, however, because the more voters hear of Trump, particularly on foreign policy, “the less likely he’s going to get the Republican nomination”.

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Bush, who trails Trump by some distance in polls regarding the sizeable Republican field, was speaking to CBS in an interview to be broadcast on Sunday morning, excerpts of which were published by Politico. Though Trump’s lead fell by 12 points in one recent poll , he has surfed a number of controversies over comments made on the campaign trail to maintain a healthy advantage.

Before his run-in with the New York Times this week, over his appearing to mimic a reporter’s disability during a campaign speech, Trump caused uproar when he appeared to agree with a suggestion that all Muslims in the US should be registered and mosques closed.

He has also repeatedly insisted that Muslims in New Jersey were seen to celebrate the 9/11 attacks – a claim refuted by Jersey residents , fact checkers, the New York Times reporter and police.

On Saturday, at a rally in Sarasota , Florida, he widened his approach to the subject, saying: “Worldwide, the Muslims were absolutely going wild.”

“Look, I just think he’s uninformed,” Bush told CBS. “He knows what he’s saying. He’s smart. He’s playing you guys like a fiddle – the press – by saying outrageous things and garnering attention. That’s his strategy, is to dominate the news.”

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The entire Republican field has grappled with the issue of security and the correct attitude to refugees from the Syrian civil war, particularly in the aftermath of the terror attacks in Paris this month that killed 130 and injured hundreds more and were claimed by Islamic State militants.

Their responses have prompted extensive criticism for alleged Islamophobia. This weekend Ben Carson, who compared Syrian refugees to “rabid dogs”, was in Jordan visiting a refugee camp. In a statement from his campaign, he said the US should not take in any of the people he met .

Related: Ben Carson meets Syrian refugees in Jordan but says none should come to US

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Bush, like Texas senator Ted Cruz and Florida senator Marco Rubio, has called for Christian refugees to be given priority concerning entry to the US, a position which President Obama called “shameful” .

“We do not have religious tests for our compassion,” the president said.

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Speaking to CBS, Bush said of Trump: “The simple fact is that he’s been wrong on Syria and on the refugees pretty consistently. And no one’s holding him to account.”

Asked if he would support Trump for the presidency if he won the primary contest which begins in Iowa on 1 February, Bush said: “Look, I’ve said … because anybody is better than Hillary Clinton. Let me just be clear about that.

“But I have great doubts about Donald Trump’s ability to be commander-in-chief … I’ll let the voters decide about Donald Trump. I’m pretty confident that the more they hear of him, the less likely he’s going to get the Republican nomination.”

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guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media 2015


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Elections 2016

California bill to establish nation’s second public bank applauded as ‘historic challenge to Wall Street domination’

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"If California is serious about addressing racial and income inequities, we must create a banking system that centers people not profits."

In a move advocacy groups celebrated as a "historic challenge to Wall Street domination of municipal finances," a pair of California state lawmakers on Thursday unveiled legislation that would establish the nation's second publicly-owned bank and empower the institution to lend to businesses and local governments fighting to stay afloat amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

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COVID-19

What is China doing to stop Beijing’s new coronavirus outbreak?

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Over 1,000 flights have been cancelled, schools shut and residents urged not to leave Beijing, as Chinese authorities race to contain a fresh outbreak linked to the capital's largest wholesale food market.

The number of confirmed cases in the capital has shot up to 137 within the last week after two months of no cases, and four other provinces have revealed cases linked to the Beijing cluster.

How did the outbreak begin, and what measures are Beijing taking to contain it?

- What is the origin of the cluster? -

Beijing had turned into a virtual fortress at the height of the pandemic, with people arriving from other regions or countries required to undergo quarantines.

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2020 Election

Democrats and Never-Trumpers gaming out ‘doomsday scenarios’ if president refuses to leave office: report

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According to a report in the New York Times, Democratic strategists and Never-Trumper conservatives fear Donald Trump will refuse to leave office should he lose in November and are making plans and figuring out their legal options should such an unprecedented state of affairs come to pass.

The report, by the Times' Reid Epstein, begins with one such possible scenario.

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