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Efforts to eliminate the electoral college date back 50 years — and even Nixon was on board: CNN’s John Avlon

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With at least one presidential candidate calling for the elimination of the Electoral College, CNN’s John Avlon delivered a fact check that showed that the idea is hardly radical: efforts to get rid of it date back to the founding of the country, and even President Richard Nixon was on board.

“The Electoral College has been targeted for reform or abolition some 700 times,” said Avlon. “That’s more than any other part of the constitution.”

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Founding father James Madison declared the Electoral College “evil at its maximum” a year before Andrew Jackson won the popular vote but lost the presidency to John Quincy Adams. “Happening again in 1876 and 1888, which made incumbent Grover Cleveland so mad that he ran again 4 years later and reclaimed the office his supporters felt could be stolen from him,” Avlon said.

“This little glitch didn’t happen during the 20th century but reform efforts continued,” Avlon went on. “In fact, Indiana senator Birch Bayh, who just last week died at age 91, came within a few votes of advancing an amendment to abolish the Electoral College and replace it with a direct popular vote.” That effort eventually got the support of 80% of Congress.

“One year later, the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly, to abolish the Electoral College,” Avlon said. “Even president Nixon was on board, but it was filibustered to death in the Senate by southerners led by Strom Thurmond.”

Avlon said that the Electoral College ceased to be an issue until the 2000 election, when George W. Bush lost the popular vote but won the presidency, as did Donald Trump in 2016.

Watch the video below.

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2020 Election

‘We need a reality check here’: CNN’s Bash cuts off Kudlow’s rambling spin on Trump’s unemployment plans

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An alternately amused and baffled Dana Bash was forced to cut off Donald Trump economic adviser Larry Kudlow on CNN Sunday morning as he attempted to spin the president's plans to help out the unemployed with income supplements, changing his numbers from $400 to $800 to $1,200 all within three to four sentences.

Pressed about the president's executive order calling for a $400 supplement -- with $100 coming from the states at Trump's demand -- the State of the Union fill-in host tried to cut through Kudlow's veering from dollar amount to dollar amount to get a clearer understanding of what the president is proposing.

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2020 Election

WATCH: CNN uses video to bust Trump for lying and stealing credit for veterans program signed by Obama

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Reacting to Donald Trump's abrupt departure from his Saturday press conference after he was pressed by a CBS White House correspondent Paula Reid for lying and taking credit for a veterans bill signed into law by former President Barack Obama, CNN's Victor Blackwell shared clips of the former president announcing the signing in 2014 and Trump attempting to steal credit yesterday.

According to Blackwell, "One of President Trump's go-to lies is his role in passing Veterans Choice. You saw it at the end of the news conference when he walked away. Well that was when he was faced with a question why he said that he passed Choice and Accountability for the V.A."

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Trump’s refusal to bail out cash-strapped cities will blow up in his face at election time: economist

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On CNN Saturday, University of Michigan economist Justin Wolfers said he was "baffled" by President Donald Trump's flat refusal to allow coronavirus stimulus to go to city governments, ostensibly because they are being mismanaged by Democrats and don't deserve more money.

"I took calls from journalists throughout the last two or three years saying, what is it Trump is going to do in late 2020 to artificially goose the economy to get re-elected? And people were thinking of all sorts of ideas," said Wolfers. "The Democratic Congress has sent him a $3 trillion bill and he's refused to sign it."

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