President Obama Gives Final State of the Union Address

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President Obama Primarily Used the Address to Take on his Critics

President Barack Obama gave his 8th and final State of the Union address, and attacked the Republicans running for president numerous times, saying anyone who said America’s economy was in decline was “peddling fiction”.  He went on to say, “The United States of America is the most powerful nation on Earth. Period.  It’s not even close.”

Overall, the speech took 58 minutes 44 seconds, the second shortest of his speeches.  Among the guests present were presidential candidates Bernie Sanders, Marco Rubio, and Rand Paul, a community college student and the CEO of Microsoft.  It was also Paul Ryan’s first State of the Union address as Speaker of the House.

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Fiorina, Rubio Shine at Republican Debate

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Trump and Bush Became Engaged in a Lengthy Exchange

Carly Fiorina and Marco Rubio were named as the early winners of the second prime-time Republican debate.  Fiorina was praised for her classy answer when asked about Donald Trump’s controversial statement about how no one would vote for her because “look at her face”.  She didn’t hit back, instead calmly saying that women “very clearly” heard what Trump had said.

Rubio began to shine once the debate shifted to foreign police, as his impressive knowledgeable became evident.  Jeb Bush performed better than at the first debate, with even Trump praising him for his “high energy”.  As expected, Trump became involved in multiple spats with the other candidates, including Fiorina, Rand Paul, and Bush.

Top Ten Republicans Clash in First Prime Time Debate

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As Expected, Much of the Attention Was Focused on Frontrunner Donald Trump

The first prime-time Republican debate, featuring the top 10 candidates (according to an average of five polls) got off to a fiery start and the clashes continued throughout.  FOX News anchor Brett Baier asked if any candidate who wasn’t prepared to pledge their full support to whoever the Republican nominee was and swear to not run as a third-party candidate to raise their hand.  Frontrunner Donald Trump’s hand shot in the air, which prompted an attack from Rand Paul, accusing Trump of being used to “buying off politicians.”  Trump responded with, “I’ve given you plenty of money.”

The most intense fight came between Rand Paul and Chris Christie, however.  The two have had a feud simmering for months and it erupted into a fight over the Patriot Act.  Paul said he was “proud to standing for the Bill of Rights”, with Christie slamming Paul for “blowing hot air.”  Paul then retorted, “I know you gave him [President Obama] a big hug, and if you want to give him a big hug again, go right ahead.”

Ted Cruz Becomes First 2016 Candidate

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Ted Cruz Officially Entered the Presidential Race Today

Ted Cruz officially announced he is running for president today, becoming the first major candidate to announce.  The Republican Senator from Texas made the announcement at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, the country’s largest Christian college.  He declared, “It is a time for truth!  It is a time for liberty!  It is a time to reclaim the Constitution of the United States.”

It is widely expected that the first announcement would target a string of announcements, at least on the Republican side, and that already appears to be the case, with Rand Paul reportedly planning on announcing his campaign on April 7th.  Cruz’s biggest moment of applause came when he slammed President Obama for his “boycotts” on Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and said, “imagine a president who stands with Israel!”

Rand Paul Wins CPAC Straw Poll For Third Year in a Row

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Rand Paul Won the 17-Person Poll

Senator Rand Paul, from Kentucky, came out on top in the CPAC Straw Poll for the third year in a row.  The Conservative Political Action Committee held its annual three day convention in Washington, DC.  While Paul’s third consecutive win is impressive, the winner of the Straw Poll has gone on to become the Republican nominee only 20% of the time.  Mitt Romney still has the most wins, with 5.

The CPAC tends to be much younger and more conservative than the older, more middle-ground Republican base.  About half of the attendees to the convention were 25 or younger, and Rand Paul’s popularity with college students is well known, as is his father Ron Paul’s popularity.  Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker came second in the poll, ahead of Senator Ted Cruz.