On Air Now

Listen Now

Weather

cloudy-day
77°
Partly Cloudy
H 88° L 73°
  • cloudy-day
    77°
    Current Conditions
    Partly Cloudy. H 88° L 73°
  • cloudy-day
    81°
    Evening
    Partly Cloudy. H 88° L 73°
  • cloudy-day
    74°
    Morning
    Mostly Cloudy. H 84° L 74°
Listen
Pause
Error

The latest top stories

00:00 | 00:00

Listen
Pause
Error

The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00

Listen
Pause
Error

The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

National Govt & Politics
Better polling means sharper scrutiny. Is Warren ready?
Close

Better polling means sharper scrutiny. Is Warren ready?

Better polling means sharper scrutiny. Is Warren ready?
Photo Credit: AP Photo/John Locher, File
FILE - In this Aug. 3, 2019, file photo, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., speaks during a candidate forum on labor issues in Las Vegas. Warren is finding that her ascent in presidential primary polls means heightened scrutiny and criticism from party rivals and President Donald Trump. Her political allies and foes alike say Warren has appropriately sharp elbows and isn’t afraid to throw them _ something she’ll likely increasingly have to do. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

Better polling means sharper scrutiny. Is Warren ready?

When Elizabeth Warren campaigned in Nevada in February, Abbie Peters was there. Energy and enthusiasm for the Massachusetts senator was not.

"It was early, and she wasn't as popular," said Peters.

Nearly eight months later, Peters, a retiree from California, was back again to see Warren. The message hadn't changed. But she felt like she was watching a different messenger. The crowd swelled with enthusiastic supporters, and Warren's status near the top of the Democratic presidential field was affirmed.

"She gave pretty much the same speech, but it's a good one and it's authentic," Peters said.

Still, Warren is quickly finding that her rapid ascent is accompanied by heightened scrutiny and criticism, from President Donald Trump and her Democratic opponents. Her political allies and foes alike say Warren has appropriately sharp elbows and isn't afraid to throw them — something she'll likely increasingly have to do during the Democratic primary and in Twitter combat with Trump.

The latest examples came this week, when Warren was forced to defend a critical portion of the biographical story she tells on the campaign trail and a top Democratic challenger said that her health care plan would potentially alienate half the nation's population.

With less than four months until the first votes in the Democratic nominating process are cast, Warren can anticipate that those criticisms will sharpen and accelerate.

"It's a new phase for her, but if you're the front-runner, all that means is everybody's behind you and they want to be in front of you," said Bill Miller, a longtime Texas political strategist who has worked for Republicans and Democrats. "You get their best shots, and you get the most shots."

Former Vice President Joe Biden, Warren's chief competitor atop the primary polls, has seized on Warren's support for "Medicare for All" universal health insurance, noting that she "has not indicated how she pays for it."

So has Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, who notes that the plan would eliminate choice for Americans who might prefer to stick with private insurance plans.

"I'm also committed to the idea that we can be bold and unified," Buttigieg told The Associated Press. "But I also think that boldness doesn't require jamming half of the American people."

Buttigieg unveiled a prescription drug cost reduction proposal in a Monday op-ed in The Boston Globe, Warren's hometown newspaper. He said voters should expect him to continue to make the contrast, likely at an influential union forum coming up in Iowa on Sunday, as well as at next week's Democratic debate in Ohio.

"I've got a job to do to make sure that people understand the differences," Buttigieg said.

Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, meanwhile, questioned the legality of Warren's signature wealth tax, which she's planning to use to help pay for many of her most ambitious proposals if elected, including Medicare for All and expanded Social Security benefits.

"She's talked about the wealth tax, but that's been assigned so many different possible things and it's not clear that it's constitutional," Bennet said in an interview Tuesday.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is competing with Warren for the most liberal wing of the Democratic Party and has refused to go after Warren, but some of his highest-profile supporters have. Actress Susan Sarandon noted that her candidate was "not someone who used to be a Republican," reminding some of Warren only becoming a Democrat in 1996, when she was in her 40s.

Republicans have willingly joined in.

Warren's taking a DNA test last year to show Native American ancestry backfired — while it showed distant tribal ancestry, it also sparked a rebuke of Warren from some Native Americans for attributing tribal membership to genetics. The controversy nearly derailed her campaign before it got started, and she apologized for her past claims. Trump had derided her with the ethnic slur "Pocahontas" during his 2016 campaign and continues to do so.

On Tuesday, Warren stood by her account of being fired from a New Jersey teaching position five decades ago because she was pregnant. She was put on the defensive after a 2007 video surfaced — and was widely shared in conservative circles — in which she seemed to describe the change in her career more as a choice and without the claim that her pregnancy led to the loss of her job.

Others note that the "Two Income Trap," the 2004 book Warren wrote with her daughter, argued in favor of allowing parents more freedom to choose the public schools they send their children to rather than being limited to their neighborhood, saying families overreaching to move into more expensive ZIP codes was a key driver for the insurmountable debt many took on. That's a different kind of "school choice" than the voucher programs that use public funding for private and religious schools cheered by many conservatives — but is a distinction some may miss.

A national audience got a glimpse of Warren's fighting skills during the Democratic debate in July. After former Rep. John Delaney of Maryland spent much of the evening criticizing Warren and Sanders about using "fairytale economics," Warren shot back: "I don't understand why anybody goes to all the trouble of running for president of the United States just to talk about what we really can't do."

There were also flashes while Warren was running for the Senate in 2012 against Republican incumbent Sen. Scott Brown, who two years earlier won a seat controlled for decades by Ted Kennedy.

Warren had just been denied a job running the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. She was packing up her apartment in Washington when Stephanie Schriock, president of EMILY's List, stopped by and spoke to her for hours about running for office. Schriock recalled at the time that, for any Democrat challenging Brown, "this was not going to be a simple slam dunk."

"I know folks now look back and go, 'Massachusetts was an easy race.' That was not the case in the moment, in that environment," said Schriock. "We were dealing with the situation where we'd just lost Kennedy's seat. Scott Brown was this attractive, charismatic Republican senator. Mitt Romney is getting ready to run for president."

Brown tried to paint his opponent as an elitist from Harvard, calling her "Professor Warren" and arguing that she saw the Senate as a consolation prize.

"We knew that, running as a Republican in a state as blue as Massachusetts, you have to not only make voters like your candidate, you have to give them active reason to dislike your opponent," said Colin Reed, who was Brown's campaign spokesman. "It was a hard-fought race."

Warren ultimately won by 7-plus percentage points.

Jeremy Hasson, a 26-year-old high school career counselor in New York, said Warren's steady climb from also-ran to formability may leave her in a better position to fend off criticism.

"She's so good at addressing root causes and not feeding into people's traps," said Hasson, who attended a Warren rally last month in Washington Square Park. "Even if she's in the lead, she still has an underdog message where she can say, 'I was behind once and I got here.'"

___

Associated Press writers Thomas Beaumont in Des Moines, Iowa, and Hunter Woodall in New London, New Hampshire, contributed to this report.

Read More

The Latest News Headlines

  • The next Democratic debate – the party's fourth one – will be held on Tuesday in Ohio, and will feature the 12 candidates who qualified for the event. >> Read more trending news  Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, had threatened to cut the crowd on the stage by one as she complained that the corporate news media and the Democratic National Committee were rigging the event. Gabbard tweeted last week that 'The DNC and corporate media are trying to hijack the entire election process,' Gabbard said in a video posted on Twitter. 'In order to bring attention to this serious threat to our democracy, and ensure your voice is heard, I am giving serious consideration to boycotting the next debate on October 15th.' On Gabbard's website, she referred to the allegations that the DNC rigged the 2016 primary process in favor of former Sec.of State Hillary Clinton over Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont. On Monday, she told her supporters in an email that she would be going to Ohio for the debate. 'I just want to let you know that I will be attending the debate,' she wrote. Here's what we know about Tuesday's debate: Who is in? These 12 candidates have qualified for the October debate so far: Former Vice President Joe Biden Sen. Cory Booker, of New Jersey  South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg  Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, of Hawaii Former Housing Secretary Julián Castro  Sen. Kamala Harris, of California  Sen. Amy Klobuchar, of Minnesota  Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke, of Texas  Sen. Bernie Sanders, of Vermont  Philanthropist and former hedge fund manager Tom Steyer Sen. Elizabeth Warren, of Massachusetts  Entrepreneur Andrew Yang  Where will they stand? The candidates will stand in order of the average of their 10 most recent qualifying polls as of Oct. 2. The order is from left to right: Gabbard, Steyer, Booker, Harris, Sanders, Biden, Warren, Buttigieg, Yang, O'Rourke, Klobuchar, Castro. What were the criteria for candidates to qualify? According to the DNC, to qualify for the debate in October, candidates must have 2% in four qualifying polls and at least 130,000 individual donors with at least 400 donors per state in at least 20 states. Campaigns had until 11:59 p.m. EDT on Oct. 1 to meet the donor and polling thresholds to be included. When and where is the debate being held? The debate is set for Tuesday at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio. All 12 candidates will appear on stage on Tuesday. There will be no second night of the debate. At the beginning of the process, the DNC said that only 10 candidates would take the stage at a time. Who will be asking the questions? CNN and The New York Times are the hosts for the debate. CNN's Anderson Cooper and Erin Burnett and Times national editor Marc Lacey will be asking the questions. How can I watch/listen to the debate? According to CNN: The debate will air exclusively on CNN, CNN International, CNN en Español, and stream on the CNN homepage and the New York Times homepage. In addition, the debate will be available across mobile devices via CNN's and New York Times' apps for iOS and Android, via CNNgo apps for Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire, Chromecast and Android TV, SiriusXM Channels 116, 454, 795, the Westwood One Radio Network and National Public Radio. Live coverage will be provided here beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET. What time is it on? The debate will begin at 8 p.m. ET. What about future debates? The next debate will be held in November, and the qualifications have become stricter.  To be included in the November debate, candidates must demonstrate they have 165,000 unique donors, and must either score 3 percent in at least four national or state polls approved by the party or by receiving at least 5 percent in two approved single-state polls from Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire or South Carolina. [Summary]
  • A 13-month-old Georgia girl is recovering after a man in a fit of rage over a fender-bender fired at a car and shot her in the hand last week, the child's mother said.  >> Read more trending news  Raylah was in her car seat Oct. 6 when her mother's friend got in a minor accident while the toddler was in the back seat. The man whose car she hit started shooting, injuring Raylah, police said. Police said they're still looking for the shooter.  WSB-TV's Christian Jennings talked to the toddler's mother about what led to the shooting. For their safety, she requested that Jennings only use her and her daughter's first names.  Natika told Jennings that her friend was driving that afternoon. When they got in the area of Fletcher and Ira streets, her friend accidentally hit an SUV.  'The mirror fell out of it, and I'm, like, 'You just hit someone's car,'' Natika said.  Natika said a man in a nearby house came running outside with a gun and demanded money. 'He's, like, 'That's going to be $300.' My friend is, like, 'I'm not going to be able to give you $300. Can we exchange insurance information?'' Things escalated from there, she said. 'He was getting irate, and I asked him before everything was over, I was like, 'Don't shoot.' Because I saw him clutching for his gun in his satchel,' Natika said. 'I said, 'Don't shoot, my baby's in the car.' Her pleas didn't work: Police said the man started firing.  'All I could hear was gunshots coming from everywhere,' Natika said.  She said she quickly realized her baby had been shot.  'My baby's full of blood, so I don't know if she's hit in the chest, but she's still not crying, so I didn't know if she was alive,' Natika said.  Raylah had been shot in the hand, her mother said. The child's finger was broken. Natika and her friend headed for the hospital, but didn't make it, she said.  'She feels the tires going out, because at this point the tires are shot out,' Natika said. 'It took us right off Fulton Street and it completely stopped as we were getting out. It actually caught fire.' Natika said they flagged down another driver and finally made it to a hospital.  Raylah is going to fully recover from her injuries.  Natika said the man who shot her daughter doesn't deserve to be out on the streets.  'I hope and pray he can at least turn himself in, or the police can do their job, stay on top of it and find him, because he clearly is a ticking time bomb,' Natika said.  Police have not released a description of the suspect but said they do have leads. 
  • Authorities said a Florida man stole more than $10,000 from customers while working as a server at several restaurants in Brevard County. >> Read more trending news  The Brevard County Sheriff's Office said Kevin Harris stole 25 customers' credit cards by taking photos of the card's numbers when he processed their bills. Deputies said he used the credit cards to make online purchases exceeding $10,000. The Sheriff's Office said Harris also would use the credit card numbers to purchase gift cards to pay the bills of customers who paid in cash. Investigators said Harris also stole from 10 retail businesses in Brevard County. They said he would take the stolen items to local pawn shops to pawn the items for cash, making more than $6,000. Harris was arrested and taken to the Brevard County Jail, where he is held on no bail status.
  • A woman who shot and killed a popular street performer outside the H.E. Holmes MARTA station three years ago is headed to prison.  >> Read more trending news  Lucianna Fox, 44, fatally shot 54-year-old Leroy Midyette in Nov. 5, 2016, after running over the homeless man’s shopping cart twice. Midyette, who performed outside the train station, was affectionately known as “Tin Man” because of the silver paint he wore when he danced, the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office said Friday in a news release. The night of the shooting, Fox got mad at Midyette as he pushed his belongings across an access road that led into the parking lot of the Holmes station, authorities said. Fox told him to move his cart out of the road and Midyette motioned for the woman to drive around.Instead, Fox slammed into Midyette’s cart, threw her car in reverse and rammed it again before driving off. Upset, Midyette ran toward Fox’s car as she waited at a nearby stop sign and confronted her. Fox then got out of her car, drew a silver handgun and shot the homeless man in the chest from about 2 feet away, prosecutors said. She then set her weapon on the hood of her car and waited for police to arrive as Midyette died in the street. The entire incident was captured on MARTA’s surveillance cameras, and Fox was arrested at the scene, authorities said. She was convicted of murder and possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony and sentenced to life in prison plus five years. 
  • Court documents filed against an Indianapolis man accused of violently assaulting his mother with a cast iron frying pan last month give gruesome details of how badly the woman was beaten. Bobby Wayne Gibson Jr., 44, is charged with attempted murder, aggravated battery, battery resulting in serious bodily injury, strangulation and auto theft, according to Marion County court records. A judge last week ordered him held in lieu of a $90,000 surety bond. Gibson was also ordered to stay away from his mother, for whom an order of protection was granted, court records show. >> Read more trending news  Gibson was arrested Sept. 25 after an anonymous tip led police to a vacant home, where he told officers his mother had given him her car, a silver Chevy Malibu, to sell for drugs, WRTV in Indianapolis reported. Fox 59 reported that a SWAT standoff earlier in the day, which included tear gas and flash grenades, had failed to turn up the fugitive. Gibson had been on the run since the day before, when police officers went to his mother’s home and found her unresponsive and covered in blood, according to a probable cause affidavit obtained by WRTV. The woman was taken to the hospital in critical condition. According to the affidavit, her injuries included “multiple skull and facial fractures, three lacerations in the head that penetrated to the skull, exposed brain matter due to a hole in the skull, four deep lacerations to the chest and a collapsed lung.” Her condition was not immediately available Friday afternoon. Detectives who went to her home found blood spattered throughout the kitchen and living room, along with “broken glass, broken kitchen utensils and a bloody cast-iron frying pan with a broken handle,” the document said. Blood was on the carpet, the telephone and the walls in both rooms. Gibson’s mother, who was able to speak to detectives at the hospital, told them an argument began when she spotted a bottle of vodka in her son’s pocket and told him he was not allowed to drink in her home, WRTV reported. She told police she poured the vodka out and told her son, who has a criminal record, “The court needs to do something with you.” “You wanna lock me up? I’m gonna give you something to lock me up,” she said Gibson responded, according to the affidavit. The victim told detectives Gibson attacked her, choking her until she lost consciousness. When she came to, he was beating and kicking her and hitting her with pots and pans from the kitchen, the news station reported. Gibson demanded her purse, so she told him where it was, and he left in her car, WRTV reported. A silver car could be seen in photos taken by a Fox 59 reporter during the Sept. 25 SWAT situation on the city’s south side. Authorities at the scene told the news station Gibson had forced his way into the home, where his wife was staying. She fled the house and called 911, Fox 59 reported. When the tear gas and flash grenades failed to get anyone to come outside, officers went in and found the house empty, the news station said. Gibson was taken into custody a few hours later.

The Latest News Videos