Here Are The 2 GOP Presidential Candidates Who Skipped This Critical Vote On Planned Parenthood

Two Republican presidential contenders failed to show up for a crucial U.S. Senate vote that could have derailed budget funding for Planned Parenthood.

Senators Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) were no shows Sept. 28 for the vote on cloture, which limits further debate on the budget bill. Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) can now move his Continuing Resolution ahead. That resolution would extend funding the government until Dec. 11.

The cloture vote was 77-19. Invoking cloture requires 60 votes, so if 41 senators had voted against cloture, there could have been ongoing debate and filibuster. That could have pushed the budget past important deadlines and shut the government down. Some, like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), said they would seek a government shutdown if the $500 million in funding for the non-profit organization stayed in the budget. Cruz and another Republican presidential hopeful, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) voted “no” to cloture.

Planned Parenthood is facing scrutiny in a congressional investigation regarding selling fetal organs from abortions. The organization was the target in an undercover investigation from the Center of Medical Progress where Planned Parenthood officials and others openly talked about pricing parts from late-term babies.

With a cloture vote passing by a wide margin of vote, Rubio and Graham would not have made much of a difference in the final count. Critics argue that Rubio could have influenced other Republicans to add to the conservative ballots.

Rubio is now under fire from political pundits for not taking a stand at all, stating the absence was political in that he can claim a pro-life stance without taking a controversial stand that could end with a government shutdown. The Florida senator said Democrats are the real culprits in government shutdown threats. “No one can tell me that Planned Parenthood–funding Planned Parenthood as an organization is such a high priority that we have to do it, otherwise we won’t fund government,” he said. “That’s absurd.”

Rubio has also faced criticism from GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump regarding his ongoing absenteeism from the Senate. Trump said Rubio has the worst attendance record of all.

“That means he’s either a not hard worker or he’s maybe even something worse than that. But what you’re supposed to do if you’re elected, you’re supposed to be voting. There’s no excuses for that,” Trump said in a recent interview.

Graham, who has advocated a pro-life stance, skipped the vote to campaign. He said he wants to defund Planned Parenthood, but is against a government shutdown. Graham said he wouldn’t go back to Washington, D.C. to vote for a shutdown, so he opted not to go at all.

“Anybody that wants to shut down the government is shutting down the ability to stop the next attack, which I think is coming if we don’t do something differently,” he said.

The South Carolina senator said he thinks the federal government should stop funding the abortion provider given new information shown in the secretly taped videos.

“Let me just be clear about me and Planned Parenthood. If I were president, I would never submit a budget with one dime for Planned Parenthood,” Graham said.

A continuing resolution that would have temporarily funded the government while freezing Planned Parenthood funding for one year failed to pass the Senate on Sept. 24 in a 47-53 vote. Sixty votes would have pushed the resolution through, but eight Republicans sided with Democrats out of fear such a move would have ended with a government shutdown in a stalemate with Democrats. President Barack Obama said he would veto any measure that didn’t include Planned Parenthood funding.

Listen: Rubio Just Took His War With Trump To A New Level With Two Brutal Words

Just days after a crowd booed Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s assertion that rival Marco Rubio is a “clown,” the latter responded with his own pithy verbal jab.

Rubio told NPR host Steve Inskeep that he does not want to be “a member or part” of Trump’s “freak show.”

The Florida senator went on to explain why he believes Trump engages in such personal attacks on fellow candidates and others.

“I would just say this,” Rubio continued, “he is a very sensitive person. He doesn’t like to be criticized. He responds to criticism very poorly.”

As with several others in the primary field, Rubio has been an outspoken critic regarding some of Trump’s positions as well as the manner in which he has conducted his candidacy.

In July, Western Journalism reported that Rubio predicted future backlash from the unconventional front-runner.

“He’s said things about me already before,” Rubio told Fox News host Steve Doocy at the time.

He went on to assert that Trump does not possess the demeanor needed to be an effective president.

Rubio explained that the “presidency of the United States is not just the top government official, it is the leader of our people and of our nation.”

Trump, like Barack Obama, would not meet that threshold, Rubio concluded.

“We already have a president now that has no class,” he said.

h/t: The Hill

Does Donald Trump have the composure needed to be president? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

New Poll Reveals Big Changes That Means GOP Race Is Getting Even More Interesting

What was a narrowing chasm between the first- and second-place GOP presidential candidates just prior to the second debate has now shrunk to well within a recent poll’s margin of error.

NBC and the Wall Street Journal teamed up for the recent survey, which determined Donald Trump continues to lead the crowded primary field – though by a much slimmer margin. He stood at 21 percent in the poll as Ben Carson ranked just one point behind him.

Tied for third place were Marco Rubio and Carly Fiorina with 11 percent each. No one else in the field earned double-digit support.

The same poll taken just two months ago showed a starkly different GOP primary field. While Trump was in front, it was Scott Walker’s now-suspended campaign that came in a close second.

Carson had exactly half his current support in July while Fiorina did not even register in the earlier poll.

The same period of time has seen a similarly seismic shift on the Democrat side.

Then-presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton had a commanding 34-point lead over her nearest competitor – Bernie Sanders – in July; her lead had shrunk by more than half in the latest survey.

Even her July advantage revealed a staggering decrease in support for Clinton, who had a 60-point lead over Sanders in June.

With rumors of Joe Biden’s possible 2016 White House bid, he came in third place in the most recent poll with 17 percent.

h/t: NBC News

Who do you think will be the 2016 presidential nominees? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Marco Rubio And Donald Trump Clash On U.S. National Security

Senator Marco Rubio is the latest of the GOP candidates to target Donald Trump. This time about his national defense expertise.

There should be concerns, not just about him but about any candidate that’s not able to speak in detail, with clarity and with seriousness about the national security threats that we face.

Rubio argues that the “most important thing” for a president is to provide for national security.

Trump pushed back against Rubio by questioning the Senator’s own foreign policy expertise.

Marco Rubio…he’s like a kid. He shouldn’t even be running in this race as far as I’m concerned. He’s a kid. I know more about Syria than Marco Rubio knows about Syria.

Mr. Trump then argued that he sees an advantage in not explaining everything specifically in order to not give anything away to the enemies.

Trump: We are run by incompetent people. I don’t want to really, I have a good chance of winning, I don’t want the other side to know exactly what I’m going to do.

Alisyn Camerota: Uh huh. But will you clue in the voters as to what you will do or do you just want people to trust you?

Trump: I’m going to clue them in because I have to to a certain extent. But I don’t want, if I win this thing, I don’t want the other side to know what my views are, where I’m coming from, what I do.

Trump: I watch Obama say, “We’re going to do this, we’re going to do that,” overtime they kill a mid-level accounting person from ISIS, they have a news conference to announce it instead of being quiet about it for a few months and knocking off everyone. Then everybody else scrambles. And you can’t get anybody else.

Do you think candidates should be more transparent? Or do you like that Trump is unpredictable? Share and comment below.

WATCH What Happened When A Huge Group Of Conservatives Heard Boehner Is Resigning

Social conservatives who gathered at the annual Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C. made no secret their feelings about the news that House Speaker, John Boehner, is resigning. The news came via the main stage of the event, where presidential candidate, Sen. Marco Rubio, was addressing the crowd Friday morning.

Rubio listed some of the reasons conservatives are frustrated with the Republican leadership in Washington. “How can it be that we sent a Republican majority to Congress, and yet they’re still not able to stop our country from sliding in the wrong direction?” he said.

“We’ll see how things progress,” Rubio added. “Just a few minutes ago, Speaker Boehner announced that he will be resigning.”

The ballroom immediately erupted in loud and sustained applause with perhaps half the crowd rising in a standing ovation.

Rubio seemed a little surprised by how exuberantly the crowd reacted to the news. After pausing he said, “I’m not here to bash anyone, but the time has come to turn the page and allow a new generation of leadership in this country,” adding, “and that extends to the White House and the presidency, as well,” drawing further applause from the audience.

Fellow presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz later addressed the gathering of thousands and applauded the effect that they were having on the nation’s capital. 

“You want to know how much each of you terrify Washington? Yesterday, John Boehner was Speaker of the House.”

The crowd cheered and applauded.

“Y’all come to town, and somehow that changes,” he said. “My only request is: Can you come more often?”

Referring to Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, he said: “Tony, we need to schedule these weekly — once a week.”

(See his remarks regarding John Boehner at 4:30.)

h/t: Raw Story