Jack Kingston on Donald Trump: His record on national defense 'is murky at best'

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks with Anderson Cooper, right, during a commercial break at a CNN town hall at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, S.C., Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Caption
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks with Anderson Cooper, right, during a commercial break at a CNN town hall at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, S.C., Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Credit: Jim Galloway

Credit: Jim Galloway

You'd have to call this a three-corner shot.

Georgia’s former congressman from Savannah, who has endorsed Ted Cruz in the GOP presidential race, is now defending former President George W. Bush (and by default, his brother and Cruz rival Jeb) by attacking pack leader Donald Trump.

"I think that it's ridiculous what Donald Trump said in the debate, blaming 9/11 on George Bush," Kingston said, adding that the longstanding division between intelligence and law enforcement was something the former president worked to fix after the attacks….

Kingston pointed out that in the House he represented Fort Stewart, home of the Army's Third Infantry Division, and that he visited the troops often. "I don't ever remember Mr. Trump being there or saying strong pro-military statements," he said. "I know he's a patriot, I know he loves America like the rest of us." But, Kingston said, Trump was more closely identified with his NBC show The Apprentice during the run-up to the war in Iraq.

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In Thursday's edition of the Daily Jolt, Emory University political scientist Alan Abramowitz dismissed a national NBC News/Wall Street Journal as "an outlier" – given that this survey alone showed Ted Cruz overtaking Donald Trump in the Republican race for president.

NBC’s Chuck Todd has taken umbrage at the remark. There will be no duel, but a beer is now at stake. Abramowitz says Trump will get better than 30 percent in Saturday’s South Carolina primary, and will beat Cruz by more than 10 points.

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Talk about an eclectic audience. Donald Trump's Sunday rally at the Georgia World Congress Center will be one of three mega-events at the downtown Atlanta convention center. All told, they're expected to bring 55,000 visitors to the campus on Sunday.

Around the corner, thousands of beauticians and beauty queens will flock to the Bronner Bros. International Beauty Show. (Trump and beauty pageants are never far apart.)  The American Rental Association Show will also be staged on campus.

And, for good measure, Michael Flatley's Lord of the Dance will take place at 6 p.m. across the street at Philips Arena.

The Trump campaign secured enough space to hold 10,000 people - and it cost a decent chunk of change. The Congress Center says the space will likely cost the billionaire at least $20,000.

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Hillary Clinton's campaign aired the first round of TV ads in Georgia's primary on Thursday. Now we have some of the first radio ads of this presidential cycle.

Priorities USA, a pro-Clinton super PAC, launched a new radio ad Friday featuring Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed explaining his support for the former secretary of state. It's backed by a six-figure radio buy running statewide in Georgia. Says Reed, in the ad:

Again, this is Mayor Kasim Reed. Early voting has already begun. Let's support Hillary Clinton for president. She's the one who will stand strong for us."

You can listen to it here.

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The measure to permit an expansion of MARTA rail has started down the tracks. From the AJC's Andrea Simmons:

The Senate Transportation Committee approved Senate Bill 330 by a vote of 8-3 with a few amendments designed to appease mayors in Fulton County.

The next hurdle is a private vote by the Senate Republican caucus, which could come as early as Monday. The MARTA legislation has been made subject to the caucus’ informal “Hastert rule,” which means it must earn the support of a majority of the GOP caucus before it is allowed to reach the Senate floor.

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The Republican activists who will begin gathering this weekend at Georgia GOP precinct meetings will be confronted with a tricky question: Should they replace party chairman John Padgett, who last year was elected to another two-year term?

Dahyls Hamilton, the founder and chair of the Hispanic Patriots group, has sent activists a resolution calling for Padgett's ouster. It cites the party's deteriorating financial position, "fiscal recklessness" and legal fees.

The party held an emergency meeting last week to discuss the dire financial problems and come up with a new spending plan after an end-of-the-year report showed it had just over $11,000 in cash and more than $230,000 in debt. That was a startling revelation for a party that controls all the levers of power in Georgia and commanded millions just a few election cycles ago.

Here's the text of the resolution:

Whereas the GAGOP had only $11,000 in cash, over $230,000 in debt, and undisclosed debts and legal fees in December 2015;

Whereas the GAGOP funds have dwindled from $2,000,000 in 2010 to $24,000 in January 2016;

Whereas the GAGOP squandered money on staff and consultants during a non-election year. ;

Whereas the GAGOP pattern of fiscal recklessness does not set the party on a fiscally responsible path;

We the Republican Party of (insert your county/district/ Georgia), in a vote of “No Confidence” ask that GAGOP Chairman, John Padgett, step down and that an election be held at the June 2016 GAGOP State Convention for a new Chairman.

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The Huffington Post called out Rep. David Scott, D-Atlanta, for lifting testimony from a lobbyist while discussing payday lending at a congressional hearing last week. 
The outlet said portions of Scott’s remarks came straight from Richard Hunt, the top lobbyist for the Consumer Banks Association.

Scott, it turns out, was basically reading from 2013 testimony that Hunt gave to the Senate without disclosing his source. He was literally plagiarizing a lobbyist. That odd statement about "positive feedback from our borrowers," was one of several lines Scott seems to have pulled from Hunt's testimony with minor alterations.

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The rhetoric over whether the Senate should confirm President Barack Obama's upcoming Supreme Court nominee -- or even hold hearings or votes in the first place -- continues to heat up on Capitol Hill.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, took to the opinion pages of The Washington Post to argue their point that lawmakers should hold off until after a new president is made:

Given that we are in the midst of the presidential election process, we believe that the American people should seize the opportunity to weigh in on whom they trust to nominate the next person for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court. It is today the American people, rather than a lame-duck president whose priorities and policies they just rejected in the most-recent national election, who should be afforded the opportunity to replace Justice Scalia.

The pair's remarks came days after their bitter rival, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., argued his side in the same newspaper, saying that the founding fathers would be "rolling in their graves" if they saw the current discourse.

Georgia Sen. David Perdue announced yesterday that he opposes beginning the process to name a successor to Antonin Scalia before the election, matching Johnny Isakson's response.

Lawmakers return to Washington next week for the first time since Scalia's death. Let's see just how ugly things get.

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