The Latest: Sanders says don't politicize Clinton emails

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Posted: Jan 29, 2016 9:50 PM
The Latest: Sanders says don't politicize Clinton emails

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Latest on developments from the 2016 Republican race for president, just days out from the Iowa caucuses (all times local):

8:50 p.m.

Bernie Sanders still doesn't want to talk about Hillary Clinton's emails.

Sanders says in a Friday statement that there is a "legal process in place which should proceed and not be politicized," regarding questions about Clinton's use of a private email server during her time as secretary of state.

The Associated Press reported earlier that the State Department is withholding the release of more than 20 emails from Clinton's correspondence because they contain information deemed "top secret."

Clinton's campaign has questioned the secrecy of the messages and called for their release. She's insisted she never sent or received information on her personal email account that was classified at the time.

During the first Democratic debate last year, Sanders famously dismissed the issue by saying "the American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails!"

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8:20 p.m.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush says answering a question about combating illegal drug use is "a little harder than normal" with his daughter in the audience — acknowledging that she had battled a pain pill addiction while he was in office.

An audience member at a western Iowa campaign event mentioned the addiction Friday while asking Bush's stance on illegal drug use in the U.S.

Bush responded by first pointing to his daughter, Noelle, in the seats behind him, saying, "I've not done this in front of her, so this will be a little harder than normal."

Bush says there must be a focus on treating drug addiction, including more prevention programs, addiction research, and drug courts looking more at recovery than punishment.

But he also supports "putting away the people on the streets who are selling this poison."

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7:55 p.m.

Former President Bill Clinton is offering a detailed biographical sketch of his wife as the couple embarks on a series of joint appearances in the final days of campaigning before the Iowa caucuses.

Bill Clinton is walking voters through a list of Hillary Clinton's accomplishments as secretary of state, U.S. senator, first lady and as a young lawyer in Arkansas.

Bill Clinton says his wife has "never touched a thing she didn't make better."

Taking the stage after her husband, Hillary Clinton promised he wouldn't disappear should she win the White House — telling voters "he will be a really good adviser."

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7:15 p.m.

Hillary Clinton is accusing rival Bernie Sanders of leveling negative attacks — breaking one of his core campaign pledges.

Clinton said during a Friday appearance on NBC's Nightly News that Sanders is trying to "insinuate" she has a weaker plan to reign in Wall Street abuses.

She says he's "trying to divert attention," which she calls "a time-worn politician's tactic."

The two Democratic presidential candidates are locked in a close race in Iowa, just days before the first round of primary voting.

Clinton acknowledged Sanders' lead in the contest after Iowa, saying New Hampshire always favors candidates from neighboring states.

She says her team is ready for "a hard fought campaign."

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5:50 p.m.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio says it's "not acceptable" that more than 20 emails sent from Hillary Clinton's private server have been deemed so classified they cannot be released.

The Associated Press reported Friday that the State Department is withholding the release of seven email chains from Clinton's correspondence as secretary of state because they contain information deemed "top secret."

Clinton's presidential campaign questioned the secrecy of the messages Friday and called for the State Department to release them.

Rubio told an audience in Clinton, Iowa, that it was not acceptable for such sensitive emails to be on the server.

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5:20 p.m.

A super political action committee backing Hillary Clinton's Democratic presidential bid has raised more than $50 million since the beginning of 2015.

Priorities USA issued a memo to supporters Friday with the new financial information. The group says it raised almost $10 million this month alone and claims to have another $42 million in donor commitments.

Clinton cannot tell Priorities USA how to spend its money, but it is steered by some of her trusted allies.

Super PACs can raise unlimited amounts of money from donors. Clinton's Democratic opponent Bernie Sanders has made speaking out about them and their "corrosive" impact on democracy a cornerstone of his campaign.

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5 p.m.

GOP presidential candidate Chris Christie is telling Iowa voters the "C'' grade he received from the National Rifle Association while running for re-election as governor of New Jersey had more to do with his state than his policy positions.

Christie told a town hall audience in Pella on Friday that the gun laws to which the group objects were passed before he took office. He says he's been "holding them off from making it worse."

But NRA spokesman Jennifer Baker says the NRA looks "at the entirety of a candidate's record in support of the Second Amendment, which includes their voting records, public statements, answers to candidate questionnaires, etc."

Christie ran his first races for local office as a staunch supporter of a local assault weapons ban, and has both supported and opposed certain gun control measures.

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4:45 p.m.

Sen. Marco Rubio says he will not look to deport some 12 million people in the U.S. illegally if he is elected president. He says he'll instead propose solutions to accommodate those who have no criminal record.

In a Friday interview with The Associated Press, the Republican presidential hopeful says the realistic approach to America's problems with illegal immigration is to round up only criminals, while finding ways to accommodate the rest.

Speaking on his campaign bus in eastern Iowa ahead of the state's presidential caucuses, Rubio says "we're not going to round up and deport 12 million people."

He says criminals and people who are dangerous "can't stay," but added "we're going to deal with the people that are here."

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4:30 p.m.

Marco Rubio says he and his wife Jeannette try to speak Spanish to their four children, but "not as much as we probably should."

Rubio said during an Associated Press interview before a campaign event in Burlington, Iowa, that although he and his wife are fluent in Spanish, they mostly speak English at home. He says their children more often speak Spanish with their immigrant grandparents.

But there are times when the Rubios don't miss the opportunity: "We try to speak to them in Spanish, especially when they are being punished," Rubio says chuckling. "It's a stronger language."

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4:10 p.m.

Hollywood actor Clint Howard is backing Republican Ted Cruz for president.

Howard is the younger brother of director and actor Ron Howard, known for playing Opie on "The Andy Griffith Show" and directing such blockbusters as "Apollo 13."

Clint Howard played a flight controller in that film.

Howard says in a Friday statement that he decided to back Cruz after researching all the candidates. He says Cruz "has courage to fight and take the flak from people who want to undermine" his ideas.

Cruz calls Howard "an excellent actor and a true patriot."

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4 p.m.

A new anti-Donald Trump super PAC is mailing a "voter guide" to all likely Republican caucus-goers in Iowa that calls into question the GOP front-runner's conservative credentials.

The glossy mailer includes photos of Trump with Bill and Hillary Clinton. It also quotes the businessman making favorable statements about President Barack Obama and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

The Our Principles PAC is founded by Katie Packer, a veteran Republican strategist who worked for 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney.

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3:45 p.m.

One battle between the campaigns of Jeb Bush and John Kasich appears to be one of whose supporters can yell louder.

The Kasich campaign's decision to hold a press conference outside of Bush's Manchester, New Hampshire, office Friday resulted in a scene of dueling supporters chanting over each other and waving their respective signs.

The Kasich campaign says the Right to Rise super PAC that is backing Bush is lying about Kasich's record as governor of Ohio. Bush's campaign says the "cheap stunt" of holding the press conference at that site shows Kasich is getting desperate.

Neither side was mentioning front-runner Donald Trump. The decision to attack each other and not Trump highlights the businessman's dominance as other candidates fight for second.

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3:30 p.m.

Chris Christie says one difference between him and several top rivals in the Republican presidential race is that he admits to evolving on some of his positions.

The New Jersey governor is criticizing Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Marco Rubio of Florida at events across Iowa on Friday for failing to own up to changes in their positions on immigration during the previous night's GOP debate.

He says he has "no problem with Ted Cruz changing his position on immigration" and "no problem if Marco Rubio has changed his position on immigration now twice."

But he's telling voters the two should just "tell us you changed your mind."

Christie has faced his own criticism for some of his changing positions on issues ranging from gun control to abortion rights.

He's in the midst of a 17-event swing across Iowa ahead of Monday's caucuses.

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3:15 p.m.

Bernie Sanders feels like the hottest candidate in the Democratic race. Thousands flock to his rallies across Iowa, screaming his name.

The question is whether all that heat translates into bodies in a room on a cold night in Iowa come Monday.

Even Sanders admits he doesn't know the answer. He said Friday that he isn't predicting a win on caucus night, but "saying that we are right now in Iowa in a very, very close election."

For decades, Iowa has been a key testing ground for insurgent Democratic candidates trying to wrest the nomination from the establishment pick.

Mitch Stewart directed field operations for Obama's Iowa effort in 2008. He says the adage is "organize, organize, organize and get hot late."

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2:50 p.m.

Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign is demanding that the State Department release more than 20 emails sent from her private server that have been deemed heavily classified.

The Associated Press reported on Friday that seven email chains from Clinton's correspondence as secretary of state are being withheld because they contain information deemed "top secret."

Clinton's campaign is questioning the secrecy of the messages, saying the emails originated and remained on the State Department's unclassified system. They say at least one involved a public news article.

Says spokesman Brian Fallon: "This appears to be over-classification run amok."

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2:05 p.m.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush says political opponents need not paint each other as enemies.

Bush spoke to about 150 voters in the western Iowa town of Carroll on Friday and was asked how he would fix congressional gridlock.

He said people — particularly politicians — must stop seeing opponents as enemies. He says "they might just be people who disagree with me."

Without naming names, Bush still worked in some criticism of his Republican rivals in the presidential race, mocking comments made by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in which he said he would "carpet bomb" Islamic State fighters.

Bush says "we have to have a real strategy."

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1:40 p.m.

The New Hampshire primary is anyone's race as several Republican presidential candidates vie for a top tier finish less than two weeks before voters head to the polls.

Uncertainties are mounting as candidates fail to sway the state's many undecided voters one way or the other, despite months of courting by the various campaigns. And more than 40 percent are not registered with any political party, giving them the power to choose which party they'd like to vote with come Feb. 9.

With Trump maintaining a commanding lead in the state, the battle has intensified among the rest of the pack as they look to elbow each other out for a second-place finish.

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1:30 p.m.

One of the stars of the "Duck Dynasty" reality show will be joining Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in his final days of campaigning before the Iowa caucuses.

Phil Robertson plans to be with Cruz for stops throughout Iowa on Saturday and Sunday. The conservative political commentator also plans to campaign with Cruz leading up to Monday's caucuses.

Cruz bagged Robertson's endorsement after going hunting with him earlier this month.

Phil Robertson's son, Willie, has endorsed Cruz's Republican rival Donald Trump.

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1:20 p.m.

Not all the Republican candidates are sticking around Iowa for caucus night Monday.

While much of the large GOP 2016 field will host parties around the Des Moines area, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie and John Kasich will be in New Hampshire instead.

All three are performing better in New Hampshire polls and are getting a jump on the Feb. 9 primary.

Former Florida Gov. Bush is holding a town hall in Manchester. New Jersey Gov. Christie has one in Hopkinton. And Ohio Gov. Kasich will be hosting a town hall Loudon.

Bush and Christie have Iowa events through the weekend and early Monday. Aides say they're working hard in the state. Kasich has events in New Hampshire all weekend.

Iowa's Republican caucuses tend to be heavily influenced by Christian conservative voters, who favor other candidates, primarily businessman Donald Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

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12:50 p.m.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is telling Iowa voters he's the only true conservative in the GOP presidential race who can be trusted to keep his word.

Cruz spoke Friday at a Ringsted, Iowa, restaurant and drew sharp contrasts with rivals Donald Trump and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

Cruz defended his call to phase out a mandate that all fuel contain a certain percentage of ethanol, saying and says it would be "easy" to take Trump's position that it ought to be expanded.

Ethanol made from corn is big business in Iowa, and pro-ethanol forces have railed against Cruz. Cruz says his tax plan includes removing all mandates and subsidies.

Cruz told voters the way not to "get burned" is to look for a candidate "who keeps his word when it's difficult, when there's a price to be paid."

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12:30 p.m.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is trying to make a personal connection in the final days before Monday's Iowa caucuses, turning a meeting with voters at Iowa Wesleyan College into a forum on people's daily problems.

Sanders is peppering his audience in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, with questions, asking for details about how they're dealing with low wages, high prescription drug costs and large college debt loads.

The Democratic presidential candidate constantly asked voters for their first names as they shared stories as examples of why America needs to embrace his agenda.

He says the race in Iowa comes down to continuing with "establishment politics and economics," or the nation having the "courage" to help working families.

Sanders says if he wins Iowa it will show the country "is ready for significant change."

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12:10 p.m.

Texas congressman Louie Gohmert is telling voters the Iowa caucuses may be make-or-break for Sen. Ted Cruz.

Gohmert is campaigning with Cruz on Friday. He told voters in Ringsted, Iowa, that "so many are saying if Ted Cruz doesn't win the Iowa caucuses, it's a done deal."

Gohmert urged those gathered not to support Cruz's chief rival Donald Trump.

Gohmert is being joined by conservative Iowa congressman Steve King, Cruz's wife Heidi and wounded veteran Jack Zimmerman on the campaign trail as Monday's caucuses near.

Zimmerman lost both his legs after stepping on an explosive device when serving in the U.S. Army Afghanistan in 2011.

Cruz, King and Zimmerman all went hunting together in Iowa in October.

Cruz is hitting small, rural Iowa towns as he finishes visits to all 99 counties before the caucuses.