The Latest: Supporters mob populist Democrat Bernie Sanders

AP News
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Posted: Aug 15, 2015 5:15 PM
The Latest: Supporters mob populist Democrat Bernie Sanders

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The latest from the presidential candidates as they meet and greet voters at the Iowa State Fair (all times are local):

2:45 p.m.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders' appearance at The Des Moines Register's political "soapbox" brought out hundreds of people, who laughed when the populist liberal pointed to a helicopter flying overhead.

"There's Donald Trump. What can we do?" Sanders quipped. "I apologize. We left the helicopter at home. It's in the garage. We forgot to bring it."

Supporters and media crews mobbed Sanders as he walked the fairgrounds, his blue button-down shirt drenched in sweat. At the Iowa Democratic Party booth, Curt Pocius (POH'-shuhs) asked Sanders to autograph a $1 dollar bill, telling the senator, "It's all I've got." Sanders laughed and obliged.

After a quick stop for a root beer, Sanders' entourage was cheered by people drinking beers at The Depot. "Give 'em hell, Bernie," yelled one man as Sanders walked by. "Thank you," he replied.

2:15 p.m.

Democratic presidential candidate Lincoln Chafee tells Iowa voters at the State Fair on Saturday that the main justification for the Iraq War was "all a hoax."

The former senator and governor from Rhode Island says he discovered for himself that ex-Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein didn't have weapons of mass destruction by checking directly with the CIA. He also underscored his Democratic bona fides when he pressed for climate change and marriage equality legislation while he served in the Senate.

Chafee also told the crowd Saturday he turned around his state's economy by slashing unemployment and investing in education.

Chafee took aim at GOP contender Jeb Bush's recent criticism of the current administration's handling of Iraq, telling voters, "What kind of neocon Kool-Aid is this man drinking?"

1:30 p.m.

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum tells voters at the Iowa State Fair that not only should Planned Parenthood no longer receive federal money, but also should be prosecuted under federal law.

The former Pennsylvania senator assailed the group for performing what he called partial-birth abortions and for using fetal tissue for "research and other types of nefarious things." He joins Republicans around the country in targeting the group after several secretly recorded videos were released by the anti-abortion Center for Medical Progress.

The center says the videos show that Planned Parenthood illegally sells fetal tissue for profit. Planned Parenthood says the organization receives legal payment only for the cost of the procedure and requires a mother's consent before the tissue is given to researchers.

Another GOP candidate, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, said the Justice Department and IRS should investigate the group.

1:15 p.m.

Donald Trump made a suitably splashy entrance to the Iowa State Fair.

The leading Republican presidential candidate arrived in a helicopter, landing at athletic fields just over a mile away. Talking to reporters, Trump slammed several other candidates, taking a shot at Jeb Bush over recent comments on Iraq about having "skin in the game."

Trump says we've spent 2 trillion dollars, lost thousands of lives, had wounded warriors... "and he said we have to prove we have skin in the game. I think it may be one of the dumbest statements I've ever heard."

Trump said he would be releasing policy papers soon, starting with an immigration plan tomorrow on NBC's "Meet the Press."

12:30 p.m.

Hillary Rodham Clinton has hit all the highlights of the Iowa State Fair, including the famed butter cow, a pork chop on a stick and a moving mass of media and onlookers.

"Nice to be here!" Clinton said as she started an hourlong stroll through the fairgrounds at the side of former Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin. Everywhere she went, crowds sought to snap a photograph, a handshake or a quick hello with the Democratic presidential front-runner.

In the Agriculture Building, Clinton walked past plates of carrots, beets and large cabbages and peered at the fair's famous butter cow statue and a butter statue honoring the board game Monopoly.

Clinton sampled a pork chop on a stick and a lemonade. Minutes later, she boarded a black SUV and was whisked away.

11:55 a.m.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton is standing firm that she never sent or received emails on her homebrew email server that were marked classified.

Clinton tells reporters at the Iowa State Fair on Saturday she was going to let the inquiry into her email use go forward. Clinton turned the server over to the FBI recently to investigate the security of her email setup.

Thousands of pages of her emails publicly released in recent months show Clinton did receive messages later marked classified, including some that contained material regarding the production and dissemination of U.S. intelligence.

Clinton's use of a homemade server during her time as secretary of state has dogged her campaign. She blamed her Republican challengers and GOP House members on Saturday for turning the affair into a partisan issue.

10:59 a.m.

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump is set for a rock-star's entrance to the fair, landing in a helicopter in athletic fields just over a mile from the fairgrounds. He plans to visit the famed butter cow, but the Des Moines Register's political soapbox isn't on his itinerary.

Trump is feuding with the newspaper after it published an editorial last month calling for the real estate mogul to end his bid for the White House. The Trump campaign, in turn, denied credentials to the newspaper's reporter to cover his campaign.

Trump descends on the Iowa summer festival as the leading Republican candidate. His standing in the leadoff caucus state has remained strong despite a recent dust-up with Fox News host Megyn Kelly and ongoing criticism over his comments about Mexican immigrants.

Trump has drawn enthusiastic response for promising to be a smart president who makes great deals. So far he has not released any specific policy proposals.

9:30 a.m.

The Democratic and Republican front-runners are among the presidential candidates courting voters Saturday at the Iowa State Fair, but Hillary Rodham Clinton and Donald Trump are unlikely to cross paths.

The early arrival at the fairgrounds was Democrat Lincoln Chafee, who strolled the main pathway greeting voters before 9 a.m.

The former Rhode Island governor says when he takes the soapbox in the afternoon he'll extoll his executive experience and his plans for the future. He also says he hopes to check out some of the livestock. But when asked what fair food he may try, he hedged.

Chafee says, "You've got to be careful at these fairs."

Also expected at the fair Saturday are Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum.

___

This story corrects that Trump, not Bush, will unveil his immigration plan on Sunday in item time-stamped 1:15 p.m.


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