June 18, 2012

Mitt Romney's six-state "Believe in America" bus tour kicked off June 15, and among the several hundred locals who greeted him at a Day 2 stop in Weatherly, Penn., was this man — who conveyed his tepid support for the Republican presidential candidate by broadcasting his undying devotion to the Gipper.  The Week Staff

5:50 p.m. ET

As interesting as it might be to hear who the presidential candidates would pick to win the Super Bowl, there is an art to asking tough questions on the campaign trail. Thanks to a Quaker organization, the American Friends Service Committee, hundreds of political activists are now equipped with the tools they need to hunt down candidates on the trail and get their questions answered, The Intercept reports.

"It might be at a cafe like this. We find out a candidate will be there and we have a volunteer and he says, 'I'll go and have coffee,'" the New Hampshire co-director Arnie Alpert said at the Red Arrow Diner in Manchester.

The organization has taught more than 1,100 activists in Iowa and New Hampshire how to formulate important questions, approach candidates, and record the interactions to be spread on social media. During one recent coaching session in New Hampshire, military veterans were taught to make eye contact and introduce themselves as vets to the candidates, although the actual questions were up to them. John Herd was one such student who attended a Carly Fiorina event at the Nashua Radisson Hotel the day after the lesson:

After Carly Fiorina gave her stump speech, she said she would take a few questions. Jason Hurd, a veteran who participated in the training, shot his hand up and was called on first.

"As an Army combat medic — and I spent a year in Baghdad, policing Iraqis with sometimes brutal tactics — now I see police here at home using the same tactics, with the same weapons, and the same equipment that I used, on black communities," he said. "What would your presidency do to end the militarization of police and stop cops from killing everyday Americans?"

"Thank you for your service, first of all," Fiorina responded. Then she ignored the question, choosing instead to tear into Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama for withdrawing troops too quickly from Iraq. [The Intercept]

Read many of the questions asked by the activists here. Jeva Lange

4:06 p.m. ET

Voting is well underway in New Hampshire, but a handful of farm animals are hoping they might be able to sway last-minute undecideds. Reporting from the center of the action in Manchester, Nancy Chen of Boston's WHDH spotted a few Bernie-backing barnyard critters who came out to "support" the Vermont senator.

Take a look at the menagerie, below. Jeva Lange

3:35 p.m. ET
Win McNamee/Getty Images

America's neighbors aren't so happy about the possibility of a President Trump: In a poll released Tuesday, it was revealed that most Canadians fear "the very prospect" of Donald Trump being elected president, Politico reports.

Nearly two-in-three Canadians polled said they were fearful of Trump in the White House, with only 23 percent saying the thought didn't give them chills. The majority of Canadians preferred that the States elect Hillary Clinton — she was viewed favorably by 54 percent of those polled.

Canadians might not be losing too much sleep over the American elections, however: Only 19 percent think Trump would actually win a general election, and 55 percent said they think there is a President Clinton in the future.

Meanwhile, Ted Cruz — who is Canadian-born — was only viewed favorably by 14 percent of Canadians. Thirty-six percent of Canadians said they don't even know who he is.

The poll was conducted by Canadian polling firm Leger from Feb. 1-4, and sponsored by the newspapers Le Journal de Montréal and Le Devoir. It surveyed 1,524 Canadian voters, and had an overall margin of error of plus or minus 2.1 percentage points. Jeva Lange

2:45 p.m. ET

Behold the power of Beyoncé: A single mention on one of her tracks can apparently boost sales for a brand by more than 30 percent. Just days after the pop star released her new track, "Formation," Red Lobster — which gets a brief mention in the song as a reward for sex — reported that its sales saw a 33 percent spike over the previous year.

Sales weren't all that went up for Red Lobster, either. The brand also got mentioned on Twitter 42,000 times in just one hour and trended on the social media site for the first time ever, spokesperson Erica Ettori said. In fact, Beyoncé helped Red Lobster out so much that the seafood chain jokingly considered renaming its Cheddar Bay Biscuits "Cheddar Bey Biscuits."

After what Red Lobster described as "one heck of a weekend," it had to admit: "You definitely slay, Beyoncé." Becca Stanek

1:43 p.m. ET

Over at Fox News, the New Hampshire Republican presidential primary briefly appeared to have already been called — even though the polls don't close for another six hours. Thanks to what Fox's Chief Digital Officer Jeff Misenti says was a "malfunction" that occurred during "routine testing," the site's election results page briefly showed Donald Trump as the decisive winner of the New Hampshire primary early Tuesday morning, with 28 percent of the vote and 14 delegates.

The errant results showed Florida Sen. Marco Rubio in second, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in third, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich in fourth. Longshot candidate Jim Gilmore got 574 votes in the incorrect Fox data, registering at 0 percent.

The error has since been corrected on Fox News' website. The actual results should be announced sometime Tuesday evening after the last polls in New Hampshire close at 8 p.m. ET. Becca Stanek

12:07 p.m. ET

After Donald Trump called Texas Sen. Ted Cruz a "pussy" on the campaign trail Monday for his stance on waterboarding, he played off the inflammatory comment as just a crowd having a good time. "We were all just having fun," Trump said Tuesday on MSNBC's Morning Joe, clarifying that he was simply repeating what a supporter shouted out during the rally so "everybody could hear."

Making off-the-cuff remarks and apologizing later isn't a new strategy for the outspoken real estate mogul. Here, five other times Trump has made a controversial comment and then later cast it as nothing but a joke. Becca Stanek

The issue: Cruz's hesitation on whether he would support waterboarding
Trump's comment: "She just said a terrible thing. You know what she said? Shout it out, 'cause I don't want to. Okay, you're not allowed to say — and I never expect to hear that from you again — she said... he's a pussy."
The excuse: "We were all just having fun. I was just repeating what she said so everyone could hear. I was doing everybody a favor. I got a standing ovation [and] the place went wild. You're talking about close to 5,000 people. It was a great moment. The world is politically correct."

The issue: His unshakeable popularity with voters
Trump's comment: "I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose voters."
The excuse: "That comment was said with me laughing and thousands of other people laughing. It was said as a joke — obviously it was a joke."

The issue: Climate change
Trump's comment: "The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive."
The excuse: "Well, I think the climate change is just a very, very expensive form of tax. A lot of people are making a lot of money. I know much about climate change. I'd be — received environmental awards. And I often joke that this is done for the benefit of China. Obviously, I joke. But this is done for the benefit of China, because China does not do anything to help climate change. They burn everything you could burn; they couldn't care less. They have very — you know, their standards are nothing. But they — in the meantime, they can undercut us on price. So it's very hard on our business."

The issue: His daughter, Ivanka
Trump's comment: "Yeah, she's really something, and what a beauty, that one. If I weren't happily married and, you know, her father..."
The excuse: "I said on a certain show — my daughter's a beautiful young woman — so I said, and I said it joking, everybody laughed, everybody laughed. I said, 'My daughter's so beautiful that if I weren't married, etc., etc. I'd be dating her.' Cute. It was cute. Everybody laughed... The next day [the headline was] 'Trump Wants to Date His Daughter.'"

The issue: Trump's treatment of women
Trump's comment: Fox News debate moderator Megyn Kelly referenced Trump's past remarks about women during the first GOP debate, asking him to explain why he has called women "fat pigs," "dogs," "slobs," and "disgusting animals."
The excuse: "I think the big problem this country has is being politically correct. Frankly what I say — and oftentimes, it's fun; it's kidding; we have a good time — what I say is what I say."

11:52 a.m. ET

Whatever happened to predictability? It's right here in the new trailer for Fuller House, which premiered exclusively on Ellen today (skip ahead to around 2:30):

This new trailer, which is the first to contain actual footage from the Netflix series, alternates between meta-references to how long it's been ("Damn, we all still look good!") and clumsy callbacks to the original Full House ("How rude," "Cut. It. Out," and "Have mercy!" uttered within the span of about eight seconds). You can say this for Fuller House: It's coming back in a way that feels totally in line with the quality of the original series.

Fuller House premieres on Feb. 26. Scott Meslow

See More Speed Reads