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Mike Pence’s role model as vice president may surprise you

Mike Pence says he hopes to emulate Dick

Mike Pence says he hopes to emulate Dick Cheney if he's elected vice president. Sept. 17, 2016 Photo Credit: AP / Stephen M. Dowell

His first at second

Donald Trump is contemptuous of the George W. Bush administration and its pursuit of the Iraq War. But a chief architect of that policy is someone his running mate hopes to emulate if elected.

“I frankly hold Dick Cheney in really high regard in his role as vice president and as an American,” Indiana Gov. Mike Pence said on ABC’s “This Week.” Pence said that, like Cheney, he hoped to be “a very active vice president.”

Just this past week, Trump trashed Bush administration figures who derided his fitness to lead. He called former Defense Secretary Robert Gates “an absolute clown” and tweeted about former Secretary of State Colin Powell’s role in the Iraq “disaster.”

Trump had similar invective for Cheney back in 2011. “He’s very, very angry and nasty ... did a rotten job as vice president ... tremendous divisiveness,” Trump said in a YouTube video.

But in May, Cheney said he will support Trump.

Making amnesia great again

A parade of surrogates on the Sunday talk shows tried to run with Trump’s audacious new spin on his five years as a birther: that it was Hillary Clinton and her 2008 campaign that promoted the idea and Trump who debunked it.

“It’s just not true that he kept it up for five years,” Chris Christie said on CNN. “It wasn’t like he was talking about it on a regular basis until then.” (Of course he was.)

Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway ran out of dodges when asked on NBC’s “Meet the Press” when between 2011 and last week Trump concluded that President Barack Obama was indeed U.S.-born. “You’ll have to ask him that. That’s a personal decision,” she said.

The take-away: Guv gone mild

Two of the most aggressive personalities in politics — Trump and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Clinton supporter — are keeping it polite and low-key as of late when talking about each other. Their past connections offer possible clues as to why, writes Newsday’s Dan Janison.

Bomb responses

Clinton called in the wake of the Chelsea bombing Saturday for an "intelligence surge"  to help identify and thwart "terror" attacks. 

Trump mimicked a tabloid again, guessing before officials confirmed it that the explosion at W. 23rd St. was caused by a bomb. 

 "We better get very tough, folks. We better get very, very tough," he said in Colorado. Neither candidate's reaction seemed too relevant, though, amid the immediate breaking news on the Manhattan and New Jersey mayhem.

On Monday Trump utilized the explosion that injured 29 as a new occasion to claim that he knows what he's doing and those in power are "stupid."  Police are "afraid to do anything" to stop attacks due to an aversion to profiling, and "I knew this was going to happen," he told Fox & Friends.

Not with her on that 

Clinton running mate Tim Kaine wouldn’t stand behind her characterization of some Trump supporters as “irredeemable” — an attack from her Sept. 9 fundraiser speech that also featured her “basket of deplorables” line.

“That’s not a word I would use. I wouldn’t use it,” Kaine said on ABC’s “This Week.”

Revisiting Hofstra 2012

Four years ago, a group of 11 undecided Long Island voters got to grill Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney during their debate at Hofstra University. Newsday’s Laura Figueroa caught up with some of the questioners and finds many of them struggling with their decision this year as the first debate between Trump and Clinton on Sept. 26 draws near.

Give a little

A look at the Trump foundation’s giving in 2014, according to the foundation’s federal tax return filed with the state Charities Bureau, finds a split between traditional charities, such as those fighting children’s diseases, and conservative political causes, writes Newsday’s Michael Gormley.

In all, the foundation contributed $591,450 at a time Trump said he was worth more than $10 billion. That outlay is dwarfed by those from the Clinton foundation and the philanthropy of fellow billionaires such as Michael Bloomberg.

What else is happening

  • A new poll in Pennsylvania finds Clinton ahead by 7 points. In a CBS News poll of 13 battleground states, Clinton and Trump are tied at 42% each.
  • Libertarian Gary Johnson, who failed to qualify for the Hofstra debate, says he can still grow enough support to make the cut for the second and third debates.
  • On CNN’s “State of the Union,” Kaine says he feels better about Obama’s Syria policy, which he criticized as “a joke” last year. “We have dramatically improved in the last year, and the proof is in how much ground ISIS has lost,” Kaine said.
  • Trump ought to disclose details of his overseas business investments before Election Day, more than 50 former national security and military officials urge in a signed open letter.
  • GOP chairman Reince Priebus said John Kasich and Jeb Bush could be barred from seeking the Republican nomination in the future for refusing to back Trump.
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren told an audience that Trump "has repeatedly invited his followers to commit a terrible act of violence on his opponents...He has invited them to kill another human being more than once."
  • Kasich said Trump should apologize to Obama for having promoted his birther claim.
  • Obama told the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation dinner in Washington Saturday that he would consider it “a personal insult, an insult to my legacy” if black turnout falters for Clinton.
  • Democratic Hispanic operatives are worried Clinton’s campaign isn’t doing enough to generate turnout, especially among younger Latino voters, The Washington Post reports.

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