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Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has visited a black church in Detroit in an attempt to claw some of the minority vote away from Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

Donald Trump, 70, told the congregation he “fully understands that the African American community has suffered discrimination”.

According to recent polls, Donald Trump, who is lagging behind Hillary Clinton, has low support among black and Hispanic voters.

Donald Trump was accompanied by Ben Carson, the former Republican presidential hopeful who grew up in Detroit.

The New York businessman arrived at the church to the sound of protests against him taking place outside. Inside, Donald Trump gave a scripted one-on-one interview with the church’s pastor, Bishop Wayne T. Jackson, which will be aired by Bishop Jackson’s own Impact TV network next week.

Donald Trump then attended a service at the church before addressing the congregation with a prepared speech, during which he struck an unusually measured tone.

Photo Youtube

Photo Youtube

He said: “Nothing is more sad than when we sideline young black men with tremendous potential.”

Donald Trump also said there were “wrongs that need to be made right” for the black community, and praised black churches, adding: “For centuries the African American church has been the conscience of our country.”

The Republican pledged to revive Detroit, which has fallen behind economically since the decline of its once-dominant car industry, promising “new roads and bridges everywhere”.

In his interview with Bishop Jackson, Donald Trump answered a set of pre-approved questions with replies prepared by his campaign staff and the Republican National Committee, the New York Times reported.

The Times published a leaked copy of the 12 questions and answers, which covered police killings, racial tension, and accusations that Donald Trump is racist.

He did not initially intend to address the congregation, the Times said, but a spokesman for Donald Trump’s campaign later said plans had changed to incorporate a five to 10 minute scripted address.

Donald Trump has attempted in recent weeks to appeal to both black and Hispanic voters, claiming he would create jobs in poor cities.

On September 2, he met black religious and community leaders in Philadelphia and days earlier saw black and Latino Republicans in New York.

However, months of hard-line rhetoric on immigration and social issues have done little to endear Donald Trump to minority groups.

He has been criticized by some for addressing black issues in front of largely white audiences, and for making critical statements about black communities.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and Democratic Representative Brenda Lawrence are expected to speak against Donald Trump in the city on September 3.

Donald Trump has made a direct appeal to black voters, saying: “What do you have to lose?”.

The Republican nominee told a nearly all-white audience in Michigan that African-American voters “are living in poverty” and their “schools are no good”.

Donald Trump promised to “produce” for African-Americans where Democrats had failed.

“If you keep voting for the same people, you will keep getting exactly the same result,” he said.

Donald Trump said Hillary Clinton “would rather provide a job to a refugee” than to unemployed black youths, “who have become refugees in their own country”.

Photo AP

Photo AP

Hillary Clinton called Donald Trump’s remarks “so ignorant it’s staggering”.

The New York billionaire also predicted he would receive 95% of the African-American vote if he went to on to run for a second term in 2020.

President Barack Obama, historically the most popular president among African-Americans in US history, received 93% of the black vote in 2012.

Donald Trump has suffered from dismal support among African-Americans.

Current polls show about 2% of black voters say they will vote for Donald Trump.

The Trump campaign relationship with the black voters thus far can be described as rocky at best.

He has seen strong support among white supremacist groups.

Donald Trump came under heavy criticism after he took days to distance himself from a former leader of the Ku Klux Klan who endorsed him.

On several occasions, African-American protesters have been assaulted by Donald Trump supporters at rallies. A New York Times investigation found supporters frequently use racist language at rallies.

Yesterday speech was the third time this week that Donald Trump sought to appeal to African-American voters.

Some analysts say Donald Trump, trailing badly in national polls for weeks, desperately needs to broaden his appeal beyond his base of white working-class voters.

However, many commentators on Twitter were perplexed by Donald Trump’s approach in courting these voters.

Earlier in the day, Donald Trump announced that Paul Manafort, a seasoned political operative who led his campaign for the past three months, had stepped down.

On August 16, Donald Trump promoted pollster Kellyanne Conway to campaign manager and hired conservative media executive Stephen Bannon as his campaign’s CEO.

The moves effectively demoted Paul Manafort, whose links to the pro-Russian former Ukrainian government of Viktor Yanukovych have drawn scrutiny in recent days.

Donald Trump “would be the most reckless president” in US history, a group of 50 Republican national security officials has warned in an open letter.

The group, which includes the former CIA director Michael Hayden, said Donald Trump “lacks the character, values and experience” to be president.

Many of the letter’s signatories had declined to sign a similar note in March.

In response, Donald Trump said they were part of a “failed Washington elite” looking to hold on to power.

The open letter comes after a number of high-profile Republicans stepped forward to disown the New York billionaire.

Donald Trump has broken with years of Republican foreign policy on a number of occasions.

He has questioned whether the United States should honor its commitments to NATO, endorsed the use of torture and suggested that South Korea and Japan should arm themselves with nuclear weapons.

Photo LA Times

Photo LA Times

“He weakens US moral authority as the leader of the free world,” the letter read.

“He appears to lack basic knowledge about and belief in the US Constitution, US laws, and US institutions, including religious tolerance, freedom of the press, and an independent judiciary.”

“None of us will vote for Donald Trump,” the letter states.

In a statement, the Republican candidate said the names on the letter were “the ones the American people should look to for answers on why the world is a mess”.

“We thank them for coming forward so everyone in the country knows who deserves the blame for making the world such a dangerous place,” Donald Trump continued.

“They are nothing more than the failed Washington elite looking to hold on to their power and it’s time they are held accountable for their actions.”

Also among those who signed the letter were John Negroponte, the first director of national intelligence and later deputy secretary of state; Robert Zoellick, who was also a former deputy secretary of state and former president of the World Bank; and two former secretaries of homeland security, Tom Ridge and Michael Chertoff.

The letter echoed similar sentiment shared by some Republican national security officials in March, but the new additions came after Donald Trump encouraged Russia to hack Hillary Clinton’s email server, according to the New York Times.

National Security Letter Read here

Donald Trump later said he was “being sarcastic” when he made the remarks about hacking his rival’s emails.

Missing from the letter were former secretaries of state Henry Kissinger, George Shultz, James Baker, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice.

Some of the latest letter’s signatories plan to vote for Hillary Clinton while others will refuse to vote, but “all agree Trump is not qualified and would be dangerous,” said John Bellinger, a former legal adviser to Condoleezza Rice who drafted the letter.

The open letter follows a fresh round of Republican defections in the wake of recent controversy surrounding Donald Trump.

Lezlee Westine, a former aide to President George W. Bush, announced her support for Hillary Clinton in a statement to the Washington Post on Monday.

Wadi Gaitan, a prominent Latino official and chief spokesman for the GOP in Florida, announced he would leave the party over Donald Trump’s candidacy.

Meanwhile, George P. Bush broke with his father – Jeb Bush – to lend his support to Donald Trump on August 7, the Texas Tribune reported.

George P. Bush urged party members to unite behind his father’s former Republican primary rival.

Donald Trump has publicly backed House Speaker Paul Ryan days after snubbing him in a spat at the top of the Republican Party.

The Republican candidate shocked party members on August 2 when he refused to endorse Paul Ryan and Senator John McCain in their campaigns for re-election in November.

Paul Ryan, the GOP’s highest-ranking elected official, had himself long delayed endorsing Donald Trump.

“I support and endorse our Speaker… Paul Ryan,” Donald Trump said on August 5.

“We need unity – we have to win this election,” he said during a campaign stop in Green Bay, Wisconsin – Paul Ryan’s home state.Donald Trump RNC conspiracy

While they might “disagree on a couple of things”, they agreed on a lot as well, Donald Trump added.

The billionaire also endorsed Arizona Senator John McCain and New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte.

In his earlier interview for the Washington Post, Donald Trump had said he was “just not quite there yet” when asked if he would endorse Paul Ryan and John McCain.

It was the same phrase used by Paul Ryan before he finally endorsed Donald Trump.

Paul Ryan and John McCain had both criticized Donald Trump’s attacks on the bereaved parents of Captain Humayun Khan killed in Iraq.

The Muslim soldier was killed by a car bomb in 2004 in Iraq at the age of 27.

Donald Trump has insisted that his campaign is united despite reports of deep divisions in the GOP after he made a series of missteps.

Speaking at a rally in Florida, the Republican presidential nominee said the campaign was “doing really well”.

According to media outlets, it was in turmoil after Donald Trump repeatedly attacked parents of a fallen Captain Humayun Khan.

Staffers told CNN that they “feel like they are wasting their time”.

Donald Trump said in Dayton Beach: “I just want to tell you the campaign is doing really well.

“It’s never been so well united… I would say right now it’s the best in terms of being united that it’s been since we began.”Donald Trump hails Brexit referendum result

Earlier Donald Trump’s campaign chairman Paul Manafort blamed reports of disunity on Trump’s opponent, Democrat Hillary Clinton.

“This is another Clinton narrative that she put out there and the media is picking up on,” he said.

“Mr. Trump has appeared this week at crowds that are overflowing into the street,” Paul Manafort added.

Donald Trump has been sharply criticized for his attacks on the bereaved parents of the Muslim soldier killed in Iraq.

His ongoing war of words with Khizr and Ghazala Khan has intensified rifts within the Republican Party.

NBC News reported that senior Republicans plan to stage an “intervention” to get the campaign back on message, stressing issues such as jobs and trade deals.

According to NBC, the effort will be led by Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and Donald Trump allies, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

“I think some of what Trump has done is very self-destructive,” Newt Gingrich told Fox Business Network on August 3.

Three prominent Republicans – including New York Congressman Richard Hanna – have said this week that they would vote for Hillary Clinton, saying Donald Trump was unfit to serve as president.

Many Republicans opposed to Donald Trump have stopped short of supporting Hillary Clinton, saying they would vote for a third candidate instead.

One person who did say he would back Donald Trump on August 3 was Clint Eastwood.

While stopping short of endorsing Donald Trump, Clint Eastwood said he would vote for him.

“I can understand where he’s coming from, but I don’t always agree with it,” Clint Eastwood, 86, told Esquire magazine.

Clint Eastwood also said Donald Trump was an enemy of political correctness, adding: “We see people accusing people of being racist and all kinds of stuff. When I grew up, those things weren’t called racist.”

Ted Cruz was booed after failing to endorse Donald Trump as the Republican nominee, during a speech at the GOP convention in Cleveland.

The Texas Senator only went as far as congratulating Donald Trump who had been his bitter rival in the primary contests.

Angry chants of “We want Trump!” and “Endorse Trump!” grew louder as Ted Cruz came to the end of his speech.

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence then took centre stage to give his vice-presidential acceptance speech.

Mike Pence praised Donald Trump’s record as a businessman and said the country had “but one choice” in November.

“It’s change versus the status quo, and when Donald Trump is president, the change will be huge,” he said.

Photo AP

Photo AP

Ted Cruz is likely to steal the headlines after stoking the rage of the convention, to such an extent that his wife Heidi had to be escorted from the floor.

In his speech, Ted Cruz told supporters to “vote [with] their conscience” and not to stay at home for the general election.

Ted Cruz finished second to Donald Trump in the delegate count during a campaign that featured personal attacks by the New York tycoon on Cruz’s wife and father.

The boos that drowned him out stopped when Donald Trump entered the convention hall before Ted Cruz had finished speaking.

Donald Trump later said he knew Ted Cruz would not endorse him but had let him speak anyway.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said his actions were “awful” and New York Congressman Peter King called the speech “disgraceful”.

The drama came at the end of the day when the Republicans tried to finally put the plagiarism scandal behind them.

Melania Trump faced accusations of copying after it was discovered that lines in her remarks matched almost word for word a convention speech delivered by Michelle Obama in 2008.

After initial denials from the campaign, Meredith McIver, a Trump Organization employee, admitted her role in writing the speech and apologized for the “chaos I have caused”.

Thursday night is the main event of the four-day event – Donald Trump’s acceptance speech.

John Kasich has decided to suspend his presidential campaign after struggling to gain traction against Republican front-runner Donald Trump.

The Ohio governor did not have a path to secure the nomination outright, but pledged to lobby for his candidacy during the Republican convention in July.

Donald Trump holds a commanding lead and is closing in on the nomination.

Despite being a popular governor, John Kasich only won his home state.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz dropped out of the race on May 3 after losing to Donald Trump in the Indiana primary.John Kasich suspends presidential campaign

John Kasich canceled events in Washington and announced an evening event in his home state on May 4.

Earlier, John Kasich released a Star-Wars themed advert describing himself as the “only hope” against Donald Trump.

Blocking from winning the nomination outright, John Kasich and Ted Cruz had hoped to force a contested convention, in which party officials, not voters, choose for the nominee.

Now it is all but certain Donald Trump will have the 1,237 delegates needed to become the nominee before the July convention in Cleveland, Ohio.

John Kasich had been widely seen as the most moderate and electable Republican candidate and polled well against Hillary Clinton, the likely Democratic nominee.

However, John Kasich’s general election strength did not garner him enough support among Republican primary voters.

The Ohio governor promoted an optimistic message while campaigning, shunning negative attacks against other candidates.

Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who dropped out in March, garnered more delegates than John Kasich during primary elections.

Ted Cruz and John Kasich had announced an alliance to stop Donald Trump and “to ensure that we nominate a Republican who can unify the Republican Party and win in November” prior to the Indiana, New Mexico and Oregon state primaries, but that quickly crumbled.

Republicans are now divided over whether to support Donald Trump as the Republican nominee.

John Kasich’s name has been floated as a possible vice presidential pick but he has denied that he would accept a nomination.

Donald Trump’s victory in Indiana has made him the Republican presidential nominee as rival Ted Cruz has been forced to pull out from the race.

The New York businessman, unpopular with many in his own party, now has a clear path to the 1,237 delegates needed to claim his party’s crown.

That would mark a stunning victory for a businessman few took seriously when he launched his campaign in 2015.

Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders has defeated Hillary Clinton in Indiana’s Democratic race.

Bernie Sanders trails Hillary Clinton in the all-important delegate count but after this victory he said the contest was still alive.

“Clinton campaign thinks this campaign is over. They’re wrong,” he said.

Ted Cruz’s advisers had targeted Indiana as the Texas senator’s best hope of halting Donald Trump’s march to the nomination.

Photo Getty Images

Photo Getty Images

“We gave it everything we’ve got, but the voters chose another path,” Ted Cruz told supporters in Indiana.

Ted Cruz’s departure means Donald Trump is now the presumptive Republican nominee, with plenty of state contests this month and next to reach the 1,237 delegates required to win.

Donald Trump is the first nominee since Dwight Eisenhower in 1952 to lack any previous experience of elected office.

Ohio Governor John Kasich has vowed to remain in the Republican race, but trails far behind Donald Trump in terms of delegates.

“It is a beautiful thing to watch, and a beautiful thing to behold,” Donald Trump said during a victory speech in Indiana.

“We are going to make America great again.”

Donald Trump praised Ted Cruz as a “tough, smart competitor”, which marked a sharp reversal in tone after a day when the two men slung mud at each other from close quarters.

The verbal attacks reached a new level of intensity when Ted Cruz attacked Donald Trump as a “pathological liar” and “serial philanderer”.

That was provoked by a bizarre claim from Donald Trump that Ted Cruz’s father was linked to one of the most traumatic episodes in US history, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

It is now increasingly likely that Donald Trump will face Hillary Clinton in the autumn in the battle to succeed President Barack Obama, who will be leaving the White House after two terms.

However, Republicans have expressed reservations about Donald Trump’s outspoken remarks, which have offended women and Hispanics.

There are also concerns about some of Donald Trump’s policies on immigration and national security, like building a wall on the southern US border paid for by Mexico, a ban on Muslims coming to the US and the killing of the families of terrorists.

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has said she would like to serve as energy secretary in a Donald Trump administration in order to abolish the department.

Sarah Palin told CNN that “energy is my baby”.

“Oil and gas and minerals, those things that God has dumped on this part of the Earth for mankind’s use,” the conservative activist said.

Donald Trump said in July he would be open to the possibility of Sarah Palin serving in his government.

Photo AP

Photo AP

Sarah Palin said she wanted individual states to “start having more control over the lands that are within their boundaries” with respect to their energy policy.

“If I were in charge of that, it would be a short-term job,” she said.

Sarah Palin also defended Donald Trump over recent criticism of gaps in his knowledge of foreign affairs.

“I think I’d rather have a president who is tough and puts America first than can win a game of Trivial Pursuit,” she said.

“But I don’t think the public gives a flying flip if somebody knows who, today, is a specific leader of a specific region or a religion or anything,” Sarah Palin added.

Donald Trump has recently been leading polls for the Republican presidential nomination.

Sarah Palin was the Republican nominee for vice-president in 2008.

Jeb Bush has launched his bid to become the Republican nominee for president.

In a video released hours ahead of his official launch in Miami, the former Florida governor has pledged to fix America.

Jeb Bush, 62, declared: “I’m ready to lead.”

The brother of ex-President George W. Bush and son of ex-President George H.W. Bush also promised to protect America’s most vulnerable and remove the barriers to social mobility.Jeb Bush launches White House 2016 campaign

However, doubts persist among conservatives in his party.

Early polling suggests that Jeb Bush has yet to dominate a wide field of Republican candidates.

In his latest video, entitled The Greatest Century, Jeb Bush strikes a very optimistic note, saying: “I see a great country on the verge of its greatest century, and I’m ready to lead.”

Although his campaign becomes official on June 15, it’s been no secret for many months and his team is well on the way to raising a $100 million war chest.

During a tour of Europe last week, Jeb Bush warned he would not waver from his core beliefs, even if some are unpopular in his party.

He said: “I’m not going to change who I am.

“I respect people who may not agree with me, but I’m not going to change my views because today someone has a view that’s different.”

In a separate video, called Making A Difference, Jeb Bush champions the rights of women, ethnic minorities and the disabled.

He says: “My core beliefs start with the premise that the most vulnerable in our society should be in the front of the line and not the back.

“What we need is new leadership that takes conservative principles and applies them so that people can rise up.”

Jeb Bush becomes the 11th Republican to declare, with Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and Florida Senator Marco Rubio among his biggest rivals.

Mitt Romney was the clear winner of the first 2012 presidential debate held in Denver.

He had obviously practiced so hard and so long that he was nearly hoarse.

Mitt Romney looked Barack Obama in the eyes as he interrupted with animation, overriding the moderator, insisting on a comeback. He didn’t seem rude. He did seem in command and to be enjoying the scrap.

President Barack Obama on the other hand looked as though he’d much rather be out celebrating his wedding anniversary with his wife. He started out looking very nervous, swallowing hard, not the confident performer we are used to seeing.

Barack Obama warmed up and got into his stride but that meant he ended up giving overlong, mini-lectures straight to camera rather than engaging, arguing. He seemed unwilling to actually enter a debate with his opponent, and missed a few obvious openings when he could have attacked Mitt Romney.

Two-thirds of people who watched the first presidential debate think that Republican nominee Mitt Romney won the showdown, according to a nationwide poll conducted Wednesday night.

According to a CNN/ORC International survey conducted right after the debate, 67% of debate watchers questioned said that the Republican nominee won the faceoff, with one in four saying that President Barack Obama was victorious.

“No presidential candidate has topped 60% in that question since it was first asked in 1984,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

While nearly half of debate watchers said the showdown didn’t make them more likely to vote for either candidate, 35% said the debate made them more likely to vote for Mitt Romney while only 18% said the faceoff made them more likely to vote to re-elect the president.

More than six in ten said that president did worse than expected, with one in five saying that Obama performed better than expected. Compare that to the 82% who said that Mitt Romney performed better than expected. Only one in ten felt that the former Massachusetts governor performed worse than expected.

“This poll does not and cannot reflect the views of all Americans. It only represents the views of people who watched the debate and by definition cannot be an indication of how the entire American public will react to Wednesday’s debate in the coming days,” cautions Keating Holland.

The sample of debate-watchers in the poll was 37% Democratic and 33% Republican.

“That indicates that the sample of debate watchers is about four points more Democratic and about eight points more Republican than an average CNN poll of all Americans, for a small advantage for the Republicans in the sample of debate-watchers,” adds Keating Holland.

The poll suggests that the debate didn’t change opinions of the president. Forty-nine percent of debate watchers said before the debate that they had a favorable opinion of Barack Obama, and that number didn’t change following the debate.

It was pretty much a similar story for Mitt Romney, whose favorable rating among debate watchers edged up just two points, from 54% before the debate to 56% after the debate.

The economy dominated the first debate and according to the poll, and by a 55%-43% margin, debate watchers said that Mitt Romney rather than Barack Obama would better handle the economy. On the issue of taxes, which kicked off the debate, Mitt Romney had a 53%-44% edge over Barack Obama. And by a 52%-47% margin, debate watchers said Mitt Romney would better handle health care, and he had the edge on the budget deficit by a 57%-41% margin.

Debate watchers thought Mitt Romney was more aggressive. Fifty-three percent said Mitt Romney spent more time attacking his opponent. Only three in ten thought Barack Obama spent more time taking it to Mitt Romney. By a 58%-37% margin, debate watchers thought Mitt Romney appeared to be the stronger leader.

“Romney’s only Achilles heel may be the perception that he spent more time attacking his opponent than Obama, which may explain why two-thirds of debate-watchers said that Romney did the best job but only 46% said that he was more likeable than Obama,” says Keating Holland.

The CNN poll was conducted by ORC International, with 430 adult Americans who watched the debate questioned by telephone. All interviews were conducted after the end of the debate. The survey’s sampling error is plus or minus 4.5%.

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A secretly filmed video has emerged showing Mitt Romney disparaging Barack Obama voters at a private donor dinner.

The Republican nominee is shown saying the 47% of Americans who back the president do not pay income tax and would never vote for Mitt Romney.

“I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives,” Mitt Romney says.

In a late-night appearance, Mitt Romney said his remarks were not “elegantly stated”, but did not retract them.

“This is the same message I give to people in public,” he said in response to the video, released by liberal investigative magazine Mother Jones.

Earlier, his campaign said Mitt Romney “wants to help all Americans struggling in the Obama economy”.

“As the [former Massachusetts] governor has made clear all year, he is concerned about the growing number of people who are dependent on the federal government, including the record number of people who are on food stamps, nearly one in six Americans in poverty, and the 23 million Americans who are struggling to find work,” spokeswoman Gail Gitcho said in a statement.

A secretly filmed video has emerged showing Mitt Romney disparaging Barack Obama voters at a private donor dinner

A secretly filmed video has emerged showing Mitt Romney disparaging Barack Obama voters at a private donor dinner

The Obama campaign was quick to pounce.

“It’s hard to serve as president for all Americans when you’ve disdainfully written off half the nation,” Jim Messina, Barack Obama’s campaign manager, said in a statement.

This may prove to be a significant setback for Mitt Romney, who has been relentlessly characterized by his political opponents as privileged and out of touch.

Also on Monday, Mitt Romney’s campaign unveiled a significant reworking of its strategy less than two months before election day.

Campaign advisers told the US media on Monday that Mitt Romney would speak more on his specific policy proposals in the coming days and weeks.

Until now his message to voters has largely consisted of repeated attacks on President Barack Obama’s economic record.

The video provided to Mother Jones is said to have been filmed at a private fund-raiser at some point after Mitt Romney became the presumptive Republican nominee.

Its picture is blurred out with the exception of Mitt Romney’s face, and no attendees are visible.

The income tax segment is one of several clips posted online, in which Mitt Romney expands at some length on his approach to the forthcoming election, and how his campaign will take on President Barack Obama.

“There are 47% of the people who will vote for the president no matter what,” Mitt Romney is seen saying, referring to the percentage of Americans who have no income tax liability.

“There are 47% who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it.”

Mitt Romney is later seen saying that his campaign has not been as harsh on Barack Obama as possible, because the president remains likeable and because of a desire to win the support of his otherwise disenchanted former supporters.

“Because they voted for him, they don’t want to be told that they were wrong, that he’s a bad guy, that he did bad things, that he’s corrupt,” he says, referring to independent voters who chose Barack Obama in 2008.

“Those people that we have to get, they want to believe they did the right thing, but he just wasn’t up to the task.”

Mitt Romney also told the fundraising dinner he believes that if he won, there would be an immediate market-driven boost to the economy.

The videos bookended a difficult 24 hours for the Romney campaign. On Sunday, a lengthy Politico story detailed apparent divisions and indecision within the campaign.

That was followed by a public revising of campaign strategy on Monday morning.

“We are not rolling out new policy,” campaign adviser Ed Gillespie said.

“So much as we are making sure people understand that when we say we can do these things, here’s how we are going to get them done and these are the specifics.”

In that vein, the campaign released an online ad on Monday that discusses his economic plan. Advisers say the campaign will now speak more specifically about his budget plans and tax policy.

A series of opinion polls at the end of last week showed Mitt Romney trailing Barack Obama both nationally and in several swing states.

The two men square off in the election on 6 November, but early voting begins soon in several states.

Who pays US income tax?

The US federal government runs off two kinds of taxes: payroll taxes, which fund benefits such as Social Security, and income taxes, which largely fund the rest of the federal budget.

In 2011, the Tax Policy Center studied the tax liability of US households:

• 53.6% paid income taxes, 46.4% did not

• 28.3% paid payroll taxes but not income taxes

• 10.3% were elderly and retired and were not taxed on Social Security benefits

• 6.9% did not pay any tax with household incomes of less than $20,000

The majority of those who pay payroll but not income tax do so because of tax benefits for the elderly, families with children and low-income earners.

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Mitt Romney has accepted the Republican presidential nomination at the party’s convention in Florida where he has pledged to “restore the promise” of America.

Mitt Romney, 65, accused President Barack Obama of failing to deliver on his promises and presented his plan involving energy independence, cutting the budget deficit and creating jobs.

He also spoke of his Mormon faith.

The Obama campaign said Mitt Romney had been “no tangible ideas” and he “would take our country backwards”.

Mitt Romney will challenge the Democratic president in November’s election.

His speech was the climax of the three-day Republican convention, which correspondents saw as an attempt to show the human side of a candidate who is sometimes accused of being opaque and distant.

Mitt Romney began the most important speech of his political career by accepting the nomination that he was overwhelmingly awarded on Tuesday by thousands of delegates at the gala in Tampa.

It secured him the position that eluded him in his first presidential bid in 2008, when Arizona Senator John McCain became the Republican nominee.

“I wish President Obama had succeeded because I want America to succeed,” Mitt Romney said, in a speech that was watched by millions across the US.

He recounted details of his Mormon upbringing, with anecdotes about his family life and his parents’ loving marriage.

Mitt Romney talked about his own experiences as a father, apparently becoming emotional as he talked about the times when he and his wife Ann would wake up to find “a pile of kids asleep in our room”.

Mitt Romney has accepted the Republican presidential nomination at the party's convention in Florida

Mitt Romney has accepted the Republican presidential nomination at the party's convention in Florida

He also levelled a barrage of attacks at President Barack Obama: “The time has come to turn the page. Today the time has come for us to put the disappointments of the last four years behind us. To put aside the divisiveness and the recriminations.”

“Now is the time to restore the promise of America,” he added.

Mitt Romney vowed to create 12 million American jobs over the next four years and turn around an economy saddled with an 8.3% unemployment rate.

The presidential nominee also pledged to make the US energy independent by 2020, cut the national deficit and negotiate new trade agreements.

“I will begin my presidency with a jobs tour. President Obama began his presidency with an apology tour,” he said.

Mitt Romney accused the president of having “thrown allies like Israel under the bus”, while being too lenient with Iran.

“Under my administration, our friends will see more loyalty and Mr. Putin will see a little less flexibility and more backbone,” he said.

He brought the crowd to its feet when he pledged to repeal Barack Obama’s signature healthcare bill.

The event ended with the entire Romney family – his wife, five sons and their wives and most of his 18 grandchildren – on stage with him as thousands of balloons were released over the convention floor.

Republicans at the convention said they were confident of victory after the speech.

“It’s been great. It’s fired us up. We’re going forward. We’re going to make it happen,” one delegate said.

“This is just the cherry on the whipped cream, on the ice cream, and we’re going to win in November, and there’s no stopping it now. This is the wind that’s going to blow us into office,” said another.

But Barack Obama’s campaign manager Jim Messina said the address contained little substance.

“Much like the entire Republican Convention, Mitt Romney’s speech tonight offered many personal attacks and gauzy platitudes, but no tangible ideas to move the country forward,” he said.

“What he didn’t share were his actual proposals, which would take our country backwards.”

Appearing on stage earlier to pledge his support for Mitt Romney, Hollywood star Clint Eastwood raised eyebrows with an off-the-cuff monologue to an imaginary Barack Obama in an empty chair.

Referring to the president, Clint Eastwood told a rapturous audience: “When somebody does not do the job, you’ve got to let ’em go.”

Democrats have sought to depict Mitt Romney as a wealthy, elitist, tax-dodging, corporate raider and policy chameleon. Low favorability ratings have dogged him throughout his campaign and he trails Barack Obama in likeability.

To counter that image, the convention heard emotional testimonials about Mitt Romney’s work as a Mormon leader that left some attendees in tears.

One couple talked of how Mitt Romney had befriended and comforted their dying teenage son.

A woman recalled how the Republican’s “eyes filled with tears” when her premature baby daughter was close to death in hospital.

On Wednesday, Mitt Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan, pledged a “turnaround” for America, while attacking Barack Obama.

But fact-checkers said there were a number of inaccuracies in the Wisconsin congressman’s address.

The job of softening Mitt Romney’s edges also fell to his wife, who brought down the house on Tuesday with a speech about their high-school romance.

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Republican Mitt Romney has secured his place as the challenger to Barack Obama in November’s US presidential election, following a primary in Texas.

Projections show Mitt Romney easily won enough votes to pass the threshold of 1,144 delegates needed for the nomination.

Mitt Romney said he was “humbled”. He is the first Mormon from a major party to contest the presidential election.

He is set to be officially anointed as the Republican nominee at the party convention in Florida in late August.

Mitt Romney has been the presumptive nominee for several weeks as his rivals withdrew or suspended campaigning.

With 1,086 delegates secured as he entered the Texas race, Mitt Romney only needed 58 to pass the 1,144 mark.

Republican Mitt Romney has secured his place as the challenger to Barack Obama in November's US presidential election, following a primary in Texas

Republican Mitt Romney has secured his place as the challenger to Barack Obama in November's US presidential election, following a primary in Texas

In early returns, Mitt Romney had captured more than 70% of the vote. Texas awards 152 delegates proportionally.

He will surpass his father, George Romney, a former Michigan governor who ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination in 1968.

Opinion polls suggest Mitt Romney is locked in an extremely close race with Barack Obama in November.

“I am honored that Americans across the country have given their support to my candidacy and I am humbled to have won enough delegates to become the Republican Party’s 2012 presidential nominee,” Mitt Romney said in statement.

As polls closed, the former Massachusetts governor was attending a fundraiser in Las Vegas with real estate tycoon Donald Trump.

He spent the day campaigning in Colorado and Nevada.

Ahead of Tuesday’s private fundraiser, the Obama campaign released a video focusing on Donald Trump’s comments falsely alleging that the president was born in Kenya.

The video seeks to draw a contrast between Mitt Romney and Senator John McCain, the 2008 Republican nominee, who once corrected a woman after she called Barack Obama a Muslim.

“Why won’t Mitt Romney do the same?” asks the clip.

On Monday, Mitt Romney stopped short of condemning Donald Trump’s comments.

“I don’t agree with all the people who support me. And my guess is they don’t all agree with everything I believe in,” Mitt Romney told reporters.

The Obama campaign video against Donald Trump is the latest in a series of attack ads.

On Monday, the Romney campaign released an attack ad criticizing Barack Obama over a federal loan to a solar panel maker which later went bankrupt.

On Tuesday Mitt Romney also met casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson, who gave millions to supporters of Newt Gingrich’s campaign during the primary season.

Experts say the outcome of November’s election could depend on what happens in a handful of battleground states, including Colorado and Nevada, as the candidates vie for the support of independent voters.

The next question of the campaign is who Mitt Romney will pick as his vice-presidential running mate.

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US media report that Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich is expected to suspend his campaign next week.

Newt Gingrich said on Wednesday that he expected Mitt Romney, who won five primaries on Tuesday, to be the Republican nominee.

The former House Speaker’s campaign had said it would reassess its future if he did not win the contest in Delaware.

Newt Gingrich has won only two primaries – South Carolina and Georgia – since the election season began in January.

He will reportedly hold his last campaign event on 1 May in Washington DC.

During a campaign stop in North Carolina on Wednesday, Newt Gingrich all but conceded.

“You have to at some point be honest about what’s happening in the real world as opposed to what you would like to have happened,” Newt Gingrich told supporters.

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich is expected to suspend his campaign next week

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich is expected to suspend his campaign next week

Newt Gingrich added that Mitt Romney “had a very good day yesterday. You have to give him some credit.”

He said he would continue to campaign for the next week as a “citizen”, adding he would discuss economic issues, such as high unemployment.

“We are going to stay very, very active and we are working out the details of our transition,” Newt Gingrich said.

“But I am committed to this party. I am committed to defeating Obama.”

Newt Gingrich was expected to go ahead with several scheduled campaign stops across North Carolina.

The former House Speaker had campaigned heavily in Delaware ahead of Tuesday’s primary, a state that Mitt Romney all but ignored.

But Newt Gingrich still lost the state’s vote by 30%.

Bob Walker, a Gingrich adviser and former US representative, said on Tuesday: “I don’t think we can lose by 30 points in Delaware and feel good about it.”

In December, Newt Gingrich confidently predicted he would become the Republican nominee, and for a time enjoyed high poll ratings.

Although he won his home state of Georgia and nearby South Carolina, Newt Gingrich racked up heavy losses as the primary season continued.

He had vowed to fight on, even as Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney’s main Republican challenger, suspended his own campaign earlier in April.

Following Tuesday’s wins, the Romney campaign will begin formally integrating with the Republican National Committee.

RNC chairman Reince Priebus said on Wednesday he had directed its staff to start communicating with Mitt Romney advisers.

Former Massachusetts Governor Romney’s delegate lead means it is impossible for any other candidate to capture the 1,144 delegates needed to secure the nomination at the Republican convention in August.


Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee for the presidential elections in US, has vowed to take the White House from President Barack Obama and end four years of “disappointments”.

Speaking while racking up a series of primary night victories, Mitt Romney said a “new campaign” was beginning, heralding the start of the road to November’s vote.

“Hold on a little longer. A better America begins tonight,” Mitt Romney said.

Mitt Romney easily won primaries in Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.

His claim to the Republican nomination is now unrivalled, with no serious challengers remaining in the contest.

With 14 primaries remaining, Mitt Romney has amassed an unbeatable lead in the race for the delegates who will formally crown him the Republican nominee at the party’s convention in late August.

Without competition in the remaining contests he is expected to cruise past the 1,144 delegates he needs to take the nomination.

Mitt Romney has vowed to take the White House from President Barack Obama and end four years of "disappointments"

Mitt Romney has vowed to take the White House from President Barack Obama and end four years of "disappointments"

Among the states still to vote are California and Texas, both heavily populated states with large hauls of delegates.

Just Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul actively remain in the contest.

Newt Gingrich, a former speaker of the House of Representatives, spoke in North Carolina as Tuesday’s results came in but gave few clues as to his future in the contest.

He had pinned his hopes on a strong showing in Delaware, but instead polled less than half of Mitt Romney’s total.

As the results began to come in on a night with the most electoral delegates at stake since Super Tuesday, Mitt Romney took the stage in New Hampshire, the site of his first primary win of the year.

He focused on the forthcoming general election campaign, saying America needed a new direction and a renewal of its greatness.

“Tonight is the start of a new campaign to unite every American who knows in their heart that we can do better,” Mitt Romney said.

“The last few years have been the best that Barack Obama can do, but it’s not the best America can do.

“Tonight is the beginning of the end of the disappointments of the Obama years and the start of a new and better chapter that we will write together.”

Mitt Romney accused the president of failing to deliver on his promises of “hope and change” made during his 2008 election campaign.

The average American is still feeling the pain of the economic collapse, Mitt Romney said. “It’s still about the economy… and we’re not stupid.”

Shortly after Mitt Romney’s remarks, Barack Obama took to the stage in Colorado, a state his strategists see as part of a potential route to re-election.

Barack Obama is making a three-state tour of campuses in Colorado, North Carolina and Iowa – all swing states set to feature heavily in November.

The trip is an effort to highlight the growing cost of higher education and, analysts say, revitalize his support among young voters who may have become disillusioned with the president since 2008.

Barack Obama stressed his humble background and said that the election in November would be about making education, and the nation as a whole, affordable for ordinary people.

His spokesman Ben LaBolt said in a statement that the choice between the two men was clear.

“The title for Governor Romney’s speech tonight should have been Back to the Future, because he has proposed a return to the same policies that got us into the economic crisis in the first place,” he said.

“Mitt Romney has spent the past year out on the campaign trail tearing down the president with a negative message that even Republicans who have endorsed him have criticized.

“This marks the end of that monologue. Now he must put his record and his agenda next to the president’s.”

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US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney eked out a narrow win in Ohio and was victorious in four other Super Tuesday states.

As expected, Mitt Romney cruised to victory in his home state of Massachusetts, as well as Idaho, Vermont and Virginia.

Mitt Romney also won in Alaska, which Ron Paul was pinning his hopes on for his only win of the nomination campaign.

Rick Santorum won a hat-trick of contests, while Newt Gingrich took his home state of Georgia.

Mitt Romney now leads the field with 415 delegates committed to backing him at the national Republican convention in August. A candidate needs 1,144 delegates to win the party’s nomination and go on to challenge Barack Obama in November’s election.

But Super Tuesday did not deliver a sufficiently convincing victory to end the race and convince Mitt Romney’s rivals to pull out.

After Tuesday’s 10-state voting marathon, Mitt Romney defended his position as the front-runner.

“I’m going to get this nomination,” Mitt Romney told supporters in Boston.

Mitt Romney and his wife Ann at their Super Tuesday primary rally in Boston

Mitt Romney and his wife Ann at their Super Tuesday primary rally in Boston

Mitt Romney easily won Massachusetts, where he was governor, as well as liberal-leaning Vermont and Idaho, where his fellow Mormons make up a chunk of the electorate.

He also won resoundingly in Virginia, where Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich failed to qualify for the ballot.

Rick Santorum, a former US senator from Pennsylvania, said his victories in Tennessee, Oklahoma and North Dakota proved he was the bona fide conservative alternative to Mitt Romney.

“This was a big night tonight,” Rick Santorum told supporters in Steubenville, Ohio. “We have won in the West, the Midwest and the South, and we’re ready to win across this country.”

After a cliffhanger count, Mitt Romney narrowly edged out Rick Santorum in Ohio, the night’s most coveted prize.

Ohio was important because no Republican nominee has taken the White House without winning the Midwestern bellwether state in the general election.

Of the 66 delegates on offer, Mitt Romney took home 35 compared to Rick Santorum’s 21, the Associated Press reports.

Rick Santorum began the race in Ohio with a big lead in the opinion polls, but Mitt Romney’s well-funded political machine overcame him in part through a heavy campaign of attack adverts.

Rick Santorum has attracted the support of religious conservatives with his opposition to gay marriage and abortion.

However, his outspoken remarks on birth control and the role of religion may have turned off moderate-leaning voters.

Exit polls showed Ohio voters thought Mitt Romney stood the best chance of beating Barack Obama; however, Rick Santorum appealed more to blue-collar voters.

Super Tuesday Guide

Super Tuesday Guide

Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker, did not achieve the sweep of Southern states he hoped for.

But he vowed to stay in the race after his Georgia win.

“There are lots of bunny rabbits to run through, I am the tortoise. I just take one step at a time,” Newt Gingrich said.

With 96% of votes counted in Alaska, Mitt Romney was winning with 33% of the vote, ahead of Rick Santorum with 29%. Texas Congressman Ron Paul – who had been hoping to make the state his only win of the campaign – was trailing with 22% while Newt Gingrich held 14%.

Of the 1,144 delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination, 419 were up for grabs on Tuesday.

Overall, Mitt Romney won at least 212 of Super Tuesday’s delegates, taking his total to 415, while Rick Santorum added 84, taking his count to 176, AP reports.

The race is not over yet as the next crop of primaries and caucuses will not do Mitt Romney any favors.

Kansas, Alabama, Mississippi and Hawaii hold their contests over the next 10 days.

Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich will be hoping to halt Mitt Romney’s momentum and keep their challenges alive.

The drawn-out nomination fight, which has been waged in large part through negative television adverts, may have taken its toll on the Republican Party.

A Washington Post/ABC News poll showed only 35% of Americans looked upon Mitt Romney favorably, compared to 32% for Ron Paul, 23% for Newt Gingrich, and 32% for Rick Santorum.

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