TPM News

So much for dropping out -- Donald Trump tells TPM he believes he can win the White House as an independent candidate, keeping his name in the presidential game despite declaring last month he would not run for the GOP nomination.

TPM caught up with Trump at the Faith & Freedom Conventionm after he left a closed door meeting with event organizer Ralph Reed and other social conservatives and asked how he figured he'd do as an independent.

"I think I'd do great," he said, telling TPM he believed he could win the White House. As for whether he'll run, he said it depended on the GOP nominee.

"Let's see what happens with the Republicans, who they put up," he said.

Asked if he was consulting with pollsters on a run, he said "I was leading in the polls when I decided to sign a very big contract -- I was actually leading."

Polls actually showed his support among Republicans imploding right before he announced he was dropping out, but Trump's reopened the door to a presidential conversation recently anyway. As with his flirtation with the GOP primary, he'd have to give up his show to enter the race.

Trump received a warm reaction from the crowd for his speech, in which he slammed Minority Leader Eric Cantor for demanding spending offsets for disaster relief in Joplin, MO and suggested Obama's birth certificate was forged.

Kenneth Del Vecchio, a Republican candidate for New Jersey state Senate and a producer of conservative-themed films, is premiering a psychological thriller this weekend with a pro-life twist: Three pregnant women, who intend to have abortions, are kidnapped and forced to carry their pregnancies to term.

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The liberal Progressive Change Campaign Committee has won a round against the National Republican Congressional Committee -- with the liberal group turning back an effort to get an ad targeting Republican proposals on Medicare pulled from broadcast.

As Greg Sargent reported, the NRCC wrote a letter to WMUR in New Hampshire and Comcast, complaining that a PCCC ad attacking Rep. Charlie Bass (R-NH) for having "voted to end Medicare" was false and demanding that it be taken down.

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1||Following a two-year investigation, a federal grand jury on Friday indicted John Edwards on six criminal counts. The charges include: conspiracy to violate federal campaign finance laws, accepting and receiving illegal campaign contributions and trying to conceal those donations from the FEC.

TPM takes a look back at the two-time presidential hopeful's rise and fall.||Dennis Van Tine/ABACAUSA.COM/Newscom&&

2||Edwards won his first senate bid in 1998 in North Carolina, defeating incumbent Republican Lauch Faircloth. Edwards spent $8.3 million on the campaign, much of it his own money, the New York Times reports.||o81/o81/ZUMA Press/Newscom&&


4||During the 2004 presidential election, John Kerry tapped Edwards to be his running mate. Kerry and Edwards work the crowd after Kerry's nomination acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention in Boston.||Mark Avery/ZUMA Press/Newscom&&

5||Edwards and Kerry in 2004 at Kerry's farmhouse outside Pittsburgh.||ARCHIE CARPENTER/UPI/Newscom&&

6|| ||Mark Avery/ZUMA Press/Newscom&&

7|| Edwards in 2007 announces his intention, if elected president, to launch an initiative to reduce global poverty and educate poor children worldwide.||Chris Fitzgerald/CandidatePhoto/Chris Fitzgerald/CandidatePhotos/Newscom&&

8||Edwards in 2007 on the campaign trail in Manchester, New Hampshire.||Marlene

9||Edwards shows off his book, "Ending Poverty in America," which he also edited.||Chris Fitzgerald/Chris Fitzgerald/CandidatePhotos/Newscom&&

10||January 19, 2008: Edwards at the Carpenters Hall in St. Louis. He withdrew his presidential bid later that month.||MARK COWAN/UPI/Newscom&&

11||Edwards speaks at a house party in Salem, New Hampshire. The event was designed for voters to meet him up close and personal.||Chris Fitzgerald/CandidatePhoto/Chris Fitzgerald/CandidatePhotos/Newscom&&

12||Then-Democratic candidates for president Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Edwards participate in a debate in Las Vegas on January 15, 2008.||DANIEL GLUSKOTER/UPI/Newscom&&

13||Edwards in 2007 with his wife, Elizabeth, and son, Jack, on a campaign stop at Manchester, New Hampshire City hall. Elizabeth Edwards died December 7, 2010 after a battle with breast cancer.||Marlene

14||January 3, 2008: John and Elizabeth Edwards at a caucus night rally in Des Moines, Iowa.||BRIAN KERSEY/UPI/Newscom&&

15||The Edwards family at their home in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.||Splash News/Newscom&&

16||After dropping out of the 2008 presidential race, Edwards endorsed Obama. "There is one man who knows in his heart that it is time to create one America -- not two -- and that man is Barack Obama," Edwards said.||LANCE WYNN/Rapport Press/Newscom&&

17||August 6, 2009: Rielle Hunter, Edwards' former mistress, leaves the federal courthouse in Raleigh, North Carolina.||SHAWN ROCCO/MCT/Newscom&&

18|| December 11, 2010: Edwards with his children, Emma Claire and Jack, after Elizabeth Edwards' funeral.||COREY LOWENSTEIN/MCT/Newscom&&

19||Edwards and his daughter, Cate, on Friday leave the federal building in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, after his indictment.||CHUCK LIDDY/MCT/Newscom&&

20||Edwards on Friday talks to the press, denying he broke the law.||Edwards Family/Zuma Press/Newscom&&

The feds say former Senator and presidential candidate John Edwards had a wealthy donor give money to his mistress because his campaign relied on his image as a family man.

But the Edwards camp has a pretty strong -- if sleazy -- rebuttal: he would have asked the friend to give money to his mistress even if he wasn't running for president to keep her and the child they had together hidden from his wife.

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House Democrats have broken down the massive changes to Medicare and Medicaid proposed by the House GOP into a convenient take home size.

Democratic Reps. Henry Waxman (CA) and Frank Pallone (NJ), voters can now see what Democrats say is the direct impact of the Republican plan to turn Medicare into a voucher system on every congressional district in the country.

Waxman and Pallone have set up an interactive map that allows viewers to pop open a report on the impact of the Medicare change on the population in their community.

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Forget the individual mandate. Mitt Romney is now breaking with the Republican base on yet another issue. On Friday at a town hall in New Hampshire, Romney told the crowd he accepted the scientific conclusion that global warming is happening, and that man-made emissions are a factor.

Reuters reports:

"I believe the world is getting warmer, and I believe that humans have contributed to that," he told a crowd of about 200 at a town hall meeting in Manchester, New Hampshire.

"It's important for us to reduce our emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases that may be significant contributors."

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The House issued a rebuke to President Obama over his handling of the Libya conflict, passing a Republican resolution with bipartisan support demanding he justify US intervention and provide Congress with more information. A tougher resolution from Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) that would have called on US to withdraw entirely failed in a separate vote.

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