Caitlin MacNeal

Caitlin MacNeal is a News Writer based in Washington, D.C. Before joining TPM, Caitlin interned and wrote for the Huffington Post, the Sunlight Foundation and Slate. She is a graduate of Georgetown University.

Articles by Caitlin

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has asked his advisers to create a campaign plan for an independent presidential bid since the billionaire sees a potential opening in the race, the New York Times reported on Saturday.

Bloomberg has told friends that he is considering spending at least $1 billion on the race and that he will decide on a run by early March, according to the New York Times.

He has said he's likely to launch a bid if Republicans nominate either Donald Trump or Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Democrats nominate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), according to the Times.

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Updated at 1:12 p.m.

Two Democratic Tennessee state legislators on Thursday introduced legislation that would prohibit the secretary of state from placing any presidential candidate who is not a "natural born citizen" on the Tennessee ballot, the Associated Press reported. The bill would also prohibit Tennessee electors to the Electoral College from voting for a candidate who is not a "natural born citizen."

Sen. Jeff Yarbro (D), one of the bill's sponsors, told TPM on Friday that the bill "isn't about any one candidate," but said that the questions surrounding Sen. Ted Cruz's (R-TX) "highlighted" the issue for him.

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Willie Robertson, one of the stars of A&E's "Duck Dynasty," endorsed Donald Trump on Thursday, according to a press release from the Trump campaign.

"Mr. Trump is a real leader. He represents success and strength, two attributes our country needs. Like me, he is a successful businessman and family man and I endorse his candidacy for President of the United States," Willie Robertson said in a statement.

Robertson also joined Trump on Thursday night at the Outdoor Sportsman Awards in Las Vegas, according to the Trump campaign.

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Updated at 9:05 a.m.

National Review Publisher Jack Fowler said late Thursday night that the Republican National Committee removed the magazine as a moderator of an upcoming Republican presidential debate in February after National Review published an anti-Trump issue.

"Tonight, a top official with the RNC called me to say that National Review was being disinvited. The reason: Our 'Against Trump' editorial and symposium. We expected this was coming. Small price to pay for speaking the truth about The Donald," Fowler wrote in a blog post on the National Review website.

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Donald Trump on Friday morning released a new campaign ad that accuses Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) of flip-flopping on immigration and supporting "amnesty."

The 60-second television spot starts with a Fox News interview between Bret Baier and Cruz from late last year in which Baier grilled Cruz on his comments about the immigration reform bill in 2013.

"It sounded like you wanted the bill to pass," Baier told Cruz in December.

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Now that it appears that the Republican presidential primary may boil down to a choice between Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), terrified Republicans have started to openly state that they would have to support Trump over the Texas senator, arguing that Trump's nomination would damage the party less.

Bob Dole, former senator and Republican presidential nominee, told the New York Times this week that he would prefer Trump because Cruz's nomination would result in "wholesale losses in Congress and state offices and governors and legislatures." Dole said that "nobody" likes Cruz and that Trump "has toned down his rhetoric."

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Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said Thursday that both Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) would ruin the Republican Party's chances of winning the general election.

"If you nominate Trump and Cruz, I think you get the same outcome," Graham told reporters, according to the New York Times. "Whether it’s death by being shot or poisoning doesn’t really matter. I don’t think the outcome will be substantially different."

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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) presidential campaign released a wordless TV ad in Iowa and New Hampshire on Thursday set to Simon and Garfunkel's "America."

The 60-second spot titled "America" does not include any narration or clips of Sanders speaking. The ad shows the senator meeting with voters at rallies and images of people on farms and in cities across the country. The ad ends with the verse, "They've all come to look for America."

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