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

Donald Trump on Tuesday morning addressed a new routine he's introduced at rallies where he asks attendees to raise their right hands and pledge to vote for him, saying he didn't realize that some were offended by the gesture.

The former head of the Anti-Defamation League, Abe Foxman, called the pledge a "fascist gesture" and compared it to a Nazi salute. During an interview on NBC's "Today," co-host Savannah Guthrie told Trump about Foxman's comments and asked whether Trump would continue with the pledge.

"Well, I think it’s ridiculous. We’re having such a great time. Yesterday, I had 20,000 people in Mississippi. I had tremendous crowds in Michigan. And sometimes we’ll do it for fun, and they’ll start screaming at me, ‘Do the swear-in! Do the swear-in!’ They’re having such a great time," Trump said in response. "Honestly, until this phone call, I didn’t know it was a problem."

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Mitt Romney has recorded a robocall that will go out to voters in four states on behalf of Sen. Marco Rubio's (R-FL) presidential campaign, but the former Republican presidential nominee avoids endorsing the Florida senator, the New York Times reported on Monday.

The Washington Post confirmed that Romney recorded a message for the Rubio campaign, which will be sent to voters in the four states voting on Tuesday: Michigan, Mississippi, Idaho, and Hawaii.

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Mitt Romney's last ditch effort last week to urge Republican voters not support the current frontrunner in the Republican presidential primary, Donald Trump, had little impact on the real estate mogul's supporters, according to a Morning Consult poll released on Tuesday morning.

And what impact it did have seems to have been the opposite of what Romney intended.

Among Republican voters, 31 percent said they were more likely to vote for Trump following Romney's speech, while 20 percent said they were less likely to vote for Trump. Among those voters who already supported the Republican presidential candidate, 56 percent said they were more likely to vote for him, while just 5 percent said they were less likely to vote for Trump.

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Wisconsin state Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Bradley wrote in a column more than 20 years ago that gay people are "degenerates who basically commit suicide through their behavior," according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Bradley made the comments in columns she wrote for the Marquette Tribune in 1992 as a student. The columns were surfaced Monday by progressive activist group One Wisconsin Now.

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Former Republican presidential candidate and House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) on Monday morning said that given his speech opposing Donald Trump last week, Mitt Romney has not positioned himself to become the nominee at a contested convention.

"Look, I think if Mitt had really wanted to maneuver for the nomination, he wouldn't have given the speech he gave last week," Gingrich said on "Fox and Friends," referencing a Sunday interview in which Romney dodged a question about whether he would accept requests to become the nominee at a contested convention.

Gingrich said that Romney's speech was "so harsh and so intense" that he would be "unacceptable" as the nominee to Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).

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Bloomberg Politics published an investigation Sunday night, reporting that a Trump-branded building in New Jersey was partially financed through a program that fast-tracks visas for foreign investors, largely those from China.

The report shows that while Donald Trump has railed against the Chinese and promised to take a hard line on immigration on the campaign trail, projects associated with the businessman may have relied on wealthy individuals from China to fund real estate projects via a visa program that makes immigration easy for certain individuals.

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During Sunday night's episode of HBO's "Last Week Tonight," host John Oliver took on special districts, which he described as corrupt, too easy to create, and too challenging to destroy.

Oliver noted that special districts -- mostly commonly fire, water and school districts -- account for $100 billion in spending in the United States each year. He said that they lack accountability, noting that in a fire district in Rhode Island, the district chief was caught drinking on the job and smoking marijuana.

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Former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-MS) says he would likely have approached President Obama's nominee to replace the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia differently than current Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

"I probably would've handled it differently," Lott told David Axelrod on an episode of "The Axe Files" podcast published on Monday. "My attitude, particularly on the Supreme Court, was that elections do have consequences, sometimes bad, and I tried to lean towards being supportive of the President's nominees, Democrat or Republican."

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Following the Democratic presidential debate in Flint, Michigan, on Sunday night, Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-VT) presidential campaign defended a comment made by the senator when Hillary Clinton attempted to interject while he was responding.

"I think Bernie was being himself, I think he’s a real person," Tad Devine, a top strategist with the Sanders campaign, told Buzzfeed News. "Some people may not like the way he wags his finger. That’s who he is. But we’re not going to try to change anything about him. Because I’ll tell you, the thing that’s connecting with him is his honesty, his authenticity, and the fact that he his who he is."

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