Tierney Sneed

Tierney Sneed is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked for U.S. News and World Report. She grew up in Florida and attended Georgetown University.

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A question posed by Fox Business Networks Neil Cavuto at Thursday's main GOP debate had a curious way of glossing over the fact that the 2008 financial crisis came under President George W. Bush.

Referencing a dip in the stock market to start 2015, Cavuto asked Ohio Gov. John Kaish about how he would manage a financial crisis.

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In an interview with Rachel Maddow airing Thursday evening, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton doubled-down on an attack that 2016 rival Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-VT) single payer health care plan would “end all the kinds of health care we know.”

"It’s a bit concerning to me because it would basically end all the kinds of health care we know, Medicare, Medicaid, the CHIP program, children’s health insurance, TRICARE for the National Guard, military, Affordable Care Act exchange policies, employer-based policies," Clinton said. "It would take all that and hand it over to the states."

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Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) mistakenly called South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) an immigrant in a radio interview posted on his YouTube account Wednesday and picked up by Buzzfeed Thursday.

Asked by The John Howell Show about Haley's State of the Union rebuttal and a possible backlash from Donald Trump, Johnson said, "That may be, but let’s face it. No two people agree on everything. And Governor Haley is an immigrant. "

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Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) seemed to endorse mass deportation in Thursday's GOP undercard debate, arguing that by sending "six million Mexicans, Hondurans, Guatemalans, back into their country" they could "start a renaissance in their country so they won't be coming over here anymore."

Santorum brought up illegal immigration after being asked about unemployment.

"We need to send people back, I mean send people back," he said.

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Planned Parenthood has filed a lawsuit against the Center for Medical Progress -- the anti-abortion group behind a series of "sting videos" targeting the reproductive health organization -- alleging that the group violated the Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO Act) and engaged in wire fraud, mail fraud, invasion of privacy, illegal secret recording, and trespassing.

"The is action is brought to expose the falsity and illegality of Defendants’ methods and to recover damages for the ongoing harm to Planned Parenthood emanating from the video smear campaign," the complaint said.

The legal action is being brought by both the national organization and its California affiliates, whose employees were among the subjects in the undercover videos. It was filed in the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California.

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A long-shot effort to impeach Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) failed Thursday when the state House of Representatives passed a motion postponing indefinitely consideration of the impeachment order. The postponement measure, introduced by House Republican Minority Leader Kenneth Fredette, passed 96-52.

The LePage critics pushing the unprecedented impeachment effort faced an uphill battle, as even the leaders of the Maine's Democratic House did not publicly support the effort. The impeachment order would have been the first procedural step toward impeachment. It would have initiated an investigation of LePage that could have ultimately led to his impeachment. It listed eight allegations of inappropriate behavior by LePage, including the accusation that he pressured an education organization into firing Rep. Mark Eves, the Democratic speaker of the House, as its president by threatening to block state funding to one of its charter schools.

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Trevor Potter -- a former Federal Election Commission chairman who served as Sen. John McCain's (R-AZ) campaign legal counsel in 2008 -- told Bloomberg View that he doesn't think Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has as strong a case for his eligibility to be President as McCain did.

"After conducting our legal analysis of the term 'natural born citizen' we were very comfortable with Senator McCain's eligibility based on multiple factors," Potter said. "Without those specific factors -- two U.S. citizen parents, birth on a U.S. base on U.S.-controlled territory -- our comfort level that the candidate met the constitutional requirement would have declined."

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The answer to the question of whether Ted Cruz is eligible to be president of the United States lies deep in the recesses of English political history, according to a constitutional law expert who has researched the issue.

Mary Brigid McManamon, a law professor at Widener University’s Delaware Law School, makes the case that Ted Cruz is not eligible to be president because “natural born citizen” applies only to those born within U.S. territories. She wrote a Washington Post op-ed this week arguing as such, and previously wrote a 2014 legal paper on the topic.

What is certain is that the Constitution's definition of “natural born citizen” has not been tested and remains open to interpretation. As Michael Ramsey, a former clerk of Justice Antonin Scalia, put it in a 2013 essay otherwise defending Cruz’s eligibility: “[I]t's a mystery to me why any one thinks it's an easy question.”

TPM talked with McManamon by phone Wednesday to ask her a few more questions about her theory, which she said rested on English common law stretching all the way back to 1350.

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President Obama spent much of his 2016 State of the Union addressing -- in thinly veiled language -- the Republican rhetoric in the race to replace him. But in doing so, he left out or glossed over some major Democratic policy positions, including policies that have been priority of his own administration.

Weeks after Obama signed executive orders refortifying gun laws, his biggest State of the Union statement on gun violence was visual: an empty seat in first lady Michelle Obama's viewing box to represent victims. In the speech itself gun violence was mentioned only once, when Obama was making the point that the speech wouldn't be a traditional State of the Union.

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President Obama promised a “non-traditional” State of the Union and indeed, his remarks in the U.S. Capitol sounded less like the usual laundry list of policy priorities and more like the President’s response to some of the gloom-and-doom rhetoric being bandied about on the 2016 campaign.

“I don’t want to talk just about the next year. I want to focus on the next five years, ten years, and beyond,” Obama said.

Though he didn’t mention Donald Trump by name, some of Obama’s strongest lines were geared specifically at the GOP frontrunner’s proposals -- including deporting undocumented immigrants and banning Muslim immigration -- in the name of “making America great again.”

In particular, Obama denounced the recent anti-Muslim rhetoric espoused not just by Trump but by others in the GOP field. He also rebutted claims that the economy was in decline or that the country was no longer safe from foreign threats.

Here are those and other shots he took at Trump:

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