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Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call(WASHINGTON) -- House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy made up his mind to pull out of the race to be House speaker Thursday morning after hearing from chamber conservatives that they would directly challenge him on the House floor, sources say.

McCarthy’s team determined he only had between 175 to 200 House Republicans who they could count on voting for him, well short of the 218 needed.

McCarthy had the support of the overwhelming majority of House Republicans -- about 75 percent of them -- but the conservatives refused to say they would unite behind him. So, a narrow minority has effectively hijacked the process. They don’t have the votes to elect their own candidate but they have proven they can block a candidate they don’t like.

McCarthy determined that even if he could get the 218 votes and get elected speaker, the conservatives would continue to challenge him, making it effectively impossible to lead the House.

“He thought he would have a honeymoon,” a McCarthy confidant said. “It became clear there would be no honeymoon.”

McCarthy also determined that he’d be unable to lead the House through the serious challenges this fall, especially funding the government and preventing a U.S. default on the debt.

What's next? Here’s what one top Republican close to the House leadership said on Thursday: “Total chaos.”

Rep. Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, was the most likely one to unite the House Republicans, but he says he won’t be a candidate.

Rep. Trey Gowdy, now busy with the Benghazi committee, is being asked to run. He has said he has no interest in the job. After Gowdy, look for Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas to be asked, although he has said he didn’t want to take leadership for family reasons.

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SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy took his name out of the running for House Speaker Thursday in a stunning move that came as a surprise to many in the GOP.

"If we are going to unite and be strong, we need a new face to help do that," McCarthy told reporters after informing House members of his decision.

McCarthy said he will retain his position as majority leader.

The decision came as House Republicans had gathered to vote on the next speaker, members told ABC News.

McCarthy told members he is not the one to unify the party, said Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y.

At a Speaker forum featuring each of the candidates Thursday morning, McCarthy made his case to the conference to replace current House Speaker John Boehner, giving members the impression his decision to drop out came Thursday morning between the two meetings.

Two other House Republicans are running for House Speaker -- Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, and Daniel Webster, R-Fla. On Wednesday, Webster earned an important endorsement from the House Freedom Caucus, a key conservative group in the House of Representatives.

Earlier on Thursday, Chaffetz said he still considered himself an underdog, but said he didn't believe McCarthy would receive the magic 218 votes he needed to win the wider vote on the House floor on Oct. 29.

“Clearly, I’m an underdog. I get that. I ran because I’m trying to bridge the gulf and divide in the Republican conference and say hey, it’s time for a fresh start,” he told reporters.

Boehner, who last month announced he would step down from the speakership on Oct. 30, postponed the election.

“After Leader McCarthy’s announcement, members of the House Republican Conference will not vote today for a new Speaker. As I have said previously, I will serve as Speaker until the House votes to elect a new Speaker. We will announce the date for this election at a later date, and I’m confident we will elect a new Speaker in the coming weeks," Boehner said in a statement. "Our conference will work together to ensure we have the strongest team possible as we continue to focus on the American people’s priorities.”

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., whom many urged to run for the speakership, expressed his disappointment in McCarthy's decision and repeated that he will not run for the post.

"Kevin McCarthy is best person to lead the House, and so I’m disappointed in this decision. Now it is important that we, as a Conference, take time to deliberate and seek new candidates for the speakership," Ryan said. "While I am grateful for the encouragement I’ve received, I will not be a candidate. I continue to believe I can best serve the country and this conference as Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.”

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Republicans must select a speaker who is able "simply to unite a divided Republican caucus."

“There is a minority group of conservative politicians that places their own extreme ideology ahead of everything else and certainly ahead of effective governance of the country, but also as of today ahead of the effective governance of the House Republican caucus.” Earnest said. “Somebody within the - among the house republicans will have to step forward and demonstrate an ability to either tame the forces of that, again small but vocal group of extreme ideologues, or buck up the mainstream or at least more mainstream majority within the House Republican conference that will also include a willingness to work in bipartisan fashion."

When he was asked whether there is a Republican the White House would like to see in the speakership, Earnest said, “My guess is an endorsement from me from here would well not be viewed as an endorsement."

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ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Hillary Clinton has said repeatedly over the course of her campaign that she’s not running for President Obama’s third term. And as outsider candidate Bernie Sanders surges in the polls, and a possible run by Vice President Joe Biden looms, Clinton appears to be increasingly casting herself as different from the Obama administration.

In the past month alone, the Democratic presidential candidate has split with her former boss five times on key policy issues, including, most recently, her decision to oppose the president's controversial trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which she once championed as secretary of state.

Here are seven ways Clinton has already distanced herself from the White House in the past six months as a candidate:


Clinton thinks that while Obama has “done a lot” on immigration, his deportation laws have been too “harsh and aggressive.”

"The deportation laws were interpreted and enforced very aggressively during the last six and a half years, which I think his administration did in part to try to get Republicans to support comprehensive immigration reform," Clinton said Monday during an interview with Telemundo. "It was part of a strategy. I think that strategy is no longer workable. So, therefore, I think we have to go back to being a much less harsh and aggressive enforcer.”

Clinton’s criticism is in contrast to what she said in a 2014 CNN interview where she defended Obama on this same issue. “We have to understand the difficulty that President Obama finds himself in because there are laws that impose certain obligations on him,” she said.

Obama has been dubbed “Deporter-in-Chief” by some immigration advocates for the record-high number of deportations under his administration.


Clinton has also split from Obama with her opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline and Arctic drilling.

"I think it is imperative that we look at the Keystone pipeline as what I believe it I; a distraction from the important work we have to do to combat climate change and, unfortunately, from my perspective, one that interferes with our ability to move forward to deal with all the other issues. Therefore, I oppose it,” Clinton explained last month about the controversial pipeline that would stretch from Canada through Nebraska to the Gulf Coast.

In addition, over the summer, Clinton spoke out against off-shore drilling in the Arctic Ocean one day after the Obama administration gave Shell the go ahead to drill for oil and gas there.

Both Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley had been vocal opponents on the two issues for months.


Clinton, who says she wants to “build on” Obama’s Affordable Care Act, recently called for the repeal of the plan’s so-called “Cadillac tax” on high-cost health plans offered by employers.

“I encourage Congress to repeal the so-called Cadillac Tax, which applies to some employer-based health plans, and to fully pay for the cost of repeal,” Clinton said in a statement. “My proposed reforms to our health care system would more than cover the cost of repealing the Cadillac Tax, while also reining in skyrocketing prescription drug costs and out-of-pocket expenses for hard-working families.”

One week earlier, Sanders had also called for repealing the tax, which is known to be largely unpopular with labor unions and big corporations.


While Clinton often says Obama “doesn’t get the credit he deserves” for increasing job growth, she also thinks the economy has “stalled.”

“We’re stalled economically and we know that states, families, everybody is under pressure for all kinds of reasons,” Clinton said during a campaign event last month.

She added later: "I think we’re stalled. And I think the Great Recession knocked a lot of people down.”

Asked about Clinton’s belief that the economy has stalled, White House press secretary Josh Earnest pushed back: “It’s not,” he said.

In June, Clinton unveiled her own economic plan, focused on increasing wages for the middle class.


In one of Clinton’s biggest breaks yet with the White House, the Democratic front-runner Wednesday came out against the president’s Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, saying, “what I know about it as of today I am not in favor of what I have learned about it.”

Clinton’s opposition to it puts her on the side of Democratic presidential challenger Sanders, who is firmly against the deal and calls it “disastrous” for consumers and U.S. job creation.

Obama, a fierce supporter of the deal, says the partnership "levels the playing field for our farmers, ranchers and manufacturers.”

Prior to being a presidential candidate, Clinton made comments that seemed to be in support of TPP. In her 2014 memoir, Hard Choices, Clinton called it “a strategic initiative that would strengthen the position of the United States in Asia.”


Clinton has recently called for a no-fly zone in Syria, something the Obama administration has said it will not pursue.

"I do believe we should be putting together a coalition to support a no-fly zone,” Clinton said at a campaign stop Monday. "It’s complicated, and the Russians would have to be part of it, or it wouldn’t work. But we have to make a strong case for it.”

On this issue, Clinton takes a position that many of her Republican presidential challengers do, including Ben Carson, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio.

Sanders, however, released a statement saying he stands with the president here and opposes the no-fly zone.

When asked about Clinton’s decision to support a no-fly zone, Obama said: “Hillary Clinton is not half-baked in terms of her approach to these problems. She was obviously my secretary of state. But I also think that there's a difference between running for president and being president.”


Clinton hasn’t taken any direct swipes at Obama when it comes to his governing style, but she has made subtle attempts to cast herself as someone who may be a more effective fighter.

(One of the criticisms many Democrats have of the president is that while he champions policies they care about, he hasn’t been able to effectively implement his agenda.)

Clinton wants voters to believe that won’t be her problem, and often highlights her tenacity and experience.

“I know how hard this job is. I have seen it up close and personal,” Clinton said in her official launch speech at Roosevelt Island in New York in June. “Lord knows I have made my share of mistakes. There's no shortage of people pointing them out, and I certainly have not won every battle that I have fought, but leadership means perseverance and hard choices."

“You have to push through the setbacks and the disappointments and keep at it. I think you know by now that I have been called many things by many people. Quitter is not one of them,” she added.

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ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Hillary Clinton said this week she sent a copy of her book Hard Choices to many of the Republican presidential candidates -- some of whom have shot back at the Democratic candidate with some sarcasm and snark of their own.

Clinton suggested on Monday that her GOP opponents should form a book club and could read about what she accomplished as secretary of state. Her campaign said she sent all 15 of the Republican candidates a copy of the book, except for former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore (it did not explain why Gilmore was excluded, except to suggest there didn't seem to be a point given his low poll numbers).

Here’s how some of the candidates responded:


The Kentucky senator decided to have a little fun and do a little fundraising with Clinton’s book. Paul signed it and added an inscription that read, “Hillary, Your refusal to provide security for our mission in Benghazi should forever preclude you from higher office!” Paul put the book up for auction on eBay where bids are up to $7,100. The winner will receive a copy of Paul’s latest book, too.

Sergio Gor, a spokesman for Paul, said that the presidential hopeful is “a big fan of fiction.”

Hard Choices is a great example of revisionist history. We encourage everyone to bid and get their own copy now,” Gor said.


Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee used the tome's title to hit her on Benghazi.

.@HillaryClinton sent me her book to remind me of her "record of accomplishment". Speaking of her book & reminders... pic.twitter.com/ROrC03TyMY

— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) October 7, 2015

.@HillaryClinton, I can't wait to read your followup to “Hard Choices," "Hard Realities: Someone Should've Answered the Phone." #Benghazi

— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) October 8, 2015


Ben Carson’s campaign told ABC News it received the book -- and that skimming it turned out to be enlightening, in one way or another.

“We were wondering where all of those unsold books were,” Carson spokesman Doug Watts told ABC News. “But after skimming the book we now understand why it didn’t sell. It should have been in the Fiction section.”


Carly Fiorina's campaign confirmed that the former Hewlett Packard CEO received the book and jabbed at Clinton and the 600-plus pages.

“Sending a book isn't an accomplishment. It's an activity," the Fiorina campaign said in an email to ABC News.


John Kasich’s campaign told ABC News it had received the book from Clinton on Monday. But Rob Nichols, a spokesman for Kasich, the governor of Ohio, told ABC News another envelope bearing the Clinton campaign’s logo arrived at the Ohio governor’s mansion last Wednesday -- and that it was addressed to the previous governor, a Democrat.

In an image of the envelope Nichols provided to ABC News, Ted Strickland’s name and the address of the governor’s mansion were crossed out, and “RTS” -- return to sender -- was scrawled in red ink across the unopened mail.

"We get a lot of junk mail,” Nichols said. "We also got this, so I'm not sure who is in charge of quality control at her end."



.@JohnKasich's campaign says this arrived at the Ohio gov's mansion last week - addressed to previous gov, a Dem pic.twitter.com/jtfJL2H2xm

— Ben Gittleson (@bgittleson) October 7, 2015



Florida Sen. Marco Rubio addressed receiving Clinton’s book at a campaign stop in New Hampshire. Rubio joked, “Did she send me a book?” Rubio, who has written a book of his own, delivered a message to Clinton, author to author: “I’ll send her mine. Fellow author. My paperback came out yesterday so I’ll send her that.”


Ted Cruz, like Sen. Rubio and Sen. Paul, also offered his own book up for Clinton to read. The Texas senator tweeted, “We’ll gladly return the favor and send @HillaryClinton’s campaign #ATimeForTruth because, well...”


Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said he would read Clinton’s book, but only if she watched a series of undercover videos allegedly showing employees of Planned Parenthood discussing the distribution and sale of fetal tissue.


I'll make a deal with you @HillaryClinton, if you watch these videos http://t.co/TBLx9EOy8N, I'll read your book. -Bobby

— Gov. Bobby Jindal (@BobbyJindal) October 6, 2015


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Spencer Platt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Rupert Murdoch apologized Thursday morning for referring to “a real black president” in his praise of 2016 candidate Ben Carson.

The media mogul tweeted Wednesday: “Ben and Candy Carson terrific. What about a real black President who can properly address the racial divide? And much else."


Ben and Candy Carson terrific. What about a real black President who can properly address the racial divide? And much else.

— Rupert Murdoch (@rupertmurdoch) October 8, 2015


His comments generated widespread criticism across the Internet after implying a comparison to President Obama.

But Murdoch tweeted an apology Thursday morning, clarifying that he finds Obama and Carson both “charming.”

“Apologies! No offence meant. Personally find both men charming," he wrote.


Apologies! No offence meant. Personally find both men charming.

— Rupert Murdoch (@rupertmurdoch) October 8, 2015


The Carson campaign says it has no problems with Murdoch’s original tweet.

“We are certainly pleased to see that an astute political observer such as Mr. Murdoch is taking note of Dr. Carson (and Mrs. Carson), his message and his campaign,” it said.

The widely denounced tweet was the latest in a string of tweets praising the candidate, with Murdoch tweeting last week “everywhere pundits keep underestimating Ben Carson. But public understand humility as admirable, listen to the multi-faceted strong message.”

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ABC News(NEW YORK) — Where will the 2016 presidential candidates be Thursday? Read below to find out their schedules:

Las Vegas

Sin City is the place to be Thursday as both Donald Trump and Marco Rubio stump in Las Vegas. Trump will hold a rally Thursday afternoon at Treasure Island, and Rubio’s rally is Thursday evening — the first of a three day visit.


Jeb Bush is in Iowa, where he participated in the Candidate Caucus Forum Series Thursday morning in Des Moines. He will hold a meet and greet in the afternoon in nearby Indianola.

Janet Huckabee is also stumping for her husband in the state, this time in Des Moines.

New Hampshire

Chris Christie, Rand Paul and Lindsey Graham are all in New Hampshire Thursday. Christie is holding three town halls, including two in Manchester.

Washington, D.C.

Hillary Clinton is in Washington, D.C., where she will speak at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Gala Thursday evening.

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Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Carly Fiorina has officially made it onto the short list of candidates being considered by the Koch Brothers’ network of donors -- potentially opening the door to a deep pool of money.

Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, the Koch brothers’ umbrella group, which includes a sprawling network of conservative donors, confirmed to ABC News that Fiorina is one of the five candidates on the donor network’s watch list.

"Governor Jeb Bush, Carly Fiorina and Senators Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio are leading a thoughtful and substantive discussion on the issues and we look forward to hearing more about their vision for the country,” Freedom Partners spokesman James Davis told ABC News.

Fiorina's addition to list serves as a signal that her newly attained top-tier status is being taken seriously by conservative donors and will likely mean increased access for Fiorina to Freedom Partners’ deep-pocketed donors.

The Koch brothers first revealed a list of five candidates whom they were considering helping financially back in April, and it has remained unchanged until now. In April, the list included Bush, Cruz, Paul, Rubio and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who effectively removed himself from the list when he dropped out of the race last month.

While Fiorina has now attained a new stature within the Koch brothers’ network, this is not her first foray into their world. The Kochs donated to Fiorina’s unsuccessful senate bid against California Sen. Barbara Boxer in 2010.

And in August, Fiorina was invited to address a Freedom Partners gathering. Bush, Walker, Rubio, and Cruz also addressed the gathering. But there were some notable absences. Paul, who was invited to address the gathering, did not attend. And the party’s frontrunner, Donald Trump, did not receive an invitation. Another surging candidate in the race who has yet to receive a nod from the Koch brothers is retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson.

The Kochs and their network aren’t the only big name, wealthy donors considering opening their pocketbooks for Fiorina.

Texas oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens reportedly hosted a luncheon for her back in September. And venture capitalist and former fellow HP board member Tom Perkins, who voted to fire Fiorina as HP’s CEO but has since said he regrets the decision and has run a full-page ad in the New York Times to say so, is also said to be planning a California fundraiser for the presidential candidate in the coming weeks.

Fiorina’s fundraising figures from the most recent reporting quarter have yet to be announced by her campaign but Fiorina has said that she is satisfied with her fundraising efforts, which have seen a boost along with her polling numbers in recent months.

Fiorina's camp did not immediately comment.

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ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- In yet another move that would distance herself from the Obama administration, Hillary Clinton on Wednesday announced her opposition to the the Trans-Pacific Partnership, saying that “based on what I know so far, I can't support this agreement.”

Clinton came out against the trade agreement Wednesday in a statement, saying that she doesn't believe the U.S. can "afford to keep giving new agreements the benefit of the doubt." The goal of a trade deal, Clinton says, is to "create good American jobs, raise wages, and advance our national security."

She also criticized Republicans for "years of...obstruction at home" that she argues "have weakened U.S. competitiveness and made it harder for Americans who lose jobs and pay because of trade to get back on their feet." That opposition to President Obama's proposals in a number of fields have left America "less competitive than we should be," Clinton said.

The move comes two days after the White House announced it had reached an agreement on the deal, known as TPP. The pact sets trade rules for 40% of the world’s economy and involves 12 countries, including the United States.

Clinton has refrained from taking a stance on TPP as a presidential candidate, saying she wants to see the final provisions before deciding. In recent months, however, Clinton has appeared to distance herself from the pact, which she promoted as secretary of state.

Clinton’s opposition puts her on the side of her Democratic presidential challenger, Bernie Sanders, who is firmly against the deal and calls it “disastrous” for consumers and U.S. job creation.

After Clinton came out against the trade agreement, another one of her Democratic opponents, Martin O’Malley, reacted saying, "Secretary Clinton can justify her own reversal of opinion on this. I didn't have one opinion eight months ago and switch that opinion on the eve of a debate."

President Obama, a fierce supporter of the deal, says the partnership "levels the playing field for our farmers, ranchers, and manufacturers by eliminating more than 18,000 taxes that various countries put on our products.”

Vice President Biden, who could soon decide to challenge Clinton and Sanders in the presidential race, also supports the deal.

In June, Clinton said that pact would need to "protect American workers, raise wages and create new jobs at home" and be in “our national security interest” in order for her to support it.

“If we don't get it,” Clinton said at a campaign event in Des Moines, Iowa, “there should be no deal.”

Wednesday, Clinton made clear that she does not believe those provisions were met.

Prior to being a presidential candidate, Clinton made comments that seemed to be in support of TPP. Speaking in Australia in 2012, Clinton said "TPP sets the gold standard in trade agreements to open free, transparent, fair trade, the kind of environment that has the rule of law and a level playing field. And when negotiated, this agreement will cover 40 percent of the world's total trade and build in strong protections for workers and the environment." And in her 2014 memoir Hard Choices Clinton called it “a strategic initiative that would strengthen the position of the United States in Asia.”

"I still believe in the goal of a strong and fair trade agreement in the Pacific as part of a broader strategy both at home and abroad," Clinton said, "just as I did when I was Secretary of State." She also praised President Obama for "hard work" put in by he and his team and "the strides they have made." Still, Clinton said, "the bar here is very high and, based on what I have seen, I don't believe this agreement has met it."

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ABC News(MOUNT VERNON, Iowa) -- Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton spoke at a town hall in Iowa on Wednesday, criticizing Republicans and touching on topics including gun control, her own campaign and Kentucky Court Clerk Kim Davis.

"I don't know how many presidential elections have happened since I've been an adult," Clinton said Wednesday, "but this is reaching a new low." Decrying the "insults," "attacks," and "entertainment" involved in the Republican side of the election cycle, Clinton said that the atmosphere of the campaign concerns her.

"Some of what it is is a view of America that is just out of date and out of touch," Clinton explained.

The former secretary of state also derided Republicans calling for arming more people in an effort to combat gun violence. "You have Republicans on the other side saying you need more guns," Clinton said Wednesday. "The idea that you need more guns to stop people who are committing mass shootings is not only illogical, but offensive."

"It's just crazy," Clinton added, "I mean, the whole thing is aimed at protecting gun manufacturers."

She acknowledged the frustration expressed by President Obama over the gun violence in America. Asked how she would keep her emotional energy up, Clinton said "you're the President of the United States and people are being massacred inside your own country."

"You see the hold the NRA has over members of Congress...my view on this is we've got to keep getting up every day and fighting back," she continued. "You can't ever get discourage. There's too much at stake."

On the topic of Davis, who was jailed for five days after refusing to dispense marriage licenses to same-sex couples, Clinton said that she felt Davis' jailing was "the right thing." Davis, Clinton said, "violated the law and therefore she was arrested."

"People are totally entitled to their private personal beliefs," Clinton added, "but when you take an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States, that is your job."

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Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call(WASHINGTON) -- Speaker of the House John Boehner on Wednesday expressed some frustration with President Obama over his call for action on gun control following last week's shooting in Oregon.

"In '09 and '10, we had Democrat majorities in the House and Senate, we had a Democratic president and this clearly was not a priority for them," Boehner said at the weekly Republican press conference. "The president can rail all he wants," Boehner added, "let's talk about what we can do to make sure that people with serious mental illnesses don't have access to weapons."

"Let's quit fighting over this," the speaker urged, "and let's start thinking about how...about what is doable, and what would have an impact."

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Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama apologized to Doctors Without Borders for the airstrike that killed at least 22 people last weekend, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest announced on Wednesday.

"This morning from the Oval Office, President Obama spoke by telephone with Doctors Without Borders International President Dr. Joanne Liu, to apologize and express his condolences for the MSF staff and patients who were killed and injured when a US military airstrike mistakenly struck an MSF field hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan over the weekend," Earnest said in the White House briefing.

“When we make a mistake, we’re honest about it, we own up to it, we apologize where necessary as the president did in this case," Earnest added. "We implement the kinds of changes that make it less likely that those kinds of mistakes will occur in the future.”

The president also phoned Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to "express his condolences for the innocent loss of life in that incident," Earnest said.

Last weekend, a U.S. airstrike on a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan killed at least 22 people, including a dozen doctors, seven adult patients and three children, according to Doctors Without Borders, a non-governmental organization known internationally by its French name Medicins Sans Frontieres or its acronym MSF.

Doctors Without Borders has called for an independent investigation into the attack.

"Today, we say enough. Even war has rules," MSF Executive Director Jason Cone said Wednesday during a news conference in New York.

The White House has refrained from offering support for an independent investigation. There are currently three other investigations underway -- including one led by the Department of Defense.

"The president assured Dr. Liu that the Department of Defense investigation currently underway would provide a transparent, thorough and objective accounting of the facts and circumstances of the incident. And that if necessary, the president would implement changes that would make tragedies like this one less likely to occur in the future," Earnest said.

The U.S. is also participating in investigations conducted by NATO and in conjunction with the Afghan government.

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ABC/Donna Svennevik(WASHINGTON) -- Out on the stump, Marco Rubio often talks about the need for a fully-funded military. But when the Senate got together to vote on the National Defense Authorization Act at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, the presidential candidate was nowhere to be found.

Instead, the GOP hopeful was in the air, on a flight headed from New York's LaGuardia Airport to Manchester, New Hampshire, for a two-day campaign swing through the state. Rubio had just wrapped up another event in New York that morning.

Rubio has missed 29 percent of Senate votes over the last year. Both the media and some of Rubio’s rivals have attacked him for it.

“He has the worst voting record in the Senate,” said Donald Trump in Franklin, Tennessee, over the weekend. “Other senators are doing fine.”

Jeb Bush has avoided calling Rubio out by name, but last week he told a crowd in New Hampshire: “Why is it that people miss a vote? There should be a deduction in their pay, and I hope you think so as well.”

"Marco Solidifies His Nickname: 'No-Show Rubio,'" American Bridge PAC said in a note to Democratic supporters on Tuesday.

“We continue to be engaged in constituent service and on the important issues in Washington, and we’ve cancelled events in the past in order to be there when we can be a decisive voice,” Rubio told reporters Wednesday in New Hampshire.

The National Defense Authorization Act passed 73 to 26. Still, Rubio was the only senator to miss the vote on Tuesday.

Each of the five senators running for president have missed Congressional votes (Lindsey Graham has missed the most).

Rubio and fellow freshman Sen. Ted Cruz, however, have missed more votes over their entire Senate careers than the rest of the 2016 pack; they’re both in the 11 percent range of lifetime missed votes, compared to a median of 1.6 percent missed among the lifetime records of senators currently serving.

"When I miss a vote, it's not because I'm out playing golf,” Rubio has said. ”We're out campaigning for the future of America, where I believe I can make more of a difference as president than I could as a Senator."

Tuesday's defense spending bill includes funding for the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, so in terms of optics, Rubio's decision to miss the vote could wind up hurting the very people he's trying to win over this week in New Hampshire.

“These votes that are happening in the Senate aren’t going to make a difference unless we have a new president,” Rubio said.

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Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- As the GOP candidate has come under fire for his controversial gun control comments, Ben Carson has repeatedly attempted to provide the American people with a solution if a massacre – such as the one that happened at Umpqua Community College in Oregon last week – were to happen again.

“From the indications I got, they did not rush the shooter,” Carson said on CBS This Morning discussing the Oregon shooting. “The shooter can only shoot one person at a time, he cannot shoot a group of people.”

Carson suggested that the victims should have rushed the shooter to prevent more lives from being lost, telling ABC News Wednesday that he would have confronted the gunman and would have instructed people to attack the gunman.

“I said what I would do. ... I would ask everyone to attack the gunman,” Carson told ABC News. “That way we wouldn’t all end up dead.”

Carson also says that even some kindergarten teachers should be armed, writing in a Facebook post that losing gun rights would be “more devastating” than a “body with bullet holes.”

Tying his position to his childhood in Detroit and career as a surgeon, Carson wrote in the post that he “never saw a body with bullet holes that was more devastating than taking the right to arm ourselves away.”

The retired neurosurgeon has emphasized that mental health is the problem, and not guns. He has stood by his position that gun control is not, but rather comes down to mental health, suggesting data collection is needed to prevent mass shootings from happening.

“They key thing to do is look at all of these shooters and see what we can glean in terms of their personalities in terms of what kinds of behavioral circumstances they have had in the past,” Carson said. "There are warning signs."

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ABC News(NEW YORK) — It’s been two weeks and two days since Scott Walker suspended his presidential campaign, and the former GOP contender -- who was once leading the polls in Iowa and gaining early support from the likes of the Koch brothers — is settling back into his day job as governor of Wisconsin.

According to Twitter, he’s been busy, but leading a very different life than he had before dropping out of the race on Sept. 21. Here's a look at Walker’s doings since returning to America’s Dairyland:

Met the World Dairy Expo's 2015 Cow of the Year:

Last week, Walker attended the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wis., and posed for pictures with Hilda, winner of the 2015 Cow of the Year award. The Expo, which lasted six days and is an annual Wisconsin event, boasts exhibits, classes and of course, dairy cattle shows.

Visited World Dairy Expo in Madison and saw 2015 Cow of the Year "Hilda" from Siemers Holstein Farms. pic.twitter.com/XzK5esOSpM

— Governor Walker (@GovWalker) October 2, 2015

Announced Wisconsin's Christmas Tree Theme for this year:

On Friday, Walker also announced the theme for his state's 2015 National Christmas Tree Display: Wisconsin sports.

“It’s always a lot of fun to see what Wisconsin artists and youths come up with every year for our National Christmas Tree,” Walker said in a statement. “We look forward to selecting the artist and school that helps us to decorate the tree each year, and this year’s theme of Wisconsin Sports is one that is very near and dear to the hearts of many Wisconsinites."

Cheered for the Badgers:

Walker has a lot more time for Wisconsin sports these days. He's cheered from the stands at two Badgers games since he left the campaign trail.

Congrats. It was fun to be at the game tonight! https://t.co/wFItWJiNjO

— Governor Walker (@GovWalker) September 27, 2015

...And the Packers:

Walker visited Lambeau Field (the home field of the Green Bay Packers) on Sept. 28 and met with retired Green Bay running back Dorsey Levens.

Heading up to the @Packers game! #GoPackGo #KCvsGB #MNF pic.twitter.com/2z5axX2Wy9

— Governor Walker (@GovWalker) September 28, 2015

Went to Washington

Walker may be out of the race, but he's still visiting the nation’s capital.

Full morning of meetings with individual lawmakers in the State Capitol.

— Governor Walker (@GovWalker) October 1, 2015

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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ABC News(NEW YORK) — Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush, Donald Trump, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, and Bobby Jindal are all in Iowa on Wednesday.

Clinton starts her day at a community forum in Mount Vernon and in the afternoon she will attend another event in Council Bluffs.

Bush has a morning event in Muscatine and in the afternoon holds a meet and greet in Oskaloosa.

Trump will hold an early afternoon rally in Waterloo.

Huckabee will tour a manufacturer in the Des Moines suburb of Urbandale Wednesday morning and then head to tour Renewable Energy Group in Newton at noon.

Jindal will hold a meet and greet Wednesday afternoon in Atlantic.

New Hampshire is staying busy too. Marco Rubio and Chris Christie are both in the first primary state.

Rubio has been jabbed for not spending enough time in the critical state, but he has three events Wednesday, holding town halls in Manchester, Dover and Wolfeboro.

Christie has an afternoon employee roundtable and tour at a lumber company in East Hempstead Wednesday afternoon. In the evening, he’ll hold a town hall in Raymond.

Martin O'Malley and Bernie Sanders are both in Washington, D.C. Wednesday afternoon to participate in the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Presidential Candidates Forum.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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