Blog Posts by Katie Couric

  • Gates on Obama's handling of Iraq: 'we have to figure out what our strategy is'

    By Sarah B. Boxer

    In an exclusive interview with Yahoo global news anchor Katie Couric, former Defense Secretary Bob Gates sounded off for the first time about President Barack Obama’s new plan to send around 450 troops to Iraq.

    “Just adding another few hundred troops doing more of the same is not likely to make much of a difference,” Gates said. “I think that we have to figure out what our strategy is. We should’ve had that strategy a year ago.”

    Gates had advocated for leaving a residual force in Iraq, and has long opposed a complete U.S. troop withdrawal there.

    “As long as we had a significant presence in Iraq, one of the benefits of our senior military leaders there was the ability to influence the choice of senior Iraqi leaders, and to do so on the basis of competence and their leadership capabilities,” he said.

    Without that oversight, he told Couric, the military has been overtaken by incompetent and corrupt leaders.

    “Part of the problem with Iraqi troops is that the training

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  • Romney talks 2016 but says chances of running for president are 'between zero and nil'

    By Sarah B. Boxer

    During his third annual E2 Summit in Park City, Utah, this weekend, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney told Yahoo global news anchor Katie Couric that the chances he would run for president again are “somewhere between zero and nil.”

    However, the former GOP presidential nominee is certainly not shying away from the spotlight. E2, which stands for “Experts and Enthusiasts,” gathered a select group of politicians and donors, mostly Republican, who heard remarks from presidential candidates Sen. Marco Rubio, Sen. Lindsey Graham and Carly Fiorina, as well as Govs. John Kasich, Chris Christie and Scott Walker, who have yet to announce their intentions.

    Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush was one of the only Republican frontrunners who did not attend the retreat. He was on a three-country tour of Europe at the time.

    Romney said he took no offense at Bush’s absence. “I think it’s important from time to time to do exactly what he’s doing, which is to visit other nations in

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  • Graham: 'I think I’d be a good commander in chief'

    By Sarah B. Boxer

    Republican presidential candidate Lindsey Graham has an unexpected pick for president: Sen. Marco Rubio.

    “Rubio will be president one day,” Graham told Yahoo global news anchor Katie Couric, adding: “He’s got to prove to people he’s ready in 2016. That’ll be his challenge.”

    It’s a challenge that Graham, after 20 years in Congress, thinks he is up for. “I think this is the best time for me to step up to the plate. I think I’d be a good commander in chief at a time we need one. The world’s falling apart,” Graham told Couric. “I think the next president of the United States needs to defend this nation and get Washington working again. And I think can do both.”

    Despite the challenges he’ll face — including competition from about a dozen other Republicans seeking the presidential nomination — Graham is confident that Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton can be defeated. “We all think we can beat Hillary, or we would not be running,” he says. “It’s an open seat.”

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  • Super PACs explained

    By Kaye Foley

    The 2016 race to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. is a long one and requires a lot of time, energy, and not least of all, money. Candidates — both official and potential — have already started filling their war chests.

    But where does all the money come from? Some comes from fundraising done by the campaign itself, or through a PAC (political action committee) associated with it. But some of the biggest conduits for campaign cash are so-called super-PACs.

    So what exactly is a super-PAC? It’s similar to a regular PAC in that it’s a private group funded and organized to help elect a political candidate, or advance a legislative agenda. However, PACs can only accept donations from individuals, and there’s an annual limit of $5000.

    Two landmark court cases — Citizens United v. FEC, and v. FEC — in 2010 paved the way for supersize PACs. The rulings from these cases allowed corporations, unions, and individuals to donate unlimited amounts of cash to “independent

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  • Mitt Romney’s E2 Summit 2015

    At least six Republican presidential hopefuls, GOP donors and political operatives from both sides of the aisle gathered in Park City, Utah, for former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s E2 Summit. Held at an upscale ski resort, Stein Eriksen Lodge, E2 stands for "Experts and Enthusiasts" and began in 2012 as a fundraiser for Romney’s second presidential bid. Romney says that the current purpose of the three-day summit is to bring together a wide range of leaders in the political, financial and private sectors “to talk about [the] direction for the country." 

    Yahoo global news anchor Katie Couric attended the conference and talked to Romney, Republican presidential candidate Senator Lindsey Graham and former Defense Secretary Bob Gates about foreign policy, civil rights issues, and the 2016 race. 

    Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) believes that Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) did the right thing by apologizing after joking that Graham was a “bro with no ho” in the U.S. Senate. 

    Watch Katie's

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  • Bernie Sanders on Hillary Clinton: 'Would she be interested in being my vice president?'

    By Dylan Stableford

    Bernie Sanders says he isn’t running for president to push Hillary Clinton further to the left nor to become a candidate for vice president on a potential Clinton ticket.

    “No,” Sanders told Yahoo News’ Katie Couric on Monday. “My goal is to win this election.”

    In a wide-ranging interview, the Vermont independent senator and Democratic presidential hopeful said he is running because someone needs to stand up for the middle class.

    “There are millions and millions of people who are tired of the establishment politics and corporate greed who are going to lead the mass movement in this country,” Sanders said.

    Sanders said he realizes Clinton has a huge fundraising advantage, especially considering he refuses to take money from super PACs.

    “We’re going to do the best we can,” he said. “I don’t have a super PAC, I don’t want it super PAC, and that is that.”

    The bigger question, Sanders said, whether “any candidate that isn’t tied in with the billionaires” run for office

    Read More »from Bernie Sanders on Hillary Clinton: 'Would she be interested in being my vice president?'
  • Gay marriage debate

    By Kaye Foley

    The debate over gay marriage is approaching a critical juncture this summer. At the end of the month, the Supreme Court will rule on Obergefell v. Hodges, which asks whether same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry.

    This will be the second time in just over two years that a landmark ruling is expected on same-sex marriage. In 2013, the Supreme Court ruled in United States v. Windsor that a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, was unconstitutional — in effect ruling that the federal government now must recognize same-sex marriages that took place in states where it’s currently legal.

    This was a huge win for gay rights advocates, but there were still many states with marriage bans. Same-sex couples sued the government, asking for the same marriage rights as straight couples, such as the ability to file state taxes jointly, have visiting rights at hospitals, and make critical medical decisions for their partner and children. But opponents

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  • Meet the plaintiff at the heart of a Supreme Court case that could legalize same-sex marriage nationwide

    By Sarah B. Boxer

    “What we're asking for is simply to be part of that same tradition of marriage where two people commit to each other and make those promises to love, protect and honor each other. How are we changing that? How are we harming that? We're just asking to do the same thing.”

    Jim Obergefell is fired up. He’s the lead plaintiff in a case before the Supreme Court that this month could change gay rights in America forever. And in an exclusive interview with Yahoo global news anchor Katie Couric, he explains why.

    “It's scary to think about having the highest court in the land rule that you really are a second-class citizen and you don't deserve the same rights, the same protections, the same responsibilities as other people.”

    His case, Obergefell v. Hodges, rests on two questions. One is whether  the Constitution requires a state where same-sex marriage is not legal to recognize a marriage licensed in a state where it is legal. 

    The other question is whether the

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  • 'Call me Caitlyn': Vanity Fair editor and stylist talk to Katie Couric

    The writer of Vanity Fair's Caitlyn Jenner cover story, Buzz Bissinger, appeared on all three of the broadcast-network morning shows on Tuesday, where he talked more about his experience getting to know Caitlyn and Bruce Jenner.

    The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist also talked about the internal differences he perceived between the two versions of the Olympic medal-winning track star.

    Read MoreCaitlyn Jenner, Formerly Bruce Jenner, Reveals New Identity in First Post-Transition Photo Shoot

    "There’s a joie de vivre to Caitlyn that I never saw as Bruce in the last two months that I saw that Bruce was there," Bissinger said on CBS This Morning.

    He added on Today, "Caitlyn has found her soul that really Bruce never had.... She's going to have fun. She was completely isolated, I think, for the last five or six years of his life as Bruce."

    Bissinger added that Caitlyn is trying to have a stronger relationship with her children from her first two marriages.

    "[Bruce] never had a relationship

    Read More »from 'Call me Caitlyn': Vanity Fair editor and stylist talk to Katie Couric
  • The Minimum Wage Debate

    By Kaye Foley

    Last week, Los Angeles became the largest city to set a minimum wage at $15 in the past year, following in the footsteps of Seattle and San Francisco. The increase won’t go into effect until 2020, but it’s another win for minimum wage grassroots campaigns and advocates.

    The debate over whether to raise minimum wages has raged for years. At $7.25, the federal minimum wage has not been raised since 2009, and has not kept up with inflation.

    The minimum wage was first established in 1938, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) as part of the New Deal. The minimum wage was set at $0.25. In a fireside chat, Roosevelt referred to the FLSA as “the most far-reaching, farsighted program for the benefit of workers.”

    Since that time, the minimum wage has been raised 22 times. In 1968, at $1.60 —almost $11 in today’s dollars — the minimum wage was at its peak purchasing power. It doesn’t automatically go up with inflation, so Congress and

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