March 25th, 2009
06:28 PM ET
5 years ago

Steele: Open to prez run if that's 'where God wants me to be'

 Steele is chairman of the Republican National Committee.
Steele is chairman of the Republican National Committee.

(CNN) - Embattled Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele told CNN Wednesday he'd consider running for president someday, but stressed he has never given serious thought to a potential White House bid.

Speaking to CNN's Don Lemon, Steele said he may decide to seek the presidency at some point if he determines that's "where God wants me to be."

"God has a way of revealing stuff to you, and making it real for you, through others," Steele said. "And if that's part of the plan, it'll be the plan….[If I run] it'll be because that's where God wants me to be at that time."

Steele also brushed aside charges that his initial weeks as GOP lead have been marked by a series of damaging gaffes, including his initial criticism of Rush Limbaugh and his subsequent apology to the popular talk radio host.

FULL POST


Filed under: Michael Steele
March 25th, 2009
06:27 PM ET
5 years ago

Palin's PAC says it's not polling in Iowa, New Hampshire

SarahPAC says Palin is not polling her own name in early voting states.
SarahPAC says Palin is not polling her own name in early voting states.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Sarah Palin's Political Action Committee says the Alaska governor is not behind the recently reported phone calls in Iowa and New Hampshire polling her favorability.

"Recently, there have been some pollsters or pitchmen trading on the Sarah Palin name - taking a pulse on the Governor's favorability," said a statement posted Wednesday on the SarahPAC web site.

"None of these polls are authorized by SarahPAC or the governor," the statement said. "Again, SarahPAC is not doing any telephone solicitation at this time."

Several political blogs in Iowa and Alaska reported the polling calls earlier this week.


Filed under: Sarah Palin
March 25th, 2009
05:30 PM ET
5 years ago

Thompson: I don't want Obama's policies to succeed

Fred Thompson, a former GOP White House hopeful, said Wednesday that he doesn't want some of the president's policies to succeed.
Fred Thompson, a former GOP White House hopeful, said Wednesday that he doesn't want some of the president's policies to succeed.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Count former GOP presidential candidate Fred Thompson among the growing chorus of prominent Republicans who want President Obama's policies to fail.

Tuesday evening Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal called pressure to support Obama's policies "political correctness run amok."

Related: Jindal defends those who want Obama to fail

Thompson told CNN's John Roberts Wednesday that he agreed with some of his fellow Republicans who have said publicly they do not want the president's policies to be successful.

Watch: Thompson on American Morning

"I want his policies that I believe take us in the wrong direction to fail," Thompson told Roberts on CNN's American Morning.

"If he takes us down the road of tripling our national debt in ten years and making us vulnerable to higher interest rates and higher inflation, and things of that nature, I want all those policies not to succeed," he said.

Thompson, who made the rising cost of entitlement spending a focus of his 2008 presidential run, said he'd be happy to help Obama overhaul those programs.

"If he wants to do that, I will join with him. I'll do everything I can to make him succeed with regard to that because that's the whole ball game in terms of our fiscal future in this country," said the former Tennessee senator.

Thompson criticized Obama's ambitious health care agenda, telling Roberts the president's plans would cost the government more than they would save.

March 25th, 2009
04:45 PM ET
5 years ago

U.S. shares blame for Mexico drug violence, Clinton says

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in Mexico.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in Mexico.

(CNN) – The United States shares the blame for Mexican drug trafficking and the attendant violence that has killed thousands in the past year alone, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday.

"Our insatiable demand for illegal drugs fuels the drug trade," she said en route to Mexico City, according to pool reports. "Our inability to prevent weapons from being illegally smuggled across the border to arm these criminals causes the deaths of police officers, soldiers and civilians. So, yes, I feel very strongly we have a co-responsibility."

Clinton arrived in the Mexican capital a day after the United States unveiled its latest plan to improve security along its long border with its southern neighbor.

She underscored that the United States has already appropriated $700 million in aid to Mexico and Congress wants to see how the administration is applying it before sending more.

"We are going to demonstrate that we are spending it in an accountable and effective manner that will assist the Mexicans" in law enforcement and justice, she said.

FULL POST


Filed under: Hillary Clinton
March 25th, 2009
04:30 PM ET
5 years ago

Missouri official apologies for linking militias to candidates

A Missouri official apologized to Rep. Ron Paul for a report linking him to a militia group.
A Missouri official apologized to Rep. Ron Paul for a report linking him to a militia group.

(CNN) - The head of the Missouri Department of Public Safety has apologized to U.S. Rep. Ron Paul and two other former presidential candidates for a state law enforcement report linking militia groups to the candidates. State officials killed the report late Wednesday.

The report connected the three to often-armed militia groups by saying militia members are "usually supporters of former presidential candidates Ron Paul, Chuck Baldwin and Bob Barr."

Paul, a Republican congressman from Texas, unsuccessfully sought the GOP nomination for president then announced his support for other third-party presidential candidates. Baldwin ran for president on the Constitution Party ticket, and Barr was the Libertarian Party's presidential candidate.

The report, prepared by the state's Information Analysis Center, was sent to police departments around the state. Public Safety Director John Britt said the intelligence report, was intended to "identify certain traits that are sometimes shared by members of militia groups."

But it generated controversy when a copy of the report was leaked publicly.

FULL POST


Filed under: Bob Barr • Ron Paul
March 25th, 2009
03:09 PM ET
5 years ago

New role for Obama: Fundraiser-in-chief

President Barack Obama takes his first stab tonight at the role of fundraiser-in-chief.
President Barack Obama takes his first stab tonight at the role of fundraiser-in-chief.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama takes his first stab tonight at the role of fundraiser-in-chief.

The president is the main attraction at two events here in the nation's capitol for the Democratic National Committee, the first fundraising test for Obama since he took over the presidency two months ago. As a candidate for the White House, the then-senator from Illinois had little trouble raising money: He broke all fundraising records, raking in nearly $750 million during his two-year campaign for the presidency.

The money raised at tonight's two events - at the National Women in the Arts Museum and the Warner Theater, where singer Tony Bennett is scheduled to perform - will come in handy as the Democratic National Committee struggles to keep pace with its Republican counterpart.

The Democrats won back the White House and increased their majorities in Congress in last November's elections, but when it comes to campaign cash, the national party's not having the same kind of success. The DNC raised around $3.3 million last month, while the Republican National Committee raked in over $5 million.

Thanks to a larger transfer of campaign cash left over from Obama's presidential run, the DNC was able to report $5.4 million in total contributions last month, slightly edging out the RNC. But when it comes to cash on hand - the amount of money the parties have in the bank - the DNC trails the RNC $24 million to $8.5 million.

FULL POST


Filed under: DNC • FEC • President Obama • Republican National Committee
March 25th, 2009
03:02 PM ET
5 years ago

Blagojevich: 'I have no complaints'

Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich hosted a two-hour radio program in Chicago Wednesday.
Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich hosted a two-hour radio program in Chicago Wednesday.

(CNN) – Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich sounded an uncharacteristically conciliatory tone during a solo radio hosting appearance on Chicago's WLS 890 AM.

"I have no complaints," Blagojevich told CNN contributor D.L. Hughley during a reflective moment in Wednesday's broadcast.

"I think there's always a purpose that God has for all of us and, you know, in my mind and my heart, I believe God has a purpose for me. And I'm his instrument in some form or another. To the extent that I can be still someone who fights for the average guy, the little guy . . . I'm going to keep trying to do that."

Blagojevich also praised President Obama, and likened the new president to former Presidents Reagan and Kennedy in his push for tax cuts in an effort to turn the economy around.

"He's the number one Democrat in America, and so I think those Democrats [on Capitol Hill] have to give their brand new president a chance to get his program passed," Blagojevich said. "If it's one that's going to provide tax relief to people, I'm imploring my fellow Democrats in Congress to go along with President Obama."

Blagojevich also used his time at the mic to tout his own accomplishments while governor, and to repeatedly criticize his successor Gov. Pat Quinn for plans to raise taxes.


Filed under: Rod Blagojevich
March 25th, 2009
03:00 PM ET
5 years ago

EU president takes on Obama's economic plan

The European Union's current president Mirek Topolanek went head-to-head with Washington over the global economic crisis Wednesday.
The European Union's current president Mirek Topolanek went head-to-head with Washington over the global economic crisis Wednesday.

(CNN) – The European Union president went head-to-head with Washington over the global economic crisis Wednesday, condemning President Barack Obama's economic recovery plan as "a way to hell."

The comments came as the prime minister of the Czech Republic and current holder of the EU presidency Mirek Topolanek addressed the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France. The Czech PM blasted the "Buy America" campaign and growing US budget deficit, saying "all of these steps, these combinations and permanency is the way to hell."

Topolanek continued his attack saying Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner's toxic assets plan was "quite alarming" and that US fiscal bailouts "will undermine the stability of the global financial market."

"We need to read the history books and read with it the lessons of history and the biggest success of the (EU) is the refusal to go this way," he said.

Topolanek's criticism followed UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown's speech to Parliament Tuesday where stressed the importance of EU-US cooperation and lauded President Obama's transatlantic collaborative efforts.

Party of European Socialists chair Martin Schulz was critical of the EU president's claims Wednesday, saying that the US "had taken the wrong road, the road to hell" was Topolanek's view alone and the EU should "not be operating at this level."

President Obama will travel to London next week to participate in a Group of 20 summit, where the president is expected to champion EU-US unity on global economic policy.


Filed under: President Obama
March 25th, 2009
03:00 PM ET
5 years ago

GOP leaders introduce housing plan

House Republican Whip Eric Cantor criticitized the Obama administration's plans to strengthen the housing market as Republicans debuted their own proposal.
House Republican Whip Eric Cantor criticitized the Obama administration's plans to strengthen the housing market as Republicans debuted their own proposal.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Republicans criticized Democrats for not using "common sense" as they proposed an alternative solution to address the nation's ongoing housing crisis on Wednesday.

House Republican Whip Eric Cantor blasted the administration's plans to strengthen the housing market, saying they are pushing "policies that frankly don't make a lot of sense."

GOP leaders propose expanding tax credits for home owners and buyers while cracking down on fraud in the housing market. "We are committed to trying to pull the agenda back to mainstream," said Cantor, calling homeowner assistance central to reviving the economy.

Provisions in the new proposal, which would be affective until July 2010, include a $5,000 tax credit to help families refinance their homes, whether or not they are backed by the ailing Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae; tax incentives for mortgage lenders who help homeowners refinance these homes; and a $15,000 home buyer credit to all home buyers who can put at least 5 percent down.

Republicans also proposed working with the FBI, Department of Justice and other government housing agencies to fight fraudulent mortgage companies and borrowers.

GOP leaders were unable to provide an estimate of how much their proposed plan would cost.


Filed under: Eric Cantor • GOP • Republicans
March 25th, 2009
03:00 PM ET
3 years ago

Planned Parenthood to honor Hillary Clinton

Planned Parenthood Federation of America will hold a gala honoring Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Friday in Houston, Texas.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America will hold a gala honoring Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Friday in Houston, Texas.

(CNN) – Planned Parenthood Federation of America will hold a gala honoring Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Friday in Houston, Texas.

The health care provider announced it will host the awards and dinner ceremony in the Lone Star State to pay tribute to those who have made significant contributions to the advancement of women's reproductive health and rights and promotion of family planning and prevention efforts.

Clinton is set to receive PPFA's highest honor, the Margaret Sanger award, for her advocacy of "women's health and rights throughout her public service career."

"Ugly Betty" actress America Ferrera will co-host the event along with PPFA President Cecile Richards.


Filed under: Hillary Clinton
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