WASHINGTON (CNN) - A new national poll indicates that a majority of Americans approve of President Barack Obama's nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court.
Fifty-four percent of those questioned in a Quinnipiac University survey released Friday approve of Obama's choice, 24 percent disapprove and 22 percent are undecided.
In a Gallup poll conducted in the hours after Tuesday's nomination announcement, 47 percent of those questioned said they rated Sotomayor as an excellent or good choice for the high court, with one in three respondents saying she is a fair or poor nominee. One in five had no opinion.
The Quinnipiac University survey suggests that Democrats overwhelmingly back the Sotomayor nomination, and that Republicans oppose it by a 46 percent to 26 percent margin.
The poll also indicates that nearly six out of 10 women back the pick, with 18 percent of the women questioned opposed. Forty-eight percent of men questioned say they approve of the Sotomayor nomination, with 31 pecent opposed.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Obama administration is turning to the Supreme Court as it seeks to block public release of photos apparently depicting abuse of suspected terrorists and foreign soldiers in U.S. custody.
Justice Department lawyers late Thursday told a federal appeals court in New York - the same one on which high court nominee Sonia Sotomayor sits - to hold off a ruling ordering release of the material, saying they plan to ask the justices to hear their case.
The government said it would proceed "absent intervening legislation" from Congress.
The "motion to recall" comes after President Barack Obama ordered government lawyers earlier this month to object to the court-ordered release of photos depicting the mistreatment of prisoners held in Iraq and Afghanistan, reversing an earlier White House decision. The Pentagon had been set to release hundreds of photos in response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by the American Civil Liberties Union.
The ACLU - which had filed the initial lawsuit for disclosure - has criticized the administration's about-face, saying it "makes a mockery" of Obama's campaign promise of greater transparency and accountability, and damages efforts to hold accountable those responsible for abusing prisoners.
BENTON HARBOR, Michigan (CNN) – Former President George W. Bush said Thursday that if Laura Bush hadn't been first lady, he isn't sure he could have counted on her vote.
"I can promise you that her life dream when she was growing up was not to be first lady of the United States," he told a Michigan audience in one of his first major domestic speeches since leaving the White House. "Frankly, I am not so sure that if we hadn't married she'd have voted for me."
Bush continued: "There's a lot of pressure in the White House as I'm sure you can imagine. Pressure sometimes can make a marriage stronger or weaker. In my case because of her patience and her enthusiasm, it made our marriage a really good marriage."
The pressure of the presidency, he said, weighs most on family members.
"It's much harder to be the son of the president than to be the president. And it's much harder to be the father of the president than to be the president," he said. "And I used to have to admonish him not pay attention to what they were writing on the editorial pages about his son. I had gone through the same agony myself. And so I am confident that the end of the presidency is a great relief because of our strong love."
The president said he will personally select the person who takes on that post, and "will depend on this official" in all matters related to cybersecurity.
Tackling the economic crisis cannot be done without ensuring the safety of the nation's online activities, Obama said.
CNN Radio reports: Obama announces new cybersecurity post
He referred to last year's hacking of computers at his campaign headquarters. The hackers did not access databases containing information about campaign donors, but did gain access to policy position papers and travel plans, Obama said.
"I know how it feels" to have online privacy violated, the president said.
CNN reported in November that computers at the headquarters of Obama's rival for the presidency, Sen. John McCain, had been broken into with similar results.
(CNN) - A top Senate Republican is taking aim at recent statements from conservative commentators Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich suggesting Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor is a "racist."
"I think it's terrible," Sen. John Cornyn, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, told NPR's "All Things Considered" Thursday. "This is not the kind of tone any of us want to set when it comes to performing our constitutional responsibilities of advise and consent.”
Both the popular radio host and former GOP House Speaker have suggested Obama's pick for the high court is a racist while referencing a 2001 speech at Berkeley during which Sotomayor said, "I would hope that a wise Latina woman, with the richness of her experiences, would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life."
Related: In her own words: Sotomayor's 'Latina' speech
"Imagine a judicial nominee said 'my experience as a white man makes me better than a latina woman.' new racism is no better than old racism," Gingrich wrote on Twitter Wednesday.
"Here you have a racist – you might want to soften that, and you might want to say a reverse racist," Limbaugh said the day before on his radio program.
Senate Republicans meanwhile have largely withheld judgment on Sotomayor, though many - including Cornyn - have taken issue with some of her past statements and rulings.
"We are all a product of our upbringing and who we are and I think it’s a fact people do have different backgrounds, but I don't think those background ought to determine what the law is," Cornyn said to NPR of Sotomayor's Berkeley comments.
The NRSC chief also brushed off the Limbaugh and Gingrich statements while noting neither man holds an elected office.
"Neither one of these men are elected Republican officials. I just don't think it’s appropriate. I certainly don't endorse it. I think it’s wrong," he said.
(CNN) - Nearly 18 months before voters head to the polls, Sen. Chris Dodd is out with his first campaign ad.
The 30-second television spot, entitled "Years," relies heavily on the image and voice of President Barack Obama.
The ad opens with an image of Obama from last week when he signed credit card reform legislation. Roughly half of the ad also features a recording of the president discussing the recently enacted bill and Dodd's role in getting the legislation passed.
"I want to give a special shout-out to Chris Dodd who has been a relentless fighter to get this done," the president says in the ad as an image of Obama, Dodd, and several other Members of Congress appears on screen.
The ad then details aspects of the bill designed to protect consumers in their use of credit cards.
The ad begins airing Friday on broadcast and cable outlets across much of Connecticut, according to Dodd's campaign manager Jay Howser. The spot will run for one week.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - National Democrats launched a national effort Friday to rally support for Judge Sonia Sotomayor, who President Obama introduced this week as his nominee for the Supreme Court.
Organizing for America, Obama's campaign organization which is now an arm of the Democratic National Committee, e-mailed its 13 million supporters a warning that "our opponents will try to play politics with Judge Sotomayor's nomination, and it's up to us to help get out the facts and show the public - and key decision-makers - how much support she really has."
Mitch Stewart, the director of OFA and author of the e-mail, suggested supporters write a letter to the editor of the local newspaper or call their senators to express support for Sotomayor.
OFA is offering supporters downloadable pictures of Sotomayor to be placed on social networking Web sites like Facebook, and posters to show support for Obama's nominee. It has also created a Web page titled "Stand With Sotomayor" to serve as the platform for this campaign.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama is expected to announce Friday the creation of the position of cyber czar, a person who will coordinate the nation's efforts to protect government and private computer systems from hackers, criminal gangs, terrorists and spies, people familiar with the plan said Thursday.
The czar will report to both the national security adviser and the head of the National Economic Council, the sources said.
Obama will not name anyone Friday to the post because the selection process is ongoing, they said.
In addition, the White House will release a 40-page report that sets broad goals for combating cyber intrusions, but does not spell out in detail how to do so, said the sources, who would not agree to be identified because the report has not been released.
(CNN) - Watch Brian Todd's report about the latest issue of GQ that features Levi Johnston, the former boyfriend of Bristol Palin and the father of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's infant grandson.
Related: Father offered daughter a car to dump Levi Johnston, report says
The CNN Washington Bureau’s morning speed read of the top stories making news from around the country and the world.
For the latest political news: www.CNNPolitics.com.
CNN: Bush: 'The information we got saved lives'
Former President George W. Bush on Thursday repeated Dick Cheney's assertion that their enhanced interrogation program was legal and garnered valuable information that prevented future terrorist attacks.
CNN: Petraeus says releasing detainee photos would be risky
Releasing images of the alleged abuse of prisoners in U.S. custody could damage Pakistan's efforts to battle Islamic militants as well as increase the risks to American troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, the top U.S. commander in the region has told a federal judge.
CNN: Top Republican calls Limbaugh, Gingrich comments 'terrible'
A top Senate Republican is taking aim at recent statements from conservative commentators Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich suggesting Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor is a "racist."
CNN: Obama reiterates call for Israel to halt West Bank settlement activity
Israel must halt West Bank settlement activity and the Palestinians need to increase West Bank security to advance the Middle East peace process, President Obama said Thursday after meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
CNN: Hatch: Sotomayor 'highly likely' to be confirmed, barring surprises
The longest-serving Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee told CNN Radio on Thursday that, barring any surprises, Sonia Sotomayor is headed for a Supreme Court confirmation.
CNN: Poll: 47 percent give Sotomayor high marks
A poll conducted immediately after President Barack Obama announced his nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court suggests that nearly half of Americans have a favorable opinion of the president's choice.
CNN: Long-lost Lincoln letter back in federal hands
Few items are more highly prized among collectors of historical artifacts than a handwritten letter from President Lincoln.
CNN: McCain takes a side California governor's race
Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, will endorse former eBay executive Meg Whitman Friday for governor of California, a Whitman spokesman said.