WASHINGTON (CNN) – Former Republican Rep. Pat Toomey announced Tuesday that he has raised over $1 million in the past two months in his battle to beat Democratic Sen. Arlen Specter in the Pennsylvania Senate race.
"I am honored by out the outpouring of support for my campaign," Toomey said in a statement. "Thousands of people all across Pennsylvania and the country are rallying to our message of fiscal responsibility and bringing much-needed balance in Washington."
More than 11,000 individuals have contributed to his campaign since he announced candidacy on April 15, according to Toomey. The Republican Senate hopeful also said that Louisa Boyd, Specter's former finance director, joined Toomey's campaign.
Recent polls indicate that since Specter defected to the Democratic Party, his lead over Toomey has shrunk to just 9 points.
Later this month, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is planning to hold a major New York benefit for Specter's re-election bid.
NEW YORK (Fortune) - The stock market's rally serves as "broad validation" of the Obama administration's financial rescue efforts, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said Monday.
But Geithner also stressed that the economy faces "an enormously challenging period ahead" - a view that was vigorously seconded by a panel of economic skeptics headlined by Nouriel Roubini, the economist known as Dr. Doom.
The comments came at an economic discussion sponsored by Time Warner, which is the parent company of Fortune and CNNMoney.com.
All of the panelists agreed the nation's financial regulatory apparatus is a mess, with Geithner calling the overlap among oversight agencies a "spectacle."
The administration is scheduled to outline its regulatory reform plan Wednesday. Geithner said the program, to be unveiled by President Obama, will result in a financial system that's more stable and more efficient. He added that avoiding future crises should make the finance business "a little less exciting."
Geithner said the financial system is in "the early stages of repair" following a round of capital-raising at big banks and other financial institutions.
CIA Director Leon Panetta says it's almost as if former vice president Dick Cheney is wishing for another terror attack on the U.S. in order to make his point. Panetta tells The New Yorker that Cheney "smells some blood in the water" on the issue of national security.
He suggests Cheney's actions are like "gallows politics" and also calls it "dangerous politics."
Dick Cheney — whom we barely saw or heard from for eight years — has been a very vocal critic of President Obama these past few months… especially when it comes to national security. He has said that the new president is making the U.S. less safe by rolling back Bush era policies.
Cheney has criticized President Obama for ordering the closing of the Guantanamo Bay prison and for stopping the use of enhanced interrogation techniques. In a speech last month, Cheney called some of Obama's decisions "unwise in the extreme."
To read more and contribute to the Cafferty File discussion, click here
WASHINGTON (CNN) – As Republicans continue an internal debate over the political direction of their party, one next-generation consultant said a unifying theme has emerged: opposition to President Obama.
"Well, the greatest thing to ever happen to the Republican Party is Barack Obama," GOP consultant David All told Mark Preston and Lisa Desjardins Monday in an interview for CNN Radio.
All is one of a handful of next-generation political strategists who party elders are looking to for help with social networking and closing the technological gap the party faces with Democrats. In recent years, Democrats invested in building a grassroots – on-line community and now have an advantage over the GOP in cyberspace.
All said Obama's proposal to have the federal government play a key role in health care reform is helping to gel the Republican Party and galvanize its online community.
"I think there is a lot of concern, and what that's doing is getting the conservative and the Republican grassroots to come together and to form a united front saying that we are against someone," All said. "And that's really what helped the Democrats. It was ... this basic idea of opposition to George W. Bush."
Obama's deep imprint on housing, banking and Detroit has also helped Republicans rally around a cause, and avoid potential splits over social issues.
All insists the GOP is gaining ground on Democrats in the battle for cyberspace and noted that the Republican National Committee is engaged in "a very aggressive online effort."
"There is a lot of energy, and we are catching up," All said.
Hear David All discuss the renewal of the GOP:
(CNN) - Arizona Sen. John McCain responded sharply Monday to the disputed election result in Iran showing victory for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, calling the whole process "corrupt" and questioning the legitimacy of the current investigation into the matter.
"It's very disappointing ,of course, but not astonishing," McCain told CNN Monday. "The Muslim cleric extremists control the political mechanisms of Iran and it's not encouraging in a year that the ones who perpetrated this fraud are now going to be in charge of the investigation."
"I hope that we can succeed in our relations with Iran, but this is not a good sign and we should speak out strongly in opposition to what was clearly a corrupt election," said McCain.
The comments come after three days of unrest that prompted Iranian authorities to launch a probe into Friday's election result showing an overwhelming victory for Ahmadinejad over reformist Mir Hossein Moussavi.
The incumbent claimed 62 percent of the vote, prompting suspicion at home and abroad, particularly among Western countries already at loggerheads with Ahmadinejad over an Iranian nuclear program they fear is non-peaceful.
McCain's comments go significantly further than those of the Obama administration, which has not directly called the vote result a fraud but has expressed "concern."
"I think there are a number of factors that give us some concern about what we've seen," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Monday.
(CNN) - President Obama said Monday that limits on medical malpractice lawsuits could be a necessary part of overhauling the nation's ailing health care system.
In a speech to the 158th annual meeting of the American Medical Association, Obama cited the need for doctors to cut health care costs by reducing the number of unnecessary tests and procedures that are performed to reduce the risk of malpractice claims. Such reductions might require restrictions on malpractice liability to protect doctors, the president said.
"I'm not advocating caps on malpractice awards, which I personally believe can be unfair to people who've been wrongfully harmed, but I do think we need to explore a range of ideas about how to put patient safety first, how to let doctors focus on practicing medicine, how to encourage broader use of evidence-based guidelines," he said.
Obama also said that reforming health care requires changing the focus from the quantity of treatment to the quality of care.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Minutes before President Obama's address to the American Medical Association on Monday, Rep. Tom Price unveiled the GOP response, charging that the president's plan would take medical decisions out of the hands of doctors and patients.
"Where are medical decisions going to be made?" he asked reporters on a conference call.
There is little evidence veto power over medical decision-making has been an element of the current plans being discussed on Capitol Hill, but Price said that element would be a consequence, intended or not, of a new public option. "Any plan that results in a government takeover of any portion of it will push the crowd out, those in the plan who have personal private health insurance, into that government-run program," he said.
After 25 years, CEO From is stepping down from a political apparatus he helped build out of the ashes of the 1984 presidential re-election landslide of Ronald Reagan. A party operative on Capitol Hill, From was approached by Democratic moderates, including Sen. Sam Nunn of Georgia and Rep. Dick Gephardt of Missouri. Their aim was to steer the party toward a middle course and help elect a Democrat to the White House in 1988. Early on, the governor of Arkansas, Bill Clinton hitched his wagon to the DLC, gaining the national party prominence that would help him clinch the nomination in 1992.
"The key to our revival [as a party was] to figure out what you're going to stand for…and make sure it's things that connect with a majority of Americans," From says in an interview with CNN Radio.
At its founding, From says the DLC took "fundamental first principles of the Democratic Party: Jackson's credo of 'Opportunity for All; Kennedy's ethic of civic responsibility; Truman's tough-minded internationalism; Roosevelt's innovation; Johnson's quest for social justice." He calls it a "modern political philosophy for progressive governance. It wasn't just a compromise between liberalism and conservatism."
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - For some, the slow, steady demise of TARP cannot happen soon enough.
Last week, 10 of the nation's largest financial firms won their release from the Treasury Department's Troubled Asset Relief Program, setting the stage for them to pay back the billions of dollars the government loaned them last fall.
But this news was book ended by two pieces of proposed legislation from members of the House and the Senate, both of which aim to end the controversial program sooner rather than later.
Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, whose proposal would effectively shutter TARP by year's end, would prevent the Treasury Department from using any of the TARP money returned by banks to lend back out to other struggling firms.