(CNN) - North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan told reporters Friday a public health insurance option remains "on the table," as MoveOn.org announced an ad campaign targeting her over her reported lack of support for a public plan.
"Given recent comments showing that Senator Hagan is not supporting the public health insurance option, MoveOn.org will be making clear that our 115,000 members in North Carolina - many of whom volunteered for or donated to her campaign last year - believe the public option is the heart of true health care reform," the group said in a statement. "We'll run ads in North Carolina and D.C. asking that she advocate for the public option and support the President in truly solving the nation's health care crisis."
Earlier this week, Hagan told the Greensboro News & Record that a government plan could pose a major threat to private insurance companies.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - It may be months before Democrats and Republicans know the outcome of the heated battle over health care - but another high-stakes contest between the two parties will be resolved Friday night, when staffers take the field for the annual softball faceoff.
The contest may not be as heated as the battle over Iran policy, but it does provoke some politically-oriented trash talk.
"We are confident about the game tonight," said Republican National Committee Press Secretary Gail Gitcho. "Especially since we hear the DNC team is like the stimulus package - slow, ineffective and falls way short of expectations."
"Given how quickly their numbers are dwindling, we're surprised the RNC was able to find nine Republicans to field a team," said Hari Sevugan, press secretary for the Democratic National Committee.
(CNN) - South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford brushed aside calls for his resignation Friday, telling reporters he is just trying to "survive today."
"I'm just trying to survive today is what I'm trying to do," he said in a brief question-and-answer session with members of the media, adding that "my hunch is to continue on."
The embattled governor also praised his wife Jenny's reaction to his admission of an affair with an Argentine woman.
"Jenny has been absolutely magnanimous and gracious as a wonderful Christian woman in this process," Sanford said.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - It was one of the most fascinating White House photo ops since President Richard Nixon met Elvis.
At a White House ceremony on May 14, 1984, President Ronald Reagan awarded Michael Jackson with the Presidential Public Safety Communication Award for allowing the song "Beat It" to be used in a public service campaign against teen drinking and driving.
Reagan's comments that day were peppered with Michael Jackson song references:
"Well, isn't this a thriller? . . . I know why you're here, and with good reason – to see one of the most talented, most popular, and most exciting superstars in the music world today – Michael Jackson. And Michael, welcome to the White House," said Reagan.
(CNN) - It's an Independence Day ad campaign with a familiar ring: the spots criticize members of Congress who opposed a supplemental spending bill for "voting against funding for [the] troops."
For the past few cycles, the GOP used similar district-specific ads to blast vulnerable Democrats over opposition to former President Bush's war funding bills.
But there's a new session, a new president, and a new sponsor for the spots: the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which is releasing 60-second radio ads that take aim at seven Republican incumbents for their votes last week against President Obama's request for additional resources to fund operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The targets include: Reps. Ken Calvert and Dan Lungren of California, Charlie Dent and Jim Gerlach of Pennsylvania, Mike McCaul of Texas, Joe Wilson of South Carolina and Lee Terry of Nebraska.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - One might think the hiring of an envoy to handle outreach to the Muslim world would be something the State Department would want to tout.
Such a move was recently made, but it didn't qualify as significant news for diplomats, who failed to make the appointment public.
This week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton chose Farah Pandith for the job.
State Department Spokesman Ian Kelly confirmed the appointment on Thursday after being asked about Indian news reports that Pandith, a Kashmiri-American, had been selected for the job.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - U.S. President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned Iran's post-election crackdown on Friday and expressed a common determination to prevent the Iranian regime from acquiring nuclear weapons.
They also underscored, among other things, a mutual commitment to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a desire for closer economic cooperation, and a strong intention to work together on the issue of global warming.
They made their remarks during a joint appearance at the White House.
The United States and Germany "speak with one voice" in defending the rights of Iranians to assemble and have "their voices heard" in pursuit of justice," Obama said.
The Iranian government's violent post-election crackdown is "outrageous," he added. "We condemn it."
Merkel promised that the world "shall not forget" the "horrifying scenes" playing out in Tehran in recent weeks.
"Iran cannot count on the world community turning a blind eye to this," she said.
COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) - Gov. Mark Sanford, who has admitted having an extramarital affair with an Argentine woman, met Friday with members of his Cabinet, saying he wanted to apologize to them personally.
"I had not yet had a chance to apologize to you all personally. I wanted to do so," the governor said.
"I've made general apologies to the people of South Carolina or to staff at large, but you all are really the epicenter of that team that ... through about 65,000 state employees, serves the people of South Carolina. And so I wanted generally to apologize to every one of you all for letting you down."
After disappearing from the public eye for nearly a week, Sanford, 49, acknowledged Wednesday that he had not hiked the Appalachian Trail - as his staff had said earlier - but had been in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
(CNN) - A South Carolina state lawmaker is calling for an investigation of the state's governor, Mark Sanford.
The move comes two days after Sanford admitted to an extramarital affair with a woman from Argentina. The governor also acknowledged Wednesday that he did not tell his staff that he was in Argentina during a five-day period over the past week.
State Rep. Boyd Brown, a Democrat, is requesting that South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster begin a grand jury investigation of the governor.
"I therefore request that you take immediate and appropriate action to empanel the State Grand Jury to investigate the possible misuse of state property, finances, and the negligence of duties in the office of governor," said Brown in a letter to McMaster released Friday.
CNN Radio: Sanford faces another call to resign
"The recent events have left many unaswered questions and I am sure you agree with me that the people of South Carolina expect and deserve an open, honest, and transparent government, a standard that should apply from dog catcher all the way up to the office of governor."
Later Friday, State Sen. Jake Knotts is also expected to call for an investigation. Knotts is a Republican but is considered an opponent of the governor.
–CNN's Peter Hamby and Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report
(CNN) - The office of Democratic Rep. John Conyers released a statement Friday following reports the powerful congressman's wife, Detroit City Council member Monica Conyers, had pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit bribery.
"This has been a trying time for the Conyers family and, with hope and prayer, they will make it through this as a family," said a Conyers spokesman. "Public officials must expect to be held to the highest ethical and legal standards. With this in mind, Mr. Conyers wants to work towards helping his family and city recover from this serious matter."