WASHINGTON (CNN) – Florida Democrat Rep. Alan Grayson issued a written apology Tuesday evening for a comment for a month-old comment that has stirred controversy on Capitol Hill in recent days.
During a September radio interview, Grayson called Linda Robertson, an aide to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke who has also worked as a lobbyist, a "K Street whore."
In a statement issued Tuesday evening, Grayson said his comment was inappropriate.
"I offer my sincere apology," Grayson said in the statement, "I did not intend to use a term that is often, and correctly, seen as disrespectful of women.
"This characterization of Ms. Robertson, made during a radio interview last month in the context of the debate over whether the Federal Reserve should be independently audited, was inappropriate, and I apologize."
Just hours earlier, a spokesman for Grayson had defended the comment in a statement to CNN.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Tim Pawlenty has added another stop to his increasingly busy national itinerary.
The Minnesota governor will speak at a lunch to raise money for the National Republican Senatorial Committee during the group's fall meeting in Washington next month, GOP officials told CNN. The NRSC sent a letter to supporters Tuesday with a fundraising pitch from the governor, who recently formed a new political action committee called "Freedom First" and is considering a presidential run in 2012.
"America is successful in large part because we are the freest people the world has ever known," Pawlenty wrote in the e-mail. "These freedoms are now being threatened by the rapid expansion of our government led by liberal Democrats in Washington."
"I look forward to sharing the message of Freedom First with supporters from across America who are helping us rebuild our conservative ranks in 2010," he wrote.
Pawlenty's letter goes on to solicit a contributions for the NRSC, which is tasked with electing Republicans to the Senate. The fall meeting takes place on Nov. 16 and 17.
Mitt Romney, a possible rival for the 2012 GOP nomination, spoke at an NRSC dinner earlier this year.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Tuesday he expects a wave of banks to soon return government bailout money to taxpayers.
"It will depend on the institution, but for major banks in the country I think that money will come back relatively quickly," he said.
Speaking before the annual meeting of Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association in New York, Geithner offered few details on when those repayments could happen and from which companies.
Lenders that received taxpayer aid under the Treasury's Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, have already returned nearly $71 billion to taxpayers, helped by renewed interest by private investors in the banking industry.
Still, some $134 billion remains invested in hundreds of community and regional banks as well big bailout recipients like Citigroup and Bank of America.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – A political organization formed to promote Sarah Palin is trying to raise $41,000 to help pay for a potential appearance by the former Alaska governor next month before an influential conservative group in Iowa.
Team Sarah, which has no formal ties to Palin, sent a fundraising appeal to supporters Tuesday afternoon asking them to contribute on behalf of Iowa Family Policy Center Action, which is trying to book Palin for a speech on Nov. 21. Bill Collier of Team Sarah said that IFPC Action has already raised $59,000 for the event.
"As you know, we at Team Sarah have supported efforts to raise money for Sarah Palin's PAC and for the Legal Defense Fund, but this effort will actually help her and her family directly and enable her to have resources she directly controls to take care of all the things she needs to do as she launches her national effort to restore the core values of our Conservative movement," Collier wrote in the fundraising pitch obtained by CNN.
If Palin agrees to attend the event, it would be her first appearance in Iowa since she traveled to the state as the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee. Her visit to this critical presidential proving ground could be seen as a step towards a potential run for the White House in 2012.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Widening rifts over America's war in Afghanistan were laid bare Tuesday with the revelation that a State Department official recently resigned in protest over what he termed a "cavalier, politically expedient and Pollyannaish misadventure."
Foreign Service Officer Matthew Hoh, a 36-year-old former Marine Corps captain, submitted his resignation letter on September 10.
Richard Holbrooke, the Obama administration's special representative in both Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan, made a personal plea for Hoh to change his mind. Hoh refused.
His resignation took effect September 28.
"I do not believe any military force has ever been tasked with such a complex, opaque and Sisyphean mission as the U.S. military has received in Afghanistan," Hoh wrote.
"Our forces, devoted and faithful, have been committed to a conflict in an indefinite and unplanned manner. ... We are mortgaging our nation's economy on a war which, even with increased commitment, will remain a draw for years to come."
News of Hoh's resignation came as the administration continues to deliberate whether to change course in an eight-year conflict once dubbed a "war of necessity" by President Barack Obama.
(CNN) – Sarah Palin was paid at least $1.25 million for her book deal with publisher Harper Collins, newly filed financial disclosure forms reveal.
The former Alaska governor described the payment as a "Retainer for Book." The financial disclosure, which was released Tuesday by the Alaska Public Offices Commission and covers Palin's final seven months in office, did not say when the payment was made, or offer any more details about the book deal.
Palin's memoir, "Going Rogue: An American Life," is slated for release on Nov. 17. The full financial terms of the book deal, which was negotiated by Washington lawyer Robert Barnett, are not known.
The financial disclosure also shows that the former Republican vice presidential candidate took out a Wells Fargo home loan to pay for "legal fees to fight false allegations while governor."
Palin went on to list several gifts she received while governor, including $4,250 worth of Yankees tickets from former New York City major Rudy Giuliani. Palin attended a Yankees game with Giuliani, her husband Todd and her daughter Willow during a trip to New York in June.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Will Ron Paul give it another go in 2012?
The Texas congressman and hero of limited government advocates will visit the key early primary state of South Carolina on Nov. 9 to deliver a speech "on the future of individual liberty and the importance of the U.S. Constitution" at the University of South Carolina, student groups said Tuesday. The announcement comes a week after Paul scheduled a visit to Iowa on Nov. 13 to speak to students at Iowa State University.
The onetime Republican presidential hopeful finished in fifth place in last year's South Carolina primary, behind Mitt Romney but ahead of former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani.
Other potential 2012 candidates - including Mike Pence, Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee - have already visited South Carolina this year or have made plans to do so.
Paul's appearance was organized by the University of South Carolina Honors College, the Carolina Debate Union and Young Americans for Liberty, a student group of Paul supporters.
(CNN) – A Republican legislator in South Carolina moved to introduce a resolution of impeachment against Gov. Mark Sanford on Tuesday during a one-day special session of the state legislature, but his attempt was ruled "out of order" by the Speaker of the House, who said the measure must be submitted at a later date.
Speaker Bobby Harrell, also a Republican, said that state Rep. Greg Delleney will have to wait to offer his impeachment resolution during a so-called "pre-filing" period in November, when lawmakers will be allowed to submit bills in advance of the regular legislative session, which begins in January.
Harrell would then decide which House committee would handle the resolution and potentially build an impeachment case against the governor.
Delleney claimed his measure still has "significant support" among House Republicans and predicted it will get out of committee and to the House floor for a vote in January.
But removing the governor from office ultimately requires a two-thirds vote in both the House and Senate. Delleney admitted to CNN that such a vote "is not an easy thing to come by."
WASHINGTON(CNN)– In the latest installment of CNN=Politics Daily: President Obama is returning to the trail for a late-campaign appearance in a state he won last fall to support a fellow Democrat, Creigh Deeds - but is it too late to change the shape of the race? And what will it mean if the president's party loses the governor's mansion? CNN National Political Correspondent Jessica Yellin has the story from Norfolk, Virginia.
Plus: In Florida today, President Obama is leading a new political push for cleaner energy. CNN White House Correspondent Dan Lothian has the facts on a $3.4 billion effort to modernize the nation's power grid.
Finally: A former Marine frustrated with recent Afghanistan strategy quits his State Department post. CNN's Brian Todd talks with Matthew Hoh about the deadliest month in eight years of fighting.
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(CNN) – The White House carefully continued its assault on Fox News Tuesday, as a senior White House adviser told CNN's Campbell Brown that the network was "of course" biased against the Obama administration, but immediately backtracked slightly.
Speaking at the Women's Conference in California, White House Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett said the Obama administration is "calling everybody out" when it comes to "patterns of distortion" - echoing the Democratic National Committee's "Call 'em Out" campaign that targets critics of the president's health care plan.
To the question of whether Fox News is biased, Jarrett replied: "Well, of course they're biased. Of course they are."
But when Brown followed up by asking Jarrett if she thinks MSNBC is biased, she quickly downplayed her original remark. "Actually, I don't want to generalize all of Fox is biased or that another station is biased. I think what we want to do is look at it on a case-by-case basis," she said. "When we see a pattern of distortion, we're going to be honest about that pattern of distortion....
"We're actually calling everybody out. So this isn't anything that's simply directed at Fox. We just want the American people to have a really clear understanding," said Jarrett.
Watch Campbell Brown's interview with Valerie Jarrett Tuesday beginning at 8 p.m. ET on CNN