(CNN) - Days after drawing anger from liberal Democrats for opposing a public option to the Senate health care bill, Sen. Joe Lieberman is adding fuel to the fire, telling an interviewer it's likely he'll campaign for some Republicans in next year's midterm elections.
"I probably will support some Republican candidates for Congress or Senate in the election in 2010. I'm going to call them as I see them," Lieberman told ABC News in an interview published Friday.
Supporting Republicans is nothing new for Lieberman of course: the Democrat-turned-independent senator from Connecticut was a constant fixture on campaign trail on behalf of Republican John McCain's presidential bid.
He also supported Maine Sen. Susan Collins and New York Rep. Peter King last year over the Democratic Party candidates in those races.
Senate Democrats had threatened to revoke Lieberman's powerful Homeland Security Committee chairmanship after the 2008, election but ultimately decided to let him retain the post.
Lieberman, who lost a Democratic primary race in 2006 but ultimately won the general election as an independent candidate, also told ABC it is "an open question" whether he will again seek the Democratic nomination in 2012.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - In an exclusive interview with CNN, Vice President Joe Biden said Friday he believes the economy has "hit bottom" and he's confident the stimulus package is helping to put the economy back on track.
"Oh I'm confident we've hit bottom," Biden said. "The question is look, we're not going to be satisfied, Ed, until I'm able to sit in front of you and say, 'Look, this month we grew jobs.'"
The vice president acknowledged that with unemployment at 9.8 percent across the country right now, it is hard to convince the American people the nation is coming of out of recession. Biden made his comments on a day in which he released a new report claiming the stimulus has created or saved somewhere between 640,000 and one million jobs.
"The net effect is growing jobs," said Biden, though he quickly acknowledged: "It doesn't say a lot to people to say, 'You know there would have been a million more ... jobs lost but for this [stimulus]. My grandpop used to have an expression... We lived in Scranton, Pennsylvania.
He said when the guy in Dixon City, a suburb, is out of work it's an economic slowdown. When your brother-in-law's out of work, it's a recession. When you're out of work, it's a depression. And it's a depression for millions of people."
With Nancy Pelosi and the House Democrats unveiling their 1,990 page health care reform bill – it made us wonder about other landmark pieces of legislation in U.S. history and how long they were.
To read more and contribute to the Cafferty File discussion, click here
(CNN) - A new survey suggests that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, vying for a third term in office, holds a 15-point lead over his Democratic rival, with just four days to go before voters there head to the polls.
According to a Marist College survey released Friday, 53 percent of likely New York City voters support Bloomberg, running as an independent, with 38 percent backing the Democratic candidate, New York City Comptroller William Thompson. Nine percent of those questioned are undecided, or backing other candidates.
Bloomberg held a 16-point advantage in a Marist poll conducted last week and was up 18 points over Thompson in a Quinnpiac University survey released earlier this week.
Bloomberg holds an even bigger lead over his rival in another key campaign measure: he's spend more than $33 million on TV ads, according to an analysis of New York City's mayoral race by TNSMI-CMAG, CNN's consultant on campaign ad spending. Bloomberg's launched 50 different ads during his re-election bid, which have aired more than 11,000 times. Bill Thompson, Bloomberg's Democratic rival, has spent just over $2.66 million on TV ads.
The Republican-turned-independent mayor has outspent most of the Republicans who ran in last year's presidential primaries, according to TNSMI-CMAG's Evan Tracey - his $33 million outlay is more than three times what John McCain spent to win the GOP nomination, and makes up the lion's share of the roughly $50 million in mayoral campaign ads that have hit the airwaves in the pricey New York media market.
(CNN) - President Barack Obama may have one less problem to worry about.
A federal judge on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit that claimed Obama is ineligible to be president because he isn't a bona fide U.S. citizen.
The lawsuit represented the claim by the so-called "birthers" movement that Obama was not born in Hawaii - despite a birth certificate to the contrary - or that if he was, his citizenship was invalidated by living overseas as a child.
In a 30-page ruling, U.S. District Judge David O. Carter of California said his court lacked the jurisdiction to rule on a case intended to unseat a sitting president.
Carter's ruling said the plaintiffs were trying to persuade him to "disregard the constitutional procedures in place for the removal of a sitting president."
"The process for removal of a sitting president - removal for any reason - is within the province of Congress, not the courts," the ruling said.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Calling Democratic health care bills "seriously deficient on the issues of abortion and conscience," the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is urging priests around the country to speak out against the legislation from the pulpit this Sunday.
The conference - the leadership body of the Catholic Church in the United States - is distributing a flier to churches to insert in their weekly newsletters urging parishioners to contact their senators and representatives to ask them "to fix these bills with the pro-life amendments."
"The bills will have to change or the bishops have pledged to oppose them," the flier reads. "Our nation is at a crossroads."
Bishops are also planning to take out advertisements in diocesan newspapers with a similar message. "Americans would be forced to subsidize abortions through their taxes and health insurance premiums," the ad claims.
According to the language in the House health care bill unveiled Thursday, a government-run insurance option could cover abortions, but federal money would not pay for the procedure.
Abortion opponents dispute that and point to the non-partisan FactCheck.org, which wrote in late August that "private plans that cover abortion also could be purchased with the help of federal subsidies." Those subsidies, the site wrote, would be available to low and middle-income Americans who sign up for a public insurance option.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Senate has formally confirmed Dr. Regina Benjamin to be the U.S. surgeon general, making her only the third African American to hold the position as the nation's top doctor.
The Senate nod came by a voice vote Thursday night, an expression of unanimous consent of both parties.
The 53-year-old family practice doctor had spent most of her career tending to the needs of poor patients in a Gulf Coast clinic she founded two decades ago in Alabama.
She was the first African-American woman board member of the American Medical Association, and she just served a term as chairwoman of the group's Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs.
(CNN) - Nearly $1.8 million worth of ad spending has flooded the airwaves in New York's 23rd congressional district in the runup to next week's special election to fill that seat.
Democrat Bill Owens, the SEIU, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee have spent more than $822,000 so far, with the majority of that money coming from Owens, according to an analysis by TNSMI-CMAG, CNN's consultant on political advertising. Embattled Republican Dede Scozzafava's campaign, the state party and the National Republican Congressional Committee have laid out $536,072 in support of her bid - but just under $67,000 has come from the state assemblywoman's cash-poor campaign.
And roughly $429,000 worth of ads have aired on Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman's behalf, with the majority of those funds coming from the fiscally conservative Club for Growth.
When the Club for Growth's $287,000 in TV ads aimed at swaying conservative-leaning voters on Hoffman's behalf first hit the airwaves a few weeks ago, Scozzafava enjoyed a slim but statistically significant edge in this Republican-leaning district: A Siena survey released earlier this month, before the Club for Growth and Hoffman ads hit the airwaves, found she held a 7-point edge over Owens, 35-28 percent. Hoffman registered 16 percent – despite the fact that roughly 7 in 10 of those polled didn't know who he was. The seat's previous occupant, former GOP Rep. John McHugh – who left office to serve as President Obama's Secretary of the Army – won re-election in 2008 by nearly 2-to-1 over his Democratic challenger.
(CNN) - One day after a new book revealed former President Bill Clinton's 2008 campaign trail outbursts may have prevented his wife from landing a spot on the Democratic ticket, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says it's time to move past last year's election.
"I'm very happy with the position that I have and I think Joe Biden's doing a great job as vice president, so I think we should move on from the campaign of 2008," Clinton told CNN's Jill Dougherty in Pakistan earlier Friday.
In excerpts released Thursday of David Plouffe's forthcoming book, the former Obama campaign manager writes he was surprised at how interested Obama was in picking Clinton for his running mate after the hard-fought Democratic primary race came to an end.
Ultimately, Plouffe writes, Obama ruled against Clinton in fear her husband may have proved to be "too big a complication."
"If I picked her, my concern is that there would be more than two of us in the relationship," Plouffe quotes Obama as saying.
The new book, titled The Audacity to Win, hits book stores November 3.
(CNN) - George Pataki has endorsed third-party conservative Doug Hoffman over Republican Dede Scozzafava in New York's special congressional race, making the three-term former governor the latest high profile Republican to weigh in against his party's choice.
In a statement released Thursday night, Pataki suggested electing the moderate Scozzafava could amount to giving "another vote to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid."
"Doug Hoffman will stand up to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. He will fight for all the residents of northern New York," Pataki said. "He will fight for our proud servicemen and women at Fort Drum, our dairy farmers in Lowville and our manufacturers in Plattsburgh."
While GOP party leaders are standing firmly behind Scozzafava, several Republicans have aligned themselves with Hoffman in recent weeks, including former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum. A handful of Republican members of Congress have also backed Hoffman.
There's speculation Pataki is considering a run for Senate in 2010, though the New York Republican has given no indication one way or the other whether he is considering a bid.