WASHINGTON (CNN) - A Republican congresswoman said Monday on the House floor that she believes Americans have more to fear from the Democrats' health care bill "than we do from any terrorist right now in any country."
Rep. Virginia Foxx of North Carolina said people in her home district tell her they are frightened of the health care bill expected to be debated by the House as soon as this week.
"I share that fear, and I believe they should be fearful," Foxx said, "And I believe the greatest fear that we all should have to our freedom comes from this room - this very room - and what may happen later this week in terms of a tax increase bill masquerading as a health care bill.
"I believe we have more to fear from the potential of that bill passing than we do from any terrorist right now in any country."
The Democratic National Committee immediately criticized Foxx, calling her comments "outrageous" and comparing them to Sarah Palin's previous warning about death panels in regard to a Democratic proposal for voluntary counseling on living wills and other end-of-life decisions.
"Sadly, these inexplicable comments represent what is now the mainstream of a Republican Party that has been hijacked by an extremist far right-wing faction that craves ideological purity, will purge dissent, and offer nothing but reactionary opposition to progress," DNC spokesman Brad Woodhouse said in a statement.
(CNN) - Vice President Joe Biden challenged Republican voters in New York's 23rd congressional district to teach conservative "absolutists" a lesson in the special House election Tuesday by voting for the Democratic candidate in the race.
"We aren't asking you to switch your party," Biden said at a rally for Democrat Bill Owens in Watertown, New York Monday morning. "We are just saying join us in teaching a lesson to those absolutists who say no dissent is permitted within your own party."
The comments come a day after Republican Dede Scozzafava, who withdrew from the race Saturday amid heavy pressure from conservatives - endorsed Owens. Many high-profile Republicans, including Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, and Dick Armey, have already thrown their own support behind third-party conservative candidate Doug Hoffman.
Related: Scozzafava campaigns for Owens
In his remarks at the rally for Owens, Biden elicited boos from the crowd when he mentioned Palin, Limbaugh and Armey.
In an exclusive interview, Mayor Shirley Franklin told CNN's Don Lemon that she plans to vote for former Georgia state lawmaker Kasim Reed in Tuesday's election.
"Is that an official endorsement?" asked Lemon.
"That's just telling you the truth," Franklin responded. "I'm going to vote for him. I think he has the best set of skills. He has really been there to do some tough things over the state. He has Republican and Democratic support. . . . even though there are other candidates who have obviously some strengths, I think, through it all, he has the best chance of working in the region and the state."
Franklin singled out Reed's work in helping Atlanta deal with its water shortage issues, adding that "there are reasons to support each of the candidates" - but added that she has previously said she does not think Atlanta City Councilwoman Mary Norwood has the skills to be Atlanta's chief executive.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The top Republican in the House said Monday that he regretted endorsing Dede Scozzafava, the former GOP candidate who dropped out of a special election to fill a vacant congressional seat in upstate New York.
"This lady really has an agenda that's different than most Republicans, House GOP Leader John Boehner. "She was out there promoting herself. We're doing everything we can to promote Doug Hoffman in this race, and we hope he wins."
Boehner and other House Republican leaders all lined up behind Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman after Scozzafava withdrew Saturday. On Sunday, Scozzafava endorsed Democrat Bill Owens.
Boehner dismissed the notion that the special election in New York was a reflection on the future of the Republican Party. "This race has a lot of unique circumstances," he said. "I have no concerns about the ability of moderates and conservatives to continue to work together."
RICHMOND, Virginia (CNN) - Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Virginia, acknowledged Monday a lack of enthusiasm among Virginia Democrats in this year's gubernatorial race, and predicted that turnout at the polls tomorrow will be low.
If that forecast holds true, Tuesday could be a difficult day for Creigh Deeds and his fellow Democrats, who have strung together a series a statewide victories in recent years by capitalizing on high voter turnout in Democratic-leaning regions of Virginia. Deeds is trailing Republican Bob McDonnell in the polls, due largely to an exodus of independent voters from the Democratic fold.
"It's going to be a low-turnout election," Scott told CNN after appearing at a rally with Deeds and the rest of the Democratic ticket in Richmond. "It's going to be tough. But Creigh Deeds knows how to come from behind."
Scott, the highest-ranking African-American elected official in the state, said he saw anecdotal evidence that Democrats have been getting more excited about the election over the final few days. He said a rally in Roanoke earlier in the day was larger than a similar crowd in the city at the same point last year, when Barack Obama captured the state on his way to winning the White House.
But he admitted that voters in his heavily-Democratic district are "not as enthusiastic as last year," even with an appearance by the president in Norfolk last week.
"There is no question that turnout will be the difference," he said. "And if there's a lack of enthusiasm then it breeds real trouble for the Democrats."
(CNN) - Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman told CNN on Monday that battle over the congressional seat in New York's 23rd district that led to the withdrawal of the Republican candidate isn't evidence of a split within the GOP.
Hoffman called Dede Scozzafava, the Republican nominee who dropped out of the race over the weekend, an "ultra-liberal" - but denied the GOP is at war with itself, or that the race offer a glimpse what's to come in next fall's midterm elections.
There is room for moderates in the GOP, said Hoffman. "I think this was a unique situation where the candidate happened to be more Democrat than Republican," he told CNN's Mary Snow and Shirley Zilberstein. "And basically, I was fighting to stand up for the values and ideals of the Republican Party."
Before Scozzafava dropped out, Republicans were split between her and Hoffman, allowing Democrat Bill Owens to take the lead in this reliably-Republican district. Scozzafava is now backing Owens - a decision that Hoffman said "surprised" him, but shows that he's always been the "real Republican" in the race.
"Well, my candidacy has been for fighting for the soul of the Republican Party," Hoffman said. "I think the events of the last two days have shown that I have been the real Republican in this race, the real common sense conservative Ronald Reagan Republican."
Earlier in the day, Vice President Joe Biden suggested that conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh "handpick[ed]" Hoffman to run. Hoffman called that notion "ridiculous": "I've never spoken to Rush Limbaugh so I don't know where he's getting that information from."
(CNN) - With just hours to go until Election day, two new polls suggest New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine's in a statistical tie with his Republican challenger, Chris Christie.
According to a Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind survey released Monday afternoon, 43 percent of likely New Jersey voters back Corzine, the Democratic incumbent fighting for a second term, and 41 percent support Christie, the former federal prosecutor in the Garden State. Eight percent back independent candidate Chris Daggett, and 7 percent support other candidates, or are undecided.
Corzine's 2-point advantage is well within the poll's sampling error. Christie was up 2 points over Corzine in a Fairleigh Dickenson University survey released Friday.
At a brief media appearance with visiting Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, Obama said he spoke to Karzai earlier Monday and congratulated him on winning a second term.
"Although the process was messy, I'm pleased to say that the final outcome was determined in accordance with Afghan law, which I think is very important," Obama said of the August election and subsequent turmoil over fraudulent votes for Karzai that were disqualified.
Obama said he told Karzai that for Afghanistan, "this has to be a point in time in time in which we being to write a new chapter based on improved governance, a much more serious effort to eradicate corruption, joint efforts to accelerate the training of Afghan security forces so that the Afghan people can provide their own security."
MARRAKESH, Morocco (CNN) - Two days after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton angered Palestinian leaders by praising Israel for what she called "unprecedented" steps to limit - but not fully halt - the construction of Jewish settlements, she clarified her remarks.
Reading Monday from a prepared statement, Clinton said, "They (the Israelis) will build no new settlements, expropriate no new land, allow no new construction or approvals. And let me just say, this offer falls far short of our position or what our preference would be. But if it is acted upon it will be unprecedented restrictions on settlements and would have a significant effect upon restraining their growth."
For months, the Obama administration has insisted that Israel freeze all new settlement construction. In May, Clinton said President Barack Obama "wants to see a stop to settlements. Not some settlements, not outposts, not natural growth exceptions."
But on Saturday, standing beside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, Clinton praised him for simply slowing settlement
It's been one year since President Obama defeated John McCain and rode into office promising "change we can believe in."
So – what has he done in the first year?
Some say Mr. Obama's biggest accomplishments have been keeping the financial crisis from becoming worse... and improving America's image abroad.
Democrats credit the $787 billion economic stimulus package with rescuing the economy... although Republicans call it a big waste... and with nearly 10 percent unemployment, the country is still waiting for the jobs to come back.
The president and Congress have spent most of the first year wrestling with health care reform and if we get anything at all – it's probably going to fall far short of meaningful reform.
Meanwhile President Obama has done nothing to regulate Wall Street or close the nation's borders. The deficits are beyond absurd. The wars continue – as does most of the government secrecy left over from the Bush administration.
To read more and contribute to the Cafferty File discussion, click here