Washington (CNN) - Don't invite the late President Ronald Reagan's two sons over for a tea party, much less a beer.
Well, maybe a beer, kind of like President Obama's "beer summit" last summer at the White House. That might be needed.
The brothers Reagan, Ron and Michael, don't agree on how their dad – often described as the father of the modern day conservatism – would view the Tea Party movement.
Ron, a liberal, told HLN's Joy Behar that he didn't think his father would embrace the Tea Party movement and its activists.
"I think he would be unamused by the TEA partiers with their Hitler signs and all the rest of it," Ron Reagan said in the January 26 interview on CNN's sister network. "No, I don't think he'd be cottoning to that much at all. As much as we're wringing our hands about the Democratic Party though and it's all well that we do that, we have to remember that the alternative, the Republicans are a true train wreck – a train wreck. Look at Sarah Palin. Look at Scott Brown. You know."
Michael fired back at his brother on Wednesday, saying he has a better understanding of their father's political thinking, after all he holds the same conservative views.
Washington (CNN) - Former Sen. John Edwards' spokeswoman flatly denied a story in the National Enquirer Wednesday that claimed the 2004 Democratic vice presidential nominee is engaged to his mistress, Rielle Hunter.
The Enquirer reported that Edwards proposed to Hunter on the day he told her that he would publicly acknowledge being the father of their child, Frances Quinn.
Edwards was taking steps to run for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination when he began his affair with Hunter, a videographer. The former senator denied that he was the father of Frances Quinn for more than a year, but he acknowledged paternity late last month.
Edwards and his wife, Elizabeth, have legally separated.
"John has said that when his divorce is final, he'll buy her a diamond ring," the Enquirer quotes a 'close source' in the story as saying about the marriage proposal. "But in the meantime, he's getting them a house."
But Joyce Fitzpatrick, an Edwards spokeswoman, said in an e-mail to CNN that the report was "absolutely untrue."
Washington (CNN) – Sen. John Kerry, who tapped former Sen. John Edwards for the No. 2 spot on the 2004 Democratic presidential ticket, said Wednesday that he was "disappointed" by Edwards' political and personal downfall in the wake of revelations about an extra-marital affair and Edwards' recent admission that he fathered a child out of wedlock with his former mistress.
"Honestly, it's a tragedy," the Massachusetts Democrat said in an interview that will air on CNN's Larry King Live.
Kerry said he was shocked "and obviously disappointed."
"I think everybody just feels awful about it," Kerry continued, "in terms of their family, their relationship that everybody saw publicly, the promise, the hope, you know, obviously a capable career."
In the interview, Kerry also said that he has spoken to John Edwards' wife, Elizabeth, a number of times including very recently.
But, Kerry said he has not spoken to his former running mate.
"I have not. I have called their home, but I didn't know who would answer. I certainly was ready and willing and hoping to say a word [to John Edwards]," he said.
(CNN) – The leading Democratic challenger to Sen. Jim DeMint has decided to end his short-lived campaign to unseat the conservative South Carolina Republican, citing the need to spend more time with his family.
The Democrat, Rock Hill trial attorney Chad McGowan, had struggled to gain traction and raise money since announcing his candidacy in October. McGowan pledged to return all of his campaign donations and said he "will be fighting from the sidelines" to defeat DeMint in November.
McGowan was endorsed by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee when he entered the race last year.
"I've come to the conclusion that now is the wrong time for me to mount a successful campaign for the United States Senate," McGowan said in a statement Wednesday. "The demands of a young family place a premium on every minute."
Charleston attorney Mullins McLeod, currently one of several Democrats running for South Carolina's open governor's seat, has been mentioned as a possible replacement for McGowan in the Senate race.
A senior campaign adviser to the McLeod campaign told CNN Wednesday that the Senate chatter is not surprising because McLeod is "has proven to be a really good candidate."
"He’s second among Democrats with money-on-hand, and is the only guy out there really motivating folks, so it makes sense people would want him to run for Senate," the adviser said. “But Mullins is committed to being Governor and helping the state recruit jobs and improve public education.”
Washington (CNN) – Arizona Sen. John McCain picked up his second high profile endorsement in as many days Wednesday.
A day after Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist lined up behind McCain, the Arizona Republican Congressional delegation announced Wednesday it too will support the four-term senator.
"It's an honor to serve with my friend John McCain in the United States Senate and I believe he is the right man at the right time to represent Arizona's conservative values in Washington," said Senate Republican Whip Jon Kyl in a statement.
Reps. Jeff Flake, Trent Franks and John Shadegg also added their support in the statement released by the McCain campaign.
Among McCain's challengers in the Arizona primary is talk show host J.D. Hayworth, a former Arizona congressman. Chris Simcox, a co-founder of the Minuteman movement, is also challenging McCain.
(CNN) – Former Democratic Rep. Charles Wilson of Texas died Wednesday at age 76, an East Texas hospital said.
The 12-term congressman, who served the state's second congressional district and inspired the 2007 movie "Charlie Wilson's War," had been in a meeting Wednesday morning with a friend when he complained of difficulty breathing, said Yana Ogletree, a spokeswoman for Memorial Medical Center in Lufkin.
The two men were en route to the hospital when they passed an Emergency Medical Services vehicle on the side of the road and stopped for help, she said. Paramedics took him to the hospital emergency room, where he was pronounced dead at 12:16 p.m., she said.
Wilson, who had undergone a heart transplant at Methodist Hospital in Houston in September 2007, moved back to his hometown of Lufkin when he retired in 1997 after having served since 1973, she said.
Tom Hanks portrayed the flamboyant congressman in the 2007 movie "Charlie Wilson's War," which told the story of Wilson's efforts to get weapons to mujahedeen fighters after Soviets invaded Afghanistan.
"Hanks did a great job," Wilson told CNN's Todd Leopold in 2008. Wilson also praised the other actors. "They were too close to the truth," he said.
Washington (CNN) - Rep. Diane Watson will retire at the end of the year rather than run for re-election, three Democratic sources tell CNN.
Watson, 76, represents California's 33rd congressional district, which includes parts West Los Angles and Culver City. The four-term congresswoman won a special election in 2001and re-election to full terms in 2002, 2004, 2006, and 2008.
The district is considered overwhelmingly Democratic. Watson has won at least 80 percent of the vote in each of her re-election contests. Barack Obama took the district by 75 points in the 2008 presidential election and John Kerry won the district by 67 points in the 2004 presidential contest.
Watson's congressional office tells CNN that the congresswoman has scheduled a news conference for Thursday, but would not confirm the retirement.
New York (CNN) –Leeland Eisenberg, who authorities say held Hillary Clinton's New Hampshire campaign office hostage in 2007, was arrested peacefully at his home in Dover, New Hampshire Wednesday morning, sheriff's officials said.
Eisenberg, who was on probation, had been on the lam for about 24 hours after managing to sever his GPS tracking bracelet at his home, said sheriff's officials.
"It was good old-fashioned police work," said Capt. Joe DiGregorio, from the Strafford County Sheriff's office. "People who escape often return to places that they're comfortable. Mr. Eisenberg seems to be no different."
Since 10:10 a.m. ET Tuesday, when the Department of Corrections received a tamper alert from Eisenberg's GPS bracelet, state agencies and local law enforcement have been searching for him, said Thomas Velardi, the Strafford County attorney.
Washington (CNN) – Michigan Republican Rep. Vern Ehlers said Wednesday he will not run for re-election in November.
Ehlers, 76, who made the announcement from his Grand Rapids district, said he decided to retire after finishing his eighth term so he can spend time with his family.
"While I regret leaving when so much more needs to be done, I know it is time for me to step down. I am in good health, but I recognize that I should complete this chapter of my life. I look forward to spending more time with my wife and my family in Grand Rapids," Ehlers said in a written statement.
Ehlers is the 16th House Republican to announce plans to leave the House either to run for another office or outright retire. So far, 13 House Democrats have decided to retire or run for another office, but Democratic aides expect this number to rise.
WASHINGTON (CNNMoney.com) - Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke unveiled a blueprint Wednesday for pulling back the trillions of dollars the central bank has provided to prop up the nation's economy.
"These programs, which imposed no cost on the taxpayer, were a critical part of the government's efforts to stabilize the financial system and restart the flow of credit," Bernanke said in prepared testimony for a Capitol Hill hearing that was postponed due to snow. "As financial conditions have improved, the Federal Reserve has substantially phased out these lending programs."
But Bernanke also emphasized that the U.S. economy still needs the support of easy money policies. He said that "at some point" in the future the Fed will "need to tighten financial conditions" by raising short-term interest rates and reversing programs that pumped liquidity into the markets.