(CNN) – Dan Quayle's son is running for Congress.
Ben Quayle announced Friday that he will seek the Arizona House seat being vacated by retiring Rep. John Shadegg.
"My generation is going to have to clean up the mess made by the politicians in Washington," Quayle said in a statement. "The reckless spending and crushing debt burden must be stopped."
According to the statement put out by a spokesman, the younger Quayle is managing director of Tynwald Capital, "a firm specializing in the acquisition and nurturing of small business."
(CNN) - More than a year after President George W. Bush left office, more Americans continue to blame his administration over any other entity for the nation's economic woes, according to a new poll.
In a New York Times/CBS News survey out Friday, 31 percent of Americans said the Bush administration is at fault for the current state of the economy while only 7 percent pointed their finger at President Obama and his team.
An additional 23 percent said the fault lies with Wall Street institutions while 13 percent assign the blame to Congress. Nearly 10 percent said the blame lies with all of them.
In a CNN/Opinion Research poll released last November, the public appeared split on who should be blamed if economic conditions don't approve: 47 percent said Bush and congressional Republicans while 45 percent said Obama and congressional Democrats.
"The public still tends to blame the Republicans for current economic conditions," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "But looking forward is another matter. Americans think the GOP is responsible for getting us into this mess, but they think both parties are responsible for getting us out of it."
The poll, conducted February 5-10, interviewed 1,084 Americans and carries a sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
Washington (CNN) - Since Republican Dan Coats entered the Indiana Senate race earlier this month, Democrats have unleashed a torrent of opposition research against the former senator, making hay of lobbyist work and a video showing Coats calling North Carolina "a better place" than Indiana.
But before Coats can take on Democrat Evan Bayh this fall, the former senator must survive a Republican primary - and his two GOP opponents are now raising doubts about Coats' voting record while in the Senate.
His Republican rivals – former Rep. John Hostettler and state Sen. Marlin Stutzman – are calling attention to Coats' votes on judicial confirmations and gun control, while he served in the Senate from 1989 to 1999.
"I guess I would consider him a conservative, but there are votes that people are raising their eyebrows over and saying, 'Is this the conservative we are looking for?," Stutzman told CNN.
Stutzman said Coats cast several votes "against" the Second Amendment, including one in favor of a tough 1991 crime bill that banned several types of semi-automatic weapons. He was also one of seven Republicans to vote in favor of the so-called "Brady Bill" in 1993, which instituted background checks for firearm purchases.
Hostettler promised to highlight Coats' vote to confirm Ruth Bader Ginsburg to the Supreme Court in 1993 (even though only three senators opposed her nomination). Ginsburg replaced retiring conservative justice Byron White.
"Sen. Coats voted to replace one of the most legendary pro-life voices with probably the most pro abortion nominee ever presented to the Senate," Hostettler said. "You can't be voting to replace pro-life votes with pro-abortion votes."
(CNN) - On the same day he was released from a hospital after undergoing a heart procedure, former president Bill Clinton released a long written statement marking the passing of one month since the earthquake in Haiti.
"I will continue to work with the Haitian government and people, international donors and multilateral organizations, the Haitian Diaspora, NGOs (non-governmental organizations), and the international business community to fulfill unmet needs," Clinton said in the 400-plus-word statement, released Friday.
The remarks came less than 24 hours after some Clinton associates speculated that his hectic schedule in the past month had contributed to his hospitalization. As the U.N. special envoy for Haiti, Clinton has been intensely involved in relief efforts. He also has visited the island nation twice since the earthquake, a fact he noted on Friday.
"Haiti still has a chance to escape the chains of the past and the ruins of the earthquake," he said. "But we all will have to do what we can today."
Washington (CNN) - The Obama administration Friday acknowledged the White House is taking steps to rescue the Justice Department's troubled effort to find a home for the trial of the accused 9/11 conspirators.
The move represents a setback for Attorney General Eric Holder, who had spearheaded the decision to try self-admitted 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a civilian court near the site of the attack on the Twin Towers.
Holder has made an issue of establishing Justice Department independence from interference by political influences.
However, with opposition to the November decision mounting in Congress and in New York City, the White House has stepped in, citing a political dimension that takes the issue beyond the legal considerations that guided Holder.
"Because Congress has become involved in this, because legislation could restrict the venue, and the type of trial, the White House is more involved, yes," said White House spokesman Robert Gibbs.
Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama signed into law Friday a record $1.9 trillion increase in the government's borrowing cap.
The legislation, which passed Congress largely along party lines, raises the debt ceiling to $14.294 trillion.
The measure also enacts a statutory pay as you go, or "pay-go," procedure requiring lawmakers to find ways to pay for proposed spending increases or tax cuts by offsetting them with higher taxes or reduced spending elsewhere in the budget.
The debt limit hike is expected to cover the Treasury's borrowing needs past the November mid-term elections and into 2011.
If the debt ceiling were ever breached, the country would effectively be in default. That would slam bonds, the dollar and creditors' portfolios.
Washington (CNN) - Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty appears to be distancing himself from the Bush administration and some national Republicans in an Esquire Magazine interview published Friday.
Pawlenty, a Republican and two-term governor, said in the wide-ranging interview that the Republican party "blew it" and "got fired for a reason."
"The Republicans had their shot not long ago to address the real needs and concerns of everyday Americans, and they blew it.... We got fired for a reason," Pawlenty told Esquire. "We just lost our way. You can't say that your hallmark issues are that we're going to control spending, keep taxes low, and make government accountable, and then go to Washington and do the opposite.... Let's face it, when Republicans had total control over it, they didn't do what they said they were gonna do."
Pawlenty told Esquire the difference between rhetoric and action had consequences. "We got our cans kicked – for two election cycles in a row. The marketplace measurement in politics is something called an election. It's a pretty good barometer – it's transparent, it's numerical, it's objective. It gives you a pretty good measure of what your customers think of you. And in 2006 and 2008, the marketplace was telling the Republicans, 'We prefer the products and services of your competitors.'"
Washington (CNN) - Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, said Thursday that he "never could get over" the way people in the nation's capital deal with the threat of an impending snowfall.
Washington residents get their fair share of jabs when it comes to their anxiety about impending snowfall, but the Democrat from a decidedly snowier region of the country took the criticism to a new level Thursday in a speech on the Senate floor.
"I'm convinced that infants born in Washington, D.C., are taken from the arms of their loving mothers right when they are born, into a room where someone shows a film of a snowstorm with shrieking and screaming so that those children come to believe that snow is a mortal enemy, like a nuclear attack," Durbin said. "Because I've seen over 40 years here, people in this town go into a full-scale panic at the thought of a snowfall."
Watch Durbin's full remarks after the jump:
Washington (CNN) - Sen. Judd Gregg, the senior Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, is expressing doubts about President Obama's plan to create a bipartisan deficit-reduction commission.
"I don't think it accomplishes the goal," Gregg said Friday in an interview. But the New Hampshire senator, who is retiring at the end of the year, said he is willing to look at the specifics before passing final judgment.
Obama is expected to sign an executive order within the next 10 days to create the commission, which would make recommendations to Congress for reducing the deficit, estimated at $1.3 trillion this year.
But Gregg said that only a commission created by Congress would have the power to force the legislative branch to make changes necessary to reduce the deficit.
Washington (CNN) - It seems it's becoming a trend.
"Having spent two decades in politics, my life is taking a new direction and I will not be a candidate for reelection this year," said Rep. Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island in a video message released Thursday night. Kennedy becomes the fourth member of the House of Representatives to announce over the past three days that they'll retire at the end of the year rather than run for re-election.
If you are keeping score, eight House Democrats have now announced they are retiring. That doesn't include former Rep. Robert Wexler of Florida, who has already stepped down, to head up the Center for Middle East Peace. A special election will be held in April to fill his seat for the rest of the year. Rep. Neil Abercrombie of Hawaii is expected to resign later this month, to run full time for governor. A special election will be held for his seat in the next few months. Five other House Democrats are making bids for state wide office this year rather than run for re-election in November. That means that as of now, the Democrats will be defending 13 open seats in the midterm elections.
But it's not just a problem for Democrats. Six House Republicans are retiring at the end of the year, and another 12 are making bids for state-wide office rather than run for re-election. Do the math and you have the GOP, as of now, defending 18 vacant seats come November.
Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas, the Chairman National Republican Congressional Committee, told reporters this week that "not all retirements are created equal."