WASHINGTON (CNN) - The chairman of the Democratic National Committee suggested Wednesday that Florida Republican Gov. Charlie Crist could become a political victim of a “corrosive civil war” among Republicans. And Tim Kaine said that as moderate Republicans are pushed “overboard,” some of them will become Democrats.
Kaine spoke to a group of supporters at the Democratic National Committee headquarters, where the former Virginia governor detailed his party’s push for electoral success in the November elections.
Kaine also talked about the political situation surrounding the Florida governor. A GOP fundraiser tells CNN that Crist has decided to continue his senate bid as an independent rather than continue in the Republican primary against former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio.
“They’re kind of throwing him out,” the DNC chairman said, referring to Republicans and Crist.
Kaine suggested that if Crist announces Thursday that he will run as an independent, as expected, it will be the result of an internal war within the GOP.
“The battle in the Republican Party between the Tea Party side of the party and the sort of moderate wing of the party is pushing a lot of moderates out and making them feel like they don’t have a home,” the Kaine said.
Washington (CNN) - When voters head to the polls in November, the Democratic National Committee would like them to remember Democrats with one word: results.
On Wednesday at the Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington, chairman Tim Kaine revealed his party’s new message and strategy months ahead of the midterm elections. Kaine talked about the efforts with CNN Chief National Correspondent John King in an interview that aired on John King, USA.
Kaine told King that Democrats hope to convince voters they are the party of results. Part of their new strategy will involve pushing that message, helping local candidates, and convincing many of the new voters – that voted for President Barack Obama in the last election – to support Democrats in the midterms.
The DNC chairman said that while the economy still needs improvements, it’s moved from recession to recovery.
Kaine said, “I think the improvement will be noticed by our voters and we'll be able to make the case to them, do you want to keep climbing or do you want to hand the keys back to the guys who put us into the ditch?”
(CNN) – A top aide to former President George W. Bush confirmed Wednesday that he became ill while attending a 2007 meeting with world leaders, but noted that the sickness was likely the result of a virus, and not intentionally poisoned food.
Former first lady Laura Bush suggests in a new memoir that she, her husband, and several aides may have been poisoned during a 2007 visit to Germany for the G8 summit.
Frances Townsend, Bush's Homeland Security adviser and CNN contributor, said there was "no indication" that the President had been poisoned, but doctors and the United States Secret Service did consider the possibility, during an interview broadcast Wednesday on "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer."
"The truth was ultimately we didn't really believe there was a basis to think they were poisoned, but you can understand – you would have thought us not competent if we hadn't considered the possibility and looked at it," Townsend said.
According to the former first lady, doctors and the Secret Service investigated the possibility a poisoning had occurred but were unable to make a definitive conclusion, an account backed up by Townsend.
Crist, the one-time frontrunner to win the seat in November, is now trailing Republican primary opponent Marco Rubio by more than 20 points. Multiple sources tell CNN that Crist will announce Thursday afternoon that he will leave the GOP primary and run as a nonaligned candidate.
Steele said in an interview on "The Situation Room" that he doesn't want the governor to leave the Republican Party, but noted the RNC is committed to doing what needs to be done to keep the seat in GOP hands.
"That's a real possibility," Steele said of the chance Crist could win in a three-way race. "It's a dynamic that's unfortunate in my view. I think that the voters out there should be given a chance to have a clean call between the Republican nominee and the Democratic nominee, Congressman [Kendrick] Meek. We're looking forward to helping carry the Republican nominee across the finish line. What the governor – I would not want the governor to leave the party but that's his decision to make."
On the issue of illegal immigration, the RNC chairman said he agreed with Republican strategist Karl Rove, who recently expressed concern that the Arizona law could alienate Latino voters from the GOP.
New York (CNNMoney.com) - President Obama plans to nominate three new governors to the Federal Reserve on Thursday, according to sources familiar with the matter.
San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President Janet Yellen is expected to be nominated as vice chairman of the central bank. And the two vacancies on the seven-member board would be filled by Sarah Raskin, the Maryland Commissioner of Financial Regulation, and Peter Diamond, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said last month that the three were under consideration for the board positions.
Washington (CNN) - Republicans ended their filibuster of Wall Street reforms Wednesday when the Senate agreed without a vote to begin debate on a financial regulations bill.
The Senate agreed by unanimous consent to launch debate on the bill after a similar motion failed three times in the previous 48 hours to win the necessary 60 votes for approval.
Related on CNNMoney.com: Wall Street reform: Let the debate begin
Washington (CNN) - Two Democratic leadership aides told CNN that a Senate vote to begin debate on a financial regulations reform bill will take place early Wednesday evening.
Washington (CNN) – One year after he rocked the political world by switching parties because he didn't think he could win a Republican primary, Sen. Arlen Specter is fending off a serious Democratic primary challenge and calling for bipartisanship to pass financial reforms.
"As today completes one year since my return to the Democratic Party, I have a few observations on what we should do as senators, not as Democrats or Republicans, to tend to the nation's business in these difficult days," Specter said Wednesday in a statement delivered on the Senate floor.
Specter states that both parties agree that financial legislation is necessary and adds that "extraordinary circumstances" call for Republicans to join Democrats in passing legislation to prevent another economic crisis."
Senate Democrats failed Wednesday - for the third time in less than 48 hours - to muster the 60 votes needed to start debating Wall Street reform. But then Republicans agreed to drop their filibuster and begin debate. Democrats and Republicans still disagree about key provisions.
Specter, a long-time Republican lawmaker, changed his party affiliation on April 28, 2009.
At the time of the party flip, Specter said that the Republican Party had moved "farther and farther to the right," pushing him "more in line" with Democrats. He cited the difficulty he faced in winning the Republican primary against former Rep. Pat Toomey as a factor.
Washington (CNN) - The Senate's top Republican signaled Wednesday that a GOP filibuster of Wall Street reform legislation will end.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, released a statement saying closed-door negotiations with Democrats on the financial regulations reform bill had ended with agreement on some issues but others left unresolved.
"Now that those bipartisan negotiations have ended, it is my hope that the majority's avowed interest in improving this legislation on the Senate floor is genuine and the partisan gamesmanship is over," McConnell's statement said.