(CNN) – A prominent conservative is issuing an ultimatum, essentially telling the candidate he supports to do better in the polls – or lose his support.
Erick Erickson, editor-in-chief of RedState.com, backs Assemblyman Chuck DeVore in the California Republican senate primary. DeVore is locked in a battle with former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina and former Rep. Tom Campbell for the right to face Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer in November.
Speaking Tuesday with CNN Chief National Correspondent John King, Erickson – a CNN contributor - said he won't support DeVore much longer if the candidate does not improve his political standing.
"Look, if Chuck DeVore hasn't gone up in the polls within two weeks significantly, I'll be with Carly Fiorina because Tom Campbell is that bad," Erickson said.
DeVore is considered the more conservative of the three candidates. But Campbell has maintained a steady lead over his opponents in recent polls even as both DeVore and Fiorina attack him as too liberal.
"There are a lot of Republicans who feel like Chuck Devore, with four weeks left, hasn't been able to surge," Erickson said on CNN's John King, USA. "And it's everybody, anybody but Campbell."
Washington (CNN) - A new book reveals an unusually personal–and apparently awkward–moment during the first encounter between First Lady Michelle Obama and France's First Lady, Carla Bruni.
The book's author, Newsweek editor Jonathan Alter, writes that Bruni, "delighted in telling friends that she shocked Michelle Obama at their first meeting."
Alter describes the meeting between the first ladies in which Bruni boasted that she and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, "once kept another foreign leader waiting while they finished having sex."
"Bruni wanted to know if, like the Sarkozys, Michelle and the president had ever kept anyone waiting that way," Alter writes. "Michelle laughed nervously and said no."
The book, "The Promise: President Obama, Year One," was obtained by CNN in advance of its May 18 release.
President Obama called new British Prime Minister David Cameron from the Oval Office on Tuesday to congratulate him. (PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images)
Washington (CNN) -– President Barack Obama called new British Prime Minister David Cameron Tuesday to congratulate him on his successful campaign.
In a statement released by the White House, President Obama said he emphasized the “special relationship” between the United States and the United Kingdom to Mr. Cameron. Obama called it “a bond that has endured for generations and across party lines, and that is essential to the security and prosperity of our two countries, and the world.”
Additionally, the president invited Cameron and his wife, Samatha, to visit Washington this summer.
Washington (CNN) – In a wide-ranging interview with CNN, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the relationship between the U.S. and Pakistan is much improved. And Gates said, in his opinion, the international community needs to move swiftly to pass a United Nations resolution backing sanctions on Iran.
Using a scale of one to ten, Gates said he rates the relationship with Pakistan at a "six or a seven" now. The Pentagon head also told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King that the relationship was worse – a three on a scale of ten – just two years ago.
The Pakistanis "are very sensitive to the size of the American footprint, the number of Americans on the ground in a training capacity or whatever," Gates said in an interview that aired on CNN's John King, USA. "They're also extremely sensitive about their sovereignty. And we have to respect those things.
"So I think those are things that we're working our way through, but frankly, as I've just indicated, I think the relationship has been improving significantly, and I expect that to continue," Gates said.
On the Obama administration's little acknowledged but widely reported use of remotely-piloted "drone" plane attacks in Pakistani territory, Gates gave few details.
"I would just say we are doing what we need to do," the Defense secretary told King.
On Iran, Gates said the international community should not be fooled by the relative calm that has followed Tehran's efforts to crack down on protests after last year's disputed presidential election results.
(CNN) - President Barack Obama praised the recent start of indirect peace talks between Israel and Palestinian leaders during a phone call with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday, the White House said.
According to the White House, Obama and Abbas discussed the need to move from proximity talks to direct negotiations in order to reach agreement on permanent status issues "as soon as possible."
The first round of talks began Sunday after the Palestine Liberation Organization's executive committee approved initiating the negotiations after a three-hour meeting in Ramallah in the West Bank a day earlier.
U.S. special envoy George Mitchell is brokering the talks.
In the Tuesday phone call, the White House said, Obama "reiterated his strong support for the establishment of an independent, viable Palestinian state living in peace and security with Israel" - a crucial issue for the Palestinians.
Washington (CNN) - As a Senate committee was grilling oil industry executives about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, experts said there is an opportunity to learn from the catastrophe, but the lessons won't come from Congress.
On Tuesday at a hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, three companies took turns blaming each other for the April accident that left 11 workers dead and oil still spewing into the Gulf.
Edward Overton, a professor emeritus of environmental sciences at Louisiana State University, said the blame game is an attempt by the companies to deny liability. The real lessons - and answers - can be learned in the Gulf, he said.
"We've got a problem right now and we've got to solve it and that's to try to mitigate what's going on now [in the Gulf] and studying the effects over time there," he said.
Ken Medlock, an energy fellow at Rice University, said understanding what caused the spill is "impossible at this point" because more needs to be learned at the scene.
Washington (CNN) – Utah Republican Sen. Robert Bennett got a standing ovation from his GOP colleagues in a closed lunch at the Capitol Tuesday, but it was probably little consolation for the 18-year Senate veteran after he failed to be re-nominated by his party over the weekend.
"It's like going to your own funeral but still being alive," Bennett said about this return to the Senate. "People say nice things now that it doesn't matter."
Bennett said he won't rush a decision on what he might do next politically.
"We've made the decision not to make any decisions about what I do for now until I have a little time to think about it," he said.
He made clear he doesn't regret any of his Senate votes that angered the right wing of his party.
Washington (CNN) – Tea Party activists are becoming engaged in the nomination fight over who will replace retiring Justice John Paul Stevens on the Supreme Court. But differing tactics may end up putting different Tea Party groups at odds.
A Tea Party Express leader exclusively gave CNN a draft copy of a Tea Party Federation document that the organization is calling a "guideline" for picking a Supreme Court justice. This follows President Obama's nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the high court. Once the document is finalized it will be immediately distributed to Tea Party activists to use as a guide as they request meetings with key senators to discuss Kagan's nomination.
The plan that was revealed to CNN lays out, "Five Constitutional principles." Among those listed are: "Judges must interpret the Constitution of the United States as written," "Judges must not use their positions to replace the text of the law and Constitution of the United States with their own personal feelings or experiences," and "Judges must understand that the Federal government has no power if the Constitution does not explicitly provide it."
Read the draft copy after the jump:
MIAMI, Florida (CNN) - Florida Gov. Charlie Crist said Tuesday he wants a special session of the state Legislature to put before voters a constitutional amendment that would bar oil drilling in state waters.
No oil exploration is currently under way off Florida, but top Republicans in the state House and Senate have called for the state to allow drilling in its coastal waters. And Crist, who once supported offshore drilling, said there was "no stronger place" to put that ban than in the state constitution.
"It's appropriate for the people to have the opportunity to make this call," Crist told reporters. A constitutional amendment would require 60 percent approval to pass, "which I think is appropriate, too," he said.
Crist, a Republican-turned-independent, is running for the U.S. Senate in November. He reversed his position on offshore drilling after the April sinking of an oil rig unleashed an undersea gusher in the Gulf of Mexico.
A special session could be held in late May or early June, the governor's office said.
– CNN's Rich Phillips contributed to this report.
LONDON, England (CNN) - Queen Elizabeth II named Conservative leader David Cameron prime minister Tuesday night, shortly after Gordon Brown resigned, British media reported.
Cameron becomes the country's first Conservative prime minister since the Labour Party, under Tony Blair, defeated John Major in 1997.
It is still not clear if Cameron will lead a minority government or a coalition with the smaller Liberal Democrats. No party won a majority in elections last week.