Bowling Green, Kentucky (CNN) - Consider it a measure of the acrimony in the Kentucky Republican Party, ground zero Wednesday morning for the Tea Party insurgency.
Dr. Rand Paul's campaign manager Dave Adams reacted with disbelief to reports that Secretary of State Trey Grayson had complained that Paul wouldn't take his concession call Tuesday night.
"That's false," said Adams, who noted that he personally received Grayson's call and he couldn't reach Paul at the time. "I said Rand isn't here. So Trey said tell him congratulations and I will say good things about him tonight and I'll see him on Saturday."
CNN Radio: Bad day for the establishment
(CNN) - Politically sensitive issues such as immigration, border security, drug trafficking and trade took center stage in Washington on Wednesday as President Barack Obama welcomed his Mexican counterpart, Felipe Calderon, to the White House.
Both leaders used the occasion - the fourth time they have met for bilateral talks - to take sharp aim at Arizona's controversial new law meant to crack down on illegal immigrants. Calderon characterized the measure as discriminatory; Obama called it a "misdirected expression of frustration."
The leaders criticized the law while meeting with reporters shortly after Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton rolled out the red carpet for Calderon in a formal White House arrival ceremony.
U.S. first lady Michelle Obama and Mexican first lady Margarita Zavala joined their husbands for the occasion, which was to be followed by a state dinner Wednesday night. Calderon is to address a joint session of Congress on Thursday.
"Our progress today marks another step forward in a new era of cooperation and partnership between our countries, a partnership based on mutual interests, mutual respect and mutual responsibility," Obama said.
Calderon said that the United States and Mexico now face a series of common challenges, including climate change and organized crime - a rising threat to border stability.
Updated: 3:47 p.m.
Washington (CNN) - The Senate Judiciary Committee will begin its confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan on June 28, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, announced Wednesday.
"There is no reason to unduly delay consideration of this nomination," said Leahy, the committee's chairman. He asserted that the start date is "a reasonable schedule that is in line with past practice."
Last year, he noted, "we proceeded with the hearing on the nomination of Justice (Sonia) Sotomayor 48 days after she was designated. Senate Republicans said that hearing was fair, and was conducted fairly. This year, I am scheduling the hearing to start 49 days after the nomination was announced."
(CNN) - Indiana Rep. Mike Pence is returning to the early primary state of South Carolina as he continues to consider the possibility of a presidential bid in 2012.
Pence will host a fundraiser for Rep. Joe Wilson on Friday in Columbia.
The Chairman of the House Republican Conference first made a splash in the Palmetto State when he spoke to the South Carolina GOP's annual Silver Elephant Banquet - the state party's biggest fundraiser - in May 2008.
Since then, he has made a handful of stops in the state - along with political visits to the key states of Iowa and New Hampshire.
(CNN) – It was the F-word heard around the world and now Vice President Biden has expressed regret to a Kentucky teenager for using the crude language during the signing ceremony of the health care reform legislation in March.
"I should have expressed my excitement in a more appropriate manner," Biden wrote in a two-paragraph letter to high school student Brandon Halcomb. The letter comes after the 16-year old penned an open letter to the vice president criticizing his choice of language, according to Kentucky's WYMT News.
But Holcomb, who says he's not sure if he is a Republican or a Democrat, isn't completely satisfied with the response.
"It was not really an apology, but that's as close to an apology as I will be receiving," he said.
(CNN) – Rep. Joe Sestak said that President Obama called to congratulate him Tuesday night following his victory over Sen. Arlen Specter, the Republican-turned-Democrat who was backed by the president in this primary.
Obama "couldn't have been nicer," Sestak said in an interview Wednesday on CNN's American Morning.
Sestak also said that president told him, "I'm there for you and I look forward to working with you and getting you in the United States Senate."
When Specter switched political parties last year, Obama and Vice President Biden publicly pledged their support for him in the primary. While the president appeared in radio and television ads for the veteran senator, Obama did not appear on the campaign trail with Specter in the closing days of race.
The CNN Washington Bureau’s morning speed read of the top stories making news from around the country and the world.
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CNN: Specter's projected loss, Paul's win shake up political landscape
Voters sent mixed signals in Tuesday's primary elections in Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Arkansas. They tossed out a veteran senator, nominated a Tea Party-backed candidate and also chose a longtime aide to fill the U.S. House seat vacated by the death of Democratic Rep. John Murtha. In another closely watched race, Democratic Sen. Blanche Lincoln failed to win more than 50 percent of the vote and faces a June 8 runoff in the Arkansas Senate primary to decide the party's candidate in November. The results reinforced the perception of anger across the country against Washington politics-as-usual, but also showed the public discontent may be aimed at both Democrats and Republicans
Lexington Herald Leader: Paul thumps Grayson; Conway edges Mongiardo
Republican Rand Paul, a political phenomenon making his first bid for public office, rode a wave of support from the Tea Party movement into Kentucky's fall election, where Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway promises to turn back the small-government movement. After a sweeping victory over Secretary of State Trey Grayson Tuesday in the GOP primary election, Paul pledged to remain true to his conservative values in the fall campaign against Conway.
CNN: McConnell praises Paul, says Kentucky GOP will 'unite'
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell congratulated Rand Paul in a statement released Tuesday. McConnell backed Paul's opponent in the Kentucky Republican Senate primary, but said that Kentucky Republicans will "unite in standing against the overreaching policies of the Obama Administration."
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Sestak bucks the odds, party regulars in U.S. Senate primary win
Two-term U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak likened his defeat over veteran Sen. Arlen Specter to his experience as an admiral in the Navy. "In the Navy we're held accountable for our actions, and we should expect no less, no less, from our politicians in Washington, D.C.," Mr. Sestak said as he accepted the Democratic nomination late Tuesday night. Mr. Sestak had trailed by double digits in early polls but made up ground in the last few weeks, campaigning across the state and running attack ads that criticized Mr. Specter as a political opportunist who put his own livelihood ahead of constituents.
CNN: Rendell weighs in on Obama effect in PA
Some political observers have wondered why the White House opted not to send President Obama or Vice President Biden to Pennsylvania to campaign with Sen. Arlen Specter in the final weeks before Tuesday's Democratic Senate primary. Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, a Democrat, offered one theory during an appearance on CNN's "Campbell Brown." Asked about Obama's and Biden's notable absence from the Pennsylvania campaign trail in recent weeks, Rendell said it might be "because their last minute appearances in New Jersey and Virginia and Massachusetts didn't serve too much good."
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette: Lincoln, Halter advance to runoff for U.S. Senate
Sen. Blanche Lincoln and the state’s lieutenant governor, Bill Halter, both Democrats, will advance to a runoff as they vie for the U.S. Senate. Both Lincoln and Halter characterized the tight race as a positive sign in enthusiastic speeches to supporters at downtown Little Rock hotels. Flanked by her husband, her two sons and Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, Lincoln entered a ballroom full of supporters at the Holiday Inn Presidential Center shortly after 10:30 p.m. Lincoln told her supporters she surged to win more votes than Halter after being "written off" a month ago.
CNN: Voting snafu snags Lincoln
Politicians can usually count on at least one vote on Election Day: their own. But Sen. Blanche Lincoln ran into a bit of trouble Tuesday in Arkansas. During the Election Day rite-of-passage photo opportunity in which candidates cast a vote – presumably for themselves – Lincoln hit a snag. The candidate was asked to produce her driver's license and voter ID card before voting at a polling station in Little Rock, because records indicated she had already voted absentee. Lincoln's campaign staff was aware of the problem, and the candidate was allowed to fill out a provisional ballot.
Washington (CNN) – Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine will appear Wednesday before the National Press Club to talk about this week’s primary elections and provide an overview of his party’s strategy heading into the 2010 midterms.
Kaine will talk about the DNC’s efforts to “turn out the vote this fall” and he will emphasize Democrat Mark Critz’s win in the Pennsylvania special election to fill the remainder of the late Rep. Jack Murtha’s seat, DNC spokesman Brad Woodhouse tells CNN. Kaine is also expected to discuss Rand Paul’s win to become the Republican Senate nominee in Kentucky