(CNN) – Rep. Bob Etheridge is facing questions Monday after a video was posted online showing the North Carolina Democrat getting into a physical confrontation with two young men who eventually identified themselves as students and asked the congressman whether he "fully supports the Obama agenda."
"Who are you?" a clearly frustrated Etheridge replies when the two men approached Etheridge with a camera on a Washington street. When the purported students did not answer, Etheridge is seen slapping the camera out of one of the individual's hands.
Later in the video, which has clearly been edited, Etheridge is seen grabbing the wrist of one of the men and again repeatedly asking, "Who are you?...Tell me who you are."
"We are just here for a project," one replied. "We are just students, that's all we are."
In the video, currently posted on the website of Andrew Brietbart - a conservative commentator and online news aggregator - the students faces are obscured and they never fully identify themselves or their affiliation.
Washington (CNN) - Nearly half of Americans say the Democratic party is too liberal, according to a new poll.
A USA Today/Gallup poll indicates that 49 percent of the public think the political views of the Democratic party are too liberal, up ten points from two years ago and the highest level since 1994, when the Republican party grabbed back control of both houses of Congress in that year's midterm elections.
Thirty-eight percent of respondents say the Democrats' policies are about right, down 12 points from 2008, with one in ten saying the party's views are too conservative.
According to the poll, 41 percent say the political views of the Republican party are about right, with four in ten saying they're too conservative and 15 percent saying the polices of the GOP are too liberal. Views of the Republican party are nearly unchanged from two years ago.
"In many respects, 2010 is shaping up to be another 1994 for the Democrats, including the results of this poll," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "The question is whether the GOP is positioned to capitalize on the Democrats' weakness. The number who think the Republican party is too conservative is six points higher than it was in 1994. Few political junkies believe that the Democrats can avoid big losses in this midterm election, but it's less clear whether those losses will be big enough to flip either the House or the Senate."
The USA Today/Gallup poll was conducted May 24-25, with 1,049 adults questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus four percentage points.
(CNN) - A new poll indicates that Andrew Cuomo's favorability rating and his large lead over his Republican opponents in New York's gubernatorial battle have slightly slipped.
According to a Siena College survey released Monday, 59 percent of New York State voters have a favorable opinion of Cuomo, who is the Democratic nominee for governor, with 26 percent saying they hold an unfavorable view of the state's attorney general. Cuomo's favorable rating is down eight points from May and is his lowest in Siena polling since December of 2008.
Cuomo's leads against Republican gubernatorial candidates Rick Lazio and Carl Paladino are each down by six points in hypothetical general election matchups, but he still holds a better than two-to-one advantage over both men.
"Cuomo maintains big leads over both Republicans," says Siena pollster Steven Greenberg. "Although his lead among independent voters fell by about 20 points against both, neither Lazio nor Paladino wins a majority of Republicans against Cuomo, who has the support of at least 80 percent of Democrats against either Republican."
(CNN) - Sarah Palin is putting her self-entitled "boobgate" to rest.
Despite the intense speculation on some blogs, the former Republican vice presidential candidate told Fox News she has not had breast implants and attributed such chatter to "bored, idle bloggers and reporters with nothing else to talk about."
"I think some of those folks too need to perhaps grab a shovel, go down to the gulf, volunteer to help, clean up and save a well or something," Palin added.
A photo of Palin at the Belmont Stakes last weekend prompted some to speculate the former Alaska governor was the beneficiary of surgical enhancement. Palin's silence over the reports on her usual sounding boards of Facebook and Twitter only added to the speculation.
The reports came in an otherwise good political week for Palin, when several of the candidates she endorsed won primary contests across the country. Still, the talk in the blogosphere surrounded reports of Palin's potential plastic surgery.
"No I have not had implants, I can't believe we are even talking about this," Palin told Fox New's Greta Van Susteren in an interview that aired Friday.
(CNN) - One of the daughters of former President George W. Bush isn't following the Republican Party line when it comes to the issue of the health care legislation that cleared Congress last spring without any GOP support.
In an interview on Fox News Sunday, Barbara Bush said she's "glad" Democrats passed the massive spending measure and President Barack Obama signed it into law.
"Why do, basically, people with money have good health care and why do people who live on lower salaries not have good health care?" the 28-year old said. "Health should be a right for everyone."
Asked specifically what she though about the president's health care initiative, Bush replied with a smile, "That is a good question - obviously the health care reform bill was highly debated by a lot of people and I guess I'm glad the bill was passed."
(CNN) – South Carolina gubernatorial hopeful Nikki Haley is releasing her first television ad of the Republican runoff election on Monday.
The spot, called "Primary Night," weaves together moments from Haley's victory speech following her dominant win in the GOP primary last Tuesday.
Haley captured nearly half of all votes cast in the race but narrowly missed winning the primary outright against her three opponents. She faces Rep. Gresham Barrett, the second place finisher, in the June 22 runoff election.
Barrett has already launched two upbeat television ads during the runoff featuring a drill sergeant who compliments the congressman on his conservative bona fides.
Washington (CNN) - The ad wars in Nevada's Senate battle are heating up.
An independent conservative organization announced Monday that they are up with a new television commercial in Nevada that criticizes Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for his part in passing last year's federal stimulus plan.
"With Nevada in economic free fall, Harry Reid brags about his taxpayer-funded $787 billion bailout, saying, 'There's no question our hard work is paying off.' Paying off? Paying off for whom?" asks the ad, by American Crossroads, an independent organization created earlier this spring by a group of influential Republicans who's goal is to raise some $50 million to assist the GOP in this year's midterm elections.
The ad closes by saying that "more than 180,000 Nevadans are out of work. Nevada home values have plummeted…record foreclosures. Harry Reid's work is paying off, alright: paying off for Harry Reid's friends in Washington. But leaving Nevada – with what?"
American Crossroads says its spending $120,000 to run the commercial statewide for a week," according to their website.
(CNN) - As political newcomer Alvin Greene calls on South Carolina's Democratic establishment to get behind him, party leaders are calling for an investigation into his surprise win in the state's Democratic Senate primary.
Greene, 32, is an unemployed veteran who came out of nowhere to win last week's election. Despite running no ads, Greene toppled former state legislator Vic Rawl with almost 60 percent of the vote. He'll face Republican Sen. Jim DeMint in the general election.
South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn said Sunday that he has no plans to get behind Greene and repeated his suspicions that the Democratic nominee is "someone's plant."
"I know a Democratic pattern. I know a Republican pattern, and I saw in the Democratic primary elephant dung all over the place," Clyburn, the majority whip, said on CNN's "State of the Union."
(CNN) – Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, a Democrat, picked up the support of the National Rifle Association Monday, offering voters a reminder of his culturally conservative views as he battles Republican John Kasich in a difficult re-election bid.
It's the NRA's first general election endorsement of the 2010 cycle.
"Our members will interpret your 'A+' rating and endorsement as an indication that you are a pro-Second Amendment, pro-hunting candidate who supports sportsmen and gun-owners on every issue," said Chris Cox, the chairman of the NRA's Political Victory Fund, in a letter to Strickland provided to CNN by a source familiar with the decision.
In backing Strickland, the NRA cited his vote while in Congress against the 1994 assault weapons ban.
Kasich, also in Congress at the time, voted for the legislation and earned an "F" rating from the NRA that year, though his ratings from the group have since climbed out of the cellar.
Strickland has a narrow lead over Kasich according to recent polling.
Coden, Alabama (CNN) – More details are emerging about President Obama's planned address to the nation Tuesday on the Gulf oil crisis.
A senior administration official says Obama will begin his remarks with the latest from the "two days spent in the Gulf region and what we've done to respond to the worst environmental disaster in our nation's history."
The official then laid out a series of points the President will make in the speech, which is expected to run 15 minutes:
Listen: CNN Radio previews Obama's big week