Washington (CNN) - Former Sen. Rick Santorum, who is seriously considering a bid for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, announced Tuesday that he will visit Iowa next week to deliver two speeches and attend a fundraiser for a state Senate candidate.
It will be the Pennsylvania Republican's third visit in the past nine months to this important presidential proving ground.
"Each time I visit the Hawkeye state, I am struck by how concerned Iowans are about the state of our nation," said Santorum, who lost re-election in 2006. "They are fired up about the mid-term elections and engaged about what can be done to return our country back to the road of fiscal discipline and economic prosperity."
Santorum will be the keynote speaker at a Scott County Lincoln Club event on June 25 followed by fundraiser for Republican Sandy Greiner, who is running for state Senate. The next day, Santorum will address a lunch at the Iowa GOP convention.
Santorum has also visited South Carolina four times since December and recently made two stops in New Hampshire.
(CNN) – Meg Whitman's campaign is defending the California gubernatorial candidate following a New York Times report alleging the Republican was involved in a 2007 shoving altercation with an employee while then serving as CEO of the auction website eBay.
"Meg is a serious, results-focused boss. A verbal dispute in a high-pressure working environment isn't out of the ordinary," Whitman campaign spokeswoman Sarah Pompei said in a statement provided to CNN. "Meg's record of accomplishment in business, including her success at leading eBay from a 30-employee startup to a Fortune 500 company, speaks for itself."
The statement comes on the heels of a New York Times report published Monday night that alleges Whitman shoved an employee at eBay's California headquarters after the Silicon Valley chief felt unprepared for an upcoming media interview.
Citing anonymous sources, the Times report says the employee, identified as Young Mi Kim, threatened a lawsuit against the company but ultimately settled through a private mediator for around $200,000.
Kim remains employed at eBay, now holding a high level position in its communications department. But she left the company for four months after the June 2007 altercation, according to the paper.
In a statement to the Times, Kim called the incident "unfortunate" but said it was "resolved it in a way that speaks well for [Whitman] and for eBay."
(CNN) - Whispers about Nikki Haley's Sikh heritage burst into public view in the final days of South Carolina's Republican gubernatorial primary when state Sen. Jake Knotts called the Indian-American legislator a "raghead."
Knotts offered a pseudo-apology and was roundly condemned for the remark. Haley went on to win the primary in dominant fashion, capturing nearly 50 percent of the vote in a four-way race. She now faces Rep. Gresham Barrett in the June 22 runoff election.
But while Haley's commanding win last Tuesday proved her electoral viability - she won 42 of the state's 46 counties in the primary, including evangelical-heavy areas like Greenville and Spartanburg - it did not completely erase suspicions about her faith.
Haley was raised Sikh but converted to Christianity at the age of 24 and now attends a Methodist church in Lexington County, her campaign says.
CNN surveyed nearly two dozen faith leaders and conservative activists across the state on Monday to see what their communities are saying about Haley's religion as she stands on the verge of capturing the GOP nomination.
Few predicted that questions about Haley's background will hurt her in the runoff against Barrett or in a general election match-up against Democrat Vincent Sheheen. But most said that in the wake of Haley's swift rise, her religious journey has become an increasingly common topic of discussion in churches, at community gatherings and online.
Washington (CNN) - She ran as an outsider, but on Tuesday, Nevada Republican Senate nominee Sharron Angle will meet with some top GOP insiders in Washington.
Angle will sit down with Republican senators on Capitol Hill at the Republican policy lunch, as the guest of Sen. John Ensign, which appears to be creating some controversy.
Angle will also meet with National Republican Senatorial Campaign Chairman John Cornyn and with other senior NRSC officials.
The former state lawmaker, once considered a long shot for the Nevada Republican Senate nomination, easily defeated 12 other candidates in last Tuesday's primary, thanks in part to help from the Tea Party Express (a national Tea Party organization) and the Club for Growth, an anti-tax group. The NRSC didn't take sides in the primary. Angle now faces off in the general election against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who is battling for a fifth term in office.
"Senator Ensign has stated that he will assist the winner of Nevada's Republican Senate primary as little or as much as the nominee wished. Senator Ensign will be attending the Republican Policy lunch with Sharron Angle tomorrow as a way of introducing her to his colleagues," Ensign Press Secretary Jennifer Cooper said Monday night.
(CNN) - With one week to go until Utah's primary, one of the two Republican Senate candidates in the race is getting a major endorsement.
The national Tea Party organization Tea Party Express Tuesday backed Mike Lee in the battle to succeed fellow Republican Bob Bennett.
The move comes four days after Bennett endorsed Tim Bridgewater, the other candidate in the contest.
Bridgewater and Lee finished first and second last month at the Utah Republican party convention, advancing to the June 22 primary. Bridgewater and Lee touted themselves as more reliable conservatives than Bennett, who finished third in the voting by delegates, eliminating him from advancing to the primary and ending his chances of re-election for a fourth term in the Senate. Bennett became the first sitting senator to go down to defeat in a primary season marked by a strong anti-incumbent sentiment.
"Mike Lee is a proud constitutional conservative who can be trusted to uphold the principles of the tea party movement," says Amy Kremer, Director of Grassroots & Coalitions for the Tea Party Express, in a statement.
(CNN) - President Obama will continue his Gulf Coast visit Tuesday with a stop in Florida's Panhandle, where some beaches have started to see signs of oil as crude continues to gush from a ruptured deepwater well.
Obama, on his fourth trip to the region since oil began spewing from the well in April, is scheduled to return to Washington later Tuesday and address the nation about the situation from the Oval Office.
Obama on Monday acknowledged the toll of the massive oil spill.
"There's a sense that this disaster is not only threatening our fishermen and our shrimpers and oystermen, not only affecting precious marshes and wetlands and estuaries ... there's also a fear that it could have a long-term impact on a way of life that has been passed on for generations," he said.
"We are absolutely committed to working with [local and state officials] to do everything in our power to protect the Gulf Coast way of life so that it's there for our children, our grandchildren and our great-grandchildren," he said.
A new national poll indicates that most Americans don't think President Barack Obama's been tough enough on BP. (PHOTO CREDIT: Mark Oswald/CNN)
Washington (CNN) - When it comes to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, a new national poll indicates that most Americans don't think President Barack Obama's been tough enough on BP.
According to a USA Today/Gallup survey, 71 percent of the public says Obama hasn't been tough enough in dealing with BP, with one in five saying the president's response has been about right, three percent saying he's been too tough, and six percent unsure.
The poll's Monday release came as Obama began a two day tour of the region, the president's fourth trip to the Gulf coast since since the environmental disaster began on April 20. Obama's visit comes as federal authorities are jacking up the pressure on BP to start containing the spill more effectively, as well as to compensate Gulf residents and businesses harmed by the oil. Tuesday evening, after returning to the White House, the president is scheduled to give a prime-time address to the nation on the crisis.
A fence separates Mexico (left) from the United States (right) along part of a 226-mile stretch of the border known as the ‘Tucson Sector.’ (PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images)
(CNN) - A proposed Arizona law would deny birth certificates to children born in the United States to illegal immigrant parents.
The bill comes on the heels of Arizona passing the nation's toughest immigration law.
John Kavanagh, a Republican state representative from Arizona who supports the proposed law aimed at so-called "anchor babies," said that the concept does not conflict with the U.S. Constitution.
"If you go back to the original intent of the drafters ... it was never intended to bestow citizenship upon (illegal) aliens," said Kavanagh, who also supported Senate Bill 1070 - the law that gave Arizona authorities expanded immigration enforcement powers.
Under federal law, children born in the United States are automatically granted citizenship, regardless of their parents' residency status.
The CNN Washington Bureau’s morning speed read of the top stories making news from around the country and the world.
For the latest political news: www.CNNPolitics.com
CNN: BP boss facing 'nightmare well' Hill grill
BP chief Tony Hayward should be prepared to face tough questioning about the cause of the Gulf oil disaster when he appears before a key House committee this week, according to a letter released Monday by the committee's chairman. The letter to Hayward from House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, D-California, says a congressional investigation alleges that the besieged oil company took a low-cost, speedy approach to drilling the broken deepwater well responsible for the growing spill in the Gulf of Mexico.