Washington (CNN) - The Republican who wants to be the next governor of California has a message for the state's Latinos: "Meg Whitman es una candidata diferente."
Translation: "Meg Whitman is a different kind of candidate."
The former eBay CEO released two Spanish-language television ads as part of a calculated courting of the state's 13.5 million+ Hispanics.
"She is the Republican who opposes the Arizona law…" an announcer says in one of the ads.
Many Latinos have vented anger at Arizona's passing of the nation's toughest immigration law. It requires law enforcement agents to "determine the immigration status" of anyone under "reasonable suspicion" of being an illegal alien. Essentially, the law provides police with the power and responsibility that is normally accorded only to federal immigration authorities.
Arizona's law was pressed by state Republicans and signed by GOP Gov. Jan Brewer. Polls show the law has garnered strong support in some quarters.
But Republicans could face trouble at the ballot box following a national outcry from Latinos.
Washington (CNN) - Vice President Joe Biden Thursday helps kick off what the White House calls "Recovery Summer," a six week long push to highlight what the administration says will be jobs created this summer and fall by a surge in federal stimulus spending across the country.
The vice president, who oversees implementation of the Recovery Act, gives a report later Thursday to President Barack Obama that lays out a projected spike in stimulus activity and how it will contribute to what the White House says will be a steady climb to 3.5 million Recovery Act jobs by the end of the year.
On Friday, Obama travels to Columbus, Ohio, to mark the groundbreaking of what's touted as the 10,000 Recovery Act road project to get underway.
On Monday, Biden visits Midland, Michigan, for the groundbreaking of a new advanced battery manufacturing facility, which was made possible by a $161 million stimulus grant awarded last year.
In addition to the Obama and Biden events, the White House says that five Cabinet Members and other senior officials will hold kickoff ceremonies across the country Thursday and Friday, which they say are the first of over two dozen site visits and groundbreakings Administration officials will participate in across the country in the weeks ahead.
TOPICS: Oil spill, Obama reaction, Obama approval rating, opinion of BP
Workers on a contaminated beach in Grand Isle, Louisiana. (PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images)
Washington (CNN) - Six in ten Americans disapprove of how President Barack Obama's handling the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, a jump from last month, according to a new national poll.
A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey also indicates that vast majority of the public disapproves of how BP has handled the environmental disaster and two-thirds say making a profit rather than cleaning up the spill is oil giant's top priority.
Fifty-nine percent of people questioned say they disapprove of how the president is dealing with the spill, up eight points from May. Forty-one percent say they approve of how Obama's handling the crisis, down five points from last month.
While the president's numbers are dropping, he still fares better than the federal government. Only one in four give the federal government a thumbs up on how it's dealing with the oil spill, with 74 percent saying they disapprove.
The survey is the first national poll conducted entirely after the president's Tuesday night prime time television address on the oil spill to the American people. Obama's speech directly followed his fourth trip to the Gulf Coast since the environmental disaster began on April 20.
Washington (CNN) - The White House hit back hard at Texas Rep. Joe Barton’s comments Thursday that he is “ashamed” of how the White House has treated BP.
“What is shameful is that Joe Barton seems to have more concern for big corporations that caused this disaster than the fishermen, small business owners and communities whose lives have been devastated by the destruction,” White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said in a statement. “Congressman Barton may think that a fund to compensate these Americans is a ‘tragedy’, but most Americans know that the real tragedy is what the men and women of the Gulf Coast are going through right now. Members from both parties should repudiate his comments.”
Washington (CNN) - As BP CEO Tony Hayward gets grilled on Capitol Hill Thursday, a senior administration official acknowledged Hayward never had any direct one-on-one contact with President Obama during Wednesday's White House meeting.
In defending that decision, the official said there was nothing the president needed to say to Hayward that he didn't say to the entire group.
Obama met for 20 minutes with the group of BP executives, then individually in the Oval Office for another 25 minutes with Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg.
Asked if the president used strong language to scold the executives, the official insisted that the tone was "businesslike."
The official, who was present for part of the meeting, suggested the real arm twisting took place in the days leading up to the meeting and that while there were still sticking points, BP executives showed up aware of what they needed to do.
Washington (CNN) - Republican Rep. Joe Barton had some harsh words for the White House at a key hearing Thursday on the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster: "I am ashamed of what happened at the White House yesterday. I think it is a tragedy of the first proportion that a private corporation would be subjected to what I would characterize as a shakedown - in this case a $20 billion dollar shakedown." Barton was referring to BP's establishment - at the behest of the administration - of an escrow account to pay for claims.
Washington (CNN) - Public employees who send personal messages on their state-issued communication devices do not enjoy a "reasonable expectation" of privacy, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday.
The justices unanimously concluded that state officials had the right to review the review the records of a California police officer who exchanged hundreds of personal messages - some of a "sexually explicit" nature - on his department text pager.
"Because the search was motivated by a legitimate work-related purpose, and because it was not excessive in scope, the search was reasonable," Justice Anthony Kennedy noted in the court's decision.
Columbia, South Carolina (CNN) - As Democrats in South Carolina face the uncomfortable prospect of having unemployed political novice Alvin Greene as their Senate nominee in November, some in the party have launched an effort to put a more polished candidate on the ballot as an independent.
Allies of former congressional candidate Linda Ketner, who came within four points of unseating Rep. Henry Brown in 2008, are seeking 10,000 signatures by July 15 to get Ketner's name on the ballot along with Greene and the Republican incumbent, Sen. Jim DeMint.
Ketner confidante Tasha Gandy announced the "all volunteer viral and field organizing effort" in an e-mail to former Ketner staffers Wednesday. "Long shot?," she wrote. "Yes. Have crazier things happened in SC? Yes. Can you help?"
The former staffers have also launched a campaign-style website for the petition drive.
(CNN) - Lawmakers on Thursday will get their first chance to grill BP CEO Tony Hayward, the man fighting to save his and his company's reputation as BP fights to stop the oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico.
Hayward will testify before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, which is chaired by Democratic Rep. Bart Stupak. The hearing will examine what caused the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig in April and the oil disaster.
A 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 now-broken deepwater well responsible for the growing spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
The hearing comes a day after Hayward met with President Obama, who last week charged that if it were up to him, Hayward would have been fired by then.