Washington (CNN) - Rep. Duncan Hunter, Jr., a veteran of the wars of Iraq and Afghanistan, told CNN Thursday he's not surprised there may be some tension between the military and the Obama administration.
"If you look at this administration, if you look at then-Senator Biden, then-Senator Obama, then-Senator Clinton, with the way that they went after Petraeus three years ago and said that that Iraq surge was not going to work, I think that the military commanders right now, the ones that have three and four stars, have a little bit of a - a burr under their saddle when it comes to this administration," Hunter told CNN's John King.
"These are the same senators who - who basically said that General Petraeus was incompetent three years ago. But now they're looking to him to win in Afghanistan."
Obama, Biden and Clinton were opposed to the 2007 "surge" of sending 30,000 additional troops to Iraq, an initiative Petraeus spearheaded.
(CNN) - Director Oliver Stone, a longtime critic of President Barack Obama's Afghanistan policy, says the president was wrong to choose Gen. David Petraeus to be the new leader of the effort there.
"He's asking the head of the whole region, CENTCOM command, Petraeus, to step down in authority to take this post. That shows a complete breakdown in the military, to me," Stone said in an interview with CNN's John King.
"You don't promote down," added Stone, a veteran of the Vietnam War. "It's like asking Eisenhower to lead a division in World War II after he's led D-Day. You don't do that."
Obama relieved Gen. Stanley McChrystal of his duties as the top commander in Afghanistan Wednesday after the general and his staff were quoted in a Rolling Stone magazine article making comments that appear to mock top administration officials.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen endorsed Obama's decision during a Pentagon news conference Thursday. Mullen said he was nearly physically "sick" when he read the Rolling Stone story. The comments in the article constituted an unacceptable challenge to civilian authority, the men said.
New York (CNNMoney.com) - Nearly a million people have lost their unemployment benefits because the Senate failed for the third time Thursday to extend the deadline to file for this safety net.
Hoping to overcome deficit concerns, the Senate trimmed down the bill yet again on Wednesday night so that it would only increase the deficit by $33.3 billion over 10 years, instead of $55.1 billion. The main changes were to scale back additional Medicaid funding for the states and to reallocate some stimulus and Defense Department spending.
The legislation failed by a 57-41 vote.
The bill will now be pulled, according to two Democratic leadership aides. This leaves many groups in flux, including the jobless who have lost their safety net, companies who are waiting to learn what tax breaks are extended, and governors who were counting on the additional funds to balance their budgets.
The grab-bag legislation pushes back the deadline to file for federal unemployment benefits until the end of November, renews expired tax provisions, lengthens a small business lending program and adds to infrastructure investments.
Washington (CNN) - Vice President Joe Biden's heading to Ohio next week to lend a helping hand to a fellow Democrat.
Biden will campaign and headline a fundraiser in Cleveland for Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher, the party's Senate nominee in Ohio, according to the Fisher campaign.
"We're excited to have Vice President Biden's support and to be able to work with him to create good-paying jobs in Ohio and rebuild our middle class," says Fisher in a campaign email release.
Fisher will face off in the general election against former Rep. and Bush administration budget director Rob Portman, the GOP nominee. Recent surveys suggest the contest is extremely close. Both are vying to succeed Republican Sen. George Voinovich, who is not running for re-election.
The Portman campaign is using the Biden visit to criticize Fisher.
"Instead of taking the opportunity to tell Vice President Biden that Ohio can't afford any more of Washington's job-killing policies, Lt. Gov. Fisher is proving to Ohioans that he will be a rubberstamp for the status quo that hurts working families and small business owners," says Portman press secretary Jessica R. Towhey.
(CNN) - The U.S. House on Thursday passed a bill that would require most independent groups that pay for campaign ads to disclose their donors.
The measure passed on a 219-206 vote, with most Democrats in support and Republicans opposing. The Senate is considering taking up its own version of the bill.
Referred to as the "disclose act," the bill was pushed by House Democrats to respond to a Supreme Court ruling in January that struck down key provisions of campaign finance laws that restricted spending by corporations, unions and independent groups.
Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama joked Thursday that the popular microblogging service Twitter could replace "the red phone," a longstanding icon of the Cold War that established a direct line of communication between the United States and the Soviet Union.
During a joint press conference with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Obama touched on Twitter in the course of mentioning Medvedev's interest in technology and innovation.
"As a personal passion of the president and during his visit to Silicon Valley this week, he was at the headquarter of Twitters, where he opened his own account," Obama said. "I have one as well so we may finally be able to throw away those red phones that have been sitting around for so long."
While visiting San Francisco Wednesday, Medvedev sent out his first tweet.
"Hello everyone! I'm on Twitter, and this is my first tweet," the Russian president said, according to the English language version of Medvedev's official Twitter account.
In his second tweet, he noted he was visiting Apple, Yandex and Cisco and his third tweet was a TwitPic from his hotel window.
Medvedev (@KremlinRussia) is currently following @WhiteHouse (the White House's official Twitter account), @BarackObama (Obama's original campaign Twitter account now run by Organizing for America) and @Number10gov (the official Twitter account for the U.K. Prime Minister). @BarackObama and @WhiteHouse are both following the Kremlin back.
Obama, who has over 4 million followers on Twitter, referred to the popular social network incorrectly as "Twitters."
Last year, during a press conference in China, Obama admitted he actually never used Twitter. But since then, Obama has personally sent at least one tweet – and made presidential history in the process.
CNN's Natalie Novak Contributed to this Report
(CNN) – An endorsement from Sarah Palin has shown to be a surefire way to drum up excitement, make national headlines, and fuel campaign fundraising.
But when it comes to influencing voters in a general election, does a nod from the former Republican vice presidential nominee hurt more than it helps?
According to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey, and first noted by the Washington Post, 52 percent of adults would respond in a negative manner if they knew Palin endorsed a candidate they were considering voting for.
Specifically, 15 percent of those surveyed said they would "have some reservations" about a candidate whom Palin backed while 37 percent responded they would be "very uncomfortable" if the Alaska governor had lent her support. Only 25 percent said they would react positively toward a candidate carrying Palin's stamp of approval. The survey, conducted on June 17-21, interviewed 1000 adults and carries a sampling error of plus or minus three percent.
But an endorsement from Palin has proven to pay dividends in Republican primaries this year. Nearly every candidate the former Alaska governor has backed has gone on to win their contest. Most recently, Palin went three for three in statewide contests held June 8.
The former Alaska governor is specifically credited with helping state lawmaker Nikki Haley, once considered a long shot, win the South Carolina GOP gubernatorial race. Palin recorded an automated phone call urging Republicans in South Carolina to vote for Haley and was featured in one of the candidate's television ads.
The NBC News/Wall Street survey only underlies what previous polling has suggested: Palin is an undisputable force within her own party while remaining a divisive figure amongst the rest of the electorate.
(CNN) - Less than two days after South Carolina Republican Nikki Haley captured her party's gubernatorial nomination, the state GOP has begun an effort to cast her rival as "a liberal in a moderate's clothes."
Haley will face off in November against Democratic state Sen. Vincent Sheheen. In a statement Thursday, the head of the South Carolina GOP took issue with Sheheen's views on illegal immigration as just one example of what the state party says is a larger pattern with the candidate.
"When it comes to illegal immigration, Senator Sheheen was too busy trying to appease ultra liberals to realize that South Carolinians expect tough action," South Carolina Republican Party chairwoman Karen Floyd said in a written statement.
"Unfortunately, this is part of a larger pattern with Senator Sheheen – a voting record that doesn't reflect South Carolina values, and instead follows the Washington liberal model of more government, more spending and more debt."
Washington (CNN) - The Senate on Thursday approved tough new sanctions on Iran aimed at discouraging that country's development of nuclear weapons and support of terrorist groups.
By a decisive 99-0 vote, the Senate approved sanctions that target companies which sell refined petroleum products to Iran and international banks that do business with Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard.
The House of Representatives is expected to pass the bill Thursday evening, at which point it will be sent to President Barack Obama for his signature.
Washington (CNN) - Americans are angry at both the Republican and Democratic parties, according to a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Thursday.
But the survey also indicates the public continues to blame the GOP more than the Democrats for the country's current economic woes even though the Democrats have controlled both the White House and Congress for a year and a half.
Fifty-three percent of people questioned say when it comes to the way the Democrats and Republicans have been dealing with the nation's problems, they are angry at both parties, with nine percent saying they're mad only at the Republicans and seven percent angry only at the Democrats. Just over three in ten say they're not angry at either party.
"That's not good news for the Democrats, since an anti-incumbent mood always hurts the party with more incumbents, but it suggests that 2010 may not be a precise replay of 1994," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.