(CNN) - Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich won't yet say if he's running for president in 2012, but he picked up an unlikely endorsement Sunday.
Gingrich, a leading conservative Republican, has "a ton of ideas to move the country forward," former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, a past chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said on "Fox News Sunday."
"There are no ideas in the Republican Party right now in the Congress," Dean said. "They're the party of 'no.' They desperately need some intellectual leadership. And whatever you think of Newt Gingrich, he can supply intellectual leadership. So I hope he does run."
Gingrich, who also appeared on the show, joked that Dean's backing could doom his candidacy if he runs.
"Here's my opponent's clip in the primaries," Gingrich said of the Dean comment.
The Glass Is Either Half-Full or Really Empty
Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner says he’s talked to businesses and the consensus is the economy is “gradually getting better”.
Two mega businessmen have a slightly different take.
“This economy is getting weak” says Obama supporter and U.S. News and World Report owner Mort Zuckerman who ticks off consumer spending -flat or down, housing -“off the edge of the cliff,” and unemployment, well even the administration now says the jobless rate will stay above 9 percent until 2012.
“There are very serious headwinds in the face of this economy,” says Republican Steve Forbes, CEO of Forbes, Inc.. He explained that businesses aren’t hiring because they are uncertain about the cost of health care, financial reform and taxes.
So, Just To End That Uncertainty on Taxes
Geithner re-confirmed his previous confirmation that the Administration wants to let the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy expire in January, leaving them in place for the middle-class, usually defined by The White House as households making 250-thousand dollars or less.
U.S. Marines set up a camouflage shade at their combat outpost in northern Marjah in mid-April. (Photo Credit: Getty Images/File)
(CNN) - It would be inaccurate to call the U.S.-led offensive in Afghanistan's Marjah district a failure, and yet it's too early to call it a success, the U.S. special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan told CNN Sunday.
"What's happening in Marjah is that the U.S. military and NATO went into one of the most difficult areas of the country, one of the bellies of the insurgency, displaced the Taliban and settled in," Richard Holbrooke told CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS."
"The people are pleased with this," he said. "This was an area called 'Little America' in the Kennedy and Johnson era. They remember the Americans. We came in with agricultural support and seed. And we broke up big drug bazaars. So a tremendous amount of gain occurred immediately.
"I met with the tribal leaders and the Shura and they said, 'Thank you for coming.' But they also said three important things - we risked our lives to come here today; we must have agricultural assistance; and we must have security.'"
The United States can't provide that security indefinitely, he said, and will have to train the Afghan police and army to replace them. Such a "clear, hold and build" strategy is "at the heart of counterinsurgency," Holbrooke said. "It's not accurate to say Marjah's a failure and it's premature to say Marjah's a success."
Washington (CNN) - Though all 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives will be up this November, the battle to control the chamber next year will come down to a much smaller number of congressional districts scattered across the country. CNN has identified the top 100 House races, which we've dubbed "The CNN 100," and will profile one of these races at random each day for the next 100 days until the election. These seats run the gamut both politically and demographically: red states and blue states, urban and rural, open seats and seats with incumbents facing their first competitive race in years. Some are highly competitive, while the race is still developing in others. Today's featured district is:
Wisconsin 7th (Open seat) – Rep. David Obey (D) is retiring
Primary: September 14, 2010
Location: Northwestern Wisconsin
Days until Election Day: 100
(CNN) - After a week where President Obama initially appeared to try to avoid personal involvement in a national, racial controversy but then made the personal gesture of reaching out to former USDA employee Shirley Sherrod, a one-time adviser told CNN Obama is comfortable with issues of race but is president “for all Americans on all issues.”
Earlier this week, Obama had a telephone conversation with Sherrod, who is African-American, after she resigned in the wake of the release of a videotape of a speech she’d given at an NAACP event in March. The portions initially published on the internet by conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart made it appear that Sherrod was relating how she had not done all she could to help a white farmer. The subsequent release of a tape of her full remarks made it clear that Sherrod was recounting the story of her interaction with the white farmer and his wife well before she joined the USDA in 1986 as a way to explain how she got beyond race and began to see some issues that had a racial component as being driving instead by class and socio-economic differences.
Obama, who had initially supported the Agriculture Secretary's decision to ask for Sherrod's resignation, spoke to Sherrod by phone Thursday and expressed his regret. He also told Sherrod what happened to her "can present an opportunity for her to continue her hard work on behalf of those in need, and he hopes that she will do so," according to a White House statement.
Related: Sherrod fallout twists WH message from rah-rah to race
Christopher Edley, Dean of Boalt Law School at U.C. Berkeley and a member of the advisory board to Obama’s transition team before the president took office, was asked on CNN's State of the Union whether Obama was comfortable with issues of race. He answered without reservation:
Mort Zuckerman, left, and Steve Forbes, right, spoke out in an interview that aired Sunday about the president's relationship with the business community. (Photo Credit: CNN)
Washington (CNN) – Just days after President Obama signed landmark legislation increasing oversight of Wall Street, he is again being slammed for being anti-business.
Asked about recent perceptions among business leaders that Obama is not in their corner, Steve Forbes, chairman and CEO of Forbes, Inc., agreed with that assessment.
Related video: Forbes, Zuckerman on the economy, Obama, the business community
“Well, the president clearly is [anti-business],” Forbes, a former Republican presidential hopeful, said in an interview that aired Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union. “I mean you can take excesses [of some on Wall Street] and tar the whole business community, which is like taking election fraud and saying that's why we shouldn't have free elections. He caricatures them, and you saw it in that letter that his top aides sent to the Business Roundtable saying our doors are open even to the business community.”
Forbes told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley that the Obama administration would do well to heed some of the business community’s concerns.
Washington (CNN) - The Obama administration will push for letting tax cuts for wealthy Americans expire while extending them for the rest of the nation, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said.
In interviews broadcast Sunday on ABC and NBC, Geithner called for a balanced approach as the economy recovers from the recession that started in 2008 while facing mounting federal debt.
That means pushing for measures designed to raise revenue, such as letting tax breaks from the Bush administration expire for families earning more than $250,000 a year while holding down spending and taking steps to encourage private sector job creation, Geithner said.
"We're in a transition ... from the extraordinary actions the government had to take to break the back of this financial crisis to a recovery led by private demand," Geithner told the NBC program "Meet the Press". "That transition is well under way. It's going to continue and it's going to strengthen."
Along with letting the tax cuts for the wealthy expire, the administration also wants to "leave in place tax cuts that are very important to incent businesses to hire new employees and to invest and expand in output," Geithner said on the ABC program "This Week."
Republicans say letting tax cuts expire for wealther Americans will hurt economic growth as the nation recovers from the recession. In particular, GOP critics say the $250,000-a-year threshold means many small business owners would be included in the group seeing their tax burdens increase when the cuts expire at the end of 2010.
Updated: 2:24 p.m.