Washington (CNN) - With a week to go until Colorado's primary, Sen. Michael Bennet is getting a helping hand from the nation's top Democrat.
Bennett, who faces a very competitive primary challenge from former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, teams up Tuesday night with President Barack Obama.
The president is scheduled to join a tele-town hall of Colorado residents hosted by Bennet. The White House sent out an email Tuesday afternoon adding the event to Obama's schedule. A Bennett campaign spokesman describes the tele-townhall as a political event.
Bennet remains in the nation's capital this week, as the Senate remains in session before leaving Washington for summer recess. Bennet was plucked out of political obscurity early last year when Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter named him to replace Sen. Ken Salazar, who stepped down to serve as Interior Secretary in the Obama Administration.
Right now, it's all about the 2010 midterm elections... or is it? As soon as the polls close on November 2 and the winners are announced, the focus will shift to the presidential race of 2012.
Even though that may seem far away... for some, the presidential campaign has already begun.
Potential Republican hopefuls are already logging multiple visits to key early states - like Iowa and New Hampshire.
Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty.... he's set to make his fifth visit to Iowa next week... he's also made three trips to New Hampshire.
Pawlenty insists he won't decide whether or not to run until early next year. Maybe… but in the meantime he's working it.... big-time. Meeting local politicians, shaking hands with voters, making speeches about how to fix the country, talking about his blue-collar background, raising money for his political action committee... you get the idea.
And Pawlenty is not the only one. Far from it.
To read more and contribute to the Cafferty File discussion, click here
Washington (CNN) - It's what all political candidates probably want but few will actually admit: if they could control the press, they would. But Sharron Angle is openly saying that she prefers talking to journalists that "ask the questions we want to answer," prompting one conservative publication to ask, "Did she just say that out loud?"
The criticism is in response to comments that the Republican Nevada Senate candidate made in an interview that aired on Sunday. Angle hopes to oust the most powerful Democrat in the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid, in an increasingly brutal race. A fresh poll shows Reid with a slim lead.
On Fox News, Angle was asked about her defensive posture towards the press. She recently explained why she routinely refuses to do mainstream media interviews.
"We needed to have the press be our friend," Angle said in the Sunday interview that, Angle's campaign said, was done shortly after the June 8 Nevada GOP primary.
Washington (CNN) - Monkeys on cocaine. New windows for a closed visitor's center. Modern dance as a tool for software development.
A report released Tuesday by conservative Sens. Tom Coburn and John McCain cited these and 97 other projects as leading examples of misguided or wasteful spending under the Obama administration's $862 billion economic stimulus bill.
Titled "Summertime Blues," the report is the third by the two senators targeting projects that they say fail to meet the job-creation goal of spending under the Recovery Act of 2009.
The report highlights the extraordinary "waste and mismanagement" of taxpayer dollars, said McCain, R-Arizona. The stimulus plan "was supposed to create jobs. It does not."
Washington (CNN) - While Democratic candidates have not openly said President Obama is not welcome on the campaign trail, actions speak louder than words.
"Obviously [Obama's] ratings aren't where he wants them to be and that's going to hurt him in some parts of the country," said Robert Erikson, a professor of political science at Columbia University. "So a Democratic candidate will then think that he or she can show their independence best by discreetly not being present [with the president.]"
On Monday, former Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes, who is running for his old job, was more than 100 miles away when the president was raising funds in Atlanta, Georgia. Barnes' campaign said, according to reports, that he wanted to honor previous obligations to attend campaign events.
Washington (CNN) – Sen. Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina Republican who often finds himself out of step with the most conservative elements of his party, was censured by yet another GOP county party committee Monday night.
In recent months, Graham has been censured by GOP party committees in Lexington and Charleston counties. On Monday, the Greenville GOP Executive Committee passed a censure resolution by a vote of 61-2.
"THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the Greenville County Republican Party hereby issues this formal rebuke of Senator Graham for his cooperation and support of President Obama and the Democratic Party's liberal agenda for the United States," the resolution reads.
(CNN) – When they say Tuesday is a barn burner in Kansas and Missouri, they're talking about more than close primary races.
Voters are going to the polls on primary day in triple digit heat, which threatens to break records across much of the region.
In Wichita, the National Weather Service said it was already 100 degrees at 11:30 a.m. CDT, with a record high of 108 expected and a heat index over 110.
But officials, who predicted an increase in turnout over previous midterm primaries, did not expect the stifling temperatures to keep many voters away.
Washington (CNN) – As the debate over immigration rages on in advance of this year's midterm elections, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has joined other prominent GOP senators in suggesting that so-called "birthright citizenship" be given a closer look in Capitol Hill hearings.
The 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which was ratified in the wake of the Civil War, provides in part that "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside." The provision has the effect of granting "birthright" citizenship to anyone born in the U.S. - even if both of the person's parents are in the country illegally.
Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, told The Hill newspaper that he thinks the constitutional provision merits closer scrutiny "'I think we ought to take a look at it – hold hearings, listen to the experts on it.'"
McConnell also told the newspaper, "'I haven't made a final decision about it, but that's something that we clearly need to look at. Regardless of how you feel about the various aspects of immigration reform, I don't think anybody thinks that's something they're comfortable with.'"
Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain told CNN Tuesday he supports the "concept of holding hearings" on the matter but wouldn't articulate his position on whether the 14th Amendment should be changed.
Updated after the jump with a statement from Sen. McCain.
Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama signed a bill Tuesday reducing the disparity in penalties for the use of crack and powder cocaine, according to the White House.
The enactment of the law seals a hard-fought victory for civil rights activists who have argued for years that the differing punishments unfairly target African-Americans.
The Fair Sentencing Act repeals a five-year mandatory sentence for first time offenders, and for repeat offenders with less than 28 grams of crack cocaine. The old law set the mandatory sentence for conviction at five grams.
(CNN) - Republican Senate candidate Dino Rossi is out Tuesday with his first TV commercial in Washington – an intimate, positive ad that seeks to take advantage of the state's unique non-partisan primary system.
"I worked my way through college waxing floors at the Space Needle. That's why I can't stand what's going on in the U.S. Senate," Rossi says in the 30-second spot. "They're wasting money. On programs that aren't creating jobs or helping the economy. And running up debt that's threatening our future. That goes against everything I believe."
The ad doesn't mention the Republican Party or the name of Rossi's biggest obstacle to election, incumbent Democratic Sen. Patty Murray.
The 30-second spot is hitting airwaves statewide just as Murray released a new ad tying Rossi to former President George W. Bush and slamming him for his connections with Wall Street bankers.