(CNN) – Louisiana Democratic Rep. Charlie Melancon is out Friday with a biting new ad that attacks incumbent Republican Senator David Vitter's 'sins,' as well as his voting record on women's issues.
The 30-second ad, entitled 'The Worst,' features a woman's voice combined with images of Vitter and his wife leaving a July 2007 press conference where Vitter admitted to having an extramarital affair and contacting an escort service.
The narrator says, "We know how David Vitter handled his serious sin."
(CNN) - Arizona House candidate Ben Quayle on Friday stood by a statement in a new campaign ad that called President Obama "the worst president in history" but offered nothing more than Republican talking points to back the claim.
Quayle, the son of former Vice President Dan Quayle, shares his father's conservative values and is one of 10 Republicans vying for the GOP nomination in Arizona's Third House district.
"He's an ideologue from a leftist bend," Quayle told CNN's John King in an interview to air Friday on John King USA. "I think that he's trying to take control of more parts of the private sector. He's trying to make government the answer to all the problems that we face when we should be focusing more on individual responsibility."
"I stand by my comment," he said of the campaign ad.
Washington (CNN) - With a deadline just two days away, about one-quarter of all service members who were sent "don't ask, don't tell" surveys have returned them to the Department of Defense, a spokeswoman said Friday.
The survey seeks their opinions on the potential impact of changing the military ban on gay and lesbians serving openly in the military.
The Pentagon sent out 400,000 confidential surveys and set an August 15 deadline for their return. Spokeswoman Cynthia Smith said about 104,000 have been received.
(Updated at 6:01 p.m. ET)
(CNN) - U.S. Senate nominee Alvin Greene, a political unknown who became the surprise winner of the South Carolina Democratic primary, was indicted Friday by a grand jury on obscenity charges.
Greene was indicted on one felony count of "disseminating, procuring or promoting obscenity," according to the Richland County clerk of courts.
He was also indicted on a misdemeanor count of "communicating an obscene message to another person without consent."
Greene told CNN Senior Political Editor Mark Preston that his lawyer "is dealing" with the indictments.
Following the announcement of Greene's indictment, South Carolina Democratic Party Chair Carol Fowler released a statement asking Greene to resign.
"In June, I asked Mr. Greene to withdraw his candidacy because of the charges against him. Following today's indictments, I repeat that request," Fowler said.
"It will be impossible for Mr. Greene to address his legal issues and run a statewide campaign. The indictment renews concerns that Mr. Greene cannot represent the values of the Democratic Party or South Carolina voters."
Washington (CNN) – Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano said Friday that Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert "is so off the mark" in his assertion that terrorists are plotting to conceive babies in the United States so they can grow up to kill Americans.
The Republican congressman first made the claim on June 24, while discussing on the House floor what he felt were serious gaps in our border enforcement.
"They [terrorists] would have young women who became pregnant, would get them into the United States to have a baby-they wouldn't even have to pay anything for the baby-and then they would return back where they could be raised and coddled as future terrorists," Gohmert said. "And then one day, 20, 30 years down the road, they could be sent in to help destroy our way of life."
Related video: Anderson Cooper and Louie Gohmert debate 'terror babies'
Napolitano, in a Friday interview on CNN's The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, said that she has seen no evidence of such a plot.
Watch the full interview after the jump
Washington (CNN) – There's really only one big question hanging over President Obama's weekend vacation to Panama City, Florida: Will he or won't he dive into the water to send a message that the Gulf Coast is back?
"Absolutely, I want him to take his shirt off and get in the water and show it's clean and safe," said Stephen Leatherman, a professor at Florida International University in Miami who puts together an annual list of America's best beaches.
Leatherman rates the beach there as one of the top 10 in the country, and he said Obama has a unique opportunity to showcase the fact that the Gulf Coast is still open for business despite the worst oil spill in American history.
Washington (CNN) - First lady Michelle Obama made an unannounced visit to Walter Reed Medical Center on Friday as part of her "regular private meetings and interaction with military families," according to an official in her office.
In addition to her public events on military bases and other venues that are a part of her official schedule, the First Lady also has private meetings with military families both in Washington and as she travels around the country, according to the official. "It's a good way for her to get informal input and advice from military family members from across the country on how the administration and our country can better support military families," the official said.
At an event with military families in May, the first lady announced that President Obama had directed his national security staff to lead a 90-day review to develop a coordinated federal government-wide approach to support and engage military families.
(CNN) – She's appeared at Tea Party rallies across the country and long been considered the movement's de facto leader, but a new CNN poll out Friday suggests Sarah Palin isn't the group's clear favorite for the White House.
According to the new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll, former presidential candidate Mitt Romney comes in No. 1 among Tea Party supporters with 22 percent, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is second with 19 percent, and the former Alaska governor holds the No. 3 spot with 17 percent of support from the fiscally conservative group.
Given the poll's 7-point margin of error, all three politicos are statistically tied. But while the fact that Palin – arguably the movement's most visible advocate – isn't head and shoulders above the rest of the field may cause a few heads to turn, the numbers are more a reflection of the diversity of the movement, according to Republican consultant Leslie Sanchez.
"Sarah Palin amplifies the concern among many Tea Party voters in the sense of runaway federal government, out of control unchecked spending, and a growing federal deficit," Sanchez said. "But with that said, the story that's rarely told is how diverse the Tea Party is."
Washington (CNN) - Members of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission shouted at each other Friday over the Justice Department's decision to drop most of the charges in a 2008 incident in which black militants confronted voters at a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, polling place, leading to charges of voter intimidation.
Conservative commission members accused the Justice Department of "stonewalling" the commission's investigation into the dismissal, and called a Justice Department's response to requests for information "breathtaking and insulting." A liberal commission member, in turn, dismissed those complaints as the "last gasps of a conservative majority of this commission."
At the end of the fractious hour-long debate, no minds appeared to be changed. But one liberal member sided with the conservative majority in agreeing to recommend that Congress give the commission more power when investigating Justice Department matters in the future.
(CNN) - The White House is weighing in on the recent call from some top Republicans to change a potion of the constitution that grants automatic citizenship to children of illegal immigrants born in the United States, calling the suggestion "just wrong."
"I am surprised, to say the least, that discussion is being had about amending the United States Constitution before we even get to the table on amending the statutes that actually carry out immigration policy," Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told reporters Friday. "I think that's where the action needs to be. And any talk of amending the Constitution is just wrong."
Napolitano's comments come in response to suggestions from several leading GOP senators, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, 2008 presidential nominee John McCain, and Lindsay Graham that the part of the 14th Amendment which allows for birthright citizenship should be studied more closely.