August 19th, 2010
09:56 PM ET
4 years ago

Graham: Obama born a Muslim, now a Christian


Washington (CNN) – Evangelical leader Franklin Graham, son of famed presidential religious adviser Billy Graham, said Thursday that he believes President Barack Obama is a Christian, but that the president was born a Muslim because of his father's religious beliefs.

Asked by CNN Chief National Correspondent John King if he had any doubts about Obama's Christian faith, Graham, who has made controversial comments about Islam in the past, said the president's background is fueling the false perception that he is a Muslim.

"I think the president's problem is that he was born a Muslim, his father was a Muslim. The seed of Islam is passed through the father like the seed of Judaism is passed through the mother. He was born a Muslim, his father gave him an Islamic name," Graham said on CNN's "John King, USA."

"Now it's obvious that the president has renounced the prophet Mohammed and he has renounced Islam and he has accepted Jesus Christ. That is what he says he has done, I cannot say that he hasn't. So I just have to believe that the president is what he has said," Graham continued.

Earlier this year, the Army rescinded its invitation to Graham for the National Day of Prayer at the Pentagon over controversial remarks he made about Islam.

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Filed under: JKUSA • John King USA • President Obama
August 19th, 2010
07:36 PM ET
4 years ago

Palin defends controversial talk show host in Facebook post

Sarah Palin defended Dr. Laura Schlessinger on Thursday.
Sarah Palin defended Dr. Laura Schlessinger on Thursday.

(CNN) - Sarah Palin defended Dr. Laura Schlessinger on Thursday, comparing her own critics to those who have called for the resignation of the embattled radio talk show host in the wake of Schlessinger's repeated use of the N-word during a broadcast.

Palin's defense of Schlessinger, which Palin posted on her Facebook page, is the second time the former Alaska governor has defended the talk show host. Palin came to Schlessinger's defense on Wednesday via Twitter, telling the radio host: "don't retreat...reload!"

Palin expounded on those thoughts in the Facebook post.

"Does anyone seriously believe that Dr. Laura Schlessinger is a racist?" Palin wrote. "Anyone, I mean, who isn't already accusing all conservatives, Republicans, Tea Party Americans, etc., etc., etc. of being racists?"

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Filed under: Popular Posts • Sarah Palin
August 19th, 2010
03:53 PM ET
4 years ago

2012 Watch: Santorum being "pulled along" to 2012 race

Rick Santorum moved one tiny step closer to declaring himself a 2012 candidate on Wednesday.
Rick Santorum moved one tiny step closer to declaring himself a 2012 candidate on Wednesday.

Washington (CNN) – Rick Santorum, the former Pennsylvania senator, moved one tiny step closer to declaring himself a 2012 candidate on Wednesday, saying he feels as if he is "being pulled along" into the race.

"I sort of feel in some respects I'm being pulled along in this," Santorum told the Des Moines Register on Wednesday. "I'm still seriously going through this process. And at this point I'm very encouraged by everything that's happening."

In July, Santorum met privately with several of his former Capitol Hill staffers to pitch the idea of a presidential bid in 2012, something the Republican is now talking openly about.

"There seems to be support on the ground at least to consider this," Santorum told the Des Moines Register. "The response has been surprisingly positive."

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Filed under: 2012 • Rick Santorum
August 19th, 2010
03:50 PM ET
4 years ago

White House downplays combat brigade pullout in Iraq

(CNN) -  With broadcast reports and pictures  Wednesday evening celebrating the last U.S. brigade combat team leaving Iraq and  crossing the border into Kuwait, the White House and Pentagon scrambled to  explain that the war in Iraq is not over.

With the August 31 deadline for withdrawing  U.S. combat troops fast approaching, administration officials were caught off  guard by the onslaught of questions about the moment's  significance.

The broadcast pictures were of a convoy of service members from the 4th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division leaving Iraq.

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Filed under: Iraq • issues • White House
August 19th, 2010
03:24 PM ET
4 years ago

Organizing for America fundraising off News Corp. donation

Organizing for America is fundraising off of the news that Fox News’ parent company gave a large donation to the Republican Governors Association.
Organizing for America is fundraising off of the news that Fox News’ parent company gave a large donation to the Republican Governors Association.

(CNN) – Organizing for America, President Obama's political organization that is now run out of the Democratic National Committee, sent a fundraising email to supporters Thursday that highlights a $1 million donation from News Corp. to the Republican Governors Association.

News Corp. is the parent company of Fox News, an organization the White House has sparred with in the past. In October, White House Communications Director Anita Dunn said, "The reality of it is that Fox often operates almost as either the research arm or the communications arm of the Republican Party."

That sentiment was echoed in Thursday's fundraising email.

"News Corp. - the parent company of Fox News - just donated $1 million to the Republican Governors Association, an official organization campaigning against Democrats all over the country this fall," Organizing for America director Mitch Stewart said in the e-mail. "It's one thing to echo Republican talking points and hire Sarah Palin for political 'analysis.' It's another thing to cut those Republicans a seven-figure check to fund their attack ads and robo-calls."

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Filed under: DNC • Fox News • Organizing for America • RGA
August 19th, 2010
03:06 PM ET
4 years ago

Tancredo on GOP opponent: He's a 'total fraud'

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In Colorado, American Constitution Party candidate Tom Tancredo (right) says his gubernatorial challenger, Republican Dan Maes (left) is ‘a total fraud.’
In Colorado, American Constitution Party candidate Tom Tancredo (right) says his gubernatorial challenger, Republican Dan Maes (left) is ‘a total fraud.’

(CNN) - Third-party Colorado gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo, the former Republican congressman, wants GOP nominee Dan Maes out of the race, telling CNN the Tea Party-backed candidate is a "total fraud."

"He's a Republican, but tough crap; I don't care if he's a Republican, he's not the right candidate," Tancredo said.

Tancredo confirmed to CNN that until now he was willing to withdraw his third party candidacy if—and only if—Maes was willing to drop out of the race and allow the party to replace him with another candidate.

"He can't win," Tancredo said of Maes. "He's not a credible candidate."

But Maes' communications director, Nate Strauch, said the Republican candidate has "flatly rejected" Tancredo's offer.

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Filed under: 2010 • Colorado • Dan Maes • Tom Tancredo
August 19th, 2010
02:51 PM ET
4 years ago

Obama's stump speech blends partisan rhetoric with populist themes

ALT TEXT

 President Obama is honing a humor-laced stump speech that is part pep talk, part populist ideology. (PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images)
Washington (CNN) – With the approach of congressional elections and the midpoint of what he hopes will be his first of two four-year terms, President Barack Obama is honing a humor-laced stump speech that is part pep talk, part populist ideology.

Obama delivered similar versions of the speech at six fundraising events this week, kicking into full campaign mode with calls to continue the progress made so far by his administration.

His poll numbers are shrinking, and Democrats are resigned to losing some congressional seats in November.

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Filed under: President Obama
August 19th, 2010
02:26 PM ET
4 years ago

White House strikes back at 'Muslim' tag

 The White House on Thursday responded to new polls which indicate Americans do not know what religion President Obama practices.
The White House on Thursday responded to new polls which indicate Americans do not know what religion President Obama practices.

Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts (CNN) - The White House is responding to new polls Thursday that show an increasing number of Americans believe that President Obama is a Muslim.

"President Obama is a committed Christian, and his faith is an important part of his daily life," Deputy White House Communications Director Jen Psaki told CNN. "He prays every day, he seeks a small circle of Christian pastors to give him spiritual advice and counseling, he even receives a daily devotional that he uses each morning. The President's Christian faith is a part of who he is, but not a part of what the public or the media is focused on everyday."

Psaki added that "the President's strong Christian faith is what guides him through the challenges – a recovering economy, bringing troops home from Iraq, putting healthcare and financial reform implementation in place - but he doesn't wear it on his sleeve."

According to a poll conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life released Thursday, nearly one in five Americans believe Obama is a Muslim, up from around one in 10 Americans who said he was Muslim last year.

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Filed under: Popular Posts • President Obama • Religion
August 19th, 2010
01:04 PM ET
4 years ago

CBO offers mixed take on tax cuts, stimulus

New York (CNNMoney.com) - The Congressional Budget Office on Thursday offered economic projections that will inform lawmakers tackling one of the most controversial issues they face: how to balance the need to help the economy and curb U.S. debt.

If the Bush tax cuts for the majority of Americans and stimulus spending are allowed to continue, economic growth could be higher and unemployment lower in the near term than if the tax cuts and stimulus efforts expired as scheduled, CBO projected. But deficits would be higher.

"[It would provide] a considerable boost to economic activity in 2011 and beyond for a few years," said CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf. "Over time, [however,] the negative consequences of very high federal borrowing build up."

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Filed under: Congressional Budget Office • issues • Stimulus • Taxes
August 19th, 2010
12:59 PM ET
4 years ago

Low ticket sales for Palin event

An event featuring Sarah Palin has not proved to be a big sell.
An event featuring Sarah Palin has not proved to be a big sell.

(CNN) - Sarah Palin is normally a major draw on the speaker's circuit, but the former Alaska governor is proving to be a hard sell for an upcoming engagement in Florida.

Palin is scheduled to speak in Jacksonville for a fundraising event on behalf of Heroic Media, a Austin, Texas-based group that describes itself as "a faith-based non-profit that reduces abortion by creating a Culture of Life through television, billboard and internet advertising."

The event - called "Evening of Hope with Sarah Palin" - was planned to be held in a 3,000-seat auditorium but has been moved to a 609-seat venue to ensure the speech will be sold out, Mark Nelson, the Florida director of Heroic Media told CNN.

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Filed under: Sarah Palin
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