Washington (CNN) – Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney made an endorsement Saturday in the race for the office once held by his father, throwing his weight behind Rick Snyder, the Michigan Republican gubernatorial nominee who bills himself as "one tough nerd."
“Rick Snyder is a successful businessman, manager, and job creator, which makes him uniquely qualified to lead Michigan through these challenging economic times. Rick will promote pro-growth policies that will put people back to work and get Michigan back on the right track,” Romney said in a statement.
Earlier this month, Snyder, a businessman and former Gateway CEO, defeated powerful Rep. Peter Hoekstra, the senior Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, and Attorney General Mike Cox in what was a three-way battle for the GOP nomination.
In the general election, Snyder will face Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero who won the Democratic nomination over state Rep. Andy Dillon. Two-term Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm is term-limited.
Washington (CNN) – Former Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean said Sunday that President Obama's political advisers are suffering from an inside-the-beltway mentality, but that Democrats will retain majorities in the House and Senate.
"I think the people around the president have really misjudged what goes on elsewhere in the country other than Washington, D.C.," Dean, also the former governor of Vermont, said on CNN's State of the Union. "I don't think this is true of the president, but I do think his people, his political people ought to go out and spend some time outside Washington once in a while."
Dean has, at times, been a voice of dissent within the Democratic Party and has disagreed publicly with the Obama administration on key issues, including health care reform legislation, the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy and, most recently, the construction of an Islamic center and mosque near ground zero.
But despite his criticism of Obama's political team, Dean told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley that Democrats could retain control of the House and Senate.
(CNN) - Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich said Sunday that he is not ruling out a return to politics once the legal process against him winds down.
The disgraced governor, who is accused of corruption for trying to sell President Barack Obama's former senate seat, said he is certain he will be acquitted and then would consider a political comeback
A jury that considered the case this month was hung on all but one count, finding Blagojevich guilty of making false statements to the FBI. He now faces a retrial.
(CNN) – As U.S. combat forces depart Iraq, President Barack Obama is planning a speech on the situation there after he returns to Washington from vacation on August 29, a senior administration source said Sunday. "There will be a speech next week on Iraq," the source told CNN on condition of not being identified by name. Few details of the speech have been worked out, the administration source said. All U.S. combat forces are scheduled to be out of Iraq by August 31.
(CNN) - Shirley Sherrod, who received an apology after being forced to resign from the Agriculture Department, will meet Tuesday with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to discuss a job offer, a department official confirmed Saturday.
It will be the first face-to-face meeting between the two since a controversial sequence of events last month culminated in her stepping down.
Sherrod, who was the Agriculture Department's Georgia Director of Rural Development, has said she is being offered the position of Deputy Director of the Office of Advocacy and Outreach.
(CNN) – Less than two weeks before the scheduled end of U.S. combat operations in Iraq, the top U.S. military commander in the country tells CNN that the United States could have a presence there well after 2011 - when all U.S. troops are set to leave Iraq.
Asked about a comment by an Iraqi military official who said American troops “’must stay until the Iraqi army is fully ready in 2020,”’ Gen. Ray Odierno says he could imagine a scenario where “we could be there beyond 2011.”
“Can you foresee a scenario like that, that there would be some U.S. military presence, albeit much smaller, at 2020?,” CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley asks Odierno in an interview set to air Sunday on “State of the Union.”
“I think it depends on what kind of presence you're talking about,” Odierno says. “If the government of Iraq requests some technical assistance in fielding, systems that allow them to continue to protect themselves, some external threats. We could be here.
“I mean, you know, we have agreements like that in Saudi Arabia. We have agreements like that in Egypt. That continues to help them to develop their infrastructure and security architecture. And if that's what we're talking about, potentially, we could be there beyond 2011.”
Related: U.S. troop strength put at 52,000
In the interview, Odierno also says he thinks Iraqi security forces are on track to be ready for the planned withdrawal of all U.S. forces next year.
Editor's Note: In the final 100 days before Election Day, CNN has been profiling one race at random each day from among the nation's top 100 House races, which we've dubbed "The CNN 100." Read the full list here. Today's featured district is:
Michigan 9: Democratic Rep. Gary Peters is seeking a second term
Primary: August 3, 2010
Location: Northern Detroit suburbs
Days until Election Day: 72
(CNN) – In a year when Republicans are expected to make significant electoral gains, Democratic Rep. Gary Peters is hoping to stem the tide by highlighting his fiscal conservatism and - more than likely – his Republican opponent's comments on President Obama's citizenship.
Former state Rep. Andrew 'Rocky' Raczkowski, who won the Republican primary on August 3, recently told Politico that he wanted to see Obama's birth certificate. He later backtracked, saying his comment was taken out of context and that he didn't question where Obama was born.
(CNN) – A candidate in next week's U.S. congressional primary in Florida was robbed at gunpoint Saturday, according to the North Miami Police Department.
Marleine Bastien was robbed as she prepared to speak at a church in a campaign appearance, North Miami police Lt. Neal Cuevas said, four days before a crowded Democratic primary in south Florida's 17th Congressional District.
Bastien was sitting in the driver's seat of a car with her sister when a car pulled up behind them. Cuevas said the suspect approached Bastien's side of the car, pulled a handgun and demanded their purses, saying "I'll blow your heads off."