Washington (CNN) – Former Republican National Committee chairman Ken Mehlman is responding to criticism of his role in a Bush political operation that called for a constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage.
"It was something about my life I was having a hard time accepting then and I can't change that," Mehlman said in a phone interview Thursday with CNN Chief National Correspondent John King, before adding "I understand people who are going to be angry."
Mehlman told "The Atlantic" he was gay in an article published Wednesday.
Mehlman told CNN on Thursday he now regrets not reaching out to the gay community during his tenure, but said he has to "look forward" and "do what I think is right." Since his announcement he has received both criticism and support from members of the gay community.
Anoka, Minnesota (CNN) – Embracing her strong pro-gun stance, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann fired off a few rounds from an M4 carbine Thursday morning, according to employees of a local ammunition manufacturer in her district.
The pro-Second Amendment conservative and rising Tea Party movement icon made the final public campaign stop of her two-day bus tour at Federal Ammunition ATK in Anoka, Minnesota.
Photography and videotaping were not allowed. Employees of ATK who were in attendance told CNN about the visit before the campaign ushered them away saying details for the press would be provided by the campaign.
(CNN) – Voters standing in line at polling places and searching for candidate information on mobile devices are increasingly becoming the target of Google advertisers hoping to pick up every last vote.
Candidates have for years placed ads on Google platforms to attract the attention of searchers. But Tuesday's elections saw a large number of down ballot candidates buying Google mobile ads with the goal of capturing the attention of people waiting on line at the polling stations.
While Google Mobile Ads have existed since 2007, this year candidates could target specific carriers and devices. Since mobile devices have become more sophisticated, users are searching more and more on mobile browsers.
Google spokesperson Rebecca Ginsberg told CNN that this is the first election cycle in which candidates are adopting mobile ads in large numbers, but could not comment on specific numbers except to say that over the past two years Google's mobile search volumes have grown by 500 percent.
(CNN) – The Harry Reid and Sharron Angle campaigns are both on the attack again, with each side up on Nevada television with a new ad Thursday.
The commercial by the Senate Majority Leader continues a full court press by his campaign and national Democrats over the past three months to paint Angle as too extreme. The former Nevada state lawmaker, once a long shot in the battle for the GOP Senate nomination, won the June primary thanks in part to strong support from many in the Tea Party movement.
"What do you call a candidate who says the way things are going, the time may be coming for second amendment remedies? An armed response to our government? Who says a teenage rape victim should be forced to have the baby? Who proposed a Scientology massage program for prisoners? And who says that Medicare and Social Security violate the Ten Commandments? What do you call that candidate? Extreme. Sharron Angle. Just too extreme," says the narrator in the Reid ad.
Washington (CNN) - A top House Republican boasted Thursday that Republicans are already positioned to take control of the House, and argued the Democrats' political position will only worsen as Election Day approaches.
California Republican Congressman Kevin McCarthy, the top recruiter of GOP candidates and chief Republican Whip in the House, told reporters on a conference there are "more than enough seats" to win, and added, "I think the map is getting bigger by the day."
McCarthy, who has traveled to more than 50 districts so far during the August recess, said the economy and the President's poll numbers are dragging down Democrats' chances of keeping their majority. On President Obama, the GOP leader predicted, "I think his approval rating will be even lower" by November and said the overall size of the political playing field will expand as a result.
Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts (CNN) - After days of heavy rains and high winds, sunshine finally returned to Martha's Vineyard Thursday.
The ground was still a bit soggy, but for the vacationing President it was perfect weather to hit the links.
Obama teed off at Farm Neck Golf Club in Oak Bluffs with close friends Eric Whitaker, Cyrus Walker, and White House trip director Marvin Nicholson.
(CNN) - Vice President Joe Biden took the administration's defense of its controversial $862 billion stimulus plan to New Hampshire Thursday, touting the program's investment in making houses more energy efficient.
Biden visited a house in Manchester, according to a White House, to mark "the weatherizing of 200,000 homes under the Recovery Act."
The vice president was joined by New Hampshire's two Democratic House members, both of whom face challenges at the polls in November.
Obama officials say their goal is to weatherize nearly 600,000 homes by March 2012 with stimulus act funds, noting in a statement the program includes a $90 billion investment "in clean energy and energy-efficiency projects that cut costs, reduce energy use and create new jobs."
(CNN) – Ten days before Florida voters head to the polls to select a new U.S. senator, CNN and the St. Petersburg Times will partner with the University of South Florida to host a nationally televised debate in what could turn out to be the most exciting Senate contest in the country.
All three candidate have confirmed their intention to participate.
The October 24 debate will take place before a live audience and be moderated by CNN Chief Political Correspondent and anchor Candy Crowley during the network's Sunday morning program, "State of the Union with Candy Crowley." Beginning at 9 a.m. ET, CNN will air the hour-long debate among candidates Gov. Charlie Crist (I), Rep. Kendrick Meek (D) and Marco Rubio (R) live from USF's Tampa campus. It will be rebroadcast at 12noon ET on CNN.
(CNN) - Prosecutors have dismissed all four charges against Robert Blagojevich, brother of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, defense attorney Michael Ettinger told reporters Thursday.
"I was in shock, and still am," Ettinger said. He said when he told his client, Robert Blagojevich said, "'Oh my God, oh my God.' And I told him 'You're done. You're free.' His wife is hysterical."
Ettinger said prosecutors told a judge at a hearing Thursday they were dropping the charges because of "the disparity in the roles between Robert and Rod" and "in the interests of justice."
Is former top Bush aid Ken Mehlman – who has told friends and family he is gay - a courageous conservative or shameful hypocrite? (PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images)
(CNN) - Is former top Bush aid Ken Mehlman – who has told friends and family he is gay - a courageous conservative or shameful hypocrite?
That's the debate raging through political circles and around the blogosphere a day after the former Republican National Committee chairman and 2004 Bush campaign manager told The Atlantic magazine he is gay.
In one corner are those who say Mehlman has arrived at the end of a difficult journey of self acceptance, and should be praised for coming out publicly and pledging to work with groups that advocate for same-sex marriage in the future.
In the other are those whose memory still remains fresh - of the Bush administration's stance on gay rights in general and particularly Bush's 2004 presidential campaign, of which Mehlman was a chief architect, that repeatedly used the issue of same-sex marriage to increase conservative turnout at the polls.