Washington (CNN) – Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. said Thursday he has not yet decided whether he will run for mayor of Chicago, but nonetheless launched an attack against Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, who is exploring a candidacy for the same office.
“I’ve not made that judgment yet,” Jackson said when asked by CNN Chief National Correspondent John King if he will run for the mayoral office opened by the retirement of Richard Daley, the Chicago legend who served as mayor for more than two decades.
But it certainly sounds like Jackson, a Democrat from Illinois’ 2nd District, is angling for the job, painting Emanuel as a Washington insider who has “profound weaknesses” on a local level and someone who would “have to answer the questions about those communities that have been left behind.”
Washington (CNN) - Republican Senate nominee Sharron Angle is making a final push in the last two months before the Election Day to attract more Hispanic voters to the polls.
Angle has yet to release a Spanish language campaign ad, but a campaign spokesperson tells CNN the first commercial is on its way.
"We will be airing Spanish-language ads and continuing our grassroots outreach to the Hispanic community," Angle communications director Jarrod Agen said.
Washington (CNN) - Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin joined the Tea Party Express Thursday in endorsing Republican Senate hopeful Christine O'Donnell, who is locked in a battle for Delaware's GOP nomination with centrist Rep. Mike Castle.
Palin, the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, made the endorsement in an interview on conservative commentator Sean Hannity's radio show.
O'Donnell quickly touted Palin's backing.
"Just got Gov. Palin's endorsement! Thank you for your prayers!" O'Donnell wrote in a message on Twitter.
(CNN) – White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel has canceled a planned trip to Chicago this weekend, a move that is further fueling buzz the top Obama aide is considering a Chicago mayoral bid.
Emanuel had planned to be in Chicago for fundraising events for local candidates. A spokesman told CNN the White House chief of staff nixed the trip due to scheduling conflicts.
But a Democratic official tells CNN it is clear that Emanuel wants to avoid a media firestorm as he considers whether or not to run for mayor.
St. Petersburg, Florida (CNN) - Florida Gov. Charlie Crist on Thursday called this weekend’s planned Quran burning in Gainesville “deplorable” but said there is little he can do to stop the protest.
“We have freedom of speech at work here, but I think common decency would dictate that this would not occur and that we would be respectful and are a respectful people of all religions,” Crist told reporters during a tour of a Veterans Affairs facility in St. Petersburg.
The governor said he had attempted to contact Pastor Terry Jones, the man behind the protest, to dissuade him from moving forward, but has so far been unsuccessful. He said he left messages with one of the church’s associate pastors, Stephanie Sapp.
Washington (CNN) – The Republican Governors Association is launching a campaign targeting Georgia gubernatorial candidate Roy Barnes, a Democrat, over his career as a lawyer.
The campaign centerpiece is a website, www.1888KingRoy.com, which plays off the trial lawyer meme, urging site visitors to "Act fast!" and "Call now!"
"Roy Barnes may have failed as a governor, but there's no doubting that he's thrived as a trial lawyer," said RGA spokesman Chris Schrimpf.
Washington (CNN) - President Obama will award the Medal of Honor to U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert J. Miller for "conspicuous gallantry" and "heroic actions" in Afghanistan in January 2008, the White House announced Thursday.
Miller will receive the rare honor posthumously for displaying "immeasurable courage and uncommon valor - eventually sacrificing his own life to save the lives of his teammates and 15 Afghanistan National Army soldiers," according to a White House statement.
Miller's mother and father will join the Obama at the White House on October 6 "to commemorate their son's selfless service and sacrifice," the White House said.
Miller - born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in 1983 - enlisted in the Army in August 2003 as a Special Forces candidate. He became a Green Beret in 2005 and was based at Fort Bragg in North Carolina.
Washington (CNN) - Nearly nine years after the September 11 terror attacks, a record number of Americans believe the United States is unlikely to ever capture or kill Osama bin Laden, according to a new national poll.
A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Thursday reveals that only 36 percent think the country is safer from terrorism than it was before the 2001 attacks.
Full results [pdf]
Nearly two-thirds of Americans, however, are not personally worried about becoming a victim of terrorism. And most say they are prepared to deal with an attack if the worst should happen.
While the federal government has given no indication that it has stopped its pursuit of the man behind the September 11 attacks, only 30 percent of Americans now believe it is likely the U.S. government will ever capture or kill bin Laden. Sixty-seven percent believe it is unlikely.
Washington (CNN) – A Florida church's plan to burn copies of the Quran on the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks is a "monumentally terrible idea," White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Thursday.
The "hateful" and "offensive" act would be a "recruiting bonanza for al Qaeda," would endanger U.S. troops and "goes against every one of our values," he said.
Gibbs said there are discussions inside the Obama administration about intervening with the Rev. Terry Jones, pastor of Gainseville's Dove Center, which is organizing the planned Quran burning.
Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell told reporters Thursday it is possible that a senior administration official will call Jones.
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Full results (pdf)