Conservative activists gathered in the nation’s capital for the ‘9/12 March on Washington.’ (PHOTO CREDIT: David Jenkins/CNN)
Washington (CNN) - A damp and enthusiastic crowd of self-proclaimed "Tea Party patriots" gathered at the U.S. Capitol building Sunday for a second straight September 12 march on Washington.
The collection of disparate groups and individuals, all supportive of the Tea Party movement, came together to protest what they consider to be out-of-control spending, excessive taxes and a government run amok.
Under the theme of "Remember in November" - a reference to the upcoming mid-term congressional elections - they warned both Democrats and Republicans that it was time for the American people to take back Congress.
"There's only one power on Earth that is big enough to wreck this country, and that's big government," said former House leader Dick Armey, chairman of the FreedomWorks group that organized the rally.
(CNN) - The Democratic National Committee will release a new ad Tuesday targeting House Minority Leader John Boehner - the congressman in line to become Speaker of the House should Republicans emerge victorious this November.
The 30-second spot sarcastically touts Boehner’s "plan for the economy."
"Tax cuts for businesses and those that shift jobs and profits overseas, saving multinational corporations 10 billion [dollars]," the narrator says.
"So to China and India and Mexico, Boehner has a message: You're welcome," the ad concludes.
If I were to pick the newsy tidbits from the show I’d go with Democratic Leader Steny Hoyer leaving the door open for some sort of compromise over the expiring of the Bush tax cuts in January. He seemed to say that if there was some way to extend it for the rich, which they define as $250,000 and over, maybe they’d be open to that. But what he wants is for the Senate to go first because the House is always sitting around going out on a limb and then the Senate kind of saws off the branch.
I think the other thing listening to the terrorism experts we had on today, including Sec. Janet Napolitano and former Homeland Secretary Michael Chertoff and our own Fran Townsend. Yeah we’re safer; but the fact is, they all agree that inevitably another attack on U.S. soil will come and likely be successful at some level. I also found it interesting that they agreed with the premise that while Osama bin Laden would be a big symbolic capture that there are others including Awlaki who has been inspirational and sometimes in direct contact with some of the more recent attempts on U.S. soil is a more dangerous guy.
Also interesting I think, and certainly up for discussion, is Dick Armey who heads a group that basically has provided organizational skills for the Tea Party. Armey is now arguing that the Tea Party candidates really are the moderates in the Republican Party. So I think that one will probably cause some people at least to have some dinner table conversations.
(CNN) - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie penned a fundraising e-mail Sunday to help Delaware Rep. Mike Castle fend off Tea Party insurgent candidate Christine O'Donnell in that state's Senate race.
"I know that Mike Castle agrees with what I've been doing in New Jersey since taking office in January: controlling spending, balancing the budget, reducing the size of government and creating an environment that allows our small businesses to thrive and grow," Christie wrote.
"He is the Republican that Delaware - and our country - needs in the United States Senate, and he is the only candidate in this race that can put this seat in the Republican column in November," he added.
Christie endorsed Castle at the University of Delaware - they both graduated from UD - on September 2.
(CNN) - Former Republican House Majority Leader Dick Armey, a leading voice in the Tea Party movement, said Sunday he disagreed with a leading conservative Republican's assessment of how establishment politicians in the Republican Party should regard Tea Party candidates if they're elected to serve in Washington.
Former Republican Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, a strong voice for conservatives, told the Washington Post in July "as soon as they [Tea Party candidates] get here, we need to co-opt them."
Armey told CNN's Candy Crowley on "State of the Union" that he felt Lott used "a bad choice of words."
"You were talking about a group of people whose necks stiffen immediately upon hearing that word," Armey said. "These are independent-minded people, they really have no particular appreciation for the performance of either party in the past several years. They want to run for office in order to change that."
Washington (CNN) - A consensus may be forming on President Barack Obama's plan to extend Bush-era tax cuts to everyone but the nation's richest people.
On Sunday talk shows, Obama's economic advisers touted the idea while the top Republican in the U.S. House said he would vote for it if no other option existed.
The Bush tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003 cover all taxpayers and are scheduled to expire at the end of the year.
Obama and congressional Democrats want to keep in place those tax cuts that apply to Americans earning less than $250,000 a year. People earning more than that would have their rates restored to higher levels in place before the tax cuts were enacted.
CNN Radio Political Notebook:
(CNN) - The top Republican in the U.S. House said Sunday he would vote for extending tax cuts to all but the wealthiest Americans, if that's the only option available.
Rep. John Boehner of Ohio, the House minority leader, told the CBS program "Face the Nation" that he wants the tax cuts from the Bush administration extended to everyone.
However, if President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats push through their plan to extend the tax cuts to Americans earning less than $250,000 a year while restoring higher tax rates on others, Boehner said he would vote for it.
"If the only option I have is to vote for some of those tax reductions, I'll vote for them," Boehner said, later adding: "But I'm going to do everything I can to fight to make sure that we extend the current tax rates for all Americans."
(CNN) - House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer on Sunday expressed his confidence in congressional Democrats’ ability to maintain their majority in the House of Representatives, but conceded his party will “probably” lose seats.
“We’re going to hold the House,” Hoyer repeatedly told CNN’s Candy Crowley on "State of the Union."
“Our candidates are feeling good,” Hoyer added.
The two leading non-partisan political handicappers, Stuart Rothenberg and Charlie Cook, both predict massive Republican gains in the House this November. The Rothenberg Political Report upped its prediction on Tuesday to 37 to 42 additional seats for Republicans and said that gains of 45 to 55 seats are possible. The Cook Political Report predicts GOP gains of at least 40 seats. Republicans must gain 39 seats in the House to retake the majority.
(CNN) - Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said on Sunday that the United States is “never going to be totally immune from threats” to its national security.
One day after the ninth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Napolitano said in an interview with CNN’s Candy Crowley on "State of the Union" that the country is safer now than it was then, but added, “there is no 100 percent guarantee” that we won’t be attacked again.
Former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff echoed Napolitano’s assessment.
“We have reduced the risk, we have not eliminated the risk,” Chertoff told Crowley on Sunday.
Napolitano said a small number of American citizens have become “radicalized to violence,” but said that it is “not unique” to the United States, “nor was it unanticipated that that could occur.”