(CNN) - Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele said Wednesday that he doesn't believe former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was playing to lowest common denominator politics when he said that President Obama has a "Kenyan anti-colonial" worldview.
In an interview with CNN's Chief National Correspondent John King on John King, USA, Steele said he thinks Gingrich's comment, made to the National Review on Saturday, was not based on the president's race.
"I know probably some folks out there want to, but I don't see that," Steele said. "I know Newt. I know that's not his mindset on that. He's talking about a world view that comes from a different part, whether it's Europe, the African continent."
Washington (CNN) - Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, dismissed a request Wednesday from an influential social conservative organization to skip a fundraiser for a Republican gay and lesbian advocacy group, saying that even though he does not agree with the group on social issues he shares its views on fiscal discipline and economic policy.
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, sent Cornyn a letter on Monday saying that “it is deeply troubling” that the Texas Republican would attend an upcoming Log Cabin Republicans fundraiser, because the organization does not represent the ideals of the Republican Party.
“Your work in the U.S. Senate on issues important to the family is well known, as is your close association with Family Research Council and the work we do, which makes the association all the more distressing,” Perkins wrote in a letter provided to CNN by the FRC. “In deference to the work you have done against the debasement of our culture, I would ask respectfully that you withdraw from attending the event.”
But Cornyn, who oversees campaign efforts for Senate Republicans, said that he planned to attend the event and explained that he “accepted for two reasons” in a letter sent Wednesday to Perkins.
Read both letters after the jump:
(CNN) - Nancy Reagan weighed in on the Senate and gubernatorial races in her home state on Wednesday, offering her endorsement of the Republican candidates in both California races.
The former first lady announced her support for Senate candidate Carly Fiorina and gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman a day after the three women sat down together for a private meeting.
Both women said they are honored to have the endorsement of Reagan, a former first lady of California.
"She and I share the same core values, and I am thankful to have her confidence and support behind my campaign for U.S. Senate," Fiorina said.
Fiorina is locked in a tight battle to unseat three-term Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer. Whitman also faces a tough challenge from Attorney General Jerry Brown to succeed Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Whitman also expressed her gratitude to Reagan.
"The legacies of President Reagan and Nancy Reagan have long been an inspiration to me, and their impact on our state and our nation is immeasurable," Whitman said.
Washington (CNN) - Thirty-one House Democrats, most of whom face tough re-election bids this fall, have signed a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer urging them to extend expiring tax breaks for all income levels, including the wealthy.
Pelosi and other House Democratic leaders have made it clear they support President Obama's proposal to vote on a bill that only renews tax breaks for those making $250,000 and under. But with the midterm elections less than two months away, leaders have not yet decided whether they will schedule a vote on the legislation before voters go to the polls.
The letter–written by Utah Rep. Jim Matheson, Illinois Rep. Melissa Bean, Virginia Rep. Glenn Nye and Michigan Rep. Gary Peters–states that after listening to economists, small businesses and families over recent weeks they are concerned that "raising any taxes right now could negatively impact economic growth."
Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama plans to name Elizabeth Warren as a special adviser to help set up a new consumer protection agency created under the Wall Street reform bill, according to sources who spoke on condition of not being identified by name.
A Democratic official said Wednesday that Warren's title would be Assistant to the President and Special Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
In her role, Warren would report directly to Obama and to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner while leading the administration's work in starting up the new bureau, the official said.
In addition, a senior administration official said Obama will name Warren to the advisory position this week.
The move would allow Warren to help set up the new consumer protection agency, but bypass a potentially difficult Senate confirmation battle if she were nominated to formally run the agency.
Updated 7:56 p.m.
(CNN) - Less than a day after winning the Delaware Republican Senate primary in a surprising upset, Christine O'Donnell reached her earlier fundraising goal for the general election.
"We have surpassed our earlier goal of $500,000. What do you think? Can we hit $750,000?" O'Donnell tweeted Wednesday.
O'Donnell became the latest Tea Party-backed candidate this election season to defeat an incumbent candidate after she easily beat long-time Rep. Mike Castle in the contentious Senate primary.
Now, despite the skepticism many Republicans expressed as the election results came in Tuesday night – one Republican official told CNN the Republican party would be slow to give any money to O'Donnnell – she is enjoying an influx of support from prominent Republican leaders.
Washington (CNN) - Young adults will be a deciding factor in the midterm elections, and with just two months until November, their votes are still up for grabs, according to a new poll released Wednesday.
The bipartisan poll, which was commissioned by Rock the Vote, found that young adults are paying close attention to the election – about 77 percent of those surveyed said they were either very likely or somewhat likely to vote. And like older Americans, they are frustrated with the status quo.
"This generation relates to candidates more than political parties, and as a result, despite voting for Obama 2-1, they are less concerned with which party will win in 2010 and instead gravitate toward the candidate who speaks most clearly and directly to their interests and concerns," said Rock the Vote President Heather Smith.
(CNN) - Ovide Lamontagne, formerly a Republican candidate for Senate in New Hampshire announced Wednesday he will support former Attorney General Kelly Ayotte and will not ask for a recount.
"The people of New Hampshire have spoken, they have ruled. While I am disappointed with the result, I humbly accept their verdict," Lamontagne said at a press conference. "I will not be seeking a recount, but I will remain a fighter for you."
Lamontagne had until 5 p.m. ET to ask the Secretary of State for a vote recount, but at a press conference Wednesday said he will instead support Ayotte.
The vote was certified Wednesday afternoon by the Secretary of State's office with Ayotte leading by 1,667 votes.
(CNN) - New York Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino spoke Wednesday with CNN's Rick Sanchez.
(CNN) - Sarah Palin has a message for former top Bush aide Karl Rove: "Buck up."
Palin sent her message to Rove Wednesday on Fox News, after he expressed the doubt that Delaware Republican Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell does not "evince the characteristics of rectitude and sincerity and character that the voters are looking for."
"Well, bless his heart," Palin said. "We love our friends, they're in the machine, the expert politicos. But my message to those who say that the GOP nominee is not electable, or that they're not even going to try, well I say, buck up!"
Rove, on Tuesday, also said that O'Donnell had made some "nutty" statements prior to her victory.