New York (CNN) - France's first lady Carla Bruni denied Monday that her U.S. counterpart ever told her that life in the White House was "hell."
"Of course Michelle Obama never said such a thing," the former model told CNN's Hala Gorani in an exclusive interview after arriving at the United Nations with her husband, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who was attending a summit on global development.
The quote came from the unauthorized "Carla et les Ambitieux" ("Carla and the Ambitious"), written by Michael Darmon and Yves Derai and published last week.
In a passage about the French first couple's official visit to Washington last March, the book describes an official dinner at the White House in which Bruni reportedly asked Michelle Obama about life at the White House and her role as first lady.
Michelle Obama reportedly responded that the job is like "hell" and that she can't stand it.
Washington (CNN) - A leading conservative grassroots organization is taking aim at Robert Byrd's old Senate seat.
FreedomWorks announced Monday that they are endorsing Republican businessman John Raese, the GOP Senate nominee in West Virginia. Late last month Raese won the GOP nomination and will face off in a special election on Nov. 2 against the popular two-term Gov. Joe Manchin, the Democratic nominee.
The winner will fill the remaining two years of the term of longtime Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd, who died earlier this year.
FreedomWorks says it plans to support the Raese campaign with get-out-the-vote efforts, "including direct mailings, yard sign distribution, volunteer phone banks and neighborhood literature drops leading up to election day," according to a statement.
Washington (CNN) - It's amazing how formidable Bill Clinton remains. He's very much a political force in the country. He will be deeply involved in helping Democrats in the weeks leading up to the November 2 elections.
Clinton can certainly raise money for candidates but, more importantly, he can help deliver votes. I think it's fair to say many - not all, but many - Democrats in deep trouble right now would welcome some help from him. They might even prefer him over President Obama in their districts.
I've been thinking about him because I will be in New York Tuesday at his Clinton Global Initiative to interview him. It will be my third interview with him this year. I spent some time with him in Washington on the 15th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing and, more recently, at the Fortune-Time-CNN Global Forum in Cape Town, South Africa.
(CNN) – Don Rumsfeld's long-anticipated memoir will be released in January, and the former defense secretary isn't going to pull any punches, his publisher said Monday.
The upcoming book – "Known and Unknown" – will hit book stores January 25 and "is filled with previously undisclosed details and insights about the Bush administration, 9/11, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq," according to the book's publisher, Sentinel, a division of Penguin.
The book's title harkens to his infamous 2002 quote explaining there were "known unknowns" and "unknown unknowns" when it came to the war in Iraq – a word jumble that Rumsfeld critics found emblematic of his inartful leadership.
Washington (CNN) - An independent Republican organization that's supporting GOP candidates running in this year's midterm elections raised $14.5 million over the past month.
American Crossroads also confirms to CNN that the organization, and its affiliated group, Crossroads GPS, have brought in $32 million since they formed this spring.
American Crossroads, a conservative 527 campaign organization which was launched by a group of influential Republicans, says their goal is to raise $52 million this year to help their party topple Democrats in the midterm elections.
Celebrating late President Ronald Reagan's 100th birthday, U.S. Navy sailors mark the occasion on the deck of the aircraft carrier named in his honor. (PHOTO CREDIT: U.S. Navy/ Dylan McCord)
Washington (CNN) - Sailors serving aboard the USS Ronald Reagan paid tribute to the nation's 40th president last week by forming together on the deck of the aircraft carrier to spell out his initials and the number 100 to signify the upcoming anniversary of the late president's centennial birthday.
Reagan, who was born on Feb. 6, 1911, was first elected president in 1980 and again for a second term in 1984. He died on June 5, 2004 at the age of 93. The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Library plans a year long celebration to honor the 40th president on his 100th birthday.
(CNN) - Vice President Joe Biden's visit to Ohio Monday is the fifth to the state by either Biden or President Barack Obama over the past four weeks. But the flurry of trips by the top two men in the White House doesn't seem to be making a dent in a state where Democrats face challenging elections this year.
The vice president teams up with Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland at campaign events in Akron and Dayton. Next month the president joins Strickland on the campaign trail. The October 17 event will be the 11th time Obama has visited Ohio since he became president.
Biden's visit comes as the two most recent polls of likely Ohio voters indicate Strickland is slipping against former Rep. John Kasich, the Republican gubernatorial nominee. According to a CNN/Time/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Wednesday, Strickland trails Kasich by seven points. And a Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday indicates that Kasich holds a 17 point advantage over the first term governor.
(CNN) – Leave it to Mike Huckabee to give his own colorful assessment of the latest Tea Party victory in Delaware, where Christine O'Donnell prevailed over establishment pick Mike Castle.
Speaking to reporters in Arkansas over the weekend, the former presidential candidate said he is thrilled establishment Republicans are 'getting spanked' in the primary elections.
"I think the Republican establishment in D.C. is getting spanked and deserves it," said Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas. "Frankly, I'm thrilled that they're getting a little kicking in the backside over the races like in Delaware, because there has been this elitist and pompous, contemptuous attitude toward a lot of the grassroots."
Video for the remarks were posted Sunday on the conservative Arkansas website The Tolbert Report.
(CNN) – Mitt Romney's dizzying campaign schedule ahead of the 2010 midterm elections will take the former Massachusetts governor to Florida for a rally on behalf of GOP gubernatorial nominee Rick Scott.
Romney and Scott will appear on October 1 at the Villages – a massive retirement community in central Florida that was a popular campaign stop in the 2008 presidential election.
Scott, a former health care industry executive, spent approximately $50 million of his own funds to beat establishment pick Bill McCollum in the GOP primary. He now faces Democrat Alex Sink, the state's chief financial officer in what is amounting to a tight race. Of course, a Republican win of the Statehouse in November could greatly aide the eventual GOP presidential nominee come 2012 – when Florida will again likely play a key role in determining the next White House occupant.
Romney's planned foray to the Sunshine State is part of the Massachusetts Republican's previously-announced tour to 25 states over the next ten weeks as he considers his own presidential ambitions ahead of the midterms.
A White House official is denying a report that claims the Obama administration considered a Tea-Party focused ad campaign. (PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images/File)
Washington (CNN) - A top White House official sharply denied a report that claims President Obama's political advisers are weighing a national television advertising campaign that would portray the Republican Party as dominated by Tea Party activists.
The article, published online in the New York Times on Sunday, says strategists are looking to capitalize on the inner-GOP sniping that has increased with the Tea Party's recent primary wins.
The tension was on full display over the weekend, with Delaware Senate primary winner Christine O'Donnell backing out of scheduled talk show appearances, and Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski accusing the Tea Party Express of infusing money and lies into her Republican primary to swing it against her.