Washington (CNN) - Six Republican presidential campaigns secured spots Thursday to participate in the high stakes Ames Straw Poll in Iowa.
Multiple GOP sources told CNN that the former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, businessman Herman Cain, former Sen. Rick Santorum, Texas Rep. Ron Paul and, surprisingly, Michigan Rep. Thaddeus McCotter each paid a minimum of $15,000 to rent space outside the arena where the August 13 straw poll will take place.
Washington (CNN) - Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson said Thursday his path to victory for the Republican presidential nomination is predicated on a strong showing in New Hampshire, the early primary state that can make or break a bid for the White House.
Johnson, who is polling in the low single digits in national polls, said he's not necessarily skipping Iowa, the first state to weigh in on the 2012 GOP nomination, but acknowledged his centrist views on social issues will not play very well in the Hawkeye State.
(CNN) - The federal prosecution of former U.S. Rep. Rick Renzi of Arizona will continue, a federal appeals court in San Francisco ruled Thursday. The three-judge panel said the lawmaker's actions were not protected by the Constitution's "speech and debate" clause.
"Despite Renzi's best efforts to convince us otherwise, we agree with the district court that the alleged choices and actions for which he is being prosecuted lie beyond those limits" of protected activity, the court said in a unanimous 45-page ruling.FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) - Gen. David Petraeus told his Senate confirmation hearing Thursday that "I wanted this job" as he explained his willingness to retire from the military after 37 years to become CIA director.
The 58-year-old commanding general of U.S. forces in Afghanistan told the Senate Intelligence Committee he would lead the nation's largest intelligence agency fully independent of his ties to the military.
Washington (CNN) - Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty will deliver a "major" foreign policy address next Tuesday in New York, his presidential campaign told CNN Thursday.
According to a Pawlenty aide, the speech to the Council on Foreign Relations "will focus on the challenges and opportunities presented by the Arab Spring."
(CNN)-Democratic House Majority PAC will take a crack at GOP Minnesota Rep. Chip Cravaack Friday with the release of a new ad criticizing the congressman for endorsing a Republican House proposal to dramatically alter Medicare.
The independent expenditure group's main beef with Cravaack is his support of House Budget Chair Paul Ryan's proposal that would require changes to Medicare as a method of battling the budget deficit.
(CNN) - President Barack Obama said Thursday that the U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan will not be done "precipitously."
It will be done in a steady way to ensure recent gains "will be sustained," he said.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama says he wants to negotiate a peace settlement with the Taliban, the group in Afghanistan that harbored al Qaeda in the years leading up to 9/11. “So as we strengthen the Afghan government and security forces, America will join initiatives that reconcile the Afghan people, including the Taliban,” he said in his Wednesday evening White House address.
He then spelled out these conditions for such negotiations: “They must be led by the Afghan government, and those who want to be part of a peaceful Afghanistan must break from al Qaeda, abandon violence, and abide by the Afghan constitution.”FULL STORY
Washington (CNN)-With only weeks to go before the country hits the debt ceiling, bipartisan negotiations were on the verge of collapsing as one of two Congressional Republicans walked away from the talks, and the other was unclear about future discussions.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor withdrew from the negotiations Thursday, saying they had reached an impasse with Democrats over tax issues and it was time for President Obama to get involved to broker a deal that would pave the way for a vote to raise the debt ceiling this summer. Arizona Republican Senator Jon Kyl said that it would be difficult to continue negotiations with only one Republican at the table.
(CNN) - The arrest of James 'Whitey' Bulger Wednesday hit close to home for GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who aggressively went after the criminal's brother while serving as Massachusetts governor in 2003.
"I hope the capture of Whitey Bulger brings some measure of relief to the families of his numerous victims," Romney said in a statement Wednesday. "It brings to a close a sad and sordid chapter in recent Massachusetts history."