Washington (CNN) - Stung by an audit report this week that highlighted "$16 muffins" at a conference at the Capital Hilton in Washington, the hotel chain is fighting back, insisting the pricey pastries were not that expensive.
Hilton Worldwide responded to the much-publicized cost of the muffins, disputing the $16 per muffin charge cited by the Justice Inspector General in an audit of costs incurred at Justice Department conferences in 2008 and 2009.
(CNN) - White House hopeful Rick Santorum said he didn't hear boos from the audience when a gay soldier asked a question via YouTube at Thursday night's GOP presidential debate.
"I condemn the people who booed that gay soldier," Santorum said on Fox News Friday. "Certainly had I heard them, I would have said, 'Don't do that. This man is serving our country and we are to thank him for his service’."
(CNN) - Texas Gov. Rick Perry responded to Rep. Michele Bachmann's criticism of his short-lived 2007 executive order requiring girls to get a vaccination for human papillomavirus, during Thursday night's Republican presidential candidates' debate in Orlando. Bachmann said a drug company that produced the vaccination hired his former chief of staff to lobby him.
Perry's response: "I got lobbied on this issue. I got lobbied by a 31-year-old young lady who had Stage 4 cervical cancer. I spent a lot of time with her. She came by my office, talked to me about the program."
Orlando (CNN) - Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman made a pitch for big tent Republicanism in a convention hall packed with hardcore Florida conservatives on Friday.
And the crowd applauded. Politely, at least.
Orlando (CNN) - Texas Gov. Rick Perry moved to put an underwhelming debate performance behind him during an address to a convention of Florida Republicans on Friday.
"As conservatives, we know that values and visions matter," Perry told nearly 2,000 Republican activists at the Florida Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando. "It's not who is the slickest candidate or who is the smoothest debater that we need to elect. We need to elect the candidate with the best record and the best vision for our country."
Orlando (CNN) - Rick Perry may be a little saddle sore after the rough ride he had at Thursday's GOP presidential debate, but the real question is whether the front-runner in this horse race did more than just throw a shoe.
Republicans looking for reviews of Rick Perry's performance can go right to the search engine that sponsored the debate, Google.
(CNN) – The Democratic-controlled Senate effectively rejected the House GOP's temporary spending bill in a procedural test vote Friday.
Both chambers of Congress must agree on new spending legislation - which would include disaster relief funding - to avoid a government shutdown after the close of the current fiscal year on September 30.
Washington (CNN) - Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, seen by many as a rising star among Republicans, was tapped Friday to head up a key fundraising group for his party ahead of the 2012 presidential election.
"I am delighted to announce the appointment of my good friend Paul Ryan to chair the RNC Presidential Trust," Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said. "Paul is a visionary leader for our Party and it is fitting that he play a crucial role in the upcoming election where our nation's future hangs in the balance."
(CNN) - Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney continued attacking rival Rick Perry over illegal immigration Friday.
The former Massachusetts governor responded to Perry's assertion during Thursday's GOP presidential debate that those who disagree with providing in-state tuition to the children of illegal immigrants lack a heart.
Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama announced Friday that states will be allowed to opt out of certain requirements imposed by the controversial No Child Left Behind law, the landmark education reform initiative passed with broad bipartisan support a decade ago.
The administration will immediately begin reviewing state applications to waive various demands imposed by the law in return for credible commitments to close lingering achievement gaps.