Sioux City, Iowa (CNN) – Republican presidential frontrunner Newt Gingrich, who has come under assault from nearly all of his rivals for the GOP nomination, defended himself Thursday against questions about his electability and conservative record.
"It's sort of laughable to suggest that some someone who campaigned with Ronald Reagan and with Jack Kemp, and (who) has a 30-year record of conservatism is somehow not conservative," Gingrich said in a presidential debate in western Iowa.
Washington (CNN) – A key Senate Democrat came to the defense of embattled Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko on Thursday after his four fellow commissioners sent a letter to the White House criticizing his leadership. They also testified before a House committee that Jaczko had "bullied" staff, restricted access to information and quietly assumed emergency powers following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan this year.
Sen. Barbara Boxer of California called a Wednesday House hearing a "witch hunt and an attempt to assassinate the character of a dedicated public servant," namely Jaczko. "Frankly, I was shocked, and I was appalled," she said.
Washington (CNN) - Congressional negotiators have come to an agreement they believe will prevent a government shutdown, according to several Democratic sources.
Negotiators were signing off on a massive spending bill that funds the government through October 1, 2012, they told CNN Thursday night.
(CNN) - Republican Rep. Geoff Davis of Kentucky announced Thursday he won't run to keep his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives next year, citing a desire to spend more time with family.
"I thank the people of Kentucky's Fourth District for this honor and look forward to continued service to our community and to our Republic in other capacities as I return to the private sector," he said in a statement.
Sioux City, Iowa (CNN) - Iowans for Life, a pro-life organization in Iowa, is denying any involvement in fliers that were distributed at Newt Gingrich events labeling him a "pro-life fraud."
The flier, which claims to be "authorized and paid for by the Iowans for Life," was distributed in the parking lot at the Wednesday premiere of the "Gift of Life" documentary in Des Moines. The next day, the same fliers showed up at a Gingrich town hall some 90 miles away in Dodge City.
New York (CNN) – A leader of a Tea Party group was arrested Thursday at New York's LaGuardia Airport while in possession of a handgun, prosecutors said.
Mark Meckler, a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, was detained Thursday morning during preflight check-in, according to a Queens District attorney statement.
Washington (CNN) - The Senate gave approval Thursday to a giant $662 billion defense authorization bill, sending it to President Barack Obama for his signature.
On Wednesday, the White House lifted a veto threat against the bill after legislators made changes in language involving detainees.
(CNN) - GOP presidential frontrunner Newt Gingrich on Thursday said he believes homosexuality stems from a "combination of genetics and environment."
"I don't believe in genetic determinism, and I don't believe there's any great evidence of genetic determinism," Gingrich said before The Des Moines Register's editorial board. "There are propensities. Are you more likely to do this, or are you more likely to do that? But that doesn't mean it's definitional."
(CNN) – Gallup's daily tracking poll shows a tightening GOP presidential field, with Newt Gingrich losing steam nationwide and Mitt Romney regaining some momentum within the last week.
Gingrich now has the backing of 29% of Republican voters, down eight percentage points from his peak of 37% in early December, according to the rolling poll, which measures five consecutive days of polling data.
(CNN) - Ron Paul issued a new hit on Newt Gingrich Thursday, suggesting his rival was incautious by taking a hawkish stance on U.S. defense while having deferred military service himself.
"He's probably as aggressive with the military as anybody," Paul said on Fox News. "He supports all the wars in the Middle East a thousand times more than I would. But you know in the nineteen-sixties when I was drafted in the military, he got several deferments. He chose not to go. Now he'll send our kids to war."