Philadelphia (CNN) – Mitt Romney bit his tongue and played it safe. He waited until hours after the president’s speech from Afghanistan to release a statement on what was undoubtedly a turning point in the U.S. war against al Qaeda.
“I am pleased that President Obama has returned to Afghanistan. Our troops and the American people deserve to hear from our President about what is at stake in this war,” Romney said in the statement released late Tuesday night.
Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) - President Barack Obama, speaking early Wednesday in Afghanistan at the tail end of a surprise visit there, discussed how the war will end and promised a steady drawdown of U.S. troops.
Obama committed to pulling 23,000 troops out of the country by the end of summer and sticking to the 2014 deadline to turn security fully over to the Afghan government. He said that NATO will set a goal this month for Afghan forces to be in the lead for combat operations next year.
Washington (CNN) – Newt Gingrich will briefly mention presumptive nominee Mitt Romney and signal support for his candidacy when the former House speaker suspends his campaign for the GOP presidential nomination on Wednesday, Gingrich's spokesman R.C. Hammond said.
Planning is under way for a joint Romney-Gingrich formal endorsement event to be held in a couple of weeks, Hammond said.
(CNN) - First lady Michelle Obama wrapped up a day of campaign stops in New Mexico and Nevada on Tuesday, finishing her four-state swing in likely battleground territory this fall.
As her husband landed in Afghanistan for a surprise trip, the first lady was speaking at a private fundraising event at the Los Poblanos Inn and Cultural Center near Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Oak Creek, Wisconsin (CNN) – Faced with the threat of losing his job in a bitter recall election, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker pressed his case with the help of a Republican rock star: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
Both men attended two public events in Wisconsin: an early afternoon fundraiser in Green Bay and, later, a rally in front of a wildly supportive crowd at a landscaping company in the Milwaukee suburb of Oak Creek.
Washington (CNN) – The White House strongly denied Tuesday that President Barack Obama's surprise trip to Afghanistan was executed for political motives, saying the visit was more than a year in the making.
On a conference call with reporters, a senior administration official speaking from Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan was asked if the trip – made on the one-year anniversary of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden – was opening the president to charges of "craven politics."
(CNN) - Ahead of President Barack Obama's speech from Afghanistan, the White House released excerpts of his remarks Tuesday.
See the excerpts after the jump.
(CNN) - Senate Republican leaders don't plan any formal reaction – or criticism – of President Barack Obama's surprise trip to Afghanistan, according to a top Senate GOP leadership aide.
The aide said the president announced the troop drawdown almost a year ago, and there is little new to say.
New York (CNN) – While standing outside Engine Company 24, which lost 11 firefighters on September 11, Mitt Romney reiterated Tuesday he would also have ordered the mission to kill Osama bin Laden but criticized President Barack Obama for politicizing his role on its one-year anniversary.
"This is a person who had done terrible harm to America and who represented a continuing threat to civilized people throughout the world, and had I been president of the United States, I would have made the same decision the president made which was to remove him," Romney said.
(CNN) - Longtime Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma criticized President Barack Obama over the president's surprise trip to Afghanistan Tuesday, describing the visit as "campaign related" and an "attempt to shore up his national security credentials."
"We've seen recently that President Obama has visited college campuses in an attempt to win back the support of that age group since he has lost it over the last three years," Inhofe said in a statement. "Similarly, this trip to Afghanistan is an attempt to shore up his national security credentials, because he has spent the past three years gutting our military."