Washington (CNN) - House Republicans pulled the plug on a vote Thursday on a bipartisan amendment to a defense bill that would force the Obama administration to stick firmly to its timetable for getting U.S. troops out of Afghanistan.
Republicans were concerned the amendment could pass, according to two GOP congressional sources. Instead, GOP members decided to allow limited debate on Afghanistan, but just on one amendment sponsored by California Democrat Barbara Lee that was guaranteed to fail. It would essentially end the war in Afghanistan by limiting funding to the "safe and orderly withdrawal" of U.S. troops.
Washington (CNN) - Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner drew a hard line in the sand this week, renewing a battle over the debt ceiling unless President Barack Obama agreed to significant budget cuts during what may be a lame-duck session after the November elections.
This could set the stage for a dire scenario that threatens to bring the government to a crawl by Christmas.
Washington (CNN) - Mitt Romney's presidential campaign is going on the air Friday with its first general election season ad, CNN has learned.
The campaign has bought at least $1.2 million worth of TV time in the battleground states of Ohio, North Carolina, Iowa and Virginia, according to a Republican ad-buying source not affiliated with the campaign.
(CNN) - The non-partisan independent group whose goal was to field a third party presidential contender in the 2012 general election admitted defeat Thursday, saying their process for selecting a candidate had ended unsuccessfully.
"The primary process for the Americans Elect nomination has come to an end," the group wrote in a statement Thursday.
Washington (CNN) – Predictions of super PAC-fueled campaign ugliness seemed to come to reality on Thursday when reports broke of a potential conservative group's ad campaign aimed at tying President Barack Obama to a controversy put to rest nearly four years ago.
But conservative billionaire Joe Ricketts decided against a proposal from GOP strategists that would bring up once again Obama's association with the controversial Rev. Jeremiah Wright, a super PAC director said.
CNN's GUT CHECK | for May 17, 2012 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
JUST IN: ROMNEY ON SUPER PAC PROPOSAL TO GO AFTER OBAMA: “I want to make it very clear I repudiate that effort. I think it is the wrong course for a PAC or a campaign. I hope that our campaigns can respectively be about the future and about issues and about a vision for America. I have been disappointed in the president’s campaign to date which is focused on character assassination. …
ROMNEY REGARDING THE ATTACKS ON HIS RECORD AT BAIN CAPITAL: “The purpose of the president’s ads are not to describe success and failure but to somehow suggest that I am not a good person or not a good guy, and I think the American people will know better than that if they don’t already.”
NEW GALLUP SHOWS ROMNEY LIKABILITY HIGHEST EVER: “Fifty percent of Americans now have a favorable opinion of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, up from 39% in February and his highest by 10 percentage points.”
(CNN) - The conservative group Americans for Prosperity said Thursday they were embarking on a bus tour of Wisconsin ahead of the state's gubernatorial recall election on June 5.
The intention of the tour is to highlight "budget reforms passed and signed into law last session" – exactly the sticking point for Wisconsin Democrats, who petitioned to have Republican Gov. Scott Walker recalled after he cut collective bargaining rights for union workers last winter.
(CNN) - Tim Pawlenty didn't use on Thursday the one word which most potential GOP vice presidential picks have used this year when asked if they would accept the number two spot: "no."
"I'm going to do whatever I can to help Mitt Romney defeat Barack Obama," he said in an interview on MSNBC. "I've just been telling people, look, I think I can help in other ways but obviously anyone would be honored to serve if asked."
Washington (CNN) - Six months before a national election whose results could hinge on which party turns out more supporters, House Democrats unveiled legislation Thursday they say is needed to ensure all eligible voters have unfettered access to the ballot box.
"The vote is the soul and the heart of the democratic process, People died for the right to vote, and some of them were people I knew," Rep John Lewis, D-Georgia, a leading figure in the civil rights movement said at a Capitol Hill press conference. "I hope and pray that we will not return to the days of overt discrimination, before we decide to do something about it."
(CNN) – Billionaire Joe Ricketts on Thursday rejected an ad proposal by high-profile Republicans billed as a provocative campaign against President Barack Obama that would run around the Democratic National Convention.
Earlier Thursday The New York Times reported Republican strategists were working with billionaire Ricketts to run commercials "linking Mr. Obama to incendiary comments by his former spiritual adviser, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr."