Joplin, Missouri (CNN) – On the eve of the one year anniversary of the tornado that ripped apart the southern Missouri town of Joplin, Missouri, killing 161 residents and injuring 900 others, President Barack Obama told graduating high school seniors they and their town serve as an inspiration.
"We can define our own lives not by what happens to us, but by how we respond. We can choose to carry on. We can choose to make a difference in the world," the president told the 2012 graduating class at Joplin High School. "Of all that’s come from this tragedy, let this be the central lesson that guides us. Let it be the lesson that sustains through whatever challenges lie ahead.”
(CNN) - Having levied his own criticisms of Mitt Romney's background leading the private equity firm Bain Capital, Newt Gingrich has a warning for President Barack Obama's campaign: the issue is fair game, but be wary.
"We found out when we got in a fight with Mitt Romney over this that it didn't work," he said Monday on CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight," after an Obama surrogate on Sunday called political discourse on both sides of the aisle "nauseating."
(CNN) – New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will appear at a Tuesday fund-raiser in New York with Mitt Romney, Romney's campaign told CNN on Monday.
The appearance with Christie comes amid a three-day string of fund-raisers in New York and Connecticut, which Romney’s national finance chairman predicted at a Monday afternoon event would "raise more than $10 million and potentially substantially more than that.”
(CNN) - If Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-California, an influential member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, is looking for a country to visit as a member of a congressional delegation, he can cross Afghanistan off his list.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Rohrabacher have been at loggerheads over the congressman's push for a more decentralized Afghan government. Asked by CNN's Wolf Blitzer about the disagreement, Karzai said he is against letting Rohrabacher into the country.
Greensboro, North Carolina (CNN) – The jury in former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards' corruption trial ended a second day of deliberations without a verdict Monday after asking to review a batch of exhibits from the four-week case.
The eight-man, four-woman jury began weighing the former North Carolina senator's fate on Friday. Monday afternoon, jurors asked to review a batch of exhibits related to two of the six counts against Edwards, the 2004 Democratic vice presidential nominee.
Washington (CNN) - Mitt Romney's campaign purchased a second week of ads on Monday, according to a Republican media tracking source.
Team Romney bought $1,026,000 of time in the battleground states of Ohio and Iowa for spots that will begin airing for a week on Wednesday. The commercials are set to run on broadcast stations in the key Ohio markets of Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati and Dayton, as well as Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Davenport and Sioux City in Iowa.
CNN's GUT CHECK | for May 21, 2012 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
BREAKING… GAME ON, 2012: OBAMA DRAWS LINE IN THE SAND OVER PRIVATE EQUITY, SAYING THIS IS WHAT THE CAMPAIGN IS ABOUT. OBAMA: "THIS IS NOT A, QUOTE, DISTRACTION."
4:37 p.m. ET: President Obama, at the NATO summit press conference, pits POLITICAL EQUITY against PRIVATE EQUITY: “My view of private equity is that it is, it is set up to maximize profits and that is a healthy part of the free market, of course. That’s part of the role of a lot of business people. That is not unique to private equity. My representatives have said repeatedly and I will say today, I think there are folks who do good work in that area and there are times where they identify the capacity for the economy to create new jobs or new industries. But understand their priority is to maximize profits, and that is not always going to be good for communities or businesses or workers. And the reason this is relevant to the campaign is that because my opponent, Gov. Romney, the main calling card for why he should be president is his business experience. He is not going out there touting his experience in Massachusetts, he is saying, 'I am a business guy and I know how to fix it,' and this is his business. And when you are president as opposed to the head of a private equity firm, then your job is not simply to maximize profits. Your job is to figure out how everybody in the country has a fair shot. … And so if your main argument for how to grow the economy is, 'I knew how to make a lot of money for investors,' then you are missing what this job is about.”
(CNN) – President Barack Obama took Mitt Romney to task on Monday, arguing the likely GOP presidential nominee's history as a corporate CEO does anything but qualify him for the Oval Office.
"When you're president, as opposed to the head of a private equity firm, then your job is not simply to maximize profits. Your job is to figure out how everybody in the country has a fair shot," the president said during a press conference at the NATO summit in Chicago.
Washington (CNN) – If the findings of a new study on congressional speech levels represented their actions, senators would be busy passing notes in history class, while representatives attempted to trick the substitute trigonometry teacher.
A new study by the Sunlight Foundation found that Congress speaks at an average grade level of 10.6, equivalent to a sophomore in high school. That number is down from 2005, when Congress' 11.5 speaking level was in line with a high school junior.
(CNN) – President Barack Obama's campaign spokesman said Monday that neither the president's campaign nor the White House asked Newark, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker to produce a web video clarifying his take on a spate of recent campaign attack ads.
Ben LaBolt was asked by CNN's Brooke Baldwin if the campaign requested the Booker backtrack.