(CNN) – Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist explained Monday his recent switch to the Democratic Party, saying the GOP has become "less tolerant (and) less welcoming."
"I didn't leave the Republican Party, the Republican Party left me," Crist said on CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight," repeating a line he used at the Democratic National Convention. "Issue after issue they seem to get more strident and more difficult."
(CNN) – Rep. Buck McKeon, who chairs the House Armed Services Committee, criticized Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Monday for blaming the United States over insecurity in Afghanistan. Asked if he thought the U.S. could continue to work with Karzai, the congressman said it's "a tough situation."
"When you figure all the sacrifice that we’ve made to try to help that country to try to help them have the ability to stand on their own feet and decide their own destiny – and then you get that kind of response. It’s a tough situation," he said on CNN's Erin Burnett OutFront.
Erin Burnett will report live from Kabul on Thursday.
(CNN) – Sen. Daniel Inouye, who has represented Hawaii in Congress since its statehood, was at a Washington-area military hospital on Monday where his oxygen levels were monitored, he said in a statement.
"For the most part, I am OK. However, I am currently working with my doctors to regulate my oxygen intake," the Democrat said. "Much to my frustration, while undergoing this process, I have to remain in the hospital for my own safety and to allow the necessary observation."
CNN's GUT CHECK | for December 10, 2012 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
DEVELOPING: SPOTLIGHT ON BIG PAYCHECKS AT FANNIE AND FREDDIE (AGAIN)… A report released Monday by a government watchdog reveals the top 90 employees received an impressive $92 million in pay last year at Fannie and Freddie - companies that are propped by taxpayer money. Top employees' pay remained at stratospheric levels even though overall compensation declined after bonuses were eliminated last year, according to the Inspector General of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which supervises and regulates Fannie and Freddie. – Aaron Smith
Washington (CNN) – Sen. John McCain is seeking a slot on the Foreign Relations Committee next year and could be in place to grill United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice at her confirmation hearing if President Obama nominates her to be secretary of state.
The Arizona Republican is one of Rice's harshest critics. He has suggested the U.N. ambassador tried to cover up the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya - which killed four Americans including Ambassador Christopher Stevens - as a means to help the president win re-election.
Redford, Michigan (CNN) – President Obama's latest PR blitz pushing his position in the fiscal cliff showdown brought him to a Detroit-area motor plant Monday, where he pledged to a union-heavy crowd that he would not compromise on raising tax rates for high-income earners.
"I am not going to have a situation where the wealthiest among us, including folks like me, get to keep all our tax breaks," Obama said, adding, "when they start making a million, or 10 million, or 20 million, you can afford to pay a littler more. They are not too strapped."
(CNN) - The recreational use of marijuana officially became legal Monday in Colorado, a little more than a month after voters in the state passed an amendment in favor of the measure.
"Voters were loud and clear on Election Day," Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, said in a statement, as he signed an executive order to officially legalize the personal use and limited growing of marijuana for those 21 or older. Amendment 64, as it's called, is now a part of the state's constitution.
(CNN) - Republicans provided more details Monday of their effort to determine what went wrong in last month's election, which saw the GOP lose both the race for the White House and seats in the House and Senate.
Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus, who last month said his party was planning an "autopsy" to locate problem areas, said the effort would "recommend a plan to further ensure Republicans are victorious in 2013, 2014, 2016 and beyond."
(CNNMoney) - Several prominent Michigan Democrats met with Republican Gov. Rick Snyder on Monday in an effort to convince him not to sign the "right-to-work" bill expected to pass the legislature.
The legislation, which cleared some legislative hurdles last week, is expected to get final approval Tuesday. It would allow workers at union-represented employers to not pay dues even though the union would be bargaining on their behalf.