First on CNN: In tea party response, Paul will urge GOP to embrace immigrants, cut spending
February 12th, 2013
02:56 PM ET
1 year ago

First on CNN: In tea party response, Paul will urge GOP to embrace immigrants, cut spending

Washington (CNN) - Sen. Rand Paul will call on his fellow Republicans to be more welcoming of immigrants Tuesday night in a speech where he will also sharply criticize President Barack Obama and his congressional colleagues for failing to reduce the nation's debt.

"We are the party that embraces hard work and ingenuity, therefore we must be the party that embraces the immigrant who wants to come to America for a better future," the Kentucky Republican is expected to say in the tea party response to Obama's State of the Union address, according to an advanced text of his remarks acquired by CNN. "We must be the party who sees immigrants as assets, not liabilities. We must be the party that says, 'If you want to work, if you want to become an American, we welcome you.'"

Watch CNN's comprehensive coverage of President Barack Obama's State of the Union address starting Tuesday night at 7 p.m. ET on CNN TV and follow online at CNN.com or via CNN's apps for iPhone, iPad and Android. Follow our real-time State of the Union live blog at cnn.com/conversation.
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Filed under: Rand Paul • State of the Union
Obama’s options on voting rights and delays
February 12th, 2013
02:22 PM ET
1 year ago

Obama’s options on voting rights and delays

(CNN) – 102-year-old Desiline Victor is among first lady Michelle Obama's guests at the State of the Union Tuesday - and her example is meant to drive home President Barack Obama's commitment to protecting voting rights made during his inaugural address. In that speech he said, "Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote."

Victor, a naturalized U.S. citizen originally from Haiti, waited in line for three hours to cast an early vote ballot in Florida. According to voting rights advocates who know Victor's story, when she returned later in the day other people in line urged election officials to get her in to vote. It was her second time filling out a ballot since she became a citizen in 2005.
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Obama to hold off on announcing carbon standards for older power plants
February 12th, 2013
02:03 PM ET
1 year ago

Obama to hold off on announcing carbon standards for older power plants

(CNN) - As environmentalists wait to hear what President Barack Obama will say about climate change Tuesday night, they may be disappointed that one popular proposal won't be mentioned in his State of the Union address.

A senior administration official said the president will not announce regulations on carbon emissions for existing power plants, a standard already in place for new plants and a policy change sought by many environmental activists.

Watch CNN's comprehensive coverage of President Barack Obama's State of the Union address starting Tuesday night at 7 p.m. ET on CNN TV and follow online at CNN.com or via CNN's apps for iPhone, iPad and Android. Follow our real-time State of the Union live blog at cnn.com/conversation.
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Filed under: Energy • President Obama • State of the Union
Spirit of the Wild: Lawmaker explains bringing Nugent to State of the Union
February 12th, 2013
01:53 PM ET
1 year ago

Spirit of the Wild: Lawmaker explains bringing Nugent to State of the Union

Washington (CNN) – Rep. Steve Stockman, the Texas Republican who invited Ted Nugent to this year's State of the Union, explained Tuesday his reasoning in bringing along the outspoken rocker and gun rights advocate to President Barack Obama's annual address.

"He's a very articulate spokesman," Stockman told CNN. "I'm excited to have him. I think he gives a balance to what's being said tonight at the White House. And it will be a balance. The president gives his views and his opinions. And we live in a free country where other people get to speak their opinion."

Watch CNN's comprehensive coverage of President Barack Obama's State of the Union address starting Tuesday night at 7 p.m. ET on CNN TV and follow online at CNN.com or via CNN's apps for iPhone, iPad and Android. Follow our real-time State of the Union live blog at cnn.com/conversation.
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To tweet or not to tweet? Balancing decorum with rapid response
February 12th, 2013
01:32 PM ET
1 year ago

To tweet or not to tweet? Balancing decorum with rapid response

Washington (CNN) - Who needs an official response, when you can react to the State of the Union before the president has even finished speaking?

Sending a tweet or updating Facebook from the House floor, even in the middle of the State of the Union address, is allowed, according to House rules. This permits members of Congress to almost instantly respond to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday.
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Filed under: State of the Union address • Twitter
Medal of Honor recipient declines invitation to State of the Union
February 12th, 2013
12:14 PM ET
1 year ago

Medal of Honor recipient declines invitation to State of the Union

(CNN) – The former Army staff sergeant who was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Barack Obama Monday is declining the first lady's invitation to be her guest at Tuesday's State of the Union address.

Clint Romesha, who was awarded the prestigious medal for uncommon valor in Afghanistan, told CNN that he has decided to spend the evening with friends from his former unit, Black Knight Troop, 3-61 CAV, his wife Tammy - with whom he celebrates a wedding anniversary Tuesday - and their families.

Watch CNN's comprehensive coverage of President Barack Obama's State of the Union address starting Tuesday night at 7 p.m. ET on CNN TV and follow online at CNN.com or via CNN's apps for iPhone, iPad and Android. Follow our real-time State of the Union live blog at cnn.com/conversation.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • State of the Union
NRA ramps up campaign against background checks
February 12th, 2013
12:04 PM ET
1 year ago

NRA ramps up campaign against background checks

Washington (CNN) - The National Rifle Association is trying to build momentum against the proposed expansion of background checks for gun purchases.

At a gun show in the Virginia suburbs this weekend the NRA's lobbying arm set up a booth to lobby against the gun control measures being pushed by the White House. Prominently displayed at the booth were two signs – one opposing the bill being pushed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, that would ban military style assault weapons and the other was against imposing universal background checks saying they "would not be universal."
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Filed under: NRA
Boehner: the president lacks 'guts' and 'courage'
February 12th, 2013
11:58 AM ET
1 year ago

Boehner: the president lacks 'guts' and 'courage'

Washington (CNN) – In personal and biting terms, House Speaker John Boehner argued that President Obama's failure to find agreement with Republicans is a result of his lack of
"courage" and "guts" to do what it takes.

"To do the kind of heavy lifting that needs to be done, I don't think he's got the guts to go do it," Boehner told a group of television reporters and anchors in a breakfast ahead of the president's State of the Union address.

Watch CNN's comprehensive coverage of President Barack Obama's State of the Union address starting Tuesday night at 7 p.m. ET on CNN TV and follow online at CNN.com or via CNN's apps for iPhone, iPad and Android. Follow our real-time State of the Union live blog at cnn.com/conversation.
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Filed under: Debt • Deficit • House • Immigration • John Boehner • President Obama
February 12th, 2013
11:54 AM ET
1 year ago

Three GOPers say Obama needs to reach out, schmooze more

Washington (CNN) – As President Obama prepares to lay out an agenda Tuesday night, three congressional foes say his challenge might be a lot easier if he spent a little more time schmoozing.

"I think it would make a difference from this standpoint: It is easier to understand where someone is coming from when you have a relationship with him," said Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-South Carolina.

Watch CNN's comprehensive coverage of President Barack Obama's State of the Union address starting Tuesday night at 7 p.m. ET on CNN TV and follow online at CNN.com or via CNN's apps for iPhone, iPad and Android. Follow our real-time State of the Union live blog at cnn.com/conversation.

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Filed under: Congress • House • Kristi Noem • President Obama • State of the Union
Seat savers: Early birds claim their spots for State of the Union
February 12th, 2013
11:39 AM ET
1 year ago

Seat savers: Early birds claim their spots for State of the Union

(CNN) - Judging by their early arrivals, today might be the Black Friday of the political world.

But instead of camping out for deals on electronics and toys, they're claiming their seats for the most-watched political event of this year.
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