April 29th, 2014
10:03 AM ET
7 months ago

Inside Politics Speed Read: Democrats' 'wrong track' blues, Grimm's defiance and John Kerry's apartheid apology

Democrats have “wrong track” blues heading into November: A Washington/Post ABC News poll out Tuesday morning shows a dip in support for President Obama. Just 41% of registered voters approve of his job performance.

The number can’t be good news for Democrats, who control the White House and the Senate.

The main question of 2014 will be whether they can hold on to the Senate. Democrats must defend seats held by senators in eight states won by Mitt Romney in 2012..

Kerry apologizes for apartheid comment: Tuesday was originally supposed to be the deadline for U.S.-brokered talks to reach a Mideast peace deal. Instead, talks have broken down and Secretary of State John Kerry has apologized for his comment, recorded surreptitiously, that Israel is in danger of becoming an apartheid state if it does not find a way to achieve peace with Palestinians.

Kerry’s remark drew expected condemnation from the right: Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said he should resign. But it also was condemned from the left. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-California, didn’t mention Kerry, but she tweeted that any correlation between Israel and apartheid is ridiculous.

In a written apology, Kerry pointed out that a number of current Israeli officials have used the same term, but he added that it has no place in the discourse.

“I have been around long enough to also know the power of words to create a misimpression, even when unintentional, and if I could rewind the tape, I would have chosen a different word to describe my firm belief that the only way in the long term to have a Jewish state and two nations and two peoples living side by side in peace and security is through a two state solution,” he said.

A reporter for The Daily Beast first published an article including the apartheid comment Sunday night, after Kerry gave what was supposed to be a private talk as part of the Trilateral Commission. How reporter Josh Rogin got the audio is a mystery. The commission, a group formed to foster cooperation among Japan, Europe and North America, apologized to Kerry for the leak.

Related: Kerry under fire for apartheid comments about Israel

Rep. Grimm dismisses fraud charges as “witch hunt”: Rep. Michael Grimm, R-New York, was indicted on charges of perjury and hiding more than $1 million in restaurant income from the IRS on Monday. The former FBI agent, who spent time in FBI custody before his court appearance Monday morning, called the charges a “witch hunt” and vowed to say in Congress and stand for re-election. Grimm did resign his post on the House Financial Services Committee.

Republicans have no choice but to keep him on the ballot. The deadline to file with the state and run for Grimm’s seat passed earlier this month.

But Grimm’s vow to stay in Congress despite his legal troubles is a marked departure from two other Republican lawmakers who recently resigned for more personal missteps.

Rep. Trey Radel, who was caught buying cocaine, resigned after a trip to rehab. Voters in Florida will replace him at a special election on June 24. Rep. Vance McAllister of Louisiana won’t resign after he was caught on video kissing a staffer, but he won’t run for re-election, he announced Monday.

Related: Republicans pick candidate to succeed Trey Radel

Related: Kissing congressman won’t seek reelection

Reading List:

Washington Post: Democrats at risk in November as Obama approval rating falls

NY Times: Ending Asia trip. Obama defends foreign policy

WSJ: Kerry sees Ukraine crisis as uniquely Putin’s

National Journal: Pork is back on the table in Mississippi

The Tennesseean: Jack Daniels runs for Congress in home of Jack Daniels

ABC News: Boehner challenger loses job after suggestive “electile dysfunction” video


Filed under: 2014 • John Kerry • Michael Grimm
soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. Silence DoGood

    @Thomas
    A FedEx package handler went on a shooting rampage early Tuesday at his workplace in suburban Atlanta, wounding six people – one of them critically

    When it absolutely has to get there on time ! If the people waiting for there packages had been packing heat , this wouldn't have happened . Every time the mail man or the UPS man show up at my house , I have a live round in the chamber and the safety off .
    ---------
    Classic gun owner bizarre reaction.
    #1 It was at his workplace not delivering at someone's house. Why stick to facts?
    #2 You will probably join the statistic of shooting someone accidentally through your door. Shoot – why wait?
    #3 Thanks for replacing facts with emotion on this issue. NRA – emotion over facts.

    April 29, 2014 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    "Meanwhile, dealing in reality and not the hyper partisan bubble that you live in, most people know that the GOP has not embraced this dude..."

    Except they did. Quite publicly and vociferously, which is why they had to quite publicly and vociferously back off and condemn his racist comments and are now feeding you talking points like the one you just babbled.

    Randroid and Cowboy Fonzie both publicly supported him. Rep. Gosar (R-AZ) drove to the ranch to support him. Stat-side Republican legislators all piped up, with one (Fiore) even saying something about "the feds should expect them to fire back." Faux News, who everyone knows is just the propaganda arm of the GOP/Teatrolls/conservative movement had Bundy on their shows repeatedly to spew his lies and hold pity parties lamenting the fact that the federal gov't actually exists, owns land and charges people to use it. Hannity even went so far as to spend an inordinate amount of time pushing a narrative that involved Reid and the federal gov't "secretly" planning to raid the ranch and imprison everyone and kill all the cows. Spokesmen for activist Teatroll groups all threw their hats in the ring. Fact: the GOP/Teatrolls attached themselves to Bundy at the hip and are now desperately trying to backpedal it because he was caught yammering unsolicited racist screeds.

    April 29, 2014 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  3. tom l

    Al Sharpton owes more money to the IRS than does Cliven Bundy. Where's the anger from the gang with the welfare tv host?

    April 29, 2014 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  4. tom l

    Sniffit

    "Meanwhile, dealing in reality and not the hyper partisan bubble that you live in, most people know that the GOP has not embraced this dude..."

    Except they did. Quite publicly and vociferously, which is why they had to quite publicly and vociferously back off and condemn his racist comments and are now feeding you talking points like the one you just babbled.

    Randroid and Cowboy Fonzie both publicly supported him. Rep. Gosar (R-AZ) drove to the ranch to support him. Stat-side Republican legislators all piped up, with one (Fiore) even saying something about "the feds should expect them to fire back." Faux News, who everyone knows is just the propaganda arm of the GOP/Teatrolls/conservative movement had Bundy on their shows repeatedly to spew his lies and hold pity parties lamenting the fact that the federal gov't actually exists, owns land and charges people to use it. Hannity even went so far as to spend an inordinate amount of time pushing a narrative that involved Reid and the federal gov't "secretly" planning to raid the ranch and imprison everyone and kill all the cows. Spokesmen for activist Teatroll groups all threw their hats in the ring. Fact: the GOP/Teatrolls attached themselves to Bundy at the hip and are now desperately trying to backpedal it because he was caught yammering unsolicited racist screeds.
    =========

    They stopped supporting Bundy the minute his controversial comments and Rand Paul issued a statement with regards to his lack of support for Mr. Bundy. But go ahead and continue in your little bubble where you think you are mainstream but you are so far out there that you have no idea. Most people know that the GOP did not "embrace" him and after his comments they absolutely disassociated themselves from his comments. Why must you feel the need to divide so much? Why do you think that dems are so holy and virtuous? You find out more information, like many on the right did with regards to Mr. Bundy, and they took the appropriate response. That's it. Sheeesh.

    April 29, 2014 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    Oh, and I forgot that TX gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott, currently the attorney general of TX, tried to manufacture his own little "Bundy ranch" type of situation over federal ownership of lands in TX.

    Fact: GOPers/Teatrolls around the country saw Bigot Bundy's situation as political gold for motivating the base for November and they jumped right into it. It's only now that they realize he's a steaming pile of racist cowpatties that they want to pretend they never did so.

    April 29, 2014 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    "Kerry is right. Given birth rate differentials between the Palestinians in Israel and the Jewish citizens, ultimately the Jews will be in the minority and the only way they maintain both the Jewish nature of the country and a democracy will be through something similar to apartheid, even if it is somewhat more benign. It is not in Israel's long term interest to avoid the two-state solution."

    They already do to some extent. It's the same "keep them non-citizens so they can't vote" game the GOP/Teatrolls are playing right here in the US. My posts with the numbers, broken down by region, have been deleted several times now. The MSM won't report the numbers themselves as to just how many Palestinians living in Israel are not allowed to vote on their representation or have severely limited voting rights. It's just too damaging to the MSM's chosen narrative.

    April 29, 2014 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  7. Rudy NYC

    tom l posted:

    I have to tell you that you are probably the first person to ever call me close minded. You accuse me of being a right winger yet that is just patently false.

    I will reiterate that you do not understand anything about a conservative so your interpretations of what they say are just plain wrong. And to prove that, you portray me as defending Cliven Bundy. Really? I support him? How is that? I have said on several occasions that dude should have paid his taxes. I support his position that the govt is too big and intrusive but I don't support his not paying taxes. So, once again, your interpretation of what I said is wrong and completely mischaracterized by your "facts". It must be that "lens" that you like to talk about.
    ------------------------
    I don't mischaracterize what you post. You have clearly defended his anti-government views, and somehow find it fit to wave the government's flag over his "patriotic" head. You've supported the armed militants that had a standoff with government officials and employess. You really need to listen to yourself talk sometime. I think all of the rhetoric about government overreach is just a lot of hair. Everything was fine under the Bush administration with conseratives. It was all good until Barack Obama was sworn in, and then suddenly all the black helicopters were on their way.

    If I don't understand what it means to be a conservative, then it is because you have done such a poor job of explaining it. BTW, you claim to be a conservative, but not a part of the right wing at the same time. If that is not confusing, then I don't understand confusion. So, please, take the time to explain to us that what you've never explained. What does it mean to be a conservative? Telling us we hate government without telling us why is a waste of time. Please, no straw man or circular arguments because you will be categorically dismssed as delusional.

    April 29, 2014 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    "Most people know that the GOP did not "embrace" him and after his comments they absolutely disassociated themselves from his comments"

    Sorry, tom, but I just disproved that with facts. Repeating your denial without contrary facts doesn't make it go away. Would you like me to keep listing more evidence of the GOP/Teatrolls jumping all over the Bundy thing as a means of playing up the anti-gov't fervor they've so diligently coddled and stoked for the past 6+ years? Yes, they loved the guy. Yes, they saw an opportunity to rally the radicalized base. Yes, they're now running with tails between their legs because he spouted some seriously toxic filth. What's so hard to admit about that?

    April 29, 2014 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  9. rs

    tom l

    Al Sharpton owes more money to the IRS than does Cliven Bundy. Where's the anger from the gang with the welfare tv host?
    ________________________
    Duh, he didn't surround himself with an armed militia and threaten to use "women as shields, so that they got shot first on TV". Shoot. for all you know Mr. Sharpton is working with the IRS on a payment plan- Something Mr. Bundy tried to do at the end of a gun barrel.

    April 29, 2014 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  10. rs

    tom l

    @rs
    The House passed a budget.
    ___________________
    A twenty page "think piece" from the Heritage Foundation isn't a budget. Meanwhile, the hard part of balancing taxation and spending- well that didn't happen. remember?

    April 29, 2014 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  11. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Fact: the GOP/Teatrolls attached themselves to Bundy at the hip and are now desperately trying to backpedal it because he was caught yammering unsolicited racist screeds."

    Oh. It wasn't a media mistake after all? Paul and Company did attach themselves to Bundy?

    Yeah. I thought so. And like all good little boys, Paul is now showing us his Romney shuffle moves?

    Cue the popcorn.

    April 29, 2014 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  12. rs

    tom l

    rs,
    "Question: What effect will the Anti-government Bundy issue have upon the popularity of the GOP? Especially if Mr. Bundy's armed thugs start a fire fight?"
    ===

    Meanwhile, dealing in reality and not the hyper partisan bubble that you live in, most people know that the GOP has not embraced this dude – they have embraced the concept of an over reaching govt (but in words only because we all know that repub politicians like big govt, too).
    ___________________________
    So, the 3 weeks of solid FOX News "we hope this doesn't turn into another Waco (wink, wink)" didn't happen? Shoot- you even pushed this dude's cause for a week or two. Mr. Paul certainly embraced him as did our own TEA Party Dentist Mr. Gosar. Rush gave him love, as did Hannity and most of the Red imbeciles on the Web. He was a hero to Republicans- a "family values rancher facing an out of control BLM" was the meme. Check it out, Tom, lots of the coverage lives on in Google and YouTube.
    Sure once the fool started spouting White Supremacist idiocy, and declaring the Sheriff of his county was the highest authority in the land, and that the federal government didn't exist, I think Republicans rightly panicked and ran away from Bundy like he was on fire.

    Unfortunately, that's what happens when they blindly follow "heros" like the Nug, Bundy, and most of the anti-government trash they look up to without doing a wee bit of research first.

    April 29, 2014 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  13. Pollopa

    So The repubs liked Bundy when he went against the laws of this country, freeloaded off the American taxpayer, and threatened law enforcement officers, but suddenly changed heart when they thought he was racist? When the Occupy movement actually wanted to change things peacefully they were called a bunch of moochers of taxpayer dollars, disrespectful of law enforcement, and just a bunch of hippie losers by repubs. They weren't racist and yet were bullied and degraded by the right. Can you right wingers please make up your mind?

    April 29, 2014 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    And you know what? Raise your hand if you were caught totally off guard, shocked and surprised right out of your seat when you discovered that some elderly, anti-government scoff-law militia-defended rancher in the middle of the NV nowhere turned out to be a dyed-in-the-wool racist hillbilly with severely retrogressive and disgusting viewpoints to share about, to borrow his language, "the n-groes."

    April 29, 2014 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    "Yeah. I thought so. And like all good little boys, Paul is now showing us his Romney shuffle moves?

    Cue the popcorn."

    Haha...and the clowny dance music from Bozo's Big Top.

    April 29, 2014 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  16. Rudy NYC

    Sniffit

    "Most people know that the GOP did not "embrace" him and after his comments they absolutely disassociated themselves from his comments"

    Sorry, tom, but I just disproved that with facts. Repeating your denial without contrary facts doesn't make it go away. Would you like me to keep listing more evidence of the GOP/Teatrolls jumping all over the Bundy thing as a means of playing up the anti-gov't fervor they've so diligently coddled and stoked for the past 6+ years? Yes, they loved the guy. Yes, they saw an opportunity to rally the radicalized base. Yes, they're now running with tails between their legs because he spouted some seriously toxic filth. What's so hard to admit about that?
    ----------------------------–
    They're not running quite as hard as you suggest. They have simply distanced themelves from his racist sounding remarks. Otherwise, everything else is all good. As far as many are concerned, Bundy is an all-American, gun toting,, anti-government patriot who believes in personal liberty.. In other words, agree with the man on all fronts, except for the racist sounding remarks, of course. Otherwise, Bundy is fine.

    April 29, 2014 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  17. rs

    Sniffit

    And you know what? Raise your hand if you were caught totally off guard, shocked and surprised right out of your seat when you discovered that some elderly, anti-government scoff-law militia-defended rancher in the middle of the NV nowhere turned out to be a dyed-in-the-wool racist hillbilly with severely retrogressive and disgusting viewpoints to share about, to borrow his language, "the n-groes."
    ___________________________________
    I wasn't, not in the slightest.
    I just find it very funny just how far some are willing to bend reality to deny the virtual lovefest the Right had with Bundy and that this is just about "overreach". This IS about the hundreds of ranchers who obey the law and one racist, anti-government scofflaw who thinks bringing in every NRA kook with a gun for a 400 mile radius will save his fanny from a $1 million grazing bill he has been ordered to pay. Add in Mr. Bundy's frankly crazy notions about government and minorities, and the Right (once again) looks like they pander to crazies and are awfully close to playing the incitement card.

    April 29, 2014 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  18. holam

    I am getting so sick of liberals, the "tolerant" party, lol, gag, yeah right.

    April 29, 2014 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  19. yolanda

    Gosh, @Rudy has hurt my feelings. My "rants" are delusional and i am hateful. Well, Sir Rudy, for someone who champions himself as being open minded and above personal attacks you should check yourself out in a mirror. Again, it seems that you thrive on slamming anyone whose opinions are different from yours. I was under the (obviously mistaken) impression that tolerance worked both ways.
    The wrecking of the economy has been a bipartisan effort. You can sling mud back and forth until the cows come home, but in truth both parties are to blame. Your unending chirping grows old.

    April 29, 2014 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  20. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Just thought I'd let you know Sniffitt that your stalker was running around calling you an anti-Semite yesterday..... 😳😳😳

    April 29, 2014 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
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