April 29th, 2014
10:03 AM ET
6 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. Abbey

    Kerry continues to amaze the world with his low intelligence. Now the world knows why he didn't get elected to the highest office.

    April 29, 2014 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  2. Fair is Fair

    “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
    -----–
    And exactly what would that word be, Mr. Secretary?

    April 29, 2014 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  3. Chris-E...al

    When you just get right down to it we all know its about dollars and cents . Its just that dems cant budget the money . Its good to be nice . But the money is gone . We need jobs now ! And not just roads and bridges for the illegals to build .

    April 29, 2014 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  4. Thomas

    Rep. Grimm dismisses fraud charges as “witch hunt”:, he denies ever riding a broom .

    Asked about his last paid in full vacation to Israel and Cyprus , he said he won it on " Let's Make A Deal ".

    April 29, 2014 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  5. king

    What is this president doing that is so bad for the country, these people are getting more backward as time goes by. The repubs propaganda machine has turned them into zombies, this country is the richest, in the history of countries not even the Roman empire had money like America has today, the problem is, the money is in one little area. The repubs are doing all they can to make sure tbe money stay there. I have never seen a set of confused people, who don't know what they want, its amazing.

    April 29, 2014 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  6. Malory Archer

    Chris-E...al

    When you just get right down to it we all know its about dollars and cents . Its just that dems cant budget the money . Its good to be nice . But the money is gone . We need jobs now ! And not just roads and bridges for the illegals to build .

    +++++++++++++++++++++++

    Right on Chris – it's time to cut off Israel and all those other welfare queen nations and take care of our own!

    April 29, 2014 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  7. rs

    Chris-E...al

    When you just get right down to it we all know its about dollars and cents . Its just that dems cant budget the money . Its good to be nice . But the money is gone . We need jobs now ! And not just roads and bridges for the illegals to build .
    __________________________
    Who controls the House of Representatives? That's where the budget gets made.

    April 29, 2014 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  8. 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?

    Why is the GOP not only defending this law-breaker (remember he's lost in court, twice and ordered to pay his 20 years worth of grazing fees), but showering his as this "new American patriot".

    How will that go down on public opinion? The GOP works against the American government, supporting people who claim to not even believe In the government- Why would the GOP want to be a part of such a radical and un-American movement as that?

    April 29, 2014 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  9. Fair is Fair

    rs

    Chris-E...al

    When you just get right down to it we all know its about dollars and cents . Its just that dems cant budget the money . Its good to be nice . But the money is gone . We need jobs now ! And not just roads and bridges for the illegals to build .
    __________________________
    Who controls the House of Representatives? That's where the budget gets made.
    -------
    And then they go to the Senate to die.

    April 29, 2014 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  10. Tom Bukowski

    Ah, the usual muscle-flexing before going down. "Skimming",did he think he was part of the mob? Just what you want in a former FBI agent, and Congressman.

    April 29, 2014 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  11. tom l

    @rs
    The House passed a budget.

    April 29, 2014 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  12. Sniffit

    "And then they go to the Senate to die."

    Obviously, you don't understand the procedures, etc. The Senate is not obligated to simply take the House budget and act on it. The Senate has every right and power to enact its own budget legislation and THEN IT'S ALL SUPPOSED TO GO TO CONFERENCE to resolve the differences. The House under the GOP/Teatrolls' control has refusedover and over and over again to conference the two budgets. THEY REFUSE TO EVEN NEGOTIATE, LET ALONE COMPROMISE. It's far more politically expedient and convenient for them to just prevent the process from going forward any further because (a) then they can spew nonsense like you just did, trying to blame the Senate and the Dems and (b) because conferencing would be where the budget hits the road and they would have to choose whether to actually fight for extremely damaging and unpopular ideological nonsense they stuck in their symbolic partisan wish-list budgets and that would force them to either anger their radicalized base by compromising or go on public record as supporting some seriously ridiculous budget proposals that CBO and the expert economist community have scored as TERRIBLE for the economy and middle-class and poor.

    April 29, 2014 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  13. 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 .

    April 29, 2014 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  14. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Grimm did resign his post on the House Financial Services Committee."

    The good news is that no matter what happens to Mr. Grimm, one less GOPerville fool will be seated in the House of Representatives collecting a taxpayer wage never earned: Michele Bachmann.

    April 29, 2014 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  15. Dead Bear

    Ted Cruz thinks John Kerry should resign... Well I think Ted Cruz should be treated as an enemy combatant and held at Guantanamo for trying to destroy the government from within. What do think of them apples, Rafael???

    April 29, 2014 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  16. 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). Those that aren't like you don't associate Bundy with repubs but you have to because you live only for the divisiveness and any way possible to try and demonstrate how virtuous and wonderful dems are and how they really care about the average guy and how evil and bad repubs are and how they only care about the 1%. Man you need to get out of your partisan bubble.

    April 29, 2014 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  17. Country Above the Parties

    The only way Dem will be popular again is color The POTUS white (50% is not good enough).

    April 29, 2014 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  18. Rudy NYC

    tom l

    Rudy,
    You haven't a clue what motivates a conservative. You only think you know. Since I am on the liberals side on many issues, I have taken the time to understand what motivates them. I don't demonize them for thinking differently than me. I don't think that they are evil people and that my side is righteous and holy. You have no idea yet you pretend to know which makes you dangerous.
    --------------------------
    Everything I post about conservatives comes from repeating what they say, and describing what they do. All of it. I've been listening and wathcing right wing anti-government extremists take over the Republican Party for a while now. It culminated when most every prominent Republican jumped on Craven Bundy's band wagon. The man made no secret of his hatred and disrespect of the U.S. government, and he was portrayed by one and all of you as a hero.

    You, yourself, still defend him. So, please, don't criticize me for repeating what I see and hear conservatives do. If you do not like the right wing's hypocrisies then I suggest you climb down from that hamster wheel, and crawl out of the hamster cage that right wing media has built for you.

    As for as you understanding liberals, you continually demonstrate that you actually don't and are in fact incapable of it. You're too closed minded, tom.

    April 29, 2014 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  19. yolanda

    @Tom I, don't waste your breath. If you post anything that does not fit neatly into the "everything that is wrong with the country is republican/teabag related", you will be fair game for the majority of the gang. And of course you will be subject to the obligatory scolding and correcting by Rudy, who obviously knows more than you or me (or anyone else who has a view that differs from his).

    April 29, 2014 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    @rs
    The House passed a budget.
    ===

    So did the Senate. Guess who is refusing to conference them as they're supposed to in order to negotiate a compromise budget. Guess. Go ahead, tom, say it in black and white. Tell us who has repeatedly refused on numerous occasions to accept the offers to conference the two budgets. Tell us who is refusing under any circumstances to negotiate, let alone compromise. Then tell us why you try to gloss-over that in order to regurgitate half-truth talking points that attempt to blame the other guys.

    April 29, 2014 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  21. Malory Archer

    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...

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Yeah, except they TOTALLY did support him until he crossed a certain line. However, they already bought the product and wore it out, so they can't take it back.

    April 29, 2014 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  22. chill485

    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.

    April 29, 2014 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  23. Rudy NYC

    yolanda

    @Tom I, don't waste your breath. If you post anything that does not fit neatly into the "everything that is wrong with the country is republican/teabag related", you will be fair game for the majority of the gang. And of course you will be subject to the obligatory scolding and correcting by Rudy, who obviously knows more than you or me (or anyone else who has a view that differs from his).
    ----------------
    Almost of all what you post is hate and delusional rants. The "facts" that either you or tom post are nothing more than stereotypical rhetoric, straight from playbook. The facts speak for themselves. Conservatives claim that Democrats have ruined the budget an driven up the debt. Let's look at who has run the Congress for the last 20 years.

    Since January 1995, Republicans have controlled the House for every year except for four, 1996 – 2010.

    Since January 1995, except for a two year period when GWB first took office, Republicans controlled the Senate until January 2007. Democrats have held the Senate since that time.

    Revenue related bills orignate in the House, which means both chambers can write and pass budgets, but the final bill that gets passed after budget conferencing and negotiations must first pass the House, then the Senate. Republicans have refused to negotiate on budgets since they took over the House in January 2011. Every budget they pass, is more ideological posturing than useful legislation, crafted for people like to complain about the Senate not voting on a House budget.. Yet, the House Republicans keep insisting upon passing one non-negotiable bill after the other.

    April 29, 2014 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  24. 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.

    April 29, 2014 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  25. tom l

    As for as you understanding liberals, you continually demonstrate that you actually don't and are in fact incapable of it. You're too closed minded, tom
    =======

    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. You say that I only listen to right wing media. Tell me Rudy, what media is that I listen and read? I'm here a lot. Contrary to you and the rest of the gang, this is a left leaning news source no matter how much you try and portray it any other way. So please tell me Rudy how I'm close minded. I freely acknowledge that there are issues we agree on and issues we don't. My stances fall on both sides of the aisle. Do yours? Uhhhhh, no.
    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.

    April 29, 2014 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
1 2