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.
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.