(CNN) – A top aide to President Barack Obama will assist officials at the Department of Veterans Affairs conduct a review of agency procedures after accusations of deadly delays in care at some hospitals.
Obama said he had tasked Rob Nabors, his deputy chief of staff, to assist VA leaders, including Secretary Eric Shinseki, in conducting their audit of clinics nationwide.
"America has a sacred trust with the men and women who serve our country in uniform - one that continues when they come home - and we must do everything to keep that trust," Obama said in a statement Wednesday, adding it was essential "we get to the bottom of what happened" at a VA hospital in Phoenix, where some veterans died while waiting for care.
(CNN) - Former President Bill Clinton suggested the Republican Party has become more extreme, saying Richard Nixon would be considered "a flat-out communist" compared to the people running his party today.
Kicking off a speech to a progressive think tank, Clinton said that to be successful in a life of public service, "you have to be obsessively interested in people and you need to be interested in them as individuals and not just as some collective body."
Washington (CNN) - Top Senate Democrat Harry Reid struck a significant blow to one of President Barack Obama’s judicial nominations Wednesday, as the senator’s office confirmed that Reid personally opposes Michael Boggs’ nomination to the federal bench.
Reid spokesman Adam Jentleson told CNN that the Democratic leader feels he cannot vote for Boggs’ nomination to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, given Boggs’ past views on abortion, gay marriage and the Confederate flag.
(CNN) – Nearly a week after the Republican-led House approved a select committee to investigate the terror attack in Benghazi, Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi indicates there’s been no decision from her caucus on whether to join the effort.
"We'll see," the California congresswoman said on Wednesday when asked by CNN's Wolf Blitzer if Democrats would participate.
(CNN) – Bucking the general hesitation on the right to move forward with immigration reform in a midterm year, Sal Russo, a leading tea party activist, is making the case for conservatives to take the lead on the issue.
A co-founder for the Tea Party Express, Russo called on Congress to fix a "flawed and broken" system to keep pace with a growing economy.
CNN’s POLITICAL GUT CHECK | for May 14, 2014 | 5 p.m.
— n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
BILL CLINTON DEFENDS WIFE OVER ROVE’S COMMENTS … Although Bill and Hillary Clinton were reportedly furious over Karl Rove’s suggestion that Hillary Clinton has ‘brain damage’ from a 2012 blood clot, Bill Clinton dismissed the comments Wednesday at an event in D.C. “First they say she faked her concussion and now they say she’s auditioning for a part on the Walking Dead,” theformer President said at Peter G. Peterson Foundation Fiscal Summit. Clinton assured the audience that his wife is “strong” and even went on to defend her for never “low-balling” the American people by pretending the injury didn’t happen. He brushed off Republican attacks in general saying, “They’ll get better and better at it. I am still waiting for them to admit there was nothing to Whitewater. It is just part of the deal.”
ON BENGHAZI … Bill Clinton went even further to defend his wife saying she, “did what should have been done” at the time by empaneling a high-level review committee, and asserted that secretaries of State, for better or worse, “never were involved” in security decisions. Clinton also noted that “most Americans don’t even know how many American diplomatic personnel were killed when President Bush was president.”
Tarrytown, New York (CNN) - Saying that rebuilding America "shouldn't be a partisan issue," President Obama tackled the dense issue of federal infrastructure spending Wednesday. He called on Republicans in Congress to "not fight on something we all know makes sense."
Obama took Republicans to task several times for not approving funds that would replenish the nation's Highway Trust Fund, which could run out of money late this summer.
(CNN) - Former President Bill Clinton defended his wife Wednesday against renewed political tension over the 2012 Benghazi terror attack that left four Americans dead, including the U.S. ambassador.
He also argued there's been disproportionate attention on the deaths compared to diplomatic personnel killed when George W. Bush was president.
(CNN) – An attorney for Chris Christie's former campaign manager, Bill Stepien, sought again to clear his client's name in the George Washington Bridge scandal that has rocked the New Jersey governor's administration and cost Stepien his job.
"The time has come to set the record straight," attorney Kevin Marino said on Wednesday.
Updated 2:33 p.m., 5/14/2014
(CNN) - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Wednesday he would not raise taxes as his administration quickly tries to find a solution to the budget's massive $807 million shortfall.
The Republican governor said he'll announce his plan to close the gap next week, but insisted tax increases would not be part of the equation.