New book says Hillary Clinton blamed husband's infidelity on abuse as a child
August 1st, 2014
09:51 AM ET
3 hours ago

New book says Hillary Clinton blamed husband's infidelity on abuse as a child

Washington (CNN) – Hillary Clinton told an interviewer in 1999 – the year after the Monica Lewinsky scandal rocked Bill Clinton's presidency – that the President's infidelity issues stemmed from his abusive mother and led to a sex addiction for the former president.

The comments come from an upcoming book by Lucinda Franks, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, whose book – "Timeless: Love, Morgenthau and Me" – is set to hit bookshelves in late August. Clinton's comments come from an interview she granted Franks, at the time a writer for the short lived Talk magazine.

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Filed under: Bill Clinton • Hillary Clinton
Cantor leaving Congress later this month
August 1st, 2014
09:20 AM ET
4 hours ago

Cantor leaving Congress later this month

Washington (CNN) - Eric Cantor will be leaving Congress earlier than expected - the former House majority leader whose primary defeat less than two months ago rocked the Republican Party says he'll resign effective August 18.

Cantor had said after his primary loss that he would step down as the No. 2 Republican in the House on July 31. He announced that he was leaving Congress in an interview with the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the main newspaper in his Virginia district on Thursday.

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Filed under: 2014 • Eric Cantor • House Republicans
CNN Poll: Percentage who say economy's 'good' on the rise
August 1st, 2014
06:00 AM ET
7 hours ago

CNN Poll: Percentage who say economy's 'good' on the rise

Washington (CNN) - Most Americans still say that the economy's in poor shape. But the percentage who describe economic conditions as good continue to slowly but steadily increase, and now stands at its highest level since before the last recession, according to a new national survey.

A CNN/ORC International poll indicates that 58% of those surveyed rates the nation's economic conditions as poor, with 41% saying they are good.

The percentage who say things are good is up from 29% last October to 32% in December, 36% in February, 38% in May and 41% now.

"The 41% is the largest number of Americans with a positive view of the economy since Barack Obama became President, and it represents the highest rating for the economy since the last recession officially began in December of 2007," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

CNN poll economic conditions graphic

The poll's Friday release preceded the Labor Department's report on July unemployment.

And it hits two days after new data showing that the economy bounced back in the spring, growing at a 4% annual pace in the second quarter. That's better than what economists had expected.

U.S. economy bounces back sharply

Revised numbers from that Commerce Department report also showed that the economy's winter contraction wasn't as bleak as first reported.

When it comes to perceptions about the economy, the CNN poll indicates a geographical divide.
"People in the Northeast, Midwest and West all appear to see some improvement in the economy. The number of Westerners who say the economy's in good shape has nearly doubled, and there are 15-to-18 point gains in the Midwest and Northeast.

"But it's a different story in the South, where the number of southerners who give a thumbs-up to the economy has remained stubbornly stuck at 34%, suggesting either that better times have yet to visit the South or that southerners have yet to perceive that things are getting better," Holland adds.

The poll also indicates a small gender difference as well, with economic optimism growing more rapidly among women than men.

Economy impacts midterms

Perceptions about economic conditions will be an important factor in November's midterm elections, as the economy remains the top issue on the mind of Americans.

According to CNN poll numbers released last week, 49% of those questioned said it was extremely important for the President and Congress to deal with the economy, higher than any other issue tested.

Key races to watch in 2014

More than a third of the Senate and the entire House are up for grabs in November.

Democrats have a 55-45 majority in the Senate (53 Democrats and two independents who caucus with the party). But in the midterms, the party is defending 21 of the 36 seats up for grabs, with half of those Democratic-held seats in red or purple states.

In the House, the Democrats would need to pick up an extremely challenging 17 Republican-held seats to win back the majority from the GOP.

Complete coverage of the 2014 midterm elections

Obama said Wednesday that "there are a lot of good reasons to be optimistic about America. We hold the best cards. Things are getting better."

But when it comes to the economy, the President and congressional Democrats blame the GOP in Congress for putting up roadblocks to measures that would help the middle class. Congressional Republicans return the fire, saying that Obama's economic policies are not working.

The poll was conducted for CNN by ORC International from July 18-20 with 1,012 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.


Filed under: CNN/ORC International poll • Economy
Michelle Obama: More than 58,000 homeless veterans in the U.S. is ‘a stain on our nation’s soul’
July 31st, 2014
07:47 PM ET
2 hours ago

Michelle Obama: More than 58,000 homeless veterans in the U.S. is ‘a stain on our nation’s soul’

(CNN) – First lady Michelle Obama called the number of homeless veterans “a stain on our nation’s soul,” urging local officials to continuing working to fight the problem.

At an event in Washington on Thursday, Mrs. Obama told a packed room, “as Americans, the idea that anyone who has worn our country’s uniform spends their night sleeping on the ground should horrify us. So it’s truly our duty to right this wrong and put an end to veteran homelessness once and for all.”

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Filed under: Michelle Obama • Veterans
July 31st, 2014
06:56 PM ET
3 hours ago

Bill Clinton: ‘I nearly got’ Osama bin Laden

Washington (CNN) - Bill Clinton, just hours before planes crashed into the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, reportedly told an audience in Australia that he almost killed Osama bin Laden during his presidency.

Speaking to a group of businessmen in Australia on September 10, 2001, according to audio aired by SkyNews Australia on Wednesday, Clinton said that he "nearly got" the al Qaeda leader but didn't go through with a missile attack because of the collateral damage that would have come from it.

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Filed under: Australia • Bill Clinton • Osama bin Laden
July 31st, 2014
06:34 PM ET
2 hours ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for July 31, 2014

CNN’s POLITICAL GUT CHECK | for July 31, 2014 | 5 p.m.
—  n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

BREAKING … TEMPORARY MIDEAST CEASE-FIRE: U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Secretary of State John Kerry say the U.N. hasassurances that all parties have agreed to an unconditional humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza. It will commence at 8 a.m. local time on Friday and will last for 72 hours unless extended.
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Filed under: CNN's Gut Check
July 31st, 2014
06:25 PM ET
2 hours ago

Stuck on immigration, House GOP delays August recess

Washington (CNN) – On what was supposed to be the last day before summer recess, dysfunction reigned in Congress.

House Republican leaders called off a vote Thursday on their $659 million emergency response to the border influx from Central America overwhelming immigration resources, unable to agree among themselves about what to do.

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Filed under: 2014 • House Republicans • Immigration
Rubio heading to Iowa this weekend
July 31st, 2014
05:05 PM ET
4 hours ago

Rubio heading to Iowa this weekend

(CNN) – Marco Rubio's heading to Iowa this weekend.

The first-term Republican senator from Florida and possible 2016 GOP White House contender will be in the Hawkeye State to campaign for state senator Joni Ernst, Iowa's GOP Senate nominee.

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Filed under: 2016 • Iowa • Joni Ernst • Marco Rubio
Christie's 2014 trip with 2016 implications
July 31st, 2014
03:43 PM ET
14 hours ago

Christie's 2014 trip with 2016 implications

(CNN) - Chris Christie's jam packed schedule on Thursday afternoon and evening in New Hampshire was advertised as being all about the 2014 midterm elections.

But the visit by the Republican governor of New Jersey and potential GOP presidential contender also had plenty of 2016 implications, as Christie tries to get beyond the bridge controversy back home in the Garden State that's hurt his political standing.

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Filed under: 2014 • 2016 • Chris Christie • New Hampshire
Christie urges bail reform in New Jersey
July 31st, 2014
01:32 PM ET
20 hours ago

Christie urges bail reform in New Jersey

(CNN) – Republican Gov. Chris Christie called on New Jersey's Democratic-controlled legislature to pass a series of bail reform proposals, saying the current system creates a "debtor's prison" for poor people charged with nonviolent crimes.

"We are failing when we have a system that works against the very people in our society who need us to fight for the fairness they often cannot fight for themselves," the governor said Thursday.

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Filed under: Chris Christie • New Jersey
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