Washington (CNN) – A leading Republican critic of the administration's homeland security efforts suggested Sunday that President Obama is making mistakes similar to those the Bush administration made in fighting al Qaeda.
“He has been completely distracted by other things,” Sen. Jim DeMint OF South Carolina said on CNN’s State of the Union.
Fellow Republican Thomas Kean, who chaired the 9/11 Commission, also cited distractions in his earlier interview on State of the Union.
“We had an administration which was not focused, as it should be, on terrorism and that’s understandable,” Kean said. “They were focused on health care and global warming and the economy. That’s very understandable.”
DeMint told CNN Senior Political Analyst Gloria Borger that Obama “is not focused on building the security and intelligence apparatus of our country.”
“The last administration – President Bush – made a huge mistake,” DeMint said, “by sending the Yemenis back” – a reference to freed prisoners from the Guantanamo detainee facility who returned to terrorist activity, including two Yemenis suspected of planning attacks against the U.S. and British embassies in Sanaa after their release. “The core leadership of al Qaeda now is made of those folks who were at the Gitmo prison. We can’t make that mistake again. So, it’s not just about this administration. It’s about losing our focus on security and I’m afraid politics and political correctness has become front and center in this debate.”
Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri , a longtime Obama backer, took issue with DeMint’s remark.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Late Wednesday night, Sen. Ben Nelson's office was littered with doctored, deliberately embarrassing photos of the Nebraska senator. There's no investigation looming - Nelson already knows the culprit: a fellow Senate Democrat, who boasted of her exploits on Twitter.
Ahead of the Nebraska-Missouri football game, Missouri Sen. McCaskill and her press secretary were granted access to Nebraska Sen. Nelson's office for the latest round in a prank war that stretches back years.
The senator and her aide replaced official and family portraits.with various doctored pictures of Nelson sporting Missouri's black and gold, and posing with the Mizzou tiger mascot, according to Nelson spokesman Jake Thompson. "Important timely new official photo. Glad @SenBenNelson has finally come around," McCaskill tweeted, along with a picture of Nelson sporting the Mizzou logo on his face, a gold Missouri lapel pin and a gold and black tie.
McCaskill said she remains optimistic about the process of crafting and passing health care reform legislation.
"I think I was able to hopefully correct some really bad misinformation that's out there. People are just getting information that is flat wrong" McCaskill told CNN Congressional Correspondent Brianna Keilar.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Claire McCaskill - a key Senate critic of the way the Obama administration launched the removal process for the government's Americorps watchdog - said Monday the White House's new letter accusing Gerald Walpin of being "disoriented" and "unduly disruptive" had brought it into compliance with legal requirements.
"Last night, in response to my request for adequate information on the firing of Inspector General for the Corporation for National and Community Service Gerald Walpin, the White House submitted a letter to Senators Lieberman and Collins that now puts the White House in full compliance with the notice requirement in the law," the Missouri Democrat said in a statement issued Wednesday.
"The next step for Congress is to use the 30 days provided by the notice to seek further information and undertake any further review that might be necessary. The reasons given in the most recent White House letter are substantial and the decision to remove Walpin appears well founded."
The statement echoes her comment on Twitter earlier in the day. "The letter from the White House late yesterday is certainly compliance with the law as to reason for removal," she tweeted in response to a query from a Missouri reporter.
(CNN) - Four senators were trapped in a Senate subway car Tuesday morning in Washington, according to tweets from Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill.
"Stuck in a tram from Capitol to Hart. Broken. Not moving. Lieberman and Alexander in next car. And Voiniitch.[sic] Wonder how long we'll be here?" Sen. Claire McCaskill wrote on her Twitter page.
Lawmakers often use the Senate subway to commute between the Capitol and their offices.
According to recent tweets, McCaskill and her colleagues have since been rescued. The Democratic senator from Missouri is poised to return to the Capitol for a vote - but as for riding the subway back, McCaskill says: "Takes longer, but I think I'll walk."
WASHINGTON (CNN) - One day after President Barack Obama ripped Wall Street executives for their "shameful" decision to hand out $18 billion in bonuses in 2008, Congress may finally have had enough.
An angry U.S. senator introduced legislation Friday to cap compensation for employees of any company that accepts federal bailout money. Under the terms of a bill introduced by Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, no employee would be allowed to make more than the president of the United States.
Obama's current annual salary is $400,000.
"We have a bunch of idiots on Wall Street that are kicking sand in the face of the American taxpayer," an enraged McCaskill said on the floor of the Senate. "They don't get it. These people are idiots. You can't use taxpayer money to pay out $18 billion in bonuses."
ST. LOUIS, Missouri (CNN) – Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill chastised Governor Sarah Palin for recent comments that she likes to visit “pro-American” parts of the United States.
“We have reached a new low in American politics when someone dares to say that one part of America is more pro-American than another part of America,” McCaskill said at an afternoon Barack Obama rally.
McCaskill, an ardent Obama supporter and ubiquitous campaign surrogate said voters are beginning to “see clearly the differences between these two candidates.” She described the Obama campaign as exhibiting the “kind of leadership that America needs in a crisis” because in her mind it has been “slow, steady, thoughtful, constructive.”
McCaskill criticized the McCain campaign as “stumbling, erratic, all over the map” and said it is trying to “distract American with small, petty, unfair personal attacks.”
“As America has taken the measure of these men, they have looked at their judgments on the campaign trail. One picked one of the strongest candidates for vice president he could’ve picked in the United States. The other didn’t,” she said.
DENVER (CNN) - Claire McCaskill’s from Missouri - a near-perfect bellwether state. It’s partly Southern, partly Northern, partly urban, partly rural. A key battleground state in this election, it’s voted for the winner in the every single election of the past century but one - why it voted for Adlai Stevenson in 1956, I have no idea. And of course, she’s a woman who endorsed Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton. She’s using feminist themes against John McCain.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – How can you tell if a prospective vice presidential candidate is lying? Well, one potential running mate says when they claim they don’t really want the job.
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri), thought to be a possible contender for Barack Obama’s No. 2 spot, was asked on Fox News Sunday, “I'm going to do something that people don't do around Washington very often. I think you're not supposed to do this. I think anybody in Washington would be thrilled to be asked.”
Would she take the job, if offered? She said, “I would like to meet somebody who wouldn't. If they're saying they wouldn't, I don't think that they are being as candid or as up front with the American people as probably they should be.”
Obama will campaign in McCaskill’s critical home state week. She said she has not been asked to provide any personal information to the campaign.
McCaskill said she doesn’t believe Obama needs to necessarily pick a female running mate to win support from women voters. She said, “If you look at all the polling, the much vaunted problems that Obama was going to have with working-class people, with people that don't have a college education, with women, with Hispanics, you don't hear a lot of talking heads talking about those issues anymore because it's simply not true.
Also appearing with McCaskill was Sen. John Thune (R-South Dakota). He wasn’t quite as open on whether he would take the running mate position if offered by John McCain. Thune said, “You don't rule anything out in this profession. But it's certainly not anything I aspire to. I like the
job I have.” He also said he had not be asked by the McCain campaign to provide information.