(CNN) – The field is growing among Republicans who want to take on Claire McCaskill - the first-term senator and strong Obama ally from Missouri.
Ed Martin, an attorney and former chief of staff to Gov. Matt Blunt, announced Monday he is adding his name to a race that will be among the most closely-watched Senate contests in 2012.
Washington (CNN) - It's only December 2010, but a possible 2012 GOP Senate primary battle in Missouri is already heating up.
Thursday the Club for Growth, a fiscally conservative organization that endorses and contributes to Republican candidates, welcomed former Missouri Treasurer Sarah Steelman's entry into the race for her state's Republican Senate nomination. Steelman formally announced her bid Wednesday in a new campaign website, saying "I want to do my part in fighting for America's future. That's why I have decided to run for the United States Senate."
Washington (CNN) - The National Republican Senatorial Committee says it isn't taking sides in any battle down the road for the party's Senate nomination in Missouri.
The primary winner there will take on freshman Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, who's up for re-election 2012.
A Republican party source confirms to CNN reports that Sen. John Cornyn, the NRSC chairman, spoke before Thanksgiving with former Missouri Treasurer Sarah Steelman about a possible bid for the Senate nomination. The source tells CNN that Steelman called Cornyn, rather than the other way around, and that Cornyn suggested to Steelman that if she thought she could mount a good campaign, then she should run.
(CNN) - Senate leaders disagreed Sunday over if and when to ratify a new arms control treaty with Russia.
Republican Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl said Congress has more urgent business to address than the New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) when they continue the lame-duck session this week.
(CNN) - A fellow Democrat warned Kentucky Senate candidate Jack Conway that his latest ad targeting Republican Rand Paul's reported behavior in college is "very dangerous."
Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, said the Conway ad that repeats an unsubstantiated GQ story about Paul when he was a student at Baylor University comes "close to the line" in what should be deemed inappropriate in political campaigns.
"Candidates who are behind at the end reach, and sometimes they overreach," McCaskill said on MSNBC. "This ad is very dangerous because it reaches back to college. The ad came close to the line."
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.