(CNN) – A super PAC supporting Democratic Senate candidates say they're going up with a TV ad Friday comparing Republican Rep. Connie Mack of Florida to Charlie Sheen, citing the congressman's past run-ins with the law.
"Republicans call him the Charlie Sheen on Florida politics," a narrator in the ad says. "Congressman Connie Mack IV. His record includes bar brawls, road rage, and resisting arrest. A past of debts and liens. An overdrawn checking account while in Congress. A loan from dad to pay his taxes. His yacht club sued him. The condo association took him to court. Now he's running for Senate. But Florida families can't afford Connie Mack's party tab."
Washington (CNN) - Like Dr. Evil learned in the Austin Powers movies, a billion dollars isn't quite what it used to be.
This weekend's G8 and G-20 summits are expected to top $1 billion in costs. At such a large price tag, it's reasonable to ask if the meetings are worth it. But according to former top White House aides, even with the hefty price the meetings more than pay for themselves in both tangible and intangible ways.
According to David Gergen, who worked for five presidents and has participated in several of these summits, the world has already seen a return on the current $1 billion investment.
President Obama joined the other world leaders who are part of the G-8 along with two leaders from the European Union in Ontario, Canada Friday. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Toronto, Ontario (CNN) - President Obama arrived in Ontario on Friday for a series of high-stakes economic meetings with leaders from around the world.
Obama, who was greeted in Toronto by America's ambassador to Canada, David Jacobson, is set to meet first with his counterparts in the G-8 nations, followed a broader G-20 summit over the weekend.
The meetings are taking place against a backdrop of continued economic uncertainty, with demands for more government stimulus balanced against fears of runaway deficits. At home, the Obama administration is struggling to push a new economic relief package through an increasingly skittish, debt-wary Congress. Overseas - particularly in Europe - leaders are increasingly being forced to enact unpopular fiscal austerity measures.
Also hovering over this weekend's meetings is the specter of protests and violence, which have plagued other recent meetings of world economic leaders.
(CNN) - As world leaders prepare to meet in Toronto for the G-20 summit, disagreements are brewing over how the global economy's fragile recovery should best be steered.
The United States has been urging other countries not to pull back on stimulus plans too quickly. Britain, in contrast, has recently joined other European countries in announcing drastic budget cuts as fears grow about mounting public debt.
Leaders have begun arriving for the G-8 summit, which begins Friday, followed by the G-20 summit this weekend.
The last G-20 summit was September in Pittsburgh. Since then sovereign debt issues have clouded the global economic recovery. Dubai's debt worries in November foreshadowed the Greek debt crisis, which spiraled to other southern European nations. Public debt woes saw the value of the euro dip from $1.50 in December to below $1.20 in May, sparking fears the 17-nation bloc united under the currency may collapse.
PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania (CNN) - Leaders of the G-20 will announce Friday that the group will become the new permanent council for international economic cooperation, senior U.S. officials told CNN Thursday.
The move comes in the wake of a major push by U.S. President Barack Obama, the officials said. The G-20 will now essentially eclipse the G-8, which will continue to meet on major security issues but carry much less influence.
"It's a reflection of the world economy today and the players that make it up," said one senior official. Nations like China, Brazil and India - which were locked out of the more elite G-8 - will now be part of the larger group.
L'AQUILA, Italy (CNN) - President Obama declared the G8 summit Friday "highly productive," writing off suggestions that the United States did not get some key things it wanted out of the meeting.
"We've agreed to take significant measures to address some of the most pressing threats facing our environment, our global economy, and our international security," Obama told reporters at a news conference.
He denied reports that the United States had sought potential new sanctions against Iran for its violent crackdown on protesters following the recent presidential election. Instead, Obama said, "What we wanted was exactly what we got, which is a statement of unity and strong condemnation about the appalling treatment of peaceful protesters."
He also noted that on climate change, the G8 nations agreed to "reduce our emissions by 80 percent" - though the deadline for such achievement was set for 2050.
"We did not reach agreement on every issue. And we still have much work ahead on climate change," Obama said. "But these achievements are highly meaningful and they'll generate significant momentum" for future talks.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Bush heads to Japan for his final G-8 summit of world leaders on Saturday, as the global economy slumps, energy prices soar and food shortages loom in the developing world.
Bush says he will press other leaders of the Group of Eight industrialized nations to follow through on their commitments from earlier summits, but has warned there is nothing he or anyone else can do in the short term about oil prices.
"It took us awhile to get into the energy situation we're in and it's going to take us awhile to get out of it," he said Wednesday in an appearance at the Rose Garden to preview his trip.
He continued to advocate more drilling in currently protected areas of the U.S. as a medium-term fix for skyrocketing fuel costs.
"Ultimately, of course, we're going to transition away from hydrocarbon. But we're now just in a transitional period and we need more oil to be able to do so," he said.
Bush's main economic goal at the summit may be defensive, said David Gergen, former adviser to presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Clinton.
"What's essential in this summit for George W. Bush is to make sure the world economy does not spin downward," he said.
Yet Bush is not raising expectations about what he and the other G-8 leaders can realistically accomplish on the economic front. "One thing we need to make clear when I'm with our partners is that we're not going to become protectionists; that we believe in free trade and open markets," he said Wednesday.
A former administration official who served on the National Security Council under Bush says the G-8's purpose is not to come up with quick solutions.