(CNN) - The architect of President Obama's 2008 presidential campaign Monday sharply criticized remarks made by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich over the weekend that President Obama follows a "Kenyan, anti-colonial" worldview.
"Two words that come to mind are 'sad' and 'reprehensible,'" David Plouffe told CNN's John King on John King USA.
"It makes me think . he's probably pretty sure he's going to run for president," Plouffe added, suggesting Gingrich may have been trying to appease the most conservative elements of the Republican Party.
Gingrich has recently made a number of trips to earlier primary states, fueling speculation that a 2012 bid for the Republican presidential nomination is on his mind.
(CNN) – Minority leader Mitch McConnell is cautiously optimistic that he will lead a "larger group" than he does now after the November midterm elections, but stopped short of saying the Republicans will definitely win back the majority in an interview that will air on CNN's John King, USA at 7 p.m. EST.
"I think we can safely say is the wind is at our back and we're going to be very, very competitive," McConnell told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King.
"Number one, we will not lose a single Republican incumbent senator in November. Number two, we have five open Republican seats, including here in Kentucky. We will win all those. And, we are competitive in the following places where there are Democratic Senators: California, Washington, Nevada, Colorado, Illinois, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Indiana, North Dakota, Arkansas, Wisconsin, and probably in Connecticut and maybe West Virginia. …And we will win a number of them, and we will be a more influential group in the next congress," McConnell predicted.
But McConnell acknowledged that the makeup of the Republican Party in the next Congress will be diverse, especially if many of the conservative-leaning Tea Party candidates who have won state primaries make it to Washington.
Washington (CNN) - Joe Miller calls President Obama "bad for America" and suggests he is leading the nation on a path to socialism. But the newly minted GOP Senate nominee from Alaska also has a message for the Republican Leadership. Not to mention unapologetic views on cutting federal spending and even possibly phasing out Social Security.
A few highlights from an interview taped Wednesday, the day after tea party favorite Miller clinched the GOP nomination. (Defeating incumbent GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski.)
"There is an opportunity to lead this country out of the crisis its in and I believe the Republican Party is well suited to take up that mantle," Miller said in an interview for Wednesday's "John King, USA." which will air at 7pm. "The question is whether or not there's the courage and leadership in that party to seize the moment and to recognize that the only way out of this is to get out of the age of the entitlement state to return power back to the states and recognize that central government is broken and see what we can do about fixing things and getting the government focused on those areas the enumerated powers that it should be doing. And the Republican Party can do it but it does require courage."
So is Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky the right GOP Senate leader or should the party choose a new one?
Editor's Note: Watch CNN's "John King, USA" on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. ET for John King's full interview with Joe Miller.
(CNN) - A day after his opponent conceded the Republican primary for Senate in Alaska, Joe Miller took on both President Obama and the Republican political establishment Wednesday, warning that the nation is headed towards socialism and facing a dire fiscal crisis.
Incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski conceded to the Tea Party-backed candidate late Tuesday in what is considered one of the largest upsets of the 2010 midterm election cycle.
In a wide ranging interview with CNN's Chief National Correspondent John King, Miller criticized the growth of entitlement programs and corporate bailouts under the Obama administration, and described Obama as "bad for America."
"He's one of the major forces moving this country towards socialism. He is expanding the entitlement state. It is the wrong direction for America," Miller said in an interview that will air on CNN's "John King, USA."
(CNN) - Ray Nagin, the former mayor of New Orleans who was both praised and criticized for his leadership during Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, told CNN Friday night that he will not seek public office again.
“I have kind of given my pound of flesh, my pint of blood,” Nagin said on John King USA. “Katrina has definitely extended my political life a lot quicker than I’d like.”
Nagin was first elected mayor in 2002 and squeaked out re-election with a 4-point victory over Louisiana Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu in 2006, after Katrina. Due to term limits, Nagin could not seek a third term and stepped down from office in May.
He drew heavy criticism when, in a 2006 speech on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, he urged residents to rebuild a "chocolate New Orleans" and said, "You can't have New Orleans no other way."
Watch the interview after the jump: