Editors note: Watch for more real time dispatches from the hallways on Capitol Hill as CNN's correspondents and producers cover the machinations of Congress. As always, the CNN Political Ticker is your source for up-to-the-minute political news- now even more so.
12:19 p.m. ET – I just ran into NRSC head John Cornyn coming off the elevator. Most Washington Republicans will tell you on background they think the Delaware Senate pick up is gone for them if Christine O'Donnell wins the GOP primary, but they are reluctant to say so on the record.
Cornyn came pretty close.
He said that not only does he have doubts about whether O'Donnell can win in Delaware, but he also admitted that race is the "lynchpin" to any chance of Senate Republicans taking back the majority. He also said if O'Donnell wins, they would have to have a "powwow" about whether to dedicate any money to that race.
First, I asked whether he's worried about O'Donnell's electability.
Washington (CNN) – Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, announced Wednesday he will not support Elena Kagan's nomination for the Supreme Court.
"Solicitor General Kagan's testimony before the Judiciary Committee did not assure me that she agrees with the traditional understanding of the proper role of a judge," Cornyn said in a statement. "Judges should strictly interpret the written Constitution, which means both enforcing written limitations on the scope of government power, such as the Second Amendment and the Commerce Clause, as well as not inventing new rights or imposing their own policy views on the American people."
Cornyn is the second Republican member of the Senate Judiciary Committee to oppose Kagan's nomination. He joins Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch who announced his opposition earlier this month.
Cornyn said Kagan's explanations of her judicial philosophy were "vague and open to multiple interpretations" and that she was "unable to articulate limits on the federal Commerce Clause power."
Sens. Cornyn and Menendez sparred Sunday over what Democrats inherited in January 2009. (Photo Credit: CNN)
Washington (CNN) – With the midterm elections less than five full months away, the man in charge of the GOP’s election effort in the Senate issued a sharp rejoinder Sunday to an oft-repeated message from national Democrats.
In the 17 months since President Obama took office in the midst of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, Democratic leaders have frequently said Obama and Capitol Hill Democrats “inherited” a mess on several fronts left behind by the Bush administration acting in league with House and Senate Republicans.
Appearing on CNN’s State of the Union, Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, suggested it’s time for Democrats to take responsibility for controlling the levers of government.
“Well, I’m waiting for this administration to take responsibility for the job it volunteered for and our Democratic colleagues who are in the majority [in the House and the Senate] and who run the show in Congress,” Cornyn told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley.
Challenged by Crowley on the frequent Democratic contention that Obama has “inherited” a difficult set of circumstances from his predecessor, Sen. Robert Menendez, chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said his party is trying to put the present situation in the proper context.
Washington (CNN) - Rand Paul backed out of his Sunday morning talk show appearance, but that didn't stop people from talking about him.
Paul, the Tea Party-backed eye doctor who won Kentucky's Republican Senate primary last week, cited exhaustion as well as a desire to put behind him controversy over his comments on the Civil Rights Act in deciding against a previously scheduled appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press," according to host David Gregory.
Gregory also said Paul's spokesman issued a statement saying Paul wanted to avoid the "liberal bias" of the media.
Paul, the son of former Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, has said he opposes racism but believes the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was too expansive in dictating that privately-owned businesses must serve all customers. He later said he supported the landmark legislation but continued to question what he called the excessive role of government in the lives of U.S. citizens.
Most fellow Republicans characterized the issue as a mistake by a rookie politician, but Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, who is African-American and is trying to broaden the party's support among minorities, said it involved a personal philosophy that "got in the way of reality."
Sen. John Cornyn, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, issued the following statement about the Kentucky Senate race.
(read the full statement after the jump)
Washington (CNN) – The man responsible for getting Republicans elected to the Senate said Monday that he was confident his party would pick up seats in November in Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Florida.
And Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, also weighed in on a potential liability for Republican incumbents – the passage of the Wall Street bailout package in late 2008 when the economy was teetering on the brink of collapse.
Appearing on CNN's John King, USA, Cornyn, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, discussed a number of races including the GOP Senate primary in Kentucky. Ahead of Tuesday's voting, Rand Paul, a Tea Party-backed candidate, is leading Trey Grayson, the candidate backed by the Senate's leading Republican.
Cornyn told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King that the Kentucky race is indicative of the national mood.
Washington (CNN) - Just how bad is the political environment for incumbents?
Even the GOP Senator in charge of electing Republicans to the U.S. Senate admitted to CNN he's glad he's not on the ballot.
"Thank goodness I'm not running this time," said Senator John Cornyn, R-Texas, Chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
Cornyn was responding to a question about dim prospects for his colleague from Utah, Sen. Robert Bennett, a third-term incumbent who could lose his place on Utah's ballot as GOP candidate for re-election.
Utah Republicans will vote at their convention this weekend, and many conservatives are angry about some of Bennett's positions and votes in Washington, such as his support for the bank bailout in 2008.
Washington (CNN) - Nearly one year after Sen. John Cornyn called Florida Gov. Charlie Crist "the best candidate" in that state's Senate race, the Texas Republican and head of the party's campaign committee said Thursday the organization wants its money back should Crist announce he is running as a third-party candidate.
Cornyn, the head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, told reporters Thursday he will ask for the $10,000 back the committee gave Crist if, as expected, the Florida governor announces Thursday he is abandoning his GOP Senate bid in favor of an independent run. Brian Walsh, the NRSC's communications director, confirmed Cornyn's statement to CNN.
Listen: CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser and CNN's Dick Uliano take a look at the intra-party conflict among Republicans in races taking place in Florida, Texas and other places.
Cornyn also said that Crist's "future electoral prospects are irreparably damaged by his deciding now to run as an independent," according to the Washington Post.
Crist, who at one point held a wide lead over his Republican competitor, Marco Rubio, now trails the former Florida House Speaker by 23 points, according to a recent statewide poll.