(CNN) - Both sides homed in on the economy Saturday in their weekly addresses.
While President Barack Obama promoted his 2014 strategy to take action on helping the middle class - touting his trip to North Carolina this week and pushing for a revival in America’s manufacturing sector - Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-Indiana, called on the President to urge the Democratic-controlled Senate to take up a House-approved jobs bill.
(CNN) - Just two weeks after finishing a surprising second in Indiana's Republican Senate primary, state senator Marlin Stutzman is making another bid for office.
Stutzman announced Thursday that he would seek the House seat of fellow Republican Mark Souder, who is resigning following his admission of an extramarital affair.
"We must have strong, principled, accountable leadership in Washington that will stand strong for Hoosier values and represent 'We the People,"' said Stutzman, in formally announcing his candidacy.
Souder abruptly announced his resignation Tuesday, after acknowledging that he "sinned against God" by engaging in a relationship with a member of his staff. The 59-year-old married father of three, who just won a competitive primary, said he will leave office at the end of the week.
Souder, a social conservative, was first elected to Congress in 1994 and represents Indiana's third Congressional district, located in the northeast region of the state.
Stutzman is a farm owner in the district. He won the backing of many Tea Party activists and of conservative Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina in his bid for the GOP Senate nomination. He lost to former Sen. Dan Coats but came out ahead of former Rep. John Hostettler, who was much better known across Indiana.
Other GOP candidates may jump into the contest for the open seat. Party caucuses of committee members will choose the nominees in the race. No date has been scheduled for the special election.
Former Fort Wayne city councilman Tom Hayhurst is the Democratic nominee for November's general election. He could become his party's pick for the special election.
Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn
Washington (CNN) - In the 24 hours since Sen. Jim DeMint endorsed Marlin Stutzman in the Indiana Senate race, DeMint's political action committee said it has raised "over $50,000" for Stutzman's underdog campaign.
The South Carolina senator, who has recently made a habit of endorsing conservative candidates in contested Republican primaries, endorsed Stutzman yesterday instead of former Sen. Dan Coats, considered the establishment frontrunner in the GOP race. The winner of the primary will take on Democratic Rep. Brad Ellsworth in the general election. The race is to fill the seat being vacated by Sen. Evan Bayh.
"I'm very honored to be able to help Marlin in a small way," DeMint said in a statement announcing the fundraising boost Wednesday. "I know that if Hoosiers pick him on May 4, he will be a strong voice in the Senate for the principles of freedom."
The money comes at a welcome time for Stutzman, who said this month that he has just $70,000 in the bank as the May 4 primary approaches. The little-known state Senator launched his first television ad buy on Tuesday, and the cash from DeMint's PAC could help prop up his campaign in the final weeks of the race.
Washington (CNN) - Jim DeMint is sticking his finger in the eye of the National Republican Senatorial Committee once again, this time by endorsing a little-known state legislator in the Indiana Republican Senate primary instead of Dan Coats, the former senator recruited for the seat by national party officials.
"I'm very excited about what's taking place in Indiana right now," DeMint said in a statement endorsing state Sen. Marlin Stutzman. "We've got a young conservative running for the Senate who could pull off one of the biggest upsets of the year. He's surging because he's an authentic conservative who doesn't apologize for his principles."
DeMint's national profile has risen since he broke with many of his Senate colleagues last year to endorse Marco Rubio for Senate in Florida, long before the former state House speaker emerged as the favorite to win the GOP nomination over Gov. Charlie Crist.
He has used his political action committee, the Senate Conservatives Fund, to promote and raise money for other conservative Republicans in competitive primaries. DeMint has so far endorsed four Senate hopefuls along with Stutzman: Rubio in Florida, Ken Buck in Colorado, Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania and Chuck DeVore in California.