(CNN) - Rep. Paul Ryan called on the Republican Party to unify in a speech Friday, saying it should "give up the infighting" for Lent.
Addressing an Iowa crowd in the pivotal caucus state's GOP Lincoln Dinner, the potential 2016 presidential candidate said Iowa can do the country a favor in the 2014 midterm election "by delivering another Senate seat and by sending more conservatives to Congress."
Obama to honor LBJ’s civil rights legacy: President Barack Obama on Thursday will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 at the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin, Texas. A lot of people have compared Obama with Lyndon B. Johnson recently. The LBJ people want to rescue his legacy from Vietnam. In a piece in the National Journal, George Condon argues Obama staffers don’t want their guy’s star put up next to the coarse-mouthed Texan. But you can’t argue that Johnson didn’t get a lot done in his first few years in office. Civil rights legislation, the Great Society programs and Medicare and Medicaid - these are legacy items with a more lasting imprint on American culture and society than most presidents can claim.
David Jackson puts it well in USA Today: “There was a time - a long time - when Democratic presidential candidates would not even utter the name Lyndon Baines Johnson. This week, the three Democrats elected president since Johnson traveled to Texas to honor the memory of LBJ - a president once reviled for the Vietnam War, now revered for a domestic record that includes landmark civil rights laws.”
Jackson’s piece points out that when Bill Clinton visited the LBJ library during a 1992 campaign stop, he didn’t once utter the late president’s name.
Here's what we're watching Thursday Inside Politics:
Turns out money is the same thing as speech in the eyes of the U.S. Supreme Court.
SCOTUS campaign finance in a nutshell: After the Supreme Court ruling in McCutcheon v. FEC yesterday, you can't just give as much money as you want to any candidate. Those limits are still set at $5,200 every two years. But there's now no limit on how much total you can give to all candidates. The old limit was $123,000 every two years. As Jeffrey Toobin put it on CNN just after the decision, essentially, in the eyes of the court, corporations are people and money is speech.
John Roberts’ majority ruling: “Money in politics may at times seem repugnant to some, but so too does much of what the First Amendment vigorously protects. If the First Amendment protects flag burning, funeral protests and Nazi parades - despite the profound offense such spectacles cause - it surely protects political campaign speech despite popular opposition.”
Stephen Breyer’s dissent: The decision “creates a loophole that will allow a single individual to contribute millions of dollars to a political party or to a candidate’s campaign. Taken together with Citizens United v. FEC, today’s decision eviscerates our Nation’s campaign finance laws, leaving a remnant incapable of dealing with the grave problems of democratic legitimacy that those laws were intended to resolve.”
Our morning look Inside Politics:
7.1 million enrolled: President Obama on Tuesday crowed in the Rose Garden about meeting the health care law’s open enrollment goal for private insurance. And he had a message for Republicans who continue to oppose it.
Here’s the good, long, meaty quote from Obama’s speech:
“This law is doing what it’s supposed to do. It’s working. It’s helping people from coast to coast, all of which makes the lengths to which critics have gone to scare people, or undermine the law, or try to repeal the law without offering any plausible alternative so hard to understand. I’ve got to admit, I don’t get it. Why are folks working so hard for people not to have health insurance? Why are they so mad about the idea of folks having health insurance? Many of the tall tales that have been told about this law have been debunked. There are still no death panels. Armageddon has not arrived. Instead, this law is helping millions of Americans, and in the coming years it will help millions more.”
Washington (CNN) - Republican House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan unveiled a budget plan Wednesday that would achieve some key conservative goals – balancing the federal budget in a decade while starting to contain the national debt – while also rekindling some old controversies by changing Medicare, repealing Obamacare and significantly cutting social programs like food stamps.
(CNN) – Rep. Paul Ryan's recent comments about men in inner cities not valuing the “culture of work” have continued to draw outrage - this time from one of his Wisconsin constituents.
At town-hall style meeting on Wednesday, an African-American man identified by NBC as Alfonso Gardner took the Republican congressman to task for his remarks.
Washington (CNN) - Rand Paul has done something his father never did - top the list of potential Republican presidential candidates in a national poll.
According to a new CNN/ORC International survey, 16% of Republicans and independents who lean toward the GOP say they would be likely to support the senator from Kentucky for the 2016 nomination.
Washington (CNN) - Rep. Paul Ryan said comments he made on a conservative radio program about people in inner cities not valuing the “culture of work” were “inarticulate.”
“I was not implicating the culture of one community-but of society as a whole,” Ryan said in a statement after fellow members of Congress pounced on his comments as being offensive and tinged with racism.
(CNN) – A new survey asked Iowa voters about potential presidential candidates who’ve already run for the White House, and the results show some good news for Republicans Mike Huckabee and Paul Ryan.
But for Rick Santorum, who won the Iowa GOP caucuses in 2012 by a razor-thin margin, and Rick Perry, the results indicate Hawkeye State Republicans aren't quite as excited about the prospects of another presidential bid by the former Pennsylvania senator and the Texas governor. FULL POST
The Sunday political talk shows were stacked with Republicans, and most of them said President Barack Obama has repeatedly showed weakness in his foreign policy, bolstering Russian President Vladimir Putin’s resolve and agenda in Ukraine.
If you missed any of the Sunday political chatter, we've got you covered:
Obama is not weak: Tony Blinken, Obama’s deputy national security adviser, defended the President and his response to Putin’s advancement in the Crimean peninsula in Ukraine.