Washington (CNN) - Florida Senate candidate Marco Rubio rejected a blanket characterization of the Tea Party movement as extremist on Tuesday, but at the same time remained noncommittal about the prospect of joining a Tea Party caucus if elected.
When asked about the NAACP's resolution that called some elements of the Tea Party "racist," Rubio said that did not mirror his experiences with the group.
"Well I think it's unfortunate that labels like that are used to brand an entire group of people, the vast majority of whom are folks that care and love their country, believe it's the greatest country on earth," Rubio told CNN's Wolf Blitzer.
Washington (CNN) – Florida Republican Senate hopeful Marco Rubio slammed the Obama administration Wednesday for its response to the Gulf oil spill. And Rubio did not miss the opportunity to criticize his opponent Florida Gov. Charlie Crist for not doing more to get the resources Florida needs to defend against the spill's onslaught.
"I think the federal government took its time responding to this early on," Rubio said of the spill in an interview that aired on CNN's The Situation Room. "I think that they weren't quick enough. I think that the bureaucracy continues to be in place."
"[W]e are the most powerful country in the world," Rubio told CNN's Wolf Blitzer. "Every oil skimmer on the planet should be in the Gulf of Mexico by now. And they're not."
Rubio added that it is "tragic" to see what Florida is facing "because of the lack of response from the federal government" as more oil has come ashore in Pensacola even today.
(CNN) - Florida's governor, who is vying to be the state's next senator, is blasting his Republican opponent, saying that Senate candidate Marco Rubio is pushing "the wrong thing" regarding drilling off Florida's coast.
Gov. Charlie Crist, running as an independent after bowing out of the Republican primary, made his comments during an interview that aired Friday on CNN's The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.
As thousands of gallons of oil continue to spew into the Gulf of Mexico, deepening the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history, Crist reiterated his stance on drilling off Florida's coast: he does not support it.
"I mean, if ever there was a wake-up call to say that we should not drill off the beautiful coast of Florida, this is it," Crist told Blitzer.
"I mean, I can't imagine anybody in their right mind thinking that this is a good idea to do something that would potentially have the secondary effect of one of these spills again."
(CNN) - The government's point man overseeing the Gulf oil disaster response told CNN Friday that a more accurate estimate over how much oil is flowing could come over the next few days.
"I would expect this estimate could evolve over the next four or five days, as we know more about what's going on with the pressure readings that we're going to be taking," Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen told CNN's Wolf Blitzer. "We're going to put some actual sensors down there and get some pressure readings over the next couple of days."
Researchers recently doubled estimates of how much oil has been flowing from the ruptured well, saying Thursday that up to 40,000 barrels - or 1.7 million gallons - a day may have leaked for weeks.
Sensors, Allen said, will soon be placed at the pipe and will help in estimating the flow rate.
(CNN) – Rep. Charlie Melancon, D-Louisiana, said Thursday it may just be time for Tony Hayward, the CEO of embattled energy giant BP, to go home to the United Kingdom.
While speaking with the press in Louisiana Sunday, Hayward was asked what he’d say to the people of the state where BP’s heavy, unrefined crude is soiling precious marshes. "The first thing to say is I'm sorry," the energy executive said.
Then, Hayward added, "We're sorry for the massive disruption it's caused their lives. There's no one who wants this over more than I do. I would like my life back."
Hayward used Facebook to apologize for the comment, but it still did not sit well with Melancon, who called on Hayward to resign because of the remark.
The people of Louisiana “would like to have their life back,” Melancon said in an interview on CNN’s The Situation Room. “They’re not responsible for what has happened down here but they’re the ones who are paying the price for it.”
“And if he wants his life back, go on back to Britain — but send us somebody who cares about this state, cares about these people and will be honest with us.”
Carville said he had a chance meeting Tuesday night with BP CEO Tony Hayward at the popular New Orleans restaurant "Eleven 79." Hayward was dining with former Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thad Allen, Carville said in an interview that aired Wednesday on "The Situation Room."
Carville, a native Louisianan, has been critical of BP's response to the Gulf oil spill.
Carville, a CNN contributor, told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that the unexpected encounter was "polite" and "tense."
Hayward "asked me, he says 'What can I do? You've said some pretty harsh things about BP. What can we do to show you that we want to do right?'"
Carville, never one to hold his tongue, said that he responded by telling Hayward that "'in all honesty, I don't trust you.'"
Washington (CNN) – The Democrat hoping to be Kentucky's next senator apparently smells political opportunity in recent comments from his opponent, Rand Paul.
Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway spoke about his Republican opponent's views on the Civil Rights Act and the American with Disabilities Act in a Friday interview on CNN's The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.
In an interview earlier this week on MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Show, and other recent interviews with the Louisville Courier Journal and other outlets, Paul suggested that the landmark federal anti-discrimination legislation should not apply to private businesses. Critics have seized on his comments and suggest that Paul would consent to private businesses, such as restaurants, refusing to serve African-Americans and other groups.
In a Thursday interview with Blitzer, Paul said the nation's segregationist past is a "stain on our history," and said he would have voted for the Civil Rights Act had he been in the senate in 1964.
But his opponent said that does not douse the firestorm surrounding Paul.