Washington (CNN) - Even as many pollsters predict sweeping gains for the Republican Party this November, Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine is striking an optimistic tone, saying the party's achievements over the last two years will resonate with voters.
"Is the climate tough? Sure it is, because too many people are hurting. But we think as the voters start making decisions about who they're going to vote for, they're making a choice. It's a choice between the Democratic Party, which has done heavy lifting to take an economy that was shrinking and get it back to growing," Kaine told CNN's Wolf Blitzer, Anchor of "The Situation Room."
"We can't afford to go back and put the keys back into the hand of the party that ran us into this recession and this lost decade. I think voters will understand," he said.
Kaine will deliver a national address on Wednesday to kick off the 2010 fall mid-term election campaign season at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
(CNN) - Patricia DiCarlo, a Senior Producer for CNN's The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, has been named the program's new Executive Producer, CNN announced Tuesday.
DiCarlo's 15 years in broadcast journalism have spanned important producing positions from WFLA and WTVT in Tampa to the Oprah Winfrey show in Chicago.
DiCarlo also ran one of the largest newsrooms in Washington, DC as Executive Producer at WTTG-TV.
(CNN) - In an interview just taped for The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, Austan Goolsbee, one of President Obama’s top political advisors and the chief economist for the White House Economic Recovery Advisory Board, said he doesn’t anticipate a double dip recession.
But the economist added that economists should be “mindful” of the possibility.
The full interview will air this afternoon on The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer starting at 5 p.m. ET.
BLITZER: How worried are you about a double dip recession?
GOOLSBEE: I don't think we will have a double dip recession. But it's –clearly anybody should keep their eye on that. You saw at the Jackson Hole fed conference in Wyoming that the - the fed is - is
eying that. The central bankers from around the world are paying attention to it. I think if we passed a small business recovery bill, if we do what the president is asking and extend the middle class tax
cuts, and if we go with his export initiative - he's outlined various ideas to promote exports. I don't think we will have a double dip recession. But it's clearly something we've got to - we've got to be mindful, and we've got to prevent.
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.