June 3rd, 2010
08:28 PM ET
5 years ago

Louisiana Dem to BP's CEO: 'Go on back to Britain'

'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,' Rep. Melancon said of BP's CEO.
'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,' Rep. Melancon said of BP's CEO.

(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.

Related: For new campaign, BP looks to Washington

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.”
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Filed under: BP • Charlie Melancon • Energy • Louisiana • The Situation Room
June 2nd, 2010
06:48 PM ET
5 years ago

Carville bumps into BP CEO


(CNN) – Louisiana's legendary Creole cuisine may have helped to broker a bit of a cease fire between outspoken Democrat James Carville and embattled energy giant BP.

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.

Related: Obama needs to tell BP 'I'm your daddy,' Carville says

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.'"
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Filed under: BP • Energy • James Carville • Popular Posts • President Obama • The Situation Room
May 21st, 2010
04:41 PM ET
5 years ago

Conway on Rand Paul: 'he's clearly backpedaling'

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.

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Filed under: 2010 • Jack Conway • Kentucky • Popular Posts • Rand Paul • The Situation Room
May 20th, 2010
06:22 PM ET
5 years ago

Paul: 'News cycle has gotten out of control'

(CNN) - Kentucky Senate candidate Rand Paul, facing withering criticism for questioning elements of the Civil Rights Act, lamented the state of the media Thursday when asked about the tempest swirling around his remarks.

"I thought I was supposed to get a honeymoon," Paul sighed in an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer. "When does my honeymoon start after my victory?"

In an appearance on MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show" Wednesday night, Paul debated whether the landmark federal anti-discrimination legislation should apply to private businesses – unleashing a torrent of attacks from national Democrats eager to undercut his candidacy two days after he secured the GOP nomination.

Paul said in the CNN interview Thursday that MSNBC, taking cues from his Democratic opponent Jack Conway, had mistakenly reported that he supports a "repeal" of the Civil Rights Act.

"I think what troubles me is that the news cycle has gotten out of control," he told Blitzer. "For several hours on a major news network yesterday, they reported repeatedly that I was for repealing the Civil Rights Act. That is not only not true, never been my position, but is an out and out lie. And they repeated it all day long."

Nevertheless, Paul sought to walk back his explosive comments.

He said he would have voted in favor of the Civil Rights Act if he were in the Senate at the time, calling the racial climate at the time "a stain on the South and our history."

"There was an overriding problem in the South that was so big that it did require federal intervention in the Sixties," he said. "The Southern states weren't correcting it, and there was a need for federal intervention."

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Filed under: 2010 • Kentucky • Popular Posts • Rand Paul • The Situation Room
May 12th, 2010
05:55 PM ET
5 years ago

Maher: Palin is 'a lazy money grubber'


(CNN) - Comedian Bill Maher on Wednesday repeated his frequent slams against Sarah Palin, calling her a "lazy money grubber" and claiming that "all she does is cash in." Maher was partly echoing sentiments expressed by Levi Johnston, the ex-boyfriend of Palin's daughter Bristol.

Johnston told Vanity Fair last October that the former Alaska governor, "would blatantly say [after the 2008 presidential election], 'I want to just take this money and quit being governor.'"

Maher also vented about President Obama's Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, the war in Afghanistan and illegal immigration in a wide-ranging interview broadcast on The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.


Filed under: Bill Maher • Elena Kagan • Immigration • Popular Posts • Sarah Palin • The Situation Room
May 10th, 2010
08:19 PM ET
5 years ago

Obama aide defends Kagan over DADT, military recruiting

Washington (CNN) – A top aide to President Obama is pushing back on early Republican criticism of Elena Kagan for her opposition to allowing military recruiters on the Harvard Law School campus because of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.

While dean of the law school, Kagan tried to block military recruiters from the campus in protest of the Pentagon's policies preventing gays and lesbians from serving openly. Her position on this issue was criticized by the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee soon after Obama nominated her to the Supreme Court.

"I think she made a big mistake," Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Alabama, told CNN. "Was that disqualifying? I don't know, we'll see. But it's a significant issue."

But Obama senior adviser David Axelrod said that Kagan's actions were motivated by her concerns over discrimination.
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April 30th, 2010
07:37 PM ET
5 years ago

Fiorina talks Arizona immigration law, offshore drilling

California senate candidate Carly Fiorina weighed in on immigration reform and U.S. offshore drilling on Friday.
California senate candidate Carly Fiorina weighed in on immigration reform and U.S. offshore drilling on Friday.

Washington (CNN) – California senate candidate Carly Fiorina weighed in on two issues currently inflaming political debate: immigration reform and U.S. offshore drilling.

Specifically regarding Arizona's controversial immigration law, the candidate, who is vying in a Republican primary for her party's nomination, said that, "The people of Arizona did what they felt they had to do."

"I support their need to protect their citizens," Fiorina told Wolf Blitzer in an interview that aired on CNN's The Situation Room. "But what we ought to be talking about is the federal government needs to secure the border."

On the issue of comprehensive immigration reform, the former chairman and CEO of computer giant Hewlett-Packard outlined what, she believes, is a more urgent issue.

"Without one new piece of legislation, the federal government has the power and the responsibility to secure the border and to come up with a temporary program - a temporary worker program that works," Fiorina said. "That's what the federal government needs to do. Forget trying to change the subject and talk about comprehensive immigration reform."

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Filed under: 2010 • California • Carly Fiorina • Energy • Immigration • Popular Posts • The Situation Room
April 29th, 2010
08:02 AM ET
5 years ago

Steele: Crist win 'a real possibility' in three-way race

Washington (CNN) – Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele acknowledged Wednesday that an independent run for Senate by Republican Gov. Charlie Crist could jeopardize the GOP's ability to hold onto the Florida Senate seat.

Crist, the one-time frontrunner to win the seat in November, is now trailing Republican primary opponent Marco Rubio by more than 20 points. Multiple sources tell CNN that Crist will announce Thursday afternoon that he will leave the GOP primary and run as a nonaligned candidate.

Related: Crist to run for Senate as nonaligned candidate, source says

Steele said in an interview on "The Situation Room" that he doesn't want the governor to leave the Republican Party, but noted the RNC is committed to doing what needs to be done to keep the seat in GOP hands.

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Filed under: Charlie Crist • GOP • Michael Steele • The Situation Room
April 28th, 2010
08:40 PM ET
5 years ago

Steele: Crist win 'a real possibility' in three-way race


Washington (CNN) – Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele acknowledged Wednesday that an independent run for Senate by Republican Gov. Charlie Crist could jeopardize the GOP's ability to hold onto the Florida Senate seat.

Crist, the one-time frontrunner to win the seat in November, is now trailing Republican primary opponent Marco Rubio by more than 20 points. Multiple sources tell CNN that Crist will announce Thursday afternoon that he will leave the GOP primary and run as a nonaligned candidate.

Related: Crist to run for Senate as nonaligned candidate, source says

Steele said in an interview on "The Situation Room" that he doesn't want the governor to leave the Republican Party, but noted the RNC is committed to doing what needs to be done to keep the seat in GOP hands.

"That's a real possibility," Steele said of the chance Crist could win in a three-way race. "It's a dynamic that's unfortunate in my view. I think that the voters out there should be given a chance to have a clean call between the Republican nominee and the Democratic nominee, Congressman [Kendrick] Meek. We're looking forward to helping carry the Republican nominee across the finish line. What the governor – I would not want the governor to leave the party but that's his decision to make."

On the issue of illegal immigration, the RNC chairman said he agreed with Republican strategist Karl Rove, who recently expressed concern that the Arizona law could alienate Latino voters from the GOP.
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Filed under: Charlie Crist • Extra • GOP • Immigration • Michael Steele • Popular Posts • The Situation Room
April 19th, 2010
04:31 PM ET
5 years ago

Expressions of political anger are protected, Napolitano says

'There's obviously a great deal of political anger out there and angry rhetoric out there,' Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said in an interview that airs Monday on CNN.
'There's obviously a great deal of political anger out there and angry rhetoric out there,' Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said in an interview that airs Monday on CNN.

Washington (CNN) – President Obama's top homeland security official said Monday that the government has an obligation to tolerate expressions of political anger, while being ever vigilant for behavior that crosses the line into violence.

In an interview set to air Monday on CNN's The Situation Room, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano was asked whether Obama's status as the first African-American president is playing any role in motivating anti-government groups.

"It is mentioned by some, but lots of things are now being mentioned," she said. "So it's really hard to extrapolate from what a few are saying to what all are saying or what all believe.

"There's obviously a great deal of political anger out there and angry rhetoric out there. But, as I said earlier, that's something that we've had constantly in our country's history. We may not like it – don't appreciate it – but it is protected under our Constitution, under our sense of values. Where it's not protected is where you start moving into preparation for and carrying out violent acts."

Napolitano added that all levels of law enforcement have to be "leaning forward" and sharing threat information in order to minimize the chance of another event such as the Oklahoma City bombing or the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Napolitano was in Oklahoma Monday to attend a ceremony remembering victims of the bombing.

The Homeland Security secretary told CNN's Suzanne Malveaux that the Secret Service is "constantly monitoring" the safety of the president, the vice president, and their families. "That is something that there's no quarter left unspent to make that happen," she said.
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