May 14th, 2010
11:14 AM ET
3 years ago

Palin hits campaign trail for anti-abortion group

Speaking before an anti-abortion group Friday, former Gov. Palin discussed 'a new conservative feminist movement.'
Speaking before an anti-abortion group Friday, former Gov. Palin discussed 'a new conservative feminist movement.'

Washington (CNN) - Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin hit the campaign trail Friday, delivering the keynote address at a fundraiser for a prominent anti-abortion group supporting socially conservative women running for office in the upcoming midterm elections.

"All across this country, women are standing up and speaking out for commonsense solutions," Palin said at the Susan B. Anthony List Celebration of Life Breakfast. They are forming a "new conservative feminist movement" that will help make "government work again for us," she said.

The Susan B. Anthony List describes itself on its website as part of the "nerve center of the pro-life movement and political process." In 2008, the group founded "Team Sarah," a coalition of women supporting Palin's vice presidential bid.

During her speech, Palin ripped abortion rights opponents in the Democratic Party who "promised to hold firm" during the health care debate, but ultimately backed "the most pro-abortion president who ever occupied the White House."

"We won't forget," she promised. "Elections have consequences."

Watch: Palin praises 'mama grizzly' activists

Palin mentioned, among other things, her daughter Bristol's decision not to have an abortion after becoming pregnant at age 17. "It was an embarrassing time for her," Palin told the audience. But "choosing life was the right road."

Palin said national media coverage of the pregnancy "kind of made it rough" on Bristol and sent a not-too-subtle message to other young women that it's easier to choose to have an abortion.
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Filed under: Popular Posts • Sarah Palin • Abortion
May 2nd, 2010
10:52 AM ET
3 years ago

Officials warn of potential catastrophe from Gulf of Mexico oil spill


Washington (CNN) - Top federal officials said Sunday that the Gulf of Mexico oil spill is a potential catastrophe and defended the Obama administration's response so far.

Appearing on CNN's "State of the Union," Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thad Allen warned the leaking oil from a rig explosion could continue for weeks with dire consequences.

"It potentially is catastrophic," Salazar said. "I think we have to prepare for the worst."

Calling the spill "massive," Salazar blamed the explosion that caused it on a failure in technology in the rig intended to prevent so-called blowouts.

"There is no doubt at all here that that what has happened is the blowout prevention mechanism at the bottom of the well ... is defective," Salazar said.

"While there have been blowouts in the past, we have never seen anything that has been quite of this magnitude."

Allen said it was impossible so far to know how much oil will eventually leak, saying: "we lost a total well head: it could be 100,000 barrels or more a day."

"This spill, at this point in my view, is indeterminate," Allen said. "That makes it asymmetrical, anomalous and one of the most complex things we've ever dealt with."
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April 8th, 2010
02:56 PM ET
3 years ago

Bachmann: GOP and Tea Party movement are 'merging'


(CNN) – A prominent conservative lawmaker said Thursday that the Republican Party and the Tea Party movement are in the process of merging.

Appearing on CNN's "Newsroom," Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minnesota, rejected any suggestion that the GOP and Tea Partiers are at odds during this midterm election year. Instead Bachmann said the established political party and the growing conservative grassroots movement are unifying under the principle of fiscal conservatism.

"It's really merging into one single, solitary unit," Bachmann said.

She added, "A number of Tea Party groups from around the country are coming together, unifying under the umbrella of economic, fiscal conservatism because Americans, quite simply, feel like they're taxed enough already."

Related: Tea Party movement attempting to unite?

The Republican lawmaker, who is herself a favorite of the Tea Party movement, pointed out that the phrase "taxed enough already" is the basis for the acronym "Tea" that has become the moniker for the grassroots movement that opposes the spending and deficits of the Obama administration.

Bachmann described concerns about the possibility of higher taxes as an "energy boost going forward."
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Filed under: GOP • Michele Bachmann • Tea Party movement
March 29th, 2010
06:39 AM ET
3 years ago

Republican: We need to respect anger about country's direction

ALT TEXT

Sens. Barbara Mikulski, D-Maryland, and Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, discussed the need for a more civil political discourse on Sunday's State of the Union. (Photo Credit: CNN)

Washington (CNN) – Commenting on the high-temperature political rhetoric of the last week and some incidents of violence and threats against lawmakers, a leading Senate Republican walked a fine line Sunday.

Appearing on CNN’s State of the Union, Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, said “ugliness” ought to be condemned. And, at the same time, the Tennessee Republican said the nation’s leaders needed to “respect” the anger some have about the direction the country is headed in.

“There's no doubt there has been - the anger today is more visible,” Alexander told CNN Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley. “You can go to any Web site and see ugliness. It used to be beneath the surface and it's on top now, and it ought to be condemned.

Related: Anger over health care bill a sign of the times?

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March 28th, 2010
05:42 PM ET
3 years ago

Republican: We need to respect anger about country's direction

ALT TEXT

Sens. Barbara Mikulski, D-Maryland, and Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, discussed the need for a more civil political discourse on Sunday's State of the Union. (Photo Credit: CNN)

Washington (CNN) – Commenting on the high-temperature political rhetoric of the last week and some incidents of violence and threats against lawmakers, a leading Senate Republican walked a fine line Sunday.

Appearing on CNN’s State of the Union, Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, said “ugliness” ought to be condemned. And, at the same time, the Tennessee Republican said the nation’s leaders needed to “respect” the anger some have about the direction the country is headed in.

“There's no doubt there has been - the anger today is more visible,” Alexander told CNN Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley. “You can go to any Web site and see ugliness. It used to be beneath the surface and it's on top now, and it ought to be condemned.

Related: Anger over health care bill a sign of the times?

“But there's also a lot of real anger out there about the direction of the country. And we need to respect that and then conduct ourselves in a civil way, which I think we United States senators are capable of doing and did do this week.”

Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Maryland, agreed with Alexander and had detailed advice about how to cool down the country’s political rhetoric.
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March 28th, 2010
01:45 PM ET
3 years ago

Alexander: 'What it's called is checks and balances'

Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander said Sunday that the president's plan for recess appointments has thrown 'fuel on the fire' at a time of already angry political debate in the country.
Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander said Sunday that the president's plan for recess appointments has thrown 'fuel on the fire' at a time of already angry political debate in the country.

Washington (CNN) – A leading Senate Republican said Sunday that his chamber’s failure thus far to act on a number of President’s Obama’s nominees was consistent with the constitutional scheme of government intended to keep the executive branch in check.

Obama announced plans Saturday to appoint 15 nominees while the Senate is in recess. Among the 15 is one especially controversial pick for the National Labor Relations Board, the federal agency that weighs in on those labor-management disputes governed by federal law.

Related: Obama to make recess appointments

Asked on CNN’s State of the Union about Democratic claims of Republican obstructionism in the Senate, Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, said his party was helping to fulfill the Senate’s traditional role in a divided government.

“What it’s called is checks and balances,” said the chairman of the Senate Republican Conference. “And what the president has done here is throw fuel on the fire at a time when the civil – when the debate about politics is a very angry debate to begin with.”

Related: Anger over health care bill a sign of the times?
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March 28th, 2010
09:57 AM ET
3 years ago

Axelrod weighs in on Dem fundraising appeals related to threats

Obama senior adviser David Axelrod told CNN that recent reports of threats and violence should not overshadow the administration's accomplishments in the last week.
Obama senior adviser David Axelrod told CNN that recent reports of threats and violence should not overshadow the administration's accomplishments in the last week.

Washington (CNN) – A senior adviser to the president said his party was not out of bounds in issuing fundraising appeals linked to recent threats of violence against congressional Democrats.

Obama senior adviser David Axelrod also suggested congressional Republicans bore some responsibility for the overheated rhetoric and incidents of vandalism directed at Democrats.

After multiple incidents of violence and threats directed at the offices and even the homes of some Democrats who voted for the recently passed health care legislation, the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee and the head of President Obama’s grassroots political operation both sent fundraising messages to supporters that mentioned the recent incidents.

Asked about those fundraising appeals in an interview that airs Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union, Axelrod said, “I think that they were within the parameters of acceptable fundraising. I would rather there were not events around which to send out missives like that.”

Related: Health care reform anger takes violent turn

Axelrod, who is widely credited with crafting Obama’s messaging during the presidential race, also suggested to CNN Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley that there is a “cause and effect” relationship between some of the rhetoric congressional Republicans used in the final days of health care debate and the recent violence and threats.
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Filed under: David Axelrod • Democrats • Health care • Popular Posts • State of the Union
March 28th, 2010
09:52 AM ET
3 years ago

Obama adviser on Israel: 'There was no snub intended'

'Israel is a close, dear, and valued friend of the U.S., a great ally,' Obama adviser David Axelrod said.
'Israel is a close, dear, and valued friend of the U.S., a great ally,' Obama adviser David Axelrod said.

Washington (CNN) – The president’s recent closed-door meeting with Israel’s prime minister - which lacked the fanfare and niceties normally associated with greeting another world leader - was a working meeting where issues in the U.S.-Israeli relationship were discussed bluntly, White House senior adviser David Axelrod said.

Asked about the low-key way in which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was greeted at the White House last week, Axelrod dismissed any suggestion that the lack of formalities was intended to send a message to Israel.

“[T]here was no snub intended,” Axelrod said in an interview that airs Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union.

“This was not about a ceremonial meeting,” Axelrod told CNN Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley. “This was a working meeting.”

Related: Obama, Netanyahu meet at White House

Axelrod added, “Look, Israel is a close, dear, and valued friend of the U.S., a great ally. That is an unshakeable bond. But sometimes part of friendship is expressing yourself bluntly.”
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March 27th, 2010
06:41 PM ET
3 years ago

Axelrod: Senate has 'a responsibility' to act on nominations


Washington (CNN) – A top adviser to President Barack Obama is suggesting that the administration had little choice but to make the 15 recess appointments the White House announced Saturday.

“[T]he Senate has a responsibility to dispose of these nominations,” Obama senior adviser David Axelrod says in an interview that will air Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Related: Obama to make 15 recess appointments

Axelrod adds that the White House is “in a position where the Republican Party has taken a position where they're going to try and slow and block progress on all fronts, whether it's legislation or appointments.”

The Obama adviser tells CNN Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley that the previous administration had far fewer appointees awaiting Senate confirmation at the comparable point in former President George W. Bush’s first term.

“We have 77 appointees who have not gotten the vote because they have been held up by the Republican Party,” Axelrod tells Crowley. “Some of them are in very sensitive positions - Treasury, Homeland Security, and boards like the Labor Relations Board . . . where there are a huge number of vacancies.”

Much of the controversy over Obama’s decision to use his authority to make recess appointments has centered around Craig Becker, one of Obama’s nominees to the National Labor Relations Board.
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March 27th, 2010
04:00 PM ET
3 years ago

Obama to make 15 recess appointments

 'I must act in the interest of the American people and exercise my authority to fill these positions on an interim basis,' President Obama said in a statement Saturday.
'I must act in the interest of the American people and exercise my authority to fill these positions on an interim basis,' President Obama said in a statement Saturday.

Washington (CNN) - President Obama announced Saturday that he will make recess appointments of 15 nominees to administration posts who are awaiting confirmation by the full Senate.

"The United States Senate has the responsibility to approve or disapprove of my nominees," Obama said in a written statement that also named the 15 individuals. "But if, in the interest of scoring political points, Republicans in the Senate refuse to exercise that responsibility, I must act in the interest of the American people and exercise my authority to fill these positions on an interim basis.

"Most of the men and women whose appointments I am announcing today were approved by Senate committees months ago, yet still await a vote of the Senate. At a time of economic emergency, two top appointees to the Department of Treasury have been held up for nearly six months. I simply cannot allow
partisan politics to stand in the way of the basic functioning of government."

In a blog post about the appointments, White House deputy communications director Jen Psaki highlighted two other federal agencies.

"The roadblocks we've seen in the Senate have left some government agencies like the National Labor Relations Board and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission impaired in fulfilling their mission," Psaki wrote. "These agencies can now get back to working for the American people."

Obama has the authority under Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution to make recess appointments.

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Filed under: Obama administration • President Obama • Senate
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