(CNN) – Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley Tuesday officially kicked off his bid for re-election. His challenger is former Republican Gov. Robert Ehrlich, the man he knocked out of office four years ago.
O'Malley, a Democrat, began his three-day swing across the state with an event in Baltimore, where he served as mayor for two-terms before beating Ehrlich in the 2006 gubernatorial contest.
In his speech, which according to a prepared text focused on job creation and on the tough economy facing the state, O'Malley said "because of the tough decisions made, Maryland has fared better than most, but we still have more work ahead of us."
Washington (CNN) - It's the state that launched him towards the White House. On Tuesday, President Barack Obama returns to Iowa for the third time since his inauguration as president - and the second time in the past month - to talk about the economy as part of his "White House to Main Street" tour.
The president's scheduled to tour the Siemens Wind Turbine Blade Manufacturing plant in Fort Madison, in the southeastern part of the state, and then speak to workers at the plant about the economy and job creation. Obama then heads about 35 miles north to Mt. Pleasant, Iowa to tour a local business. Later the president holds a town hall at the Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa.
At each stop, Obama will meet with workers, farmers, small-business owners, and local leaders "to share ideas for continuing to grow the economy and to put Americans back to work," the White House said in a statement.
(CNN) - The founder of the socially conservative Focus on the Family organization is weighing in on the divisive Republican Senate primary battle in Kentucky.
James Dobson Monday endorsed Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson, who's fighting Rand Paul for their party's nomination.
"Trey Grayson is the only candidate with the conviction to lead on the issues that matter to Kentucky families," Dobson says in a statement released by the Grayson campaign. "His unwavering commitment to the sanctity of human life and the family resonates with me. I know that he will be a leader on these issues, not just another Senator who checks the box."
The release notes that Dobson, who no longer heads Focus on the Family, is making the endorsement as a private individual.
A new ABC News/Washington Post poll released Monday morning indicates 65 percent of the public supports stricter federal regulations on the way banks and other financial institutions conduct their business, with 31 percent opposed. (PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images)
Washington (CNN) - Hours before a showdown in the Senate over the Democrats financial reform legislation, a new national poll indicates that nearly two-thirds of Americans support stricter regulations of banks and Wall Street firms.
According to a ABC News/Washington Post survey released Monday morning, 65 percent of the public supports stricter federal regulations on the way banks and other financial institutions conduct their business, with 31 percent opposed. A majority of people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll conducted last month also favored greater government regulation of banks and other financial institutions.
Taking a look at some of the provisions in the legislation, the ABC News/Washington Post survey indicates that nearly six in ten back increasing federal oversight of the way banks and other financial companies issue credit cards and make consumer loans, such as mortgages and auto loans. And 53 percent support requiring large banks and other financial companies to put money into a fund that would cover the cost of taking over and breaking up any large financial company that fails and threatens the broader economy; 42 percent are opposed.
(CNN) - The battle for President Barack Obama's old Senate seat is heating up.
Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, the Democratic nominee in the race, is up Monday with his first television commercial in the general election. The ad comes out as Giannoulias deals with the collapse last week of his family's bank.
In the 60 second commercial, which his campaign says will run statewide in Illinois, Giannoulias says his family's bank helped thousands of people over the years.
"I was very proud to be a part of it, and when I left, over four years ago, it was in good shape. But no one could have foreseen these problems," says Giannoulias in the ad.
Later in the commercial, the narrator criticizes the Republican nominee in the race, Rep. Mark Kirk.
"Mark Kirk doesn't get it. First he votes for the Bush policies that got us into this mess, including tax breaks that shipped jobs to China. Then Kirk has the nerve to vote against extending unemployment benefits, saying unemployment isn't a big issue," says the narrator.
(CNN) - The war for California's Republican gubernatorial nomination keeps getting hotter.
With less than two months to go until the primary, State Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner has put out a tough new television commercial critical of his opponent, former eBay CEO Meg Whitman.
The ad's narrator says that Whitman "supports taxpayer funding for abortion. Do you? Whitman campaigned and contributed to Barbara Boxer. Did you? Whitman campaigned for the disastrous bailout that saved Goldman Sachs. Did you? Whitman supports the Obama amnesty plan for illegal immigrants. Did you?"
Tucker Bounds, the Whitman campaign's spokesman, responded to the ad in comments to CNN.
"The question we all know the answer to is: Why did he? Why did Steve Poizner work to undermine Proposition 13, supporting $40 billion in higher taxes? Why did Steve Poizner contribute $21,000 to elect Al Gore and overturn the legal election of George W. Bush? Why is Steve Poizner the only candidate in the race to have ever supported partial birth abortion? Why did Steve Poizner spend over $2,000,000 on new cars at the Department of Insurance during an economic downturn? Because Steve Poizner is a liberal you can't trust," Bounds said.
(CNN) - Sarah Palin takes the stage Friday night in Eugene, Oregon.
It may sound strange since Eugene, home to the University of Oregon, is considered a liberal bastion, and the former Alaska governor is known as a darling among conservative voters.
But the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee is in Eugene to give the keynote address at the Lane County Republican's annual Lincoln Day Dinner, a major fundraising event for the organization.
Washington (CNN) - Vice President Joe Biden heads to Pennsylvania Friday to lend a hand to two fellow Democrats.
Friday morning Biden headlines a fundraiser in Pittsburgh for Mark Critz, the Democratic candidate in the May 18 special election to fill the seat of the late Rep. Jack Murtha, a Democratic source tells CNN.
Critz, a longtime aide to the late congressman, is facing off against Republican Tim Burns. The race has heated up in recent weeks, with both campaigns as well as national party committees going up with television ads.
The district, which stretches from Cambria County in west-central Pennsylvania down to the southwestern corner of the state, is considered socially conservative. In the 2004 presidential election, Sen. John Kerry won the district by 2 points. Sen. John McCain narrowly edged out Barack Obama in the district in 2008, even though Obama carried the state by 10 percent.
Following the fundraiser, the vice president heads east, where he'll be the main attraction at a rally for Sen. Arlen Specter. The event, Friday afternoon at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport, brings Biden close to his native Scranton for the first time since becoming vice president.
(CNN) - Sarah Palin's weighing in on the contentious Republican Senate primary battle in Kentucky.
The former Alaska governor is appearing in a new ad for Rand Paul, a physician and the son of former GOP presidential candidate and Texas Rep. Ron Paul. Rand Paul is battling Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson for their party's nomination.
In the television commercial, the narrator says "Paul's conservative approach has the support of Sarah Palin."
The ad then uses an audio clip of the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee, who backed Paul earlier this year, endorsing the candidate. "He wants limited government. I respect that and I'm proud to support him," Palin is heard saying.
Washington (CNN) - FreedomWorks announced Wednesday that it's backing Tim Burns, the Republican candidate running in the May 18 special election for the House seat of the late Rep. John Murtha.
FreedomWorks' political action committee and the organization's chairman, former top House Republican Dick Armey, officially endorsed Burns. The group also announced they'll fund Burn's get out the vote efforts, which they say will include "door-to-door literature drops, phone banks, and yard sign distribution."
"Tim Burns may be new to the political scene, but it is real-world experience that qualifies him to serve the people of Pennsylvania's 12th District," says Armey in a release. "Tim learned the values of hard work and fiscal responsibility in starting a successful company from the ground up."
FreedomWorks is a nonprofit conservative organization that helps train volunteer activists and has provided much of the organizational heft behind the Tea Party movement.