Updated 5:57p.m. ET, 12/20/2013
(CNN) – More than 1 million people have purchased new private health insurance on Obamacare exchanges at the state and federal level since the program launched in October, President Barack Obama said on Friday.
Obama told a news conference that more than 500,000 people selected plans through the federally run HealthCare.gov website in the first three weeks of December.
The remaining signed up over the nearly three-month period through online and other programs offered by 14 states.
Bluffton, South Carolina (CNN) - One day after President Obama officially notified Congress that the national debt was nearing its limit, Rick Perry told an overflow crowd here that the Congress should say no to any increase in the debt ceiling.
"We got a President of the United States that is mortgaging the future of our children with all these spending programs – $15 trillion worth of debt – and wants more now, wants to raise the debt ceiling, and the answer to that is no, right Mick," Perry said, referencing Congressman Mick Mulvaney, who had introduced him during a visit to the Squat and Gobble restaurant. "No. No to the debt ceiling. Quit the spending."
(CNN) - During Thursday's debate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich pushed back against charges that he initially derided House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's plan to overhaul Medicare before ultimately coming out in support of the plan.
Citing comments Gingrich made during an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press" back in May, Fox News host Neil Cavuto asked Gingrich if Mitt Romney's claims that he has been inconsistent on the issue are fair.
Harlan, Iowa (CNN) – During a tour Wednesday afternoon of Molded Products - a medical-equipment manufacturing facility in Harlan, Iowa - Rick Perry was asked by the company's owner, David Tyrrel, if he favored a proposal that would offer incentives to health care providers who accept money from the U.S. government to purchase equipment from U.S. manufacturers.
Tyrrel told Perry that he had raised the issue with Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and President Barack Obama when they visited his facility, but neither had done anything about it.
Council Bluffs, Iowa (CNN) – The first event of Rick Perry's Iowa bus tour was billed as a town hall meeting, but Perry didn't take any questions from the crowd of roughly 60 people gathered at a Victorian mansion in Council Bluffs. Instead he introduced a surprise guest: Captain Dan Moran, a former Marine who was severely wounded in Iraq.
Moran –who has endorsed Perry and appeared in a video on the governor's behalf– spoke passionately about American exceptionalism, and ran through several reasons why he believes Perry is the most qualified candidate to be president.
(CNN) - Longtime public radio host Diane Rehm told CNN's John King on Wednesday that congressional Republicans pushing to cut all federal funding for National Public Radio are really "looking at a way to silence public broadcasting."
In an exclusive interview on "John King, USA," Rehm told King that a recently released undercover video of an NPR executive had "given those who don't believe in public funding for public broadcasting, more and more ammunition."
Editor's Note: In the final 100 days before Election Day, CNN has been profiling one race at random each day from among the nation's top 100 House races, which we've dubbed "The CNN 100." Read the full list here. Today's featured district is:
Pennsylvania 8th – Rep. Patrick Murphy(D) is seeking a 3rd term
Primary: May 18, 2010
Location: Northern Philadelphia suburbs
Days until Election Day: 69
With just less than ten weeks left until Election Day, Democrats in the northern suburbs of Philadelphia are hoping for a repeat of 2006. That's when former Army Captain Patrick Murphy defeated one-term GOP Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick in Pennsylvania's 8th district to become the first Iraq War veteran elected to Congress.
(CNN) - Former Cleveland mayor and current Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich weighed in Friday on the Lebron James free-agency saga, admitting that James "was the beneficiary of a status in Cleveland that only a few athletes ever achieved." And in what many basketball experts might consider a bold prediction, Kucinich said that Cleveland would "surprise the NBA with its resilience" next year.
"I think the other players are going to have a chance to show their potential," Kucinich said on CNN's John King, USA. "I mean you could imagine for some of the tremendous athletes who are part of the Cleveland Cavaliers, in many ways they have to be in the shadow of one extraordinarily gifted athlete. And now they'll have a chance to come forward, and you may actually see the kind of chemistry that can produce the kind of teamwork that will be essential to win."
Touting Cleveland's strong emotional commitment to its sports teams, Kucinich acknowledged that some might say the Cavs will be "at a great disadvantage" next season, but he added that life will go on in his home city.
(CNN) - Some political observers have wondered why the White House opted not to send President Obama or Vice President Biden to Pennsylvania to campaign with Sen. Arlen Specter in the final weeks before Tuesday's Democratic Senate primary.
Related: Specter scrambles to keep seat
Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, a Democrat, offered one theory during an appearance on CNN's "Campbell Brown."
Asked about Obama's and Biden's notable absence from the Pennsylvania campaign trail in recent weeks, Rendell said it might be "because their last minute appearances in New Jersey and Virginia and Massachusetts didn't serve too much good."
Washington (CNN) – Democratic strategist and CNN contributor Paul Begala gave President Obama’s appearance in Youngstown, Ohio Tuesday a “C+” on the partisanship scale.
Earlier: Obama rips stimulus opponents
Speaking on CNN’s John King, USA, Begala called on the president to elevate his rhetoric and hit back harder against Republicans or else the Democrats run the risk of losing big in the midterm elections this November.
While discussing how presidential approval ratings can affect a party’s midterm electoral success, Begala explained how former President Ronald Reagan set the standard for the modern era by losing only 28 congressional seats despite sporting a 42 percent approval rating in the 1982 midterms.