(CNN) - In a rousing speech before a standing-room-only audience at a conservative conference in Iowa on Saturday, Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann said "I'm in" for 2012.
Bachmann then asked the crowd to join her in pursuing her goals for the country. The thinly veiled comment was at the very least another step in her consideration of a possible run for the Republican presidential nomination.
(CNN) - Mississippi Republican Gov. Haley Barbour on Saturday criticized President Obama's economic policies and urged fiscal discipline in Washington.
Speaking in Des Moines, Iowa, to a crowd of conservative activists, the potential 2012 GOP presidential contender said, "When the government sucks all the money out of the economy, how is the private sector supposed to create jobs?"
(CNN) - President Obama in his weekly address Saturday said the U.S. military has "made important progress" in the situation in Libya and defended his decision to begin a military operation.
Obama last week gave the order for the United States to begin Operation Odyssey Dawn, a multi phase mission being carried out in coalition with French and British military forces against Moammar Gadhafi's forces, after the nations became convinced that the Libyan leader was not adhering to a United Nations-mandated cease-fire. The United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Qatar, Kuwait and Jordan have also agreed to provide humanitarian or logistical support.
(CNN) - Freshman Republican Rep. Allen West, who was backed by the Tea Party in last November's election, has drawn another challenger in the 2012 race for Florida's 22nd Congressional District.
Democrat Lois Frankel, the mayor of West Palm Beach, announced Monday that she will challenge West for the seat. Frankel, who has been mayor for 8 years and is term-limited, is also a former Florida state representative. Fort Lauderdale businessman and Democrat Patrick Murphy announced his candidacy for the seat last week.
Washington (CNN) - Senator Richard Lugar, R-Indiana, on Sunday questioned the decision by the United States to pursue military action in Libya without clearly defined objectives, and expressed concern over the role of the U.S. in Libya's future.
Lugar, the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said, "Where does our involvement stop? This is why, before it begins, we ought to have a plan and we ought to have outcomes defined as to why American forces, American money are going to be at stake."
(CNN) - Vice President Joe Biden blasted Republicans during a fundraiser in Philadelphia on Friday, comparing their approach to the budget battle to the mentality of "blaming the victim" of a rape.
The remarks came as he appeared at a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) event with former Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter, then a Republican, who co-authored the Violence Against Women Act with him. Biden referenced the act in his comparison to Republicans, saying that before it was passed, "there was this attitude in our society of blaming the victim."
(CNN) - New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has hit his lowest approval rating in eight years, according to a new poll.
In a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday, New York City voters disapproved of the job the three-term mayor is doing, 51 to 39 percent. The numbers are the lowest for Bloomberg since his approval was rated at 51 percent in 2003.
(CNN) - Former Republican Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum appears unfazed by a Fox News decision to suspend him as a contributor while he mulls a presidential run.
In his first media appearance since the suspension, Santorum told CNN's John King on Wednesday, "I think they made their call and I respect it."
(CNN) - Another Republican has announced his intent to run against Nebraska Democratic Senator Ben Nelson in 2012– and he is hoping the fourth time is the charm.
Don Stenberg, the current Nebraska State Treasurer, announced Tuesday that he intends to run for the Senate seat currently occupied by Nelson. The Nebraska Attorney General, Republican Jon Bruning, announced his bid for the seat last month. Businessman Pat Flynn is also running for the GOP nomination.
Washington (CNN) - New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie will headline the National Republican Congressional Committee's annual fundraising dinner in March, the group announced Friday.
In a statement, NRCC Chair Pete Sessions, R-Texas, said, "Governor Christie has become a highly regarded Republican since winning his gubernatorial race in 2009, and we are excited that he will be joining us in March. With his credentials and experience, his address will be of great value to our supporters as we continue to build on our historic gains for 2012."