(CNN) - Sarah Palin and Fox News have parted ways.
The former Alaska governor and 2008 vice presidential candidate had continued to speak out on politics as a paid contributor to the channel but turned down a recent offer to renew her contract with the network, according to a source close to Palin. Fox News confirmed that Palin will no longer be with them as a political analyst.
Des Moines, Iowa (CNN) – The political arm of Focus on the Family, the Colorado-based social conservative organization founded by evangelical author and radio host James Dobson, is targeting Iowa voters with a mailing that quotes President Barack Obama as saying “we are no longer a Christian nation.”
The fold-out brochure, which landed in Iowa mailboxes last week and was provided to CNN by a Des Moines-area voter, draws a series of contrasts between Obama and Mitt Romney on the issues of abortion, same-sex marriage and insurance coverage for contraception.
See the mailer here and here.
Tampa, Florida (CNN) - Mitt Romney accepted the Republican Party's nomination for the presidency on Thursday night, culminating a convention shortened to three days by Tropical Storm Isaac.
The closing image from the convention's final night was Romney with running mate Paul Ryan surrounded by their families and showered with balloons. But the lasting image might be Clint Eastwood speaking to an empty chair.
Here are five things we learned Thursday...
Tampa, Florida(CNN)– On the night vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan made his debut on the national stage, the GOP turned its attention to America's influence abroad and what the party sees as President Barack Obama's failed economic policies. The roster of speakers at the Republican National Convention boasted two of the party's foreign policy heavy hitters and rhetoric designed to appeal to voters who are still undecided.
Here are five things we learned from the convention's second...
WASHINGTON (CNN) – South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford's federal security clearance was wrongly suspended by a Department of Homeland Security employee in the days following the governor's admission of an extramarital affair, department officials confirmed Friday.
Sanford's security privileges were suspended on Wednesday, July 1, according to DHS Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs Sean Smith. Smith would not identify the employee who suspended Sanford's security clearance, or say why the action was taken.
But the suspension came just one week after the governor emerged from a mysterious absence and revealed his relationship with an Argentine woman.
The employee sent a letter to Sanford notifying him of the suspension, but Sanford likely did not receive the letter until Monday, July 6, the end of the long holiday weekend, Smith said. On that same day, Sanford met in Charleston with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano at a pre-scheduled meeting focused on port security.
The following day - July 7 - senior DHS officials learned that Sanford's status had been suspended and immediately moved to restore it, the DHS said.
DHS spokeswoman Sara Kuban said the employee who suspended Sanford's security clearance "acted on their own volition."
Washington (CNN) – Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy says he plans to put a confirmation vote for Judge Sonia Sotomayor on the committee calendar this coming Tuesday.
However, committee rules allow any one senator to delay consideration of any nomination for one week, and the committee's ranking Republican, Jeff Sessions, suggested to CNN that a week's delay is likely.
"That would be only four days after the end of the hearings, that would be really fast," Sessions told CNN, noting that this is the "U.S. Supreme Court."
Sessions emphasized that he has no interest in delaying the process, but suggested holding a vote next week would be too soon.
Leahy told CNN the ultimate Democratic goal is to hold a full Senate vote before the August recess, and said he is confident that will happen.
Sessions said he has no plans for a filibuster.
"A nominee is entitled to an up-or-down vote," he said.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - When a leading Republican public official visits New Hampshire and Iowa back-to-back, it sparks speculation of a 2012 run for the Republican presidential nomination. And that's exactly what Haley Barbour's doing this week. But the Mississippi governor is playing down talk of presidential politics.
Barbour speaks at a state GOP fundraising event in New Hampshire tomorrow. New Hampshire traditionally holds the first primary in the race for the White House. Thursday, the former chairman of the Republican National Committee attends a fundraiser in Iowa for that state's GOP. The Iowa caucuses kick of the presidential primary season.
To top it off, Barbour campaigned Monday in Virginia with Bob McDonnell, the state's gubernatorial candidate. The contests for Virginia and New Jersey's governorships are the two biggest political battles of the year.
But Barbour appears to be waving off presidential politics. At a news conference in Washington Tuesday, where he teamed up with House Republicans to discuss health care reform, Barbour was asked when he's going to make a decision on running for president.
"Probably never," said Barbour. "But, you know Gov. Sununu called me and said he'd like to have somebody come up to New Hampshire who wasn't running for president to talk about party building and I told him I'm your man."
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Virginia (CNN) – State Sen. Creigh Deeds emerged from a tough and expensive three-way primary battle to capture Virginia's Democratic nomination for governor on Tuesday, a victory that immediately put him in the crosshairs of national Republicans eager to reinvigorate their party with an off-year triumph in the commonwealth this November.
Riding a late burst of momentum, Deeds defeated former Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe, who raised more than $7 million for his primary bid, and former House delegate Brian Moran, who had positioned himself as the most progressive candidate in the race.
The Democratic nominee will now face Republican Bob McDonnell in the general election.
In his victory speech, standing before a blue and white backdrop bearing a striking resemblance to signage used by the Obama campaign last year, Deeds immediately sought to tie McDonnell to former president George W. Bush, accusing both men of supporting a "disastrous economic and social agenda."
"We all know how those Bush economic policies turned out," he said.
OXON HILL, Maryland (CNN) - Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele declared Tuesday that Republicans will no longer talk about their mistakes; instead they will focus on the future and serve as the loyal opposition party to President Barack Obama and the congressional Democratic majority.
"The era of apologizing for Republican mistakes of the past is now officially over," Steele told state Republican leaders meeting in a suburb of Washington to discuss the party's political future. "It is done. The time for trying to fix or focus on the past has ended. The era of Republican navel gazing is over. We have turned the corner on regret, recrimination, self-pity and self-doubt. Now is the hour to focus all of our energies on winning the future."
Steele, who had a rocky start in his first 100-plus days in office, received a standing ovation when he took the stage. It was a public boost in the arm for the chairman whose leadership of the national committee has been called into question by some of his fellow Republicans.
Steele sought to silence those critics by noting that since assuming the national committee chairmanship he has traveled to 23 states meeting with grass-roots activists, while at the same time turning a deaf ear to the talk in the nation's capital.