August 5th, 2009
05:59 PM ET
11 years ago

Huckabee compares his obesity to Obama's spending

Former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee compares his past weight problem to President Obama's economic policies.

Former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee compares his past weight problem to President Obama's economic policies.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee compares his past weight problem to President Obama's economic policies in a pitch Wednesday for a financial newsletter.

Huckabee, a former Arkansas governor who failed to win the 2008 Republican presidential nomination, charges that the president "is devouring the entire free-enterprise system" and lists Obama's decision to bail out the auto and banking industries as mistakes. The pitch for "Successful Investing" was sent out to readers of the conservative publication Human Events.

Read an excerpt of Huckabee's e-mail after the jump:


Filed under: Extra • Mike Huckabee
August 5th, 2009
05:42 PM ET
11 years ago

Former House member convicted on corruption charges

ALEXANDRIA, Virginia (CNN) - Former U.S. Rep. William Jefferson of Louisiana was convicted Wednesday on 11 of the 16 corruption charges against him.

Jefferson, a 62-year-old Democrat, was indicted by a federal grand jury on June 4, 2007, on corruption charges, about two years after federal agents said they found $90,000 in his freezer. Authorities said the cash was part of a payment in marked bills from an FBI informant in a transaction captured on video.

Jefferson had pleaded not guilty.

The jury convicted him on four counts of bribery, three counts of racketeering, three counts of wire fraud and one count of racketeering. He was acquitted on five other counts including wire fraud and obstruction of justice.

Jefferson had faced a maximum possible sentence of 235 years in prison if convicted on all counts.

Filed under: William Jefferson
August 5th, 2009
05:00 PM ET
11 years ago

GOP turns tables on Democrats

WASHINGTON (CNN) - National Republicans turned the tables on their political counterparts Wednesday by redirecting angry telephone calls coming into their switchboard to the Democratic National Committee.

The DNC released a Web video early in the morning accusing the GOP of inciting mob activity at town hall meetings.

At the end of the video, the DNC instructs people to call the Republican National Committee to express outrage. Callers who dial the RNC's main number to voice their concern about the DNC's charges are told to press 1, which sends them to the DNC's main switchboard.

DNC spokesman Brad Woodhouse described the RNC's redirection as a "neat trick," but said it just further proves the Democrats' point about the GOP.

"The RNC is inciting angry mobs to shout out legitimate discussion at public events across the country and now they want to ignore people who deplore their tactics," Woodhouse said. "Republicans don't want to have a discussion about the future of health care reform – they want to shout out – and now completely ignore – anyone who disagrees with them."


Filed under: Democrats • GOP
August 5th, 2009
04:24 PM ET
11 years ago

Bob McDonnell to deliver weekly GOP address

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell will get a national speaking platform on Saturday.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell will get a national speaking platform on Saturday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Virginia gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell will deliver Saturday's weekly Republican radio address, the Republican National Committee confirmed Tuesday.

The address - usually delivered by a Republican member of Congress or sitting governor - will cap off a week that has thrust the Virginia race in the national spotlight. On Thursday, President Obama will make his first campaign appearance with Democratic candidate Creigh Deeds in the northern Virginia suburb of Tyson's Corner.

McDonnell has also campaigned and raised money with a bevy of national figures, including Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee and RNC chairman Michael Steele.

The race, considered the marquee political battle of 2009, is being fought over a number of national issues, particularly as McDonnell tries to link Deeds to the administration's contentious economic agenda.

Filed under: Bob McDonnell • Creigh Deeds • Virginia
August 5th, 2009
04:07 PM ET
11 years ago

Steele denies RNC role in town hall protests

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele defended the GOP's decision to automatically re-direct angry liberal callers to the Democratic National Committee Wednesday, telling reporters he "thought it was a good idea."

"Don't think you're going to direct a bunch of angry liberals to call the RNC when I know full well what that's all about," Steele said during an RNC conference call. "I get....the joke." He said he thought those critics should talk to their own party, who held responsible for "ginning this up."

Earlier in the day, a new DNC Web ad accused the Republican Party of "inciting mobs" to deliberately disrupt congressional town hall meetings where the Obama health care plan was being discussed, and asked viewers to call the RNC to register their disapproval. The RNC changed their phone menu so that those callers were directed to press a button that automatically transferred their call to the DNC.

Steele dismissed questions over whether the GOP move to deflect critical calls was hypocritical in light of recent criticism of Democrats for "demonizing" the town hall protestors, and denied the Republican Party had any role in organizing the confrontations.

"We're not inciting anyone to go out and disrupt anything," said Steele. "We're not organizing the town halls," only encouraging individuals to visit their congressman or senator to "express their point of view."


Filed under: Michael Steele
August 5th, 2009
04:02 PM ET
11 years ago

Grade the Obama administration on health care

UPDATE: Lines are now closed. Thanks for weighing in.

(CNN) - Grade the Obama administration's handling of health care reform. Call in your grade right now at 1 (888) GRADE09. That's 1 (888) 472-3309.

You can also text your grade to 22360, and vote online at - and listen for the results in this hour's Strategy Session on The Situation Room, coming up later this hour on CNN.

Filed under: Uncategorized
August 5th, 2009
03:19 PM ET
11 years ago

First on the Ticker: RNC Web video targets 'White House in denial'

WASHINGTON (CNN) - On the eve of President Obama's 200th day in office, The Republican National Committee is releasing a Web video that calls his presidency "a failed experiment" that features "desperate photo-ops [and] a White House in denial."

"200 days," says the narrator in the minute-long spot. "It started. Star Studded. High hopes. All smiles. Photo ops and reassurances. Even an official White House photo for the first pup. With an economy at a crossroads, his experiment started."

The ad points to government bailouts, the stimulus package and deficit spending. "He promised to create or save millions of jobs. But unemployment is up, month after month. Press conference, after press conference. The TV ratings decline. His approval ratings decline. Desperate photo-ops. A White House in denial. Now we face his most dangerous experiment of all: Government takeover of health care An experiment that will cost over one trillion dollars, threaten your private insurance and cost taxpayers hundreds of billions in new taxes."

"The presidency of Barack Obama. A failed experiment in just 200 days."

The spot comes hours after the release of a DNC video that accused Republicans of "inciting mobs" to swarm Democratic town hall

Filed under: RNC
August 5th, 2009
03:17 PM ET
11 years ago

Obama agenda: Taxes, not just health care

Before health care can be cleared off the plate, Obama will have to answer some key tax questions.

Before health care can be cleared off the plate, Obama will have to answer some key tax questions.

President Obama's fall agenda has grown largeras some of the biggest decisions - and fights - over health care reform have been punted to September ... at the earliest.

But health reform is not the only major initiative he wants to get done. Far from it. There's climate change. There's reforming Wall Street. And, of course, there's passing a budget for 2010 at a time of huge deficits. Running in the background to all of this will be one of the biggest
issues the Obama administration must address: taxes.

"As soon as they can clear health care off the plate, it will be taxes, taxes, taxes," said Anne Mathias, director of research at Concept Capital's
Washington Research Group.

Health reform taxes: Before health care can be cleared off the plate, Obama will have to answer some key tax questions.

For starters, he will need to be more explicit about what he will accept in terms of increasing taxes to pay for health reform and indicate exactly which of the revenue raisers on the table in Congress he considers deal-breakers.


Filed under: President Obama • Taxes
August 5th, 2009
02:32 PM ET
11 years ago

Freed journalist: 'We knew the nightmare was...coming to an end"

BURBANK, California (CNN) - Laura Ling expressed the shock that she and Euna Lee felt when former President Bill Clinton showed up in North Korea to secure the two journalists' release.

"We feared at any moment that we could be sent to a hard labor camp, and then suddenly we were told we were going to a meeting," a tearful and emotional Ling said Wednesday.

She spoke at a news conference just minutes after the two women were reunited with their families at Burbank's Bob Hope Airport outside Los Angeles.

They had been detained in North Korea since March. The reclusive communist nation pardoned Ling, 32, and Lee, 36, after Clinton arrived in Pyongyang on Tuesday and helped secure their release.

"We were taken to a location and when we walked through the doors, we saw standing before us President Bill Clinton," Ling said, with Lee standing beside her.


Filed under: Bill Clinton
August 5th, 2009
02:28 PM ET
11 years ago

Seventh Republican to support Sotomayor

A confirmation vote on Sotomayor's nomination is expected by Thursday.

A confirmation vote on Sotomayor's nomination is expected by Thursday.

NEW YORK (CNN) - Sen. Kit Bond has become seventh Republican senator to support Judge Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the Supreme Court.

In a speech on the Senate floor on Wednesday, the Missouri lawmaker said the way to get more conservative justices on the Supreme Court is to "work to see we elect presidents who will nominate them." Bond said Sotomayor has "accomplishments and qualities" that make her a capable nominee.

"I do not believe that the Constitution tells me that I should refuse to support her merely because I disagree with her on some cases," Bond said. "I will support her, I'll be proud for her."

Bond is retiring from the Senate at the end of his term. A confirmation vote on Sotomayor's nomination is expected by Thursday.

Filed under: Sonia Sotomayor • Supreme Court
« older posts