Washington (CNN) – A political ad featuring a moving truck and miles of highway made its debut Tuesday on Arkansas airwaves, painting incumbent Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln as an out of touch Beltway insider who has left her constituents behind and moved to Washington.
The 60-second spot comes courtesy of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, a major labor union and supporter of Arkansas Lieutenant Gov. Bill Halter, Lincoln's Democratic opponent.
Lincoln was forced into a June 8 run-off with Halter after neither candidate captured 50 percent of the vote in last week's Democratic primary.
Labor unions have played an active role in the race, portraying Lincoln as a Washington insider out of touch with Arkansas Democrats – a charge Lincoln has responded to by pointing out that many of the labor unions, including AFSCME, are based in Washington, D.C. themselves.
But that hasn't stopped the union attacks.
"When Blanche Lincoln moved her family full time to Washington, D.C., she quickly became part of the place," the spot's narrator says. "And that's the problem."
Washington (CNN) - Sen. John McCain's campaign is out with a scathing new ad against the senator's Republican primary opponent, calling J.D. Hayworth among the "dumbest" people previously in Congress. Now Hayworth's campaign is firing back, suggesting the ad is shameless. Hayworth's campaign also claims that McCain – a celebrated war veteran – is using America's World War II heroes "as a political tool."
The Web ad from the McCain campaign, titled "Hayworth History Lesson," was released Tuesday and is presented in a style reminiscent of an old, black-and-white newsreel.
It opens with a clip – dated May 20 - of Hayworth saying: "The war that Dwight Eisenhower led in Europe against the Third Reich was never declared by the United States Congress. Germany declared war on us two days later. We never formally declared war on Hitler's Germany."
As the ad continues, a man's voice is heard apparently trying to correct Hayworth. "I think we did," the voice says.
Hayworth then is heard saying, "Yeah, I think we should check it."
Washington (CNN) - Anti-incumbent sentiment is as strong as it was in 1994, when the GOP swept the Democrats from power on Capitol Hill, but according to a new national poll, Americans may not be desperate for change in Congress.
A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Tuesday indicates that 47 percent of the public is more likely to vote for a challenger rather than an incumbent running for re-election at the federal, statewide, or local level, with 30 percent saying they are more likely to back the incumbent.
"Anti-incumbent sentiment is as high in 2010 as it was in 1994," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Back then, incumbents faced a 15-point deficit on that question - just about the same as the 17-point gap we see in the current poll."
That spells trouble for the Democrats as they try to hold on to their large majorities in the House and the Senate in the November's midterm elections, since there are more Democratic than Republican incumbents running for re-election.
The survey also suggests that Republican voters are much more enthusiastic about voting this year than Democrats. Fifty-four percent of Republicans questioned in the poll say they are extremely or very enthusiastic about voting for Congress this year, 22 points higher than the enthusiasm voiced by the Democrats surveyed.
"I think he's said quite enough for the - for the time being in terms of national press coverage," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said in an interview set to air Tuesday on John King, USA.
The comments come after a string of potentially damaging interviews with national media outlets, in which Paul criticized parts of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, took aim at the American with Disabilities Act, and suggested President Obama's criticism of oil giant BP was "un-American." Following those appearances Paul pulled out of an interview on NBC's Meet the Press.
"My advice to him would be to speak to the people who are going to be actually voting in this election," McConnell told CNN's John King. McConnell had strongly backed Paul's opponent in the Republican primary.
The GOP leader also said he had spoken specifically to Paul about his comments on the Civil Rights Act that landed the freshly-minted Senate nominee in hot water last week.
(CNN) - Pennsylvania Democratic Senate candidate Joe Sestak won an ovation at the weekly Senate Democratic lunch in the Capitol Tuesday, even as questions swirled about his allegation that the White House offered him a job several months ago if he would agree to stay out of a primary battle against incumbent Sen. Arlen Specter.
"I've already answered the questions," Sestak told CNN as he was standing outside the lunch waiting to be introduced. "I have nothing else to say about the matter."
Sestak made similar comments to CNN's John King Monday.
Sestak's refusal to elaborate came as the No. 2 Senate Democrat, close White House ally Dick Durbin of Illinois, called on him to "make it clear what happened."
"Congressman Sestak raised the issue,' Durbin said. "If there's been some confusion, I hope he can make the facts as clear as possible. Then, as far as the administration is concerned, they will react to it."
(CNN) - South Carolina gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley received a much-needed fundraising boost Monday after a blogger claimed to have had "an inappropriate physical relationship" with the Republican, her campaign told CNN.
"Nikki had more online donations yesterday than any other single day of the race," a Haley adviser told CNN. "The public knows an unfair personal attack when it sees one."
The adviser would not offer details on how much Haley has raised.
Regardless, any cash infusion is good news for Haley, who has trailed her three GOP rivals in fundraising for the duration of the campaign and just started airing two statewide television ads.
Haley has few staff, and has relied on outside groups and endorsements from national conservative figures like Sarah Palin to earn media exposure.
The allegation of the affair, made Monday by South Carolina conservative blogger and political consultant Will Folks, led to national headlines and threatened to derail Haley's campaign. But it also rallied conservative activists to Haley's defense.
(CNN) - Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has asked that the release of his forthcoming political book be delayed so he can focus on the Gulf Coast oil spill, his publisher said Tuesday.
The book - "Real Hope, Real Change: New Conservative Solutions to Rescue America" - was originally slated for a July, 2010 release.
"Regnery Publishing is postponing the release of Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal's upcoming book, 'Real Hope, Real Change,' at the request of Governor Jindal," said Marji Ross, president of the conservative publishing house.
(CNN) - Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty has scheduled another visit to the first-in-the-nation primary state of New Hampshire in July.
The potential presidential candidate alerted his Facebook followers Tuesday that he plans to attend the Strafford County Republican Committee summer picnic in Dover on July 10th.
"Hope you can join us if you're in the area!" Pawlenty wrote.
It will be Pawlenty's third trip to the Granite State since he announced last year that he won't seek a third term as governor.
"He wants to help Republicans wherever we can be helpful," said Pawlenty spokesman Alex Conant. "He's glad to go even when the ice is out."
A barbed wire fence in Arizona stretches along the U.S.-Mexico border. (PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images)
Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama will deploy up to 1,200 more National Guard troops to the U.S. border with Mexico, an administration official told CNN on Tuesday.
In addition, Obama will request $500 million to supplement current spending for enhanced border protection and law enforcement activities, the official said.
The National Guard troops will help with drug enforcement efforts and intelligence efforts until Customs and Border Protection can recruit and train additional officers and agents to serve on the border, the official said.
Washington (CNN) - A top Senate Republican accused President Barack Obama of engaging in hypocritical political posturing Tuesday after a closed door meeting between the president and Senate Republicans on Capitol Hill.
The meeting was portrayed by the White House as the latest in a series of presidential attempts to reach across the aisle despite Washington's harshly polarized political climate.
The White House characterized the meeting as productive, issuing a statement saying the two sides had addressed a broad range of issues. Among other things, Obama asked for GOP cooperation on a series of economic growth measures and ratification of the START nuclear arms reduction treaty. He also asked for cooperation on hot-button issues such as comprehensive immigration reform and climate change legislation.
The president "had a good exchange with the Senate Republican Conference today about priorities for the balance of the year," the statement noted. "Obviously, there were continued differences on some ... issues. But the president believes that direct dialogue is better than posturing, and he was pleased to have the opportunity to share views."
But Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tennessee, painted a less rosy picture of the encounter, telling CNN's Dana Bash that he accused the president during the meeting of taking an excessively partisan approach to critical issues such as financial reform, and then having the "audacity" to come to the Senate GOP conference and use the Republicans as election year "props."
"I said I realize we are props in this meeting and asked how do you reconcile that duplicity? It obviously hit a nerve," he said. "For the president to come in and for us not to have a frank conversation is a wasted opportunity."