Washington (CNN) - An impassioned Bill Clinton campaigned for Sen. Blanche Lincoln’s re-election on Friday, telling voters the Democrat “has worked her heart out” on behalf of Arkansas in the Senate.
And, using very harsh words, Clinton accused national labor unions campaigning for Lincoln’s opponent, Lt. Gov. Bill Halter, of trying to manipulate Arkansas voters to “terrify” other Democrats in Congress into cowering to union demands.
Clinton appeared at an event at a historically black college in Little Rock with Lincoln. The two-term senator is locked in a tight run-off with Halter for the Democratic Senate nomination after neither candidate cracked the 50-percent mark in a May 18 primary.
The run-off will be held June 8.
At the Little Rock event, Clinton praised Lincoln while training his fire at labor unions that have poured money and manpower into the race to help Halter.
Reading from a Washington Post article that quoted a national labor union leader saying that forcing Lincoln to “fight this kind of fight” might make other senators “think twice about it,” Clinton said that national labor unions had decided to make Lincoln “the poster child for what happens when a Democrat crosses them.”
“In other words, this is about using you and manipulating your votes to terrify members of Congress and members of the Senate from other states,” Clinton told the crowd. “Now if you want to be used that way, have at it.”
President Obama picks up balls of tar while touring a beach in Port Fourchon, Louisiana on Friday. (PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images)
Grand Isle, Louisiana (CNN) - President Barack Obama returned from a tour of the oil-stricken Gulf Coast on Friday and vowed to do all he could to help area residents and businesses clean up the mess and recover financially.
"We want to stop the leak, we want to contain and clean up the oil, and we want to help the people in this region return to their lives and livelihoods as soon as possible," the president told reporters.
Flanked by more than a dozen Gulf-area politicians and officials, the president - the sleeves of his shirt rolled up - called the oil spill that began April 20 and continues today "an assault on our shores, on our people, on the regional economy and on communities like this one.
"This isn't just a mess that we have got to mop up. People are watching their livelihoods wash up on the beach."
Washington (CNN) - The House of Representatives has passed a bill allowing for the eventual repeal of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, which bars openly gay and lesbian soldiers from military service.
Washington (CNN) – Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul is once again making waves, this time for saying he opposes citizenship for U.S. born children of undocumented immigrants.
In an interview posted Wednesday on RT.com, a Russian television station that broadcasts in English, Paul said he favors modifying current law.
"We are the only country I know of that allows people to come in illegally, have a baby, and then that baby becomes a citizen," Paul said. "And I think that should stop also."
Paul, a Tea Party movement favorite, captured the Kentucky GOP primary last week, defeating establishment candidate Trey Grayson.
The 14th Amendment to the Constitution guarantees citizenship to individuals born in the United States, but Paul's position is not an unpopular one in Congress.
(CNN) - Republicans are making clear they plan to keep the heat on Rep. Joe Sestak and the White House, following confirmation former President Bill Clinton was asked to offer the Pennsylvania Senate candidate an unpaid position in the Obama administration if he dropped his bid against Sen. Arlen Specter.
In a statement released Friday, RNC Chairman Michael Steele said the White House Counsel's report on the matter - in which it concludes no laws were broken - only "raises more questions."
"In the three months since Joe Sestak first made his allegation the White House has denied, stonewalled and is now trying to downplay the claims with an unsubstantiated memo," said Steele. "This memo frankly raises more questions: What was Bill Clinton authorized to offer? Did President Obama sign off on this conversation before it took place? Now more than ever it is clear that this White House is not capable of policing itself and needs to open itself to an independent investigation."
Full statement after the jump
(CNN) - The GOP Senate primary election in Nevada is just over a week away, and Sue Lowden, the state's former Republican party chairwoman, is taking on one of her opponents in a new ad.
The new ad, targeting former Nevada Assemblywoman Sharon Angle, cites the results of an annual survey conducted by the Las Vegas Review-Journal that named Angle "one of Nevada's worst legislators" for four years between 1999 and 2005.
The 30-second spot, out Thursday, is running statewide on broadcast and cable television, according to a Lowden campaign spokesperson. The campaign will not say how long the ad will run or how much money has been spent on it.
A new Mason-Dixon poll released Friday gives Lowden a 30 to 29 point lead over Angle, with Danny Tarkanian registering 23 percent. In a hypothetical general election match-up with incumbent Sen. Harry Reid, Lowden holds a 3-point lead. The Senate Majority leader holds a 3-point lead over Angle, according to the same poll.
(CNN) - Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels announced Friday that the special election to replace former GOP Rep. Mark Souder would be held November 2, the same day as the general election.
"The grounds for this decision are: the cost to taxpayers, the convenience of the voting public, and the involvement of the largest possible number of citizens in the selection of a new Congressman," said Daniels in a statement. "It seems to me that these interests outweigh any gains from having a member of Congress present for what would amount to no more than 20 voting days."
Earlier this month, New York Gov. David Paterson also set the November general election as the date for a special election to replace former Democratic Rep. Eric Massa.
Souder, a Republican, resigned from the House last month after admitting an extra-marital affair with a member of his staff. Massa, a Democrat, resigned in March amid sexual harassment allegations from members of his staff.
A third vacant House seat in Georgia's 9th congressional district will be filled in a special run-off election on June 8. Republican Nathan Deal resigned from that seat in March to concentrate on his gubernatorial campaign.
Daniels' decision increases the number of open House seats, races in which no incumbent will be running in the general election, to 39. Of those, Democrats will be defending 19 seats, while Republicans will be defending 20.
(CNN) - A new poll suggests a virtual tie in the Senate battle in the important bellwether state of Ohio.
According to a survey released Friday by The Ohio Poll, 47 percent of likely voters in the Buckeye State say they back Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher, the Democratic nominee, in the general election matchup, with 46 percent supporting former Rep. Rob Portman, the Republican nominee, and six percent undecided. Fisher's 1-point advantage is well within the poll's sampling error.
The survey, conducted by the Institute for Policy Research at the University of Cincinnati, indicates Portman with a 44 percent to 35 percent lead among independents, with one in five undecided.
Fisher defeated Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner earlier this month in a tough and expensive Democratic Senate primary. Portman, who also served as former President George W. Bush's White House budget director, had no real GOP competition. The race in November is to succeed retiring Republican Sen. George Voinovich.
(CNN) - Rep. Joe Sestak is confirming the statements in the White House memo released Friday morning, saying former President Bill Clinton reached out to him about a potential unpaid position in the Obama administration:
"Last summer, I received a phone call from President Clinton. During the course of the conversation, he expressed concern over my prospects if I were to enter the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate and the value of having me stay in the House of Representatives because of my military background," Sestak said in a statement. "He said that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel had spoken with him about my being on a Presidential Board while remaining in the House of Representatives."
Full Sestak statement after the jump: