June 6th, 2010
07:54 PM ET
10 years ago

Helen Thomas under fire for saying Jews in Israel should go back to Germany, Poland

Washington (CNN) – Lanny Davis joined Ari Fleischer Sunday in calling for Hearst Corporation to take quick action against legendary White House correspondent Helen Thomas for recently saying that Israel should “get the hell out of Palestine,” and that the Jewish people should go home to “Poland, Germany … and America and everywhere else.”

Thomas was also dropped by her agent Nine Speakers, Inc. Sunday, CNN has learned, and Craig Crawford, who coauthored “Listen Up, Mr. President” with Thomas, said in a blog post that he “will no longer be working with Helen on our book projects.”

Thomas has apologized for her comments that she made to Rabbilive.com about Israel.

Specifically, she was asked, “Any comments on Israel?”

“Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine,” she responded.

The interviewer then asked “Any better comments on Israel?” To which Thomas said, “Remember, these people are occupied and it’s their land. It’s not German’s. It’s not Poland’s.”

Thomas was then asked where the Jews in Israel should go and what they should do? Thomas responded, “They should go home” which the White House reporter identified as “Poland, Germany . . . and America and everywhere else.”

Thomas is considered the “dean” of the White House press corps after decades covering the presidency. The syndicated columnist for Hearst Corporation’s newspapers holds a privileged seat in the front row of the White House press briefing room where she regularly fires sharp questions on the major issues of the day at White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.

In the apology posted on her website Friday, Thomas said she “deeply” regretted her comments. “They do not reflect my heart-felt belief that peace will come to the Middle East only when all parties recognize the need for mutual respect and tolerance. May that day come soon.”

But her apology was not enough for Davis, who served as special counsel to former President Bill Clinton.

Filed under: Helen Thomas • Israel • Middle East • Popular Posts
June 6th, 2010
03:38 PM ET
10 years ago

State of the Union: Candy Crowley's Crib Sheet for June 6

In her Crib Sheet, CNN's Candy Crowley wraps the news from Sunday's political talk shows.

In her Crib Sheet, CNN's Candy Crowley wraps the news from Sunday's political talk shows.

It depends on what the definition of “very pleased” is:

Using his newly honed “dial it back” technique, Admiral Thad Allen did a field edit on BP’s statement that it was “very pleased” with its containment lid operation. Allen suggested progress was one thing, but he didn’t think anyone should be pleased as long as there’s oil in the water, which, just guessing, may be a while.

Allen is clearly in all-military mode now, calling the oil an “insidious enemy…holding the Gulf hostage.”

Blame the Media:

Florida Sen. Bill Nelson (D) does and so does Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R)

Seems there is a pre-disaster disaster afoot in Florida and Mississippi.  As Nelson put it, “the bad part is, people think there’s oil there,” so they are cancelling vacation plans and not eating the fish. “The biggest negative impact for us“ Barbour says, “has been the news coverage…the average viewer…thinks the whole coast from Florida to Texas is ankle deep in oil.”

For the record, SOTU showed pictures of healthy Gulf birds in the close, just sayin’.

In 25 seconds or less

And finally, a tip of the hat to Gov. Barbour who renewed our belief that he remains one of the best politicians in the country.  Who else, asked to assess how the administration is handling the oil crisis, could both rise above it and jump right in? For your listening pleasure:

Filed under: BP • Charlie Crist • Energy • Popular Posts • State of the Union • Thad Allen
June 6th, 2010
03:35 PM ET
June 6th, 2010
02:45 PM ET
10 years ago

Poll: Tea Party backed candidate in Nevada surging

Los Angeles (CNN) - A second straight poll suggests that a candidate backed by a national Tea Party organization is now in the lead in the battle for Nevada's Republican Senate nomination.

With two days to go until Nevada's primary, a new Mason-Dixon survey conducted for the Las Vegas Review-Journal indicates that 32 percent of likely GOP primary voters back Sharron Angle. The former member of the Nevada Assembly has won endorsements in recent months from many conservative organizations, including significant financial backing from the Tea Party Express, a national Tea Party group best known for running three cross country bus caravans, and the Club for Growth, a fiscally conservative organization.

Angle has aggressively touted her connection to Tea Party activists, calling the movement "a tsunami of conservatism across this country."

According to the poll, which was released Sunday, 24 percent support Las Vegas businessman and former University of Nevada Las Vegas basketball star Danny Tarkanian, with 23 percent pulling for businesswoman and former Nevada GOP party chairwoman Sue Lowden. The remaining candidates in the field of a 13 bidding for the Republican Senate nomination are in single digits in the survey. Thirteen percent of people questioned in the poll remain undecided. The percentage of people unsure about their vote is up five points from a Mason Dixon poll released a week ago.

Filed under: 2010 • Danny Tarkanian • Nevada • Poll • Sharron Angle • Sue Lowden • Tea Party movement
June 6th, 2010
02:30 PM ET
10 years ago

'I'm up against a lot,' says Lincoln

'I am very much a moderate,' Sen. Blanche Lincoln, D-Arkansas, said Sunday.

'I am very much a moderate,' Sen. Blanche Lincoln, D-Arkansas, said Sunday.

(CNN) – With only days left until her political future is decided in Arkansas’ Senate Democratic primary runoff, incumbent Blanche Lincoln criticized her opponent and defended her moderate record which has drawn fire from both conservatives and liberals during this midterm election year.

“I’m up against a lot,” Lincoln said on CNN’s State of the Union after detailing the significant support her opponent, Lt. Gov. Bill Halter, has received from unions and liberal groups.

Related: Halter coy on union issues

Asked by CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley about the voter anger that has been directed at her from both conservatives and liberals, Lincoln said the challenges she is facing in her re-election bid are part of a wider political trend.

“I think they are angry at Washington,” she told Crowley, “and I think they are frustrated.”

And the two-term senator sought to both assume the mantle of change, which brought President Obama to office and has now become a rising tide targeting Lincoln and other incumbents, and to defend her record of moderate views.

“The fact is, I have been a part of change in Washington,” Lincoln said. “That's why I first went to Washington. I started groups like the Blue Dogs and the New Democrats in the Senate. I am very much a moderate. I was one of the senators that helped to bring down the cost of the stimulus package and so many other things that I felt like were very much in tune with what Arkansas wanted to see.”

Filed under: 2010 • Arkansas • Blanche Lincoln • State of the Union
June 6th, 2010
01:05 PM ET
10 years ago

Halter coy on union issues

Arkansas Lt. Gov. Bill Halter has benefited from the support of unions targeting his primary opponent Sen. Blanche Lincoln.

Arkansas Lt. Gov. Bill Halter has benefited from the support of unions targeting his primary opponent Sen. Blanche Lincoln.

(CNN) – Even though his upstart Democratic primary challenge to incumbent Sen. Blanche Lincoln has been powered by union support, Arkansas Lt. Gov. Bill Halter was coy Sunday when asked about his union backing and the Employee Free Choice Act (or “card check” bill), a piece of legislation backed by some of the country’s largest and most influential unions.

Halter has the been the beneficiary of unions’ ire directed at Lincoln for her failure to support passage of the card check bill and for her decision not to support a public insurance option as part of Democrats’ health care bill. Unions favor the card check bill because they believe it will make it easier for workers to unionize and, for many years, unions have been concerned about the rising costs of health care because of the role those costs have played in their collective bargaining with employers.

Lincoln and former President Bill Clinton, who backs the incumbent senator, have criticized the union involvement in Arkansas’ politics – involvement that has included millions of dollars in advertising buys, a flood of mail pieces, and aggressive canvassing efforts all intended to take down Lincoln.

Related: 'I'm up against a lot,' says Lincoln

Asked by CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley about the union involvement and the criticism it has received, Halter called the topic a “diversion from the real issues” in his race against Lincoln.

“The real issue in this race is who’s going to stand up for middle class Arkansas families,” Halter said on CNN’s State of the Union.

Halter added, “Now I know that the national media wants to put this into a left-right framework because that’s a very simple thing to pull down. But really what’s going on in the state is very different from that.”

“ . . . And, so, this whole left-right framework candidly – if you went down the street here in Arkansas and ask folks about it, they’re not going to tell you that, that’s what the race is about.”

Asked whether he supports passage of the Employee Free Choice Act, Halter chose instead to delineate a set of principles he backs.

Filed under: 2010 • Arkansas • Bill Halter • State of the Union
June 6th, 2010
01:03 PM ET
June 6th, 2010
01:00 PM ET
10 years ago

Gates praises intelligence nominee

(CNN) - Defense Secretary Robert Gates praised national intelligence director nominee James Clapper on Sunday, telling reporters that President Barack Obama "could not have found a better person" for the job.

Speaking to reporters on a trip through Asia, Gates said Clapper - currently a Pentagon intelligence official - has good ties with leaders of other U.S. spy agencies and with the congressional committees that oversee them.

"He is the consummate intelligence professional who has the respect of virtually everybody in the community," Gates said.

"I think the president could not have found a better person, more experienced person, or with a better temperament to do this job and actually make it work, than Jim Clapper," he added.

Full story

Filed under: James Clapper • Robert Gates
June 6th, 2010
11:05 AM ET
10 years ago

Crist denies knowledge of alleged Greer scheme


Florida Gov. Charlie Crist said Sunday that he did not know about a consulting company set up by the former head of the Florida GOP which was allegedly used to funnel party funds to the ex-party chair. (Photo Credit: CNN)

(CNN) – Florida Gov. Charlie Crist denied any knowledge Sunday of an alleged scheme by Jim Greer, the former head of the Florida Republican Party, to funnel the party’s funds into a shell company for Greer’s personal use.

Greer was charged Wednesday with six felony counts for allegedly directing state party funds to Victory Strategies, Greer’s consulting company, which then paid him. Greer, 47, faces one count of organized fraud, four counts of grand theft and one count of money laundering. Crist appointed Greer chairman of the Florida GOP in 2007. Greer left the post in February of this year after a chorus of state Republican leaders and donors raised questions about his leadership and management of party funds.

Related: Greer accused of 6 felonies

Greer’s attorney has said that Crist knew about Victory Strategies and had a role on working on the consulting company with Greer, claims that Crist denied on CNN’s State of the Union.

Crist told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley that the attorney’s assertions were “absolutely untrue.”

“You know sometimes desperate people say desperate things and it’s very sad,” the governor added.

Crist also called the criminal case against Greer were “an unfortunate situation. It’s very disappointing and sometimes people disappoint you. And that’s what’s happened here.”

Filed under: Charlie Crist • Jim Greer • Popular Posts • State of the Union
June 6th, 2010
10:59 AM ET
10 years ago

Crist says Florida is as ready as possible to deal with oil spill

'We’ve done a lot in order to be ready,' Florida Gov. Charlie Crist told CNN Sunday.

'We’ve done a lot in order to be ready,' Florida Gov. Charlie Crist told CNN Sunday.

(CNN) – Florida Gov. Charlie Crist said Sunday that he is doing everything he can to be ready for the effects of the Gulf oil spill on his state’s shores – everything from deploying boom to opening lines of communication with the federal government to even preparing a cadre of lawyers to help Floridians with ANY economic claims against embattled energy giant BP.

Appearing on CNN’s State of the Union, Crist told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley that Florida is “as ready as we can be.” He quickly added, “We’ve done a lot in order to be ready.”

Crist said roughly 250,000 feet of boom has already been deployed throughout the Florida Panhandle and an equal amount of boom has been targeted at protecting bays and estuaries which Crist described as “so sensitive” to the unrefined crude that has been spewing from an out-of-control well in the Gulf of Mexico for the last six weeks.

Despite the media attention focused on Florida’s normally pristine beaches, the governor told Crowley that the beaches were actually easier to clean after the fact once they had been touched by oil than, for example, estuaries and marshes. Crist said Floridians had been “disappointed” by the recent arrival of tar balls, globs of oil and sand that are usually a precursor to larger amounts of oil making landfall, on Pensacola’s beaches. But he noted that clean-up crews had acted quickly to remove the early, small amounts of oil from the beaches.

“So, we’re just trying to do the very best we can with the resources we have,” he said.

Filed under: BP • Charlie Crist • Energy • Florida • State of the Union
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