TOPICS: Midterm elections, Obama approval rating on issues, opinion of Democrats, Republicans, Tea Party, health care, financial reform
Washington (CNN) – Tea Party Express spokesman and former chairman Mark Williams has resigned his post, the group said Friday in a statement.
Last week Williams penned an inflammatory blog post that erupted into a national controversy and fueled debate about the Tea Party movement and racism. Williams later defended the post as satire.
"The media coverage over a recent satirical posting on my personal MarkTalk.com blog risks injuring the Tea Party Express, the tea party movement as a whole, and the people in this movement who I respect and admire so much," Williams said in resignation letter released Friday. "It has become increasingly unacceptable that the media and our domestic enemies continue to anoint me as the official voice of a massively diverse and broad-based movement."
Williams wrote the incendiary blog post in response to an NAACP resolution that called on Tea Party leaders to crack down on racist elements in the movement.
Las Vegas, Nevada (CNN) - The former White House environmental czar who quit last year after coming under fire from conservative commentators says this week's controversy over the firing of Shirley Sherrod is "a learning moment" for the nation.
Van Jones, who left his post on the Council on Environmental Quality in September 2009, spoke of the forced resignation of the Agriculture Department employee at a session of the Netroots Nation convention of progressive activists Friday.
Jones resigned after six months in office following a firestorm of criticism, particularly from Fox News host Glenn Beck, over some of his views and past statements. He was faulted specifically for a so-called "truther" petition he had signed calling for an investigation into government involvement of the September 11 attacks and derogatory comments he had made about Republicans caught on videotape well before joining the administration.
(CNN) - Two days after a Kansas newspaper revoked its endorsement of a Republican congressional candidate because it came to believe he is a so-called "birther," the campaign is telling the paper the candidate is no such thing.
Twice in the span of 30 days, Republican Tracey Mann has called on President Obama to come forward with proof of his American citizenship. But now his campaign tells the Hutchison News the candidate "misspoke" and has long believed the president has proved his citizenship.
The pushback from Mann's campaign comes after the paper, emphatically withdrew its endorsement of him.
(CNN) - Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-New York, said Friday that he is taking the congressional ethics investigation "one step at a time."
"I'll be glad to see what happens Thursday" when the House Ethics subcommittee responsible for conducting formal hearings has its first organizational meeting, he said. "This thing is coming to a head."
Rangel added, however, that "nobody in his right mind (would be) looking forward to something like this."
Washington (CNN) - Americans approval of how President Barack Obama is handling the nation's economy has dropped to its lowest level of his presidency, according to a new national poll.
A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey indicates that 42 percent of the public approves of how Obama's dealing with the economy, down 2 points from March, with 57 percent disapproving of his performance on the economy, up 2 points from March. The survey's Friday release comes as the president made comments at the White House on what he termed the progress made this week on the economy and job recovery.
The poll suggests a wide partisan divide on the issue, with nearly eight in 10 Democrats giving the president a thumbs up and nearly nine in 10 Republicans disapproving of Obama's job on the economy. According to the survey, two-thirds of independents disapprove of the president's economic performance.
(CNN) - A new ad by Sen. Harry Reid's Republican challenger is using the Senate Majority Leader's own words against him.
"Harry Reid says he does more for Nevada," says Sharron Angle, Nevada's Republican Senate nominee, in a new television commercial, repeating the "no one can do more" slogan Reid's campaign used in its general election kickoff last month.
"He's done more for unemployment. We were at 4.4 percent. Now we're at 14 percent," adds Angle, who speaks to an audience in a town-hall type setting.
Nevada currently has the highest state unemployment level in the country.
(CNN) - A new ad from California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman uses two clips of her opponent, Democrat Jerry Brown, from CNN programs in the mid-1990s the Brown campaign says distorts his words.
In the first clip, from Late Edition in 1995, Brown says: "You run for office and the assumption is, oh, I know what to do. You don't. I didn't have a plan for California."
In the second clip, from Crossfire in 1996, Brown says: "You need a real plan, something I'll acknowledge I did not have."
(CNN) - "Alvin Greene is on the Scene" - a clever YouTube mash-up honoring the South Carolina Senate candidate - might just be the political jam of the summer.
The catchy video ("When I say Alvin, you say Greene!") lays clips of Greene's many television appearances over a throwback hip-hop beat and even takes aim at Greene's Republican opponent Jim DeMint ... in autotune.
"November's coming, it's time to choose, and Jim DeMint should be ready to lose," the song rhymes, doing its best T-Pain impression.
Multiple news organizations, including the New York Times, said the video is an "official" product of Greene's campaign, but Greene says he had nothing to do with it.