(CNN) - Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's comments earlier this week that a "trained ape" could have done a better job securing diplomatic relations with Afghanistan than the Obama administration sparked a backlash on social media.
But a Rumsfeld aide notes that he has used the phrase before and wasn't referring specifically to President Barack Obama.
Washington (CNN) - Republicans have an edge in enthusiasm over Democrats as the Midterm Election season begins to heat up, according to a new national survey.
Seventy percent of registered Republican voters questioned in a new CBS News poll say they are very or somewhat excited about voting in November, compared to 58% of Democrats. Only 47% of independent voters say they're very or somewhat excited to cast ballots in the midterms. And 81% of registered Republicans say they'll definitely vote in November, compared to 68% of registered Democrats.
Washington (CNN) - An influential group of House conservatives, unhappy with the midterm strategy of Speaker John Boehner and other top House Republicans, plans to lay out its own election year message on the economy on Wednesday.
"I think our leadership has been good about showing what we're against. I think one area where we've had weakness is we really haven't shown what we're for," Louisiana Republican Steve Scalise said.
Washington (CNN) - Mike Huckabee quietly met with dozens of House Republican lawmakers here in the nation's capital on Wednesday, as the former Arkansas governor and 2008 Republican presidential candidate mulls another bid for the White House.
According to two sources close to Huckabee, the former governor received a "warm welcome" from "an enthusiastic crowd," which consisted of 73 GOP House members.
Washington (CNN) - Nearly six in ten Americans say they approve of the sanctions the United States and the West have placed on Russia, but they don't expect the sanctions to be effective, according to a new national survey.
And a CBS News poll also indicates more people disapprove than approve of how President Barack Obama has handled the crisis, and a majority of the public feels the situation in Ukraine is beyond America's control and that the U.S. doesn't have a responsibility to get involved.
Take a quick trip Inside Politics and see the stories setting the stage in Washington today:
Obama vs. Romney ... and Putin – A tough question for President Obama on Romney, Russia and Putin. Obama is a master of the long–winded sidestep - guarded, professorial and often dismissive answers to questions from reporters.