President Obama's mixed message about the efforts to create an Islamic center near Ground Zero in New York has political Washington, and CNN's John King and Bob Costantini talking.
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(CNN) – As the Senate finished its "vote-a-rama" dealing with a number of Republican amendments to the health care bill "fixes," senators have had to stay close to the chamber. The votes were coming in short intervals, meaning that meetings with constituents and interest advocates were sometimes held in the Capitol hallways.
That's where we caught up with Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pennsylvania, whose take on the rat-a-tat nature of the votes is mixed. "You can still get work done," Casey said, noting that during budget reconciliation time, there are also a quick series of votes. "One of the benefits of it is you spend a lot more time with your colleagues than you do" in normal days.
Casey thinks it is a good way to learn more about fellow senators than times as "ships passing in the night."
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has taken considerable heat from conservative activists for endorsing Republican Dede Scozzafava over Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman in next month's special congressional election in New York.
But Gingrich is defending his approach to re-building the Republican Party. It begins, he said, by accommodating those who might disagree with you.
"Both parties have to recognize, you can create a center-right majority in America, which we did with Reagan in '80 and we did it again with the 'Contract with America' in '94," Gingrich said in an interview with CNN Radio. "You can't have a purely right-wing majority; you can't have a purely left-wing majority."
The former speaker claimed that Democrats are doing their part to help the GOP by promoting a liberal ideology. "Today, the Democrats are moving toward a secular-socialist model that is guaranteed minority in America," he said.
And he was cautiously optimistic about the 2010 midterm elections.
"Next year, I think we could win [governorships in] Iowa, Kansas, Wisconsin, the Senate seat in Illinois. In Ohio, we could win both the governorship and the Senate seat," Gingrich said. He also predicted losses for three prominent Democratic incumbents: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut and Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania.