Washington (CNN) – Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's campaign manager, Jesse Benton, stressed his loyalty to the Kentucky Republican Thursday just hours after a recording surfaced of Benton expressing half-hearted support for McConnell.
Benton made the off-message comments in a January telephone conversation with conservative activist Dennis Fusaro, a former colleague from Texas Rep. Ron Paul's 2008 presidential campaign.
(CNN) - Mitt Romney scored a major victory by taking Ohio, but Rick Santorum continued to defy the odds by winning several contests on Super Tuesday as the race for the Republican presidential nomination now moves to Kansas, Alabama, Mississippi and beyond.
In a late-night nail-biter, Romney came away with an Ohio win that he hopes will help him overwrite the narrative that he is incapable of connecting with blue-collar voters.FULL STORY
Kansas City, Missouri (CNN) – An influential group of GOP officials called on the Republican National Committee Wednesday to open an investigation into the leaking of internal documents and sensitive information to the media - a major source of distraction for the party in this critical election year.
In one of their first orders of business at the opening of the RNC's Summer Meeting taking place here in Kansas City, Republican state party chairs approved a resolution urging the RNC executive committee to launch an investigation into the leaks.
"It is a unanimous move to strike against the repeated and consistent leaking in regards to committee finances," said a committee source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the vote occurred in a private meeting.
RNC Chairman Michael Steele's tenure at the committee can be described as rocky at best. It has been marred by embarrassing personal missteps, questions about his fundraising ability and poor decisions by staffers. But Republicans have won some major races in the past 18 months including the governorships of New Jersey and Virginia as well as the Massachusetts Senate seat held by the late Sen. Edward Kennedy.
While a scandal involving a risqué Hollywood nightclub made major headlines earlier this year, it is concern about Steele's lack of focus on committee finances that has caused the most heartburn for RNC members and GOP strategists heading into the midterm elections.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is expected to announce Friday that she will not seek a second term, three sources tell CNN.
Palin has scheduled a 3 p.m. ET news conference at her home in Wasilla. The governor’s office offered no further details about the subject of the news conference, but the sources tell CNN that Palin will announce her decision to forgo another run.
"She thinks she has accomplished goals she has set forward," one of the sources, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said. "She sees what a positive influence she has had on people's lives from traveling the country in the last year."
As the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, Palin is considered one of the frontrunners for the GOP nomination in 2012. Her decision not to seek another term as governor is sure to stoke speculation that Palin is seriously eyeing a run for the White House.
TALLAHASSEE, Florida (CNN) – Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, endorsed Florida Gov. Charlie Crist for Senate Tuesday, yet another sign that national Republicans are looking to avoid a GOP primary in the Sunshine State.
Crist announced earlier in the day that he would not seek another term as governor, opting instead for a senatorial bid. National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn immediately announced that he was backing Crist over former state House Speaker Marco Rubio in the GOP primary.
Rubio criticized the NRSC's decision.
Like Cornyn, McConnell said Crist would receive his full support in the Florida governor's bid to keep retiring Sen. Mel Martinez's seat in Republican hands.
"Decisions are being made every day in Washington that have a direct impact upon the lives of all Americans and we need Charlie Crist in the U.S. Senate to ensure that those decisions will benefit the citizens of Florida," McConnell said in a statement released by Crist's campaign.
TALLAHASSEE, Florida (CNN) – Florida Gov. Charlie Crist announced Tuesday he would not run for reelection next year, and instead will seek the seat being vacated by retiring GOP Sen. Mel Martinez.
“Our country is facing the most profound public policy questions in our lifetime – questions relating to the economy, taxes, healthcare, the environment and national security,” Crist said in a statement released by his campaign. “The answers to these questions will have a lasting impact on the country we love and the nation we will leave to our children and grandchildren.”
He later added in the statement: “Here in Florida, we’ve shown that when we put people first and work together much can be accomplished, and I intend to bring that same approach to Washington. That is why, after thoughtful consideration with my wife Carole, I have decided to run for the U.S. Senate.”
TALLAHASSEE, Florida (CNN) – The National Republican Senatorial Committee endorsed Florida Gov. Charlie Crist for Senate Tuesday, hoping that a statement of public support will help the governor avoid a potentially bloody primary fight and instead allow him to focus on the 2010 general election.
Crist declared his candidacy for the Senate this morning in a statement released by his campaign. He will face former state House Speaker Marco Rubio in the Republican primary Rubio declared . A Quinnipiac Poll released last month showed that Crist had a commanding lead over Rubio, 54 percent to 8 percent.
Texas Sen. John Cornyn, the NRSC chairman, said he was endorsing the governor for the seat being vacated by retiring GOP Sen. Mel Martinez, because “Charlie Crist is the best candidate in 2010 to ensure that we maintain the checks and balances that Floridians deserve in the United States Senate.”
Rubio announced his candidacy for the Senate last week.
Full Cornyn statement:
“I am pleased today to endorse Governor Charlie Crist for the United States Senate. With his record of reform in Florida, I know that Governor Crist will bring a fresh perspective to Washington in our efforts to fight for lower taxes, less government, and new job creation for all Americans. Charlie Crist is a tireless advocate on behalf of all Floridians and one of only three Governors who earned an ‘A’ from the CATO institute for his efforts to restrain spending and cut taxes last year.
“While I believe Marco Rubio has a very bright future within the Republican Party, Charlie Crist is the best candidate in 2010 to ensure that we maintain the checks and balances that Floridians deserve in the United States Senate. Governor Crist is a dedicated public servant and a dynamic leader, and the National Republican Senatorial Committee will provide our full support to ensure that he is elected the next United States Senator from Florida.”