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Posts tagged ‘Republican Party (United States)’

McCain: Arizona GOP Reprimand ‘Fires Me Up’ to Run Again.


Image: McCain: Arizona GOP Reprimand 'Fires Me Up' to Run Again

By Elliot Jager

Sen. John McCain said “extremists” were behind his censure by the Arizona Republican Party but that it just encourages him to seek re-election.

McCain’s accusers say he is too tight with liberal Democrats and their positions,Breitbart News reported.  McCain said it’s all about his support for Obamacare.

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“It’s regrettable, but I think it’s a case where a lot of extremists have taken over the Republican Party and one of their complaints about me was that I support Obamacare. That’s unethical to say that,” McCain told the site.

McCain said the state GOP reprimand “fires me up” as he weighs whether to run for re-election in 2016, when he would be 80 years old.

“We’ve got polling data that shows overwhelming support. I’ve won every election in Arizona by very large margins, quite often with the opposition of [the right flank] of the party,” Politico reported.

The state GOP said McCain, an Arizona Republican, has a “long and terrible record of drafting, co-sponsoring, and voting for legislation best associated with liberal Democrats, such as amnesty, funding for Obamacare, the debt ceiling, liberal nominees, assaults on the Constitution and Second Amendment,” the resolution read.

McCain responded that he had “led the fight for 25 days on the floor of the Senate” against Obamacare.

He opposed the conservative strategy of closing down the government in October 2013 rather than allowing any spending bill that funds the Affordable Care Act to pass.

He said that Republicans would be blamed for any shutdown and warned: “I know how the movie ends: We don’t defund Obamacare until we have 67 Republicans in the United States Senate,” Politico reported.

Meanwhile, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, McCain’s vice presidential running mate, came to his defense in a Monday Facebook posting: “I consider Senator John McCain an American hero and a friend. He fights to remind our president that the federal government’s first priority must be strong defense of our homeland, and … he fights against big-spending colleagues who don’t prioritize for our military’s needs,” The Washington Post reported.

Palin said that while they did not agree on all the issues, including immigration reform and the debt, Palin said she found it “perplexing” that McCain’s efforts to block the Obama agenda had been ignored and possibly undermined by his opponents to the right in Arizona.

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Mike Rogers, King Blast NYT Benghazi Report: ‘Misleading’.


Image: Mike Rogers, King Blast NYT Benghazi Report: 'Misleading' Rep. Peter King, left, and Rep. Mike Rogers

By Newsmax Wires

Two of the House’s top experts on terrorism blasted a New York Times report that says al-Qaida did not carry out the 2012 attack on the U.S diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya.

The Times report, published Saturday and based on numerous interviews with Islamists in Benghazi, concludes that there was no evidence that al-Qaida or any other international terrorist groups had any role in the assault that killed four Americans on September 11, 2012.

Instead, the Times reports that the attack was fueled in large part by anger at an American-made anti-Islamic video, as the Obama administration first claimed. The attackers were entirely locally based Islamist malcontents with few if any contacts outside of Libya.

But New York Rep. Peter King, member and former chairman of the House’s Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, told Fox News that the story’s premise that other anti-American militias led the attack is at best academic.

“It’s misleading,” King said. “It’s a distinction without a difference.” King specifically challenged the notion in the Times piece that the Libya-based terror group Ansar al-Shariah somehow was not part of the al-Qaida Islamist network.

“They are saying that ­al-Shariah is involved, but al-Shariah is a part of the al-Qaida umbrella, the al-Qaida network,” King said, challenging the Times’ conclusion that al-Shariah “had no known ­affiliations with terrorist groups.”

“Al-Shariah is a pro- al-Qaida terrorist organization,” King said, adding that the video had little to do with the attack, which he said was highly organized.

“This was a well-coordinated attack,” he said. “This was not a ragtag group.”

Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Michigan, told “Fox News Sunday” that the attack was clearly an “al-Qaida-led event.”

Rogers, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said his panel has gone through 4,000 classified cables, talked to people on the ground and done a postmortem on the event. He doubts, he said, whether the newspaper conducted such an exhaustive investigation.

“So what did they get wrong?” host Chris Wallace asked.

“That al-Qaida was not involved in this,” Rogers said. “There was some level of pre-planning. We know that. There was aspiration to conduct an attack by al-Qaida and their affiliates in Libya. We know that. The individuals on the ground talked about a planned tactical movement on the compound even. … That tells me they didn’t talk to people on the ground who where doing the fighting, shooting and the intelligence-gathering.”

Fellow committee member Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., agreed with Rogers that intelligence shows that al-Qaida was involved in the attack. But other groups were involved, too, Schiff said.

Schiff called it a “complex picture.” There was some pre-planning, he said, but it was not extensive, and people joined in the attack for multiple reasons, including because of an anti-Muslim video produced by a man in the United States.

Rogers also disputed the contention that al-Shariah was key to the attack. The intelligence shows otherwise, he told Wallace.

“Now, do they have differences of opinion with al-Qaida core? Yes. Do they have affiliations with al-Qaida core? Definitely,” he said.

Rogers said he doesn’t know whether the story was politically motivated to clear former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton before an expected presidential run in 2016. But he is suspicious of the timing, especially with former U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice talking about the subject on “60 Minutes” last week.

“I don’t want to speculate on why they might do it,” Rogers said, adding that what is being presented in The Times and on “60 Minutes” has been shown by committee testimony not to be accurate.

The attack killed Ambassador Chris Stevens, Foreign Service officer Sean Smith and former Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty.

The Times’ conclusion also conflicts with other evidence, including the testimony of Greg Hicks, Stevens’ deputy, Fox reports. 

Hicks described the video as “a non-event in Libya” at that time, and consequently not a significant trigger for the attack. Also, a separate report by a leading social media firm found that the first reference to the anti-Islam film that was initially blamed for sparking the attack was not detected on social media until a day later.

Rep. Darrell Issa also stood by his conclusions that a group affiliated with al-Qaida was involved.

“It was accurate,” Issa said on NBC’s Meet the Press. “There was a group that was involved that claims an affiliation with al-Qaida.”

Issa said that Times reporter David Kirkpatrick did “very good work” but that he has seen no evidence that the video was the attack’s leading cause, a claim made by then-UN ambassador Susan Rice in the immediate aftermath of the attack.

The administration should come clean about misstatements about the causes of the attack, even if those claims were made to protect the CIA outpost in Benghazi, Issa said.

“They went out on five stations and told the story that was at best a coverup for the CIA or at worst something that cast away this idea that there was a real terrorist operation in Benghazi,” Issa said.

Kirkpatrick, who also appeared on the show, said that Republicans like Issa, King and Rogers conflated local Islamic militant groups with international al-Qaida.

“If you’re using the term al-Qaida to describe even a local group of Islamist militants who dislike democracy or have a grudge against the United States, If you’re going to call anybody like that ‘al-Qaida,’ then, okay,” he said.

A senior Obama administration official told NBC News on Saturday that the White House does not dispute the New York Times report.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Jindal, Cruz See ‘Duck’ Result as Win for ‘Liberty’ Over PC.


By Cathy Burke

 

Conservative groups declared victory on the “Duck Dynasty” controversy on Friday and hailed the quick reinstatement of patriarch Phil Robertson — less than two weeks after he was yanked from the A&E hit show for anti-gay remarks.

Louisiana’s Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal called the network’s decision a victory for “the freedoms of speech and religious liberty,” the Daily Caller reported. 

The reality series is filmed in Louisiana, where the Robertsons live, and Jindal was a vocal critic of A&E’s decision to suspend the family elder Dec. 18 after an explosive GQ magazine interview in which the 67-year-old patriarch compared homosexuality with bestiality.

“I remember when TV networks believed in the First Amendment,” the Republican governor said at the time. “The politically correct crowd is tolerant of all viewpoints, except those they disagree with.”

On Friday, he released a statement saying he was pleased with the reversal.

“I am glad to hear that the folks at A&E came to their senses and recognized that tolerance of religious views is more important than political correctness,” he said. “Today is a good day for the freedoms of speech and religious liberty.”

“The left is going to have to get accustomed to the fact that it does not have a monopoly on free speech and is not the only group who is permitted to voice its opinion in the public square. The left may control Hollywood, but they don’t control the hearts and minds of a majority of Americans.”

Ralph Reed, founder of the Faith & Freedom Coalition, also applauded the decision, but noted the network announced its decision late on the Friday between the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. “Better late than never,” Reed said.

“A&E Networks belatedly came to their senses,” he said in an e-mailed statement. “Their rash suspension of Mr. Robertson threatened to destroy the most valuable franchise on cable television and alienate 40 million evangelical Christians in the process. While Mr. Robertson used some admittedly ill-advised language in the interview, he said nothing that justified this punishment. He simply quoted the Bible in answering a question about his faith.”

Reed said he hoped “the network will never again take the bizarre step of sanctioning someone for expressing their Christian faith.”

Organizers of a petition started by Christian fans, IStandWithPhil.com, were wary of the reinstatement, The Hollywood Reporter said.

“Despite our celebration, we remain uncertain of A&E’s true intent,” said a statement from Faith Drive Consumer founder Chris Stone, according to the Reporter. “Today, in the network’s statement of their core values – centered on ‘creativity, inclusion, and mutual respect’ — Faith Driven Consumers are left wondering whether A&E considers us to be a part of America’s rich rainbow of diversity. Do they also now embrace the biblically based values and worldview held by the Robertson family and millions of Faith Driven Consumers?”

GLAAD, however, was not appeased.

In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, the pro-gay rights group said “If dialogue with Phil is not part of the next steps, then A&E has chosen profits over African American and gay people — especially its employees and viewers.”

“Phil Robertson should look African American and gay people in the eyes and hear about the hurtful impact of praising Jim Crow laws and comparing gay people to terrorists,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, Politico reported Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz lauded the news with a tweet of the Drudge Report‘s home page splash:

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who also rushed to Robertson’s defense after his suspension, did not post any immediate reaction to the reinstatement.

Meanwhile, The Hollywood Reporter, which first reported the network’s change-of-heart, noted the bearded clan recently re-signed to stay on at the top-rated series in a deal worth more than $200,000 per episode.

The hit is a big asset for the network, the Reporter noted; it’s second in popularity on all cable channels only to “The Walking Dead,” with an average 13.4 million viewers, and it’sgear is sold by retailers including Walmart, Sears and Cracker Barrel restaurants.

The Robertson family is off during duck hunting season, which the Reporter noted was a contractual stipulation, through Jan. 26.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Obama Behind Congressional Dems’ Sinking Ship: CNN Poll.


Image: Obama Behind Congressional Dems' Sinking Ship: CNN Poll

By Cynthia Fagen

The Democrats have lost the lead in next year’s Congressional mid-term elections and President Barack Obama and the rocky healthcare rollout may be to blame, a new CNN poll revealed Thursday. 

Republicans have gained a 13-point swing in the polls in the past two months, when Democrats held a healthy 50-42 percent command. That was a likely result after congressional Republicans got negative reviews during a bitter fight over the federal government shutdown and the debt ceiling.

However, a month later, Republicans eked out a 49-47 percent lead. The new CNN survey, conducted in mid-December, in which 1,035 people were polled by phone, showed Republicans had widened the gap with a 49-44 percent edge.

That changeover follows the public outcry over the disastrous HealthCare.gov rollout and the controversy concerning some insurance policy cancellations due to Affordable Care Act deadline complications.

Republicans have a 17-seat advantage in the House and Democrats hold a 55-45 majority in the Senate.

Another GOP advantage is the president’s plummeting popularity with the public. Fifty-five percent of registered voters say that they are more likely to vote for a congressional candidate who opposes Obama than one who supports him.

“Virtually all the movement toward the GOP has come among men,” CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said. “Fifty-four percent of female voters chose the Democratic candidate in October; 53 percent pick the Dem now. But among male voters, support for Democratic candidates has gone from 46 percent in October to just 35 percent now.”

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Matheson’s Retirement Gives Mia Love’s Campaign Edge.


Image: Matheson's Retirement Gives Mia Love's Campaign Edge

By Cathy Burke

Utah Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson unexpectedly bowed out Tuesday from another run for the House, a decision that gives rising Republican star Mia Love an edge in the 2014 race.

“I just never saw me doing this all my life,” Matheson told the Salt Lake TribuneTuesday. “I always thought there would be other chapters in what I do in my public service career and this just seemed the right time to move on to the next opportunity.”

Love, a Saratoga Springs mayor who rose to prominence with a prime speaking role at the2012 Republican National Convention, was gearing up for a competitive rematch against the seven-term incumbent, the state’s only Democratic congressman.

She lost to him last year by just 768 votes.

The 53-year-old Matheson, son of former Utah Gov. Scott Matheson,  first ran for Congress in 1999 and has held onto the seat for seven terms in a largely red state.
Larry Sebato, director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics, tweeted that Matheson’s announcement Tuesday was a political game changer.

Campaign reports filed in October showed Love’s retooled campaign had raised — and spent — money certainly like she meant business.

From July through September, Love brought in more than $590,000 compared to Matheson’s collection of just $278,000, filings showed. Love spent more than $376,000 in the same period.

Still, Matheson’s decision stunned Love’s campaign, U.S. News & World Report noted.

“This was a total surprise,” Dave Hansen, Love’s campaign director, told the news magazine. “This becomes a different campaign, obviously… It was going to be focused on the general election. Now, it will focus more on the primary.”

The National Republican Congressional Committee, however, hailed the retirement as a sign of vulnerability for Democrats everywhere.

“It’s telling that Matheson, who didn’t even vote for Obamacare’s original passage, knows he can’t run and win in this climate. If it’s this bad for him, imagine how bad 2014 will be for the vast majority of Democrats who actually supported Obamacare from its start,” NRCC Chairman Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., said in a release.

Love said Matheson’s decision changes nothing.

“I certainly respect his decision and I wish him well in anything he decides to do,” Love said. “We’re going to keep going forward and raising money and getting our message out.”

Before Matheson’s announcement, Love was gearing up for the race, pushing back against his accusations that she was a tea-party extremist whose election would only further polarize Congress. “I am not an extremist. I’ve never been an extremist,” Love told theTribune during a Washington visit last month.

“I’ve talked to other tea-party members and, you know, the tea [partyers] have different ideas of who they are and what they believe in and what I’m telling you now is they’ve been the ones who label me. I don’t want anyone to put me in a box.”

Yet the newspaper notes Love courted tea-party groups when she first ran for Congress in 2012, and that her campaign had ties to conservative Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, who came under fire for backing the failed effort to defund Obamacare, leading to a 17-day government shutdown in October.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Three Congressman Announce Retirement on Same Day.


Image: Three Congressman Announce Retirement on Same DayFrom left: Reps. Tom Latham, Frank Wolf and Jim Matheson

By Cynthia Fagen

Iowa Republican Tom Latham has become the third House member to announce his retirement on Tuesday, The Hill reported.  He joins Rep. Frank Wolf, a Republican from Virginia, and Rep. Jim Matheson, a Democrat from Utah.

“It is never a perfect time or a right time to step aside. But for me, this is the time,” said the 10-term congressman, who is a close friend of Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).

Latham said in an email, “I want to share with you my decision that I will not be a candidate for any office in November of 2014.”

Democrats think they can win the seats held by Latham and Wolf. In the 2012 presidential race Obama won Latham’s district by four percentage points. Matheson’s vacancy could go to a Republican.

Latham’s retirement comes as a surprise, according to The Hill. A year ago he’d defeated Rep. Leonard Boswell (D-Iowa) in a hotly-contested race, and had turned down national Republicans’ pleas to run for an open Senate seat, according to The Hill. Democrats had been rallying around former state Sen. Staci Appel to run against Latham. It’s unclear who might run on the GOP ticket.

House veteran Wolf said that he planned to continue his work as an advocate of worldwide human rights and religious freedom.

“As a follower of Jesus, I am called to work for justice and reconciliation, and to be an advocate for those who cannot speak for themselves,” said Wolf, who was the first member of Congress to visit the troubled Darfur region of Sudan and has spoken out in defense of oppressed groups such as Tibetans and Kurds.

Matheson was expected to face a tough repeat challenge in 2014 from Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love, a Republican who he narrowly defeated in 2012.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

McCain: Anti-Budget Colleagues Lack “Intellectual Integrity”.


Sen. John McCain rebuked Republican colleagues who plan to vote against the budget deal as lacking “intellectual integrity,” the Washington Examiner reported Tuesday.

“My only response to that is that I respect their vote but I’d like to know what we do in order to avoid another shutdown of the government,” the Arizona Republican said.

“I have concerns about the budget deal, everybody I think does because of the nature the way business is done, but to somehow vote against it without an alternative to keep the government from shutting down, then I think lacks some intellectual integrity.”

McCain said he would vote for the bipartisan budget bill, which has already been passed in the House.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Cynthia Fagen

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