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GOP Presidential Prospects Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney to Meet in Utah

GOP Presidential Prospects Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney to Meet in Utah

ABC/William Thomas Cain/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney, two potential 2016 presidential candidates, will meet in Utah, an aide to Bush confirmed.“This meeting has been on the books for some time,” Bush spokeswoman Kristy Campbell told ABC News in a statement. "Gov. Bush is very much looking forward to the opportunity to catch up and visit with Gov. Romney. He respects him very much."The scheduled meeting was first reported by The New York Times, which noted that it could mean the two former governors will discuss avoiding an intra-party showdown. Both Bush and Romney appeal to the establishment wing of the Republican Party and, therefore, compete heavily not just for similar voters, but donors, as well.Bush, the former Florida governor, was seen waiting at Reagan National Airport in Arlington, Virginia, Thursday morning, posing for photos with airline staff members, and then and boarding a flight to Salt Lake City, according to ABC News producer Richard Coolidge who was also on the flight.

 

Jeb Bush at DCA for flight to Salt Lake City. Hmmm. What other big name GOP has a house in Utah? #2016 pic.twitter.com/phQJAi1NPl

— Richard L Coolidge (@rlcoolidge) January 22, 2015

 

 

Early supporter s? Jeb Bush takes photos with airline workers at DCA #2016 pic.twitter.com/CLeasz52cv

— Richard L Coolidge (@rlcoolidge) January 22, 2015

 

At the time, Bush wouldn’t confirm the reported meeting, citing his “respect” for Romney. He added jokingly that he was headed to Utah to ski.Last month, Bush announced he would "actively explore the possibility of running for president of the United States,” and several weeks later he launched a political action committee to fund travel related to his possible run, as well as a place for supportive donors to place funds ahead of an official run.Romney told a group of supporters in New York earlier this month he’s considering a third run for the White House. Last week, at the Republican National Committee’s winter meeting, Romney said he was “giving some serious consideration to the future.”

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Former New York Gov. Pataki to Test Presidential Waters with New PAC

Former New York Gov. Pataki to Test Presidential Waters with New PAC

Chris Hondros/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — He may not be at the top of your 2016 watch list, but there’s another possible GOP contender launching a political action committee. An aide to former New York Gov. George Pataki confirms to ABC News he is the latest possible 2016 prospect to launch a PAC. Titled the We the People, Not Washington PAC, he will use the funds as other potential presidential candidates do, to travel around the country, testing out a possible presidential bid. This move was first reported in the New York Times, and if these presidential flirtations sound familiar, Pataki acknowledges it, telling the Times, “Every four years you have the Olympics, you have the World Cup, and you have George Pataki in New Hampshire talking about running for president.”

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House GOP Pull Back on Vote for 20-Week Abortion Ban

House GOP Pull Back on Vote for 20-Week Abortion Ban

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — With the annual March for Life event taking place in Washington Thursday, Republican lawmakers traditionally mark the occasion by passing pro-life legislation. That tradition was in jeopardy Wednesday when a group of Republican women, who likely realized the votes were not in place, revolted and forced House leadership to change course on its plan to further limit abortions after 20 weeks.Instead, the House will take up the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, an alternative pro-life measure to prohibit the use of taxpayer dollars for abortions, teeing up a bitterly partisan debate on the floor Thursday. The measure has previously passed in the House during the 112th and 113th sessions of Congress."Some concerns were raised by men and women Members that still need to be worked out," a senior GOP leadership aide wrote in an email Wednesday night. "Tomorrow we will vote to advance the pro-life cause and remain committed to continue working through the process on pain capable to make sure it too is successful."The bill that was yanked from the floor schedule, known as the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, would have rolled back the current policy from 24 weeks to 20 weeks. As for the 20-week abortion bill, one Republican aide conceded that the suggestion that congressional leadership revisits the ban later this year is lip service. But many GOP women, like Rep. Renee Ellmers, R-North Carolina, opposed a provision in the bill that requires rape victims to report the incident to authorities in order to get an abortion.

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YouTube Stars to Interview President Obama

YouTube Stars to Interview President Obama

Pete Souza / The White House(WASHINGTON) -- Scoring a presidential interview is a distinction coveted by White House journalists, anchors and network bookers alike. But on Thursday, the honor is being given to three diverse, wacky YouTube creators -- Bethany Mota, GloZell Green and Hank Green.Their expertise ranges from putting together “comfy and cute outfits” to completing zany challenges like inhaling massive amounts of cinnamon spice and eating cereal out of a bathtub (while still in it). It’s the kind of stuff you honestly can’t make up.

And on Thursday, they will get to direct questions from their followers to the president of the United States.If their online postings are any indication, this should be a wild ride. Take a look:Here, GloZell announces she will interview President Obama -- and freaks out:

This is GloZell’s previously mentioned bathtub cereal challenge:

In this clip, 19-year-old Mota gives crafty tips for throwing a last-minute, DIY party:

Here's Green explaining the ins and outs of apologizing correctly:

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Former Sen. Wendell Ford Passes Away at 90

Former Sen. Wendell Ford Passes Away at 90

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call(WASHINGTON) -- Former Kentucky Sen. Wendell Ford has passed away at the age of 90.Ford, a Democrat, served in the Senate from 1974 to 1999. He also served as the governor of Kentucky from 1971 to 1974.Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell commented on the news Thursday morning, saying that "one of the giants of Kentucky politics passed away.""A proud Kentuckian who rose from page in the State House to governor of the state, Ford shaped the history of the commonwealth in ways few others had before him. He never forgot the lessons about hard work he learned while milking cows or tending to chores on the family farm. And this World War II veteran never backed down from a fight either," McConnell, R-Ky., said on the Senate floor. "We imagine he approached his final battle with the same spirit," he added.McConnell concluded, "Elaine and I, and I'm certain I speak for the entire Senate, send our condolences to his wife, Jean -- Mrs. Ford, as Wendell often called her -- and the rest of the Ford family at this difficult time."

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Senate E-mail ‘Fully Operational’ Again After Network Outage

Senate E-mail ‘Fully Operational’ Again After Network Outage

Vladone/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The Senate e-mail system has been fully restored after being down overnight.The Senate Sergeant at Arms' office tweeted Thursday, "#Senate network outage update (6AM): all systems are fully operational again. We apologize for inconvenience & thank you for your patience."The network went down sometime Wednesday evening. Senate Sergeant at Arms Frank Larkin told ABC News at about 7 p.m. Wednesday that "the Senate is currently experiencing a network outage, including email and mobility." One Senate office, meanwhile, said the system went down at about 5:30 p.m.It is still not clear what caused the outage.

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WATCH: Hillary Clinton Impersonates Vladimir Putin

WATCH: Hillary Clinton Impersonates Vladimir Putin

Feng Li/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- If 2016 doesn't work out for Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of state could find a new line of work on the theatrical stage.During an event in Canada Wednesday afternoon, Clinton broke out into an impromptu impersonation of Russian President Vladimir Putin.While trying to explain the difference between how the United States elects politicians and how other countries do, Clinton put on a Russian accent and performed a mock conversation she imagines Putin had with himself when deciding he wanted to be president.The two political figures have never been shy about expressing their dislike for each other.In June, Putin told French TV Clinton has never been “too graceful” with her comments, but that “it’s best not to argue with a woman.” And in April, Clinton described Putin’s behavior and personality to those she would encounter on an elementary school playground.Clinton's event in Canada Wednesday was her first public appearance of 2015. Although she is widely expected to announce a run for president sometime this spring, Clinton did not address her own political aspirations.Clinton, instead, focused on addressing the recent attacks in Paris and threat of global terrorism, the economy and the need for improving the middle class standard of living, and even her new life as a grandmother.The former first lady also repeatedly complimented President Obama. She praised his State of the Union address, backed his decision not to pass new sanctions against Iran, and said he doesn't get "enough credit" for the improving the economy."The president has been very successful," Clinton said.

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Sen. Portman on Why Obama Can Claim Credit for Ohio State Championship

Sen. Portman on Why Obama Can Claim Credit for Ohio State Championship

United States Senate(WASHINGTON) -- Credit the Ohio State Buckeyes for a tiny slice of bipartisanship in Washington.President Obama wrapped up a meeting with House Speaker John Boehner last week by pointing out that they agree on the need for a college football playoff -- a playoff that this year saw a team from Boehner’s home state win the national championship.It was a glimpse into the way that sports can sometimes unite opposing parties in politics. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said on the ABC/ESPN podcast “Capital Games” that he’s more than happy to give the president some credit where it’s due."We don’t agree on a lot of things, but we agreed on this one,” Portman said. “So I’ll give him as much credit as he wants. He certainly has more influence than I do, or others.”Portman said Ohio State’s national championship was a “sweeter victory” for the fact that it was earned through the playoff system. He said the Super Bowl-style atmosphere around the championship was great for all involved, including the new champions from his state.He added that it’s not uncommon for sports to bring politicians together in Washington.“It definitely makes a difference,” Portman said. “It definitely makes a difference in any relationship, and also on the Hill. A lot of us talk sports, and it’s bipartisan. It’s something that draws people together. You can find common ground.”Portman added that he spoke with former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, who served on the playoff selection committee, after the championship game.“I told her she’s already popular in Cleveland,” said Portman, referring to Rice being a fan of the Cleveland Browns. “Now she’s really popular in Columbus.”The Boehner-Obama relationship has never been particularly close. But the two share a love of golf, and participated in a much-hyped round together in 2011 that quickly became known as the “golf summit.”Also on the program, ESPN senior writer Don Van Natta Jr. -- the author of a book about presidential golf, First Off the Tee -- said that round of golf got overly politicized, possibly due to some pregame trash talk from Boehner.Van Natta also said that, like most golfing presidents, Obama has rarely used the game as a chance to build relationships with lawmakers. The current president has generally golfed with the same small group of longtime friends and White House aides.“Presidents use golf as an escape,” he said, noting that Obama “forbids talk of politics” on the course.Van Natta recalled a 2002 round of golf he played with former President Bill Clinton where Clinton’s actual number of strokes was more than twice the number recorded on his scorecard.He also said that former President Lyndon B. Johnson, who was a “horrible golfer,” was the one president who used golf as a lobbying opportunity, including around the Civil Rights Act.

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POLL: History’s a Positive for Clinton; Not So for Bush or Romney

POLL: History’s a Positive for Clinton; Not So for Bush or Romney

JP Yim/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Hillary Clinton’s potential place in history and her husband’s tenure in the White House boost her presidential prospects, while Jeb Bush’s political legacy and Mitt Romney’s 2012 run for the office are negatives, a new ABC News/Washington Post poll finds. Clinton leads both in hypothetical head-to-head matchups at this early stage -- as well as Rand Paul, Chris Christie and Mike Huckabee alike.The national survey finds 53 to 56 percent support for Clinton among registered voters against each of these potential Republican candidates, while they get 39 to 41 percent. One reason is that Clinton is stronger in her political base, given the far more fragmented nature of the current GOP field.Further, registered voters by a 13-point margin say the fact that Clinton would be the first female president makes them more likely rather than less likely to support her. Her husband having served as president is another net positive, by an 8-point margin.Those results stand in contrast to Bush’s and Romney’s backgrounds. The fact that his brother and father held the office is a net negative for Bush by a broad 25 percentage points; a third of registered voters say it makes them less likely to support him for president. And Romney’s having run as the Republican nominee three years ago is a 14-point net negative for him.Most registered voters, 57 to 65 percent, say none of these items would be a factor in their vote. But a presidential election is a game of margins, making these views potentially important in the campaign ahead.THE FIELD – The poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, finds several reasons that Clinton leads all five potential GOP candidates tested:

She’s stronger in her base, backed by nine in 10 or more Democrats who are registered to vote, as well as by at least eight in 10 liberals and about six in 10 moderates. As with Barack Obama, the recovery helps Clinton. About three-quarters of registered voters who rate the economy positively support her, and she leads overwhelmingly among those who say they’ve gained ground financially under Obama’s presidency. But she also leads, by 16 to 20 points, among those whose finances have just held steady. Clinton has a strong advantage among those who see income inequality as a major problem, and she runs essentially evenly vs. these potential Republican nominees among those who think it’s a problem, but not a major one. She trails only among those who don’t think the income gap is a problem -- just 16 percent of registered voters. Women favor Clinton by 20- to 24-point margins, men by non-significant 2- to 7-point margins. She’s also strong among racial and ethnic minorities, adults under 40 and lower-income voters.

The potential GOP candidates may be hamstrung by their intramural battle ahead; core Republican support likely will coalesce around the ultimate nominee. For the moment, those tested against Clinton in this survey win support from 76 to 81 percent of Republican registered voters and about six in 10 conservatives (including 67 to 73 percent of strong conservatives). Each also has the support of half of white voters overall, far fewer than a GOP nominee needs to prevail, given whites’ shrinking share of the country’s population. (Romney won 59 percent of whites and lost the 2012 election nonetheless.)In an example of the comparatively unsettled GOP base, Huckabee and Bush both hold more than 40-point leads over Clinton among evangelical white Protestants, but that eases to 27- and 32-point leads in this group for Christie and Romney, respectively.Paul, for his part, runs essentially evenly with Clinton among college-educated registered voters, while Christie, Bush, Huckabee and Romney trail her by 12- to 17-point margins in this group. But there are few other differences, suggesting that partisanship, rather than individual candidate assessments, is playing the starring role in current choices.Early matchups such as these are not predictive; campaigns matter, as Clinton demonstrated in 2008, and an ultimate double-digit margin is virtually unthinkable given the country’s close political divisions. That said, Obama vs. Romney stood at a 49-45 percent in their earliest ABC/Post matchup, in April 2011. Clinton today leads Romney by 15. METHODOLOGY – This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by landline and cellular telephone Jan. 12-15, 2015, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 1,003 adults, including 843 registered voters. Results have margins of sampling error of 3.5 and 4 points for the general population and registered voters, respectively, including design effect. Partisan divisions are 30-24-37 percent, Democrats-Republicans-independents among the general population, 33-26-33 percent among registered voters.The survey was produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates of New York, N.Y., with sampling, data collection and tabulation by Abt-SRBI of New York, N.Y.

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Obama Takes His Message of Economic Resurgence to Idaho

Obama Takes His Message of Economic Resurgence to Idaho

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(BOISE, Idaho) — President Obama resumed his barnstorming tour of the U.S. to promote his second-term agenda with a visit to Boise, Idaho, Wednesday.During his half-hour speech on the campus of Boise State University, the president repeated many of the same themes from his State of the Union address the night before.Obama spoke of the nation’s economic resurgence leading to the best growth in a decade despite critics fighting his policies at every turn.To drive his point home, the president peppered his remarks with football analogies before an appreciative audience that included, “The verdict is clear. The ruling on the field stands. Middle class economics works. Expanding opportunity works.”Beforehand, Obama toured Boise State's New Product Development Lab to view products local industries and entrepreneurs develop and market with the assistance of students.This was Obama’s first visit to Idaho as president, meaning he's made speeches in 47 states. He has yet set to foot in South Carolina, Utah and South Dakota during his six years in office.

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Senate Suffering Network Outage Including Email

Senate Suffering Network Outage Including Email

Credit: Architect of the Capitol(WASHINGTON) -- The Senate email system is down, the Senate Sergeant at Arms Frank Larkin said Wednesday night.Larkin told ABC News at about 7 p.m. Wednesday that "the Senate is currently experiencing a network outage, including email and mobility." He said that technicians were working on the issue.At least one Senate office said that the system went down at about 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.

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Mitt Romney to Give Commencement Address at Jacksonville University in April

Mitt Romney to Give Commencement Address at Jacksonville University in April

ABC/ DONNA SVENNEVIK(JACKSONVILLE, Fla.) -- Jacksonville University announced on Wednesday that former Senator and 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney will deliver its spring commencement address this April."We are delighted to offer our students the opportunity to hear from one of the leading figures in industry and public service of the past three decades," university President Tim Cost said in a statement. "Gov. Romney has established an outstanding track record of accomplishments, and is sure to offer insight and inspiration to our campus community."Commencement is scheduled for April 25. Romney has said he is considering another presidential campaign in 2016.

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Drone Flies Into Capitol Hill Hearing

Drone Flies Into Capitol Hill Hearing

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) --  This may be a congressional first -- a drone flying overhead in a House committee room.The House Committee on Science, Space and Technology held a hearing Wednesday in the Rayburn House Office Building on the research and development of unmanned aircraft systems. One of the witnesses, Colin Guinn, CRO of 3D Robotics, brought a Parrot Bebop Drone, a $499 device weighing just over one pound, for a demonstration.The red-and-black drone buzzed around the side of the committee room, flying in place for over a minute while Guinn testified. The drone did not get near any of the lawmakers or fly over anyone’s head, much to the disappointment of Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, chairman of the committee.“I was hoping you’d fly it over the whole room instead of one place,” Smith said.“You said, ‘No haircuts,’” Guinn answered.Ahead of the short drone flight, Smith said the demonstration may have been the first of its kind and noted the committee had to obtain special permission to have a drone flying in the committee room.“The rules are still pretty strict,” Smith said.

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Rick Santorum Preps for 2016, Meets with Aides to Plan Details

Rick Santorum Preps for 2016, Meets with Aides to Plan Details

ABC/IDA MAE ASTUTE(WASHINGTON) -- Rick Santorum met Wednesday with advisors to map out a possible new presidential bid aiming to avoid some of the mistakes that doomed his last candidacy.A socially conservative former senator who was one of Mitt Romney’s biggest rivals for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, Santorum is taking more steps toward another run, meeting Wednesday with a group of advisers who would join a possible campaign, planning some of the details and laying out what a bid might look like.The four-plus-hour meeting was described to ABC News by an aide who attended as a discussion of “lessons learned” from the 2012 campaign that they could use to improve their operation if he “makes the leap.” The group also got into more detailed planning that never happened before his last run, the aide said.Among the topics discussed were Santorum’s potential timeline for a decision and possible roll-out, finance and fundraising plans, possible staff additions, early-state movements, communications strategy, political discussions, and putting the experiences and lessons from 2012 “into practice.” The goal would be to turn some of the “roadblocks” they faced into “speed bumps.”One of the day’s sessions looked at some of the difficulties that the campaign experienced last time getting on the ballot in certain states. The group is looking at it now, so in the event Santorum is in, they are prepared for a “long-haul campaign” and will be able to get on the ballot in all 50 states. The aide said these “more serious discussions” on these topics “didn’t occur last time,” saying they really just went from state to state as the campaign ticked along without a clear strategy to get delegates or a detailed pathway to victory.The aide stressed that no state will be off the table this time around or considered too far gone to a “Bush or a Romney,” and they are instead now drilling down to see how they can nab delegates in each state from “Illinois to Colorado to California to New York,” examining each state’s specific delegate rules to “best maximize” Santorum’s “performance” in each state.“These were all conversations the Santorum campaign didn’t have last time,” the aide said, adding the group also went into how to maximize Santorum himself, discussing how to best prepare for debates and what schedule is best for him on the campaign trail.The aide said Santorum won’t make a final decision on a bid until later in the spring.Among the participants who made presentations at the planning meeting were a small group of senior staff and family including John Brabender, Santorum’s longtime senior political advisor who ran his 2012 campaign, Santorum's former Capitol Hill chief of staff Mark Rodgers, 2012 Finance Director Nadine Maenza, Rob Bickhart, who is the current finance director of Santorum’s PAC Patriot Voices and the former RNC finance director, longtime friend and advisor who traveled with Santorum in 2012 Greg Rothman, and communications aides Matt Beynon and Virginia Davis.Santorum’s wife Karen and several of his children were also in attendance at the meeting held in Leesburg, Virginia. The former Pennsylvania senator’s two eldest children Elizabeth and John took time off from college to help out their father’s campaign last time around and this meeting indicates the family will also be very involved if he runs again. No donors were in attendance.When asked about the meeting, Beynon said Santorum and his wife “continue to seriously consider a run for the presidency in 2016,” adding Santorum is “very concerned with the direction our nation is heading, specifically what the future holds for the countless hard-working American families that have seen their wages stagnant, job opportunities dwindle, and a society that has counted them out.”In 2012, Santorum tried to appeal to working-class voters, stressing American manufacturing, and Beynon’s comments make it clear the candidate would focus on that strategy once again. Santorum is one of the only possible 2016 GOP candidates to call for an increase in the minimum wage (Mitt Romney has as well). But, in his last campaign that message targeting blue-collar voters was often overshadowed by his socially conservative platform.Beynon added that Wednesday’s meeting is “another step in his decision-making process,” saying he has been “encouraged by the outpouring of support and encouragement he has received from old, new, and returning supporters.”Wednesday’s session follows other meetings Santorum has held over the past two weeks in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C., with supporters, friends, aides and donors. Santorum’s biggest donor in the last cycle, Foster Friess, also held a retreat last weekend in Scottsdale, Arizona, for Santorum with potential donors and supporters. Friess has made it clear he would also financially support a second Santorum campaign, and a Santorum aide described that retreat as both “positive” and “encouraging” leading to Wednesday’s meeting.Santorum won 11 primaries and caucuses in 2012, including the Iowa caucuses. It was an insurgent underdog campaign beating Romney in some states with a shoestring budget, but the field this time could be very different with other possible conservative candidates like former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former neurosurgeon and conservative favorite Ben Carson, and Sen. Ted Cruz also making moves toward possible runs as well.

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Boehner Not ‘Poking Anyone in the Eye’ by Inviting Israeli PM to Speak to Congress

Boehner Not ‘Poking Anyone in the Eye’ by Inviting Israeli PM to Speak to Congress

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- House Speaker John Boehner said on Wednesday that he didn't think he was "poking anyone in the eye" when he invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak in front of Congress next month.Earlier in the day, the Ohio Republican said in a statement that he would ask Netanyahu "to address Congress on the grave threats radical Islam and Iran pose to our security and way of life." Boehner's decision to invite Netanyahu was based in part on the fact that "Americans and Israelis have always stood together in shared cause and common ideals, and now we must rise to the moment again."White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest had no comment on the invitation, saying that judgment would wait until the White House spoke with the prime minister. Typically, Earnest suggested, the leader of one country would contact the leader of another before traveling. This invitation, he added, "seems to be a departure from that protocol."Boehner admitted that he didn't consult the White House on the invitation. "The Congress can make this decision on its own," the speaker said. "I don't believe I'm poking anyone in the eye.""There is a serious threat that exists in the world and the president, last night, kind of papered over it," Boehner claimed. "The fact is, is there needs to be a more serious conversation in America about how serious the threat is from radical Islamic jihadists and the threat posed by Iran."

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Sen. Harry Reid to Undergo Surgery on Right Eye Next Week

Sen. Harry Reid to Undergo Surgery on Right Eye Next Week

Harry Reid / Twitter(WASHINGTON) -- Sen. Harry Reid will undergo surgery on his right eye next week in order to help recover full vision following an exercise accident earlier this month.Kristen Orthman, deputy communications director for Reid, released a statement Wednesday calling the surgery a "necessary step." Reid learned of the need for the procedure on Tuesday. "Senator Reid is expected to be released from the hospital quickly following the surgery but under doctor's orders to minimize strain in his right eye, he will have to work from his DC home next week," the statement read. Reid also suffered broken ribs in the exercise accident, which are reportedly healing well.

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Republicans to Female Candidates: Stop Saying You Like to Compromise

Republicans to Female Candidates: Stop Saying You Like to Compromise

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Republican women candidates must fight the perception that they are more moderate than male primary opponents simply because they are female, a group of pollsters and Republican leaders said Wednesday morning.One of the most effective ways women can do this is to downplay attributes typically associated with females, including a penchant for compromise, they said.Unveiling a report sponsored by the group Political Parity, which seeks to increase the number of women in state and federal government, pollster Nicole McClosky of Public Opinion Strategies, a Republican firm that conducted the research, said the perception that women are less conservative harms their chances in Republican primaries.“Their voting records are as conservative as any man, yet there is a lingering perception that perhaps women candidates are more moderate,” McClosky said.Besides being seen as more willing to compromise, McClosky added, her research showed that voters tend to view women candidates as “compassionate” and “creative,” whereas male candidates evoke very different characteristics."Men have cornered the market on arrogance and stubbornness," she said, to laughter.In order to counteract these preconceptions, said Matt Walter, president of the Republican State Leadership Committee, female candidates should accentuate qualities more welcome in the current Republican Party political atmosphere.“Being willing to compromise has less of appeal in a Republican primary. The ability to create solutions, which is the ultimate motivating factor behind that compromise, is what really resonates with people,” Walter said.And the ability to successfully articulate one’s message starts with raising enough money -- something with which women frequently struggle more than men, said Sharon Day, co-chair of the Republican National Committee.“Men will walk in and ask for the full boat, all the money. And they’ll go to the women candidate, they’ll give you a $500 check and she’ll say thank you very much and leave,” she said. “You have to be able to raise the money to get your message heard."

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Senators Criticize Obama Administration over Iran Nuke Talks

Senators Criticize Obama Administration over Iran Nuke Talks

Wavebreak Media/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Republican and Democratic senators grilled top Obama administration officials at a Senate Foreign Relations hearing Wednesday over progress in nuclear negotiations with Iran and whether Congress should approve a new round of sanctions before current talks conclude. Sen. Bob Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued some of the harshest criticism against the administration, saying the White House is basically acting as a mouthpiece for the Iranian regime as it urges Congress not to authorize new sanctions while negotiations are ongoing.“The more I hear from the administration and its quotes, the more it sounds like talking points that come straight out of Tehran,” Menendez, D-N.J., said. “It feeds to the Iranian narrative of victimization when they are the ones with original sin -- an illicit nuclear weapons program going back over the course of twenty years they are unwilling to come clean on.”Last week, Menendez reportedly told President Obama he was personally offended by his request for senators to hold off on sanctions against Iran. Menendez and Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., are readying legislation that would implement new sanctions against Iran only if a deal is not reached by the currently stated July deadline.  Sen. Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is working on separate legislation that would give Congress the authority to approve or reject any deal reached in negotiations. Corker, R-Tenn., said he has spoken with British Prime Minister David Cameron and negotiators from France, the United Kingdom and the European Union, and no one has expressed concern with the U.S. Congress weighing in on the final deal.“I have met no one who believes that U.S. weighing in would do anything to destabilize these negotiations. As a matter of fact, many have said knowing that Congress has to approve the deal would be a great backstop for the administration to strengthen their hand,” Corker said. The two administration officials testifying at Wednesday’s hearing -- Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken and David Cohen, the under secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence at the Treasury Department -- both said approving a new round of sanctions now could potentially threaten the negotiations currently taking place with Iran.“Because of the scope and intensity of the sanctions Iran currently is subject to, and because of the economic pressure those sanctions continue to apply, Iran is negotiating with its back against the wall,” Cohen, the Treasury Department’s top sanctions official, said. “Accordingly, we see no compelling reason to impose new sanctions now, even on a delayed trigger. Indeed, we think new sanctions legislation is more likely to be counterproductive than helpful in the negotiations.”

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Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz Has Internet-Famous Hair

Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz Has Internet-Famous Hair

Pete Souza / The White House(WASHINGTON) -- Have you ever heard of Ernest Moniz? If you haven't, you need to know at least one thing about the U.S. Secretary of Energy: His hair is now-Internet famous.Moniz didn't even attend last year's State of the Union address -- he was the "designated survivor" (the cabinet official sent to a secure location just in case disaster were to strike the U.S. Capitol). But this year, the former MIT physics professor turned top government official showed up, sporting his unusual Colonial-style hair.Users have compared him to Benjamin Franklin, Mr. Bean, and Javier Bardem. The list -- and the memes -- go on and on."If it gets people interested in the Department of Energy, that's good," Moniz told The Boston Globe in an interview last year.

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Michelle Obama Shakes, Shimmies and Twirls with Mini Cats in the Hats

Michelle Obama Shakes, Shimmies and Twirls with Mini Cats in the Hats

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- First lady Michelle Obama found some new exercise partners on Wednesday that you may have heard of: Thing 1, Thing 2 and The Cat in the Hat.In an effort to educate kids about the importance of staying active, the first lady welcomed the famous Dr. Seuss characters and mini Cats in the Hat -- A.K.A. local school students -- to jump, shimmy and shake with her at the White House.After a spirited reading of Oh, The Things You Can Do That Are Good for You: All About Staying Healthy, Mrs. Obama ran the kids through a series of short, silly exercises. “Let’s go… Show me what you got!” she said, as she took to her feet in the East Room of the White House.The first lady showed them how easy it can be to exercise, as the group pretended to brush their teeth, walk their dog and swim. “Knees up, knees up, knees up!” she yelled, as the kids ran in place, their stripped hats bobbing up and down.Then came a brief round of limbo and freeze dance followed by some enthusiastic shaking.“Shake it up, shake it up,” the first lady said as the kids wiggled and wobbled.  “Shake harder than that!”  “Wait, don’t hurt yourself,” she said.

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