- Power Players14 hrs ago
The Fine Print
Rick Santorum is not shy about discussing his presidential ambitions.
“I'm certainly open to it,” the former Republican presidential candidate and Pennsylvania senator told “The Fine Print” during an interview following his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference.
Santorum, who next month will publish a new book “Blue Collar Conservatives: Recommitting to an America that Works,” said the GOP has fallen short in connecting with working-class Americans.
“I think if you look at where we've dropped the ball is that we haven't connected to people who are struggling in America today,” Santorum said, arguing this is the reason Republicans failed to reclaim the White House in the 2012 election.
“We didn't have any policies or even a campaign targeted toward talking to them where they are and letting them understand how we can help them get to where they're going,” he said. “We're different than the Democrats. We're not going to pay you to move you up the ladder. We're going to give you the opportunity to work and encourage a healthy community.”
- Power Players1 day ago
The Fine Print
With one of the biggest Republican gatherings of the year in full swing at the Conservative Political Action Conference, a group of Democratic operatives in Washington is fighting back -- waging a full-out public relations war to counter CPAC.
“We are kind of the central apparatus for tracking and research, really, on the progressive side. And so at an event like CPAC, we put our resources to work,” said American Bridge PAC president Brad Woodhouse, speaking to “The Fine Print” during a rare tour of the Democratic group’s so-called war room.
The room is filled with rows of desks equipped with double-monitor computer screens, which a group of about 40 Democratic operatives are using to monitor and fact-check speeches at CPAC as they happen, issue rapid responses, and monitor the media and social networking sites.
“Over here, we have people who are monitoring. Today they're monitoring CPAC,” Woodhouse said, as he pointed to people working around the room. “They're monitoring tweets, they're monitoring news coverage [and] they’re looking at transcripts.”
- Power Players3 days ago
The Fine Print
Rep. Michele Bachmann is “sorry” that Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed a controversial bill in Arizona that would have allowed businesses to legally refuse service to same-sex couples because of religious objections.
“I believe that tolerance is a two-way street, and we need to respect everyone's rights, including the rights of people who have sincerely held religious beliefs,” Bachmann, a Minnesota Republican told “The Fine Print.”
Many prominent Republicans, including former Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Sen. John McCain of Arizona have backed Brewer’s decision to veto the bill, but the tea party leader said they are wrong on this issue.
“Religious liberties and the protection of our religious liberties is right,” she said. “Right now, there's a terrible intolerance afoot in the United States, and it's against people who hold sincerely held religious beliefs.”
- Power Players4 days ago
It has been a winter of massive pile-ups, and many of the accidents have been caused by simple mistakes. So, what should you do if you find yourself driving in dangerous winter conditions?
In this special edition of “Power Players,” we take you on a spin around Ford’s winter driving test track to get some answers on how to stay safe behind the wheel.
Ford test engineer Phil Couture demonstrated one of the most effective and simple tips: If you need to avoid an accident ahead, look where you want to steer the car instead of at the accident. Your steering wheel will follow your eyes.
It can get a little trickier, however, if you unexpectedly drive on to some black ice, since it is not usually visible to a driver and can cause you to overreact.
“What happens is you’re not expecting it, when you hit that black ice typically your wheels tend to spin up,” Couture said. “You’ll notice loss of steering control; people try to respond to that by steering the vehicle but there’s no traction because you’re on ice.”
- Power Players5 days ago
On the Radar
Ben Affleck certainly isn’t the first celebrity to advocate for a good cause, but the Hollywood actor and director has managed to maintain an uncommon level of credibility and expertise on the two-decades-long conflict in the Congo that has resulted in the deaths of more than 5 million people.
Affleck, who has founded an advocacy and development organization for Eastern Congo and has traveled to the region extensively, testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last week and sat down with “On the Radar” to make his case for why the United States should invest greater resources to solving the conflict.
“This is who we are as Americans,” Affleck said. “We believe in helping others who are down, who are suffering. … We've been involved in several conflicts overseas, conflicts that may have sapped some of our will, and we've become, perhaps, a bit disillusioned with engaging overseas, but I don't think that we should give up on our core values.”
- Power Players9 days ago
Before she teamed up with Shonda Rhimes to produce the hit ABC television show “Scandal,” Judy Smith kept such a low profile that she didn’t even have business cards or a website for her crisis management consulting firm.
But today, Smith is firmly in the limelight as the inspiration for the show’s main character, Olivia Pope, played by actress Kerry Washington, and told “Politics Confidential” that despite the show’s often far-fetched and very fictionalized plots, Washington has accurately captured the essence of the real-life Olivia Pope.
“She does an incredible job,” said Smith, the co-executive producer of “Scandal.” “You want the character, for me, to be someone strong, someone who is very strategic and smart, at the top of her game, and someone who is very passionate about their work and very compassionate toward their clients.”
Smith, true to Olivia Pope style, wore her iconic white coat to her interview with “Politics Confidential” and walked in a fast-paced strut similar to the character. She added that the quick and curt style of office politics at the fictionalized Pope & Associates also has basis in reality.
- Power Players10 days ago
The Fine Print
Alison Lundergan Grimes was only in the first grade when Mitch McConnell was first elected to the U.S. Senate in Kentucky, but now, the 35-year-old Democrat is hoping to unseat the Senate Minority Leader.
And she’s doing it with the help of an old family pal: Bill Clinton.
“President Clinton is a friend, a mentor and an adviser,” Grimes told “The Fine Print” in Kentucky. “He's someone who has literally seen me grow up since I was 14 years old.”
Clinton hit the campaign trail yesterday to pitch for Grimes, telling the audience at a 1,200 people sold-out fundraiser that “it makes a big difference” if she wins in November.
Grimes’ father, former state legislator and Kentucky Democratic Party chairman Jerry Lundergan, has been a long-time supporter of the Clintons, helping to lay the groundwork for both Bill and Hillary Clinton’s respective presidential campaigns in Kentucky. A photograph of 14-year-old Grimes presenting a bouquet of roses to President Clinton at his 1993 presidential inaugural festivities serves as further evidence of the long-standing bond.
- Power Players11 days ago
On the Radar
Nearly 13 years after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, that terrible day continues to shape the work of President George W. Bush.
The former president sat down exclusively with “On the Radar” to discuss his new Military Service Initiative to help post-9/11 veterans integrate back into the workplace. And he grew emotional remembering the attacks and the nation’s response.
“I don't think about the day as much as I used to,” Bush said. “I think about the circumstances that enabled and encouraged kids to attack us, and I think about the decisions that need to be made to protect the homeland a lot. I really think about our vets a lot. I mean, I've developed a kinship with a remarkable group of people.”
Bush said he takes inspiration today from the resilience of hundreds of veterans he’s met over the years who’ve overcome post-war trauma and injuries to lead productive lives. He pointed to the example of Dan Gade, a veteran who resolved to conquer his handicap as a one-legged amputee so that he could once again play Legos with his young daughter. Gade has since been able to ride a mountain bike alongside the former president.
- Power Players15 days ago
The 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet has over 8 million Twitter followers, but he confesses he has never personally tweeted, explaining with his characteristic laugh that his fingers aren’t well-equipped for such modern technology. But he has no problem summing up the answer to happiness in 140 characters or less.
“More compassionate mind, more sense of concern for other's well-being, is source of happiness,” he said during a rare interview with “Politics Confidential” when asked how to sum up his philosophy for happiness in the form of a tweet.
Self-centered attitudes, he said, are at the root of unhappiness and human suffering.
“Too much self-centered attitude, you see, brings, you see, isolation,” he said. “Result: loneliness, fear, anger. The extreme self-centered attitude is the source of suffering.”
- Power Players16 days ago
When it comes to Hillary Clinton, the question no longer seems to be will she run for president but when will she announce. But as the insistent chatter grows louder about an assumed presidential campaign, so too have the echoes from the scandals of the Clintons’ past.
The authors of the new book “HRC,” which traces Clinton’s ascendance from defeated 2008 candidate to the presumptive Democratic frontrunner, told “Top Line” that the skeletons of the Clintons’ past, and the Monica Lewinsky scandal in particular, are unlikely to pose a true obstacle to Hillary if she does in fact run in 2016.
“President Clinton's and Hillary Clinton's approval ratings shot up during the Monica Lewinsky affair,” co-author Jonathan Allen said. “I think it's one of the reasons you see Karl Rove and some of the other folks in the establishment to stay away from that, because it didn't help Republicans in the 1990s.”