May 19th, 2014
09:26 PM ET

Karl Rove doubles down on Hillary Clinton brain damage attack

Republican Strategist Karl Rove is doubling down on his reported comments, suggesting Hillary Clinton may have suffered lasting brain damage after a fall two years ago.

Karl Rove stands by his Hillary Clinton comments, says Bill Clinton backs him up

"Her husband told us something the other day we didn’t know: It took her six months to get back," Rove said on “Fox News Sunday.”

Republicans say her health is a legitimate concern.

"Health and age is fair game." Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus says, "It's fair game for Ronald Reagan. It's fair game for John McCain."

Rove's attack on Hillary Clinton was clumsy, but also shrewd

Outfront, CNN Political Analyst Maggie Haberman and CNN political commentators Sally Kohn and Margaret Hoover.

View my Flipboard Magazine.

Filed under: GOP • Hillary Clinton • News • Politics
March 6th, 2014
08:16 PM ET

GOP preaches to the base at CPAC: "I don't see this great divide," Ryan says

Where did the Republican party gone wrong?

A lot of different theories from a lot of big name Republicans at the Conservative Political Action Conference or CPAC - the largest annual gathering of conservative leaders and activists.

Here are a few:

"We have to stop letting the media define who we are and what we stand for," Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) said.

CPAC: 'Republican leaders preach the gospel to the faithful'

"Conservatives can't afford or expect to win elections by default. We need to win elections with a mandate," Sen. Mike Lee (R-TX) said.

"We put our head down, we stood for nothing and we got walloped." Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said.

"The way the left tells it, the Republican Party's in this big massive civil war. It's Tea Party versus establishment versus libertarians vs social conservatives. There's infighting, conflict, backbiting, discord. Look, I'm Irish. That's my idea of a family reunion. I don't see this great divide in our party. What I see is a vibrant debate," Paul Ryan said.

OutFront: CNN Political Commentators Cornell Belcher and Ana Navarro.

Filed under: GOP • News • Tea Party
February 26th, 2014
10:31 PM ET

House GOP takes on the rich with tax reform plan

The GOP is taking on wall street.

Republicans want to close one of the most ridiculous tax loopholes in America known as "carried interest."

As part of a major tax code overhaul, Republican House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp said Wednesday he will close a loophole that has netted the top Americans billions of dollars.

Whose benefited?

People like:

  • Stephen Schwarzman from Blackstone - worth $7.7 billion.
  • Henry Kravis from KKR, another private equity firm - worth $4.7 billion.
  • John Doerr from Kleiner Perkins - worth $2.9 billion.

According to the Joint Committee on Taxation, they would pay billions of dollars over the next decade if the loophole was closed.

At a time when every dollar counts, some would there'd be celebration on Capitol Hill.

But Republicans and Democrats have been afraid of challenging these business titans and their lobbyists.

House Speaker John Boehner was asked about carried interest on the Hill today. His response? "Blah, blah, blah," before going on to say the plan is "the beginning of [a] conversation" lawmakers need to have about tax reform.

President Obama is also guilty of caving to lobbyist pressure. He promised to close the loophole in 2007, and it's still wide open.

The loophole allows these people to pay half the taxes they would otherwise. They currently pay a tax rate of 20%, but their regular income tax rate would top out around 35% under Camp's plan.

Some loopholes make sense. Camp's plan has a few supporters, but not many.

Erin Burnett explains why:

When you're a partner in a private equity firm, you get a cut of the profits you make from investing other people's money. Usually, it's a 20 percent cut.

If you invest money with one of these men and your investment goes up in value, they get to keep a cut of the profits. Now, it's your money that was put at risk. While you get to pay the lower capital gains rate of 20% so do the guys, who simply manage your money. And their cut of the profits is a huge part of the money they earn.

Both parties get to pay the lower rate provided to Americans to encourage people to take risk - except it's not their money and it's not their risk.

They get to pay 20% on what is essentially their wages. Everyone else's wages are taxed at an ordinary income tax rate.

Burnett asks Michael Farr,  Author of "Restoring Our American Dream: The Best Investment," whether he thinks the tax reform will actually happen.

"What I'm hearing from my friend Greg Valliere at Potomac research is that the Republicans don't want to touch much of this a minute before they have to and certainly not before the mid-term election," says Farr. "I think something could happen but I think it's going to take a while."

Filed under: Economy • GOP • News • Politics • Tax Reform
February 24th, 2014
10:11 PM ET

Ted Nugent: "I'm stopping calling people names"

Erin Burnett highlights the reasons Ted Nugent's words have received so much attention.

Beyond being controversial, the rocker is politically vocal and highly influential. His support is seen as a big win for many GOP candidate, even those running for president.

During the 2012 election, Mitt Romney's son tweeted:

Last year, Nugent attended the State of the Union address as a guest of Texas Republican congressman Steve Stockman.

He's appeared with big name Republicans, including a performance at Texas Governor Rick Perry's 2007 inauguration.

I'm embarrassed by Ted Nugent

Nugent is also on the board of the National Rifle Association, a position voted on by some of the organization's 4 million members. He's also delivered speeches at their annual conventions.

On top of that, he's a multi-platinum selling recording artist.

The point is, Ted Nugent has a lot of ears.

He is OutFront.

Filed under: GOP • News • Politics • Ted Nugent
February 19th, 2014
10:45 PM ET

Ted Nugent under fire for calling Obama "subhuman mongrel": Should the GOP drop the rock star?

Rocker Ted Nugent, 65, hit the campaign trail Tuesday with Texas Republican gubernatorial nominee Greg Abbott, the state's current attorney general.

Abbott's opponents were quick to highlight Nugent's controversial comments.

"Greg Abbott’s embrace of Ted Nugent is an insult to every Texan — every man, woman, husband, and father. If this is Greg Abbott’s idea of values, it’s repulsive," said spokesman for State Senator and gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis.

Last month, Nugent called President Obama a "subhuman mongrel" in an interview with Guns.com.

"I have obviously failed to galvanize and prod, if not shame enough Americans to be ever vigilant not to let a Chicago communist-raised, communist-educated, communist-nurtured subhuman mongrel like the ACORN community organizer gangster Barack Hussein Obama to weasel his way into the top office of authority in the United States of America."

A senior Abbott aide defended their choice for campaign headliner, telling CNN their campaign invited the gun rights activist to help encourage voter turnout among the GOP base.

Abbott Statement:

"Ted Nugent is a forceful advocate for individual liberty and constitutional rights—especially the Second Amendment rights cherished by Texans. … While he may sometimes say things or use language that Greg Abbott would not endorse or agree with, we appreciate the support of everyone who supports protecting our Constitution."

CNN's Wolf Blitzer reported Tuesday on Nugent's use of the racially-loaded term "subhuman mongrel."

Blitzer noted it's a term Nazis called Jews to justify the genocide of the Jewish community.

Nugent attacked CNN and Blitzer with tweets saying:

"CNN Joseph Goebbells Saul Alinksy propaganda ministry mongrels."

"Wolf Blitzer is journalist; and I'm a gay pirate from Cuba."

OutFront: Conservative commentator Ben Ferguson and Democratic strategist Paul Begala.

Filed under: GOP • News • Politics
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