Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call(WASHINGTON) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie continued to bash the media Thursday at the Conservative Political Action Conference, playing into a popular topic among the activists in the crowd, saying “elite folks from the media” cover him “every day.”

“Understand where I come from every day,” Christie told radio talk show host Laura Ingraham in a question-and-answer session in National Harbor, Maryland, after she asked him about the “onslaught” of negative news stories about him recently.

As the governor of New Jersey, Christie told her he has reporters from The New York Times covering him every day, and accused journalists of taking sides on issues he has stood up against.

“When you do things like I’ve done in New Jersey, take on a lot of these special interests that they support they just want to kill you and that’s what they tried to do to me every day and here’s the bad news for them, here I am and I’m still standing,” Christie, 52, said.

The governor added he will “continue to do what matters more,” which is “knowing how to fight for the people for my state and I don’t care what they write about me in the New York Times. I don’t subscribe, by the way,” getting cheers from the audience.

Christie even mentioned the newspaper in a somewhat veiled attack against a possible GOP rival, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. Christie said the “reason why the New York Times writes awful things about me is because every time I read something they disagree with I don’t change my mind, I stick with where I’ve been.”

“So when you are pro-life in 2009, you don’t cut a commercial four years later because the New York Times doesn’t like it and say you are less than that,” Christie said, referring to Walker’s anti-abortion rights position, which he softened publicly last year in a gubernatorial re-election ad saying he would leave “the final decision to a woman and her doctor.”

This is the second day in a row Christie has taken on the media, specifically The New York Times, possibly laying out a theme that tends to be popular with the conservative primary voting base and something he can return to in a 2016 stump speech.

On his monthly radio call-in show, Ask the Governor, he was asked Wednesday night about his rough trip to the United Kingdom earlier this month. He blamed the bad headlines on “the national media following you around trying to justify their airfare going over there.”

As for his famously tough-talking style, Ingraham asked him about negative words used to describe him, including “explosive” and a “hothead” and whether that temperament works for the president of the United States. Christie answered “the word they missed is passionate.”

Ingraham countered by asking whether “sit down and shut up” is really necessary, referring to Christie’s famous line he used after being heckled by an activist in October.

Christie didn’t hesitate: “Sometimes people need to be told to sit down and shut up.”

He then said the same sentiment should be directed at the Obama administration.

“Quite frankly Laura, some more of that stuff should be happening in Washington, D.C., because there is so much ridiculous stuff,” Christie said. “Especially out of the White House someone should say it’s time to shut up.”

Ingraham also asked Christie about tough primary competition he is likely to go up against if he gets into the 2016 race for the White House, including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and Christie said don’t count him out.

“I’ll take my chances on me, I’ve done pretty well so far,” he said.

He even ended his session with another jab at The New York Times when Ingraham asked Christie, a Catholic, what he gave up for Lent. Christie said he went to his priest and told him. “I’m giving the New York Times up for Lent.” He got more cheers from the audience, but told them “don’t cheer, it’s bad news.”

He said his priest answered, “Chris, you have to give up something you’ll actually miss.”

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather Read More →

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call(WASHINGTON) — Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett Packard CEO, is positioning herself as the anti-Hillary Clinton candidate, going after the likely Democratic presidential candidate in her speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference Thursday, hitting her for accepting donations from foreign countries to her foundation.

In her address, Fiorina called on Clinton to “please explain why we should accept that the millions and millions of dollars that have flowed into the Clinton Foundation from foreign governments doesn’t represent a conflict of interest.”

The Washington Post reported last week that the Clinton Foundation began taking foreign donations after Clinton finished her time as Secretary of State, but it reported Wednesday that the group also accepted millions of dollars from seven foreign governments during her tenure as head of the State Department.

“She tweets about women’s rights in this country and takes money from governments that deny women the most basic human rights,” Fiorina said. “She tweets about equal pay for women but won’t answer basic questions about her own offices’ pay standards — and neither will our president. Hillary likes hashtags. But she doesn’t know what leadership means.”

This is not the first time Fiorina, who has said she is considering a 2016 presidential bid, has directly gone after Clinton. At the Iowa Freedom Summit last month she compared her record to Clinton’s, something she repeated again in her speech Thursday.

“Like Hillary Clinton, I too have traveled thousands of miles around the globe, but unlike her, I’ve actually accomplished something,” she said last month, but made a similar remark at CPAC. “You see Mrs. Clinton, flying is not an accomplishment. It is an activity.”

All of the possible GOP candidates jab Clinton in their speeches, interviews, and even on social media on a regular basis, but Fiorina is the only one of that group of likely candidates who, like Clinton, is also a woman.

At the end of Fiorina’s speech, she did a question and answer session and got in one more jab at Clinton when asked about the importance of female candidates, saying, “I will say this, if Hillary Clinton had to face me on a debate stage, at the very least she would have a hitch in her swing.”

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather Read More →

Andrew Harnik for The Washington Post via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Nearly four months after Loretta Lynch was first nominated to be the next attorney general, the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday approved Lynch’s nomination to be Attorney General with a vote of 12-8.

Three Republicans — Sens. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, and Orrin Hatch, R-Utah — joined all Democrats on the committee in supporting Lynch’s nomination.

Lynch’s nomination will now proceed to a vote by the full Senate, where Republicans like Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, have vowed to use all time possible to debate her nomination.

Lynch’s nomination, which Republicans have tried to use as a tool to fight President Obama’s immigration actions, may benefit from Senate Democrat’s decision to go nuclear last year — a move that requires only 51 votes to invoke cloture on all of the president’s nominees, except Supreme Court justices.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather Read More →

Caleb Smith/Office of the Speaker(WASHINGTON) — The top two Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill, Sen. Harry Reid and Rep. Nancy Pelosi, sharply criticized Republicans for tactics they said threatened to endanger the nation’s safety. At a joint press conference, they said Democrats would not support a short-term bill to keep the Department of Homeland Security funded.

“ISIS appears to have money. Terrorists appear to have money. Why shouldn’t our homeland have the ability to protect itself?” Reid, D-Nevada, told reporters Thursday. “This is like living in a world of crazy people.”

Pelosi said it was wrong to ask tens of thousands of homeland security workers — border officers, secret service agents, and others — to work without a paycheck as Congress failed to do its job.

“I think most everybody I know cannot live without having their paycheck on time — members of Congress even,” Pelosi, D-California, said. “And yet, they’re asking this Debarment of Homeland Security people to do that.”

She added: “The gamesmanship should end.”

Even though the Senate cleared a filibuster to advance towards a clean DHS funding bill, House Speaker John Boehner still has not signaled how he would receive such legislation once it’s sent to the lower chamber.

“I don’t know what the Senate can produce or what they can’t produce,” Boehner, R-Ohio, said. “If they produce something, we’ll decide what we’re going to do after we see it.”

While Republicans are being slammed for holding the funding hostage in order to block the president’s executive actions on Immigration, Boehner sees it the other way around.

“I just think it’s outrageous that Senate Democrats are using Homeland Security funding for blackmail to protect the actions of the president, where the president himself said he didn’t have the authority to do this,” Boehner said. “The president said 22 times that he did not have the authority to make these changes in law. And yet he did it anyway. The Congress of the United States cannot look the other way and act like it didn’t happen.”

After being repeatedly asked about what he’d do next if the senate sends a clean DHS bill, Boehner puckered up and blew several kisses to a male reporter.

“When we make decisions, I’ll let you know,” Boehner said through a chorus of laughter. “That’s just a kiss, that’s all.”

While the standoff is the first true test of the new Republican leadership’s ability to work with each other, Boehner seems intent not to buckle even though the funding lapses Friday night.

“We have two different institutions that don’t have the same body temperature every day, and so, you know, we tend to try to work to narrow the differences,” Boehner said. “But sometimes there are differences. You know, the House, by nature and by design, is a hell of a lot more rambunctious place than the Senate — much more.”

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather Read More →

Caleb Smith/Office of the Speaker(WASHINGTON) — The top two Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill, Sen. Harry Reid and Rep. Nancy Pelosi, sharply criticized Republicans for tactics they said threatened to endanger the nation’s safety. At a joint press conference, they said Democrats would not support a short-term bill to keep the Department of Homeland Security funded.

“ISIS appears to have money. Terrorists appear to have money. Why shouldn’t our homeland have the ability to protect itself?” Reid, D-Nevada, told reporters Thursday. “This is like living in a world of crazy people.”

Pelosi said it was wrong to ask tens of thousands of homeland security workers — border officers, secret service agents, and others — to work without a paycheck as Congress failed to do its job.

“I think most everybody I know cannot live without having their paycheck on time — members of Congress even,” Pelosi, D-California, said. “And yet, they’re asking this Debarment of Homeland Security people to do that.”

She added: “The gamesmanship should end.”

Even though the Senate cleared a filibuster to advance towards a clean DHS funding bill, House Speaker John Boehner still has not signaled how he would receive such legislation once it’s sent to the lower chamber.

“I don’t know what the Senate can produce or what they can’t produce,” Boehner, R-Ohio, said. “If they produce something, we’ll decide what we’re going to do after we see it.”

While Republicans are being slammed for holding the funding hostage in order to block the president’s executive actions on Immigration, Boehner sees it the other way around.

“I just think it’s outrageous that Senate Democrats are using Homeland Security funding for blackmail to protect the actions of the president, where the president himself said he didn’t have the authority to do this,” Boehner said. “The president said 22 times that he did not have the authority to make these changes in law. And yet he did it anyway. The Congress of the United States cannot look the other way and act like it didn’t happen.”

After being repeatedly asked about what he’d do next if the senate sends a clean DHS bill, Boehner puckered up and blew several kisses to a male reporter.

“When we make decisions, I’ll let you know,” Boehner said through a chorus of laughter. “That’s just a kiss, that’s all.”

While the standoff is the first true test of the new Republican leadership’s ability to work with each other, Boehner seems intent not to buckle even though the funding lapses Friday night.

“We have two different institutions that don’t have the same body temperature every day, and so, you know, we tend to try to work to narrow the differences,” Boehner said. “But sometimes there are differences. You know, the House, by nature and by design, is a hell of a lot more rambunctious place than the Senate — much more.”

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather Read More →

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Wearing sunglasses indoors may be the new craze on Capitol Hill.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi walked into a news conference on DHS funding Thursday morning and threw on some sunglasses in solidarity with Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid.

“I brought my glasses to be with Harry but he switched on me,” Pelosi said to laughs from reporters.

“I tricked her,” Reid answered.

Earlier this week, Reid debuted some dark sunglasses to cover up an injury sustained to his right eye while exercising earlier this year.

But Thursday, Reid went with a different set of specs — dark rimmed glasses with a shaded lens covering his right eye.

Harry Reid’s latest selection in eye wear as his injured eye heals pic.twitter.com/DViHRPgg4y

— Arlette Saenz (@ArletteSaenz) February 26, 2015

Reid has undergone two surgeries to help restore vision in his right eye.

“I can see out of my right eye just not very well, and it hasn’t healed,” Reid told reporters on Tuesday. “I have to be a patient.”

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather Read More →

Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call(WASHINGTON) — Leading off the Conservative Politican Action Conference in Washington on Thursday, Dr. Ben Carson, a Republican candidate for 2016, called on conservative activists to help invigorate the party’s base.

“Go to your grandmother who’s an invalid and make sure she has an absentee ballot,” Carson urged. “Help her fill it out. The baton is ours.”

“Freedom is not free,” Carson added. “It must be fought for.”

The event will feature numerous potential presidential candidates over three days — including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather Read More →

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Secretary of State John Kerry Wednesday delivered a sharp criticism of an important U.S. ally even as he refused to directly comment about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s upcoming speech to Congress on March 3.

Kerry, who was testifying before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said that Netanyahu’s judgment about ongoing talks to limit Iran’s nuclear capabilities “may not be correct here.”

Netanyahu is expected to deliver a stinging rebuke of the negotiations with Tehran during his address to lawmakers. House Speaker John Boehner invited the Israeli leader to speak without first consulting the White House, which administration officials are privately furious about.

GOP lawmakers and some Democrats have sided with Netanyahu, insisting that Iran can’t be trusted to stop their alleged effort to build nuclear weapons, which would threaten Israel’s survival. They charge that Tehran is dragging out talks deliberately and has no intention of ever giving up its nuclear program.

California Republican Congressman Ed Royce, the committee’s chairman, brought up these concerns to Kerry, who agreed that Iran should not keep stonewalling United Nations inspectors about previous work in trying to construct an atomic bomb.

The U.S. and the rest of the P5+1 have set a March 31 deadline to come up with an agreement that would put sharp restrictions of Iran’s nuclear program for a decade in exchange for the lifting of some sanctions that have crippled its economy.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather Read More →

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — “Am I supposed to applaud you for poking round in my things?”

Those are the wise words spoken by head maid Anna May Bates of television’s Downton Abbey, a statement that could also apply to the latest episode in the real-life dramatic series of Rep. Aaron Schock, R-IL.

Schock, who has come under fire for lavish spending on office décor, as well as pricey travel habits, has hired a team of lawyers from the Washington, D.C., firm Jones Day. He has also hired a public relations firm, Singer Bonjean Strategies, headed by communications operatives Ron Bonjean and Brian Walsh — both veteran congressional aides — to help the congressman respond to his recent troubles.

A spokesperson for Schock confirmed the news on Wednesday, which was first reported by Politico, to ABC News.

“After questions were first raised in the press, Congressman Schock took the proactive step of assembling a team to review the compliance procedures in his official office, campaign and leadership PAC to determine whether they can be improved,” the spokesperson said. “To lead the review, he hired William McGinley and Don McGahn of Jones Day.

“Congressman Schock takes his compliance obligations seriously which is why he took this proactive step to review these procedures. Congressman Schock has a well-deserved outstanding reputation for constituent service and remains steadfastly focused on serving the people in Illinois’ 18th congressional district during this review.”

Schock’s troubles first began when The Washington Post ran an article revealing the congressman’s office in the Rayburn House Office Building was modeled after the red room in the famed period television series Downton Abbey.

Schock is already under investigation by the House Ethics Committee for allegedly soliciting contributions for an independent expenditure-only political committee in excess of $5,000 per donor, in violation of federal law, House rules, and standards of conduct.

The Committee on Ethics continues to gather information necessary to complete its review.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather Read More →

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — In the latest rhetorical salvo over funding for the Department of Homeland Security, Secretary Jeh Johnson stood shoulder to shoulder Wednesday with two of his Republican predecessors, Tom Ridge and Michael Chertoff, blasting Congress for threatening funding for the department.

While former secretary Ridge expressed his strong opposition to President Obama’s executive order on immigration, saying the president “has gravely overstepped his constitutional authority,” he was equally blunt in his assessment of Congress.

“I don’t think we right that wrong on the backs of the patriots that go to work every day and provide safety and security every day at the Department of Homeland Security. They [Republicans in Congress] may not like what has transpired, but the solution that they seek, in my judgment, is unfortunate, from a policy point of view it’s wrong, it’s folly,” Ridge said.

Ridge said DHS workers are improperly being caught up in the policy debate over immigration. “You don’t elevate the debate and you don’t send a message by refusing to compensate the men and women who go to work every single day in a uniform of public service, when their mission is frankly to keep us safe and secure.”

Former DHS Secretary Chertoff was similarly blunt, accusing the Congress of holding the DHS hostage in an act of political gamesmanship.

“What I don’t think makes sense is to hold the entire set of operations at the Department of Homeland Security in abeyance, as a hostage as the legislative branch starts to play a game of chicken with the president,” Chertoff said.

Despite the tough talk, current secretary Jeh Johnson expressed optimism that an agreement could be worked out before the Friday deadline passes and forces furloughs and suspended operations and pay stoppages for the department’s employees.

“I remain optimistic that Congress is going to work this out, but we have to plan, we have to prepare,” Johnson said. “We’re talking about working men and women here,” Johnson said about the prospect of his department’s employees working without pay. “They are entitled to know what the status of negotiations are in Congress are because their paychecks hang in the balance,” Johnson added.

Secretary Johnson told reporters about FEMA director Craig Fugate’s emotional reaction to the prospect of a DHS shutdown. “I feel as though my people are being treated as pawns, as though they don’t matter,” he said.

DHS has already begun the process of informing people who would be furloughed if the impasse is not resolved.

All this occurs with the backdrop of a more challenged security environment in the homeland, due in large part to the instability in Syria and Iraq, the Arabian Peninsula and North Africa.

“The breadth and the depth of the threat streams and threats directed to the United States of America today, in 2015, in my judgment, are greater and more complex than as of September 12, 2001. That’s a fact of life,” Ridge said.

Ridge said for him and the other secretaries who have led the department, it has become personal. “I want somebody up on the Hill, as much as I disagree with the president, to look into the eyes of that man on horseback or on an ATV on the southern border, or look in the eyes of that Coastie who is just being dropped in 30-foot waves to rescue some crab fisherman outside of Alaska. I want you to look in their eyes and say, ‘Well we appreciate what you do, but we don’t appreciate it enough to fund you. So it becomes very personal for…the four secretaries.”

While former DHS secretary Janet Napolitano was not in attendance at the briefing, she said in a statement that she stands with her colleagues in support of the passage of a clean DHS funding bill.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather Read More →