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Ear to the Ground

Biden Weighs In on Torture Report, Senators Face Backlash Over Vote, and More

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Posted on Apr 29, 2013

Full Disclosure: Vice President Joe Biden thinks the classified Senate Intelligence Committee report on the use of torture and enhanced interrogation by the United States should be made available to the public. “The internal debate that goes on in the Congress and in the White House is, do we go back and do we expose it? Do we lay out who was responsible and how we got to where we are?” Biden said at a recent forum in Arizona. “I think the only way you excise the demons is you acknowledge, you acknowledge exactly what happened straightforward.” In typical Biden fashion, those comments on the torture report were largely overshadowed by another blunt remark he made about how he and Barack Obama might not have won the 2008 presidential election if the economy hadn’t been so bad. That’s so Biden. (Read more)

Going Down: Five of the senators who voted against expanding backgrounds checks on guns have seen a precipitous decline in their poll numbers since the tally nearly two weeks ago. A Public Policy Polling survey looked at the favorability/unfavorability numbers of Sens. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., Mark Begich, D-Alaska, Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, Dean Heller, R-Nev., and Rob Portman, R-Ohio. In addition to the dropping numbers, Public Policy Polling also discovered that voters are less likely to cast their ballots for these senators when they’re up for re-election. From PPP: “Taken together these results make it pretty clear that this issue could be a serious liability for the Senators who opposed overwhelmingly popular background checks in the Senate vote earlier this month.” (Read more

In Center’s Court: The NBA’s Jason Collins made headlines Monday by becoming the first athlete in a major professional sport to come out as gay during his playing career, and he’s receiving some tremendous support from presidents past and present. After the release of the Sports Illustrated piece in which he courageously came out, the White House and Bill Clinton both delivered statements praising the veteran NBA center’s decision. “We view that as another example of the progress that has been made and the evolution that has been taking place in this country,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said. Clinton called Collins’ coming out an “important moment” and said the NBA player is “a good man who wants no more than what so many of us seek—to be able to be who we are, to do our work, to build families and to contribute to our communities.” (Read more)

Man of His Word: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Monday that he does not regret praising President Obama’s actions in the wake of October’s devastating Superstorm Sandy, even though it spurred fighting within the Republican Party ahead of Election Day. Some in the GOP have accused Christie’s actions of helping Obama win re-election. “I’ve got a job to do,” he said. “You wake up and 7 million of your 8.8 million citizens are out of power, you’re not thinking about presidential politics.” He added that Obama has kept every promise that he made about helping rebuild New Jersey after the storm. “I think he’s done a good job,” Christie added. “He kept his word.” (Read more)

Video of the Day: In case you missed the White House Correspondents’ Dinner over the weekend, President Obama brought the laughs to the annual Washington event, taking shots at the media, his critics and himself. (The video is long, so if you’re short on time, scroll to the 16:08 mark and watch as Steven Spielberg gives a behind the scenes look at his fake Obama biopic.)

 

—Posted by Tracy Bloom.

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