John T. Bennett

White House Sees Opportunity in Trump's Pitch to African-Americans
Obama spokesman: GOP nominee's tax plan hurts "everyone" but the rich

The White House appears to sense an opportunity in Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s recent outreach to African-Americans.

Speaking in Michigan on Friday, Trump made a pitch for black voters to support him in November. "You're living in poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs, 58 percent of your youth is unemployed,” Trump said.

Biden's 'Expectation' Is Obama Will Close Gitmo Prison
GOP lawmakers have blocked previous attempts to shutter detention center

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. said Thursday he still expects that the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, will close before the Obama administration leaves office in January.

"That is my hope and expectation," Biden said during a press conference in Sweden.

Obama Saw Different Face of Battered Louisiana Than Bush
President may ask Congress for more funding for flood-damaged areas

Beyond the damage and receding flood waters, President Barack Obama saw a very different picture of Louisiana on Tuesday than when the previous chief executive visited the state following a disastrous storm.

Obama was criticized last week by GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump and other Republicans when he wouldn't cut short his vacation on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, to visit areas hit hard by recent flooding in the Bayou State. White House aides say Obama has been focused mostly on ensuring the federal government’s response is helping people on the ground.

Could President Trump Count on Republicans to Pass His Agenda?
Experts question whether agenda items would even get floor votes

Much of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign has seemed ad hoc, from the off-the-cuff remarks to campaign staff turnover. And all evidence suggests a President Trump would advance his legislative agenda in the same impromptu manner.

The controversial Republican nominee’s policy proposals and pronouncements do not fit neatly into an ideological box. While President George W. Bush could count on Republicans in both chambers to support most of his legislative asks, experts say Trump would likely lack such a dependable bloc of partners.

Clinton's Agenda Will Rely on Help From the Middle
If elected, Democratic nominee could form moderate coalition in House

A point Hillary Clinton regularly hammers home on the campaign trail is that after congressional Republicans nixed the health care overhaul she promoted as first lady, she worked with them to craft a children's health insurance plan that became law.

The Democratic presidential candidate argues that finding common ground was preferable to partisan gamesmanship — an approach she vows to bring to the Oval Office if she can defeat GOP nominee Donald Trump.

Warren Would Be 'Driving Force' Behind Senate Majority, Obama Says
President makes fundraising pitch against "false attacks" by GOP

President Barack Obama is trying to convince Democratic donors to open their wallets by telling them liberals like Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren would be the “driving force” if control of the Senate changes hands.

Sending Hillary Clinton to the White House won’t matter much unless Democrats control some legislative levers, according to Obama's pitch. For that to happen, the party needs to fill its campaign war chest.

Biden: Trump 'Not Qualified to Know' Nuclear Codes
GOP nominee said Clinton lacks 'physical and mental stamina' to beat ISIS

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump cannot be trusted with the codes that would unleash the American nuclear arsenal, Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr., said Monday.

Biden’s debut on the campaign trail alongside Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton turned into a forceful attack on her GOP opponent, whom the vice president said is already hurting America’s national security.

Portman, Strickland Joust Over Trade in Olympics Ads
Democrat calls GOP foe 'best senator China’s ever had'

Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman and his opponent, Democrat Ted Strickland , are pushing ads in time for the Olympics that underscore how trade — and its effects on the Buckeye State — will help decide their race.  

Portman has a four-point lead over the former Ohio governor, according to a RealClearPolitics average of several prominent polls. Strickland trails by at least five in two of those surveys, but is tied with Portman in another.  

Ransom-to-Iran Charge 'Defies Logic,' Obama Says
President rejects Trump allegation that general election will be 'rigged'

President Obama on Thursday rejected Republican assertions that his administration paid Iran a $400 million ransom to secure the freedom of four American hostages.  

Obama expressed bewilderment that something that “was not a secret” when the funds were transferred has become a major issue following a new report that the payment was made in cash that was delivered via an unmarked cargo plane.  

GOP Lawmakers See 'Ransom' to Iran Amid White House Denials
Report: Cash was loaded on unmarked cargo plane in January

Top Republican lawmakers charged the Obama administration with paying a ransom to Iranian leaders in return for the release of four American prisoners, allegations the White House forcefully denied.  

U.S. officials reportedly loaded an unmarked cargo plane with $400 million in cash stacked on pallets and delivered it to Iranian officials around the same time the prisoners were released in January. The Wall Street Journal first reported the news on what a front-page headline called a “planeload” of cash.  

Popular Obama to Sit Out General Election's Early Innings
Vacation, Asia trip send most popular Democrat to the bullpen

President Barack Obama will spend much of August vacationing on Martha's Vineyard, meaning the most popular Democratic politician in the country will essentially sit out the general election’s early battles.  

Instead, like a closing pitcher in baseball, he could play a deciding role in the late stages of the game, influencing who wins the White House, Senate, and even selected local races.  

Obama: Trump 'Woefully Unprepared' for Oval Office
President calls out Republican leaders for continuing to back Trump despite condemning his words

President Barack Obama on Tuesday called Donald Trump “woefully unprepared” to be president and criticized Republicans for not withdrawing their support for the GOP nominee.

Trump lacks the “judgement” and “temperament” and “the understanding” to occupy the Oval Office, Obama said during a joint press conference at the White House with his counterpart from Singapore.

Administration Sitting on Unspent Funds for Zika
White House urges lawmakers to act, but it has $385 million available

The Obama administration is struggling to explain why it is pressing Congress for more money to fight the Zika virus while sitting on hundreds of millions of dollars that it already controls and could be used instead.  

White House and public health officials on Friday came close to publicly demanding that the House and Senate interrupt a seven-week recess and return to Washington to give federal agencies up to $1.9 billion to counter the mosquito-borne virus.  

Obama to Trump: Stop 'Trash-Talking' U.S. Troops
President says American military is best, most lethal in world

In remarks to military veterans on Monday, President Barack Obama  appeared to criticize Donald Trump for “talking trash” about America’s fighting forces.  

The Republican presidential nominee has repeatedly called the state of the U.S. military under Obama a “disaster.” And in recent days Trump has harshly criticized the parents of a Muslim Army captain who was killed in Iraq after ensuring his subordinates were safe.  

Despite Convention Jeers, Obama to Continue TPP
Trade issues continue to pit president against presidential ticket

Despite public admonishment of his Asian trade deal by some Democrats at the party’s convention this week, President Barack Obama continues to keep pushing for its approval.  

“No,” Eric Schultz , principal deputy White House press secretary, responded flatly Friday when asked if the Democratic National Convention jeers had convinced Obama to drop his efforts to get floor votes on his Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) after the Nov. 8 elections.  

With 'Humility,' Clinton Accepts Democratic Nomination
She makes history as first woman to lead major party in U.S. presidential campaign

Hillary Clinton’s historic address Thursday night shows she knows her general election battle with Donald Trump could be a photo finish.  

Just before 11 p.m. on Thursday, Clinton became the first woman in American history to accept a major political party’s presidential nomination.  

Fired, Drowning in Debt, Low Wages and Two Jobs...
Democrats Use Personal Stories to Highlight Policy Changes

A young woman who was fired for asking her boss why she made less than her male colleague.  

A North Carolina teacher drowning in student debt.  

Retired Marine General on Clinton: 'We Trust Her Judgment'
Allen endorses Hillary, warns Russia poised to 'exploit' Trump

A retired Marine Corps general who led NATO forces in Afghanistan endorsed Hillary Clinton on Thursday night, saying his decision was based on her judgment and record as America's top diplomat.  

John Allen worked closely with Clinton during President Barack Obama's first term when the general was commanding U.S. and NATO military forces in Afghanistan and she was secretary of state. In Philadelphia, he took the stage flanked by veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, and warned against "the forces of chaos and darkness."  

Amid Tight Race, Obama Passes Baton to Clinton
President: 'Our greatness does not depend on Donald Trump'

The baton has been passed.  

President Barack Obama largely ignored his own legacy and delivered a ringing endorsement of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton on Wednesday, capping an evening that focused on the high stakes in November's election.  

Obama Will Skip Legacy Talk, Focus on Clinton at DNC
President: 'She knows what's at stake'

President Barack Obama will use his Democratic National Convention  address to explain why his former rival-turned-secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, is qualified to replace him in the Oval Office. He also will break with his usual practice and call out Donald Trump by name.  

“You know, nothing truly prepares you for the demands of the Oval Office. Until you’ve sat at that desk, you don’t know what it’s like to manage a global crisis or send young people to war," Obama will say, according to excerpts released by the White House.