John King, USA

The latest political news and information on the most important stories affecting you.
September 23rd, 2010
09:13 PM ET

Barney Frank's challenger on Pledge to America

NEWTON, Mass (CNN) – Sean Bielat hopes to help House Republicans keep their “Pledge To America” promises next year. But he wishes the GOP leadership asked his opinion first.

Bielat is an ex-Marine and the GOP challenger against Democratic Rep. Barney Frank. Bielat is a longer than long shot, but says his recent campaign polling shows he has a chance, and, while local Democrats roll their eyes, the fact that Scott Brown won the district in his stunning Senate upset has local Republians thinking it isn’t out of the question.

More on that another time. But during a visit to Bielat’s campaign headquarters Thursday, among our questions was his reaction to the new GOP list of promises that was unveiled by the GOP leadership outside of Washington.

“Well, I am happy that something has come out because for awhile, I have been saying,- hey, you know, one thing about 1994 was agree or disagree, you knew what the Republicans were trying to accomplish,” Bielat told us.

“So, I am glad that there is some leadership on the issue now. I have seen the highlights in articles this morning, I haven't had time to sit down and read it.”

Bielat said he was all for a tough line on spending and deficits and the growth of government. But he went on to say: “I would have liked more of a dialogue on it – reaching out to candidates saying what issues are important, what should we be doing, that sort of thing. Because, if we are going to be going into the Congress, and trying to implement, you have to be there at the front end. So, I can't say that I honestly know enough about what is in there right now to say one way or the other whether it is a good thing.

September 23rd, 2010
02:54 PM ET

CNN's John King cooks for a cause

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CNN's John King will be cooking for a cause this evening in his old neighborhood of Dorchester, Massachusetts. The Codman Square Health Center will host its 13th “Men of Boston Cook for Women's Health” event sponsored by Partners Healthcare. King, alongside Chef Chris Douglass, will be serving up food from one of his favorite local restaurants, Ashmont Grill. It sits just a short walk from where King grew up.

"I always love to come home to Boston," says King, "but today is an extra special trip and treat. As someone who loves to cook, it's hard to pass up a chance to be a 'Celebrity Chef' at an event featuring some of the best restaurants in Boston."

Other celebrity chefs will include Mayor Thomas Menino, Senator Scott Brown, Congressman Michael E. Capuano, and former Governor Michael Dukakis.

Proceeds from the event will go to Codman Square Health Center, which routinely provides health care for women who can't afford medical coverage. Money raised tonight goes towards fighting breast cancer, diabetes, heart disease and HIV/AIDS. "The center is about a mile from my childhood home and I remember going to a dental clinic there years ago,” admits King. He adds, “The event organizers don't know that but it's one of the reasons I was honored to be asked."

Tune in tonight to John King, USA at 7p ET. King will join the show live to talk about what he's cooking in the kitchen.

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September 23rd, 2010
02:54 PM ET

Be in the know: Today's political bullet points

Everyday we ask influential politicos to send us their top three bullet points that are driving the day's conversation in and outside Washington:

Talk Show Host and Online Editor of Mario Solis-Marich:

-On Time: The US Census indicates that Latinos led pre-recession small business creation on the day the GOP refuses immigrant college bound youth.

-Five Days Late: Obama's grassroots army, Organizing for America, shows up just 24 hours before the vote on the DREAM Act and then pats itself on the back.

-Trillions of Dollars Short:The GOP takes a pledge to increase the deficit ( as is the GOP's time honored tradition).

RedState.Com Editor Erick-Woods Erickson:

-The House GOP Pledge is out. No one is going to read it, but they can at least say they aren't the Party of No that everyone wanted them to be.

-Republicans in Nevada believe Senator Harry Reid is promising an October Surprise on Sharron Angle related to statements from years ago that no one even really knows if she said. He's getting desperate.

-The Illinois Republican Party is having a fundraiser for their candidate against the Illinois House Speaker. No one has ever seen the guy and he appears to have been put on the ballot by the Speaker himself to avoid a real challenge. But the Illinois GOP can now fundraise off the guy and they will.

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September 23rd, 2010
02:50 PM ET

Secretary Gates: 'Conflict sells'

Defense Secretary Robet Gates says he hasn't read Bob Woodward's new book about the Obama administration, adding: "I think I was probably the last person he spoke to." Gates told reporters today he thinks he was also the last person Woodward spoke to with his previous book at the end of the Bush administration.

Articles about Woodward's new book, "Obama's Wars," say it will reveal the administration was deeply divided over U.S. strategy in Afghanistan.

Today, Gates told reporters there are three points he wants to make: "The first is: Conflict sells."

Gates continued, "The second: The relationship among senior officials in this administration is as harmonious as any I've experienced…in my time in government."

His third point: "I believe this very strongly: Presidents are always well served when there is a vigorous and spirited debate over important issues."

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