John King, USA

The latest political news and information on the most important stories affecting you.
April 26th, 2011
10:43 PM ET

Politics: The Paul family's big day

Washington (CNN) – Republican Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul reacted to his father's decision to form a presidential exploratory committee Tuesday, saying his wife is "quite happy" Texas Rep. Ron Paul is running instead of her husband.

"The interesting thing is the Paul household in Kentucky is breathing a sigh of relief, my wife is quite happy that it's Ron Paul running and not Rand Paul," Sen. Paul said Tuesday on CNN's "John King, USA." "She said she's had enough elections for awhile."

Although Sen. Paul, who was elected in 2010, said there is a chance he would have entered the race for the White House if his father had decided against a bid, the younger Paul seemed focused Tuesday on promoting Republican Rep. Paul, defending his age and touting his name recognition.

The newly elected senator said his father, who has served 12 terms in Congress, has a "much greater chance" now than he did when he last ran in 2008 because he is "well known."

"In 2008 only about one or two percent of the people knew him early on. By the end and by now about 80 percent of America knows his name," Sen. Paul told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King. "He has a much greater chance than he did before but many of those other candidates even those who have been governors of states are not well known across the United States."

When asked about the age of his father, who will be 77 on Election Day, the Tea Party favorite said "his intellectual curiosity makes him a much younger man than his years."

He was also skeptical of a Donald Trump White House run, especially given his campaign contributions to Democratic candidates.

"I think it's hard for an entertainer or comedian to be treated seriously and that's the big hurdle he will have to overcome," Paul said. "We'll let the public decide that, but I'd say he does have quite a few hurdles to overcome to be taken seriously."

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February 7th, 2011
08:58 PM ET

Newt Gingrich: U.S. 'in trouble'

(CNN) – Former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich said he's "concerned" about the Obama administration's handling of the situation in Egypt and what he sees as a divide between the White House and diplomat Franks Wisner.

"I think the fact that they appointed a very able diplomat Frank Wisner and within two days were publicly contradicting him is you know so amateurish," Gingrich told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King. "I was with John Bolton (former ambassador to the United Nations) last night. He said it's inconceivable that they would be this clumsy and this out of sync. I mean just with themselves, forget the Arab world. They can't even get the White House and their special envoy to be on the same page."

Wisner was sent to Egypt by the United States to negotiate directly with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on the transition, and on his return said Mubarak should remain in office, at least for now, in order to hand over authority in an orderly manner.

At the White House press briefing Monday, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said that Wisner does not speak for the administration.

"His views on who should or shouldn't be the head of Egypt don't represent the views of our administration," Gibbs said. "The views of our administration are that those are the decisions that will be made by the Egyptians."

But the envoy's remarks were not entirely out of line with those of other officials who have noted that there are "certain legitimate legislative hurdles" that must be overcome by Mubarak and could take some time to accomplish.

Gingrich also said he's worried that the United States might reach out to the Muslim Brotherhood, an opposition Islamist umbrella group in the country.

"I think this is absolute total misreading of history. The Muslim Brotherhood is a mortal enemy of our civilization, they say so openly," Gingrich said.

The Brotherhood, officially banned but still tolerated by the Egyptian government, is already in negotiations with other – but not all – opposition groups and Egypt's new vice president, Omar Suleiman. The Brotherhood was removed from the U.S. list of foreign terrorist organizations in the 1970s and, at least in Egypt, has renounced violence.

The likely 2012 presidential candidate reiterated his "end of February and to March" deadline to make a decision and turned the discussion to former President Ronald Reagan, whose centennial birthday celebration he attended Sunday.

"Reagan did what he believed in when he thought it was right," Gingrich said. "I frankly try to study Reagan and (Margaret) Thatcher and (Abraham) Lincoln because I think they were the great truth tellers of modern politics, sometimes when telling the truth people in the establishment go nuts because it's not the truth they want to hear."

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January 5th, 2011
05:45 PM ET

Bob Boehner: Emotion is all in the family


(CNN) – Growing up as one of 12 children prepared House Speaker John Boehner for his new position, according to his older brother Bob.

The elder Boehner said their childhood in Cincinnati, Ohio, where they helped run their family bar, is why John is able to connect with people easily and build a consensus.

"Much like we were very young nine or ten years old cleaning a bar. You couldn't kick customers out, you had to work with the customers and talk to them," Bob Boehner told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King.

In their childhood home Bob said the "commotion and ruckus" went "on and on and on," but that John was often the one to discipline his siblings.

"I would say (he was) the enforcer of the younger ones about getting our homework done," Bob said.

The new House Speaker appeared emotional when he assumed his new role Wednesday, and Bob said as their family gets older, they all get "a little more sentimental."

"I think he thinks about what Mom and Dad would have thought seeing all this going on and I think that's what tears him up a little bit," Bob said. "But he really held it together during his speech on the House floor; I couldn't be prouder because I think if he lost it on the House floor we were gonna loose it up in the balcony as well."

As Republicans take control of the House, Bob said his brother is more focused because he knows he needs to make a difference quickly.

"He knows he's only got two years to get started… because otherwise they're going to kick the Republicans out in a heart beat in two years," Bob said. "So I think that he's very focused and determined to get something done this term."

To hear more from Bob Boehner watch CNN's "John King, USA" Wednesday @ 7 p.m. ET

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