President Obama offered a preview of the foreign policy narrative that he will apply in the 2012 election debates versus his GOP opponent, who is likely to be Mitt Romney if he can win in South Carolina on Saturday.
In an interview with Time's Fareed Zakaria, Mr. Obama defended his administration's foreign policy actions, calling Romney's attacks "primary posturing" that will wither under the glare of "a serious debate."
Romney has described Mr. Obama's foreign policy as an "an appeasement strategy" and has said the president "apologizes for America." In his New Hampshire primary victory speech earlier this month, Romney attacked the president's foreign policy:
"Internationally, President Obama has adopted an appeasement strategy. He believes America's role as leader in the world is a thing of the past. I believe a strong America must - and will - lead the future."
"He doesn't see the need for overwhelming American military superiority. I will insist on a military so powerful no one would think of challenging it."
"He chastises friends like Israel; I'll stand with our friends."
"He apologizes for America; I will never apologize for the greatest nation in the history of the Earth."
"Overall, I think it's going to be pretty hard to argue that we have not executed a strategy over the last three years that has put America in a stronger position than it was than when I came into office," Mr. Obama told Time.Continue »
1. Will Romney lose an eye? Not to go all Biblical here, but Newt Gingrich has signaled all week that he's out for revenge and plans to exact it from Mitt Romney. Gingrich blames Romney for his precipitous decline in the polls, saying a slew of negative ads brought him down only weeks after he was confidently predicting he would be the Republican nominee.
There are a few problems with Gingrich's narrative: He's ignoring the fact that Ron Paul's attack ads against him were in many ways more effective than Romney's. Moreover, Romney and Paul weren't blanketing the airwaves in New Hampshire and South Carolina - the ads ran in Iowa - and yet Gingrich plummeted in the polls in those states, too. That suggests it was Gingrich who hurt himself in the rest of the country. He repeatedly whined about the ads in countless interviews and speeches, and he came across as an angry Washington politician. But why let the facts get in his way? Gingrich appears to be a man on a mission - or, as Chris Wallace told Sean Hannity, he's going to strap on the hockey mask and fire up the chain saw.
He also plans to expand on his effort to be seen as a warrior for the middle class.
"As I've said before, we are at a make-or-break moment for the middle class," Mr. Obama said today in his weekly address on radio and the Internet.
Just hours before the start of the New Year, President Obama is promising to do everything he can "to make America a place where hard work and responsibility are rewarded: one where everyone has a fair shot and everyone does their fair share."
It's a reiteration of the ideological approach he unveiled December 6 in a speech in Osawatomie, Kansas.
"We're going to be doubling-down on our commitment and our message in terms of fighting for the middle class," explains White House Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest, who briefed reporters here Thursday on the president's outlook for the New Year.
The state GOP announced early Saturday morning that Gingrich's campaign had failed to submit the required number of signatures to qualify for the March 6 primary. On Friday it was announced that Texas Gov. Rick Perry had also failed to qualify.
The state's election board requires candidates petitioning for inclusion in the primary to file 10,000 signatures from registered voters, including 400 from each of Virginia's 11 congressional districts.
Since the 2008 elections, more than 2.5 million people have given up membership in the Democratic and Republican parties, according to a USA Today analysis of voter registration statistics.
The analysis found that the number of registered Democrats has declined in 25 of the 28 states that register voters by party, while the number of registered Republicans has declined in 21 of those states.
Many voters have expressed frustration with the major parties and the government as a whole. In the latest CBS News poll, 56 percent of Americans said they are dissatisfied with the federal government, and 26 percent said they were angry toward the government; Congress' job approval rating, meanwhile, was just 11 percent.
The frustration appears to be driving more Americans to become independents. In the eight swing states analyzed by USA Today, Democratic registration fell 800,000, and GOP registration fell 350,000, while the number if independents increased 325,000.Continue »
A near-record level of Americans, 64 percent, say that "big government" is a bigger threat to the country than "big business" or "big labor," according to a new poll.
While nearly two-thirds say big government is the major threat, 26 percent name big business, according to the Gallup survey conducted November 28 - December 1. Just 8 percent name big labor.
Since Gallup starting asking the question in 1965, Americans have typically named big government as the biggest threat; an all-time high of 65 percent named it as the biggest threat in 1999 and 2000.Continue »
Commentary by CBSNews.com editor-in-chief Dan Farber
After weeks of dealing with allegations of sexual harassment and, more recently, some kind of long-term relationship with an Atlanta-based woman, as well as lackluster debate performances and concerns about his foreign policy credentials, it was clear that businessman and motivational speaker Herman Cain's quest for the presidency was heading for a cliff.
Poll numbers from a Des Moines Register survey of likely Iowa caucus-goers showed a drop from 23 percent to 8 percent in the last 30 days.
In suspending his campaign Saturday afternoon, Cain ended the suspense surrounding his troubled candidacy and heaped blame on the media for the "continued distraction" that led to his decision to abandon his presidential aspirations.
"I am suspending my presidential campaign because of the continued distraction, the continued hurt caused on me and my family, not because we are not fighters. Not because I'm not a fighter," Cain said, reiterating his position that all the allegations are untrue.Continue »
In a red carpet interview with CBSNews.com, Oscar winner Meryl Streep expressed optimism that Congress would authorize a new privately-funded National Women's History Museum on the National Mall in Washington.
"We are hopeful we will get the permission to build our museum," said Streep, who pledged $1 million of her own money toward the project and serves as the museum's honorary spokeswoman. The museum, which needs congressional approval for its location alongside other famous DC museums, would be built with private funds. Organizers would need to raise at least $150 million, and possibly many times more than that.Continue »
Updated 11:19 a.m. Eastern Time
President Obama pardoned a Thanksgiving turkey named Liberty Wednesday morning in a ceremony at the White House, noting in the process that "tomorrow is one of the best days of the year to be an American...but it's also one of the worst days of the year to be a turkey."
"They don't have it so good," added the president, who went on to reference his "we can't wait" push to take actions without congressional approval.
"We can't wait to pardon these turkeys. Literally," he said. "Otherwise they'd end up next to the mashed potatoes and stuffing."
The 45-pound Liberty, along with understudy Peace, was chosen from 30 finalists for the pardon and was raised by four high school students, who exposed the birds to loud noises and flashbulbs to prepare them for the big day.Continue »
Updated 1:30 p.m. Eastern Time
A group of protesters seemingly affiliated with the "Occupy" movement interrupted President Obama's speech in Manchester, New Hampshire on Tuesday, engaging in a call-and-response protest for about 20 seconds before being drowned out by Mr. Obama's supporters.
"Mic check!" yelled a voice from the crowd as Mr. Obama was giving a speech calling on Congress to pass and extend a payroll tax cut. Other protesters repeated "mic check," in the style of the Occupy protests, as Mr. Obama halted his speech and looked out into the crowd.
"Mr. President, over 4,000 peaceful protesters," the lead protester began, his words then repeated by the other protesters. They then made reference to those protesters being arrested, though their words became difficult to hear.
At this point those in the crowd began booing and chanting "Fired up, ready to go," prompting Mr. Obama to say, "no, no, no, it's ok. It's ok."Continue »
Sarah Palin's decision to announce that she would not seek the presidency on a talk radio program - as opposed to Fox News - "infuriated" Fox chief Roger Ailes and prompted Ailes to consider pulling Palin from the network, according to New York Magazine.
After flirting with a run for much of 2011, Palin went on conservative radio host Mark Levin's show in October to say she would not seek the Republican presidential nomination.
The former Alaska governor's choice of venue was striking in light of the fact that Palin earns $1 million per year as a contributor to Fox News.Continue »
NEW YORK - There weren't many people to get in the way of the sidewalk cleaning machine zigzagging its way through Zuccotti Park on Friday morning, one day after a "Day of Action" protest that generated smaller crowds than organizers and police anticipated. About 20 bored private security workers in orange vests stood in small groups inside the metal barriers surrounding the spiritual home of the "Occupy" movement; perhaps two-dozen protesters milled around or sat against the wall under blankets.
Outside the barrier, a heavily tattooed man whose sign identified him as "Outlaw Bobby Steele" held a sign that read "Goldman Sucks"; inside, occasional dustups would flare up, such as when one security guard's efforts to get a homeless man out of the park prompted protesters to ask police, "are you going to do anything about the assault that happened right here?" (There was one entrance to the park, guarded by three security officials; it was foreboding enough that I asked if the park was on lockdown before they stepped aside and let me in.)
Such interactions attracted the dozen or so journalists on hand to crowd in, cameras in hand, prompting frustrated police officers, an edge in their voice, to warn the journalists they needed to step back. Occasionally a call-and-response would spring up, with dreadlocked white college students and hard-looking men in leather jackets repeating each speaker's words with varying levels of enthusiasm.
It would be a mistake to read too much into the past-its-prime vibe pervading the park Friday morning; it was early in the day, and many of the most passionate backers of the movement were still recovering (or in jail) following Thursday's protests. But in the wake of the NYPD's overnight raid that cleared the park of tents, it was clear that the physical movement was struggling to figure out what comes next.Continue »
Santorum, an alumnus of Penn State, told reporters Tuesday that "it would probably be best to take a pass on a bowl game this year" in the wake of the scandal.
"I am not too sure if I was on a bowl committee I would be too anxious about inviting Penn State to a bowl game given the situation up there," Santorum said, according to the Register. "I think it would probably be best to take a pass on a bowl game this year. It is a tough thing for the kids, but this is way beyond the football team right now. I would make the suggestion that it would be in the best interests of everybody to finish the schedule and put this season behind us and move on."Continue »