Supporters of a move to end filibusters of presidential nominees picked up a key ally Tuesday.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a veteran California Democrat, says she has changed her mind and now supports using the so-called "nuclear option" – changing Senate rules over the objections of Republicans to prevent those filibusters. She said she has been persuaded to take the extraordinary step because the public is anxious to have Washington work and "you can't do it if the President can't get a cabinet, a sub-cabinet, judges, commissioners." Filibusters require 60 votes to set aside, a high hurdle in the narrowly divided Senate.
The longtime member of the Judiciary Committee said blocking nominees has "never been as bad as it is now" and blamed "politics" for the GOP-led filibusters of three recent nominees to the important District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals.
Feinstein made her decision known to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid when he called her about the issue recently.
It's unclear if proponents now have the 51 votes necessary to change the rules. Reid refused to answer that question at a news conference Tuesday, and he didn't indicate whether he'd actually carry out the "nuclear option."
Typically, 67 votes are needed to make a change in the Senate rules.
John King joined Chris Cuomo and Kate Bolduan this morning to discuss Chris Christie’s comments at the Wall Street Journal CEO council event Monday evening in Washington DC regarding the GOP identity and winning elections.
Last night at the event, Christie touted a “winning formula” that he claims can attract voters from all bases. "In other words, the better you do, the more voters you attract, the more diverse voters you attract, the more suspect you are," Christie said. "There is a winning formula, let me tell you."
This morning on CNN’s New Day, John King argued that party identity is also a key factor in winning elections.
“Bill Clinton ran after Walter Mondale lost 49 states, saying ‘You have to move the democrats back to the center. You have to be a different kind of democrat.’ He changed his party. The republicans are going through the same soul searching now, saying, ‘Who do we want to be?” King said.
At the event, Christie made it clear that he doesn’t feel pressured to be someone who he isn’t to win elections. "I don't feel like I have any fence-mending to do or anything like that … I am going to be me. And if I ever decide to run for anything again, if being me isn't good enough, then fine, I will go home. This isn't my whole life."
John King acknowledged that while Christie did win and “win big” amongst many voting demographics, his race is just one amongst “a great laboratory next year.”
“Look at the governor races around the country in places like Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida, A lot of governors are going to get a chance to say, ‘This is how we can do things differently,’ but the National Republican Party and some of the state politicians are sometimes not always on the same planet,” King said.
Sarah Palin said she is trying to follow Pope Francis, but is wary of what she called the media's interpretation of his message.
"He's had some statements that to me sound kind of liberal, has taken me aback, has kind of surprised me," Palin said in an interview with CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper." But "unless I really dig deep into what his messaging is, and do my own homework, I’m not going to just trust what I hear in the media."
Democratic Strategist and CNN Political Contributor Paul Begala weighed in on the comments on "New Day" Wednesday.
Begala said, "She's so compelling. You can't turn away. And she tends to say these things that people either love or that they hate."
The former governor of Alaska and 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate is out with a new book, “Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas,” which is one part love letter to Christmas, and one part a treatise on what is going wrong with the holiday, with atheists and others declaring war on it.
Palin is a person of faith and describes herself as “born again." She attends a non-denominational church in Alaska.
"When I was a young girl, I remember looking around the beauty of Alaska ... and knowing even as a kid, wow, there is something greater than self," said Palin.
"I put my life in God's hands at that moment," said Palin, who added she was 12 at the time. "I remember calling out to God and saying, 'I believe you.'"