November 13th, 2013
10:27 AM ET

Sarah Palin 'Taken Aback' By Pope Francis's 'Liberal' Statements

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.'"




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November 7th, 2013
11:16 AM ET

Bloomberg On His Successor And More

Michael Bloomberg is the most well-known mayor in the nation – for another 55 days. But Bloomberg has already expanded his reach beyond New York City, with his coalition Mayors Against Illegal Guns and his political advocacy group Independence USA PAC.

Bloomberg dared to poke the bee hive, wading into the National Rifle Association's home state to back Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe in the Virginia governor's race. McAuliffe eked out a win over Republican state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli Tuesday night.

"If I 20 years ago said to you a Democrat, who was F-rated by the NRA, and unabashedly in favor of commonsense gun checks, background checks – if I told you he could win governor, you would have laughed me out of the room," Bloomberg said in an interview with CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper."

"The voters of the home state of the NRA stood up yesterday and said, 'Enough,'" said Bloomberg,

Bloomberg met with Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio for about an hour Wednesday morning. De Blasio won by a landslide last night, beating out Republican nominee Joe Lhota by about 40 percentage points. Bloomberg chose not to endorse anyone in the race.

CNN's Jake Tapper reports.

“Bill de Blasio and I aren't going to agree on everything, but we certainly agree on a lot of things,” said Bloomberg, who added he has “a big vested interest” in ensuring his successor is a successful mayor.

“The bottom line is, I'm going to live in New York City, and I want Bill de Blasio's administration to be successful, and our administration to do everything to transfer everything we've been doing over,” said Bloomberg.

Political commentators Will Cain and Marc Lamont Hill weigh in on what's next for Mayor Michael Bloomberg.


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November 6th, 2013
07:58 AM ET

Chris Christie Aims To Make History In New Jersey

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie hopes to go where no other Garden State Republican has gone in nearly a quarter century.

Public opinion polls indicate the GOP Governor's expected to easily win re-election Tuesday in blue-state New Jersey over state Sen. Barbara Buono, his little known Democratic challenger. But Christie wants to break records.

"Christie Whitman was elected twice here and never broke 50 percent. Nobody (no Republican) since 1988 has had a 5 in front of their name in a statewide race," Christie said in an exclusive Election Day interview with CNN anchor and Chief Washington Correspondent Jake Tapper.

Christie appeared to be referring to then Vice President George H.W. Bush, who grabbed 56% of the vote in New Jersey in his 1988 presidential election victory.

"My goal always in this race has been to at least get to 50% plus one, and anything above that is gravy and so I'll be really happy with that because that's a historical achievement – in 25 years no one has done that in New Jersey so I'll be happy with that," added Christie.  "I suspect we may do better than that."

Christie stood at 66%, 61% and 57% among likely voters in the final three public opinion polls released on the eve of the election.

In the interview, Christie touted his conservative credentials and dished out some bipartisan criticism, saying the Republican Party needs to focus on winning elections, and slamming President Barack Obama for the mixed messages on the new health care law.

"I think the party cares more about winning the argument than winning the election, and if you don't win elections you can't govern," Christie told Tapper, anchor of CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper."