In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Tea party conservatives supporting state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R-MS) have been accusing establishment Republicans supporting Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) of "race-baiting" — but they're using that term in a different way than how it's historically been used, as a sort of shield to try and block accusations of racism.

Read More →

When a young undocumented immigrant marched up to conservative firebrand Rep. Steve King in Iowa and introduced herself as a Dreamer, Sen. Rand Paul put down his burger after taking one bite and literally fled the scene.

The awkward move — which lit up social media, made headlines and inspired gifs of his swift escape — represents the Kentucky Republican's consciousness of the power of immigration as a national issue as he lays the groundwork for a 2016 presidential run with staff hires and trips to key primary states.

The freshman senator is walking a very fine line between seeking not to alienate the country's fastest growing demographic, Hispanics, and keeping faith with the immigration-weary Republican base. He has been all over the map, from saying he's "for immigration reform" to voting against the Senate-passed bill in 2013 to voicing "sympathy" for Dreamers to supporting a potential path to citizenship while saying he doesn't actually support a "path to citizenship."

But that sort of obfuscation is normal for presidential candidates.

Read More →

It might not be obvious to those outside Ohio why Republicans would feel the need to go after Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald. Kasich has a comfortable 8.3 percentage point lead, according to TPM's PollTracker. He tries to avoid talking about FitzGerald if possible and is running a largely positive ad campaign.

So why was the Republican Governors Association digging up the dirt on FitzGerald's late-night 2012 car incident with a woman who was not his wife? It probably wasn't to defeat FitzGerald in 2014. That already looks likely. Their goal might instead have been to bury the rising Democratic star for good.

Read More →

In a new TV ad, Mitch McConnell's wife speaks directly to the camera and proclaims the Senate Republican leader's support for laws to protect women from domestic abuse.

"Have you ever noticed how some liberals feel entitled to speak on behalf of all women? As if every woman agrees with Barack Obama. Alison Lundergan Grimes’ gender-based attacks are desperate and false. Mitch McConnell cosponsored the original Violence Against Women Act – he’s always supported its purpose. Mitch voted for even stronger protections than Obama’s agenda will allow," says Elaine Chao.

Read More →

It seemed that by April 30 Richard Nixon had no choice but to say something about Watergate: six Republican senators said they would not run for reelection unless he did. Young men who last month bestrode Washington like colossi were hiring lawyers under threat of indictment, leaking accusations against colleagues, writing messages on legal pads rather than speaking them aloud—who knew whether their offices, too, were bugged?

Read More →

Scott Walker, the Republican governor of Wisconsin, wants you to know his Democratic opponent Mary Burke is a one-percenter and an outsourcer whose family company doesn't pay its fair share of taxes. That's the brave new world in the Badger State, where the GOP incumbent is taking a page out of the Obama campaign's strategy against Mitt Romney to attack his 2014 gubernatorial rival.

The state Republican Party has invited voters to get to know "outsourcing millionaire Mary Burke" who is "a definitive ‘one-percenter'" on a new website purporting to introduce Wisconsinites to Walker's relatively unknown challenger. Walker claims that the Burke family company, Trek Bicycles, makes 99 percent of its bikes overseas. The executive director of the state GOP said that Burke's company "avoid(s) paying their fair share of corporate taxes."

Such strong anti-corporate rhetoric from a staunch conservative like Scott Walker, the mastermind behind the 2011 anti-union bill that sparked national controversy, enthralling national Republicans while infuriating Democrats, has caught the attention of national writers like The New Republic's Alec MacGillis. So what is going on in Wisconsin?

Read More →

One of the first things that Rep. Cory Gardner (R-CO) did after officially announcing his candidacy for Colorado's Senate seat in March was disavow his previous support for the "personhood" cause, the anti-abortion movement to define life as beginning at conception.

While his opponent Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) and other Democrats labeled Gardner as a flip-flopper, social conservatives felt a deep betrayal. Gardner had advocated for a personhood amendment to the state's constitution since 2008.

"Republicans are so thirsty for victory they're ready to drink saltwater," Ed Hanks, a personhood activist who lives in Douglas County, a Republican stronghold, said at the time, according to the Denver Post. "Cory Gardner has just renounced the party platform and embraced abortion."

Read More →

TPMLivewire