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Capitalizing off of Rep. Anthony Weiner's (D-NY) shock press conference admitting to sending lewd tweets to a college student, Republican officials are trying to tar Democrats with the lawmaker's scandal.

"It's time for Democratic leadership to explain why Congressman Weiner's actions never aroused any suspicion, and why they rushed to his defense while so many Americans were shocked and confused by his bizarre and disturbing behavior," Paul Lindsay, communications director for the National Republican Congressional Committee, said in a statement.

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Anthony Weiner admitted to lying about a lewd photo he sent to a college student in Washington state, telling reporters at a press conference in New York that he concocted a phony hacking story in a panic after deleting the public message.

"Last Friday night I tweeted a photograph of myself that I intended to send as a direct message as part of a joke to a woman in Seattle," he said, fighting back tears. "Once I realized I had posted to Twitter, I panicked, I took it down and said I had been hacked. I then continued to stick to that story which was a hugely regrettable mistake."

He added: "To be clear, the picture was of me and I sent this. I am deeply sorry for the pain this has caused my wife Huma and our family and my constituents, friends, supporters and staff."

As for his own future, Weiner pledged to remain in Congress, saying he had not broken any law to his knowledge. "I am not resigning," Weiner said, telling reporters he would try to convince his constituents this was a "personal failing" and did not alter his record.

Weiner said that he traded inappropriate messages and emails with six women over the last three years, including some exchanges after his marriage last year to Huma Abedin, a longtime aide to Hillary Clinton. Abedin was not present at the press conference. Weiner said he thought the women he exchanged messages with were all of legal age, but he conceded he had no way to know for sure.

"I don't know the exact ages of the women," he said. "And I don't know if you do, I'm going to respect their privacy. But they were all adults -- at least, to the best of my knowledge, they were all adults, and they were engaging in these conversations consensually."

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Conservative media showman Andrew Brietbart took the microphone this afternoon at a press conference scheduled for Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY). TPM's Eric Lach is on scene for the presser and sent these dispatches:

"He was on the side when a few reporters noticed him. Then suddenly swarmed. So then he strolls up to the podium," Lach reports. "I don't know if he got permission or what. Now just ended after someone in back yells "thank you" and he says thank you and gets off stage. "

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Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), the national Tea Party movement star who is on the verge of announcing a run for president, is also reportedly set to have some top-flight talent heading up her campaign: Longtime Republican operative Ed Rollins.

Two sources close to Bachmann told CBS that Rollins will join the campaign. Rollins was previously campaign manager for President Ronald Reagan's landslide re-election in 1984, and in 2008 he was national campaign director for the insurgent candidacy of Mike Huckabee, who won an upset victory in the Iowa caucuses.

A call by TPM to Ed Rollins's office was not immediately returned.

In a potentially dire sign for Republicans looking ahead to 2012, a Pew poll released Monday finds that a strong majority of elderly Americans oppose the GOP's proposal to privatize Medicare.

In addition, the poll found that not only do Democrats oppose the proposed changes, but pluralities of both Republicans and independents do as well.

Overal 41% of Americans opposed turning Medicare into a voucher program where seniors would buy their own coverage in the private sector, while 36% supported such a plan, according to the poll. Opposition is heavily skewed toward older Americans, as might be expected, with people over 65 years-old lining up against the plan by a 51% to 25% split. Fifty-one percent of respondents in the 50-64 year-old bracket also opposed the plan, while 32% supported it.

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Janice Hahn, the Democratic candidate in the CA-36 special election to succeed Jane Harman, has a new ad tying her Republican opponent Craig Huey to several democratic bogeymen: Sarah Palin, the GOP plan to privatize Medicare, and extreme right-wing rhetoric.

"Sarah Palin and Craig Huey. Which would ban a woman's right to choose in every case?" the announcer asks. "Both Palin and Huey. Which supports a radical plan to end Medicare, but wants to give tax breaks to the wealthy? Both Palin and Huey again.

"But which one called Planned Parenthood a 'murder mill'? Only Craig Huey.

"We don't need Craig Huey's extremist, right-wing agenda. Janice Hahn will fight for our agenda -- common-sense solutions, create green jobs, and cut Washington spending while protecting Medicare."

The election will be held on July 12. The district in its current form is strongly Democratic, and has only been getting more so over the past decade: It voted 64%-36% for Barack Obama in 2008, 59%-40% for John Kerry in 2004, and 55%-37% for Al Gore in 2000.

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Watch live video of the press conference here.

Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) has scheduled a 4 p.m. ET press conference in New York City following the publication by conservative media guru Andrew Breitbart of a set of photos allegedly depicting a shirtless Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) that were allegedly emailed by Weiner to an female admirer. The Weiner press conference also comes after reports in the Star tabloid and that another woman had provided them with a series of sexually oriented texts between herself and the married Weiner from earlier this year.

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Herman Cain told TPM this weekend that he supports the idea of using offset spending to pay for disaster relief funds, but says that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's approach of only allowing that option strikes him as playing political games.

"Human suffering isn't something we should negotiate over a bill," Cain said. "Find the money. That's the difference between a business attitude and a business approach and maybe a political approach."

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Apple CEO Steve Jobs on Monday unveiled the company's revamped strategy to cloud computing, showing off how users can create content and buy music from one computer or device, and have it all appear seamlessly on their other Apple devices without having to manually plug in and synchronize their devices any more.

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Former Utah Governor and Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman now says he will not compete in Iowa for his potential presidential run -- and leaders in Iowa aren't thrilled by his open snubbing of the state.

As ABC News reported over the weekend, Huntsman spoke to a crowd in New Hampshire:

"I'm not competing in Iowa for a reason. I don't believe in subsidies that prop up corn, soybeans and ethanol,"Huntsman said, according to multiple news sources at the event.

Huntsman, the former ambassador to China, continued, "I think they destroy the global marketplace.... We probably won't be spending a whole lot of time in Iowa. I guess I understand how the politics work there."

Now, the Des Moines Register reports, Iowa Republicans are firing back.

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