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Caitlin MacNeal

Caitlin MacNeal is a News Writer based in Washington, D.C. Before joining TPM, Caitlin interned and wrote for the Huffington Post, the Sunlight Foundation and Slate. She is a graduate of Georgetown University.

Articles by Caitlin

This post has been updated.

Donald Trump on Tuesday evening floated that Sen. Ted Cruz's (R-TX) birth certificate could become an issue in the presidential race, since the Texas senator is an American citizen but was born in Canada.

"Republicans are going to have to ask themselves the question: ‘Do we want a candidate who could be tied up in court for two years?’ That’d be a big problem," Trump told the Washington Post when asked about Cruz's birthplace. "It’d be a very precarious one for Republicans because he’d be running and the courts may take a long time to make a decision. You don’t want to be running and have that kind of thing over your head."

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Following a formal opinion from the Georgia state attorney general stating that it is not legal for states to block Syrian refugees, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R) on Monday rescinded an executive order telling state agencies not to help with the resettlement of refugees from Syria, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

State Attorney General Sam Olens issued the formal opinion last week, writing that he is "unaware of any law or agreement that would permit a state to carve out refugees from particular countries from participation in the refugee resettlement program, no matter how well-intended or justified the desire to carve out such refugees might be."

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House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) on Tuesday slammed President Obama's new executive actions on guns, which will expand background checks needed to purchase firearms.

"From day one, the president has never respected the right to safe and legal gun ownership that our nation has valued since its founding. He knows full well that the law already says that people who make their living selling firearms must be licensed, regardless of venue," Ryan said in a statement. "Still, rather than focus on criminals and terrorists, he goes after the most law-abiding of citizens. His words and actions amount to a form of intimidation that undermines liberty."

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Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) on Tuesday defended himself from recent attacks from his fellow Republican presidential candidates that he has missed votes in the Senate, arguing that he can't accomplish much as a senator anyway.

“I have missed votes this year," Rubio said when asked about his voting record during an Iowa town hall. "You know why? Because while as a senator I can help shape the agenda, only a president can set the agenda. We’re not going to fix America with senators and congressmen."

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Sean Hannity on Monday said he did not think the militia that took over a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon had any business being there, even though the Fox News host acted as a cheerleader for Cliven Bundy's standoff with the Bureau of Land Management in 2014.

"I’m having a hard time understanding why Cliven Bundy’s son is out in Oregon. It just doesn’t make any sense to me. The people that were responsible, that were convicted of arson, say they don’t want him out there. They don’t want any of these people there. And they are peacefully surrendering today because they got convicted in a court of law," Hannity said on his radio show.

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Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson on Monday said that while he does not support the tactics of the militia that has taken over a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon, he believes that the federal government has too much control over the country's land.

"Well, you know, the tendency for everybody is to, you know, come down on one side or the other side, government's bad, these people are bad," Carson said when asked about the takeover in Oregon. "I would think that we should try to look at things from both perspectives. Why, in fact, do these ranchers feel that way? Let's hear their grievances. I don't condone them taking over, you know, a federal building. You know, we have better ways of expressing our displeasure than that."

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The militia group that has taken over a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon has suddenly thrust the Bundy family back into the national spotlight, but members of Cliven Bundy's clan have been trying to recapture the glory of the infamous 2014 standoff at their ranch in other incidents across the west over the last two years.

Bundy and his sons have continued to protest the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in disputes in Oregon and Utah, and they have pushed for legislation to reduce the federal government's authority over land in Nevada.

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