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

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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Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) on Monday said that he hoped the armed militia that has taken over a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon will stand down, noting that individuals do not have the right to threaten use of force.

"Our prayers right now are with everyone involved in what’s happening with Oregon, and especially those in law enforcement that are risking their lives," Cruz said when asked about the militia while in Iowa, according to NBC News.

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During a town hall event in New Hampshire on Sunday, a New Hampshire Republican lawmaker twice attempt to confront Hillary Clinton about the past conduct of her husband, former President Bill Clinton.

During the beginning of Clinton's question-and-answer session, Katherine Prudhomme O'Brien, a New Hampshire state representative, began shouting questions at the former secretary of state, according to CNN.

O'Brien again interrupted Clinton later in the event shouting questions.

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Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on Saturday said that the United States government cannot favor one religion over another but that the Constitution does not prohibit the government from preferring religion over secularism, according to the Times-Picayune in New Orleans.

Scalia made the comments during a speech at the Archbishop Rummel High School in Metairie, Louisiana. He said that it is "absurd" to think the Constitution bans the government from supporting religion, according to the Times-Picayune.

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Donald Trump on Monday morning released his first television ad, which promotes the Republican presidential candidate's proposals to ban Muslims from traveling to the United States and to build a wall along the southern border as part of his plan to defeat "radical Islamic terrorism."

The ad will air in Iowa and New Hampshire beginning on Tuesday, and Trump will spend at least $2 million on ads each week, according to a statement from the campaign.

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