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

Following the Thursday night Republican presidential debate, Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), a supporter of Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), repeatedly tried to avoid answering whether he would back Donald Trump if he becomes the Republican presidential nominee.

As Mitt Romney has launched an effort to do anything and everything to prevent Trump's nomination, Gardner could not commit to opposing Trump if his party selects Trump as its nominee. The Colorado senator eventually relented and said he would support the Republican candidate -- though he insisted it would not be Trump.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Gardner was asked seven times whether he would back Trump.

Gardner tried out a few different ways to dodge answering the question.

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On the "Today Show" Friday morning, Matt Lauer asked Mitt Romney why he gave such a forceful speech denouncing Donald Trump after accepting the real estate mogul's endorsement in 2012.

"Why go 180 degrees on the guy now?" Lauer asked.

In response, Romney said that there is a big difference between accepting an endorsement and giving one, but added that he would not accept an endorsement from Trump now given his comments throughout the 2016 campaign.

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Donald Trump issued a statement on visas for highly-skilled foreign workers following the Thursday night Republican presidential debate in an attempt to clarify his comment that he was "softening" his position.

Trump said that he is still "totally committed to eliminating rampant, widespread H-1B abuse" in the statement released early Friday morning.

"I will end forever the use of the H-1B as a cheap labor program, and institute an absolute requirement to hire American workers first for every visa and immigration program. No exceptions," Trump added in the statement.

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Democrat Patty Judge, a former Iowa lieutenant governor and agriculture secretary, will announce this weekend that she will run for Senate against Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), the New York Times reported on Thursday.

The Des Moines Register later confirmed that Judge will launch a challenge to Grassley.

Judge's entrance into the race would come as Democrats try to use Senate Republicans' refusal to consider President Obama's Supreme Court nominee as political leverage. Grassley is the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which would typically hold hearings for the nominee, and the Iowa senator has been adamant that he will not hold a hearing for Obama's nominee.

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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Thursday addressed those who mocked his stone-faced expression during a press conference on Super Tuesday.

"No, I wasn’t being held hostage," Christie said at a press conference in New Jersey. "I wasn't upset. I wasn’t angry."

The governor explained that because it was a press conference, not a rally, he did not think it would be "appropriate" for him to smile, cheer and clap.

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In what may be an unprecedented speech by a major American political figure, former presidential nominee Mitt Romney implored his fellow Republicans on Thursday not to nominate the frontrunner Donald Trump for president.

"If we Republicans choose Donald Trump as our nominee, the prospects for a safe and prosperous future are greatly diminished," Romney said in a nationally televised speech at the University of Utah.

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A New Hampshire state lawmaker who sits on the House Children and Family Law committee was arrested Tuesday and arraigned Wednesday for attempting to lure a 14-year-old girl into a sexual encounter.

Law enforcement said Republican Rep. Kyle Tasker sent sexually oriented messages to a teenage girl and arranged to meet her on a beach on Tuesday, according to the Associated Press. However, police had taken control of the girl's social media account and met Tasker on the beach instead. Tasker sent some inappropriate messages to the girl during a House committee meeting, according to the AP.

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After former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Wednesday announced that he would deliver a speech on the 2016 race on Thursday, Donald Trump quickly went after Romney as a "failed candidate."

Romney will reportedly call Trump a "phony" and a "fraud" during his Thursday speech. The Republican presidential frontrunner published a series of tweets bashing Romney on Wednesday night and Thursday morning.

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