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

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) on Tuesday condemned Donald Trump's Monday night comments criticizing President Obama during a speech at an AIPAC conference.

"We say unequivocally that we do not countenance ad hominem attacks, and we take great offense to those that are levied against the United States of America from our stage," AIPAC president Lillian Pinkus said on Tuesday, reading from a written statement at the conference, according to Politico. "While we may have policy differences, we deeply respect the office of the president of the United States and our president, Barack Obama."

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Updated at 10:46 a.m. ET

Following the attacks in Belgium on Tuesday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) renewed his call for the United States to stop accepting refugees from Syria.

"We need to immediately halt the President's ill-advised plan to bring in tens of thousands of Syrian Muslim refugees. Our vetting programs are woefully insufficient," Cruz said during a press conference in Washington, D.C.

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Ohio Gov. John Kasich on Tuesday offered his prayers for the people of Belgium following two deadly explosions in Brussels, and he called on Americans to "redouble our efforts" to find the "perpetrators of such acts of evil."

"I want to express my solidarity with the people of Belgium in the aftermath of the attacks that took place in Brussels. Along with every American, I am sickened by the pictures of the carnage, by the injuries and by the loss of life," Kasich said in a statement. "The wave of terror that has been unleashed in Europe and elsewhere around the world are attacks against our very way of life and against the democratic values upon which our political systems have been built."

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Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) on Tuesday expressed his sorrow over the deadly explosions in Brussels and promised to acknowledge "radical Islamic terrorism" if elected president.

"Our hearts break for the men and women of Brussels this morning. Make no mistake -- these terror attacks are no isolated incidents," Cruz said in a statement on Facebook. "They are just the latest in a string of coordinated attacks by radical Islamic terrorists perpetrated by those who are waging war against all who do not accept their extreme strain of Islam."

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Bill Clinton on Monday night took a hit at "the awful legacy of the past eight years," appearing to criticize President Obama, though an aide to the former president said that Clinton was referring to Republican members of Congress.

While pitching Hillary Clinton as the "best change-maker" during a speech in Washington state, Bill Clinton bashed the the last eight years, as well as seven years before then under former President George W. Bush.

"But if you believe we can all rise together, if you believe we’ve finally come to the point where we can put the awful legacy of the last eight years behind us and the seven years before that when we were practicing trickle-down economics and no regulation in Washington, which is what caused the crash, then you should vote for her because she’s the only person who basically has good ideas, will tell you how she’s going to pay for them, can be commander in chief, and is a proven change maker with Republicans and Democrats and independents alike," he said.

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During an interview on CNN Monday night, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) was asked about the anti-Muslims statements made by Frank Gaffney, a member of the national security team on Cruz's presidential campaign.

"Frank Gaffney is a serious thinker who has been focused on fighting jidahists, fighting jihadism across the globe," Cruz told CNN's Wolf Blitzer. "And he’s endured attacks from the left, from the media because he speaks out against radical Islamic terrorism, because he speaks out against, for example, the political correctness of the Obama administration that effectively gets in bed with the Muslim Brotherhood."

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During the White House press briefing on Friday, spokesman Josh Earnest indicated that President Obama would not withdraw support from Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland if he was asked to do so by a Democratic president-elect.

"The President stands by his nominee and believes that the Senate should confirm him as soon as possible. And I cannot imagine a scenario where the President would withdraw his support from his nominee," Earnest said when asked whether Obama would pull support for his nominee so that his successor could name a different nominee.

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Updated at 2:35 p.m. ET

In a further blow to Senate Majority Mitch McConnell's efforts to hold a hardline on not even considering the confirmation of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) has gone from breaking ranks with McConnell to calling him and other GOP senators out on it.

During an interview on Illinois radio show "The Big John Howell Show," the host told Kirk that the Senate should consider the nominee and hold a vote on Merrick Garland, President Obama's nominee to the Supreme Court.

"Right," Kirk replied. "Just man up and cast a vote."

"The tough thing about these Senatorial jobs is you get yes or no votes," Kirk continued. “Your whole job is to either say yes or no, and explain why."

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After Jane Sanders engaged Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio in an unplanned debate over immigration, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) took on the sheriff during a rally in Flagstaff, Arizona on Thursday.

Sanders described Arpaio as "un-American" and told rally attendees that the sheriff had "ambushed" his wife on Wednesday, according to the New York Times.

Jane Sanders visited Tent City, an outdoor jail in Maricopa County, on Wednesday, where Arpaio approached her after his own press conference. When Jane Sanders criticized the conditions in the outdoor jail, Arpaio told her that the conditions are similar to those soldiers experience when fighting overseas, according to the Arizona Republic.

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President Obama on Thursday bashed Senate Republicans' reasoning that the voters should weigh in on the Supreme Court in the 2016 presidential election and that consideration of a nominee should wait until then.

"One of the most puzzling arguments that I've heard from [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell and some other Republicans is this notion that the American people should decide. We should let the American people decide as part of this election, who gets to fill this seat," Obama told NPR in an interview set to air in full on Friday morning. "Well, in fact the American people did decide — back in 2012 when they elected me president of the United States with sufficient electoral votes."

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