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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

Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson continued to use Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany references this week as he defended comments that Hitler took away citizens guns to fuel his rise to power.

During an interview on Thursday, CNN's Wolf Blitzer asked Carson to explain a passage in his new book, "A More Perfect Union," about the Nazi effort to take away Germans' guns.

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Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) said on Friday morning that believes Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) will consider running for speaker over the weekend after numerous members of the House Republican conference have said that he is the congressman who could best unite the party as speaker.

Paul has repeatedly said that he does not want to be speaker and would prefer to stay on as chair of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said on Thursday that he doesn't believe Donald Trump will win the Republican presidential nomination, but added that the real estate mogul's candidacy has helped the senator's bid.

WABC's Rita Cosby asked Cruz if Trump's popularity among Republican voters is waning.

In response, Cruz criticized other Republican candidates who have attacked Trump, noting that he has not gone there.

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Rep. Reid Ribble (R-WI) dropped out of the conservative House Freedom Caucus on Thursday, citing the caucus' recent focus on the speaker race, Appleton, Wisconsin, paper The Post-Crescent reported.

"The Freedom Caucus has moved away from this primary focus in recent weeks, and for this reason I have stepped back from the caucus," Ribble told the Post-Crescent. "The freedom caucus pivoted their attention to these leadership races and away from policy and I wasn’t interested in making that pivot."

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Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), the former chairman of the House Oversight Committee, on Friday morning said that he could "potentially" be a candidate for the speaker slot and criticized his successor on the Oversight Committee, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), who is also running for speaker.

MSNBC's "Morning Joe" co-host Joe Scarbrough asked Issa whether he would be a good candidate for speaker who could unite the Republican party.

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Despite House Republicans' insistence that the Select Committee on Benghazi is not political after House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy's (R-CA) recent comments, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly said on Thursday that the committee is definitely political.

"If you don't think the Benghazi thing is political, of course it's political," he said on Fox News' "The Five." "But that doesn't mean we shouldn't know what exactly happened, and why the secretary of state was ignorant about the security problems in Benghazi, Libya."

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House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) told the National Review that the House Republican conference may "have to hit rock bottom" before the chamber fully functions again.

National Review's Rich Lowry asked McCarthy if the House was governable.

"I don’t know. Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom," McCarthy responded.

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Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), the chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, on Thursday made it clear that he will not run for speaker shortly after House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) dropped out of the race.

"Kevin McCarthy is the best person to lead the House, and so I'm disappointed in this decision. Now it is important that we, as a Conference, take time to deliberate and seek new candidates for the speakership," he said in a statement. "While I am grateful for the encouragement I've received, I will not be a candidate. I continue to believe I can best serve the country and this conference as Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee."

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Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) on Thursday said that he does not believe that the federal government needs the Voting Rights Act to oversee voting laws in states with a history of racial discrimination.

During a forum held by the Des Moines Register, Bush was asked if he would reauthorize the Voting Rights Act, which was passed in 1965.

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