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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

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) accepted a loan from Goldman Sachs, his wife's employer, to help him contribute personal funds to his 2012 Senate campaign, but he did not disclose the loan in campaign finance reports, according to a report published in the New York Times on Wednesday.

Although Cruz did not include the loan on disclosure forms filed to the Federal Elections Commission (FEC), he later disclosed the Goldman Sachs loan, as well as another loan from Citibank, to the Senate, according to the Times.

The Texas senator defended his actions on Wednesday evening, noting that he did disclose the loan in some form, even if he failed to do so with the FEC.

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Phil Robertson, the patriarch of A&E's "Duck Dynasty" reality TV show, has endorsed Sen. Ted Cruz's presidential bid, the campaign announced on Wednesday.

In a video showing the two duck hunting together, Robertson lists the qualities he's looking for in a presidential candidate, demanding that his choice be willing to "kill a duck and put him in a pot and make ‘em a good duck gumbo."

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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on Wednesday blasted Hillary Clinton over her campaign's recent criticism of his health care proposals.

"Hillary Clinton once said it 'undermined core Democratic values' and gives 'aid and comfort' to the special interests and 'their allies in the Republican Party' for Democrats to attack each other’s health care plans. Today, in another flip-flop, she’s doing exactly what she once decried," a statement from Sanders' campaign reads.

"Clinton’s attacks on a Democratic Party rival over universal health care marks a very public flip flop by her and her campaign. She is now using the same Karl Rove tactics she once decried in this video," the statement continues, linking to a video of Clinton criticizing Barack Obama's presidential campaign for attacking her proposal for universal health care during the 2008 campaign.

Over the past few days, Clinton's campaign has been critical of Sanders' proposal for universal health care. The former secretary of state suggested in November that Sanders' plan would raise taxes on the middle class. And this week, she characterized his state-based plan as a "risky deal" that would turn "over your and my health insurance to governors."

While campaigning for Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire on Tuesday, Chelsea Clinton expanded on her mother's characterization of Sanders' plan. Chelsea Clinton warned voters against Sanders' health care policy and argued that his state-based, single-payer plan would give too much power to governors, who could block the plan's full implementation.

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White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough on Wednesday said that the Obama administration is prepared to "aggressively defend" the United States' plans to accept refugees from Syria as some American lawmakers demand that the government apply stricter background checks to refugees from Syria and Iraq.

When asked at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast in Washington, D.C. how the administration will address some lawmakers' calls for the government to apply greater scrutiny to certain refugees entering the country, McDonough said that the administration sees the resettlement of Syrian refugees as a priority and also as a policy it will have to defend.

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Conservative commentator Ann Coulter was angered on Tuesday night by South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley's Republican response to the State of the Union address, in which the governor criticized some conservative rhetoric about immigrants.

In a series of tweets, Coulter bashed Haley and suggested that Donald Trump deport the governor, who is the daughter of Indian immigrants.

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on Tuesday distanced itself from comments made by a now former employee about the publishing industry's role in Common Core, which were captured in a sting video produced by conservative video maker James O'Keefe.

In the video critical of the education standards, individuals with O'Keefe's Project Veritas posed as political consultants to ask about Common Core. They caught on camera teachers disparaging the standards and filmed a Houghton Mifflin Harcourt employee saying that textbook publishers care more about making money than educating young students.

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Now that he has raised questions about Sen. Ted Cruz's (R-TX) Canadian birth and American citizenship, Donald Trump has started playing Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the USA" before campaign rallies, according to reports in The Weekly Standard and the Texas Tribune.

The introduction of the song may be an attempt by the real estate mogul to troll Cruz as many openly wonder whether he is eligible to run for president.

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Vice President Joe Biden says that when his son Beau Biden was ill, President Obama offered to help the Bidens if the family encountered financial issues.

Biden told CNN that he was concerned about his son's family losing their income if his son had to resign from his position as the Delaware attorney general, and said he told Obama over lunch that he was considering selling his house.

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This post has been updated.

Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who made headlines last year for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, will attend the State of the Union address on Tuesday night, according to reports in the Washington Examiner and The Hill.

The Family Research Council invited Davis and her lawyer, Mat Staver, to the speech, according to the Washington Examiner. The Hill confirmed that Davis and Staver will be in the audience for President Obama's last State of the Union.

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