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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

Carly Fiorina on Thursday morning defended claims she made during the CNN Republican presidential debate that the Planned Parenthood sting videos showed a kicking fetus as employees discussed harvesting its organs. However, reports indicate that the videos recently released by the anti-abortion group The Center for Medical Progress did not include the scene Fiorina described.

During the debate, Fiorina told her Democratic opponents to look at the videos and "watch a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking, while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain."

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A probate judge in Alabama on Wednesday filed a petition to the state supreme court asking the court to protect officials who refuse to issue or sign marriage licenses for same-sex couples for religious reasons, citing Kentucky clerk Kim Davis' recent stint in jail.

Probate Judge Nick Williams is one of a few probate judges in Alabama who have refused to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, according to AL.com.

"The jailing of Kentucky clerk Kimberly B. Davis put at immediate risk the liberty interest of all faithful and religiously sincere public officials in Alabama whose office has responsibility for making decisions as to whether to give sanction and honor to homosexual relationships to include the issuance of a license to engage in sodomy," a petition filed by Williams' attorney, Jack Hinton, reads, according to AL.com

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Carly Fiorina earned a round of applause at the CNN debate when she responded to Donald Trump's recent comment about her appearance, but Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Fiorina's opponent in 2010, recalled on Wednesday a time when the former Hewlett Packard CEO made fun of her hair.

Before the debate on Wednesday night, Boxer spoke with MSNBC's Chris Matthews about her Senate race against Fiorina in 2010. Boxer criticized Trump's comment about Fiorina's "face," but the senator also noted Fiorina's own comments about Boxer in 2010.

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Preliminary ratings for the prime-time CNN Republican presidential debate on Wednesday night show that the event will likely break the network's ratings record.

The debate earned an overall 14.7 rating, indicating that that more than 20 million Americans tuned in to the debate, according to CNN. Nielsen has not yet calculated the final ratings and viewership for the program.

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Donald Trump, the star of CNN's three-hour Republican presidential debate on Wednesday, said that even he felt it focused to much on him and ran too long.

Immediately following the debate, Trump said he thought the debate "questions were really good." On MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Thursday morning, co-host Joe Scarborough asked Trump why he felt that way when so many of the questions were about the real estate mogul.

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On "The Late Show" Wednesday night, host Stephen Colbert mocked the Republican presidential candidates' attempts to "get their Ronnie on" as the second debate took place at President Ronald Reagan's presidential library.

Colbert narrowed in on a new ad that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) aired during the CNN debate and on Fox News afterward. The ad uses a scorpion to represent the threat of terrorism in the Middle East, noting that some "refuse to even speak its name" -- a reference to Cruz's criticism that Obama is hesitant to use the phrase "radical Islamic terrorism."

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After the CNN Republican presidential debate last night, Fox News' Bill O'Reilly noticed that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) did not get much air time, suggesting that the senator is too conservative for CNN's taste.

In a post-debate interview, O'Reilly told Cruz that he got the eighth most speaking time during the debate.

"Do you think because you are a hard-right guy that you are being ignored by the debate people?" the Fox host asked. "Do you think your conservative stance offends them, so they don’t want to hear from you?"

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to meet with leaders in Congress during his November trip to visit President Obama, according to a Republican leadership aide.

Netanyahu's potential visit with Congress was first reported by Politico. The White House announcement about Netanyahu's visit did not specify whether he would meet with Congress.

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Alabama updated its science education standards for the first time in a decade, requiring schools to teach students about evolution and human activity's impact on climate change, starting in 2016.

Previously, the standards did require schools to touch on evolution, but the new standards direct teachers to teach the scientific evidence that supports the evolutionary theory, according to the Associated Press.

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