Sahil Kapur

Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.

Articles by Sahil

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), who represents a strong socially conservative district, signaled Sunday that Republicans won't make a big issue of same sex marriage in the 2012 election.

On ABC's This Week Sunday, she was asked about Rick Santorum's advice that Mitt Romney "step up" and use President Obama's support for gay marriage as a "weapon."

Her exchange with George Stephanopoulos:

STEPHANOPOULOS:  Representative Blackburn, should Mitt Romney follow Rick Santorum's advice?

BLACKBURN:  I think that what you're going to see Mitt Romney do is put the focus on jobs and the economy.  And, George, you're talking about this is Mother's Day.  We've got nearly 858,000 women that have lost their jobs under this president.  And you have women that are concerned about the loss in household income under this president, nearly $4,000 per household.  Those are the issues that are first and foremost in front of people, is making certain that jobs and the economy is the focus. 

With that said, I think that you can go back and look at Supreme Court cases, you can look at the institution of marriage, and you know that Mitt Romney, who has always fought for traditional marriage, is going to continue to do this.  

RNC chairman Reince Priebus on Sunday ducked two questions about whether Sen. Rand Paul's (R-KY) recent controversial remark on gay marriage was appropriate.

"I don't know what Rand -- what he meant by that," Priebus said. "You know, I'm here to defend -- I'll defend the Republican Party and I can defend our nominee Mitt Romney."

Paul recently said of President Obama, "Call me cynical but I wasn't sure that his views on marriage could get any gayer."

Priebus reiterated that Republicans view marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

RNC chairman Reince Priebus signaled Sunday that Republicans won't make a big issue of same sex marriage in the 2012 election.

"I'm not sure if it's going to be a defining issue," he said on NBC's Meet The Press.

Priebus added that for those following it, there's a "clear choice" between President Obama and Mitt Romney on the matter. He called Romney "consistent" in opposition to same sex marriage.

On NBC's Meet The Press, JPMorgan Chase chief Jamie Dimon took responsibility for his company's $2 billion trading loss, admitting "we made a terrible, egregious mistake and there's almost no excuse for it."

"I was dead wrong when I said that," Dimon said of his earlier remarks dismissing the issue as a "tempest in a teapot." He said the organization became "very defensive" early on.

"We know we were sloppy. We know we were stupid. We know there was bad judgment," he said.

Dimon said the company will nevertheless make a lot of money next quarter and welcomed regulators to look into whether JPMorgan Chase violated any rules.

Fox News managing editor Brit Hume weighed in on the Washington Post's story about Mitt Romney's treatment of a student during his school days.

"I mean look, this was not a prank. This was hazing. And it was mean. There's no doubt about it," Hume said on Fox News Sunday. "And I don't have any doubt about the basic truth of the story."

He nevertheless criticized "the utter failure of the Post to connect it to anything else in Romney's life or career." He suggested the Post editors were expressing "editorial opinions" in the prominent treatment they gave to the story, questioning the paper's "news judgment."

Sen. John Thune (R-SD), a GOP leadership member, criticized the timing of President Obama's support for same sex marriage and pivoted to the economy when asked.

"This is an issue, Shannon, on which there is great difference in definition like so many other issues on this campaign," Thune said on Fox News Sunday, declining to launch an attack on Obama over the substance of his announcement.

He pointed out that Mitt Romney's position has been consistent all along against gay marriage while Obama "obviously has changed his position more than once."

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) defended President Obama against the notion that he flip-flopped by coming out for gay marriage.

"I don't think it's a flip flop," she said on Fox News Sunday. "There's no political calculus in this, because it's not smart. You know, if he's going to do it from a political point of view it doesn't make any sense."

Feinstein said she's seen the happiness and economic security that same sex marriage has led to, and described that as a reason people are coming around on marriage equality.

Expect more compromise and less paralysis in Congress next year, said Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY), the Democrats' point man on House elections this fall.

"Whether or not we take the majority back, there will be more Democrats in the House of Representatives after 2012," Israel said Thursday at a Washington breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. "And I think that the more extreme ideologues who have been about obstruction and paralysis and recklessness will be gone. Which makes me a little more optimistic that compromises can be made and balanced decisions can be effectuated in the next Congress -- simply because there will be more Democrats and fewer tea partiers or extremist Republicans."

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On Thursday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Rep. Steve Israel (NY), the Democrats' point man on the House races, downplayed the electoral impact of President Obama's historic endorsement of same-sex marriage Wednesday.

Pelosi called Obama's move "the right thing to do for the country. It filled my heart with joy." She said it helped "advance the cause of civil rights in such a personal as well as presidential way that it's more important than any political consequences."

"This is why we come to office -- to do some good things," she told reporters Thursday. "I don't think this is political at all."

At a Washington breakfast with reporters Thursday hosted by the Christian Science Monitor, Israel said, "I don't think it's that relevant." He said the House races will come down to the quality of candidates and said of same-sex marriage, "I just don't think it's going to be a huge dynamic."

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), asked about the issue at his weekly press conference Thursday, affirmed that he believes marriage is between a man and a woman, and then immediately pivoted to the economy.

"The president and the Democrats can talk about all this all they want," Boehner told reporters. "But the fact is that the American people are focused on our economy and are asking the question, 'Where are the jobs?'"