Morning Briefing: June 14, 2011

At last night’s debate, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty backed off his new line of attacking “Obamneycare” just as political analysts were calling on him to turn up the heat on frontrunner Mitt Romney. Pawlenty’s unwillingness to make the same charge to his opponent’s face that he had on a Sunday talk show revived doubts about his readiness to be a serious contender.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said yesterday that he will sign certification of the DADT repeal before he retires in June. Last night at the GOP debate, five of the seven Republicans on stage rebuffed Gates and suggested they would reinstate DADT.

A new poll reveals that U.S. immigration policy now eclipses the economy as the top issue for Hispanic voters. Of the 500 voters polled, 51 percent cited immigration as a priority; last year, 49 percent put the economy and jobs first.

President Obama broke his silence on Rep. Anthony Weiner’s (D-NY) sex scandal yesterday, telling NBC, “If it was me, I would resign.’’ “When you get to the point where, because of various personal distractions, you can’t serve as effectively as you need to,” it may be time to go, Obama said.


American and Afghan officials “are locked in increasingly acrimonious secret talks about a long-term security agreement” that could leave U.S. troops in the country in some form for decades. “There are US troops in various countries for some considerable lengths of time which are not there permanently,” said one unnamed U.S. official, explaining the talks.

Yesterday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) vowed to block any Obama nominee to fill the post of Commerce Secretary “unless the White House disavows a legal complaint filed against airplane manufacturer Boeing for opening a new plant in the senator’s home state South Carolina.” Graham’s obstructionism is motivated by the National Labor Relations Board’s action against Boeing for moving their plant to a non-union state in violation of labor laws.

A new report by the ATF finds that most guns seized in Mexico are from the United States. The report shockingly found that “70 percent of the guns seized in Mexico and submitted to a U.S. gun-tracing program came from” American sources.

And finally: Even senators get excited about seeing the White House, apparently, as Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) was spotted queuing up for a White House tour Saturday morning.

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