David Taintor

David Taintor is a news editor at Talking Points Memo. Previously, he worked at NBC News and Adweek. He's a native of Minnesota. Reach him at taintor@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by David

Count Johnny Isakson as one Republican senator not on board with filibustering gun control legislation.

"There’s no, there's no ambivalence on the gun issue, I think everybody knows what the issues are," Isakson said Tuesday on "CBS This Morning." "We have not seen the final draft of the legislation that was produced, I understand, last night, but I think it deserves a vote up or down."

Host Norah O'Donnell said at the top of the segment that CBS contacted Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and the 13 other Republicans who have vowed to filibuster gun legislation, but they all declined to be interviewed.

Watch Isakson's appearance: 

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Former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele on Tuesday said he doesn't understand why gun owners fear the registration of their firearms.

"I don't get the fear of registration," Steele said on MSNBC. "I don't get the, the concern about trafficking. Are we saying that we want criminals to, you know, make … back-alley sales out of the trunks of their cars?"

Steele was part of a panel on MSNBC's "The Daily Rundown," during which former Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) said that responsible gun owners insure their guns, which means they're registered. "I mean, I don't understand," she said.

MSNBC host Chuck Todd agreed with Steele. "It feels like we're protecting the rights of the paranoid about government, rather than, sort of, the reasonable," he said.

As TPM has reported, the National Rifle Association has long warned that expanding background checks would lead to a national gun registry. NRA chief Wayne LaPierre said last month at the Conservative Political Action Conference that the only reason the government has to register guns is "to tax them and to take them." But so far no registry legislation has been proposed. And the Washington Post reported this week that federal law actually prohibits such a registry. 

Watch the video (key part at 1:25): 

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Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), who finds himself back in the headlines since leaving the door open for another presidential bid, is scheduled to deliver a speech on foreign policy Tuesday evening at Johns Hopkins University. 

According to a written release from Santorum's Patriot Voices PAC, his speech will focus on U.S. foreign policy as it relates to Iran and Syria. 

Stoking more speculation that he might make another White House bid, Santorum spoke Monday at a fundraiser for the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition. Santorum also told the Des Moines Register that it would be "suicidal" for the Republican Party to embrace marriage equality. Santorum's remark comes at a time when the GOP is trying to moderate its stance on social issues.

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The National Republican Congressional Committee on Tuesday attacked South Carolina congressional candidate Elizabeth Colbert Busch's new ad, which promotes her independence and experience being a single mother.

In a written statement, NRCC spokeswoman Katie Prills said, “Elizabeth Colbert Busch is proving that she would fit right in with the politicians in Washington. She wants voters to think she is an independent but is filling her campaign coffers with thousands of dollars from unions and is aligning herself with the most liberal politicians in Washington. Colbert Busch will say and do anything to get elected no matter how dishonest it is.”

In the ad, released Tuesday, Colbert Busch said she won't "take any special interest pledges or follow any party line."

Colbert Busch faces former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R) in the state's special election to fill the House seat vacated by Tim Scott. 

Watch the ad:

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Three people have died after a 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck Iran Tuesday, Reuters reported, citing state TV:


As Reuters and the BBC reported, the quake was located about 55 miles from Iran's nuclear power station in Bushehr.

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Asked at a Politico event Tuesday morning whether he owns a gun, Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) said he has "only 14" firearms. Portman wouldn't reveal what types of guns he owns, but he added that he has a gun safe. He also mentioned his family has a long hunting tradition. 

Unlike some of his Republican Senate colleagues, Portman has not pledged to filibuster gun control legislation, because he said he wants to wait to see what is proposed before he decides how to act. "I also think, with regard to background checks, there are some problems with the current system," Portman said.

(Image via Politico)

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Democratic House candidate Elizabeth Colbert Busch on Tuesday released her first general election TV ad in South Carolina's special congressional election, promoting her independence and experience being a single mother. 

"Now I'm going to take that lesson to Congress," she said. "I won't take any special interest pledges or follow any party line. To create jobs in South Carolina, we need a well-educated and skilled workforce. And we need to get rid of government waste. The deficit is killing jobs. I approve this message because my only pledge is to do what's right for you."

Watch the ad:

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In the wake of a recent trip to Cuba by Jay-Z and Beyonce, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) on Monday said the Obama administration should explain why it licensed the trip to the island and reveal how many trips have been approved. 

Rubio said in a written statement: 

“U.S. law clearly bans tourism to Cuba by American citizens because it provides money to a cruel, repressive and murderous regime. Since their inception, the Obama Administration’s ‘people to people’ cultural exchange programs have been abused by tourists who have no interest in the Cuban people’s freedom and either don’t realize or don’t care that they’re essentially funding the regime’s systematic trampling of people’s human rights.


“According to recent news reports, Jay-Z and Beyonce’s Cuba trip, which the regime seized on for propaganda purposes, was fully licensed by the Treasury Department. If true, the Obama Administration should explain exactly how trips like these comply with U.S. law and regulations governing travel to Cuba and it should disclose how many more of these trips they have licensed.” 

TPM has not been able to confirm whether the two musicians were granted a license, but Reuters reported Monday that the trip was approved by the Treasury Department.

Rubio also posted this tweet about Jay-Z's trip, mocking one of the rapper's songs.


Rubio has been working on immigration reform as part of the Senate's "Gang of 8," though he has cautioned that lawmakers shouldn't move too hastily on legislation.

TPM's Hunter Walker has more on the Cuba trip and its fallout on U.S. soil here

h/t Politico.

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President Obama and Vice President Biden are scheduled to meet with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel at 3 p.m. ET Tuesday in the Oval Office, according to a White House schedule.