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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

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.

As speculation over a Hillary Clinton presidential bid seems to have reached fever pitch, Vice President Joe Biden could find himself something of an underdog if he runs in 2016, the New York Times reported Monday. 

Biden's son, Beau, who serves as attorney general in Delaware, told the Times, "It's no secret that he's thinking about this," adding that the vice president hasn't ultimately made up his mind. Clinton, for her part, has not reached a decision, either. 

Biden is scheduled to deliver the keynote address at a South Carolina Democratic Party dinner in May. More from the Times on Biden laying the groundwork for a potential bid:

As the vice president thinks, he is also laying groundwork. He attended a pre-inaugural party with Democrats from Iowa, the first caucus state, and invited the governor of New Hampshire, the first primary state, to his private swearing-in ceremony. In two other likely early primary states, he will address the Democratic State Convention in South Carolina next month and appear at a testimonial for the retiring Senator Carl Levin in Michigan. He is enlisting candidates and collecting money for midterm elections.

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Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Sunday at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga. with Dave Dorman, left, and Pat Battle. As the AP reported, Rice and Darla Moore of South Carolina were the first women to be invited to join the traditionally all-male club.

(AP Photo/Ron Williams)

 

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