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

White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer said Wednesday at Politico's Playbook Breakfast that President Obama wants to sign the "strongest gun bill he can."

Obama is scheduled to push gun control measures during a speech Wednesday in Denver. But reports this week have indicated that background checks for gun purchases face an uphill battle in the Senate, despite a push by Obama and Democratic lawmakers. 

Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R), fresh off a GOP primary runoff victory in the campaign for an open House seat in the state, said on Wednesday that the only thing voters know about his opponent, Elizabeth Colbert Busch, is that she is the sister of late-night comedian Stephen Colbert. 

"Well, you know, at the end of the day, Stephen Colbert's a very popular, you know, well-regarded comedian, but at the end of the day he's not on the ticket," the former South Carolina governor said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "And we're going to have a debate about ideas, and I think that when people really begin to digest those ideas, some real strong contrasts in terms of where she would be vs. where I would be, I think that will substantially change a poll that I think now simply defines name and ID as people know it, not issue ID. And I think ultimately debates in campaigns are decided on issues."

The poll Sanford referred to was commissioned by Colbert Busch's campaign and showed the Democratic House candidate in a tight race with the former governor. Stephen Colbert will also reportedly host two fundraisers for his sister this month. 

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Senate debate on gun control legislation will likely be pushed back to the week of April 15, the New York Times reported Tuesday, adding that background checks for gun purchases remains a sticking point. As the Times reported, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said the Senate would act on gun control measures first thing after its break. 

TPM reported earlier this week that background checks face an uphill battle in the Senate. 

After pushing for gun control measures Wednesday during a speech in Denver, President Obama is scheduled to travel to San Francisco to speak at two Democratic fundraisers.

The first event, according to the Washington Post, is a cocktail reception at the home of Tom Steyer. The event is $5,000 per person. Later, Obama will appear at a dinner at the home of Ann and Gordon Getty, Bloomberg reported, pegging the cost of the meal at $32,400 per person. Proceeds, according to the Bloomberg report, will go to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

President Obama is scheduled to deliver a speech on gun control at 5 p.m. ET Wednesday in Denver, Colo. Ahead of the speech, Obama is scheduled to meet with law enforcement and community officials at the Denver Police Academy, according to the White House. 

Obama is also scheduled to make his case for tougher gun control measures next week in Connecticut. 

Correction: This post originally reported that the President's speech would take place at 3 p.m. ET.

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MSNBC announced Tuesday that Karen Finney will host a weekend evening program on the network. MSNBC talked up Finney's political experience in its announcement:

Finney has more than 20 years of experience in national politics working on four presidential campaigns, the Clinton White House, and Hillary Clinton’s first New York Senate race. She was the first African American spokeswoman for the Democratic National Committee. Finney has also worked to improve public education in the public and private sectors.

Finney currently serves as a political analyst for the network. 

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Rising conservative star Dr. Ben Carson, who has been criticized for linking gay marriage to bestiality and pedophilia, responded to critics Monday on Mark Levin's radio show

Carson, who is the head of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University, said he represents an existential threat to liberals. "They need to shut me up, they need to get rid of me," Carson said. "They can't find anything else to delegitimize me, so they take my words, misrepresent them and try to make it seem that I'm a bigot."

"And you're attacked also, in many respects, because of your race," Levin said. "Because you're not supposed to think like this and talk like this. A lot of white liberals just don't like it, do they?"

"Well, you know, they're the most racist people there are," Carson said. "Because, you know, they put you in a little category, a little box, you have to think this way. How could you dare come off the plantation?"

On Fox News' "Hannity" last week, as the Supreme Court heard landmark gay rights cases, Carson shared his views on gay marriage: “Well, my thoughts are that marriage is between a man and a woman. It’s a well-established fundamental pillar of society. And no group, be they gays, be they NAMBLA, be they people who believe in bestiality, it doesn’t matter what they are. They don’t get to change the definition. So it’s not something that’s against gays. It’s, it’s against anybody who wants to come along and change the fundamental definitions of pillars of society. It has significant ramifications.”

Carson is scheduled to be Johns Hopkins' commencement speaker this year. Faced with a petition calling for him to drop out as speaker, Carson on Friday said he would be willing to step aside

Listen to Carson's appearance on the Mark Levin Show, via Mediaite:

h/t HuffPost.

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After meeting with acting Malian President Dioncounda Traore Tuesday, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) tweeted a photo and said, "We must stand together to combat terrorism & protect human rights" in Mali. 

McCain and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) arrived in Mali Tuesday to meet with officials on the country's efforts to battle Islamic extremists, the AP reported


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