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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

GOP strategist Frank Luntz went off the record before a group of college Republicans earlier this month at the University of Pennsylvania to discuss the negative impact he believes right-walk talk radio has had on the GOP, Mother Jones reported Thursday. 

"And they get great ratings, and they drive the message, and it's really problematic," Luntz said of right-wing talk-radio programs, according to a recording of the event. Luntz added that talk radio has been especially damaging to Sen. Marco Rubio's immigration reform efforts.

"He's getting destroyed," Luntz said, "by Mark Levin, by Rush Limbaugh, and a few others. He's trying to find a legitimate, long-term effective solution to immigration that isn't the traditional Republican approach, and talk radio is killing him. That's what's causing this thing underneath. And too many politicians in Washington are playing coy."

According to Mother Jones' piece, written by David Corn, Luntz asked the audience to allow him to speak off the record, prompting one college newspaper reporter to switch off his device. But another student, Aakash Abbi, captured the sound bite on his iPhone. 

Corn has built a reputation reporting on surreptitious recordings, starting with Mitt Romney's "47 percent" comments and continuing with a secretly recorded Mitch McConnell campaign strategy meeting. 

Listen to the audio and read Corn's full piece here.

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Former President George W. Bush has a message for the Republican Party: "You will exist in the future."

In an interview with ABC News that aired on Wednesday, Bush added that his brother Jeb Bush would make a great candidate in 2016. "He'd be a marvelous candidate, if he chooses to do so," Bush said, adding, "He doesn't need my counsel 'cause he knows what it is, which is 'run!'" 

Bush's comments about the GOP come at a time when the party is working to rebuild after losses in the 2012 election. The Republican National Committee in March released a post-mortem on the election, which concluded that the party needs to adopt a more inclusive tone. That message has hit a few speed bumps at the local level.

Bush has been on a media tour ahead of the opening of his presidential library in Dallas. Bush, President Obama and the other living U.S. Presidents are scheduled to attend the library's opening ceremony on Thursday.

Watch the interview segment:

 

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President Obama on Wednesday at a Democratic fundraiser in Dallas applauded former President George W. Bush on the eve of the opening of his presidential library. 

"I’m really looking forward to attending the Bush library opening tomorrow," Obama said, according to a White House pool report. "One of the things I will insist upon is whatever our political differences, President Bush loves this country and loves its people and shares that same concern, and was concerned about all people in America, not just those who voted Republican. I think that’s true about him and I think that’s true about most of us.”

Obama also promised to continue his charm offensive aimed at Republicans. "Occasionally I may make some of you angry because I’m going to reach out to Republicans and I’m going to keep on doing it,” Obama said, according to the report. “Even if some of you think I’m a sap, I’m going to keep on doing it because that’s what I think the country needs.”

Obama delivered remarks at a fundraiser held at the home of Naomi Aberly. Ron Kirk, the U.S. trade representative and former Dallas mayor, was in attendance, according to the report. 

President Obama is scheduled to speak on Thursday at Bush's presidential library opening and also at a memorial service for victims of the Waco, Texas fertilizer plant blast. 

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Soledad O'Brien, who most recently hosted "Starting Point" on CNN, has been named a distinguished visiting fellow at Harvard's Graduate School of Education, the university said in a written statement Wednesday. 

"At HGSE, O’Brien will explore a wide variety of topics related to public education in America – including the influence of income on educational equality, the role of gender specific education, and efforts to overcome racial and ethnic achievement gaps in education," the university said in its statement. 

O'Brien left the early morning slot at CNN last month. She has said she will continue to produce documentary programs for the network. 

h/t HuffPost.

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New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said on Wednesday that the Boston Marathon bombing suspects planned to come to New York to "party," not carry out additional attacks, according to NBC News.

CBS News reported earlier this week that the man whose SUV was allegedly hijacked by Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev said the brothers mentioned Manhattan during the incident.

A Tennessee Republican state senator used his blog over the weekend to satirically point out the dangerous features of pressure cookers in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings -- an apparent allusion to the gun control debate after the Newtown, Conn. massacre, the Tennessean reported Tuesday.

Sen. Stacey Campfield posted an image labeled as an "assault pressure cooker," which featured lines pointing to the device's dangerous characteristics: "Evil, black" and "Large-capacity, can cook for hours without reloading." The post, titled "Here comes Feinstein again," appeared to mock the California senator's proposed assault weapons ban. 

As the Tennessean reported, Campfield has taken heat for the posting. In another blog post, Campfield wrote, "If my post was inappropriate talking about 'crock pot control' then where is the outrage from the left when they push for gun control after the Sandy Hook shooting? Im sorry if I exposed your double standard.... Well, not really.'" 

h/t Political Wire.

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At a dinner on Tuesday at the White House with all female Senators, President Obama discussed the budget, the economy, immigration reform, gun control and other issues, according to a White House official. 

"The President enjoyed continuing his discussion with the Senators about a wide range of items on the agenda, including working together to find common ground on budget issues and new initiatives to grow our economy, create jobs, and strengthen the middle class," a White House official said of the dinner, according to a pool report. "The President discussed our continued focus on passing commonsense immigration reform that will strengthen our national security and our economy. The group also discussed a number of other priorities, including passing measures to reduce gun violence and expanding educational opportunities for all our children. The President also reiterated his commitment to ensuring all resources remain available as a part of the ongoing investigation into the explosions in Boston last week and commended law enforcement efforts."

According to a White House pool report, dinner included Alaskan halibut and peach pie. The meal lasted about two hours.

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