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May 8th, 2013
07:29 AM ET

Fmr. Republican governor of South Carolina Mark Sanford gets chance at 'political redemption', wins his former seat in House- Jim Acosta reports


Mark Sanford is living proof that life is full of second chances.

The former Republican governor of South Carolina, whose political career was left for dead along the Appalachian Trail after an extramarital affair, asked for, and Tuesday received, political redemption as he won a special election to fill a vacant House seat that he once occupied.

"I want to acknowledge a God not just of second chances but third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth chances, because that is the reality of our shared humanity," Sanford said at his victory celebration after defeating his Democratic opponent, Elizabeth Colbert Busch. "I am one imperfect man saved by God's grace."

And at a news conference minutes later, Sanford added that "I think we're always on the search for redemption and I think this is certainly a degree of political redemption."

READ MORE: Sanford completes political comeback in South Carolina race

March 18th, 2013
05:57 AM ET

RNC 'autopsy' report to identify failures of 2012 election and find solutions – Mark Preston reports


Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus announced Sunday the organization will spend $10 million on hundreds of staff workers to communicate conservative principles in cities across the country.

As part of its conclusion from a months-long "autopsy" of the GOP – which will be formally announced Monday – the RNC will also work to shorten the primary calendar, limit the number of debates in presidential primaries, and move up the party's convention date.

CNN's Mark Preston previews the report on "Early Start" this morning, and explains what the RNC is looking to change in the next election cycle.

READ MORE: RNC announces $10 million plan to beef up Republican outreach

January 15th, 2013
07:52 AM ET

Daily Beast's McKinnon: GOP must 'get on board...or continue to dig our ditch deeper' on gun control

This morning, President Obama has his gun task force's recommendations in his hands. Yesterday, during the last press conference of his first term, he said that he'd be reviewing some steps he could take to advance his gun control priorities.

“What you can count on is that the things that I've said in the past, the belief that we have to have stronger background checks, that we can do a much better job in terms of keeping these magazine clips with high capacity out of the hands of folks who shouldn't have them, an assault weapons ban that is meaningful, that those are things I continue to believe make sense,” President Obama says.

Daily Beast contributor Mark McKinnon, also co-founder of No Labels, takes on the GOP's position on guns for destroying the party and comes to “Early Start” this morning to explain.

He suggests Republicans come forward with their own proposal for gun legislation because there are gun control measures that Republicans support which have nothing to do with the Second Amendment. McKinnon urges Republicans not to be defensive about it.

“Don’t wait for the Democrats to come out with an agenda, then simply respond to it,” he says. “Have a Republican agenda. Let’s have a Republican plan on guns.”

He believes Republicans would “get a lot of points” for saying, “we want to protect our rights, but we want to make sure that we do background checks, that...we do mental health checks,” he explains. “Those things just make common sense.”

McKinnon believes change is on its way, “and if Republicans don’t get on board and acknowledge and be part of it, then I think we’ll continue to dig our ditch deeper.”

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Filed under: GOP • Gun control • Republican Party
December 14th, 2012
08:40 AM ET

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins talks fiscal cliff and future of GOP post 2012 election: 'a bad cycle for Republicans'

Only 18 days remain until the U.S. falls over the fiscal cliff unless leaders in Washington can agree on a deal to avert it. But no deal is yet in sight. Despite House Speaker Boehner and other republican leaders taking a hard line on whether to raise taxes, others within the party seem more willing to compromise. This is the latest signal of disagreement within the Republican Party since the election last month.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins comes to the studio to talk about this clash and the future of the Republican Party.

Perkins refers to a recent Wall Street Journal poll where “two thirds of the people say we could use more taxes, but they need to be coupled with spending cuts.” “I think people realize that we’ve come to a point if we continue to kick the can of fiscal responsibility down the road," Perkins says, “we’re gonna end up kicking the can as a country.”

Perkins also remarks on the GOP struggling with hard-line conservative stances. He says moderate candidates from Republican Party lost in the 2012 election for not keeping to “their founding principles.” But conservative candidates like Todd Akin lost as well, having kept to those principles. “It was a bad cycle for Republicans,” where certain candidates, “weren’t prepared for some of the tough issues and how to talk about those issues successfully, which other candidates have successfully talked about.”

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Filed under: GOP • Politics • Republican Party