AZ shooting survivor elected to replace Giffords, and Bush's Bieber opinion

AZ shooting survivor elected to replace Giffords, and Bush's Bieber opinion



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SALT LAKE CITY — Ron Barber, the former aide to Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., was elected Tuesday to fill Giffords' Congressional seat.

Giffords had stepped down in January to focus on her recovery from a shooting in Tucson last year where six were killed and 13 others were injured, including Barber.

Barber defeated the Republican candidate who narrowly lost to Giffords in the 2010 midterm elections, disappointing Republicans who were looking to use the election as a condemnation of Pres. Obama's economic policies.

Barber and his Republican opponent, Jesse Kelly, have both promised to run for full terms in November, according to the Associated Press.

Jeb Bush, GOP remain at odds

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is at odds with the Republican Party after making comments Monday about the state of the party.

Bush, speaking at a breakfast held by Bloomberg View in Manhattan, questioned the party's stance on immigration, deficit reduction and partisanship. He also said former Pres. Ronald Reagan and Bush's father, former Pres. George H.W. Bush, would have difficulty in today's GOP.

"Ronald Reagan would have, based on his record of finding accommodation, finding some degree of common ground, as would my dad — they would have a hard time if you define the Republican party — and I don't — as having an orthodoxy that doesn't allow for disagreement, doesn't allow for finding some common ground," Bush said. "Back to my dad's time and Ronald Reagan's time - they got a lot of stuff done with a lot of bipartisan support."

Conservatives have criticized Bush for his remarks, saying there Reagan and Bush would have no problem fitting in with today's Republican Party, among them, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

"To say that the Republican Party wouldn't nominate Ronald Reagan or something like that — we just nominated Mitt Romney … who is in the Reagan tradition: a conservative in the conservative tradition, governed effectively in a blue state, working across the aisle," Pawlenty said Wednesday on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

George H.W. Bush on socks, Bieber

In a "Today" show interview Tuesday with his granddaughter, Jenna Bush Hager, former Pres. George H.W. Bush talked about crazy socks and Justin Bieber.

Bush, who celebrated his 88th birthday Tuesday, was asked about his unique sock choices, which are often colorful or patterned.

"I like a colorful sock," he said. "I'm a sock man."

Hager told Bush that Bieber often draws attention for his colorful sock choices, as well.

"Bieb? Is he a sock man?" asked Bush. "I don't know much about the Bieber. Never see him, I don't know what he does."

Hager then sang a line of the pop singer's hit song, "Baby."

"Is that his song? I don't think I like it," Bush said.

Obama on Americans' attention spans

Pres. Obama discussed Tuesday what appears to be a silver lining in his campaign.

Obama, speaking at a fundraiser in Philadelphia, said most Americans are probably not paying enough attention to the campaign to be affected by every twist and turn.

"The good news is, I think the American people agree with us," he said, according to Politico. "They're not following ... the ups and downs, the ins and outs of this campaign."

"But they do have a sense of what's true," he continued. They have pretty good instincts about what works and they're not persuaded that an economy built on the notion that everybody here is on their own is somehow going to result in a stronger, more prosperous America. So our job is to just make sure that we get that message out."

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Stephanie Grimes

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