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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

On the Next Episode of The Lead

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politics lead

November 21st, 2013
04:52 PM ET

How Chris Christie took over the Republican Governors Association

Phoenix, Arizona (CNN) - There wasn't room for the two of them.

In the fall of 2012, with the presidential race in full swing, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, two prominent Republican governors with well-known national ambitions, were engaged in a different kind of campaign.

Behind the scenes, both men were aggressively jockeying for a plum political gig: The chairmanship of the Republican Governors Association, a coveted post for any aspiring presidential candidate.

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politics lead

August 8th, 2013
05:24 PM ET

Secret telephone recording roils McConnell campaign

Washington (CNN) – Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's campaign manager, Jesse Benton, stressed his loyalty to the Kentucky Republican Thursday just hours after a recording surfaced of Benton expressing half-hearted support for McConnell.

Benton made the off-message comments in a January telephone conversation with conservative activist Dennis Fusaro, a former colleague from Texas Rep. Ron Paul's 2008 presidential campaign.

"Between you and me I'm sort of holding my nose for two years, because what we're doing here is going to be a big benefit for Rand [Paul] in '16," Benton said in the recording. "That's my long vision."

Benton did not know Fusaro was recording the conversation, which was posted on the libertarian website EconomicPolicyJournal.com. CNN has authenticated the recording.

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