Brian Naylor

NPR News' Brian Naylor is a correspondent on the Washington Desk.

In this role, he covers politics and federal agencies, including transportation and homeland security.

With more than 30 years of experience at NPR, Naylor has served as National Desk correspondent, White House correspondent, congressional correspondent, foreign correspondent and newscaster during All Things Considered. He has filled in as host on many NPR programs, including Morning Edition, Weekend Edition and Talk of the Nation.

During his NPR career, Naylor has covered many of the major world events, including political conventions, the Olympics, the White House, Congress and the mid-Atlantic region. Naylor reported from Tokyo in the aftermath of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, from New Orleans following the BP oil spill, and from West Virginia after the deadly explosion at the Upper Big Branch coal mine.

While covering the U.S. Congress in the mid-1990s, Naylor's reporting contributed to NPR's 1996 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Journalism award for political reporting.

Before coming to NPR in 1982, Naylor worked at NPR Member Station WOSU in Columbus, Ohio, and at a commercial radio station in Maine.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Maine.

To get elected in southwestern Pennsylvania as a Democrat, it helps to be a conservative one. And because of congressional reapportionment, two conservative Democratic incumbents are facing off for a single seat in their party's primary later this month.

Rep. Jason Altmire and Rep. Mark Critz, who are vying for the state's 12th District seat, each oppose abortion rights and favor gun rights. Their race on April 24 may come down to the few issues that do distinguish the two congressmen.

The Republican presidential primaries may not officially be over, but political ads on both sides have moved on to the general election.

Mitt Romney has been far and away the best-funded of the Republicans running for president. In addition to his own campaign chest, he has the wealthiest superPAC backing him, Restore Our Future.

Among the donors to Restore Our Future, are hotel tycoons J.W. and Richard Marriott. Each gave $750,000 so far this campaign cycle.

Humble Roots

On Saturday Louisiana holds its Republican presidential primary, and Friday all four remaining candidates will be campaigning in the state. Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, both of whom have won other Southern primaries, have been in and out of Louisiana all week, hoping to keep their slim chances at the GOP nomination alive with another win there.

Neither a balky sound system nor a gale that delayed Santorum's motorcade dampened the enthusiasm of members of the Mandeville Tea Party earlier this week.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And now, let's get down to the campaign trail. In the race for the Republican nomination, the scene has shifted to Louisiana which is holding its primary tomorrow. Today, all four of the remaining GOP candidates are campaigning in the state.

Most of the media focus is on Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich. Both men have won other southern primaries, and both have been in and out of Louisiana all week long, hoping a victory there will keep their slim chances of winning the GOP nomination alive. Here's NPR's Brian Naylor.

There has been one constant throughout the GOP campaign — Mitt Romney and the superPAC that supports him have vastly outspent his rivals.

With 10 states holding Republican primaries or caucuses on March 6 — Super Tuesday — a lot of money is being spent on TV ads. The superPACs supporting the remaining GOP candidates have doled out some $12 million for ads in those states.

Leading the way is Restore Our Future, the superPAC that backs former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. According to Federal Election Commission numbers, Restore Our Future has spent $6.9 million on the Super Tuesday states.

The statistics are pretty grim — on average 300 people a year die after being hit by cars backing up, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Half of them are children younger than 5.

It's no secret that the airwaves in the GOP primary states have been full of negative ads, charges and counter charges.

Priorities USA Action, a superPAC backing President Obama, has unveiled a new ad running in Michigan in advance of that state's GOP primary next week. It takes former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney to task for opposing the auto industry bailout.

The rise of Rick Santorum in the race for the Republican presidential nomination hasn't exactly gone unnoticed by rival Mitt Romney or his friends. Turn on a TV in Michigan this weekend, and chances are you won't have to wait long to see an ad attacking the former Pennsylvania senator.

"America is drowning in national debt," a narrator intones in one ad, a product of Romney's campaign. "Yet Rick Santorum supported billions in earmarks."

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. We begin with the latest in the Republican race for president. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney campaigned in Florida yesterday. Mr. Gingrich made appearances before two communities whose votes he hopes to win in Tuesday's primary. He spoke to Latino home builders and businesspeople in the morning, and had a rally with a group of Republican Jewish voters in the afternoon. NPR's Brian Naylor reports.

As he campaigns for the Republican presidential nomination, Newt Gingrich almost always works the name of Ronald Reagan into his speeches.

In fact, it's become so common that Gingrich's name-dropping has become an issue itself.

Sometimes Gingrich invokes the name of Ronald Reagan to associate himself with the policies of the former president.

"When I worked with President Reagan, we adopted a lower tax, less regulation, more American energy policy, and it led to 16 million new jobs," Gingrich said at a speech in St. Petersburg, Fla., this week.

Newt Gingrich, a self-described space nut, has long been a supporter of the U.S. space program. Now the Republican presidential hopeful is proposing what he calls a bold program that would send Americans back to the moon and beyond.

During a campaign event on Florida's Space Coast — hard-hit by the recession and the space program's uncertain future — Gingrich talked about coming of age at the time of Sputnik, the first satellite, launched in 1957 by the Soviet Union. He recalled reading science-fiction author Isaac Asimov and Missiles and Rockets magazine.

Ron Paul is surging in the polls — at least in Iowa — reflecting the implosion of other candidates, his memorable debate performances and eclectic libertarian positions. He's for ending the wars — as well as what he calls the "socialist big government." What is his role in the GOP nomination race? Who is he hurting and helping? Could he conceivably win the nomination? Does he want to be president?

A debate in Richmond, Va., on Wednesday kicks off what promises to be one of the most closely watched and expensive U.S. Senate races in 2012.

The seat in question is being vacated by Democrat Jim Webb, who has chosen not to run for a second term. Running to replace him are two former Virginia governors: Republican George Allen, who held the Senate seat before Webb defeated him in 2006, and Democrat Tim Kaine, who recently served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

It's a race likely to revolve around two key issues: President Obama and the economy.

Unmanned aircraft — or drones — are playing a large role in U.S. military operations in Afghanistan but they're starting to show up in increasing numbers in U.S. as well. Drones are already used to patrol the border with Mexico and now they may soon be coming to a police department near you.

Newt Gingrich served as speaker of the House of Representatives for four turbulent and productive years.

From 1995 through 1998, Congress forced a government shutdown, overhauled the welfare system, balanced the budget for the first time in decades and impeached a president for the second time in history.

Gingrich was in the middle of those debates, fiery in his rhetoric, yet willing to compromise and work with a Democratic president.

The 104th Congress

As the Republican presidential candidates prepare for another debate, this one Saturday night in South Carolina, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has been campaigning in New Hampshire.

He opened up his state headquarters Friday, buoyed by some recent polls that show his support increasing among Republican voters. A new CBS poll has him tied for second place with Mitt Romney, behind Herman Cain.

The government is trying to modernize the nation's air traffic control system, but cost overruns, software problems and management concerns are making some wonder whether the so-called "Next Generation" system may take another generation to complete.

The radar screens in the nation's aircraft control towers are based on technology dating to World War II. Many of the routes airliners fly were laid out at a time pilots followed bonfires for navigation at night.

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