Eric Cantor wants Republican candidates to embrace the Ryan budget, Steve Beshear is out with his first campaign ad, and Tim Kaine and George Allen are both raising money.

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* Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) today told reporters that he would like to see Republican presidential candidates embrace the budget proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). "I'm looking for them to embrace our formula in the Ryan budget,” he said. “I'm looking for them to embrace a leadership role that takes the tough positions.”

* The Kentucky gubernatorial race has begun in earnest — Gov. Steve Beshear (D) is out with his first ad. The 30-second spot is mostly biographical and starts with his wife, Jane, talking about their 40 years of marriage. “I grew up here in Dawson Springs, where my dad and granddad were preachers and we ran a funeral home,” Beshear adds. The ad ends with a slogan: “Tested. Trusted. Tough.”

* President Obama went ‘home’ to Ireland today, telling a crowd, “Hello, Dublin! Hello, Ireland! My name is Barack Obama of the Moneygall Obamas. And I’ve come home to find the apostrophe that we lost somewhere along the way.” Obama’s maternal great-great-great grandfather was born in Moneygall, a town of 300. Moneygall’s Protestant minister Canon Stephen Neill was the one who made the connection between Obama and his ancestor Falmouth Kearney.

* Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) emailed supporters today to rustle up donations for his would-be replacement, former Gov. Tim Kaine. “Tim's most likely opponent raised $1.5 million in the first quarter of 2011 — before Tim was even in the race,” Webb writes. “Tim has some catching up to do, and I hope you will help.” That’s a reference to former Sen. George Allen, who is neck-and-neck with Kaine in polls.

* Former West Virginia Secretary of State Betty Ireland skipped a “unity breakfast” hosted by state GOP Chairman Mike Stuart after losing last weekend’s gubernatorial primary to businessman Bill Maloney. "We've encouraged Betty's supporters to move on and support any candidate they like," Ireland’s spokeswoman told a local paper. "I can tell you we've had a flood of calls and emails about the things that were done against Betty in the primary. People are very upset, which has not been perpetuated by Betty or the campaign staff — at all."


* Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich will be in Ovide Lamontagne’s New Hampshire home on Wednesday evening, the fifth in a series of Granite Oath PAC events with potential Republican candidates. Lamontagne lost a primary last year to now-Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R), but he’s a powerful conservative voice in the party and his endorsement could do a lot for a GOP candidate in the Granite State.

* Allen is holding a fundraising reception on June 8th at Cava, a Mediterranean restaurant near Capitol Hill, featuring Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell along with Sens. John Thune (S.C.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) and Richard Burr (R-N.C.). Among the sponsors — Citizens United Political Victory Fund and Koch Industries PAC. Also, Outback Steakhouse PAC.

* Two big names have jumped in on the eve of the NY-26 special election. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie recorded a robocall for Republican Jane Corwin; former president Bill Clinton did the same for Democrat Kathy Hochul. According to the most recent Siena poll, Hochul now has a narrow lead in what was once a safe Republican seat.

* A one-time aide to former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) has released a tell-all book about his old boss: Frank Bailey’s “Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin: A Memoir of Our Tumultuous Years.” The book paints an unflattering portrait of Palin as self-serving, vengeful and unreliable. “I am convinced,” Bailey writes, “that her priorities and personality are not only ill suited to head a political party or occupy national office, but would lead to a disaster of, well, biblical proportions.”


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With Rachel Weiner and Aaron Blake