A frustrated McCain said Wednesday he was done discussing his campaign woes.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - A frustrated Sen. John McCain snapped Wednesday when asked by CNN about his troubled presidential campaign and vowed he would no longer answer questions on that topic.
“I’m not going to talk about my campaign anymore," McCain said in a sharp tone. "I’m finished with talking about it. I’ve talked about it for two weeks. I will not discuss it or any aspect of it. Thank you."
McCain’s patience may have been worn thin by his lack of sleep as he managed the Defense authorization bill through the wee hours of the morning.
The question that triggered McCain’s response was whether or not he was going to keep a scheduled meeting Wednesday with his congressional supporters to explain why his campaign is not in dire condition. Eileen McMenamin, the Arizona Republican's spokeswoman, declined to elaborate whether McCain would no longer talk – ever – about his campaign or just not talk about it while in the Capitol. But she did say he remains a candidate and will be back on the trail next week – with reporters in tow.
- CNN Congressional Producer Ted Barrett
Richardson call on Congress to end the Iraq war in his latest ad.
"Congress must stand up to a president who has put our brave military men and women in an impossible situation refereeing a civil war,” Richardson, a Democratic presidential hopeful, says in the ad. “Our troops are targets - viewed as occupiers. If George Bush doesn't get them out, as President, Bill Richardson will.”
Five of Richardson’s rivals for the Democratic nomination are currently members of Congress – Delaware Sen. Joe Biden, New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd, Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama.
Richardson, whose chief rivals enjoy considerably higher name recognition, has already run several ads in the early voting states - most of which promote the New Mexico governor’s lengthy resume.
In the latest CNN/WMUR-TV poll conducted by the University of New Hampshire, Richardson finds himself running third at 9 percent among Granite State Democratic primary votes, behind Clinton with 36 percent and Obama with 27 percent.
- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney
Bush’s approval rating in the Granite State is lower than the national average.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Bush's job approval rating among residents of New Hampshire has dropped below his national approval rating while support for the Iraq war in the Granite State remains slightly above the national level, according to a new poll released Wednesday.
The CNN/WMUR poll of 524 New Hampshire residents was conducted by telephone from July 9 through Tuesday by the University of New Hampshire. The poll had a sampling error of plus or minus 4.5 percent.
According to the poll, 24 percent of New Hampshire residents approve of the way Bush is handling his job, compared with 32 percent in the last national CNN poll, conducted by Opinion Research Corporation June 22-24. Seventy-two percent disapprove, according to the New Hampshire poll.
The president's job approval rating has been on a steady downhill slide in the state. It stood at 39 percent a year ago and 31 percent in February.
Five years ago, in June 2002, 75 percent of New Hampshire residents approved of Bush's handling of his job.
Poll respondents gave Bush his worst marks in his handling of foreign affairs (22 percent approve) and Iraq (21 percent approve), with the disapproval rating for both standing at 74 percent. He got better marks on his handling of the economy, where 34 percent approve and 58 percent disapprove.
Support for the war in Iraq has also been dropping in the state. It stands at 35 percent in the latest poll - down from 47 percent a year ago and 69 percent in June 2003, while the same national poll puts support at the war at 30 percent. Fifty-nine percent oppose the war, the New Hampshire poll said.
Slightly more than a third of those polled in New Hampshire believe U.S. troops should remain in Iraq, while 27 percent say they should come home immediately and 34 percent say they should leave by March 2008.
Fifty-seven percent say the United States cannot win the war in Iraq.
Giuliani campaigned in Iowa Wednesday.
COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (CNN) - Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani pledged to appoint "strict constructionist" judges to the federal bench during a campaign visit Wednesday to this city located in the southwest corner of the Hawkeye State.
He added, "We have to appoint strict constructionist judges because judges interpret the constitution. They should not be allowed to make it up... They will not get it into their heads that they're really legislators and that they can go around changing things."
A strict constructionist judge tries to determine the original meaning of the Constitution based on nothing more than the words provided in the document itself. Judges of this philosophy often attempt to decipher the founding fathers' original intent.
When asked if he would consider landmark abortion case Roe v. Wade when making appointments to the Supreme Court, Giuliani said, "Roe against wade is not a litmus test. No particular case is a litmus test."
- CNN Iowa Producer Chris Welch
Obama poses with a youth group from Covenant House in Washington, Wednesday.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Speaking at a brand new community center in one of DC's poorer neighborhoods Wednesday, Sen. Barack Obama outlined his vision to revamp America's inner cities.
"The streets here are close to our capital, but far from the people it represents," the Illinois Democrat said to the predominantly African American crowd. "These Americans cannot hire lobbyists to roam the halls of Congress on their behalf, and they cannot write $1,000 campaign checks to make their voices heard. They suffer most from a politics that has been tipped in favor of those with the most money, and influence, and power. How can a country like this allow it?"
Obama unveiled his five-part plan aimed at "changing the odds" for people living in cities. He promised to increase the minimum wage, create affordable housing and jobs, provide education and financial support for parents and create an institution modeled after the World Bank specifically for America's cities.
Obama also said he wanted to launch an "all-encompassing, all-hands-on-deck anti-poverty effort" to 20 different cities around the country. The program, originally launched in Harlem, includes free daycare and medical services, affordable food, early education and counseling for expecting parents. He said he knows it will be expensive, but that he "will find the money because we can't afford not to."
"The moral question about poverty in America – How can a country like this allow it? – has an easy answer: we can’t," Obama said. "The political question that follows –what do we do about it? – has always been more difficult. But now that we’re finally seeing the beginnings of an answer, this country has an obligation to keep trying."
TIME.com: Can Poverty Define John Edwards?
–CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich
Elizabeth Edwards stars in a new campaign ad.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Former Sen. John Edwards’ wife appears in a new ad debuting in New Hampshire Wednesday where she describes her husband as someone “who can stare the worst in the face and not blink.”
“I have been blessed for the last 30 years to be married to the most optimistic person that I have ever met,” Elizabeth Edwards says in the ad. “But, at the same time, he has an unbelievable toughness.”
John Edwards, who was his party’s vice presidential nominee in 2004, is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination.
Despite a battle with cancer, Mrs. Edwards continues to play a visible role in her husband’s presidential campaign by traveling the country and delivering speeches on his behalf. But this is the first ad the campaign has launched that solely features Mrs. Edwards.
And even though Mrs. Edwards continues to be a very public face of the campaign, a top campaign aide bushed aside suggestions that she is becoming the dominant voice in the campaign.
“That’s silly,” Edwards’ Deputy Campaign Manager Jonathan Prince said in a conference call Wednesday with reporters.
- CNN Associate Producer Martina Stewart
WASHINGTON (CNN) - As predicted, Senate Democrats failed to win the 60 votes they needed Wednesday to end debate and forward an amendment to that chamber's floor for a vote.
The Democratic amendment introduced by Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin of Michigan and Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island, would have brought U.S. troops home from Iraq by April 30. The tally was 52-47.
Senators Susan Collins of Maine, Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, Olympia Snowe of Maine, and Gordon Smith of Oregon voted with Democrats to advance the amendment.
However, Collins' spokeswoman said the senator still opposes the amendment.
Her spokeswoman told CNN the senator voted with the Democrats only because it was a procedural motion on whether to allow a vote.
Elizabeth and John Edwards made a stop in New Orleans Monday.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Elizabeth Edwards sought to punch holes in the notion that New York Sen. Hillary Clinton is the women’s candidate in the 2008 race for the White House. For Edwards, that title falls to her husband, former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, who is competing against Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination.
“She’s just not as vocal a women’s advocate as I want to see,” Elizabeth Edwards said in a wide ranging interview with the online magazine, Salon. “John is.”
Edwards particularly offered a sharp assessment of Clinton’s approach to providing healthcare to everyone.
“On the issues that are important to women, she has not ... well, healthcare, that's enormously important to women, all the polls say, and what she says now is, we're going to have a national conversation about healthcare,” Edwards said in the Salon interview. “And then she describes some cost-saving things, which John also supports, but she acts like that's going to make healthcare affordable to everyone. And she knows it won't. She's not really talking about poverty, when the face of poverty is a woman's face, often a single mother.”
A Clinton spokesman declined to comment on Edwards’ remarks, while a spokesman for the Edwards presidential campaign would not speak directly about the Clinton comments other than to say Elizabeth Edwards was only talking up her husband's ability to offer solutions.
"What she did say is that she believes her husband is the best candidate for president,” the spokesman tells CNN. “And she thinks that her husband would be the best advocate on healthcare, on education, on women's issues and the fight to end poverty."
Elizabeth Edwards also spoke about her recent confrontation with conservative commentator Ann Coulter, the split with her husband on the issue of gay marriage and how she is handling her cancer treatments while campaigning on behalf of her husband.
Edwards announced earlier in the year that her bout with breast cancer had returned in a stronger form, but continues to take a highly visible role on the campaign trail this year.
TIME.com: Can Poverty Define John Edwards?
- CNN's Alexander Mooney contributed to this report
Kucinich was admitted to the hospital for food poisoning Monday.
(CNN) - Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich remains hospitalized Wednesday in Ohio after aides say he suffered a severe case of food poisoning.
Kucinich spokesman Andy Juniewicz said the Ohio congressman started feeling ill Sunday before flying to Florida for a campaign appearance. He became sicker in Florida, and was forced to cut the trip short to return to Cleveland.
Juniewicz said he was admitted to a Cleveland-area hospital Monday afternoon, and is being treated for “severe symptoms consistent with food poisoning.”
He said Kucinich was improving, but may remain in the hospital another day or two.
Juniewicz said Kucinich missed votes in the House Monday and Tuesday, but did not have any campaign appearances scheduled. His next planned event is this weekend.
- CNN Political Desk Managing Editor Steve Brusk
A new CNN/WMUR poll indicates McCain has slipped 8 points in New Hampshire.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Democratic and Republican presidential front-runners held their spots in a new CNN/WMUR poll of New Hampshire voters, but further back in the pack, the field has shifted on each side.
Among Democratic contenders, Sen. Hillary Clinton wields a solid lead over Sen. Barack Obama, with the former first lady claiming the support of 36 percent of Granite State voters. Obama trailed with 27 percent. (Full poll results [PDF])
But former Sen. John Edwards, the party's vice presidential nominee in 2004, slipped to a statistical tie with New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson in the latest poll, which was conducted between July 9 and Tuesday. Edwards had drawn 14 percent support in the previous poll, conducted in June, but came in at 9 percent in the new survey, while Richardson came in at 11 percent in both surveys. (See June's Democatic poll)
And on the Republican side, Sen. John McCain slipped 8 percentage points since June (See June's GOP poll) in the state where he upset now-President Bush during the 2000 presidential campaign. At 12 percent, McCain trails former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who leads the pack with 34 percent; former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, with 20 percent; and former Sen. Fred Thompson, who has not yet officially entered the race, with 13 percent. Thompson ran fourth in the June poll.
Romney gained five percentage points in the most recent poll; Giuliani dropped 2, and Thompson gained 1.
New Hampshire holds the nation's first presidential primary, scheduled for Jan. 22, 2008. The poll, conducted by the University of New Hampshire, had a sampling error of 5.5 percentage points.