Kerry said he could have "handled the situation without interruption."
WASHINGTON (CNN) - After a student was Tasered by police for trying to ask Sen. John Kerry, D-Massachusetts, questions about the 2004 election, the former Democratic presidential nominee said he had "never had a dialogue end this way" and apologized for the incident Tuesday.
A video widely dispersed on the Internet showed University of Florida student Andrew Meyer, 21, dragged away by police officers after he asked Kerry a series of questions about impeaching President Bush and the 2004 election. Kerry had agreed to answer his questions.
"I believe I could have handled the situation without interruption, but again I do not know what warnings or other exchanges transpired between the young man and the police prior to his barging to the front of the line and their intervention," Kerry said in a statement.
"I was not aware that a taser was used until after I left the building," Kerry added. "I hope that neither the student nor any of the police were injured. I regret enormously that a good healthy discussion was interrupted."
Meyer was released from jail Tuesday.
–CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Republican Sen. John Sununu, who trailed former New Hampshire Democratic Gov. Jeanne Shaheen by double digits in a hypothetical matchup at the beginning of summer, has now closed the gap to 5 percentage points, according to a new poll released Tuesday.
The American Research Group Poll was conducted over the weekend after Shaheen officially announced she would challenge Sununu for his seat in 2008. Shaheen and Sununu squared off in 2002 for the Senate seat.
In June, the ARG Poll showed Shaheen with a whopping 28 point lead over the first term senator. The new poll, conducted from September 14-17, has Shaheen up by 5 points just outside of the 4.2 percentage point margin of error. ARG surveyed 558 registered voters.
– CNN Ticker Producer Xuan Thai
WASHINGTON (CNN) – A majority of Americans continue to believe that the U.S. economy is in good shape, but that figure has dropped significantly since the start of the year, according to a new CNN/Opinion Research Poll released on Tuesday.
The new poll data was released on the same the Federal Reserve is expected to announce an interest rate cut to spur the economy. The poll shows that 54 percent of Americans believe the economy is in good shape, while 45 percent say it is not. That suggests only a slight change in the public's view of the economy since last month, but it does represent a 7-point drop since the spring and a 9-point drop since January.
The poll also suggests that Americans remain optimistic about the future of the economy with 62 percent saying that economic conditions will be good a year from now.
The poll, conducted between September 7-9, surveyed 1,017 Americans and carries a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.
– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney
Sen. Barack Obama presented his tax plan in a speech in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Sen. Barack Obama on Tuesday proposed overhauling the tax code to lower taxes for the poor and middle class, increase them for the rich and make it so most Americans can file their taxes in five minutes.
The tax relief plan he envisions for the middle class alone would mean $80 billion or more in tax cuts, he said.
Obama, an Illinois Democrat who is a front-runner for his party's 2008 presidential nomination, said during a speech at the Tax Policy Center that the present tax code reflects the wrong priorities because it rewards wealth instead of work.
"Instead of having all of us pay our fair share, we've got over $1 trillion worth of loopholes in the corporate tax code," he said. "This isn't the invisible hand of the market at work. It's the successful work of special interests."
WASHINGTON (CNN) – One day after unveiling her universal health care plan, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, called criticism of her strategy "politics as usual" and defended the strategy as an effective way to give all Americans affordable insurance.
"I feel very good and quite confident that the parts of the plan that I have put together will find a lot of favor among people who know what we have to do to get to universal coverage," Clinton said Tuesday on CNN's American Morning.
Clinton, who was panned for taking a lead role in crafting a healthcare plan in her husband’s administration, also sought to assuage any concerns about her new plan.
"This is not government-run health care," Clinton said. "We're not creating any new bureaucracy. We're trying to build on what works and fix what's broken in our system. If you're satisfied with the health care coverage you have, you get to keep it, no questions asked."
Clinton also released an ad Tuesday touting her plan in Iowa and New Hampshire and will host a Web cast this evening on her presidential campaign Web site.
– CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich
Related: Clinton and health care, take 2
Gen. David Petraeus.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, praised Gen. David Petraeus Tuesday, as she continues to face heat from several of her Republican White House rivals for not directly repudiating a MoveOn.org ad that questioned the top U.S. commander in Iraq’s honesty.
"I have said publicly on numerous occasions, including at the last hearing, how much I respect Gen. Petraeus and his service to our country," Clinton told CNN's John Roberts on “American Morning.”
"I speak for myself,” said the New York Democrat when asked if she thought the ad, which ran in The New York Times last week, was out of line. “I am a very strong admirer of Gen. Petraeus and his record of service for our country and the dedication that he has brought to a very difficult job that many of us think does not have a military solution,"
Last week, GOP White House hopefuls: former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, and Arizona Sen. John McCain all condemned Clinton for not directly distancing herself from the ad.
– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney
Keyes is making a third run at the presidency.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Alan Keyes is hoping the third time’s the charm.
The conservative Republican is taking his third stab at running for the White House.
Keyes announced his candidacy Friday on a conservative radio talk show, saying he was unimpressed with the current GOP field.
“I just have been watching and following and haven't heard what is needed, and I think I'm like a lot of folks, who have just looked at it and been unmoved,” said Keyes, who also said he has filed the necessary paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to formalize his bid.
Keyes is a veteran at running for elective office. The former State Department official during the Reagan Administration ran unsuccessfully for the White House in 1996 and 2000. He also ran for the U.S. Senate in Maryland and in Illinois. That run, in 2004, ended in a landslide loss to Democrat Barack Obama.
Keyes teamed up with five other GOP presidential hopefuls last night at a “Value Voters” forum in Florida. The top four Republican candidates, Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson, Mitt Romney and John McCain did not attend the event.
– CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser
WASHINGTON (CNN) – A University of Florida student was Tasered and arrested by University police at a John Kerry speech following a heated question on the 2004 election results.
COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) - Here's a quick look at what's making political news in South Carolina today:
Sen. John McCain wrapped up his "No Surrender Tour" with a rally at The Citadel in Charleston, where former president George H.W. Bush told him by video message: "I'm proud to be with you at the no surrender rally."
Rick Beltram, chairman of the Spartanburg County GOP and an influential voice in Upstate politics, has roiled the Fred Thompson campaign by referring to Jeri Thompson as a "trophy wife."
And The State's Aaron Gould Sheinin takes on the Thompson legend.
–CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby