WASHINGTON (CNN) - Voters ask a lot of the nation’s White House hopefuls, but Democrat Hillary Clinton looked particularly taken aback by a request from one attendee at a Friday campaign event in the Los Angeles area.
"Hillary, marry me, baby," a man yelled at the New York senator as she finished her economic address and prepared to take questions.
The crowd erupted in laughter, and Clinton looked genuinely shocked as she turned to face the questioner.
"That is certainly the kindest offer I've had in a while," Clinton said to loud cheers.
But she added immediately, "I'd probably be arrested."
Clinton visited delegate-rich California - one of the more than two dozen states to vote February 5 - to lay her economic stimulus package.
The shouted proposal was markedly friendlier than an incident in New Hampshire Monday, when a man yelled at her to "Iron my shirt."
"Ah, the remnants of sexism - alive and well," Clinton responded then.
- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney
Obama: ‘I wasn’t living large’
LAS VEGAS, Nevada (CNN) – Between Mike Huckabee’s working-class upbringing and John Edwards’ son-of-a-millworker bio, it’s tough for a candidate to come out on top in the humble roots contest this campaign season. On Friday, Barack Obama gave it his latest shot.
He told union workers at a campaign event in Las Vegas how, as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago, he had lived on $12,000 a year.
"I wasn't living large," Obama told the crowd. "I had an old, beat-up car, had a little, tiny beat-up apartment. I was wearing raggedy, beat-up clothes. I got holes in the shoes, had holes in my car. You all've been there. You know what I'm talking about."
On the trail, Obama often tells voters about his early career as a community organizer, and the student loans that he and his wife Michelle have only recently paid off.
The Illinois senator was addressing packed room of members of the Culinary Workers Union Local 226, a union that has recently backed Obama.
Before the rally began, the crowd erupted into chants of "si, se puede"—or "yes, we can," which has become a common line in Obama's stump speech.
Obama even incorporated the Spanish version in his closing comments.
"Together we will begin the next great chapter in American history starting with those three words: Si se puede! Si se puede! Si se puede! Si se puede! Let's go change America!"
–CNN's Chris Welch
(CNN) - In the latest episode of CNN=Politics Daily, CNN's daily video political podcast, the presidential candidates go on the defensive. It’s make-or-break time for the White House hopefuls who didn’t fare well with voters in Iowa and New Hampshire.
Former President Bill Clinton defends recent controversial remarks about Sen. Barack Obama made on the eve of the New Hampshire primary.
Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider reports on who’s leading the presidential pack according to the first CNN/Opinion Research Corporation national poll done since the New Hampshire primaries.
Republican presidential candidates Fred Thompson and Mike Huckabee trade punches as the campaign shifts to South Carolina. Learn more about Thompson’s Southern strategy in Dana Bash’s report. Dan Lothian also spends some time in South Carolina with John Edwards, who won the Southern state’s Democratic primary in 2004 and must do well there this time around to stay competitive.
Finally, CNN’s Jen Mikell serves up Trail Mix – some of the most memorable moments in the White House race this week.
Click here to subscribe to CNN=Politics Daily
- CNN’s Emily Sherman
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson, a conservative Democrat, will endorse Illinois Sen. Barack Obama for president, two Democratic sources tell CNN.
One of the sources, a Nebraska Democrat, said Nelson decided to back Obama because he “agrees with Obama’s philosophy of ending the partisan divide in Washington.”
Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry and South Dakota Sen. Tim Johnson endorsed Obama on Thursday.
Nelson’s fellow Nebraskan, former Sen. Bob Kerrey, previously announced his support for New York Sen. Hillary Clinton in the race for the Democratic nomination.
Nebraska Democrats hold their caucuses on February 9, a potentially important presidential contest if Democrats do not choose their nominee by February 5, otherwise known as “Super Tuesday.”
The sources said the announcement could happen as early as Saturday.
–CNN Political Editor Mark Preston
(CNN) - The Republican governor of South Carolina wrote an op-ed in the state’s largest paper Friday in which he spoke admiringly of Democrat Barack Obama's presidential candidacy, and urged voters to think about the significance of the Illinois senator’s White House run as they make their presidential picks.
Mark Sanford said he wouldn’t be voting for Obama because of their differing policy views. “However,” he added, “as the presidential campaign trail now makes its turn toward this state, and as South Carolinians make their final decisions on whom to vote for, it’s worth pausing to take notice of something important that the Obama candidacy means for our corner of America.
“…In the Obama candidacy, there is a potentially history-making quality that we should reflect on. It is one that is especially relevant on the sensitive topic of race — because South Carolina and the South as a whole bear a heavier historical burden than the rest of our country on that front,” he added.
He said that Obama was not running on the basis of his race, and that no one should make their decision one way or the other because of it. “Nonetheless, what is happening in the initial success of his candidacy should not escape us. Within many of our own lifetimes, a man who looked like Barack Obama had a difficult time even using the public restrooms in our state.
“What is happening may well say a lot about America, and I do think as an early primary state we should earnestly shoulder our responsibility in determining how this part of history is ultimately written.”
Sanford, who endorsed John McCain in 2000, has not publicly backed any GOP presidential candidates this cycle. South Carolina’s Republicans head to the polls January 19.
–CNN's Rebecca Sinderbrand
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Democrat Hillary Clinton launched a new ad in Nevada and South Carolina Friday that seems designed to show a softer side of the New York senator.
The 30-second spot called "Listen" features clips from Clinton's victory speech in New Hampshire and is set to music that sounds straight of out NBC's The West Wing.
“Over the last week I listened to you and in the process I found my own voice," Clinton is shown saying. "You helped remind everyone that politics isn’t a game. This campaign is about people. About making a difference in your lives. It’s time we had a president who stands up for all of you.”
- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney
MYRTLE BEACH, South Carolina (CNN) - CNN has learned that top staff members of Rudy Giuliani's presidential campaign were asked to work without pay for the month of January, and perhaps longer, so that campaign resources could be focused on the Florida Republican presidential primary.
Two sources in the campaign, speaking on condition of anonymity, insisted the campaign was not in dire financial straits. A third campaign source, however, said "things are starting to get tight" and that "it was more telling than asking" the senior staff to forgo paychecks beginning the first of the year.
Another source disagreed, saying it was a "voluntary" move by senior staff members "so all of our resources could be targeted toward Florida...Our campaign is not living hand to mouth right now…"
The officials did not immediately provide a number of staffers who were subject to the new policy. Nor would campaign officials disclose the amount of money the campaign had in the bank.
UPDATE: The Giuliani campaign reports as of December 31 it has $12.7 million cash on hand, of which over $7 million can be used for the primary contests.
- CNN Chief National Correspondent John King
"It's the economy, stupid"... That's the message presidential candidates are once again getting from voters. The economy now tops Iraq as the most important issue to Americans.
The list of problems with the economy is long and getting longer: the mortgage meltdown, the credit crunch, the rise in unemployment, the continuing decline of the dollar and high gas and oil prices.
It all adds up to the likelihood of a recession. A lot of people think a recession has already begun. The Wall Street Journal surveyed a panel of economists who put the chance of recession at 42%.
Ordinary Americans are more pessimistic than those economists. A new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll shows 61%of those surveyed think the economy is already in a recession.
To read more and contribute to the Cafferty File discussion click here
DETROIT, Michigan (CNN) - Mike Huckabee put his main street economic populism to a Wall Street test Friday in a speech before the Detroit Economic Club.
He said there are clear indicators the American economy is growing, but urged the audience to look at the "micro economy" and said "instead of talking to the people at the head table, talk to people in the kitchen."
"If you talk to the people driving the cabs instead of riding in them, you might get a different picture of what's happening in this country," he said, drawing scattered, polite applause.
Huckabee echoed but challenged the campaign mantra of John Edwards' 2004 presidential bid: "I don’t believe this idea we can have two Americas. We are one America."
Michigan's economic woes, he said, can be alleviated with more job training programs, less government regulation, and by putting America and other emerging global economies on "a level playing field," though he offered few specifics on how to meet that goal.
"There was a time in this nation's history when Michigan saved America," Huckabee said, describing the state's historically formidable manufacturing base. "And now it may be time for America to help save Michigan."
WASHINGTON (CNN) - John McCain's victory in Tuesday's New Hampshire primary appears to be paying off.
The senator from Arizona is now the front-runner in the battle for the Republican presidential nomination, according to the first national poll taken after the New Hampshire primary.
McCain has the support of 34 percent of registered Republicans in a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey out Friday. That's a 21-point jump from the last CNN/Opinion Research poll, taken in December, well before the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary earlier this month.