EAST LANSING, Michigan (CNN) - Politics always makes for strange bedfellows, but Sunday on the trail brought one of the odder pairings of this campaign season: CNN and FOX.
The press bus following Republican presidential candidate John McCain to a Michigan campaign event sped its way into a broken fan belt.
Reporters on board - who noticed the smell coming from the engine - poured out of the bus when it pulled over, and into the motor home of Harold Voorhees, a Michigan volunteer who’d been trailing the Straight Talk Express and its caravan in case of overflow, or a roadside emergency.
Your CNN team rode the rest of the way to the East Lansing campaign stop in style, perched on a bed with FOX’s Malini Bawa and reporting embeds from ABC and NBC. Motor home and media alike arrived safely.
(CNN) - Sen. Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign came out swinging Monday against the latest complaints from her rival, with former President Clinton announcing he has "a list of 80 attacks on Hillary" by Senator Barack Obama's campaign.
In a nationally syndicated radio interview on WVON, Bill Clinton said Hillary Clinton's way of handling attacks showed a clear difference from Obama. "She didn't complain about it," he said, citing one in particular that he considered "appalling."
"She just said 'I disagree,' and went on."
Clinton's remarks on the Roland S. Martin Show - which has a largely African-American audience - came amid a flare-up over remarks by Black Entertainment Television founder Bob Johnson, who appeared with Hillary Clinton on Sunday at a church in South Carolina, site of an upcoming primary.
Many believe Johnson made a veiled reference to Obama's drug use as a young man, though he insists that was not his intention.
"I think we have to take it at his word," the former president told Martin, adding that "nobody knew" what Johnson would say, and "it wasn't part of any planned strategy."
Johnson was rejecting the controversy over a recent remarks by Hillary Clinton, who noted that it "took a president" to make the Voting Rights Act a law after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had led the struggle for it. Some interpreted that remark as dismissive of the civil rights movement. Obama on Sunday called the remark "ill-advised."
- CNN's Josh Levs
(CNN) - Most of the Republican candidates may be focused on Michigan, which votes Tuesday, but voters in another key state headed to the polls this morning.
Florida’s official primary date is January 29, but early voting in the presidential primary starts today – and this morning, 37 locations across Central Florida opened for voting.
Voting has already started outside the polls in Florida. More than 206,000 Republicans, 163,000 Democrats and 52,000 unaffiliated voters who don't have party affiliation have asked for absentee ballots, along with. In comparison, fewer than 94,000 Democrats cast absentee ballots in 2004, when there was no Republican primary.
Early voting ends Sunday, January 27, although some counties will end it on Saturday, January 26.
Penalties from the national parties for Florida’s decision to hold its primaries early in the cycle mean that few White House hopefuls have spent time campaigning in the state. (One exception is Rudy Giuliani, who has wagered his candidacy on a strong showing in Florida, and is spending the day campaigning in the state.)
Florida’s delegate count has been halved by the national Republican Party, and eliminated completely by the Democrats, though many in the state expect it to be restored to full strength before the national party conventions this summer.
- CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand
(CNN) - John McCain has taken the lead in Nevada for the first time this campaign, according to a poll released Monday, while Mitt Romney, who has spent more in Nevada than any of his GOP opponents, is now in fourth place.
The new poll by the Reno Gazette-Journal finds John McCain wins the support of 22 percent of likely caucus-goers, followed by Rudy Giuliani with 18 percent, Mike Huckabee with 16 percent, Mitt Romney with 15 percent and Fred Thompson with 11 percent. The other candidates register single-digit support in the survey.
On the Democratic side, it’s a three-way race, with Barack Obama at 32 percent, Hillary Clinton at 30 percent, and John Edwards at 27 percent.
The state’s caucuses will be held this Saturday.
The poll of 500 likely Democratic caucus-goers and 500 likely Republican caucus-goers statewide was conducted January 11-13 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percent.
- CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand
(CNN) - The GOP presidential front-runners, locked in a tight race, are churning out ads and talking about the economy in a last-minute effort to win over Michigan voters before Tuesday's primary.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has a narrow lead over Arizona Sen. John McCain, according to recent polls in Michigan.
Twenty-eight percent of people likely to vote in Tuesday's GOP primary said they supported Romney, compared with 26 percent for McCain.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is in a close third with 17 percent, followed by former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson with 5 percent each.
Related Video: CNN's Mary Snow runs down the Michigan primary race
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Two new national polls out Monday morning offer different snapshots of how the presidential race is shaping up in both parties.
In a new ABC News/Washington Post Poll, Democrat Hillary Clinton holds a 5-point lead over Barack Obama, 42 percent to 37 percent. John Edwards is back at 11 percent. Meanwhile, a new CBS/New York Times poll shows Clinton with a wider lead over Obama, 42 percent to 27 percent. Edwards is also at 11 percent in that poll.
On the Republican side, John McCain leads Mike Huckabee by 8 points, 28 percent to 20 percent in the ABC News/Washington Post poll. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is essentially tied with Huckabee at 19 percent, and Rudy Giuliani is close behind with 15 percent. Fred Thompson stands at 8 percent in that poll.
In the CBS/New York Times Poll, McCain holds a slightly wider 15-point lead over Huckabee, 33 percent to 18 percent. Rudy Giuliani is back at 10 percent in that poll and Romney and Thompson are tied at 8 percent.
Both polls find the economy has easily eclipsed the war in Iraq as the most important issue on voters' minds.
The ABC News/Washington Post poll carries a margin of error of five points while the CBS/New York Times poll's margin of error is plus or minus three points.
- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney
Clinton and Johnson attended services at the Northminster Presbyterian Church Sunday (Photo Credit: AP)
(CNN) - BET founder and prominent Hillary Clinton supporter Bob Johnson said Sunday he is 'insulted' with the Obama campaign's latest criticisms of Clinton, and appeared to take aim at the Illinois senator for his admitted drug use as a young man.
"As an African American, I'm frankly insulted that the Obama campaign would imply that we are so stupid that we would think Bill and Hillary Clinton, who have been deeply and emotionally involved in black issues when Barack Obama was doing something in the neighborhood that I won't say what he was doing but he said it in his book," Johnson said while campaigning with Clinton in Columbia South Carolina.
In a statement released by Obama's campaign Sunday afternoon, former South Carolina State Rep. "I.S." Leevy Johnson, an Obama supporter, said he was offended Clinton did not condemn Johnson's comments.
“It’s offensive that Senator Clinton literally stood by and said nothing as another one of her campaign’s top supporters launched a personal, divisive attack on Barack Obama,” he said. “For someone who decries the politics of personal destruction, she should’ve immediately denounced these attacks on the spot.”
Clinton's campaign says Johnson was not referring to Obama's past drug use, but rather his career as an organizer and state legislator. Meanwhile, Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, another African-American supporter of Clinton, said of the comments, "Sometimes people say things that aren't sanctioned ... I can't speak for Bob."
Later Sunday, Johnson maintained the comments were not in reference to Obama's drug use: "My comments today were referring to Barack Obama's time spent as a community organizer, and nothing else," he said in an issued statement. "Any other suggestion is simply irresponsible and incorrect."
In Obama's 1995 book Dreams of My Father — a book that was little read at the time, but recently reprinted — the future presidential candidate writes he was once headed in the direction of a "junkie" and a "pothead."
Referring to his emotional struggles as a young man, Obama writes, "Pot had helped, and booze; maybe a little blow when you could afford it. Not smack, though."
Last month, Clinton New Hampshire co-chairman Bill Shaheen resigned his post after suggesting Republicans would likely raise the issue in a general election.
"The Republicans are not going to give up without a fight … and one of the things they're certainly going to jump on is his drug use," Shaheen said then. "It'll be, 'When was the last time? Did you ever give drugs to anyone? Did you sell them to anyone?'"
Both campaigns are locked in a heated back and forth over recent remarks from the New York Democrat and her husband that have touched off concerns among some African-American voters. Clinton has alleged Obama's campaign is distorting the remarks - an accusation Obama has called "ludicrous."
Related video: BET founder on Clinton, Obama
- CNN's Sasha Johnson and Alexander Mooney
The presidential contest goes national
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The presidential race is definitely national now, as the remaining candidates fan out today in five states.
Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are safely on opposite sides of the country. He hits the campaign trail in Nevada and she spends time at a Martin Luther King Day event in New York after a weekend filled with fallout over her comments on the slain civil rights leader and a heated back-and-forth with the Obama campaign.
Meanwhile, the top three Republicans in the Michigan primary contest spend the day in much closer proximity, brushing past one another as they race across the state in the final hours before Tuesday's vote. Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney – who spent Sunday tangling over taxes – visit the Detroit Auto Show within a few short hours of each other, and John McCain hits five cities in a bid to get an edge, after two polls showed a tight race in Michigan.
In the state’s Democratic primary race – where most of the field doesn’t even appear on the ballot – Hillary Clinton currently leads “uncommitted,” 56 percent to 30 percent in the Detroit Free Press poll released this weekend. Supporters of John Edwards and Barack Obama have been urged to vote “uncommitted”– a move that could create an unexpected headache for the Clinton campaign.
The question of the day: Which will be the bigger factor in tomorrow’s Michigan vote – evangelicals mobilizing for Huckabee, or the expected deluge of crossover voters?
- CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand
Compiled by Jonathan Helman
CNN Washington Bureau
Detroit News: Primary Battle Focuses On Plight Of Auto Industry
Not for decades has the national political spotlight fallen on the auto industry as brightly as it will today. Republican presidential candidates Sen. John McCain, Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee will walk through the displays at the North American International Auto Show and meet with executives of an industry struggling to stay afloat and chafing under burdens its leaders say have been unfairly imposed from Washington.
Washington Post: McCain Moves Into Lead; Obama Gains on Clinton
The first contests of the 2008 presidential campaign have led to a dramatic shake-up in public opinion nationally, with Sen. John McCain now leading the Republican field and Sen. Barack Obama all but erasing Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's once-overwhelming advantage among Democrats, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
Greenville News: Huckabee Says His Focus Is On Issues, Not Religion
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee on Sunday said that being a former Southern Baptist minister would not make him too intolerant of people of other faiths to be president of a country with people of many religious beliefs and a secular government.
USA Today: Jobs A Top Concern In Michigan
John McCain, Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee are looking for votes here in the midst of what the state Republican Party chairman calls a "single-state recession."
Washington Post: Clinton's King Comment 'Ill-Advised,' Obama Says
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton defended her recent remarks on civil rights Sunday, as Sen. Barack Obama weighed in on the controversy for the first time, describing Clinton's earlier comments about the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. as "unfortunate" and "ill-advised."
Compiled by Lauren Kornreich and Katy Byron, CNN Washington Bureau
* Hillary Clinton attends a Martin Luther King Day union event in New York City.
* John Edwards holds "Bringing It Home" town halls in Georgetown and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
* Rudy Giuliani visits supporters and holds town halls in Naples, Fort Myers, Punta Gorda, Sarasota, Clearwater, and Lakeland, Florida.
* Mike Huckabee attends a rally in August, Michigan, tours companies in Lansing and Ypsilanti. Later, he attends the Auto Show, and a rally in Warren, Michigan.
* John McCain holds a town hall meeting and media availability in Kalamazoo, Michigan, attends town hall meetings in Holland and Spring Lake, Michigan, and a campaign event in Grand Rapids. Later, he attends a fundraiser, and holds a media availability in Traverse City, Michigan.
* Barack Obama holds a roundtable discussion, then attends a rally in Reno. Later, he meets voters in Fallon, Nevada, and attends a town hall meeting in Carson City, Nevada.
* Mitt Romney speaks at a high school in Grand Blanc, Michigan. Later, he addresses the Detroit Economic Club, and attends the Auto Show. At night, he speaks at the Oakland County Republican Party Anniversary Gala in West Bloomfield, Michigan.
* Fred Thompson meets with voters in Aiken, South Carolina, tours downtown Greenwood, South Carolina, and meets voters in Simpsonville, South Carolina.
* Ron Paul meets with the media in Reno, and holds a rally in Carson City, Nevada.
* The Senate Radio-Television Correspondents' Gallery Daybook:
* The House Radio-Television Correspondents' Gallery Daybook: