ABOARD THE ELECTION EXPRESS, TOMBSTONE, Arizona (CNN) – In 1886, Wyatt Earp battled outlaws at the OK Corral. Today, it’s Deputy Marshal J.D. DeMatteo keeping the peace. But his battle is with illegal immigrants.
When he is not patrolling the streets of this town near the border, he leads a volunteer posse looking for illegal immigrants.
“The coyotes are dropping off around this area,” DeMatteo said this weekend, as the CNN Election Express rolled through this historic Wild West town. Coyotes are smugglers who help illegal immigrants enter the country.
“Some of the vehicles are loaded up with drugs, and then they’re picking up on the other side in some of the washes, and then heading out trying to get to Tucson and L.A.”
DeMatteo recalled an incident when he was attacked by a group of illegal immigrants, which he said he was able to stop by firing a shotgun round into the air.
“We go out into the desert looking for locations that illegals are dropped off,” he said. “[We] track them, detain them, until border patrol arrives.”
– CNN Election Express Producer Joshua Rubin
MIAMI, Florida (CNN) – This weekend, John McCain accused Mitt Romney of supporting a timetable for troop withdrawals from Iraq - a move that temporarily deflected attention from fiscal issues back onto national security issues.
On Sunday, Romney tried to change the subject back to the economy, an issue where he holds an advantage over McCain, his main Republican rival in Florida.
“That's yesterday's news," Romney told reporters following his campaign. "I understand he's anxious to try and see if he can't get the topic away from the economy, but I'm going to remind him of his statements time and again about his lack of understanding of the economy.”
On Saturday, McCain accused Romney of telling an interviewer in April 2007 that he favors a secret timetable for withdrawal of troops from Iraq. In fact, Romney said the United States and Iraqi president Nouri al-Maliki should discuss the possibility of private milestones and timetables for Iraq.
“Well, he's lying. he's dishonest. He's being dishonest in that regard,” Romney said Sunday. Asked if he was calling the Arizona senator a liar, he responded, “No, I'm not. He made a dishonest comment, I misspoke."
The former Massachusetts governor and his campaign have remained relatively mum on the back and forth, only addressing it when directly asked by reporters. With only two days to go before the crucial Florida primary and in a dead heat with McCain, a foreign policy debate is the last discussion Romney wants.
On the stump, Romney’s almost singular focus on the economy and insistence as the issue most important to voters seems to be resonating as voters fret over a faltering economy and jittery markets. He often reminds crowds of his decades of business experience, and draws a distinction between his mastery of the subject, and McCain's limited experience in the area.
“No one needs to give me a briefing on the economy. I won't need to choose a vice president that understands the economy because I know the economy," Romney told a Miami crowd Sunday.
– CNN Political Producer Alexander Marquardt
(CNN) - Former Maryland Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend has become the third member of the Kennedy family to weigh in on the Democratic presidential race in the past 24 hours, issuing a statement Sunday in which she states her support for Hillary Clinton.
Her cousin Caroline Kennedy endorsed Barack Obama in an editorial in Sunday's New York Times. CNN has learned that her uncle, Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy, will also endorse Obama.
"I respect Caroline and Teddy's decision, but I have made a different choice," said Kennedy Townsend.
"While I admire Sen. Obama greatly, I have known Hillary Clinton for over 25 years and have seen firsthand how she gets results. As a woman, leader and person of deep convictions, I believe Hillary Clinton would make the best possible choice for president."
She added that her brother Bobby and sister Kerry were also backing Clinton.
Kennedy Townsend is the oldest child of Robert F. Kennedy.
Sen. Hillary Clinton arrived in Sarasota, Florida Sunday for a fundraiser. Democratic presidential candidates have pledged not to campaign in Florida this primary season because of national party penalties on the state for its early primary date, but they are allowed to attend fundraisers there.(Photo Credit: Mike Roselli/CNN)
(CNN) - Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign is expecting Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy to endorse Barack Obama for president.
A Clinton campaign source tells CNN's Suzanne Malveaux the campaign was told "that Ted Kennedy is endorsing Obama and expecting it."
Meanwhile, a Massachusetts Democratic source close to the senator tells CNN's John King that Kennedy has indeed committed to endorse Obama.
The source said Kennedy has "enormous respect and admiration of Sen. Clinton" but "believes Sen. Obama has a unique message and a unique opportunity."
Kennedy's niece, Caroline Kennedy, endorsed Obama today in a New York Times op-ed entitled, "A President Like My Father."
UPDATE: Asked about reports of Kennedy's endorsement, Obama said Sunday, "I’ve had ongoing conversations with Ted since I’ve got into this race. At the point where he is clear about what he’s doing and what to make it public, I will let Ted make it public."
(CNN) - Democrat Hillary Clinton said Sunday she will be in Florida for Tuesday night's Democratic primary, the latest sign the New York senator is seeking to capitalize on what is likely to be a strong performance there despite the fact party sanctions have rendered the primary essentially meaningless.
In a Saturday statement, Clinton said “We now turn our attention to the millions of Americans who will make their voices heard in Florida" followed by states that vote February 5. In a Sunday morning press conference, she repeated that her focus had shifted to Florida.
"I intend to be in Florida Tuesday night," she told reporters in Nashville, Tennessee. "The votes of the people of Florida and of course Michigan really matter to me. I am running to the president of our entire country."
Florida results will not currently count toward the Democratic presidential nomination, since its delegates will not be allowed to be seated at the party's convention this summer, because of penalties arising from the state party's decision to schedule its primary ahead of February 5.
Following the party's sanctions, the major presidential candidates, including Clinton and rivals Barack Obama and John Edwards, agreed not to formally campaign in the state. They are allowed to hold fundraisers in the state, and Clinton is expected to fundraise there later Sunday.
Clinton's campaign has increasingly stressed the importance of the state over the last several days, and on Friday, the New York senator called on her party to reinstate Florida's delegates, as well as those in Michigan who faced similar penalties.
Clinton was the only major candidate to appear on the ballot in Michigan, and won that state's Democratic primary, with 55 percent of the vote.
Howard Wolfson, Clinton's communications director, also circulated a memo Saturday stressing the state's importance in the Democratic race.
"Regardless of today's outcome, the race quickly shifts to Florida, where hundreds of thousands of Democrats will turn out to vote on Tuesday," Wolfson wrote. "Despite efforts by the Obama campaign to ignore Floridians, their voices will be heard loud and clear across the country, as the last state to vote before Super Tuesday on February 5."
Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton sharply responded to that statement. "If the Clinton campaign's southern strength rests on the outcome in a state where they're the only ones competing, that should give Democrats deep pause."
– CNN's Alexander Mooney and Rebecca Sinderbrand
(CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama sought Sunday to use his South Carolina victory to expand his appeal, saying the first Southern primary reflects what Americans are looking for.
Speaking to ABC's "This Week," Obama argued that the result in South Carolina "speaks extraordinarily well, not just for folks in the South, but all across the country. I think people want change."
But Sen. Hillary Clinton noted that both she and her top Democratic rival "have won a primary and a caucus."
ORLANDO, Florida (CNN) - Vice President Dick Cheney's daughter Elizabeth Cheney is joining Mitt Romney's presidential bid, his campaign announced Sunday.
She previously stumped for former Sen. Fred Thompson of Tennessee who dropped out of the race last week.
In a statement released by Romney's campaign, Cheney said the former Massachusetts governor "has distinguished himself as a leader who can guide our country with a clear vision for overcoming the threats we face today."
She also called him "the only candidate who has outlined a comprehensive strategy for defeating the global Jihadist threat."
Cheney, 41, once served as the principal deputy assistant secretary for Near Eastern Affairs at the State Department. She stepped down from the senior-level post in 2006.
She also worked in the State Department from 2002 to 2003, before leaving to work on her father's re-election campaign.
(CNN) - John McCain Sunday brushed aside Bill Clinton's recent comments that his wife and the Arizona senator have such a good relationship that a general election match up between to two will likely "put voters to sleep."
'"I thank [Bill] Clinton for his endorsement," McCain said laughing, in an interview on NBC's Meet the Press. "But let me just say, I will have a respectful debate whether it is Sen. Obama, whether it is Sen. Clinton, or whoever it is," McCain said. "But it won't be boring, it won't be boring."
"We are going to talk about more or less spending, higher or lower taxes," he continued. "We are going to be talking about the role of government in healthcare, and we are going to be talking about the struggle we are in against radical Islamic extremism. It's going to be anything but boring."
McCain also laughed off the notion the former president's comments were an underhanded attempt to damage McCain's standing among Republican voters.
Bill Clinton's comments came at an event in Spartanburg, South Carolina Friday, following a voter's question on whether Hillary Clinton will be able to work with Republicans. The former president pointed out how his wife has successfully worked with several senators across the aisle — including one of the current GOP presidential candidates.
"She and John McCain are very close," he said. "They always laugh that if they wound up being the nominees of their party, it would be the most civilized election in American history, and they're afraid they'd put the voters to sleep because they like and respect each other."
– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney
(CNN) - In a decision she attributes to "patriotic, political and personal" reasons, former First Daughter Caroline Kennedy is endorsing Barack Obama for president.
In an op-ed in Sunday's New York Times published on the paper's Web site Saturday night, titled "A President Like My Father," Kennedy writes: "It isn't that the other candidates are not experienced or knowledgeable. But this year, that may not be enough. We need a change in the leadership of this country — just as we did in 1960....
"I have never had a president who inspired me the way people tell me that my father inspired them. But for the first time, I believe I have found the man who could be that president — not just for me, but for a new generation of Americans."
Caroline Kennedy's uncle, Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy, has not yet endorsed a candidate in the Democratic presidential race. Her cousin, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., has endorsed Hillary Clinton.