February 29th, 2008
06:25 AM ET
7 years ago

ON THE TRAIL: Friday, February 29, 2008

ALT TEXT

Compiled by Jonathan Helman, CNN Washington Bureau

*Hillary Clinton attends the funeral of the Dallas police officer who died after crashing his motorcycle in her motorocade last week. She will then attend rallies in Waco and San Antonio, Texas.

*Mike Huckabee attends a rally and hosts a media availability in Lubbock and College Station, Texas. Later, he holds media availabilities in Fort Worth and Houston, Texas.

*John McCain holds a town hall meeting and a media availability in Round Rock, Texas.

*Barack Obama is in Texas. He holds an event at the American Legion Post in Houston, a prayer meeting in Brownsville, and attends a rally in Selma.


Filed under: On the Trail
February 29th, 2008
06:20 AM ET
3 years ago

CNN=Politics Daily

CNN=Politics Daily is The Best Political Podcast from the Best Political Team.

CNN=Politics Daily is The Best Political Podcast from the Best Political Team.

(CNN) - In the countdown to the March 4 primaries, tensions have been escalating in the Democratic primary race. Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley reports on how Sen. Hillary Clinton dealt with controversial comments by a supporter and how Sen. Obama responded to reports that he is not serious about altering the North American Free Trade Agreement if he wins the White House.

Sen. John McCain picked up the endorsement of a prominent Texas Republican Thursday. Dana Bash reports.

The war in Iraq is once again a topic of debate in the White House race. Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider takes a look at what the presidential candidates are saying about the Middle Eastern conflict and how voters are responding.

Finally, Brian Todd reports on a key demographic - white male voters - that may determine who gets the Democratic nomination and who wins the White House in November.

Click here to subscribe to CNN=Politics Daily

–CNN Associate Producer Martina Stewart


Filed under: Best Political Podcast • Candidate Barack Obama • Hillary Clinton • Iraq • John McCain • Ohio • Texas
February 28th, 2008
10:00 PM ET
3 years ago

Huck and Chuck reunited

LUBBOCK, Texas (CNN) – The sight of Mike Huckabee side by side with Chuck Norris in Texas on Thursday evoked memories of the campaign trail in January when the former Arkansas governor effectively used the martial arts star to get supporters revved up at rallies in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

Gone is Huckabee's frontrunner status but Norris and wife Gina, residents of College Station, Texas, are back after a few weeks off the trail. They joined Huckabee at his second rally of the day in Waco and will stay with the campaign through Tuesday when Texas holds its primary. Whether or not it was thanks to Norris , 700 people packed the hotel ballroom while 500 more had to listen to the speech over a speaker system in the hallway.

Huckabee added to the long list of Chuck Norris “facts”, telling Waco supporters, many of them students at nearby Baylor University, “Chuck Norris doesn’t just draw a crowd, he shows up and the crowd materializes.” He added, “In my administration there would be room for a Secretary of Defense named Chuck Norris!”

Norris says he decided to support Huckabee after watching him debate and doing some online research. “Being on the campaign with [Huckabee] for the last four months, I’m really impressed with this man and I really know and believe that he is the man to lead our nation in the future. So I’ll do whatever I can to help get him elected,” said Norris before going into a fundraiser with Huckabee in Amarillo.

Standing next to the six-time karate world champion, Huckabee told reporters he needs to win Texas next week to change the course of the race. “I’m not stupid, I understand that a lot of the time the crowd comes to see Chuck. But between Chuck and me hopefully we get them to go vote Tuesday.”

– CNN Political Producer Alexander Marquardt

Filed under: Mike Huckabee
February 28th, 2008
08:40 PM ET
7 years ago

Clinton will attend funeral for Dallas police officer

HOUSTON (CNN) - Hillary Clinton will attend funeral services on Friday morning for the Dallas police officer who was killed last week while escorting the Democratic presidential candidate's motorcade.

Clinton will attend the funeral, to be held at 11 a.m. in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, at the request of the officer's mother.

According to the campaign, a Clinton supporter in Texas had been in touch with the local police officer's union, which had been communicating with the officer's mother, who requested Clinton's presence at the memorial.

Senior Cpl. Victor Lozada was killed last Friday after crashing into a barrier along Clinton's motorcade as it traveled through Dallas.

– CNN Political Producer Peter Hamby


Filed under: Hillary Clinton
February 28th, 2008
05:42 PM ET
7 years ago

Texas and gas prices: It's complicated

CNN

Watch CNN's Ali Velshi take a look at how rising oil prices are affecting people in Texas.

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (CNN) - Traveling around Texas this week with the CNN Election Express, we've been talking to voters and have found the state of the economy to be one of their primary concerns. High gas prices are cited by many as a major burden, and a contributing factor to the general economic slowdown.

But in Texas they produce oil, so high oil prices are an economic benefit to some of the people here.

CNN Senior Business Correspondent Ali Velshi takes a look at some Texans' complicated relationship with record oil prices.

– CNN's Wes Little 


Filed under: Texas
February 28th, 2008
05:09 PM ET
7 years ago

Polls show Clinton, Obama in tight race in Texas

Sens. Obama and Clinton greet the audience before last weeks CNN debate.
Sens. Obama and Clinton greet the audience before last weeks CNN debate.

(CNN) – Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are in a tight race in Texas, according to a “poll of polls” calculated by CNN on Thursday.

An average of three polls of likely Democratic voters has Sen. Barack Obama at 48 percent and Sen. Hillary Clinton at 45 percent. Seven percent were unsure.

The average also shows Sen. John McCain, the presumptive GOP nominee, holding a nearly 20-point lead over former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee among likely Republican primary voters. McCain has 53 percent to Huckabee's 34 percent, and Texas Rep. Ron Paul has 9 percent. Four percent were unsure.

Texas voters will be joined by those in Ohio, Vermont and Rhode Island when they head to the polls on March 4. With Obama surging into the lead on 11 straight wins since Super Tuesday, Clinton's supporters admit that she must do well in Texas and Ohio if she is continue to battle for the nomination.

CNN's Texas poll of polls results were calculated using three surveys: a Belo/Public Strategies poll conducted February 24-25, an American Research Group poll conducted February 23-24, and a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll conducted February 22-24.

Earlier, an American Research Group poll of likely Democratic voters on February 13-14 showed Obama ahead, 48-42, with 10 percent undecided. A CNN poll taken between February 14-17 showed Clinton ahead, 50-48.

–CNN.com Senior Political Producer Scott Anderson

February 28th, 2008
05:00 PM ET
7 years ago

Huckabee takes a swipe at Obama

 Huckabee went after Obama Thursday.
Huckabee went after Obama Thursday.

TEXARKANA, Texas (CNN) - Republican Mike Huckabee prides himself on running a positive campaign and has stayed quiet while rival John McCain has recently targeted Democrat Barack Obama.

But on Thursday, the former Arkansas governor went after the Illinois senator for ideas he says would cost Americans $287 billion.

“I hear Barack Obama say that he's going to provide everybody with health care and college tuition and pave the streets with gold,” Huckabee said to laughter from the crowd, “the proposals he's put on the table so far, already are going to cost about $287 billion dollars, so far. Now that's a lot of money.”

“What we don't know how to figure out is how much will it cost us when we walk away and leave Iraq in a mess and the Middle East blows up, how much will that cost?” added Huckabee.

After spending just one day campaigning in Ohio and Rhode Island each, Huckabee began a swing through Texas on Thursday that will end with the state’s Tuesday primary. Of the states holding their primaries on March 4, Huckabee is doing the best in Texas, though a CNN/Opinion Research poll has him trailing McCain by 25 percentage points.

In true Huckabee fashion, he laced his last jab at Obama with humor. “If we were doing the Mastercard commercial we'd simply say we know what some of the costs are. Some of the items on his agenda? Priceless.”

– CNN Political Producer Alexander Marquardt

February 28th, 2008
05:00 PM ET
7 years ago

Clinton weighs in on Bloomberg's non-bid

 Clinton campaigned in Ohio Thursday.
Clinton campaigned in Ohio Thursday.

HANGING ROCK, Ohio (CNN) - With Michael Bloomberg's presidential bid now officially over before it ever really started, Hillary Clinton won't face the prospect of competing against a fellow New Yorker this fall if she wins the democratic nomination.

At a press conference in Ohio, she weighed in on Bloomberg's decision, which he made public in Thursday's edition of the New York Times.

"I have the highest regard for mayor Bloomberg," Clinton said when asked about his decision. "I have worked with him on many issues affecting New York. This is such a personal decision as I can attest to. There are lots of reasons why people decide either to run or not to run, and I respect his reaching his own decision."

Clinton said she looked forward to working with Bloomberg for the "next couple of years."

– CNN Political Producer Peter Hamby


Filed under: Hillary Clinton
February 28th, 2008
04:45 PM ET
7 years ago

House Ethics Committee to investigate Renzi

WASHINGTON (CNN) – The House Ethics Committee announced Thursday it would begin an investigation into whether Arizona Republican Rick Renzi violated House rules, following his indictment last week on 35 counts of conspiracy, wire fraud, extortion, money laundering, and insurance fraud.

The government accuses Renzi of using his official position in Congress to enrich himself and a former business partner.

Ethics Committee Chairwoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones, D-OH, and the Committee’s top Republican, Doc Hastings, R-WA, released the following joint statement:

Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-Ca, will lead a subcommittee created for the investigation and will be joined by Ethics Committee members Rep Michael McCaul, R-Texas, Rep Steve Rothman, D-NJ, and Rep. Greg Walden, R-OR.

Rep. Renzi did not have an immediate comment on the Ethics Committee announcement.

His lawyers released a statement last week saying, “Congressman Renzi did nothing wrong. We will fight these charges until he is vindicated and his family’s name is restored.”

Renzi has insisted he will not resign from Congress.

 – CNN Congressional Producer Deirdre Walsh

Filed under: House
February 28th, 2008
04:28 PM ET
7 years ago

Legal Fees mount for the prosecution of Senator Craig

WASHINGTON (CNN) – The Metropolitan Airport Commission has spent over 28,000 dollars on the prosecution and appeal of Idaho Senator Larry Craig, MAC spokesman Patrick Hogan told CNN in a phone interview.

Hogan said that the legal fees spent on Sen. Craig's case account for 20 percent of the 2007 budget used to prosecute cases at the airport. "This is one of the highest amounts of money ever spent on prosecuting a misdemeanor," Hogan added.

The MAC gets ist funds from airlines, parking and other airport concessions. It oversees the Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota airport where Craig was arrested in June.

Craig, 62, was arrested by an undercover officer in a public restroom at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

He pleaded guilty in August to a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct. A soliciting charge was dropped.

Craig has since denied the charges - saying he was not soliciting sex in the bathroom and is not gay. He has since appealed a state courts decision not to let him change his guilty plea. A Minnesota appellate court has not made a ruling to date.

- CNN Senior Producer Eric Fiegel


Filed under: Larry Craig
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