(CNN) – John McCain raised around $11 million last month, according to federal filings released this week – about one-third the sum raised by Hillary Clinton, a fifth of Barack Obama’s February haul, and slightly less than he’d raised in January as a primary candidate.
The overall gap between the three senators also increased: McCain has now raised just over $60 million, compared with Clinton’s $156 million and Obama’s $194 million.
The news for McCain was not all grim: last month, the Arizona senator was able to bein paying back the nearly $4 million loan he took out when the financial situation for his then-struggling campaign looked dire.
McCain spent just $8.7 million in February, as he he effectively captured the Republican nomination. By contrast, Obama and Clinton spent $42.8 million in February and $31.8 million respectively.
The two remaining Democratic contenders ended the month with a healthy amount of cash in hand: $33 million for Clinton and $39 million for Obama. The numbers are not quite as close as they appear: Obama has less than a million dollars in debt, while Clinton owes nearly $9 million in addition to the $5 million loan she made to her own campaign in January. McCain had $8 million cash on hand.
February’s totals seem to make it more likely that McCain may need to accept public financing for the general election – putting him at a disadvantage to both of his potential rivals, who have avoided committing to abiding under the restrictions required by the federal financing system, including strict fundraising and spending caps.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has told Sen. Hillary Clinton, a Democratic candidate for president, that her passport file was breached in 2007, the senator's office said in a statement on Friday.
"The State Department will be briefing Senator Clinton's staff this afternoon to provide details about the recent unauthorized breaches of passport records," the statement said. "Senator Clinton will closely monitor the State
Department's investigation into this and the other breaches of private passport information."
The news came a day after the State Department revealed that two of its contractors working for the department were fired and a third was disciplined after they accessed Sen. Barack Obama's passport file without authorization.
– CNN's Jessica Yellin
From CNN Contributor Roland Martin
As this whole sordid episode regarding the sermons of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright has played out over the last week, I wanted to understand what he ACTUALLY said in this speech. I’ve been saying all week on CNN that context is important, and I just wanted to know what the heck is going on.
I have now actually listened to the sermon Rev. Wright gave after September 11 titled, “The Day of Jerusalem’s Fall.” It was delivered on Sept. 16, 2001.
(CNN) – Barack Obama’s former minister, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, attended a 1998 Clinton White House prayer breakfast, and met former President Bill Clinton – a moment which was documented by official photographers in a photo that surfaced Thursday.
Wright was one of roughly 100 religious leaders invited to the breakfast, which was held in the East Room on September 11, 1998, as part of a series of similar events scheduled that year in the wake of the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
The photograph appeared on "The truth about Trinity United Church of Christ," a blog operated by a church member.
During the breakfast, then-President Clinton told the group that "I don't think there is a fancy way to say that I have sinned."
An Obama spokesman declined to comment. Clinton spokesman Phil Singer told CNN, “In the course of his two terms in office, Bill Clinton met with, corresponded with and took pictures with literally tens of thousands of people.
According to White House documents released this week, Hillary Clinton was scheduled to attend the event as well.
The Obama campaign has struggled to re-gain its footing following the controversy over racially-charged comments by the Illinois senator’s former minister. Earlier this week, Obama gave a speech in Philadelphia that was meant to clarify his opposition to the substance of Wright’s remarks, as well as his views on racial division in America.
The Clinton campaign has largely steered clear of public criticism of Obama over the incident, though some current and former campaign surrogates have suggested the fact that the senator did not dissociate himself sooner might raise questions about his judgment.
–CNN's Steve Brusk and Rebeca Sinderbrand
(CNN) - Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico plans to endorse Sen. Barack Obama in the Democratic race for president Friday, an Obama campaign spokesperson told CNN.
Richardson plans to join Obama at a rally in Portland, Oregon, at 12:30 p.m. Friday.
In an e-mail to supporters, Richardson said Obama will be a "historic and a great president, who can bring us the change we so desperately need by bringing us together as a nation here at home and with our allies abroad."
Richardson also said in the e-mail that he was touched by Obama's recent speech on race in America, saying he "understands clearly that only by bringing people together, only by bridging our differences can we all succeed together as Americans."
Richardson is the nation's only Hispanic governor. Hispanics have tended to support Obama's rival, Sen. Hillary Clinton, in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.
(CNN) – Just over a week after she resigned her post on Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign after making controversial comments about Barack Obama’s presidential bid, Geraldine Ferraro said she resented being compared the Rev. Jeremiah Wright in the Illinois senator's recent speech on race relations.
"To equate what I said with what this racist bigot has said from the pulpit is unbelievable," Ferraro told the Daily Breeze newspaper an interview published late Wednesday night. "He gave a very good speech on race relations, but he did not address the fact that this man is up there spewing hatred."
"What this man is doing is he is spewing that stuff out to young people, and to younger people than Obama, and putting it in their heads that it's OK to say `Goddamn America' and it's OK to beat up on white people," Ferraro also said of Wright. "You don't preach that from the pulpit."
Ferraro, a former congresswoman and the Democratic party's 1984 vice presidential nominee, stepped down from her fundraising post with the Clinton campaign last week after suggesting Obama's success in the presidential race can largely be attributed to the fact he is black.
Compiled by Jonathan Helman
CNN Washington Bureau
Washington Post: Michigan Ends Revote Bid
The effort to schedule a June revote for the Michigan Democratic primary collapsed yesterday, dealing a potentially serious blow to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's bid for the White House.
CNN: Bill Richardson To Endorse Obama
Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico plans to endorse Sen. Barack Obama in the Democratic race for president Friday, an Obama campaign spokesperson told CNN.
NY Times: Obama Campaign Says Clinton Misrepresented Her Support for Nafta
Senator Barack Obama’s campaign on Thursday accused Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of purposely distorting her position on the North American Free Trade Agreement, pointing to newly released White House schedules that show Mrs. Clinton attended several meetings on the trade pact while first lady.
Washington Post: Court Disbars Cheney Ex-Aide
Vice President Cheney's former chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, was barred yesterday from practicing law in the District of Columbia because of his convictions last year for perjury and obstructing justice in a White House leak investigation.
Compiled by Jonathan Helman, CNN Washington Bureau
*Hillary Clinton has no planned events.
*John McCain is in France and will meet with President Sarkozy.
*Barack Obama is in Oregon. He attends a rally in Portland and Eugene as well as a town hall meeting in Salem.