WASHINGTON (CNN) - New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has introduced Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain at recent events and who talks to Hillary Clinton often, is unlikely to make an announcement of support for any of them anytime soon.
"I don't have any plans to endorse anybody in the near future or to make up my own mind," Bloomberg told CNN in an interview.
"As you know I have very strong views of what I think is appropriate behavior for a candidate, what I want to hear out of the three candidates," he said. "And then someday I will decide, and whether or not I am going to tell other people who I am going to vote for or not is something to be decided down the road."
Bloomberg was in Washington Monday for a summit with 45 mayors from across the nation to try to make sure the nation's gun laws are being enforced, especially those concerning background checks.
FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
The tsunami of voters to the polls looks like it will continue to sweep through states like Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Indiana.
In fact, more than a half a million people are either newly registered or have switched their registrations so they can weigh in on the Democratic primaries in those 3 states.
This shouldn't come as much of a surprise when you consider the tremendous interest generated by the race between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Record voter registration and turnouts – particularly on the Democratic side – are what we've been seeing all along since the Iowa caucuses.
In Pennsylvania, where only registered Democrats can vote next Tuesday, more than 300,000 people have completed new registrations or switched to vote Democrat since the first of the year.
To read more and contribute to the Cafferty File discussion click here
PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania (CNN) - Barack Obama furthered his recent criticisms of Hillary Clinton Monday by mocking the fact that she recently "threw back a shot and a beer" in front of the media.
After first saying too many candidates are only giving voters "rhetoric," the Illinois senator said, "They'll promise you anything. They'll even give you a long list of proposals. They'll even come around with TV crews in tow and throw back a shot and a beer."
The shot came Saturday at Bronko’s Restaurant in Crown Point, Indiana. With the national media in tow, Clinton made a stop there to drink a beer and speak with voters. After ordering her beer the bartender asked, “You want a shot with that Hillary?” After some deliberation, Clinton settled on a shot of Crown Royal, a Canadian whiskey.
But Obama is not totally in the clear himself when it comes to photo-ops at bars. The White House hopeful nursed a beer in front of cameras with Pennsylvania senator Bob Casey at a sports bar during his Pennsylvania bus tour on March 28. He has since mentioned that moment of drinking in front of audiences on the trail in the Keystone State.
(CNN) – John McCain on Monday called Barack Obama's recent remarks about small-town Pennsylvanians “elitist” - but he stopped short of describing Obama himself that way.
In his remarks to the Associated Press Managing Editors conference in Washington - his first public appearance since the firestorm over Obama's reference to some Americans as "bitter" began - the presumptive Republican nominee took the long view.
He praised those who suffered through the Great Depression for their contributions to the nation telling the crowd that “it had not shaken their faith in and fidelity to America and its founding political ideals.”
“Their faith had given generations of their families purpose and meaning,” he continued, “and their appreciation of traditions like hunting was based in nothing other than their contribution to the enjoyment of life.”
When asked after his speech if he considered Obama an elitist, he responded, “I don't know, I think those comments are elitist.” He described them as “disparaging” to people “that have fundamental cultural, spiritual and other values that in my view have very little to do with their economic condition.”
When pressed, McCain said he didn’t know Obama well enough to describe him as an elitist, saying only that his comments “are certainly not the vision that I have of America and its strength and its greatness and what its fundamental values and beliefs are.”
(CNN)— Senator Hillary Clinton’s campaign released the second of a series of “NC Ask me” ads aimed at answering North Carolinian voter concerns.
The ad called “Tammie” comes one week after Clinton invited North Carolian’s to ask her “anything and everything.”
Tammie Bright, a working mother of three from Cherryville asks Clinton: “What are your plans on reducing the rising cost of gas?”
Clinton responds that she would “invest $150 billion in research and development of new kinds of energy.”
“Let’s put more hybrid vehicles on the fast track. And when we create new clean energies and technologies, we’ll be creating new jobs right here in North Carolina.”
According to Clinton’s campaign, they have received nearly 10,000 responses to their request for voters to submit their questions online. The campaign says that staff and volunteers will reply to each submission regardless of whether the query is chosen for an ad.
Click here to watch Clinton's new North Carolina ad: "Tammie."
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Democratic Party on Monday filed a lawsuit against the Federal Elections Commission seeking to force the group to investigate whether John McCain has violated federal spending limits for his primary campaign.
The lawsuit, which was filed in the United States District Court in Washington, is the latest move by the Democratic National Committee that seeks to prove the Arizona senator locked himself into campaign spending limits earlier this year when he used the prospect of $6 million in federal matching funds as collateral for a December bank loan to his campaign.
The DNC first filed a complaint with the FEC in February, arguing then that McCain should be forced to accept the matching funds - and the spending limits that come with it.
DNC Chairman Howard Dean said that McCain not only used the prospect of the funds as loan collateral, but he also accepted automatic ballot access in every state - an advantage given to those who accept federal matching funds. (Those who do not accept federal matching funds are forced to gain ballot access themselves - a task that can cost millions of dollars.)
(CNN)— After days of controversy over his comments about some small-town Pennsylvanians, Barack Obama hit the airwaves with a new ad Monday, taking direct aim at criticism that the Illinois senator is out of touch with those working-class voters.
The 30 second spot titled, “It Won’t” stars Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey talking about Obama’s empathy for the economic pain those voters are facing.
“In towns like yours and mine, families are struggling with bills they can’t afford and jobs moving away,” Sen. Casey says while walking in Scranton. “It has to change – but it won’t until we change Washington.”
“Barack Obama knows Pennsylvania’s hurting. He can unite America and bring real change.”
Click here to watch Obama's new Pennsylvania Ad: "It Won't."
(CNN)— John McCain emphasized the importance of media on Monday saying the American public is better informed and able to make better choices because of the constant coverage of politicians.
“I will screw up sometimes and frankly so will you,” McCain said at The Associated Press’ annual meeting. “But on the whole, you and I, and most importantly the American people are better served by the openness and accountability that direct, lengthy, and frequent exchanges with the press produces.”
The presumptive Republican nominee acknowledged the downside of around-the-clock coverage saying his comments are sometimes misinterpreted and portray him in a different light than he had intended. He added that there are days that he wished the media was “somewhere else” rather than highlighting his missteps.
McCain has been criticized for not connecting as personally as he should with voters, particularly on economic concerns. But overall, McCain said he’ll take his chances with the media, “and trust in the American people to get it right in the end.”
CNN Senior Producer Sasha Johnson traveled to Coaldale, Pennsylvania, to talk to voters, including some members of her extended family, about how a typical small town like Coaldale might vote in 2008 and what issues are on their minds.
COALDALE, Pennsylvania (CNN) - Coaldale is a borough of 2,200, nestled in the anthracite-rich mountains in the northeastern part of Pennsylvania.
It's exactly the type of place Sen. Barack Obama referenced last week when he said some Pennsylvanians were "bitter" over their poor economic situation.
Obama said he regretted the word choice but continued to argue that some voters feel desperate.