(CNN) - Barack Obama's campaign circulated a report Tuesday that accused the Clinton campaign of misleading reporters about the motivation of a new Clinton backer.
The headline on the Clinton campaign's Monday press release - "Yellowstone County Commissioner Bill Kennedy Backs Hillary Clinton for President: Prominent Montana leader cites Obama's out-of-touch comments about rural America" - seemed to imply that the official had made the switch because of Obama's recent remarks.
But lower down in the press release, the official says Obama's comments had only "solidified his support" for Clinton, not sparked his decision. A news story circulated by the Clinton campaign a short time later used much of the same language contained in the original press release, and led some to conclude that Kennedy's endorsement had been sparked by the controversy over Obama's 'bitter' remark.
Asked Monday afternoon, shortly after the second release was sent, whether the potential discrepancy raised by the headline could be misleading, a Clinton spokesman told CNN that the original memo was accurate - in sending the second e-mail, he said, the campaign was merely "passing along" relevant published information.
(CNN) - All you political news junkies out there who watch a lot of cable news programs may have to suffer a bit of withdrawal in the coming days. That’s because we will be spending a lot of time focusing in on Pope Benedict XVI and his historic visit to the United States.
Needless to say, it’s not everyday that a Pope comes to this country.
Every minute of his trip has been carefully planned. We will be covering a lot of it live.
The Washington Post reports that 5,000 members of the news media have converged on the nation’s capital to report on the events, including the Wednesday morning meeting with President Bush at the White House and Thursday’s mass at the new Washington Nationals’ baseball stadium. It’s then on to New York on Friday for an address to the United Nations and a second mass at Yankee Stadium Sunday afternoon. He then returns to Rome.
WASHINGTON, Pennsylvania (CNN) – Barack Obama said Tuesday he was "amused" by accusations he is an "elitist" in the wake of the 'bitter-gate' controversy.
"It is true I am amused about this notion of elitist," Obama said, citing the fact that he was raised by a single mother, lived off food stamps, earned scholarships, and had to finance his own law school education.
"[Michelle and I] lived for the first 13 years of marriage up until three years ago, in a three bedroom condo without a garage," the White House hopeful said. "So if you live in Chicago, that means you are scraping ice every morning."
Hillary Clinton has called Obama "elitist" and "out of touch" for remarks he made at a fundraiser where he referred to some Pennsylvanians as "bitter" people who "cling to guns and religion."
FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
The billionaire founder of Black Entertainment Television says Barack Obama wouldn't be his party's leading presidential candidate if he was white.
Hillary Clinton supporter Bob Johnson has revived comments previously made by Geraldine Ferraro, telling The Charlotte Observer,
"What I believe Ferraro meant is that if you take a freshman senator from Illinois called 'Jerry Smith' and he says I'm going to run for president, would he start off with 90 percent of the black vote? And the answer is, probably not... Geraldine Ferraro said it right. The problem is, Geraldine Ferraro is white. This campaign has such a hair-trigger on anything racial ... it is almost impossible for anybody to say anything."
Ferraro stepped down last month as an adviser to the Clinton campaign after she said something similar.
To read more and contribute to the Cafferty File discussion click here
Watch part of Obama’s speech Tuesday
(CNN)— Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama criticized John McCain’s economic policies Tuesday, saying they not only represent a third Bush term, but reveal the presumptive Republican nominee to be a flip-flopper.
John McCain “used to say that tax cuts in a time of war were a bad idea, and that they violated his ‘conscience,’” Obama told a trade group conference in Washington, D.C. “Somewhere along the way to the Republican nomination, I guess he figured that he had to stop speaking his mind and start toeing the line – because now he wants to make those tax cuts permanent.”
John McCain voted against President Bush’s 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, but has recently said he is in favor of extending the tax cut through 2010.
The latest criticism comes on the heels of John McCain’s economic speech delivered Tuesday on the campus of Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania, where he highlighted his plans for economic stimulus, job loss, tax cuts, and took a swipe at Obama.
“Economic policy is not just some academic exercise,” McCain said. “Senator Obama recently suggested that Americans are protectionist because they are bitter about being left behind in the global economy. Well, what's his excuse for embracing the false promises of protectionism.”
(CNN) - Hillary Clinton has slightly increased her lead in Pennsylvania, according to a new CNN analysis of recent polls ahead of the crucial April 22 primary.
In the latest "poll of polls," the New York senator holds a 6-point lead over Sen. Barack Obama in Pennsylvania, 49 percent to 43 percent. Eight percent of likely Democratic voters there remain unsure.
Clinton's margin over Obama is two points higher than it was in a poll of polls conducted late last week, though is still half of what it was two weeks ago.
Tuesday's poll of polls includes one survey conducted in part after Obama's controversial comments about some small-town Americans surfaced. Despite Clinton’s repeated criticism over the comments, a new Quinnipiac poll released Tuesday shows Obama's position has not changed from a similar poll conducted early last week.
Clinton holds a 6-point lead in the just-released Quinnipiac poll that was conducted April 9-13. Obama's comments first surfaced on April 11. The organization reports there was no noticeable difference in the results from the two days immediately following news of the comments.
The CNN poll of polls also includes recent surveys from Zogby and Time Magazine.
(CNN) – In a widely-expected move, former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee officially launched his new political action committee, HuckPAC, Tuesday at noon.
According to a statement released Tuesday, the new PAC will “raise funds for Republican candidates and continue promoting the principles and ideas of conservative, smaller and more responsible government.”
The former Arkansas governor, who recently signed with Hollywood talent agency CAA, is also launching a new Web site that will plug candidates he is backing, collect donations for those candidates, and “allow supporters to post ideas and continue to be a part of Huckabee's national network.”
Huckabee said earlier this month that he would consider another run for the presidency in 2012.
(CNN) - A prominent backer of Hillary Clinton's White House bid said Tuesday whichever Democratic candidate is trailing after the last round of primaries should immediately drop out.
In an interview with the Associated Press, Rep. Barney Frank said the Democratic race should not continue past the last two primaries on June 3 and said one of the candidates should even consider getting out "sooner" if it seems inconceivable he or she could win the nomination.
Clinton currently trails Obama by 171 pledged delegates in the most recent CNN count. It remains virtually impossible for the New York senator to close that gap, even if she wins the remaining primaries by large margins. But neither candidate can amass the necessary 2,025 delegates needed to capture the nomination without the support of superdelegates, leaving the ultimate decision in the hands of those elected officials and party leaders.
It also remains unlikely Clinton can catch Obama in the popular vote, even if the results of the disputed primaries in Florida and Michigan are factored in.
Watch portions of McCain's speech Tuesday.
PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania (CNN) – An end to earmarks, a gas-tax holiday, government-backed mortgages - they're all part of an economic-revival plan that a top aide to GOP Sen. John McCain described Tuesday as "big and ambitious."
The presumed Republican nominee also wants to create an alternative system for paying income taxes and double the income tax exemption for dependents, McCain said during a Tuesday speech at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.
The senator from Arizona is proposing an income tax system that offers two basic rates and a "generous standard deduction," he said. McCain would let Americans choose between the new system and the present one.
Watch Mitt Romney on American Morning.
(CNN) – As John McCain shifted focus to his economic policies with a major address Tuesday, former Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney plugged the Arizona senator’s credentials on fiscal issues, telling CNN that “if you take Hillary Clinton’s and Barack Obama’s experience and multiply it by ten, you still haven’t caught up with Sen. McCain when it comes to experience on the economy.”
McCain, who has focused his campaign on his national security and foreign policy credentials, has faced charges that he is relatively inexperienced dealing with economic policy.
Romney defended the presumptive GOP nominee’s record on CNN’s American Morning Tuesday.
“For a person who’s spent over 25 years in Washington, D.C., working on economic policies, from the days of Reagan and throughout the current time, Sen. McCain is very well aware of the spending programs in Washington,” Romney told Kiran Chetry. “Which ones need to be cut back, which ones need to be grown. He understands also how to relieve the pressure on the American taxpayer.”
Romney’s own fiscal expertise was a foundation of his own White House bid. He has been named as a possible running mate for McCain, but has refused to speculate on his vice presidential chances . “I’m working real hard to get Sen. McCain elected. He’s got a number of people that he can choose from,” Romney told Chetry Tuesday.