(CNN) - Robert Reich, a former Clinton cabinet member and longtime friend of the former president, has formally endorsed Barack Obama's White House bid, saying Friday that "my conscience won't let me be silent any longer."
"Although Hillary Clinton has offered solid and sensible policy proposals, Obama's strike me as even more so," Reich wrote on his blog. He served as the Secretary of Labor from 1993-1997 and is currently a professor at UC Berkeley.
"His plans for reforming Social Security and health care have a better chance of succeeding," Reich continued. "His approaches to the housing crisis and the failures of our financial markets are sounder than hers. His ideas for improving our public schools and confronting the problems of poverty and inequality are more coherent and compelling. He has put forward the more enlightened foreign policy and the more thoughtful plan for controlling global warming."
Reich, whose relationship with the Clintons dates back to their law school days at Yale, has long been a critic of the New York senator's White House bid. Shortly before the Iowa caucuses in January, he wrote that voters would have a choice "between someone who talks the talk, and somebody who's walked the walk."
WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina (CNN) – Hillary Clinton's campaign Friday looked to lower expectations for the upcoming North Carolina primary, telling reporters that a Clinton win here on May 6 would be "the biggest upset of the century."
Ace Smith, the campaign's North Carolina state director, told a group of reporters at Wake Forest University that Obama "starts very strong here," an advantage owed to the state's Democratic cocktail of African-American voters and affluent, educated professionals concentrated around the Raleigh-Durham area.
With the heightened attention being paid to the primary, the state's Democratic voter rolls are swelling. Since January 1, nearly 110,000 North Carolinians have signed up to vote as Democrats in the semi-open primary, and nearly 69,000 have signed up as unaffiliated voters, according to the state board of elections.
In addition, more than 19,000 Republicans have switched parties and registered as either Democrat or unaffiliated in order to participate in the contest since the beginning of the year. Over 67,000 new African-American voters in North Carolina have registered over the same time period.
"Our measure of success is knocking this down to single digits," Smith said of the race, estimating that as many as 1.5 million people could vote in the contest, which will award 115 pledged delegates.
Asked if Clinton can win the primary, Smith said, "No, that would be the biggest upset of the century."
(CNN)—In the latest installment of CNN=Politics Daily, Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley reports on the recent campaign trail griping. What are Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama complaining about?
Clinton and Obama’s most recent showdown is still making waves. Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider reports on the grassroots response to Wednesday night’s controversial debate.
John McCain released his tax returns Friday - though they did not include his wife Cindy’s. CNN’s Dana Bash takes viewers inside of the presumptive Republican nominee’s personal finances.
Finally, in a podcast exclusive: it was a week when arguments over guns, whiskey and elitism took center stage. CNN’s Jennifer Mikell dishes on the political highlights that rocked the campaign trail.
Click here to subscribe to CNN=Politics Daily.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Hillary Clinton accepted an invitation Friday to debate Barack Obama in Indiana ahead of the state’s May 6 primary, at an event sponsored by the Indiana Debate Commission, CNN and PBS.
As of Friday, Obama had not committed to participate in the debate.
A senior Clinton aide said the New York senator would appear at the debate on April 24, two days after the Pennsylvania primary. The commission offered April 24 as one possible date for the event, but noted in the invitations sent to Clinton and Obama that “we can work with you on the dates.”
“We are looking forward to a good debate in Indiana,” said Howard Wolfson, Clinton’s communications director. “We hope that Senator Obama’s poor performance in Philadelphia does not dissuade him from doing future debates.”
Wolfson was critiquing Obama’s performance Wednesday night when the two Democratic presidential hopefuls squared off in Philadelphia at a debate televised on ABC.
(CNN) – Where do Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama stand among Democrats nation-wide? It depends on the poll.
In a just released Newsweek survey, Obama has opened up a 19 point lead over Clinton nationally, 54 to 35 percent. But in Friday's daily Gallup tracking poll, the two Democrats are only separated by 3 percentage points.
In a CNN average of those two surveys as well as ones recently released by ABC News/Washington Post and Reuters/Zogby, Obama holds an 11 point lead over Clinton, 51 percent to 40 percent.
(CNN) - In a sign he's comfortable playing the attack dog for John McCain's presidential campaign, Mitt Romney issued stinging criticisms of Barack Obama Friday, calling the Illinois senator a "quintessential politician."
"He, in the debate, made a number of promises that he cannot possibly deliver - populist approaches that sound good to the public but that are counter to the growth and strength of our economy and the well-being of our nation," Romney, who abandoned his own presidential bid in February, told the National Journal.
In an apparent reference to Obama's recent comments calling some small town Americans "bitter," Romney also said the Democratic presidential candidate has "subscribed fully to the kind of elitist view of America that has long characterized those of the most liberal persuasion in our country."
"So I think what's happening is that people are getting a better sense about Barack Obama," Romney continued. "They didn't know who he was… but now we're getting a better view of Barack Obama as the - not just the liberal, but the political liberal that he is."
Romney was a fierce critic of John McCain when the two were primary rivals, though he has since repeatedly praised McCain and indicated his willingness to serve as the Arizona senator's running mate.
(CNN) - John McCain's campaign is crying foul over what it characterizes as repeated distortions from Barack Obama, saying on Friday the Illinois senator is "recklessly dishonest."
The most recent dustup comes after Obama criticized McCain earlier Friday for comments the Arizona senator made in an interview on Bloomberg Television.
"John McCain went on television and said that there has been quote "great progress economically over the last seven and a half years," Obama told a Pennsylvania crowd. "John McCain thinks our economy has made great progress under George W. Bush. Now, how could somebody who has been traveling across this country, somebody who came to Erie, PA, say we've made great progress?”
The McCain campaign immediately took issue with the comment, noting the Arizona senator also said he knows families are facing "tremendous economic challenges."
WILLIAMSPORT, Pennsylvania (CNN) - Defending himself against criticism from Hillary Clinton that he's been "complaining about the hard questions he was asked" during Wednesday's debate, Barack Obama said Friday he's not the one who's been griping.
Upon exiting his plane on the tarmac in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, the Illinois senator was asked by a reporter at he thought of Clinton's comments.
"Did you hear me complain?" he responded, adding: "You tell me who's been complaining about the press over the last six months."
Clinton told an interviewer Friday morning that Obama "spent all day (Thursday)" complaining over tough debate queries. "Being asked tough questions in a debate is nothing like the pressures you face inside the White House," she said.
At a previous debate in Ohio, Clinton had criticized the moderators for always asking her the first question and for appearing to favor Obama.
"Maybe we should ask Barack if he's comfortable and needs another pillow," she added then.
(CNN) - John McCain’s campaign sent supporters a fundraising e-mail Friday that claims Hamas approves of Democrat Barack Obama’s foreign policy vision, and is hoping for his victory this fall.
“Barack Obama's foreign policy plans have even won him praise from Hamas leaders,” writes McCain deputy campaign manager Christian Ferry. “Ahmed Yousef, chief political adviser to the Hamas Prime Minister said, ‘We like Mr. Obama and we hope he will win the election. He has a vision to change America.’”
The McCain fundraising e-mail says Obama’s stands have earned him “kind words” from Hamas. “John McCain's foreign policy provides a stark contrast to the policies of Barack Obama,” writes Ferry. “While Senator Obama would surrender in Iraq and hold talks with the Iranian regime, John McCain will never surrender in the struggle with Islamic extremists. Please join our campaign today by making a generous donation of $50, $100, $250, $500, $1,000 or $2,300.”
(CNN) – Hillary Clinton can add three superdelegates to her total. Former New Jersey Governors James Florio and Brendan Byrne were elected their state’s unpledged add-on delegates to the convention Thursday. Unpledged add-on delegates have the same voting rights as “superdelegates” and do not need to vote with the primary or caucus results of their home state.
Florio and Byrne endorsed the New York senator last year, along with current “superdelegate” Governor Jon Corzine. Clinton beat Senator Barack Obama in the New Jersey primary in February 54 – 44 percent.
On Friday, Ohio congresswoman and superdelegate Betty Sutton endorsed the New York senator.
Obama claimed four new superdelegate supporters this week.