(CNN) - John McCain said Friday that “it’s clear who Hamas wants to be the next president of the United States” - the second time in as many weeks that his campaign has referenced positive remarks by Ahmed Yousef, a member of that group, about Barack Obama.
On Friday, the presumptive Republican nominee was asked about the Hamas leader’s comments on a campaign conference call with bloggers.
“…I think it's very clear who Hamas wants to be the next president of the United States,” said McCain. “So apparently has [Sandinista leader] Danny Ortega and several others. I think that people should understand that I will be Hamas's worst nightmare...If Senator Obama is favored by Hamas I think people can make judgments accordingly.”
A week ago, the Arizona senator’s campaign sent supporters a fundraising e-mail that said Hamas approved of Obama’s foreign policy vision, and is hoping for his victory this fall.
The Obama campaign condemned the remark. "We want to take Senator McCain at his word that he wants to run a respectful campaign, but that is becoming increasingly difficult when he continually tries to use the politics of association and makes claims he knows not to be true to advance his campaign," said Obama campaign spokesman, Hari Sevugan.
INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana (CNN) – Democrat Barack Obama responded to the suggestion that some view him as an elitist by pointing to his closet.
At a press conference Friday, the Illinois senator was asked about the perception some voters may have that he comes across as an elitist who "looks too much like a GQ cover" to be able to relate to working class voters.
He first gestured to his clothing choice. "I think this is a fairly standard suit here, you know?" he said. "I haven't changed my approach to dressing too much.
"I basically buy five of the same suit, and then I patch them up and wear them repeatedly. I have four pairs of shoes. Recently I've taken to getting a haircut more frequently than I used to because my mother in law makes fun of me. So I don't think people are too worried about what I'm wearing."
He added he didn't feel the need to go out of his way to prove his "street cred as a down-to-earth guy" because, according to him, people who've known him long enough know that to be the case.
(CNN) – In the wake of his Pennsylvania loss, Barack Obama’s campaign has revealed two major steps towards a general election operation – both usually undertaken by presumptive presidential nominees.
On Friday, the campaign officially announced an ambitious, 50-state voter registration program designed to boost Democratic registration – already reaching record levels in many states – with an eye towards November.
On the conference call discussing the effort, Deputy Campaign Manager Steve Hildebrand confirmed a report on The Page that the Obama team had entered into a joint fundraising operation with the Democratic National Committee.
The DNC could use the help. In a year when most Democratic campaign committees are vastly out-raising their Republican counterparts, the DNC – which had a little more than $5 million cash on hand, according to its most recently filed Federal Elections Commission report – is lagging far behind a cash-rich Republican National Committee’s $31 million war chest.
(CNN) - Three days after Hillary Clinton's win in Pennsylvania, a new poll suggests it’s a dead heat in Indiana - the next crucial battleground that could decide the Democratic presidential nomination.
Barack Obama leads Clinton by 1 point in the Hoosier State, according to a just-released poll conducted by Research 2000, 48 percent to 47 percent. Given the polls' 5 point margin of error, the two candidates are statistically tied.
The poll also shows both candidates are holding strong with constituencies that have backed them in other states: Clinton easily wins among seniors and women, Obama has the advantage with young voters.
Indiana has been called a 'must win' for Clinton, even by some of her strongest supporters. On CNN's Larry King Live Wednesday, Clinton backer James Carville said the May 6 voting state could serve as a "tie breaker."
"I think it's going to be very difficult for Senator Clinton if she loses both in Indiana and North Carolina," he said. "I think she has to keep pressing the bet, doubling down."
"If she wins in Indiana, it's going to cause some people to turn up and look around," he said. "I think it's a very important contest."
(CNN) – Barack Obama’s campaign manager David Plouffe suggested Friday that racists voting in November’s general election would probably choose John McCain regardless of who the democratic candidate is.
Asked by National Journal's Linda Douglass if race would be a problem for Obama in the general election, Plouffe responded: “We really don't think so. I mean the vast, vast majority of voters who would not vote for Barack Obama in November based on race are probably firmly in John McCain's camp already.”
Plouffe also discussed a possible divide within the Democratic Party after the nominating process ends. “The lion's share of Democrats are going to be supporting the Democratic nominee,” he said.
A crucial asset to Obama’s campaign in recent contests has been his ability to register new voters and get them to the polls. Plouffe told Douglass that if Obama is the Democratic nominee, “[The campaign’s] ability to register new voters is going to be a very important piece of the puzzle.”
Plouffe's comments come the same day the Obama campaign announced an ambitious, 50-state voter registration program designed to boost Democratic registration – already reaching record levels in many states – with an eye towards November.
(CNN) – John McCain, on the last leg of a week-long tour of economically struggling areas throughout the country, is in Mike Huckabee’s home town of Little Rock, Arkansas, Friday campaigning alongside his former rival.
The former Baptist minister dropped out of the GOP presidential primary race on March 4, after McCain swept contests in Texas, Ohio, Vermont and Rhode Island, giving the Arizona senator the delegates needed to claim the party's nomination in September.
The duo will visit a fundraiser, a barbecue joint, and a Baptist college event, and hold a media availability together.
Political pundits have long placed the former Arkansas governor on McCain’s likely vice presidential short list, and today’s stop is likely to fuel still more speculation.
(CNN) - The pageantry, the emotion, the packed gymnasiums - basketball fanatics in Indiana and North Carolina have seen it all before.
Democrats in both primary states are beaming about their newfound roles in this extended nomination contest, but long after the bumper stickers and campaign buttons are packed away, and when the awkward sports metaphors are nothing but distant memories, Hoosiers and Tar Heels will always have that familiar sound of sneaker-on-hardwood to fall back on.
Still, with politics and hoops now crossing paths, a handful of basketball icons have become caught in the moment, stepping off the court to endorse presidential candidates this cycle.
Here's a quick look at which basketball celebrities from North Carolina and Indiana have weighed in on the 2008 race, according to Federal Election Commission data and news reports.
(CNN) - On the heels of John McCain's visit to New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward, Hillary Clinton said Thursday night she has a better record of fighting to rebuild the Hurricane-ravaged region.
"The difference between Senator McCain and myself is that I have a long record of fighting to rebuild the Gulf and to help the citizens who live along the Gulf who were left to their own devices by their government," Clinton said at an Indiana event. "In fact, Senator McCain said he might want to tear down the ninth ward instead of rebuilding it, but I went to the ninth ward after Katrina and met with people there and saw the destruction and I saw the resilience in their eyes and they deserve our help to rebuild and regain their lives and their homes."
Clinton appears to be referring to comments McCain made Monday on board his campaign bus: "That is why we need to go back - to have a conversation about what to do - rebuild it, tear it down - you know -whatever it is," he said then.
But speaking in New Orleans Thursday night, McCain seemed to rule out the possibility of tearing down the area.
"There may be some who wonder from afar: Why even bother rebuilding parts of what was lost in Katrina? But the people who live there in the Ninth Ward don't feel that way. They are even hoping that life will be better than before," he said
(CNN) — For at least the fourth time in a little more than a month, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has made it clear she thinks Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama shouldn't run together on a joint ticket this fall.
“No, I don’t think it’s a good idea,” she told CNN’s Larry King Thursday. “First of all, the candidate, whoever he or she may be, should choose his or her own vice presidential candidate. I think that’s appropriate. That’s where you would see the comfort level, not only how to run but how to govern the country.
“And there’s plenty of talent to go around to draw upon for a good, strong ticket. I’m not one of those who thinks that that’s a good ticket.”
King asked whether that was because she thought there was too much animosity between the two.
"No," replied Pelosi. "I just think that — well, let’s put it this way: if they think it’s a good ticket, maybe it is. But I don’t think that we should thrust the vice presidential choice onto the presidential nominee. That’s her or his decision to make."
ASHEVILLE, North Carolina (CNN) - Hillary Clinton touted her commander-in-chief credentials across North Carolina Thursday, again bringing along a delegation of retired military officers to testify on her behalf.
"If she has to pull the trigger, General Shelton and I know she'll pull it," Brigadier General John Watkins told a boisterous crowd in Asheville, a liberal enclave in more conservative western North Carolina.
Native Tar Heel and former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Hugh Shelton made his debut campaign appearance on behalf of Clinton saying he had a "deep and abiding concern" for members of the military.