(CNN)— Barack Obama’s former pastor Reverend Jeremiah Wright responded unapologetically Monday to the uproar surrounding his controversial comments.
In the latest installment of CNN=Politics Daily, CNN’s Brian Todd takes a deeper look at Wright’s comments, some of his beliefs, and how the latest media coverage could affect Barack Obama’s presidential bid.
The U.S. Supreme Court made the decision Monday to require photo identification at Indiana’s polling stations to prevent voter fraud – a development that could spread to more states before the general election. CNN’s Justice Correspondent Kelli Arena takes a look at how the new law could potentially affect this election year.
John McCain embarked on a health care tour Monday, but veered off course seizing on the latest remarks by Rev. Wright. CNN’s Dana Bash traveled with the presumptive nominee to Florida.
Finally: many analysts blamed Barack Obama’s loss in the Pennsylvania primary on his inability to garner support from the working-class voters. Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider reports on whether Obama could face the same troubles in Indiana May 6.
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(CNN) - North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley will endorse Hillary Clinton's White House bid, two sources close to the campaign tell CNN.
The endorsement could give the New York senator a boost in the state with one week to go until its crucial May 6 primary. Recent polling suggests Barack Obama currently holds a double-digit lead over Clinton there, though no polls have been released since Clinton’s win in Pennsylvania last week.
Easley is also a superdelegate - one of the party's nearly 800 insiders who will determine which candidate wins the Democratic nomination. Earlier Monday, the Obama campaign announced it had picked up its own superdelegate endorsement, New Mexico Sen. Jeff Bingaman.
(CNN) - A new poll out Monday appears to bolster Hillary Clinton's argument that she is in a better position than rival Barack Obama to beat John McCain in a general election match up.
According to a newly-released poll from The Associated Press and Ipsos, Clinton would beat McCain by a wide 9-point margin, 50 percent to 41 percent. But when Obama faces McCain, the two are statistically tied - Obama holds a two point edge over McCain, within the poll's margin of error.
The Clinton campaign has long argued the New York senator has a better shot at beating McCain because of her demonstrated appeal with working class white voters - a demographic that is key to winning several swing states.
WILMINGTON, North Carolina (CNN) – It's official: Barack Obama has offered the vice presidency to an 82-year-old woman.
At a town hall meeting in Wilmington, North Carolina, Monday supporter Jean Weiss stood up to ask a question and began by telling the Illinois senator that he's "captured her heart" with his foreign policy stands.
"When you said 'yes I will sit down with all my enemies, we're gonna sit around the table, we're gonna work this thing out,'" Weiss said, "sir, that was not naiveté—that was wisdom."
She then moved on to a question about water supply. "Before I answer the question," Obama said, "I just want to know–will you be my running mate?"
The crowd erupted in applause, and Weiss ran up to the stage and gave him a hug.
"That’s my running mate there," Obama said as she trotted back to her seat, her arms in the air. "She is 82 years old. She's got some fire!"
Weiss wasn't done, though, until she offered some advice on how to handle his rival Hillary Clinton.
"Don't hit on Hillary," she said. "Bring us all back. Let her do that stuff. Leave her alone, you don't need to do that. You are higher than that. Bring us up higher than that."
(CNN) - Barack Obama would not say Monday whether he thought fresh headline-grabbing statements from his former minister, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, could harm his presidential bid – and continued his effort to distance himself from the pastor’s controversial comments.
“I think certainly what the last three days indicate is that we're not coordinating with him,” he laughed. “He's obviously free to speak his mind, but I just want to emphasize he is my former pastor.
“Many of the statements he made both to trigger this initial controversy, and that he's made over the last couple days are not statements that I heard him make previously. They don't represent my views and they don't represent what this campaign is about. But he's obviously free to make those statements.”
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Republican National Committee said Monday it is asking cable networks not to air what they described as a “maliciously false” ad about John McCain from the Democratic National Committee – and accused Democrats of illegally coordinating efforts with the party’s presidential candidates.
The RNC said the ad was in legal violation because its content was misleading. Asked about the prospect of legal action from Republicans in a conference call late Monday afternoon, DNC Chairman Howard Dean responded: “Let them do it.”
The 30-second spot, slated to run on CNN and on MSNBC, highlights McCain’s comment that it would be acceptable if U.S. troops remained in Iraq for 100 years. McCain, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, was talking about a peace-keeping mission, not active conflict.
"This is a complaint about the facts that are being misrepresented in this ad," said RNC general counsel Sean Cairncross. "Based on this being a deliberate falsehood. We are saying to the stations, 'You have an obligation.'
The complaint did not alter CNN's original plans. “We have received the letter from the RNC. We plan on airing the ad beginning tomorrow,” the network said in a statement released Monday afternoon.
On a conference call this afternoon, RNC officials accused the DNC of working in concert with Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, because they met and used many of the same consultants. The GOP officials, though, refused to pledge not to run similar ads against the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.
GRAHAM, North Carolina (CNN) - Hillary Clinton criticized John McCain Monday for not doing enough to stop Republican ads running in North Carolina and Mississippi featuring the infamous comments made by Barack Obama’s former pastor Jeremiah Wright.
“I believe that if Sen. McCain were serious he would do more than send a letter. He is the putative nominee,” Clinton told reporters. “I think that he could very clearly tell the North Carolina party, tell the Mississippi party that he would not tolerate those kinds of advertisements and I’m waiting to see whether he does that.”
Obama has said that questions about his relationship with Wright are a legitimate political issue. Asked if she would engage on it, Clinton seemed to put the issue to bed by responding that she has made it clear that in Obama’s position she wouldn’t have stayed in the church.
“I regret the efforts by the Republicans to politicize this matter,” she added.
(CNN) - New Mexico Sen. Jeff Bingaman announced Monday he'll cast his crucial superdelegate vote for Barack Obama.
“To make progress, we must rise above the partisanship and the issues that divide us to find common ground. We must move the country in a dramatically new direction," Bingaman said in a statement released by the Obama campaign. “I strongly believe Barack Obama is best positioned to lead the nation in that new direction.”
Bingaman is one of the party's nearly 800 superdelegates who will decide which candidate wins the Democratic nomination. Clinton's current superdelegate lead over Obama is now just over 20, though more than 300 have yet to announce who they will support.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Just as many Democrats have been getting nervous about their presidential prospects in November against Republican John McCain, the U.S. Supreme Court issues a major ruling that potentially could have significant political fallout.
As you probably know by now, the Supreme Court ruled 6 to 3 that states can indeed require voters to produce photo identification in order to prevent voter fraud. “We cannot conclude that the statute imposes ‘excessively burdensome requirements’ on any class of voters,” Justice John Paul Stevens wrote in the majority opinion.
For years, many Republicans have strongly supported these requirements as a way to make sure that only eligible U.S. citizens actually get to vote. Many Democrats have opposed these statutes, arguing that they often deter minority, elderly and poor voters from showing up at the polls. Some of these voters simply don’t have appropriate government-issued photo identification. More than 20 states already have such requirements. Now, with this Supreme Court decision, other states no doubt will follow suit.
One state that already has such a photo identification requirement is Indiana, which holds its Democratic presidential primary on May 6.
FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Lincoln-Douglas made it famous...a debate with no moderator...but it doesn't look like it's going to happen between Obama and Clinton.
With just over a week to go before the Indiana and North Carolina primaries, and the two candidates running virtually neck and neck in Indiana, Clinton wants to debate Obama in both states, as a means of picking up votes in a race that he currently leads overall.
She says that she will debate him any place at any time, adding that it could even be done on the back of a flat-bed truck. He would probably prefer to run over her with a flat-bed truck at this point. She called over the weekend for this less-restrictive style of debate which got its name from a series of debates that took place during the 1858 U.S. Senate race between Republican Abraham Lincoln and Democrat Stephen Douglas.
She says that voters in Indiana would "love" to see that kind of debate and that it would be quote "good for the Democratic Party, it would be good for our democracy, and it would be great for Indiana." unquote.
Barack Obama has declined–saying that there will not be anymore debates between now and the May sixth primaries.
To read more and contribute to the Cafferty File discussion click here