(CNN) - A Mississippi Democratic congressional candidate in a tight race is publicly distancing himself from Barack Obama in a new television ad after Republicans attempted to link him to the Illinois senator and his controversial former pastor.
"This campaign has been one for the books. My family has heard the lies and attacks linking me to politicians I don't know and have never even met," Travis Childers, a congressional candidate in Mississippi's First District, says in the television spot.
The comments appear to be a reference to Obama, who was the subject of an ad financed by Childers’ Republican opponent, Greg Davis. That ad criticized Childers for being "endorsed by liberal Barack Obama" and for not publicly denouncing the Rev. Jeremiah Wright's controversial comments. Hillary Clinton and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are also briefly mentioned in the ad.
“Senator Obama hasn’t endorsed my candidacy,” Childers told reporters Monday. “I have not been in contact with his campaign nor has he been in contact with mine.”
The National Republican Congressional Committee said Childers' new ad "not only says a lot about himself, but also about the toxicity an Obama candidacy can bring to Democratic campaigns down-ballot."
A special election for the open House seat is set for May 13.
(CNN) - The man largely credited for organizing a campaign to defeat John McCain in 2000 now has some advice for the Arizona senator: Stop being so private.
Writing in the Wall Street Journal, former top Bush adviser Karl Rove called McCain "one of the most private individuals to run for president in history," and said the presumptive Republican nominee must reveal more about his unique life story in order to win the presidency.
"Private people like Mr. McCain are rare in politics for a reason," Rove writes. "Candidates who are uncomfortable sharing their interior lives limit their appeal. But if Mr. McCain is to win the election this fall, he has to open up."
Specifically, Rove says McCain should reveal more about his wartime heroics and days as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. He also says McCain should spend more time highlighting the fact he and his wife took in a sick Bangladeshi child in 1991, their adopted daughter Bridget.
"Mr. McCain cannot make this a biography-only campaign – but he can't afford to make it a biography-free campaign either," Rove writes. "Unless he opens up more, many voters will never know the experiences of his life that show his character, integrity and essential decency.
“There is something admirable in his resilience, but he needs to overcome it."
WASHINGTON (CNN) - As I write this, there still has been no reaction from the Rev. Jeremiah Wright to Senator Barack Obama’s sharp condemnation of his former pastor’s comments at the National Press Club in Washington on Monday. This silence from Wright – so far – is significant. Some might even say this silence is thunderous.
Like dozens of reporters, I called Wright’s spokesperson to get his reaction. She told me he has so far not issued any written statement or made any public statement. I don’t know if that silence will remain in place. But for now, it’s good news for the Democratic presidential frontrunner. He and his supporters would love this whole story to simply go away.
I must say that when Obama blasted Wright Tuesday afternoon, I suspected that the pastor would respond quickly with a counter-blast of his own. Here was a man who is not shy. He had made a very deliberate decision to defend himself in a television interview last Friday night with Bill Moyers, in a major address at a NAACP meeting in Detroit Sunday night, and a question and answer news conference at the National Press Club on Monday. I didn’t think he would go into silence mode after hearing Obama’s very strong statement.
But now, more than 24 hours after Obama’s very blunt condemnation of Wright, we have still heard nothing from him. Have intermediaries advised him to shut up, especially in these critical days before the Indiana and North Carolina primaries? Or, has he decided on his own that enough is enough? Fair questions. I don’t have answers.
(CNN) - The New Hampshire Political Library is awarding CNN's Candy Crowley with a New Hampshire Primary Award Wednesday for her outstanding political coverage.
Serving as CNN's Senior Political Correspondent, Crowley braved the New England cold to report extensively on the New Hampshire primary earlier this year.
Former Sen. Bill Bradley, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, and former New Hampshire Gov. Walter Peterson are also among those who are to be honored Wednesday evening.
The New Hampshire Political Library describes itself as a non partisan, non-profit organization with a mission of promoting the state's first-in-the-nation presidential primary status.
(CNN) – Campaigning for his wife in North Carolina, former President Bill Clinton said Wednesday that he’d be “very surprised if oil goes below a hundred dollars a barrel again in my lifetime.”
“There is a limited amount of oil in the ground and everyday more and more people can afford to buy it so they are gonna bid the price up,” said Clinton, who added that drivers have been forced to choose “between driving to work and having enough food for their kids.”
His wife Hillary Clinton has proposed a gas tax holiday – paid for in part by higher taxes on oil companies - that would give consumers a price break at the pump this summer. The New York senator has also called for a Federal Trade Commission investigation into possible market manipulation by oil companies or speculators.
(CNN) - The superdelegate deluge continued Wednesday afternoon with the announcement of two new endorsements.
Luisette Cabanas, an unpledged superdelegate from Puerto Rico, is backing Hillary Clinton. California Rep. Lois Capps is supporting Barack Obama. (Capps is the mother-in-law of Obama Press Secretary Bill Burton.)
So far, the Clinton campaign has released the names of four new superdelegate supporters in the last 24 hours, and the Obama campaign has named five.
(CNN) - MoveOn.org announced Wednesday they are launching their massive television ad buy aimed at presumptive Republican nominee John McCain with a new spot tomorrow, the fifth anniversary of President Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” speech.
The 30-second ad, funded by the group’s donors and its political action committee, marks the start of the liberal advocacy group’s million dollar, month-long ad campaign aimed at the Arizona senator.
MoveOn will spend $160,000 to air the new ad - titled “Candles” - on cable as well as on broadcast networks in Iowa and New Mexico, where the McCain campaign is currently on the air without competition from either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama.
“MoveOn.org is attempting to smear Senator McCain just like it smeared General Petraeus. MoveOn.org is joining Barack Obama and the DNC in maliciously misquoting John McCain,” said Republican National Committee spokesman Alex Conant. “At nearly every event, Obama bemoans the ‘negative tone’ of politics, even while groups that support him are now running negative ads. Now, Obama should prove his rhetoric is more than ‘just words’ and stand up to MoveOn.org.”
(updated with MoveOn response after the jump)
(CNN) - Barack Obama's campaign announced Wednesday Indiana Rep. Baron Hill has endorsed the Illinois senator - the fourth new superdelegate the campaign has announced in the last 24 hours.
"If we are going to develop real solutions for Hoosier families, for America’s families, we have to move past the partisan gridlock," Hill said in a statement released by the Obama campaign. "I believe both Senator Clinton and Senator Obama want to do that and I believe both are formidable candidates. But, I also believe that only one of them truly can."
The Clinton campaign has announced three new superdelegates in the last 24 hours. More than 300 have yet to publicly back a candidate.
(CNN)—Legendary poet Maya Angelou appears to have increased her role in Hillary Clinton’s campaign over the past week - first releasing an open letter touting the New York senator’s character and now staring in a new 60 second television ad.
In the ad called “Maya,” Angelou touts Clinton’s mission of reaching out to working class voters.
“Hillary Clinton is a prayer of every American who really longs for fair play,” Angelou says. “Working men and women have had their jobs snatched from underneath them, their homes snatched away from them. And what we need, I think, is a person, a President who can make a difference in our country.”
The ad is airing in North Carolina, less than a week before the states primary on May 6.
(CNN)—Elizabeth Edwards, who has made her opposition to John McCain’s health care policy evident in recent months, kept up her assault on his newly-released health care proposal Tuesday, calling the plan a complete “disaster.”
“The fear of a government-run program is completely a false boogeyman in this race,” since neither Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton have proposed a government takeover of the nation’s health care system, Edwards told CNN’s Dana Bash
“Senator McCain has decided if he puts up this red herring that he’ll be able to shoot it down and make him look better,” said Edwards.
The presumptive Republican nominee is in the midst of a week-long tour highlighting his own newly-announced health care reform proposal, which emphasizes personal responsibility and market-driven savings.
“We must move away from a system that is fragmented and pays for expensive procedures toward one where a family has a medical home…where the focus is on affordable quality outcomes,” McCain said earlier this week.