(CNN) - Pennsylvania AFL-CIO president and superdelegate Bill George announced his support for Hillary Clinton Wednesday.
“Hillary Clinton has the strength and experience to jumpstart the economy and rebuild the middle class,” George said in a statement released by Clinton's presidential campaign. “Working families in Pennsylvania overwhelmingly favored her in last week’s primary, and I feel that she is our strongest candidate to carry Pennsylvania in November and win back the White House.”
George, a Democratic National Committee member since 1996, had been actively courted by Clinton and Democratic rival Barack Obama in advance of his state’s primary last week. Clinton and Obama both addressed the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO convention earlier this month. Clinton defeated Obama in Pennsylvania's April 22 primary.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Iowa Rep. Bruce Braley will endorse Illinois Sen. Barack Obama for president Wednesday, the fifth Democratic superdelegate to choose sides in less than 24 hours, an Obama aide confirms to CNN.
Braley, a first-term congressman who represents an eastern district that hugs the Illinois border, had originally backed John Edwards in the race for the Democratic nomination. He joins fellow Iowan and Democratic National Committee member Richard Machacek in publicly declaring his support for Obama this week. Machacek and Kentucky Rep. Ben Chandler both said Tuesday they were backing Obama, while North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley and Missouri Rep. Ike Skelton endorsed New York Sen. Hillary Clinton the same day.
Braley’s decision to support Obama was first reported Wednesday morning by the Des Moines bureau of the Associated Press.
(CNN) - Hillary Clinton launched a new ad in North Carolina and Indiana Tuesday that directly criticizes Barack Obama’s proposals to address the explosion in home foreclosures and rising gas costs.
The negative spot comes a week before both states’ crucial May 6 primaries and specifically attacks Obama for not calling for a freeze on mortgage foreclosures and not supporting a suspension of the gas tax.
Clinton has called for a 90-day moratorium on home foreclosures and $30 billion for an Emergency Housing Fund. Obama has called for a $10 billion foreclosure prevention fund to help homeowners who are victims of mortgage fraud sell their homes or modify their loans, to avoid foreclosure and bankruptcy.
In response to rising gas costs, both McCain and Clinton have called for a suspension of the gas tax ahead of the summer driving season. McCain's plan would lift the 18.4 cents per gallon tax during peak summer travel months and would suspend the 24.4 cent diesel tax.
Clinton, who rejected a similar idea in 2000, said her plan is different from McCain's, claiming his proposal would cost the government up to $10 billion that would otherwise be used to improve roads. Clinton has said she'd make up for the lost revenue with a "windfall profits tax" on oil companies, meaning their profits over a certain amount would be subject to a 50 percent tax.
Obama does not support a suspension of the gas tax, which he described as a political scheme that would save the average driver $25 to $28. He's instead proposing a tax on oil companies to help low-income families pay energy bills.
"It’s time for a president who’s ready to take action now," the ad's announcer states.
(Full ad script after the jump)
Compiled by Jonathan Helman
CNN Washington Bureau
WSJ: Candidates' Plans Could Indirectly Raise Gas Prices
Although the major presidential candidates are making record gasoline prices a campaign issue, they are avoiding mention of measures they each support that would indirectly raise prices at the pump.
NY Times: McCain Strengthening His Political Marriage
Senator John McCain’s recent harsh critique of the Republican-led response to Hurricane Katrina no doubt reminded some of his newfound allies in Congress that his independent image was often honed at his party’s expense.
AP: Heated Campaign Souring Democrats On Rivals
Voters increasingly dislike the Democratic presidential candidate they are not supporting, according to a new survey and exit polls, raising questions about the party's White House chances as Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama's contentious nomination battle drags on.
WSJ: Clinton Seeks Edge by Focusing on Voter Insecurities
Hillary Clinton's embrace of the tiny industrial-magnet industry in Indiana, site of Tuesday's primary, plays to the insecurities of blue-collar voters - a successful strategy in other states.
Compiled by Jonathan Helman, CNN Washington Bureau
*Hillary Clinton is in Indiana today. She meets with Deluxe Sheet Metal employees in South Bend, holds a town hall meeting in Portage, holds an event in Lafayette, and holds a "Standing up for Jobs" event in Kokomo.
*John McCain holds a town hall meeting and a media availability in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
*Barack Obama is in Indiana today. He starts in Indianapolis where he sits down for a discussion with Indiana working families and tours and meets with employees at the CNW factory. Later, he attends a rally in Bloomington.
(CNN) - A day after Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Jr's speech at the National Press Club, Sen. Barack Obama decided that Wright is all wrong.
In the latest episode of CNN=Politics Daily, Suzanne Malveaux reports on Obama's effort Tuesday to cut his ties with Wright in the hopes of limiting the political fallout from Wright's return to the public spotlight.
Sen. John McCain also laid out his plan for health care reform Tuesday. Dana Bash reports on how the Arizona senator would like to treat the nation's ailing health care system.
Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider has another report about health care. Schneider takes a look at how health care is increasingly becoming an economic issue for voters.
Carol Costello does a reality check on proposals by Sens. McCain and Hillary Clinton to provide a federal gas tax holiday.
Finally, Wolf Blitzer gives you an update about whether Sens. Clinton and Obama stand with the Democratic Party's all-important supderdelegates.
Click here to subscribe to CNN=Politics Daily.
(CNN) - Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are dead-even in the crucial primary state of Indiana, according to a new CNN "poll of polls."
In an average of several recent polls, the two candidates each draw 47 percent of likely Democratic voters in the Hoosier State, while 6 percent remain undecided.
The new poll of polls includes a just released Howey-Gauge survey that shows Obama ahead of Clinton by two points, 47-45 percent. That difference is well within the poll’s 4 point margin of error.
A CNN average of recent Indiana polls released late last week also showed a dead heat between Clinton and Obama, though today's poll of polls is the first comprised entirely of surveys conducted after the New York senator's Pennsylvania win.
Some Clinton advisers have said Clinton must win Indiana to continue her presidential bid.
(CNN) - Missouri Rep. Ike Skelton said Tuesday he will cast his superdelegate vote for Hillary Clinton.
In a statement released by the Clinton campaign, Skelton said he is supporting the New York senator because of "her support in rural America, her commitment to National Security, and her dedication to our men and women in uniform."
Skelton is chairman of the powerful House Armed Services Committee and has served in congress for over 30 years. His state narrowly voted for Barack Obama on February 5, though Clinton won 60 percent of his congressional district.
With Skelton's endorsement, Clinton now holds a 22 superdelegate lead over Obama, 259 to 237, according to CNN's estimate. More than 300 superdelegates have yet to make up their minds.
Skelton is the fourth superdelegate to endorse a candidate Tuesday. Earlier, North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley announced he was backing Clinton and Kentucky Rep. Ben Chandler and Iowa DNC member Richard Machacek announced they were supporting Obama.
(CNN) - For the fifth straight day, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are statistically tied in Gallup's national tracking poll, the latest indication the Democratic stalemate shows no signs of ending four months after the primary season began.
Clinton holds a one point lead over Obama in Tuesday's tracking poll - a statistical tie, given the poll's 3 point margin of error. In the last five days, the two candidates have either been exactly tied or separated by only one point.
That trend marks a clear departure from the weeks before the Pennsylvania primary, during which Obama almost consistently held a wide lead over Clinton. Meanwhile, the five-day tie is one of the few times all year in which the two candidates have been deadlocked for more than two days.
FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
It seems like Reverend Jeremiah Wright is going out of his way to make sure the United States does not elect its first African American president. Which is strange in light of all the complaints Rev. Wright has about the way white people have done things in this country.
Just as the controversy over Wright was dying down, he showed up at the National Press Club in Washington yesterday with a can of gasoline and got the fire going again.
Among other things he praised Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam who also reportedly provided Wright's security. He accused the United States of terrorism, said the government created the AIDS virus to cause the genocide of racial minorities, and defended the view that Zionism is racism.
And this is from someone who is supposed to be Obama's friend.
To read more and contribute to the Cafferty File discussion click here