May 15th, 2008
10:48 AM ET
4 years ago

Bush suggests Obama wants 'appeasement' of terrorists

Bush aides say the President was aiming his remarks at Obama and other Democrats.
Bush aides say the President was aiming his remarks at Obama and other Democrats.

JERUSALEM (CNN) – President Bush launched a sharp but veiled attack Thursday on Sen. Barack Obama and other Democrats, suggesting they favor "appeasement" of terrorists in the same way some Western leaders appeased Hitler in the run-up to World War II.

The president did not name Obama or any other Democrat, but White House aides privately acknowledged the remarks were aimed at the presidential candidate and others in his party. Former President Jimmy Carter has called for talks with Hamas.

"Some seem to believe we should negotiate with terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along," Bush said at Israel's 60th anniversary celebration in Jerusalem.

"We have heard this foolish delusion before," Bush said in remarks to Israel's parliament, the Knesset. "As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: 'Lord, if only I could have talked to Hitler, all of this might have been avoided.' We have an obligation to call this what it is - the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history."

The remarks seemed to be a not-so-subtle attempt to continue to raise doubts about Obama with Jewish Americans. Those doubts were earlier stoked by Sen. John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee in the 2008 presidential election, when he recently charged that Obama is the favored candidate of the Islamic fundamentalist group Hamas, which the U.S. government has listed as a terrorist group.

Obama last week called the Hamas allegation a "smear" and lashed out Thursday at Bush's speech in Israel.

"It is sad that President Bush would use a speech to the Knesset on the 60th anniversary of Israel's independence to launch a false political attack," Obama said in a statement released to CNN by his campaign. "It is time to turn the page on eight years of policies that have strengthened Iran and failed to secure America or our ally Israel...."

FULL POST

May 15th, 2008
10:30 AM ET
7 years ago

Pelosi blasts, McCain defends Bush comments

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McCain and Pelos reacted to the president's speech.
McCain and Pelos reacted to the president's speech.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Speaker Nancy Pelosi blasted President Bush's comments Thursday suggesting that Democrats believe "we should negotiate with terrorists and radicals" and suggested Senator John McCain denounce them.

But the presumptive Republican nominee himself defended the remarks, said he intended to make Barack Obama’s willingness to consider dialogue with Iran an issue in the fall campaign, calling on the Illinois senator to “explain [that decision] to the American people.”

“It is a serious error on the part of Senator Obama that shows naiveté and inexperience and lack of judgment - to say that he wants to sit down across the table from an individual who leads a country who says that Israel is a stinking corpse, that is dedicated to the extinction of Israel,” said McCain Thursday. “My question is, what does he want to talk about?”

Pelosi, who is leaving later today on a bipartisan congressional trip to Israel, said there is a "protocol" of not criticizing the President when he is abroad, but then declared, "I think what the president did in that regard is beneath the dignity of the office of president and unworthy of our representation at that observance in Israel."

The California Democrat added that she hopes "any serious person would disassociate themselves from the president's remarks, who aspires to leadership in our country."

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Filed under: John McCain • Nancy Pelosi • President Bush
May 15th, 2008
10:30 AM ET
7 years ago

Steelworkers union backs Obama

WASHINGTON (CNN) – The Pittsburgh-based Steelworkers union is endorsing Barack Obama for president - giving the White House hopeful a big potential boost in his bid to attract blue-collar support.

The 600,000-member strong union had previously backed former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, who endorsed Obama Wednesday.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
May 15th, 2008
09:30 AM ET
4 years ago

'President' McCain looks four years down the road

McCain is in Ohio Thursday.
McCain is in Ohio Thursday.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (CNN) - Sen. John McCain - envisioning his election to the presidency and the state of affairs at the end of what would be his first-term - thinks the Iraq war will be won but the threat from the Taliban in Afghanistan won't yet be eliminated, even though Osama bin Laden will be captured or killed.

McCain's speech, to be delivered in Columbus, Ohio, Thursday, lists objectives he intends to achieve in his first term - if the presumptive Republican nominee is elected president.

"What I want to do today is take a little time to describe what I would hope to have achieved at the end of my first term as president," McCain will say, according to excerpts of his prepared remarks.

The Arizona senator, who was a prisoner of war during the Vietnam conflict, will say he believes the United States will have a smaller "military presence" in Iraq that will not "play a direct combat role," and he predicts that al Qaeda in Iraq will be defeated.

"By January 2013, America has welcomed home most of the servicemen and women who have sacrificed terribly so that America might be secure in her freedom.

Full story

(Text of speech after jump)

FULL POST


Filed under: John McCain
May 15th, 2008
07:25 AM ET
7 years ago

Clinton win leads to Obama boost

John Edwards endorsed Barack Obama following Clinton's big win in West Virginia.
John Edwards endorsed Barack Obama following Clinton's big win in West Virginia.

(CNN) – Hillary Clinton's decisive win in West Virginia caused John Edwards to throw his support to Barack Obama, the Illinois senator's aides said.

Edwards was concerned that the Clinton storyline - that Obama can't win white, working-class voters - was becoming too damaging to Obama and the party, aides said.

Obama had been courting Edwards for four months. Since Edwards abandoned his presidential bid in January, he and Obama have talked regularly, Obama said.

Full story

May 15th, 2008
06:09 AM ET
7 years ago

Obama apologizes for 'sweetie' comment

Obama toured an automobile plant in Michigan Wednesday.
Obama toured an automobile plant in Michigan Wednesday.

(CNN) – Barack Obama has personally apologized to a Michigan television reporter for referring to her as "sweetie" as she tried to ask a question.

The comment came earlier Wednesday when WXYZ reporter Peggy Agar asked Obama at a campaign stop, “How are you going to help the American auto workers?”

Obama told Agar to "hold on, sweetie," and said he would address that issue with her later. Agar said she never got an answer to her question.

According to WXYZ, Obama personally left a voice message for Agar Wednesday afternoon, apologizing for both not answering the question and for calling her "sweetie."

"That's a bad habit of mine," Obama said in the message. "I do it sometimes with all kinds of people. I mean no disrespect and so I am duly chastened on that front.

"Feel free to call me back. I expect that my press team will be happy to try to make it up to you whenever we are in Detroit next," he added.

Obama also took some heat in Pennsylvania last month for referring to a factory worker as "sweetie."


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
May 15th, 2008
06:09 AM ET
7 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: Thursday, May 15, 2008

ALT TEXT

Compiled by Jonathan Helman and Mary Grace Lucas, CNN Washington Bureau

CNN: Edwards Endorses Obama, Praises Clinton
Former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards endorsed Sen. Barack Obama on Wednesday at a campaign event in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

AP: McCain Envisions How First Term Will Go
John McCain, looking through a crystal ball to 2013 and the end of a prospective first term, sees "spasmodic" but reduced violence in Iraq and Afghanistan, Osama bin Laden dead or captured and government spending curbed by his ready veto pen.

Washington Post: Agitated? Irritable? Hostile? Aggressive? Impulsive? Restless?
House Republicans may be heading off a cliff in November, but give them credit for perseverance. Even after the new slogan they floated - "The Change You Deserve" - was discovered to be trademarked ad copy for the antidepressant drug Effexor, GOP leaders decided to go with the rollout anyway.

USA Today: McCain Aide Trains His Sights on Obama
Mark Salter is working on the climactic chapter of his career: getting his boss, Sen. John McCain, elected president. Now that Obama has emerged as the likely Democratic nominee, Salter is poised to play a large role in a campaign filled with potential land mines, from race issues to McCain's age.

The Hill: Clinton’s 11th-hour push
Sen. Hillary Clinton rallied her Capitol Hill supporters on Wednesday night, telling them to bring an uncommitted friend and seeking to capitalize on her 41-percentage points victory in the West Virginia primary.

GOP Can't Rely On Money Advantage Now
For years, Republicans could survive mistakes in congressional races and still gain new advantages because they always had more money than the Democrats. Those days are over now, and not in some incremental way.

WSJ: Democratic Hold on Jewish Vote Could Slip
Is the Jewish vote up for grabs this year? Many Republicans think so - particularly with Barack Obama likely heading the Democratic ticket. That calculation has fueled an intense back-and-forth in recent days between the two parties over Sen. Obama's views on Israel.

USA Today: Republicans Fear Public Has Lost Confidence
Republicans must regain the confidence of Americans and recast their message to voters to avoid a catastrophe in the fall congressional elections, top GOP officials said Wednesday in a stark postmortem of a loss in rural Mississippi.

WSJ: Obama's Strategy for Low-Turnout Caucuses Helps Drive Delegate Edge
For evidence of the strategy that has made Barack Obama the likely Democratic presidential nominee, look at Nebraska, where the candidate narrowly won a little-noticed primary Tuesday. Sen. Obama's 49% to 46% victory barely got any attention from the campaigns or the press, because the state's delegates, who vote on the nomination, were chosen in a February caucus.

NY Times: Mrs. McCain Sells Funds Tied to Sudan
Cindy McCain, the wife of the Republican presumptive nominee for president, has sold off at least $2 million she held in funds with investments in Sudan businesses.

AP: Obama and Oregon: More In Common Than 'O'
Oregon is fertile ground for Barack Obama, the self-described "change" candidate. The state that has led the way in everything from bike trails to assisted suicide is also the first to vote entirely by mail.

NY Times: The Politics of the Lapel, When It Comes to Obama
It showed up on Monday, right there on his lapel, as he addressed veterans in West Virginia: a flag pin.


Filed under: Political Hot Topics
May 15th, 2008
05:58 AM ET
7 years ago

ON THE TRAIL: Thursday, May 15, 2008

ALT TEXT

Compiled by Mary Grace Lucas, CNN Washington Bureau

* Hillary Clinton attends a "Solutions for the Rural Economy" town hall in Bath, South Dakota. Later that day, she travels to California for a fundraiser.

*John McCain gives a speech in Columbus, OH, and then heads to Washington, D.C.

*Barack Obama has no public events.


Filed under: On the Trail
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