May 17th, 2008
05:15 PM ET
6 years ago

Clinton takes on TV pundits at distillery stop in Kentucky

Sen. Clinton at Maker's Mark Distillery in Loretto, Kentucky, Saturday.
Sen. Clinton at Maker's Mark Distillery in Loretto, Kentucky, Saturday.

LORETTO, Kentucky (CNN) - Wrapping up a rally at the Maker's Mark bourbon distillery on Saturday, Hillary Clinton again argued that she leads Barack Obama in the popular vote and attacked the television "punditry" that has suggested the race is over.

"All those people on TV who are telling you and everybody else that this race is over and I should just be graceful and say, 'Oh it's over' even though I've won more votes – those are all people who have a job," Clinton told supporters picnicking in the gardens of the distillery.

"Those are all people who have health care. Those are all people who can afford to send their kids to college. Those are all people who can pay whatever is charged at the gas pump. They're not the people I'm running to be a champion for."

"They keep telling me to quit," said Clinton. "I don't know, maybe I was just raised with the kind of values you were raised [with]. You don't quit on people and you don't quit until you finish what you started and you don't quit on America."

Clinton has recently been claiming a lead over Obama in the popular vote, a debatable claim, especially because the Democratic National Committee doesn't count the votes of Florida and Michigan, which Clinton does.

Both states were disqualified by the DNC for bringing forward their primaries.

CNN's official count - including all primaries and caucuses but neither Florida nor Michigan - has Obama ahead by close to 700,000 votes.

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Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Kentucky
May 17th, 2008
05:00 PM ET
6 years ago

Clinton: McCain couldn’t be more out of touch

FRANKFORT, Kentucky (CNN) – After first targeting television pundits on Saturday for counting her out, Clinton zeroed in on John McCain and his economic policy at her second event, reiterating the argument that a McCain presidency would be a continuation of the Bush administration and saying, “I don’t know that you could be more out of touch.”

“In the end, Sen. McCain’s economic policy boils down to this – don’t just continue driving our nation in the wrong direction, put your foot on the accelerator and gun it,” Clinton told supporters at a poorly attended rally at Kentucky State University.

“You really have to work hard to have a tax plan more tilted to the wealthy than President Bush’s tax plan. But somehow John McCain has figured out a way to do it,” said Clinton.

Before Clinton had even delivered her remarks, the Republican National Committee sent reporters a response to attacks they knew were coming.

”Rather than explain why both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton will raise taxes on hardworking Americans, Clinton is launching her own desperate attacks on John McCain,” said an RNC spokesman. “The Democrats’ plans for more taxes, more spending and more regulations will not grow the economy or create jobs. America needs strong leadership that understands the economy.”

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Filed under: Hillary Clinton • John McCain
May 17th, 2008
11:37 AM ET
5 years ago

Ted Kennedy has apparent seizure

Sen. Kennedy, D-Massachusetts.
Sen. Kennedy, D-Massachusetts.

(CNN) - Sen. Edward Kennedy was hospitalized in Boston, Massachusetts, after suffering an apparent seizure Saturday morning, his family said.

"He is undergoing a battery of tests at Massachusetts General Hospital to determine the cause of the seizure. Sen. Kennedy is resting comfortably, and it is unlikely we will know anything more for the next 48 hours," a statement from his office said.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Saturday he spoke to the wife of the Massachussetts Democrat, Vicki, and that she told him that her husband is going to be fine.

"Everyone knows he is a strong fighter," Reid said, speaking at the Nevada state Democratic Party convention.

Kennedy was transferred to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston for evaluation after initial treatment at Cape Cod Hospital, an earlier statement from his office said.

The senator spent less than an hour in the Cape Cod facility, hospital spokesman David Reilly said.

Earlier, a well-informed Democratic source in Massachusetts said the 76-year-old senator had "symptoms of a stroke" at the Kennedy family compound in Hyannis Port.

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Filed under: Ted Kennedy
May 17th, 2008
11:34 AM ET
5 years ago

Clinton, Obama and McCain react to Kennedy condition

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sens. Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain responded Saturday regarding Senator Ted Kennedy's hospitalization earlier in the day.

Obama, who won the endorsement of the Masachuessets senator, said that his "thoughts and prayers" are with the senator, who was rushed to the hospital earlier Saturday.

At a campaign event in Eugene Oregon, Sen. Obama told his audience: “You know as I have said many times before, Ted Kennedy is a giant in American political history – he has done more for the health care of others than just about anybody in history and so we are going to be rooting for him.”

Clinton, meanwhile, released a statement on Kennedy.

"My thoughts and prayers are with Ted Kennedy and his family today. We all wish him well and a quick recovery."

Later at a campaign picnic at Laredo in Kentucky, Sen. Clinton said of Kennedy…” Nobody has fought harder to make sure everybody got good health care and I know that we all join together in wishing him well."

In a press release, McCain said he was "very sorry to hear that Senator Kennedy has taken ill, and like millions of Americans, Cindy and I anxiously await word of his condition."

"Senator Kennedy's role in the U.S. Senate cannot be overstated. He is a legendary lawmaker, and I have the highest respect for him. When we have worked together, he has been a skillful, fair and generous partner. I consider it a great privilege to call him my friend. Cindy and I are praying for our friend, his wife, Vicki and the Kennedy family," he added.

May 17th, 2008
11:30 AM ET
6 years ago

Obama-McCain flap a taste of what's ahead?

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. John McCain aides said Friday they've been itching for a fight with Sen. Barack Obama and are eager to engage in a discussion about foreign relations.

Democrats accuse McCain of hypocrisy when it comes to his views on talking to Hamas. And with Obama holding the lead over Sen. Hillary Clinton in both pledged delegates and superdelegates, the back-and-forth on McCain's Hamas statements may be the first of what could be many altercations with the presumptive GOP candidate for president.

Meanwhile, McCain is continuing to deal with the fallout from an interview by Jamie Rubin, a Clinton supporter.

Rubin wrote an op-ed piece in Friday's Washington Post relating an interview he conducted with McCain on the British network Sky News shortly after Hamas won the Palestinian elections in January 2006.

"They're the government; sooner or later we are going to have to deal with them, one way or another," he said at the time. "And I understand why this administration and previous administrations had such antipathy toward Hamas, because of their dedication to violence and the things that they not only espouse but practice ..."

In a January 2006 CNN interview, McCain stressed conditions Hamas would need to meet before establishing a working relationship with the United States.

"Hamas, now that they are going to govern, will be motivated to renounce this commitment to the extinction of the state of Israel. Then we can do business again. We can resume aid, we can resume the peace process."

Obama seized on that, blasting McCain for attacking him for suggesting it could be beneficial to sit down with the leader of Iran.

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Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
May 17th, 2008
11:25 AM ET
6 years ago

Clinton: McCain's '2013' speech like 'Mission Accomplished'

Sen. Hillary Clinton speaks at a town hall meeting in Portland, Oregon, Friday
Sen. Hillary Clinton speaks at a town hall meeting in Portland, Oregon, Friday

PORTLAND, Oregon (CNN) – At a Friday night town hall in Oregon, Senator Hillary Clinton criticized Senator John McCain for his speech predicting victory in Iraq by the end of his first term.

"It sounded a lot like 'Mission Accomplished,' only postponed into 2013," said Clinton, referring to President George Bush's declaration less than two months after the Iraq invasion that major combat was over. "From my perspective, it's just more of the same. It's a continuation of the Bush policies that have been failures."

Both Clinton and Barack Obama have been attempting to paint a McCain administration as a third term for President Bush. Clinton also attacked the president on Friday for meetings with Saudi officials in which he asked them to increase oil production in order to bring down prices.

"It was embarrassing today," Clinton told the town hall organized by an Oregon TV station. "President Bush is over there begging the Saudis to increase production because he has no energy policy."

She also went after Bush for comments he made in Jerusalem on Thursday when he took a shot at Democrats - and many argue Obama - saying, "some seem to believe we should negotiate with terrorists and radicals," drawing parallels with appeasing the Nazis in 1939.

"I am very offended by President Bush's remarks which seem to suggest that Democrats are the equivalent of Nazi appeasers," said Clinton. "That was way out of line and really outrageous and should be rejected out of hand."

Clinton has been relatively passive in recent days, staying away from overt attacks on her Democratic opponent. On Friday night she again raised the argument that she is more electable than Obama and claimed to be ahead in the popular vote while he leads in the delegate count.

"Those are two very good indicators of how close this race is and how intense it is and why everybody should vote and why I was so determined that we weren't going to quit before we got to Oregon," Clinton argued.

"I've won the big states and I've won the swing states," she added. "The states I've won total 300 electoral votes. The states Barack has won total 217 electoral votes. The real issue here is the [electoral] map. Who is more likely to win the electoral votes we need to actually capture the White House?"

A CNN tally shows that in primaries so far (excluding Florida and Michigan), Senator Barack Obama leads Senator Clinton by just over 400,000 votes.

Clinton won't spend any more time campaigning in Obama-friendly Oregon before the primary on Tuesday. Instead, she will stay in Kentucky - another May 20 state - where she has a significant lead.

May 17th, 2008
11:19 AM ET
6 years ago

Rove slams Obama over 'bitter' comments, flag pin

Rove addressed the NRA Convention Friday.
Rove addressed the NRA Convention Friday.

(CNN) - Karl Rove launched a wide-ranging attack on Barack Obama during a speech at the National Rifle Association Convention Friday, blasting him for his recent comments calling some small town American's "bitter," and suggesting the Illinois senator is an effete politician unable to connect with a broad swath of Americans.

The comments, received enthusiastically by the large crowd in Louisville, Kentucky, are a likely sign Obama's words at a San Francisco fundraiser last month may be a major Republican talking-point should he capture the Democratic Party's nomination.

“You know in the age of Barack Obama I don’t know exactly what to call you, because after all, as he said, because we’re bitter and economically anxious, we ‘cling to our guns and we cling to our faith," Rove told the crowd to laughter and cheers.

"You probably didn't know you hunted out of economic anxiety, and if gas was a $1.50 a gallon, you probably wouldn't be hunting," he continued. “You probably thought you hunted because you enjoyed the outdoors and companionship with family and friends.”

Rove, largely credited with orchestrating campaign strategies that painted former Democratic nominees Al Gore and John Kerry as out of touch with small town Americans, also cited Obama's recent primary losses in Pennsylvania and West Virginia as evidence a large demographic is unwilling to vote for the presumptive Democratic nominee.

"We here have news for Barack Obama," Rove said. "The values of those people you diminished are the values of America. And those people don't like getting patronized, or viewed as an alien species, by a fellow who pretends to embody a new kind of politics, and especially by someone who wants to be president not of red states or blue states, but the United States."

Rove, who does not have an official role within John McCain's presidential campaign or at the Republican National Committee, also took Obama to task for recently wearing a flag pin.

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Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Karl Rove