May 21st, 2008
08:06 PM ET
6 years ago

Bill Clinton says race card allegation 'revolting strategy'

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Bill Clinton had some tough words for the media and the Obama campaign.
Bill Clinton had some tough words for the media and the Obama campaign.

(CNN) – Bill Clinton says that he thinks most people in the media are in Barack Obama’s demographic, telling People magazine “There have been times when I thought I was literally lost in a fun house."

In an interview hitting newsstands Friday, the former president said his wife Hillary Clinton has been “outspent, dismissed, denigrated, declared dead” this primary season.

Asked whether he likes Obama, Clinton responded that he did not know the Illinois senator very well – but “I think I understand him. There are enough similarities in our childhoods and things that I think I get what he is doing.”

Clinton said the allegation that he and Sen. Clinton played the race card was a “cold-blooded, calculated, manipulated, and a revolting strategy,” and that his only campaign season regret was speaking “late at night when I was tired, ‘cause if you are tired or angry, you shouldn’t be talking.”

Clinton told People that after her mother lost the Iowa caucuses, daughter Chelsea “was upset, bawled, went to her employer and said, ‘Look, you got to let me go or give me an indefinite leave of absence. I’m not letting my mother go down like this.’”

Does the former president think Chelsea Clinton would consider a run for elected office? “I don’t know. If you had asked me this before Iowa, I would have said ‘No way. She is too allergic to anything we do,” responded Clinton. “But she is really good at it.”


Filed under: Hillary Clinton
May 21st, 2008
06:00 PM ET
6 years ago

Obama willing to ‘go more than halfway’ on FL, MI

(CNN) - Obama senior adviser David Axelrod says the Illinois senator’s campaign is “open to compromise” and willing to cede Hillary Clinton the advantage in talks over the seating of the Florida and Michigan delegations at the Democratic National Convention this summer.

"We are willing to go more than half way. We're willing to work to make sure that we can achieve a compromise," Axelrod tells National Public Radio’s Michele Norris in a Wednesday evening interview. "And I guess the question is: is Senator Clinton's campaign willing to do the same?"

Clinton spent Wednesday in Florida highlighting her push for full delegations from both states to be seated in accordance with their January votes, which were not sanctioned by the Democratic National Committee because of the early primary dates. Her campaign has charged the Obama team with blocking a compromise on the issue – a claim that campaign has denied.

"Well obviously, any compromise is going to involve some give, and that means if there's something on the table, we're willing to consider it," Axelrod told NPR in the interview set to air Wednesday evening. “That may include us yielding more delegates than perhaps we would have, simply on the basis of the rules."

Obama now appears likely to finish the primary season with a delegate lead, including superdelegates, that would not disappear if both states’ delegations are seated based on the results of January’s contests, in which his name did not appear on the ballot in Michigan. Clinton won both primaries.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Florida • Hillary Clinton • Michigan
May 21st, 2008
04:16 PM ET
6 years ago

Clinton recalls 2000 Florida recount in push to count votes

Clinton is making three campaign stops in Florida Wednesday.
Clinton is making three campaign stops in Florida Wednesday.

BOCA RATON, Florida (CNN) – Making a last-gasp campaign swing through Florida on Wednesday - just ten days before the Democratic National Committee will decide the fates of the disputed Michigan and Florida delegations - Hillary Clinton forcefully pressed for the primary votes in those states to be counted "exactly as they were cast."

"It is well within the Democratic party rules to take this stand," she said, defending her position in front of a sizeable audience at a Boca Raton retirement community. "The rules clearly state that we can count all of these votes and seat all of delegates, pledged and unpledged if we so choose, and the rules laid out make clear the process for doing so."

It was Clinton’s first campaign stop in Florida since the night of the state’s primary on Jan. 29, and Clinton picked a suitable venue to make her case for counting every vote: Palm Beach County, ground zero of the politically-charged 2000 Florida recount.

"We believe the popular vote is the truest expression of your will," she said. "We believe it today just as we believed it back in 2000, when right here in Florida, you learned the hard way what happened when the votes aren’t counted and a candidate with fewer votes is declared the winner."

The New York senator made repeated allusions to the 2000 recount and proclaimed that the Democratic party, the party of civil rights, has a duty to count every vote to determine the true intent of the electorate. Moreover, she argued, counting the votes is a simple matter of American democracy.

FULL POST


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Florida • Hillary Clinton • Michigan
May 21st, 2008
03:30 PM ET
6 years ago

Carter: Obama-Clinton ticket unlikely

Carter says a joint Obama-Clinton ticket is unlikely.
Carter says a joint Obama-Clinton ticket is unlikely.

(CNN) - Hillary Clinton would accept the No. 2 spot on the Democratic ticket, but it's highly unlikely Barack Obama will offer it to her should he be the party's nominee, former President Jimmy Carter said Tuesday.

Speaking during a question and answer session at an event in Houston Tuesday night, Carter said, in his view, it's not impossible the two could pair up for the general election. But the former president said Obama will most likely search for a different vice presidential candidate.

"I think it would be highly unlikely for Obama to ask her to take it," Carter said. "Because I don't see how it would help his ticket. I think he needs somebody like a [former Georgia Sen.] Sam Nunn, but I won't name others.”

"But I think if he asked her, she would take it," Carter added.

The former president also reiterated that he does not have direct contact with either campaign and is not privy to the VP deliberations.

Carter also said a unity ticket would likely help the party come together after the prolonged and at times divisive primary race. But he stopped short of saying such a ticket would be the strongest Democrats could field

"That would be the ticket the republicans would favor I think," he said.

Carter, a Democratic superdelegate, has yet to formally endorse a candidate, but he has strongly hinted he is in favor of Obama.

May 21st, 2008
03:28 PM ET
6 years ago

Cafferty: Why is Hillary Clinton still in the race?

Clinton has said to her camp she will stay in the race until June because she believes she can still be the nominee.
Clinton has said to her camp she will stay in the race until June because she believes she can still be the nominee.

Barack Obama took another big step toward becoming the Democratic presidential nominee last night. He now has a majority of the pledged delegates – which means it is now impossible for Hillary Clinton to catch him. He also reminded those superdelegates who remain uncommitted that if they endorse Clinton now, they will be going against the will of the voters.

None of this matters to Hillary Clinton. She's staying in, telling supporters she's determined to see every vote counted. She's $19.5 million in debt, hopelessly behind and probably further damaging the party's chances in November, but no big deal. This is all about Hillary.

The New York Times reports she has told her inner circle she thinks she can still be the nominee. And, if she isn't, she can still accomplish some final goals.

To read more and contribute to the Cafferty File discussion click here


Filed under: Cafferty File
May 21st, 2008
03:20 PM ET
6 years ago

Blitzer: McCain stepping up foreign policy heat on Obama

Blitzer: Obama and Clinton have escalated their war of words over foreign policy.
Blitzer: Obama and Clinton have escalated their war of words over foreign policy.

(CNN) - John McCain is not letting up on Barack Obama. Virtually every recent day, he has gone after Obama’s national security stance. He says Obama’s willingness to meet with leaders from Iran, North Korea and Venezuela is “reckless, and demonstrates a poor judgment that will make the world more dangerous.” In his latest statement, McCain calls Obama’s approach “naïve” and “based entirely on emotion.”

Obama is responding in kind. “The Bush Iraq policy that asks everything of our troops and nothing of Iraqi politicians is John McCain’s policy, too, and so is the fear of tough and aggressive diplomacy that has left this country more isolated and less secure than at any time in recent history,” Obama said Tuesday night.

Still, there is no doubt that McCain’s strategy of hammering Obama on a nearly daily basis on foreign policy is deliberate. McCain certainly feels very comfortable talking about national security. He sees that as his major strength. And most observers agree McCain would much rather have national security on the agenda right now than the economy where he and his fellow Republicans see themselves as rather vulnerable..

By attacking Obama, moreover, he is helping to frame the debate and put the Democratic candidate on the defensive. That’s the strategy for now.


Filed under: Wolf Blitzer
May 21st, 2008
11:20 AM ET
6 years ago

Mine workers union swings Obama's way

Sen. Barack Obama wins a major endorsement Wednesday.
Sen. Barack Obama wins a major endorsement Wednesday.

(CNN) – The United Mine Workers of America endorsed Barack Obama's White House bid Wednesday.

"We are extremely proud to make this endorsement today," UMWA International President Cecil Roberts said. "Sen. Obama shares the values of UMWA members and our families. He understands and will fight for the needs our members have today and the hopes our members have for a secure future for themselves and their families."

The UMWA says it represents 105,000 active and retired coal miners, mine construction workers, public service employees, health care workers and manufacturing workers in the United States and Canada, and that its membership includes more coal miners than any other union in the world.

The unanimous endorsement by the union’s political action committee comes shortly after the May 13 primary in West Virginia - a large coal producing state. Hillary Clinton overwhelmingly won that primary, 67 percent to Obama's 26 percent.

Roberts said the union considered both Sens. Obama and John McCain before making the decision, but found that Obama "will be on our side while Sen. McCain will not," citing proposals supported by the presumptive Republican nominee that he claimed would cut jobs in coal country, particularly in the Eastern area.

UMWA International's Dan Kane said the union will be "working as hard as we can, using every resource at our disposal in every community where our members live and work across this nation to do our part to help [Obama]."

Last week, Obama picked up the backing of the United Steelworkers Union. Both the Steelworkers and UMW had originally backed former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, who endorsed Obama last week.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
May 21st, 2008
11:10 AM ET
6 years ago

Lieberman: Obama not willing to 'stand up to the left wing'

 Sen Lieberman has traveled with McCain on the campaign trail.
Sen Lieberman has traveled with McCain on the campaign trail.

(CNN) - Independent Sen. Joseph Lieberman, the 2000 Democratic vice presidential nominee, took his criticism of Barack Obama to a new level Wednesday, writing in an op-ed that Republican John McCain’s “political courage” stands in stark contrast to Barack Obama’s – and that his former party had moved “further to the left than it has been at any point in the last 20 years.”

"When total victory did not come quickly in Iraq, the old voices of partisanship and peace at any price saw an opportunity to reassert themselves, Lieberman said in the Wall Street Journal piece, adapted from a weekend speech. “By considering centrism to be collaboration with the enemy – not bin Laden, but Mr. Bush – activists have successfully pulled the Democratic Party further to the left than it has been at any point in the last 20 years.

“Far too many Democratic leaders have kowtowed to these opinions rather than challenging them. That unfortunately includes Barack Obama, who, contrary to his rhetorical invocations of bipartisan change, has not been willing to stand up to his party's left wing on a single significant national security or international economic issue in this campaign,” said Lieberman, who has endorsed the Arizona senator’s presidential bid.

"In this, Sen. Obama stands in stark contrast to John McCain, who has shown the political courage throughout his career to do what he thinks is right – regardless of its popularity in his party or outside it. John also understands something else that too many Democrats seem to have become confused about lately – the difference between America's friends and America's enemies,” wrote the Connecticut senator.

FULL POST

May 21st, 2008
11:05 AM ET
6 years ago

Award winning journalist joins Obama team

WASHINGTON (CNN) - CNN has confirmed that former ABC News congressional correspondent and current National Journal contributing editor, Linda Douglass, will leave her publication to join the Obama campaign.

Douglass says she will serve as a senior strategist and senior spokesperson on the campaign's plane, in addition to other senior staff.

She assumes her new post next week.

Douglass joined National Journal Group in June 2007 and covers government, politics and the 2008 election, according to National Journal's Web site.

She is also a senior fellow with the John Brademas Center for the Study of Congress at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University.

Douglass won the 2000 National Press Foundation's Everett Dirksen Award for her coverage of Congress, and the 1990 Broadcast Journalist of the Year, from the Society of Professional Journalists, according to the site.

A response from the Obama campaign was not immediately available.

Update: In a press release to CNN Wednesday, Suzanne Clark, the president of National Journal Group, wrote: "Linda Douglass is a first rate talent.  She has made significant contributions to the National Journal Group – from breaking news and securing high profile interviewees and event panelists to launching our radio show."

"We are sad to see her go. She has done great work for our publications, helped us expand our multi-media presence and has been a true friend to her colleagues.  We wish her the best," Clark added.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
May 21st, 2008
11:02 AM ET
6 years ago

Clinton slightly narrows pledged delegate gap with Obama

(CNN) - The CNN Delegate Estimate has been updated with complete results from the Kentucky primary and partial results from the Oregon primary. There are also a few additional superdelegate updates.

In Kentucky, Clinton won 37 pledged delegates while Obama won 14. In Oregon, Obama has won at least 29 pledged delegates while Clinton won at least 19. There are 4 pledged delegates in Oregon still to be allocated. Overall, Clinton narrowed the pledged delegate gap with Obama as a result of Tuesday’s primaries. Clinton won at least 56 delegates from Kentucky and Oregon combined, compared to at least 43 for Obama, with 4 Oregon delegates still to be allocated.

In superdelegate news, Clinton picked up two new superdelegate endorsements (one from yesterday just before the primaries and another from today). Obama picked up a superdelegate endorsement today from Rep. Joe Courtney of Connecticut.

FULL POST

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