(CNN) - Several close friends and supporters of Hillary Clinton tell CNN they are pushing for a "graceful exit strategy" that would allow the Clinton and Obama camps to come together, and for the New York senator to save face should she fail to become the Democratic nominee for president.
The discussions are not taking place between the campaigns, but rather among informal campaign advisers on both sides who are trying to actively influence and shape the debate as the competition nears a close June 3.
Bill Burton, national spokesman for front-runner Barack Obama's campaign, said "there are no talks underway between the campaigns," and that any suggestion from Clinton insiders is "unequivocally untrue."
"We are two campaigns, in real competition, not having any such talks about exit strategies," Burton said.
Obama campaign chief strategist David Axelrod said "there have been zero discussions, back channel or otherwise between the campaigns."
Clinton campaign aides also deny that any talks are taking place between the campaigns, emphasizing that the contest is not yet over. Clinton herself said the report was "flatly untrue" during a meeting with the editorial board of a South Dakota paper Friday.
But some Clinton camp insiders and close friends are actively floating three scenarios which they believe will influence whether or how the two teams merge.
SUNRISE, Florida (CNN) – Democrat Barack Obama said Friday that he wishes he could have spent more time in Florida over the past few months when DNC rules prevented Democrats from campaigning in the Sunshine State.
"We've had a great three days here in Florida," the Illinois senator said, "and I regret that we couldn't have campaigned here earlier, but I promise you we're gonna make up for some lost time."
Speaking at his last event on his first campaign swing through the state since long before the Iowa caucuses, Obama told the Florida crowd that "Florida Democrats will be seated" at the Democratic convention in August.
"Your voices will be heard," said Obama, "and most importantly we will work together to make sure that Florida goes Democrat in November, and so does the rest of the country."
On Saturday the White House hopeful will campaign in Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory that holds one of the final contests of the primary season.
(CNN) - On this Memorial Day weekend, I wanted to spend some time talking about the approximately 140,000 U.S. troops still serving in Iraq. They may not necessarily be in the news all that much right now, given the high interest in the race for the White House, but I think about them a lot. Maybe, it’s because I used to be CNN’s military affairs correspondent at the Pentagon.
I also think about their families here at home. Some of those troops are now serving their second and even third tours of duty there.
I spoke about it with Maj. Gen. Mark Hertling, the commander of U.S. and multi-national forces in the northern part of Iraq. I taped an interview with him from Tikrit, Saddam Hussein’s hometown north of Baghdad. The interview will air Sunday on Late Edition at 11 a.m. ET.
Gen. Hertling has certainly sacrificed for our country. This is his second tour of duty there. He has two sons in the military who also have served in Iraq. He also has a daughter-in-law who served in Iraq. He clearly speaks with authority on this subject.
So when he noted that he had just come from a memorial service for a soldier who had been killed in Iraq, I paid special attention to what he had to say. He told the troops at the service that many Americans back home on this Friday were thinking of ways to leave work early to start their long Memorial Day weekend. The men and women serving in Iraq have no such luxury. They are still busy fighting a war. He makes a good point.
Whether you agree or disagree with this war, this is a good time for all of us to remember what those troops are doing, to honor their service and to pray for their safe return home.
MIAMI, Florida (CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama told Florida's Cuban American community Friday that his Cuba policy would be based on "libertad" and freedom for the island nation's people.
"The road to freedom for all Cubans must begin with justice for Cuba's political prisoners, the right of free speech, a free press, freedom of assembly, and it must lead to elections that are free and fair," Obama said. "That is my commitment."
"I won't stand for this injustice; you will not stand for this injustice, and together we will stand up for freedom in Cuba. That will be my commitment as president of the United States of America," the front-runner in the Democratic presidential race said during an address in to a Cuban American group in Miami, Florida.
Obama also said the policy for Cuba and the rest of Latin America would be guided by "the simple principle that what's good for the people of the Americas, is good for the United States."
(CNN) - Texas televangelist John Hagee said Friday his political divorce from Republican presidential contender John McCain is "best for both of us" and urged reporters to return to "the pressing issues of the day."
McCain renounced Hagee's support on Thursday after earlier remarks by the evangelist - suggesting the acts of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler during the Holocaust were part of God's will - drew attention from reporters. The Arizona senator had stood by during controversies over other Hagee sermons, but said he considered the Holocaust remarks "deeply offensive and indefensible."
In a brief appearance with an Orthodox rabbi by his side, Hagee said his views had been "mischaracterized and attacked."
"Our search for an explanation for evil must never be confused for an effort to excuse evil," he said. "Many have wondered where God was during the Holocaust, but I think the more important question is what we will do here on Earth to make sure there will never be another Holocaust."
Related video: Watch a clip of Hagee's comments Friday.
John McCain's doctor says there's no medical reason the 71-year-old should not be president. Health records released by his campaign today show he appears to be cancer-free, has a strong heart and is in good health.
McCain's been treated three times for melanoma, a potentially deadly form of skin cancer, and he was a prisoner of war in Vietnam for over five years.
Because he remains at risk for developing new skin cancers, he's checked every few months. Doctors say there's been no recurrence since 2000. McCain's cholesterol levels are a potential concern, and he takes medicine for that... but his blood pressure is good.
McCain has been treated for a range of health issues that are common in older people, like having pre-cancerous skin lesions and benign colon growths removed. He also has degenerative arthritis from his war injuries.
The Arizona senator shrugs off the age issue on the campaign trail by pointing to his stamina and his strong genes.
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(CNN) – Barack Obama's campaign said Friday they will release a summary of the senator's medical records, provided by his primary care doctor, early next week. Republican John McCain released his medical records earlier Friday, and a team of doctors who assembled summary reports on his health answered questions from reporters.
(CNN) – Two more pledged delegates who previously supported John Edwards have announced their support for Barack Obama, CNN has confirmed.
PolitickerNH.com first reported that State Sen. Peter Burling and Deborah Bacon-Nelson announced their decision Friday morning.
Three of New Hampshire’s four pledged delegates have now switched to Obama since the former presidential candidate’s decision to back the Illinois senator’s presidential bid. New Hampshire delegate Joshua Denton switched his support the day after Edwards endorsed Obama.
Nationwide, 12 of Edwards 19 delegates have now decided to support Obama, including six of Edwards' pledged delegates in South Carolina and three from Iowa.
Obama currently has 1,969 delegates to Clinton's 1,779 in CNN's official count.
FOUNTAIN HILLS, Arizona (CNN) – - There's no medical reason to prevent Sen. John McCain from being president, the doctor for the presumptive GOP nominee said in a statement the McCain campaign released Friday.
"At the present time, Sen. McCain enjoys excellent health and displays extraordinary energy," said Dr. John D. Eckstein, an internal medicine specialist at the Mayo Clinic who has treated the candidate for 16 years.
"While it is impossible to predict any person's future health, today I can find no medical reason or problems that would preclude Sen. McCain from fulfilling all the duties and obligations of president of the United States."
McCain, who turns 72 in August, would be the oldest person to be elected to a first term as president if he wins in November. He has been treated for skin cancer three times and was a prisoner of war in the Vietnam War for 5½ years.