(CNN) - Veterans were appropriately the topic of discussion out on the campaign trail this Memorial Day.
In the latest episode of CNN=Politics Daily, Mary Snow reports on how Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain used Memorial Day to explain their positions on veterans' benefits.
White House Correspondent Ed Henry previews a McCain fund-raising event that will be headlined by none other than President Bush himself.
CNN has confirmed that the Obama campaign has already begun a search for the Illinois senator's running mate in the event he secures the Democratic nomination. Jessica Yellin takes a look at who Obama may be considering.
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(CNN) – Victor DiMaio, the plaintiff in a refiled lawsuit aimed at forcing the DNC to seat Florida’s delegates to the Democratic convention, has announced that a protest will be held in Tampa, Florida on the eve of the hearing in his case.
The “lawsuit was filed long before the first vote was ever cast or counted,” DiMaio said in a statement released Monday. “How do you ignore the fourth largest state in the nation and millions of Florida voters who exercised their right to vote?,” he added.
The dismissal of Dimaio’s original suit was upheld by a federal appeals court in March but the court stated that the suit could be refiled if the defects it had identified were fixed.
In early April, DiMaio refiled in Tampa federal trial court. The new suit alleges that the DNC discriminated on the basis of race and national origin in violation of federal law. In particular, DiMaio contends that the DNC allowed Nevada and South Carolina to hold their presidential primaries prior to February 5 because of significant minority populations in both states.
A hearing is set for Wednesday in DiMaio’s case. In papers filed with the Tampa federal trial court in preparation for the hearing, the DNC countered that its rule on scheduling primaries does not amount to discrimination on the basis of race or national origin and does not discriminate against any individual voter or against the voters as a whole in any state.
The DNC also said that national political parties have a constitutional right under the First Amendment to determine how delegates are selected to their nominating conventions.
LAS CRUCES, New Mexico (CNN) – At a Memorial Day event in front of a veteran-dominated crowd, Democrat Barack Obama paid tribute to the fallen soldiers but conceded he may never have complete personal insight into the rigors of war.
"I speak to you today with deep humility," Obama said in opening remarks. "My grandfather marched in Patton's Army, but I cannot know what it is to walk into battle like so many of you. My grandmother worked on a bomber assembly line, but I cannot know personally what it is for a family to sacrifice like so many of yours have."
Presumptive Republican nominee John McCain said last week he did not think he needed to accept criticism of his handling of veterans affairs from Obama, who did "not feel it was his responsibility to serve our country in uniform."
Obama did not mention McCain, a Vietnam prisoner of war, during his Memorial Day town hall. But he heaped praise on veterans in general, both the fallen and those who've survived.
"I just want to reiterate that the reason we're here is obviously to honor our fallen soldiers. One of the best ways that we can honor our fallen soldiers is to honor those who came back, who survived."
As the veepstakes heat up, CNN Political Producer Alan Silverleib weighs the pros and cons of 10 possible choices for each party - from the familiar figures to the dark horses.
(CNN) – Sen. Barack Obama appears to be headed for a win in one of the final contests of the Democratic nomination race, according to a new poll of likely Democratic primary voters in Montana.
Obama’s support stands at 52 percent and Clinton’s is at 35 percent. Thirteen percent of those who participated in the survey were unsure who they preferred as the Democratic nominee.
The Mason-Dixon poll of 400 likely Democratic primary voters in Montana was conducted May 19-21 and has a margin of error of plus or minus five percentage points.
Montana and South Dakota will hold the last Democratic presidential primaries on June 3; sixteen pledged delegates are up for grabs in Montana’s primary and 15 in South Dakota.
ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico (CNN) – John McCain spent Memorial Day focusing on his own military history, the war in Iraq and the debate over veterans’ benefits.
“The sacrifices made by veterans deserve to be memorialized in something more lasting than marble or bronze or in the fleeting effect of a politician's speeches,” McCain told veterans and their families gathered under a cloudless sky at the New Mexico Veterans’ Memorial. “Your valor and devotion to duty have earned your country's abiding concern for your welfare. And when our government forgets to honor our debts to you, it is a stain upon America's honor.”
The presumptive Republican nominee made no mention of Barack Obama. McCain drew fire from the Illinois senator last week for his opposition to a GI Bill proposed by fellow veteran Sen. Jim Webb. The measure passed the Senate last week.
In a tersely worded statement last week, McCain responded, “I take a backseat to no one in my affection, respect and devotion to veterans. And I will not accept from Senator Obama, who did not feel it was his responsibility to serve our country in uniform, any lectures on my regard for those who did.”
On Monday, McCain said again that he felt Webb’s bill unfairly provides the same benefits to troops who had only served one tour of duty as it did to those who serve longer.
(CNN) - Former President Bill Clinton said that Democrats were more likely to lose in November if his wife Hillary Clinton is not the party’s presidential nominee, and suggested some people were trying to “cover this up” and “push and pressure and bully” superdelegates to make up their minds prematurely.
"I can’t believe it. It is just frantic the way they are trying to push and pressure and bully all these superdelegates to come out,” he said at a South Dakota campaign stop Sunday, in remarks first reported by ABC News. “'Oh, this is so terrible: The people they want her. Oh, this is so terrible: She is winning the general election, and he is not. Oh my goodness, we have to cover this up.'"
The former president added that his wife had not been given the respect she deserved as a legitimate presidential candidate. "She is winning the general election today and he is not, according to all the evidence,” he said. “And I have never seen anything like it. I have never seen a candidate treated so disrespectfully just for running.”
“Her only position was, ‘Look, if I lose I'll be a good team player. We will all try to win - but let's let everybody vote, and count every vote,’" he said.
The former president suggested that if the New York senator ended the primary season with an edge in the popular vote, it would be a significant development. "If you vote for her and she does well in Montana and she does well in Puerto Rico, when this is over she will be ahead in the popular vote,” said Clinton.
“And they're trying to get her to cry uncle before the Democratic Party has to decide what to do in Florida and Michigan” – which the party would need to do “unless we want to lose the election. "
(CNN)—John McCain’s campaign continued its pitch to Hispanic voters on Memorial Day in a new web ad paying tribute to the service and sacrifice of Hispanics serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.
“When you go to Iraq or Afghanistan today, you're going to see a whole lot of people who are of Hispanic background,” McCain says. “You're even going to meet some of the few thousand that are still green card holders who are not even citizens of this country, who love this country so much that they're willing to risk their lives in its service in order to accelerate their path to citizenship and enjoy the bountiful, blessed nation.”
The minute long ad called “Memorial Day,” shows images of the various war memorials in Washington D.C., with phrases superimposed highlighting the military service of Hispanics throughout U.S. history.
Throughout the past month, the Arizona senator has been working to court Hispanic voters with the launch of a Spanish-language website and emphasis on the Republican Party as an inclusive party that “reaches out to every citizen.”
“[Hispanics] must come into our country legally, but they have enriched our culture and our nation as every generation of immigrants before them,” the presumptive Republican nominee concludes.
In 2005, McCain angered some in his party when he and Democratic Sen. Ted Kennedy unsuccessfully pushed for a comprehensive immigration reform bill that included a path to citizenship.
McCain now says he would focus first on securing the borders before offering other ways to deal with illegal immigration.
(CNN) – Former Rep. Bob Barr, the newly-selected Libertarian presidential nominee, rejected suggestions Monday that he could spoil his former party's chances of holding onto the White House.
"There are two folks that are out to spoil the race here - it's Senator Obama and Senator McCain. They're setting out, I think, to spoil our chances," he told CNN's "American Morning."
He added, "There are millions of voters out there that are not going to vote for Senator McCain, and we aim to reach those voters with the message of smaller government and more individual liberty."
For years, Barr was a prominent Georgia Republican in the House. He played a leading role in the impeachment of former President Bill Clinton.
His positions on some issues have left some Libertarians unsure about his candidacy. He opposed legalizing marijuana for medical purposes, supported the Patriot Act, and co-sponsored the Defense of Marriage Act.
While the Defense of Marriage Act was backed by opponents of gay marriage, and allowed states not to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states, Barr told CNN Monday that it was a "very sound individualistic and states' rights policy."
And he said he has been working for five years "to either amend or repeal the Patriot Act because of the way it has been used and abused by the Bush administration to curtail the civil liberties of American citizens in this country. We can defend America without taking away civil liberties and privacy rights of American citizens, and we ought to be doing that."
(CNN) - Former President Jimmy Carter said Sunday that in a little more than a week, when the last Democratic primary voters weigh in, it will be time for Hillary Clinton to “give it up.”
Carter told Britain’s Sky News that Clinton “had a perfect right” to keep running – but that “a lot of the superdelegates will make a decision quite, announced quite rapidly, after the final primary on June 3," he told Sky News Sunday.
"I have not yet announced publicly, but I think at that point it will be time for her to give it up," he added.
Carter, a superdelegate, has not made endorsement but has spoken out frequently in favor of Barack Obama.
Obama leads Clinton among superdelegates and has captured the majority of pledged delegates up for grabs this primary season.