(CNN) - The economy was Issue #1 on the campaign trail Tuesday as Sen. John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, gave a speech on economic issues just one day after Sen. Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee, gave an address on the same topic.
In the latest episode of CNN=Politics Daily, Dana Bash reports on McCain's speech and his economic attacks on Obama. The presumptive Democratic nominee spent part of his day shadowing a nurse. Jessica Yellin takes a closer look at what Obama is doing to sound a more populist tone and attract the supporters of former rivals Sen. Hillary Clinton and John Edwards.
Obama also held a closed-door meeting Tuesday with religious leaders. Carol Costello has the details.
While Obama was out on the campaign trail, the leaders of his party held a unity event in Washington, D.C. as they tried to bring together a party battered by a long primary fight. Kathleen Koch reports on the Democratic gathering.
Finally, Sen. Clinton's presidential bid was also historic for the amount of debt it incurred. What is going to happen to the millions the campaign owes - including millions owed to Clinton herself? Mary Snow has some answers.
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WASHINGTON (CNN) – Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean said Tuesday that the national party “is going to be essentially run by the Obama campaign,” adding that the end of the primary process would dramatically shift their fundraising fortunes, allowing the DNC to begin to erase the massive cash edge enjoyed by its Republican counterpart.
“There’s not going to be a coordination problem and there certainly isn’t going to be a fundraising problem,” said Dean.
At a press conference with Democratic officials at the Democratic National Committee Tuesday afternoon, Dean pointed to the DNC staff on the ground in all 50 states since the 2004 elections - just hours after Barack Obama's deputy campaign manager, Steve Hildebrand, made a similar boast in a fundraising e-mail.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid added that efforts to coordinate the DNC with the cash-rich Senate and House election committees have been underway for years.
“With Obama now having the nomination, this DNC is going to hit the ground running, we’re in good shape,” said Reid.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Illinois Sen. Barack Obama’s vice presidential vetting team discussed roughly 20 names with a senior Senate Democrat Tuesday, including some well-known options and others that are “outside the box.”
Sen. Kent Conrad of North Dakota told CNN that some of those on the list are “top officials now,” others are “former lawmakers” and others are “former top military leaders.”
Conrad said Obama’s team wanted his impressions about the people on the list, including the respect they command and their “standing with their colleagues.” He termed their discussion “wide-ranging.”
Jim Johnson and Eric Holder, two members of Obama’s vice presidential vetting team, arrived on Capitol Hill Monday for several days of meetings with top Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Another Democratic senator, Dick Durbin of Illinois, a close Obama ally in the Senate, left the Capitol at noon on Tuesday saying he was headed off the Hill for a meeting with the search team.
Interactive: Who might be on Obama's VP shortlist?
(CNN) - Ron Paul, the Republican presidential candidate who has said he does not plan on backing John McCain, is planning on holding a day-long rally at the University of Minnesota during the same week the Republican Party is set to hold its convention in Minneapolis.
The news was first reported by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. A spokesman for the university confirmed to CNN that Paul has “tentatively” booked the venue.
Paul and his legion of supporters disagree with McCain's support of the Iraq war.
CHICAGO (CNN) - Presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama held a private, closed-press meeting Tuesday with religious leaders, which included Evangelicals, Protestants and Catholics, according to campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki.
About 30 people are expected to attend, including some from Chicago, a campaign aide said. Members of the media were kept out and weren't informed of any details until about 45 minutes prior to the beginning of the meeting.
"Reaching out to the faith community is a priority for Barack Obama and will be a priority under an Obama Administration," Psaki said in an e-mailed statement when pressed for details by members of the traveling press corps. Previously, the only information provided to reporters was that Obama would hold a private gathering with "community leaders."
"This is one of several meetings he will have over the coming months with religious leaders," Psaki said.
(CNN) – Cindy McCain on Tuesday ruled out the possibility of serving in her husband’s possible presidential administration.
Mrs. McCain, the wife of presumptive Republican nominee John McCain, told NY1 that while she would want be an “advocate” for issues like education as first lady, she has no plans to serve in an official post.
“I do not ever envision myself as being involved in the McCain administration, as it has been put, at all,” she said. “But my husband and I do talk and I want to be party to listening to what his ideas are too.”
She also said that her role as first lady would not change from her role today, making note of her work for international charities.
(CNN) – John McCain’s campaign is running a Spanish-language radio ad in Florida aimed at Cuban-American voters.
The 60-second spot, titled "Cuba prisoners," is narrated by Roberto Martin-Perez, a former political prisoner in Cuba who now lives in Miami and serves as the spokesperson for the Association of Cuban Political Prisoners.
In the ad, Martin-Perez calls Raul Castro a dictator "just like his brother" Fidel, who will continue to suppress human rights and freedom of speech on the island.
The spot jabs Barack Obama for his pledge to meet with leaders of hostile countries like Cuba.
"Instead of talking to Raul Castro, John McCain insists that all political prisoners be freed," Martin-Perez says, adding that McCain supports the men and women who "fight for Cuba’s freedom."
"As a former prisoner in Vietnam who saw many cruelties," the narrator says, "John McCain knows that Cuba will not be freed with concessions to the dictatorship."
(CNN) – Presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama back-tracked on one campaign trail prediction Tuesday, switching his pick in this year’s NBA Finals.
“I tell you what, I thought the Lakers were the better team,” he told NPR’s All Things Considered, according to a transcript of an interview scheduled to air Tuesday night. “But the Celtics have been tough. I might have to revise my prediction here. I assumed Lakers in six. I don’t think that’s realistic now at this point…It does not look like it. It may be Celtics in six.”
The Celtics are leading the Lakers 2-0 in the best-of-seven NBA Finals.
The Illinois senator said that even though he had lived in Boston for several years as a student at Harvard Law School, “the truth is that I’ve got no dog in this hunt.”
“I’m a Bulls fan. We’ve gone through a drought for quite some time now. But we got the number-one draft pick, so our games may get a little bit better.”
(CNN) - Rep. Dennis Kucinich's re-election Web site crashed Tuesday, and the Ohio Democrat is a bit suspicious over the timing.
According to a statement released by Kucinich's congressional campaign, the site was "shut down this morning by a series of suspicious and fast-moving events" only hours after the congressman's newly-introduced articles of impeachment against President Bush were posted.
The campaign said the site shut down just as it was receiving an estimated 100,000 hits an hour from people looking for the impeachment articles.
Speaking with CNN, Kucinich spokesman Andy Juniewicz said he's not sure if the Web site was hacked, but reiterated that the timing raised some eyebrows.
Kucinich, who last year unsuccessfully sought to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney, formally announced the impeachment articles on Monday evening. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has repeatedly said she is against proposals seeking to impeach the president.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Ohio Governor Ted Strickland – who has often been mentioned as a possible vice presidential pick for presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama – said Tuesday that if asked, he would “absolutely not” join the party’s presidential ticket this fall.
Strickland, who backed Hillary Clinton during the primary season, told NPR’s Michele Norris that he was taking himself out of the running. “Absolutely not. If drafted I will not run, nominated I will not accept and if elected I will not serve,” he said, in an interview on NPR's All Things Considered. “So, I don’t know how more crystal clear I can be.”
Obama lost the Ohio primary to Clinton.
The swing state governor, who has endorsed Barack Obama, dismissed the idea that all potential running mates deny interest in the job. “No, I don’t think they all say that. I’ve heard people say, ‘you know, if I was asked, it would certainly be something I would have to consider.’ That does not mean that I am any less committed to helping Barack Obama become the next president,” Strickland said in an NPR transcript of the interview, which is scheduled to air Tuesday night. He is scheduled to join Obama on the campaign trail in Ohio this Friday.
Two members of Obama’s vice presidential vetting team are in Washington, soliciting input from top congressional Democrats.