(CNN)—One of the biggest concerns for voters is having a president who ensures the security of the country. In the latest installment of CNN=Politics Daily, CNN’s Brian Todd reports on the McCain campaign’s effort to portray Obama as an unfit commander in chief.
The presumptive Republican nominee also worked to highlight energy differences Tuesday between President Bush and himself. CNN’s Dana Bash has the details on McCain’s plans for off shore drilling and combating rising gas prices.
Meanwhile: Obama visited Michigan Tuesday in hopes of convincing Clinton supporters to unite behind him. Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley reports.
Finally: the latest polls show Independent voters may not have picked a favorite candidate yet. Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider explains how Independent voters could tilt the outcome of the presidential election.
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(CNN) - Ellen Malcom, founder of Emily's List and a major Clinton supporter, met with Obama campaign manager David Plouffe at campaign headquarters in Chicago Tuesday.
Malcom, who has warned Obama publicly that he has to do more work to attract blue-collar women, told CNN the meeting included Emily's List Executive Director Ellen Moran and Obama's deputy campaign manager Steve Hildebrand. She also said it lasted more than an hour, and was "great."
Several weeks ago, Malcolm released an angry statement terming NARAL's decision to endorse Obama over Hillary Clinton "tremendously disrespectful." Less than two weeks ago, she sent an e-mail to supporters in which she spoke positively of Obama, but said she was not quite over her "anger and grief" at Clinton's loss.
TAYLOR, Michigan (CNN) - Could Barack Obama ask a former vice president to reprise his role on the Democratic ticket?
At a Michigan campaign event Tuesday, a student reporter asked the presumptive Democratic nominee if he would consider asking Al Gore to serve as his running mate.
Obama, who has kept mum on his vice presidential plans, sidestepped the question. "I have just started looking through possible candidates. I haven't made any decisions. I'm getting some recommendations,” said the Illinois senator. “Obviously Al Gore is a great public servant, he was a great vice president. He may not want to be vice president again, since he's already done that for eight years, but certainly he's somebody that I'll be getting advice from as we go forward and hopefully he'll help me when I'm president."
The 2000 Democratic presidential nominee, who officially endorsed Obama Monday, said in December that he might jump back into the political fray – but only in a bid for the top spot. A third term as vice president would mean Gore had spent more time in the office than anyone in U.S. history.
(CNN) – Barack Obama had high praise Tuesday for Hillary Clinton’s former campaign manager, who recently joined his campaign as chief of staff for his yet-unnamed running mate.
“Patti Solis Doyle I think is a terrific, experienced campaign hand,” Obama told reporters aboard his campaign plane. “She’s from Chicago. Her brother and I organized on the southeast side of Chicago when I first moved to Chicago as a community organizer, so I’ve known the family for a very long time.”
“I think that she will bring not only a set of skills that we're going to need as we put our ticket together but she’s going to be a terrific adviser and offer insight and judgment that will help us," Obama added.
CNN’s Jessica Yellin reported Monday that the Clinton campaign is angry about the hire. Solis Doyle left the campaign in February after a string of disappointing primary results and rumors surfaced before Clinton even bowed out that Solis Doyle would join the Obama campaign.
A top Democrat close to Solis Doyle told Yellin that Solis Doyle would not have accepted the job if she believed Clinton would be Obama's choice for vice president.
On his plane Tuesday, Obama also addressed the boos for Clinton he tried to silence at a rally in Michigan on Monday night.
“When I got out there I shut that down, and made very clear that Senator Clinton deserves respect. She ran a great race and we are moving forward because we want to win in November,” said Obama. “You know I think people were still in primary mindset, and we're moving into general election mindset.”
(CNN)— Pro-Obama groups are ignoring calls by the Illinois senator for independent groups to direct their resources to the national party and his campaign instead of acting independently on his behalf, planning a massive operation aimed at boosting Democratic turnout in November.
PowerPAC.org Chairman Steve Phillips wrote in a Huffington Post piece Tuesday that progressive groups expect to raise $100 million to further mobilize voters this cycle, including a $10 million voter drive targeting black voters in states like Virginia, North Carolina, Mississippi and Georgia – all states that typically support Republican presidential candidates that the Obama campaign thinks he can win this fall.
“Contrary to earlier reports about the demise of independent efforts this cycle, the work in 2008 will be robust, vibrant, and more coordinated than ever before,” Phillips says.
His group plans to combine efforts with other grassroots organizations like the NAACP and National Coalition on Black Civic Participation to increase minority turnout, and coordinate with the America Votes coalition, which includes than 30 major progressive groups representing millions of members nationwide.
Earlier this year, Obama asked independent groups to direct their resources to the Democratic National Committee and his own campaign rather than run ads on his behalf. But unions and other progressive groups have traditionally taken the lead in get out the vote operations of the kind Phillip described in his piece Tuesday.
Phillips predicted the groups would spend at least $100 million on their efforts.
(CNN) – Barack Obama responded to the McCain campaign’s Tuesday attack that putting terrorists from Guantanamo Bay on trial is “a policy of delusion,” noting last week's Supreme Court ruling that detainees would have the right to challenge their detention.
“The reason we set up Guantanamo is because the administration wanted to set up a black hole where there was no accountability whatsoever,” said Obama, flying back to Washington Tuesday for some time off the campaign trail. “The Supreme Court has now said you can’t do that. And as a consequence, the whole purpose of Guantanamo is defeated.”
Obama has applauded the Supreme Court’s decision that those held at Guantanamo Bay should be put on trial and in an interview with ABC on Monday, pointed to the prosecution of the terrorists responsible for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
“If [the McCain campaign] wanted to have a serious conversation about it then they would know for example that the issue of Habeas Corpus is not designed to free prisoners,” Obama told reporters Tuesday. “What it’s designed to do is make sure that prisoners who are being held have at least one shot to say, “I’m being held wrongly.””
“We don’t have to treat them in the same way that we would treat a criminal suspect in the US,” Obama later added, “but we should abide by the Geneva Conventions.”
(CNN)— Barack Obama is leading John McCain in the first General Election CNN Poll of Polls since Hillary Clinton ended her presidential bid.
Obama is ahead of McCain by five points, 46 percent to 41 percent. That’s up one point from Friday’s poll of polls, which showed the Illinois senator leading McCain 47 percent to 43 percent.
CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said, “Hillary Clinton's decision to suspend her campaign and endorse Obama seems to have produced little or no bounce for Obama.”
The fact that Obama’s lead did not increase more significantly since Clinton ended her campaign and endorsed the Illinois senator is “an indication that Clinton supporters may need more than one speech to rally behind the party's nominee,” said Holland. “Since the end of January, Obama's edge in the weekly Poll of Polls has always been in the low single digits, but it's worth noting that he has consistently been ahead of McCain week after week for about four months.”
The national General Election poll of polls has no sampling error and consists of three surveys conducted between June 12 and June 16: Gallup (June 14-16), Cook/RT Strategies (June 12-15), and ABC/Washington Post (June 12-15).
WASHINGTON (CNN) - When it comes to tax policy, John McCain and Barack Obama have very different views.
Take the matter of corporate tax rates. McCain wants to reduce that rate. He says that would make American companies more competitive around the world since the U.S. has one of the highest corporate rates. He notes that Ireland used to be an economic basket case until it reduced its corporate rates. As a result, investors from around the world began to flock to Ireland for business deals. That created lots of jobs in Ireland, which now has a strong economy.
Obama wants a windfall profits tax on Exxon-Mobil and the other big oil companies. They have been making record profits as the price of oil has skyrocketed. According to recent polls, most Americans blame big oil for their pain at the pump. McCain opposes such a windfall profits tax. But he goes one step further. Under McCain’s proposed corporate tax rate cut, Exxon-Mobil and other big oil companies would have even larger profits. That’s because McCain has no exemption for the big oil companies.
This is but one tax issue on the table right now. The two presidential candidates disagree on several others. Obama has proposed a $1,000 tax cut for middle class workers.
But the big issue for both will be whether to roll back the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003. McCain originally voted against them but now supports them. Obama wants the Bush tax cuts for those making more than $250,000 a year eliminated. He wants to go back to the tax rates that existed during the Clinton administration. This will be a huge fight in the campaign.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Chris Dodd says he got no sweetheart deals from embattled mortgage lender Countrywide Financial Corp., telling reporters Tuesday that he would reject "out of hand" any hint of preferential treatment.
"At no point did anyone ever suggest to me that we were going to get some deal out of Countrywide," said Dodd, the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee and a former Democratic presidential contender. "I never spoke to anybody except loan officers - never any higher-ups or any senior people within Countrywide."
Last week, Portfolio magazine reported that Countrywide - one of the companies accused of fueling the subprime mortgage crisis - gave favorable mortgage rates to Dodd. A similar allegation forced the head of Sen. Barack Obama's vice presidential search team, Jim Johnson, to step down last week.
Obama has criticized the mortgage company for its lending practices. But Republicans had been hammering Johnson since The Wall Street Journal reported on June 7 that he received a good deal on a mortgage from Countrywide because of his friendship with Angelo Mozilo, the company's CEO.
Dodd, an Obama supporter who has been mentioned as a potential vice presidential candidate, said he would fully cooperate with any investigation.
The Connecticut senator said he sought out Countrywide in 2003 in order to refinance his two homes - one in his home state of Connecticut, the other in Washington.
DETROIT, Michigan (CNN) - Barack Obama defended Hillary Clinton at a Michigan unity rally Monday night that featured former Vice President Al Gore - and some off-message audience booing at the mention of the New York senator's name.
After joking about the extended Democratic primary season – “I was planning to run for the '08 election, not the 2012 election!" – Obama responded to some vocal Clinton critics in the crowd, who had reacted to praise for the senator from both the presumptive Democratic nominee and Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, a longtime Clinton supporter.
"I want everybody here to be absolutely clear - I want everybody here to be absolutely clear - Senator Clinton is one of the finest public servants we have in American life today," said Obama, noting her work on behalf of children's rights and universal health care.
"She has been on the right side of just about every battle that we have fought - she has, in her own words, shattered a glass ceiling into 18 million pieces. ….She is worthy of our respect, she is worthy of our honor.