(CNN) – Former GOP presidential contender Mike Huckabee called Barack Obama's candidacy "a landmark achievement" Tuesday, and warned fellow Republicans not to demonize Obama.
"Republicans will make a fundamental if not fatal mistake if they seek to win the election by demonizing Barack Obama," Huckabee told reporters in Tokyo, according to a report by Agence France-Presse.
Huckabee praised the country for getting "to a point where we did not see his color but we truly saw his charisma, his message and what he brought to the campaign trail."
"When people are really hurting - and they are right now - they're not looking at a person's race," he added.
Huckabee said he hopes John McCain beats Obama, but that Republicans should focus on policy differences, not race.
Huckabee suggested questions about whether he might join McCain on the ticket were premature. "You can't accept an invitation to the prom until the football captain asks you. So I'm not going to go out and buy the outfit just yet," said Huckabee, according to AFP.
Watch Giuliani's interview from American Morning.
(CNN) - Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani accused Barack Obama of "a softer and more defensive approach to terrorism," while Obama's foreign policy advisor Susan Rice called John McCain's stance on the issue "stupid and fundamentally failed," in separate interviews Wednesday on CNN's "American Morning."
This morning's back-and-forth between the two presidential campaigns was a continuation of a disagreement over how to prosecute detainees held at Guantanamo Bay that began earlier this week.
WATCH McCain and Obama spar over terrorism
The firestorm started when Obama on Monday praised last week's U.S. Supreme Court ruling to put Guantanamo Bay detainees on trial, pointing to how the 1993 World Trade Center bombers were prosecuted.
"The real problem is his having said that in essence the 1993 situation was really correctly handled by it being a criminal prosecution," Giuliani said on a conference call with reporters shortly after the CNN interview. "The reality is it wasn't over with in 1993, it led to several other serious attacks on Americans and then of course the catastrophic attack of September 11."
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Michelle Obama said that her “passion” might be her a “strength” or a “weakness,” as she pulled up a chair Wednesday to chat with women of “The View”.
“At some level when you put your heart out there, there’s a level of passion that you feel and it’s a risk that you take,” Michelle Obama about how some voters may have perceived her. “One of the things I’m counting on is that people will see through it…the more they get to know me.”
Obama’s appearance on the ABC talk show, comes as aides tell CNN she is honing her message for the general election.
WATCH How would Michelle Obama be as a first lady?
She also took time to applaud Hillary Clinton for breaking down the barriers that have held back women, which Obama said will in turn help her two young daughters succeed in the future.
“Hillary Clinton has, as she said, created 18 million cracks on a ceiling and we need to keep pushing it and pushing it,” Obama said. She also noted that Clinton has been on the receiving end of some unfair criticism because she is a woman.
“It’s hurtful, but she’s taken them so that my girls when they come along, they won’t have too feel it as badly.”
Click here for CNN's lay of the land.
(CNN) - How is the electoral math stacking up for John McCain and Barack Obama?
Be sure to check back between 4 and 4:30 PM, ET, for a change to CNN's interactive Electoral College map.
The CNN Electoral College map is based on analysis of several factors, including polling, voting trends, ad spending, candidate visits, and guidance from the campaigns and political strategists.
(CNN)—In a comparison between the wives of the presumptive Republican and Democratic nominees, Americans know more about Michelle Obama than Cindy McCain, but not necessarily in a positive way according to a new poll.
WATCH What kind of First Lady will Michelle Obama and Cindy McCain be?
In the latest Pew research poll conducted June 13 through 16, 78 percent have heard a least a little bit about the wife of Barack Obama, but up to 26 percent of those said the coverage of Michelle Obama has been mostly negative. In contrast, 54 percent of those surveyed claim to know a little bit about Cindy McCain and of those polled 31 percent say the coverage they have seen has been mostly positive, while only 7 percent felt she has been represented negatively.
WATCH How Cindy McCain views her role in the White House
The results, tallied from approximately 1,000 adults over the age of 18 with a sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 points show the overall image of the two is positive among their respective parties. 54 percent of Republicans surveyed hold a favorable view of John McCain’s wife, while 65 percent of Democrats have a positive view of Barack Obama’s wife.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – President Bush asked Congress Wednesday to permit drilling for oil off America's coasts - on the outer continental shelf - to combat rising oil and gas prices.
Bush also renewed his demand that Congress allow drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, or ANWR, clear the way for more refineries and encourage efforts to recover oil from shale in areas such as the Green River Basin of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming.
Bush said that the basin potentially contains more than three times as much recoverable oil as Saudi Arabia's proven reserves, and that the high price of oil makes it profitable to extract it.
"In the short run, the American economy will continue to rely largely on oil, and that means we need to increase supply here at home," said Bush, adding there is no more pressing issue than gas prices for many Americans.
(CNN) – The upcoming Republican and Democratic nominating conventions are being funded by more than $100 million in contributions from corporations who also spend substantial sums lobbying the federal government, according to a new study by the Campaign Finance Institute released Wednesday.
Roughly $55 million in private financing is being provided to support the Democratic convention in Denver, and $57 million for the Republican convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul. The organizational donors behind that convention funding have donated another $100 million to federal candidates and parties since 2005 and spent a total of $721.3 million lobbying the federal government during the same period, according to the institute’s analysis.
The institute’s report comes shortly after presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama prohibited the Democratic National Committee from accepting contributions from lobbyists or political action committees, to bring its fund-raising practices in line with those of his presidential campaign. Presumptive Republican nominee John McCain spearheaded legislation which banned unregulated “soft money” from federal campaign donations — but the new regulations did not include a soft money ban on funding for nominating conventions.
The Campaign Finance Institute is affiliated with George Washington University. The analysis released by the institute Tuesday included data provided by the Center for Responsive Politics.
WASHINGTON (CNN)– Barack Obama turns his attention to national security today, as he meets with a group of senior Democrats who are veterans when it comes to foreign policy and national security.
Obama’s Campaign says that the Senator from Illinois will hold his first meeting of his Senior Working Group on National Security. The campaign says that the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee will consult with this group on a regular basis between now and the November election.
WATCH Obama discuss his view on foreign policy
Later today Obama is scheduled to gather with a a group of nearly 40 retired admirals and generals to discuss the state of the nation’s armed forces and the challenges facing the US military in hot spots around the world.
Among the names in this Senior Working Group are four Clinton Administration Cabinet members: former Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright and Warren Christopher, former Defense Secretary William Perry, and former National Security Adviser Tony Lake.
Also included in this group are former Senators Sam Nunn, who chaired the Senate Armed Services Committee and David Boren, who chaired the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and former Congressman Lee Hamilton, who chaired the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Obama is critical of the Bush Administration when it comes to national security, telling reporters yesterday that “I think that the American people are clear that we have neglected our domestic national security.”
(CNN) – Barack Obama leading John McCain in the crucial swing states of Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida, according to a new survey.
Obama lost the Democratic primary in Pennsylvania by 9 points - but a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday shows him leading McCain by 12 points, 52-40. In Ohio — a state Obama lost to Hillary Clinton by 10 points in March — he’s leading McCain 48-42. And in Florida, where he did not campaign this primary season and lost an unsanctioned Democratic contest, he leads McCain 47-43.
The Ohio and Florida results are reversals from Quinnipiac polls published a month ago, when Clinton was still in the race, and McCain led Obama in hypothetical match-ups.
In the waning days of her campaign, Hillary Clinton argued to voters and superdelegates that she should be the nominee because she was the stronger candidate to beat McCain in these swing states. Democrats in all three swing states say they’d like to see her on the ballot this fall, but independent voters give the idea a thumbs down by margins of 9-16 percent.
Florida clinched the presidency for George W. Bush in 2000, and Ohio did the same in 2004.
Quinnipiac surveyed between 1,300 and 1,500 voters in each state from June 9-16 with margins of error of plus or minus 2.5 percent for Pennsylvania and 2.6 percent for Ohio and Florida.
(CNN) - Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama will make a joint public appearance next week for the first time since she ended her White House bid.
Clinton's national finance director, Jonathan Mantz, sent top donors an invitation Tuesday for a June 26 meeting in Washington, D.C. featuring both former rivals. Mantz also asked Clinton donors to show unity by giving Obama $2,300, the maximum donation allowable under federal campaign finance laws.
He added that Clinton "will do everything she can to unify the party and to elect Barack Obama the next President of the United States."