(CNN) - Sen. John McCain's campaign got taken off message Monday when controversial comments by one of his key advisers surfaced.
In the latest episdoe of CNN=Politics Daily, Dana Bash reports on how McCain reacted to comments by adviser Charlie Black. Bash also has a report on what the McCain camp hoped would be the news of the day - McCain's proposal to award energy innovation with a $300 million prize.
On the Democratic side, Jim Acosta takes a look at the fact that former President Bill Clinton still has yet to endorse Sen. Barack Obama, his party's presumptive nominee and the Democrats' new standard-bearer.
Finally, Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider breaks down poll results on the impact that race and age may play in the general election contest between Obama and McCain.
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(CNN) - Charlie Black, a senior adviser to John McCain, said Monday he "deeply regrets" his comments to Fortune Magazine suggesting a terrorist attack on the United States would benefit the Arizona senator's presidential campaign.
"They were inappropriate," Black told reporters at a fundraising event, according to a pool report. "I recognize that John McCain has devoted his entire life to protecting his country.”
In the Fortune Magazine interview, posted on the magazine's Web site Monday, Black said that the Arizona senator demonstrated his fluency in foreign policy and security matters following the assassination of Benazir Bhutto in December of last year.
Asked if McCain would stand to benefit from a terrorist attack on U.S. soil, Black answered: “Certainly it would be a big advantage to him.”
A McCain campaign official said Black does not explicitly remember saying the comment, but does not dispute it. According to the official, he was trying to emphasize that McCain is favored on national security issues.
UPDATE: Barack Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton called Black's comments a "disgrace."
“The fact that John McCain’s top advisor says that a terrorist attack on American soil would be a ‘big advantage’ for their political campaign is a complete disgrace, and is exactly the kind of politics that needs to change," Burton said in a statement. "Barack Obama will turn the page on these failed policies and this cynical and divisive brand of politics so that we can unite this nation around a common purpose to finish the fight against al Qaeda."
(CNN) - She spent the last year and a half occupying one of the most visible roles in American politics, but this week it's back to being the No. 68 most senior senator for Hillary Clinton.
Clinton, who formally ended her presidential bid two weeks ago, is set to return to the Senate Tuesday - the first time in over 17 months the New York Democrat will set foot in the chamber not being a candidate for president. Put another way, the last time Clinton was not a presidential candidate, in January 2007, oil was trading at just over $50 per barrel.
Watch: How are the Clintons doing?
Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines confirms Clinton will be back to work on the Hill Tuesday and Wednesday, though he would not give further details on the senator's schedule for those two days.
Clinton is also set to address the National Association of Latino Elected Officials in Washington on Thursday before joining up with former rival Barack Obama on the campaign trail Friday.
According to the Obama campaign, the two candidates will travel to Unity, New Hampshire - a small town on the state's western border where both candidates received 107 votes in the January primary, according to the campaign.
Clinton's first public appearance since ending her presidential bid came Sunday at a high school graduation ceremony in New York City. There she told the group of students running for president was a "extraordinary experience."
"I have just finished the most extraordinary experience that anybody could possibly have: being able to travel around our country, this great, sprawling, diverse country from one end to the other, meeting thousands and thousands of people who want a better life for themselves and their families, who believe in all their heart in the American Dream," she told graduates of Pelham Prep Academy."
FRESNO, California (CNN) - Sen. John McCain distanced himself Monday from comments made by a senior campaign adviser suggesting that McCain would stand to benefit politically from a terrorist attack on U.S. soil.
In an interview with Fortune magazine, McCain senior adviser Charlie Black said that the Arizona senator demonstrated his fluency in foreign policy and security matters following the assassination of Benazir Bhutto in December of last year.
Bhutto’s killing, Black said, was an “unfortunate event.” But, he argued, McCain’s “knowledge and ability to talk about it reemphasized that this is the guy who's ready to be Commander-in-Chief. And it helped us."
Asked if McCain would stand to benefit from a terrorist attack on the United States, Black answered: “Certainly it would be a big advantage to him.”
Campaigning in California, McCain shook his head when asked by CNN about Black’s comments.
“I cannot imagine why he would say it,” he said at a press conference. “It’s not true. I’ve worked tirelessly since 9/11 to prevent another attack on the United States of America. My record is very clear.”
WASHINGTON (CNN) – A federal judge Monday promised to rule "as soon as possible" on a Congressional demand for White House documents and testimony, but not before expressing reluctance to do so, and scolding both parties for refusing to compromise.
"I didn't volunteer for this," lamented U.S. District Court Judge John Bates during a contentious three-hour hearing focusing on the balance of powers between the executive and legislative branches.
The battle stems from the House investigation of the controversial firing of nine U.S. attorneys by the Justice Department.
(CNN) – Barack Obama’s communications director said Monday that the presidential seal the campaign unveiled last week at a meeting with Democratic governors won’t be seen again.
“That was a one time thing for a one time event," Robert Gibbs told CNN.
Pegged to Obama’s rostrum at Friday’s meeting was his campaign’s version of the presidential seal – a bald eagle clutching an olive branch and arrows in its talons, but instead of a shield covering the center of the eagle’s body, Obama’s had the campaign’s trademark “O.” Rather of the words “Seal of the President of the United States” around the circumference, “Obama for America” and “www.barackobama.com” lined the top and bottom.
The Latin “Vero Possumus” was arched between the eagle’s wings, meaning “Yes we can,” an Obama slogan and rally chant.
Many wondered whether a seal – with Latin phrasing no less – was the best idea for a candidate fighting for the working class vote and trying to fend off allegations of elitism.
Republicans have something else to worry about besides the war in Iraq, the economy and President Bush. Former Republican congressman Bob Barr is running as a Libertarian candidate for president. Some in the GOP are worried Barr's candidacy will take away conservative votes from John McCain.
They fear that the Barr factor combined with high turnout and enthusiasm among the Democratic base could spell trouble for McCain. One Republican says he doesn't think Barr would get more than 4 percent of the vote... but that might be enough in some states.
And some Democrats agree... saying that Republicans are crazy if they aren't worried about Barr – who was the first lawmaker to call for Bill Clinton's resignation over the Monica Lewinsky scandal. He also made a name for himself fighting against the loosening of drug laws and supporting gun rights. The Libertarian Party is already on the ballot in 30 states – and is aiming for the other 20.
Not everyone is worried though.
To read more and contribute to the Cafferty File discussion click here
(CNN) – John McCain hit the campaign trail Monday with two band-aids on the top of his head, leading a reporter to ask the Arizona senator why he was wearing them.
The presumptive Republican presidential nominee, who has battled skin cancer in the past, said the band-aids were merely a result of hitting his head on the roof of a car.
“I was getting out of the car in Canada and I hit the roof a tiny bit, and the car was much smaller than the one I'm usually being ferried around in by the beloved Secret Service."
"It was a brush with a low hanging door," McCain also said.
(CNN) – In some of the more recent public opinion polls, Barack Obama comes out doing much better than John McCain on several domestic issues. McCain, on the other hand, does better when it comes to the war on terror.
The latest USA Today-Gallup Poll, for example, shows that Obama is seen as doing a better job than McCain on health care (51 percent to 26 percent), the economy (48 percent to 32 percent), energy (47 percent to 28 percent), and taxes (44 percent to 35 percent).
In this same poll, they basically tie on such matters as the war in Iraq (43 percent to 43 percent), moral values (40 percent to 39 percent) and illegal immigration (34 percent to 36 percent).
But it’s a totally different situation when it comes to the war on terror. McCain is seen as doing a better job by a 52 percent to 33 percent margin.
All of which suggests that Obama probably would win the election if the biggest issues involve the economy and other domestic matters. But that could change if the war on terror were to emerge as issue number one. Under that circumstance, voters might flock toward McCain.
It’s a fascinating insight into the minds of voters – but remember: it’s only a current snapshot. Things can easily change between now and November 4. They always do.
(CNN)–Do you think offshore drilling is the right answer for increasing gas supplies? Rick Perry, Republican governor of Texas, supports offshore drilling. He will appear Tuesday on CNN's "Situation Room" to talk about handling energy prices. Send your video questions for Perry to iReport.com and your submissions could be used on air.