(CNN) - Former President Bill Clinton is committed to helping Sen. Barack Obama get elected to the Oval Office, a Clinton spokesman said Tuesday.
The comments are the first from Bill Clinton's office to offer support to the presumptive Democratic nominee since the party's prolonged primary race ended two weeks ago.
Watch: Where is Bill Clinton?
"President Clinton is obviously committed to doing whatever he can and is asked to do to ensure Senator Obama is the next president of the United States," Clinton spokesman Matt McKenna said.
The former president was sharply critical of Obama on the campaign trail earlier this year, and has yet to publicly endorse the Illinois senator, even though his wife officially pulled out of the race June 7.
The comments come three days before both Obama and Hillary Clinton are set to appear together in Unity, New Hampshire, to show their support of a unified Democratic Party. The former president is not slated to attend that event.
Watch: Should Bill stump for Obama?
UPDATE: Responding to the statement, the Republican National Committee notes the former president has been highly critical of Obama, specifically in an interview with PBS' Charlie Rose shortly before the Iowa caucuses when he suggested voting for Obama is a "roll of the dice."
"I mean when is the last time we elected a president based on one year of service in the Senate before he started running?" Clinton said then. "He would have been a senator longer by the time he’s inaugurated, but essentially once you start running for president full-time you don’t have time to do much else.”
WASHINGTON (CNN)—The AFL-CIO, the nation’s largest labor organization, is poised to throw its support behind Sen. Barack Obama and launch a broad grassroots mobilization effort in support of the Democratic presidential nominee.
Obama’s name is the only one on the ballots which were faxed out Tuesday. The Illinois senator must receive two-thirds of the labor organizations total membership of 10.5 million union workers by the pre-set deadline, Thursday morning.
Sen. Hillary Clinton’s suspension of her presidential bid helped to essentially secure the endorsement for Obama.
According to spokesman Steve Smith, the labor organization stayed neutral during the primary season because a two-thirds majority would have been difficult to attain for any of the candidates given the fact that a number of the unions individually endorsed Obama, Clinton and John Edwards, with one supporting Sen. Chris Dodd.
“Once [Clinton] dropped out it was just a matter of process and getting the votes scheduled to decide on an endorsement,” Smith told CNN, adding that a “very positive” feeling came out of Obama’s meeting last week with all of the union presidents at AFL-CIO headquarters in Washington.
Women who supported Hillary Clinton are suddenly the belles of the ball. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are getting ready to woo her supporters-but John McCain wants them too. Polls suggest Obama leads McCain when it comes to women, but what if McCain picked a woman as his V.P.?
The Politico takes a look at McCain's options for filling out the ticket, noting that any of these women would be a symbolic turn away from Dick Cheney, "the ultimate D.C. old-boys-club insider." Although some have suggested Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, she's repeatedly said she's not interested.
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WASHINGTON (CNN) - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said Tuesday that the Robert Mugabe government of Zimbabwe is "illegitimate and lacks any credibility," and said the United States should tighten sanctions against it.
Obama said he had spoken with opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who has said he will not participate in a run-off election against Mugabe, scheduled for June 27, because of violence against him and his supporters.
"I have spoken with MDC Leader Morgan Tsvangirai to share my deep concern for the way his supporters are being targeted by the regime, and to express my admiration for his efforts to ensure that the will of the Zimbabwean people is finally respected," Obama said in a written statement.
"The Zimbabwean government's campaign of repression and brutality has made it impossible for the June 27 elections to be free and fair," Obama said, echoing a position taken by the United Nations on Monday.
(CNN) - One of the country's leading evangelical leaders is accusing Barack Obama of deliberately distorting the Bible and taking a "fruitcake interpretation" of the U.S. Constitution.
In comments aired on his radio show Tuesday, Focus on the Family founder James Dobson criticizes the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee for comments he made in a June 2006 speech to the liberal Christian group renewal.
Watch: Dobson's comments on Obama
In the two-year old speech, Obama suggests it would be impractical to govern based solely on the word of the Bible, noting some passages suggest slavery is permissible and eating shellfish is disgraceful.
"Which passages of scripture should guide our public policy?" Obama asks in the speech. "Should we go with Leviticus, which suggests slavery is okay and that eating shellfish is an abomination. Or we could go with Deuteronomy which suggests stoning your child if he strays from the faith or should we just stick to the Sermon on the Mount."
"So before we get carried away, let's read our Bible now," Obama also said to cheers. "Folks haven't been reading their Bible."
On the radio show Tuesday, Dobson said Obama should not be referencing antiquated dietary codes and passages from the Old Testament that are no longer relevant to the teachings of the New Testament.
(CNN) - Sen. John McCain on Tuesday told voters that energy efficiency "should begin at home" and proposed that the federal government purchase more environmentally friendly vehicles.
"Every year the federal government buys upwards of 60,000 cars and other vehicles, not including military or law-enforcement vehicles," McCain said.
"From now on, we're going to make those civilian vehicles flex-fuel capable, plug-in hybrid or cars fueled by clean natural gas. If our great goal is to move American transportation toward lower carbon emissions, then it should start with the federal fleet."
(CNN) – Sen. John McCain, the Republican Party’s presumptive nominee, debuted a new Web ad Tuesday that criticizes Sen. Barack Obama over his decision to forgo public financing in the general election campaign.
The 48-second ad “Words” begins with footage of Obama declaring “Don’t tell me words don’t matter.” A video chronology of clips of Obama stating his support for the public financing system and pledging to sit down with McCain to discuss the issue follows.
The ad also uses footage from Obama’s own video announcement sent to supporters last week where the presumptive Democratic nominee explained his decision to opt out of the public financing system. The remainder of the ad intersperses press coverage critical of Obama’s decision with the Obama repeatedly declaring “Don’t tell me words don’t’ matter.”
(CNN) – The Obama campaign Tuesday blasted senior McCain adviser Charlie Black’s comments that a terrorist attack would benefit the Arizona senator's campaign, accusing them of viewing terror “through a political lens.”
“Charlie Black’s statement that a new terrorist attack on United States soil would be a big advantage to John McCain’s campaign provides a candid and very disappointing glance into the thinking of one of Senator McCain’s closest advisors,” said 9/11 Commission member Richard Ben-Veniste on a conference call with reporters.
But Ben-Veniste stopped short of calling for Black to step down, saying, “I don’t think it’s up to us to suggest how Senator McCain staffs his campaign. I think the remarks were so out of place that they call for some re-calibration in the thinking and perhaps a greater adherence to the principal here in staying away from the politics of fear…”
Black’s comments from an interview with Fortune Magazine were posted on the magazine's Web site Monday. Asked if an attack in the U.S. would benefit McCain, Black responded, “Certainly it would be a big advantage to him.”
Black later apologized, saying, “I deeply regret the comments – they were inappropriate. I recognize that John McCain has devoted his entire life to protecting his country.”
“I cannot imagine why he would say it,” McCain told reporters 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.”
(CNN) - Even though California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is backing John McCain for president, the box office superstar-turned politician will highlight his differences with the presumptive Republican nominee Tuesday on the issue of off-shore drilling, a Schwarzenegger advisor tells CNN.
The governor will join McCain on the campaign trail in Santa Barbara, California, where he is expected to make a brief reference to their different positions, but then turn to areas where they do agree.
Unlike Florida Gov. Charlie Crist and Florida Sen. Mel Martinez, who recently joined McCain in dropping opposition to off-shore drilling, Schwarzenegger publicly disagreed with the presumptive Republican nominee on the issue. In doing so, the governor called the California coastline “An international treasure.”
“Governor Schwarzenegger does not support lifting the moratorium on offshore drilling,” said aide Matt David.
While McCain faced tough odds in winning California in the general election, his reversal on off-shore drilling all but ended hope of him picking up the state’s 55 electoral votes, Republicans tell CNN. The Arizona senator was even questioned about his stance by one of his donors at a California fundraiser Monday night.
As for McCain, the campaign says he will be “contrasting with Obama on his inability to work in a bipartisan fashion” on energy.
Update: Schwarzenegger did not speak about off-shore drilling at the event. The governor and his staff expected the topic would be a part of the panel discussion and that Schwarzenegger would bring up his differences with McCain then. But the issue wasn’t an active part of the discussion, according to one of the governor’s advisors.
(CNN) - Her presidential bid may have ended two weeks ago, but Hillary Clinton is still on the hunt for campaign cash.
The New York Democrat is well over $20 million in debt, nearly half of which Clinton loaned herself personally earlier in the year when her campaign was virtually broke and faced life-or-death primary contests.
Watch: What went wrong for Clinton?
When it comes to recovering her personal loan, it's a race against the clock.
Under campaign finance laws spearhead by current presumptive Republican nominee John McCain, Clinton must pay herself back before the party's convention in late August, or else she is only allowed to receive $250,000.
Earlier: Clinton postpones debt repayment
In an e-mail to supporters earlier Monday afternoon, Clinton says she "has something I want to say," and directs readers to a Web video in which she says "Today, I still need your help."
Text next the video reads: “By helping us pay off our campaign debt, you’re not just helping Hillary elect a Democratic president and grow our majority in Congress. You’re making it possible for her to work as hard as she can on the issues we care about.”
Clinton also continued to praise onetime rival Barack Obama, saying she knows the Illinois senator shares the same goals as she.
The Obama campaign is reportedly open to helping Clinton raise money to pay off her lingering campaign debt, though no agreement has been announced yet. Under campaign finance laws, the Obama campaign is not allowed to retire Clinton's debt directly. (Cafferty: Should Obama help Clinton pay off her debt?)