June 30th, 2008
10:24 AM ET
11 years ago

McCain campaign: Clark's comments 'sad'

 Retired Gen. Wesley Clark, who ran for president in 2004, has questioned Sen. John McCain's qualifications.

Retired Gen. Wesley Clark, who ran for president in 2004, has questioned Sen. John McCain's qualifications.

(CNN) - Sen. John McCain's campaign on Monday called retired Gen. Wesley Clark's remarks that McCain lacks command experience "the lowest form of politics."

Clark, a military adviser for Sen. Barack Obama, questioned Sunday whether McCain's military experience qualified him to be commander in chief.

The McCain campaign has called on Obama to condemn the comments.

"I think it's kind of sad," McCain campaign manager Rick Davis said Monday on CNN's "American Morning."

Full story


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
June 30th, 2008
10:04 AM ET
11 years ago

McCain's new plane

ALT TEXT

John McCain is unveiling his brand new campaign plane Monday. The plane will is designed to be an extension of the Arizona senator's popular and laid back "Straight Talk Express" bus. (Photo Credit: Tasha Diakides)

Watch: Check out McCain's new plane


Filed under: John McCain
June 30th, 2008
10:01 AM ET
11 years ago

Preston on Politics: Barr says he's no Nader

CNN

Watch Bob Barr explain why he left the Republican Party.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Bob Barr was once a loyal soldier in the Republican Party - ­ a lawmaker GOP leaders could count on to return home each weekend and echo their talking points at local political events, town hall meetings and civic lunches.

As a young political reporter in Marietta, Georgia, I often heard Barr serve up generous helpings of Republican doctrine over buffet lunches and chicken dinners.

For Republican leaders such as House Speaker Newt Gingrich,­ who represented a neighboring district, ­Barr was a dedicated warrior. And he remained so even after he lost a primary fight in 1992 to colleague John Linder,­ a battle set up by redistricting.

But a few years later, Barr went AWOL from the Republican Party - or, as he tells it, the GOP abandoned him.

He is now the Libertarian Party's presidential nominee and is crisscrossing the country promoting its principles and hunting for votes.

So why did Barr abandon the Republican Party in 2006?

"It probably wasn't any one thing," he said during our conversation last week outside the White House.

Read full story


Filed under: Bob Barr
June 30th, 2008
09:10 AM ET
11 years ago

Congressional Democrats hire Bush impersonator

Van Hollen said Bush's policies were responsible for high gas prices.

Van Hollen said Bush's policies were responsible for high gas prices.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - House Democrats will use a President Bush impersonator in a new radio advertising campaign that seeks to link 13 incumbent Republicans to rising gas prices as the country heads into the Fourth of July holiday.

The ad will run Monday through Friday in radio markets throughout the country, according to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, with a total buy of more than $100,000.

After an opening tailor-made for each targeted Republican, the impersonator then reads this boilerplate script:

"'W' here, wanted to thank you for your support of the big oil energy agenda. 'Preciate you voting to keep giving billions in tax breaks to the big oil companies. Sure, gasoline is over four bucks a gallon and the oil companies are making record profits, but what's good for big oil is good for America, right? I guess that's why they call us the Grand Oil Party. Heh, heh, heh."

CLICK PLAY to HEAR the DCCC's Bush impersonator

Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen, chairman of the DCCC, told CNN that Democrats chose to use a Bush impersonator because the president's "big oil energy policies delivered high gas prices to the American people, so who better to deliver our message than someone who sounds like him? Every time Americans fill up their tanks or buy groceries high gas prices grab their attention, so it's important to give credit where credit is due."

Danny Diaz, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee, sharply criticized the ad and said Democrats were being disingenuous.

"It is an outrageous attack," Diaz said. "It seems like it would be more appropriate leveled against Barack Obama who voted for the '05 energy bill, yet Democrats rail against subsidies to energy companies. The hypocrisy is stunning."

(List of targeted Republicans after the jump)

FULL POST


Filed under: DCCC • President Bush
June 30th, 2008
08:01 AM ET
11 years ago

Obama to deliver 'major speech' on patriotism

Obama has been looking to emphasize his patriotism.

Obama has been looking to emphasize his patriotism.

CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) - Presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama plans to deliver what his campaign is calling a "major speech" Monday, centering around an issue he's been trying to highlight for months now: his patriotism.

The remarks come in Harry Truman's hometown of Independence, Missouri, just days before the Fourth of July.

"Sen. Obama will discuss what patriotism means to him and what it requires of all Americans who love this country and want to see it do better," Obama spokesman Bill Burton wrote in a morning email to reporters.

The Illinois senator has been defending his patriotism ever since the days of Iowa when he was first criticized for not wearing a flag pin - which he now does much more frequently - and when false rumors began circulating that he did not say the Pledge of Allegiance.

FULL POST


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
June 30th, 2008
06:09 AM ET
11 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: Monday, June 30, 2008

ALT TEXT

Compiled by Mary Grace Lucas

CNN Washington Bureau

CNN: Congressional Democrats hire Bush impersonator
House Democrats will use a President Bush impersonator in a new radio advertising campaign that seeks to link 13 incumbent Republicans to rising gas prices as the country heads into the Fourth of July holiday.

CNN: Preston on Politics: Barr says he's no Nader
Bob Barr was once a loyal soldier in the Republican Party — a lawmaker GOP leaders could count on to return home each weekend and echo their talking points at local political events, town hall meetings and civic lunches. … So why did Barr abandon the Republican Party in 2006? "It probably wasn't any one thing," he said during our conversation last week outside the White House.

NY Times: Veterans Long to Reclaim the Name ‘Swift Boat’
Years ago, when William Miller talked about being in the Vietnam War — if he talked about being in the Vietnam War — he would tell people he served on a Swift boat. At least now they have heard of it. But not in the way he would like.

CNN: Clark: Getting 'shot down in plane' doesn't make McCain qualified
Retired U.S. Gen. Wesley Clark, a supporter of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, on Sunday questioned whether Sen. John McCain's military experience qualified him to be commander-in-chief.

CNN: McCain: Obama's word cannot be trusted
Hours after sparring with Barack Obama over immigration, John McCain told crowd at fundraiser Saturday night that "Sen. Obama's word cannot be trusted."

FULL POST


Filed under: Political Hot Topics
June 30th, 2008
05:56 AM ET
11 years ago

ON THE TRAIL: Monday, June 30, 2008

ALT TEXT

Compiled by Mary Grace Lucas, CNN Washington Bureau

* Sen. John McCain is in Pennsylvania today, holding a media availability in Harrisburg followed by a town hall meeting in Pipersville.

* Sen. Barack Obama holds a morning campaign event in Independence, Missouri.


Filed under: On the Trail
June 29th, 2008
04:36 PM ET
11 years ago

McAuliffe: Bill Clinton and Obama to talk within 48 hours

Bill Clinton and Barack Obama will talk soon, according to Terry McAuliffe.

Bill Clinton and Barack Obama will talk soon, according to Terry McAuliffe.

(CNN) - Clinton campaign chairman Terry McAuliffe assured CNN’s Candy Crowley that former President Bill Clinton and presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama will be discussing Clinton’s role in the campaign within the next two days.

“I believe that in the next 24 to 48 hours they will talk and off we will go,” McAuliffe stated on Sunday’s Late Edition.

Clinton has remained behind the scenes so far during the general election. He was not present at the Democratic event in Unity, New Hampshire on Friday and has only released a one-sentence statement saying that he will do whatever he can to help the Illinois senator win the election.

Many analysts have said that Clinton’s not-so-subtle absence from the campaign is because he is angry and bitter about his wife losing the nomination.

McAuliffe defended the former president, saying that he has been taking time to let his wife finish up her campaign and secure her relationship with Obama.

“She was the candidate, she got 18 million votes, she’s the political leader of the Clinton family now,” McAuliffe said.

Obama asked to talk to President Clinton on Friday and Hillary Clinton told him, “Absolutely,” according to McAuliffe.

Now that President Clinton is back from a five-nation tour during which he attended Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday party, McAuliffe predicts that they will be speaking shortly—but stressed that the attention should be on Hillary Clinton and Obama coming together.

June 29th, 2008
04:35 PM ET
11 years ago

McCain gets praise, no endorsement, from Grahams

From left, Billy Graham, John McCain and Franklin Graham meet Sunday in North Carolina.

From left, Billy Graham, John McCain and Franklin Graham meet Sunday in North Carolina.

(CNN) – John McCain spent 45 minutes meeting with the Rev. Billy Graham and his son Franklin at Graham’s North Carolina home Sunday morning.

The meeting took place at Graham’s home in Montreat, North Carolina, known as Little Piney Cove, about 25 miles outside Asheville. The house is a mountaintop retreat near Black Mountain in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

The campaign says Rev. Graham, though quite ill, sat up in the chair during the meeting and participated in the talks with McCain and Franklin.

Advance notification of the meeting did not mention the 89-year-old Rev. Graham would be taking part.

Singer Ricky Skaggs, who was already scheduled to have lunch with the Grahams, came early and met McCain.

Franklin Graham issued a written statement a short time after the meeting. He said, “My father and I were pleased to have an opportunity to meet and visit with Sen. John McCain today. Sen. McCain’s office had requested a meeting in recent months and we appreciate the effort he made to travel to my father’s home. The senator and I both have sons currently serving in the military, and also have a common interest in aviation. I was impressed by his personal faith and his moral clarity on important social issues facing America today."

FULL POST


Filed under: John McCain
June 29th, 2008
02:31 PM ET
9 years ago

McConnell: Senate GOP 'won’t be in the majority' next year

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell predicts his party will hold most, if not all, of their seats.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell predicts his party will hold most, if not all, of their seats.

(CNN) - Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) gave a bleak outlook on the prospects for a Republican-led Senate in 2009.

During an interview with CNN’s Late Edition, McConnell told guest host Candy Crowley that the numbers were not in the GOP’s favor.

“We are not going to be back in the majority in the Senate next year,” said McConnell. “The numbers make that impossible.”

Republicans in the Senate have been gearing up for the elections in November despite grim conditions. Five GOP senators are retiring this year: Sen. Wayne Allard (CO), Sen. John Warner (VA), Sen. Pete Domenici (NM), Sen. Chuck Hagel (NE), and Sen. Larry Craig (ID). Other Republicans are running in competitive elections, such as Norm Coleman (MN), who faces well-known comedian and outspoken Democrat Al Franken in November.

Each party holds the same number of members in the Senate (49-49), but the Democrats hold a slim majority with two independents, Sens. Bernie Sanders and Joe Lieberman, caucusing with their party. However, many are predicting that the Democrats could pick up as many as six seats in the fall, giving them a clear majority.

Despite the GOP’s troubles, McConnell remains hopeful about his party’s chances and predicts they will hold most, if not all, of their seats. “I'm optimistic we can stay roughly where we are,” he told Crowley. “We have a robust minority.”


Filed under: Mitch McConnell • Senate
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