NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - With the U.S. economy mired in a slump, Americans still believe saving the environment is more important than fixing the economy, according to a new poll released Thursday. But consumers are more closely divided on the issue than they have been in the past.
According to a CNN/Opinion Research poll, 49% of Americans say protection of the environment should be given priority, even at the risk of curbing economic growth. That compares to 44% of those surveyed who said the economy is the top priority, and the government should focus on economic growth even at the expense of the environment.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (CNN) - It’s been a rough week for the motorcycle unit of the Colorado Springs Police Department.
First, two officers were hurt last week when lightning struck between their motorcycles while on a training exercise. Then Wednesday night, another member of the same unit was hurt when he crashed while escorting Barack Obama’s motorcade.
Sgt. Tim Hogan tells CNN the officer went down when a van clipped his motorcycle as he tried to block traffic. He said the officer’s Kevlar vest and helmet took the brunt of the impact, keeping his injuries from being too serious.
Secret Service agents and paramedics tended to the officer, who was taken to Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs and later released.
Obama spoke with the officer at the hospital by phone.
“It turns out he’s OK,” Mr. Obama said at a fundraiser Wednesday night. “I called him and he said it’s all part of the job. He’s doing all right.”
The Democratic presidential candidate was in Colorado Springs delivering a speech on national service, visiting Peterson Air Force Base and the U.S. Air Force Academy. The accident happened as he was returning to the hotel where Obama attended a fundraiser.
In February, a Dallas Police officer was killed in an accident while protecting the motorcade of Sen. Hillary Clinton when his motorcycle crashed.
(CNN) - Kicking off the post-Fourth of July campaign stretch, John McCain will spend a week focusing on the economy with a series of events in key fall battleground states in his first tour organized by his new campaign team.
The presumptive Republican nominee will set the stage Monday with the unveiling of his jobs-first economic plan in Colorado.
On Tuesday, McCain returns to Washington to address the 79th Annual LULAC Convention – his latest attempt to reach out to the Hispanic community in the wake of new surveys that suggest his Democratic rival may hold the edge among that key voting bloc. Barack Obama will also address the gathering that day.
(CNN) - Former President Bill Clinton thinks Barack Obama might have a chance to become the first Democrat to win Colorado since his own 1992 victory, the presumptive nominee told supporters at a fundraiser in the state Wednesday night.
The Illinois senator said that during their conversation earlier this week, the two men discussed the changing political landscape in the state, and several other electoral prizes in the West.
"I was talking to Bill Clinton this week. We were talking about Colorado," said Obama, according to a print pool report. "He said, when I ran the first time, it would have been tough to win if Ross Perot hadn't been in the race, but you've seen a seismic shift in attitudes here."
He told the crowd that he wasn't swayed by President Bush's wins in the state. "It may have been Woody Allen who said 90 percent of success is showing up," said Obama. "If I didn't show up, I wouldn't get many votes around here. If I did show up, I might get something going."
(CNN) - Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, the brother of President Bush, is meeting up with John McCain Thursday in Mexico City to visit the Basilica of the Virgin of Guadalupe, his campaign has announced.
Bush, who was governor from 1999-2007, endorsed McCain's White House bid earlier this year after it was clear the Arizona senator would win the party's nomination. Bush did not endorse a candidate during the primary campaign.
(CNN) - Both Barack Obama and John McCain have issued statements responding to the latest job's report to that showed 62,000 jobs were lost in June.
“Our economy has now shed 438,000 jobs over the past six months, while workers' wages fail to keep pace with the skyrocketing cost of gas, groceries and healthcare," Obama said in the statement "The American people are paying the price for the failed economic policies of the past eight years, and we can't afford four more years of more of the same. That is the essential issue of this campaign because Senator McCain has fully embraced the Bush economic agenda. I believe it has to change."
"Americans across this country are hurting and today's job numbers are just the latest indication. From rising gas prices to home foreclosures, families are struggling to meet economic challenges that become greater every day," McCain said. "Washington can no longer abdicate its responsibility to act. Our focus must be clear: enact policies to create jobs today."
Full statements after the jump
(CNN) - John McCain says he never acted inappropriately toward a one time associate of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, contradicting a recent claim made by one of the Arizona senator's Republican colleagues.
Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran told his hometown newspaper earlier this week that during a 1987 trip to Central America, he personally witnessed McCain grab an Ortega associate by his shirt collar to lift him out of a chair.
"McCain was down at the end of the table and we were talking to the head of the guerrilla group here at this end of the table and I don't know what attracted my attention," Cochran told The Sun Herald of Biloxi, Mississippi. "But I saw some kind of quick movement at the bottom of the table and I looked down there and John had reached over and grabbed this guy by the shirt collar and had snatched him up like he was throwing him up out of the chair to tell him what he thought about him or whatever."
"I don't know what he was telling him, but I thought, 'Good grief, everybody around here has got guns and we were there on a diplomatic mission.' I don't know what had happened to provoke John, but he obviously got mad at the guy," Cochran added.
Speaking to reporters in Colombia Wednesday, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee flatly denied the report, calling it "simply not true."
"I had many, many meetings with the Sandinistas," McCain said. "I must say, I did not admire the Sandinistas much. But there was never anything of that nature. It just didn't happen."
McCain has long faced criticism for his at-times hot temper, and he has especially clashed with Cochran over a variety of spending projects. The Mississippi Republican endorsed Mitt Romney's presidential bid last year and told the Boston Globe that "The thought of [McCain] being president sends a cold chill down my spine."
"He is erratic. He is hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me," Cochran told the paper in January.
Compiled by Mary Grace Lucas
CNN Washington Bureau
WSJ: Big-Spending Groups Enter Campaign Fray
As Democrats and Republicans gear up for the general election, a string of interest groups are launching their own campaigns to elect candidates who support their agendas. A coalition of liberal organizations will announce plans next week to spend $40 million this election cycle to promote health-care reform and candidates backing the group's proposals.
WSJ: McCain Allies Find Finance-Law Holes
Allies of Sen. John McCain have found new loopholes in the campaign-finance law he helped write - and they're using them to reel in huge contributions to help him compete with Sen. Barack Obama.
LA Times: Depends on what your definition of a lobbyist is
Did the campaign violate its own rules by accepting a $2,300 contribution from Gabriel Guerra?
LA Times: McCain works the room, one town hall meeting at a time
Supporters say the freewheeling sessions showcase the Arizona senator as a straight-talking candidate who is an expert on policy issues. Others are not so sure.
LA Times: Pre-Fourth campaign news: lots of fireworks, little meat
A parade of inconsequential and misguided stories makes this week nothing to celebrate.
Compiled by Mary Grace Lucas, CNN Washington Bureau
* Sen. John McCain meets privately with President Calderon, has lunch with business leaders, goes to a police station and visits the historic Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City.
* Sen. Barack Obama campaigns in Fargo, ND today, speaking about veterans’ care and support issues.