(CNN) - A magazine cover depicting Sen. Barack Obama and his wife Michelle has sparked controversy about persistent rumors and misinformation on the presumptive Democratic nominee's background and religious beliefs.
In the latest episode of CNN=Politics Daily, Carol Costello takes a look at New Yorker magazine's latest cover.
Obama is also set to give a speech before the NAACP Monday evening. Jessica Yellin previews the Illinois senator's planned remarks.
Recently, Obama has spent time on the campaign trail and with the press clarifying and reaffirming his commitment to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq should he win the White House. Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider breaks down the issue of Iraq and how it may help or hurt Obama in the general election.
President Bush tried to put pressure on Congress Monday by lifting the White House's ban on off-shore drilling. White House Correspondent Elaine Quijano reports on Bush's latest move in the political back-and-forth over soaring energy prices and how Sens. McCain and Obama approach the issue of off-shore drilling.
Finally, Wolf Blitzer remembers Tony Snow.
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SAN DIEGO (CNN) - The man who once jokingly described the political press corps as “my base” has a few complaints about the state of American media.
In a New York Times interview Sunday, John McCain lamented the non-stop news cycle spawned by cable news and the Internet.
“We are in a situation today where all words are parsed, all comments are diagnosed and looked at for whatever effect they might have,” he told the newspaper. “We have to feed the beast, the hourly cable shows, the instant news in the blogs and all that. That is just the situation that we’re in, and I’m not complaining about it, because that would be both foolish and a waste of time.”
But on Monday, addressing the National Council of La Raza, McCain did air a few complaints. He once again challenged Barack Obama to a series of town hall-style campaign events, calling it the only way to have an uncluttered dialogue with voters.
“A lot of Americans have a expressed their frustration with the sound bites, the charges back and forth, the cable monster that has to have a news story every hour,” McCain said, calling it a “disappointment” Obama has yet to agree to a town hall.
Despite the fact that both McCain and Obama organize daily conference calls featuring campaign surrogates, the senator said voters are “tired” of surrogates and their gaffes.
Americans “don’t want hear the misstatement,” McCain said. “They don’t want to hear the surrogate who may have made a mistake.”
(CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama's speech Monday night to the NAACP will mark a historic first: an African-American presidential nominee of a major party will be addressing the nation's oldest civil rights organization.
The speech by the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee in Cincinnati will also highlight a new generation of black leadership forged not in the civil rights battles of '60s and '70s, but during subsequent decades in which many African-Americans made great strides culturally, politically and economically, but many more remained economically disadvantaged.
Obama himself - the son of a black father and a white mother - has acknowledged that his candidacy is in large part due to the struggles of previous generations of black leaders. But he has avoided being labeled an African-American candidate, saying he wants to appeal to all racial and ethnic groups. That has led some to question whether Obama is focusing enough on the needs of the black community.
The generational divide was in full display last week when the Rev. Jesse Jackson, an African-American leader who has long held a place on the American political stage, expressed his frustration with Obama in a comment after an interview on Fox News.
(CNN) - Longtime Washington talk-show host John McLaughlin is facing fire Monday for referring to Barack Obama as an "Oreo" during a segment on his Sunday political program, "The McLaughlin Group.
The veteran Washington journalist was discussing the recent comments from the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who was caught last week by an open microphone on Fox News saying the Illinois senator is "talking down to black people" as he campaigns for the White House. Those remarks were largely seen in reference to Obama's recent admonishment at a Chicago church of some black men who he said were not living up to their responsibilities as parents.
Referencing Jackson's comments, McLaughlin said Obama "fits the stereotype blacks once labeled as an Oreo - a black on the outside, a white on the inside."
"Does it frost Jackson, Jesse Jackson, that…an Oreo should be the beneficiary of the long civil rights struggle which Jesse Jackson spent his lifetime fighting for?" McLaughlin asked his panelists.
The term "Oreo" is often viewed as a derogatory term toward some African-Americans who appear not to exhibit certain stereotypes of their race.
Panelist Peter Beinart, a senior fellow on the Council of Foreign Relations, immediately called that depiction of Obama "completely unfair."
PHOENIX (CNN) – John McCain told the National Council of La Raza on Monday that he is and always has been committed to comprehensive immigration reform.
McCain is defending his record amidst criticism from Barack Obama, who has asserted in recent speeches to Hispanic groups that the presumptive Republican nominee backed away from his support for immigration reform when it became a political liability in the Republican primaries.
Election Center: Where the candidates stand on immigration
Obama told the NCLR on Sunday that McCain “abandoned his courageous stance” on immigration during his presidential run, a charge McCain plans to push back against today in San Diego.
“I feel I must, as they say, correct the record,” said McCain. “At a moment of great difficulty in my campaign, when my critics said it would be political suicide for me to do so, I helped author with Senator Kennedy comprehensive immigration reform, and fought for its passage.
(CNN) - President Bush’s Monday announcement that he would be lifting the federal ban on off-shore oil drilling drew sharp criticism from Barack Obama’s campaign - and immediate praise from presumptive Republican nominee John McCain, who took aim at his Democratic counterpart’s opposition to the move.
The Obama campaign said the development was no fix for the nation’s energy woes. "If offshore drilling would provide short-term relief at the pump or a long-term strategy for energy independence, it would be worthy of our consideration, regardless of the risks,” said Obama spokesman Bill Burton in a statement.
Former President Bill Clinton has a warning for all of us: he says this country is becoming more and more divided.
Speaking to the National Governors Association, Clinton said that even though the Democratic primary produced historic results with the final candidates being a woman, his wife, and an African-American man, he still sees a larger problem.
Clinton believes Americans are becoming more polarized as a nation. He says we're growing farther apart from each other and are "hunkering down in communities of like-mindedness, and it affects our ability to manage difference." Clinton says Americans are separating themselves by choosing to live with people they agree with.
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(CNN) - Is Barack Obama the new campaign cash underdog?
Obama campaign manager David Plouffe seemed to say Monday that the Illinois senator - who has raised well over $275 million and smashed just about every political fundraising record over the course of his 18-month bid for the White House - might find himself at a disadvantage against a joint effort by the Republican National Committee and John McCain's presidential campaign that told reporters last week it had nearly $100 million cash-on-hand as of June 30.
In an e-mail to potential donors, Plouffe said the Arizona senator has benefited from a beefed up fundraising effort "by collecting huge checks from Washington lobbyists and special interest PACs."
"[McCain's] financial position has improved in the last month. The RNC's cash on hand has risen. So now we face a position where McCain and the RNC have $96 million in the bank," Plouffe said in a Web video posted on the campaign's Web site.
Election Center: How the candidates matchup on fundraising
"They are using the RNC money, and they are using the McCain money they were able to raise while we were engaged in the primary to really spend a lot of money out there," he added.
"We have to make sure we are matching that. The only way we cand do that is for you all to continue to help us. We can't count on anybody else. We can't wait for a cavalry out there. The cavalry doesn't exist."
As of the end of May, Obama's campaign reported approximately $43 million cash on hand, of which roughly $10 million were general election funds. The campaign has yet to release its second quarter financial information.
The Democratic National Committee is expected to be of little help to the Obama campaign. On the heels of a strategy imposed by DNC chairman Howard Dean that seeks to beef up organization in all 50 states, the committee finds itself with virtually no money in the bank. As of the end of May, the DNC reported only $4 million cash on hand, $50 million less than the RNC had during the same time period.
(CNN) - Barack Obama's campaign has sharply criticized The New Yorker magazine over the publication's latest cover illustration that appears to portray the Illinois senator and his wife, Michelle, as terrorist enemies of the United States.
Specifically, the cover, published Sunday, shows Obama in the Oval Office dressed in traditional Muslim attire and Michelle with an "Afro" hairstyle carrying a machine gun. An American flag can also be seen burning in the fire place and a picture of Osama bin Laden hangs on the wall.
"The New Yorker may think, as one of their staff explained to us, that their cover is a satirical lampoon of the caricature Senator Obama's right-wing critics have tried to create," Obama spokesman Bill Burton said in a statement.
"But most readers will see it as tasteless and offensive. And we agree."
John McCain campaign spokesman Tucker Bounds said he agreed with Burton's sentiment.
iReport.com: Satire or slander? Share your thoughts
Obama himself refused to comment on the illustration Sunday.