(CNN) - Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama criticized President Bush and Sen. John McCain about the U.S. presence in Iraq and policy regarding Afghanistan. Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley reports on the major foreign policy address the Illinois senator gave Tuesday.
And: Presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain responded to Obama’s attacks, blasting the Illinois senator’s national security credentials and proposal to transfer troops from Iraq to Afghanistan. Dana Bash has the latest on McCain’s comprehensive strategy for victory in the war on terrorism.
In the latest episode of CNN=Politics Daily, President Bush attempted to calm American fears over financial markets and struggling gas prices. White House Correspondent Elaine Quijano reports on the President’s recent comments about the banking industry and his plea to Congress to remove the ban on off-shore oil drilling.
Plus: Barack Obama and John McCain are keeping a close eye on American concerns about the economy. Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider breaks down how the presidential candidates are selling their economic plans to voters.
Finally: The Obama campaign removed criticisms about the success of the Iraqi military surge from its Web site. Abbi Tatton takes a look at the campaign’s internet reversal.
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WASHINGTON (CNN) - Overriding President Bush's veto, both houses of Congress voted Tuesday to halt planned cuts in Medicare payments to doctors.
The 70-26 vote in the Senate was a much narrower margin than in the House of Representatives, where the vote was 383-41. Each chamber needs a two-thirds majority to pass a law over the president's objections.
The new law stops a 10.6 percent cut in Medicare payments to doctors, part of a scheduled cost-saving formula that went into effect July 1. The money for the doctors will be taken from the Medicare Advantage program, which subsidizes private insurers to cover seniors who would otherwise be treated through conventional Medicare.
Congress previously had passed only two bills over Bush's objections - a $23 billion water-project legislation that the president vetoed in 2007, and a $300 billion farm bill he spiked in May.
Watch part of Obama's interview with Larry King. Catch the full interview with Obama on CNN's Larry King Live tonight, 9 p.m. ET.
(CNN) - Barack Obama on Tuesday called the controversial New Yorker cover that unflatteringly depicts him and his wife an unsuccessful attempt at satire that will likely fuel misconceptions he has long battled over the course of his presidential campaign.
But in an exclusive interview with CNN's Larry King, the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate downplayed the impact of the illustration — which depicts him in Muslim attire in the Oval Office, with wife Michelle carrying a machine gun.
iReport.com: Satire or slander? Share your thoughts
"It's a cartoon…and that's why we've got the First Amendment," Obama said. "And I think the American people are probably spending a little more time worrying about what's happening with the banking system and the housing market, and what's happening in Iraq and Afghanistan, than a cartoon. So I haven't spent a lot of time thinking about it."
"I've seen and heard worse," he said. "I do think that, you know, in attempting to satirize something, they probably fueled some misconceptions about me instead. But, you know, that was their editorial judgment."
The cover, which also depicts a U.S. flag burning in the fireplace and a picture of Osama bin Laden on the wall, drew heavy criticism from both political parties after it first circulated the Internet over the weekend. Both presidential campaigns immediately condemned the magazine, calling the illustration "tasteless and offensive."
Earlier: New Yorker editor defends cover
David Remnick, the longtime editor of the highly-regarded publication, told CNN Monday that he believes the ironic intent of the illustration will be clear to most Americans.
Watch: Journalists debate the New Yorker Cover
In Obama’s wide ranging CNN interview Tuesday - the entirety of which is set to air tonight on Larry King Live at 9 p.m. ET - the Illinois senator seemed to give cautious approval of the government's response to the turmoil surrounding mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
(CNN) - After talking with aides before his speech targeting Barack Obama's changing positions and rhetoric on Iraq, John McCain decided to ad lib a line slamming the Illinois senator as a flip-flopper.
The only problem is the evidence he gave wasn't exactly right.
First McCain quoted Obama in January 2007, saying that there can't be a military solution to a civil war, and that he knows no military expert who thinks the surge can make a difference.
Then McCain said, "incredibly today, he goes on to say today, quote 'I had no doubt we would see a reduction in violence with the surge' - my friends, flip-floppers all over the world are enraged"
The problem is that Obama did not in fact say today, "I had no doubt we would see a reduction in violence with the surge."
The man who could become the first black President of the United States is calling on blacks to take more responsibility for improving their own lives.
Speaking to the NAACP in Cincinnati, Obama got the most applause when he urged blacks to do more for themselves, saying:
"When we are taking care of our own stuff, then a lot of other folks are going to be interested in joining up and working with us and taking care of America's stuff… Teaching our daughters to never allow images on television to tell them what they are worth; teaching our sons to treat women with respect, and to realize responsibility does not end at conception; that what makes them a man is not the ability to have a child but to raise one.”
Obama said the problems that plague the black community aren't unique to them, but "we just have them a little worse."
To read more and contribute to the Cafferty File discussion click here
(CNN) - Is Mitt Romney's VP stock rising?
John McCain's campaign has remained tight-lipped about its vice presidential vetting process, but the Arizona senator appeared to suggest Monday night his former rival would make a very effective running mate.
iReport.com: Share your picks for VP
"I'm appreciative every time I see Mitt on television on my behalf," McCain said at a fundraising event in New Mexico. "He does a better job for me than he did for himself, as a matter of fact."
Watch: Romney promotes McCain
There's no denying the former Massachusetts governor is angling for the No. 2 position on the Republican presidential ticket. He said back in March he would be "honored" to take the position and has been a constant fixture on cable news shows over the last several months - vigorously promoting the Arizona senator's candidacy while sharply criticizing that of Obama.
Related: Romney leads speculation in CNN's political market
Just last week the onetime Republican presidential hopeful said Obama "looks toward Europe for a lot of his inspiration” after the Illinois senator suggested Americans would benefit from knowing more languages.
“I think John McCain is going to make sure that America stays America,” Romney said in an interview on Fox News.
Romney has long been considered a leading VP contender, despite engaging in a bruising and at times nasty primary fight with McCain. The economy has solidly become the dominant issue this election cycle and Romney, who founded the investment firm Bain Capital, brings a sterling business resume - particularly to a candidate who has admitted he lacks knowledge about economic matters. Romney is also a native of Michigan, and could given McCain the edge in that crucial battleground state that the Democrats won in 2004.
(CNN) - Barack Obama holds a 5-point edge over John McCain in CNN's latest poll of polls.
The Illinois senator is leading McCain 47 percent to 42 percent in an average of three recent national surveys.
The poll of polls includes a Quinnipiac University survey released Tuesday that shows Obama up 9 points, a Gallup daily tracking poll that suggests a 4-point race, and a Newsweek poll released Sunday that showed the Illinois senator with a slim 3-point lead.
(CNN)—Republican Senator Jim DeMint, who has been a surrogate for John McCain’s presidential bid, formally asked Barack Obama Tuesday to hold a hearing to discuss NATO’s role in Afghanistan when he returns from his trip to the war-torn nation later this month.
“The success of Afghanistan is critical to the future of NATO and vital to our efforts to defeat Al Qaeda and the Taliban,” DeMint wrote in a letter sent to the Illinois senator. “As the situation in Afghanistan grows more tense, it is time for us to hold a hearing on the mission there.”
Obama chairs the European Affairs Subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. DeMint, of South Carolina is ranking member on that subcommittee, which has oversight of military operations in Afghanistan.
The presumptive Democratic nominee has been criticized by members of the Republican Party and former rival Senator Hillary Clinton for not holding more hearings on Afghanistan during his time at the helm of the subcommittee.
Full letter and UPDATE after the jump
(CNN) – Barack Obama’s campaign revamped the Iraq policy section of its Web site over the weekend, removing a portion highly critical of President Bush’s troop surge policy.
The old version of the Web page stated “the surge is not working” and said the reduction in violence in the Anbar Province should be credited to the cooperation of Sunni tribes and American troops, not additional military force. “It demonstrates that the solutions in Iraq are political, not military,” it read.
On the new page, Obama credits the “military’s hard work, improved counterinsurgency tactics, and enormous sacrifice by our troops” for a reduction in violence. The presumptive Democratic nominee does not deny positive effects of the surge in the new version of his Web site, but criticizes the Iraqi government for not stepping up to reach a political solution.
Obama national security spokesperson Wency Morigi said the campaign had remained consistent. “Senator Obama has long said that the stated purpose of the surge was to create breathing room for political reconciliation, and that has not happened” and that the campaign had added “ updated language on the Iraq section of the website to help further clarify that point.”
“And, the simple fact is that we update our website frequently to keep up with events—like the current state of play with the Status of Forces Agreement, which was updated at the exact same time. We take our presence on the web seriously, and folks expect us to keep our website current,” she said.
Watch Obama calls Iraq war a distraction.
(CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama on Tuesday called the war in Iraq a "dangerous distraction," and said more emphasis must be placed on the battle in Afghanistan.
"As should have been apparent to President Bush and Sen. [John] McCain - the central front in the war on terror is not Iraq, and it never was," Obama said in what his campaign called a major policy address on Iraq, Afghanistan and national security.
Watch: Obama: We will lead again
Obama said part of his new strategy will be "taking the fight to al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan."