July 27th, 2008
05:35 PM ET
6 years ago

McCaskill: Reluctant veeps not being honest

Sen. Claire McCaskill says anyone would be thrilled to be asked to be Obama's No. 2.
Sen. Claire McCaskill says anyone would be thrilled to be asked to be Obama's No. 2.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – How can you tell if a prospective vice presidential candidate is lying? Well, one potential running mate says when they claim they don’t really want the job.

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri), thought to be a possible contender for Barack Obama’s No. 2 spot, was asked on Fox News Sunday, “I'm going to do something that people don't do around Washington very often. I think you're not supposed to do this. I think anybody in Washington would be thrilled to be asked.”

Would she take the job, if offered? She said, “I would like to meet somebody who wouldn't. If they're saying they wouldn't, I don't think that they are being as candid or as up front with the American people as probably they should be.”

Obama will campaign in McCaskill’s critical home state week. She said she has not been asked to provide any personal information to the campaign.

McCaskill said she doesn’t believe Obama needs to necessarily pick a female running mate to win support from women voters. She said, “If you look at all the polling, the much vaunted problems that Obama was going to have with working-class people, with people that don't have a college education, with women, with Hispanics, you don't hear a lot of talking heads talking about those issues anymore because it's simply not true.

Also appearing with McCaskill was Sen. John Thune (R-South Dakota). He wasn’t quite as open on whether he would take the running mate position if offered by John McCain. Thune said, “You don't rule anything out in this profession. But it's certainly not anything I aspire to. I like the

job I have.” He also said he had not be asked by the McCain campaign to provide information.

July 27th, 2008
03:37 PM ET
6 years ago

Obama defends overseas trip, 'I admit we did it really well'

Sen. Barack Obama says he is not sure what the political effect of his trip will be.
Sen. Barack Obama says he is not sure what the political effect of his trip will be.

CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) – Just back from his overseas trip, Barack Obama appeared before a convention of minority journalists in his hometown of Chicago Sunday morning to discuss, among other things, the eight-day swing through the Middle East and Europe, saying, “I admit we did it really well.”

Asked by CNN’s Suzanne Malveaux for his impressions of the trip, Obama started by praising U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. Obama has come under fire in recent days by the McCain campaign for canceling a trip to visit wounded troops while in Germany. Obama says he didn’t want the visit to appear political.

Eager to quell criticism of an international trip taken while polls show domestic issues are a higher priority for voters, Obama argued in his opening remarks that “they are connected to the problems we face abroad.”

“I don't know the political effect of this when I come back,” he later admitted. “A week of me focusing on international issues doesn't necessarily translate into higher poll numbers here in the United States, because people are understandably concerned about the immediate effects of the economy,” he said. “And that's what we will be talking about for the duration.”

“I do think that, in terms of me governing, being an effective president, that that trip was helpful,” he continued, “because I think I've established relationships and a certain bond of trust with key leaders around the world who have taken measure of my positions and how I operate and I think can come away with some confidence that this is somebody I can deal with."

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Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
July 27th, 2008
03:30 PM ET
6 years ago

Hagel says judgment more important than experience

Jack Reed, left, and Chuck Hagel, right, joined Barack Obama in the Middle East.
Jack Reed, left, and Chuck Hagel, right, joined Barack Obama in the Middle East.

(CNN) - Two former military men who traveled to war zones with Sen. Barack Obama (D-Illinois) say the presumptive Democratic nominee is qualified to be commander in chief, despite his lack of military experience.

Sens. Chuck Hagel (R-Nebraska) and Jack Reed (D-Rhode Island) spoke to media this morning in Washington after appearing on CBS’ "Face the Nation." The two accompanied Obama to the Middle East last week.

“Each candidate has strengths and weaknesses, and experience does matter,” Hagel said. “But what matters more in my opinion is character and judgment. And judgment meaning who is it that you bring around, who is it that you listen to? Can you make the right decisions for the right reasons on behalf of your country and the world?”

Both Hagel and Reed spent years in the military. Reed attended West Point and retired as an Army captain, and Hagel earned two Purple Hearts fighting in the Vietnam War. Reed recounted the experience of traveling to military posts with Obama.

“There was something that was really dynamic,” he said. “We were trying to leave the headquarters of the 101st and we couldn't get down to the car because soldiers were flocking out of their duty positions to get autographs, to say hello, to take a picture, and it was just genuine, spontaneous and very, very enthusiastic throughout the entire trip.”

Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) has repeatedly questioned Obama’s stance on the war in Iraq, particularly his opposition to the surge of troops instituted over the past year. The presumptive Republican nominee addressed the topic again in a radio address yesterday.

“Even in retrospect, he would choose the path of retreat and failure for America over the path of success and victory,” said McCain. “That's not exactly my idea of the judgment we seek in a commander-in-chief.”

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Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
July 27th, 2008
12:54 PM ET
6 years ago

Rabbi: Removal of Obama's purported prayer note 'sacrilegious'

Sen. Barack Obama places a prayer note in Jerusalem's Western Wall.
Sen. Barack Obama places a prayer note in Jerusalem's Western Wall.

JERUSALEM (CNN) – The rabbi who supervises Jerusalem's Western Wall condemned the removal of a prayer note purportedly written by Sen. Barack Obama, saying the action was "sacrilegious."

The U.S. presidential candidate visited the holy site early Thursday and placed a note in the cracks of the wall - a custom of visitors.

It was subsequently removed from the wall, according to the Israeli newspaper, Ma'ariv, which printed what it said were the contents of the note.

Ma'ariv said a seminary student gave the note to the paper.

Obama's senior strategist Robert Gibbs told CNN, "We haven't confirmed nor denied" that the note is from the Illinois senator.

"This sacrilegious action deserves sharp condemnation and represents a desecration of the holy site," said Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, who supervises the Western Wall, in a statement.

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Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
July 27th, 2008
12:50 PM ET
6 years ago

McCain, Obama accuse each other of shifting on Iraq

Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama have been exchanging tough words about Iraq.
Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama have been exchanging tough words about Iraq.

(CNN) - With just 100 days until the election, Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama are accusing each other of shifting their positions when it comes to Iraq.

Obama accused McCain of altering his stance after the senator from Arizona said 16 months would be a "pretty good timetable" for troop withdrawal, and McCain said Obama was becoming more inline with his position - a "conditions-based" plan for withdrawal.

In an interview with Newsweek, Obama was asked about what sort of U.S. troop presence he would keep in Iraq, now that he has talked with diplomatic and military leaders there.

Obama returned to the United States on Saturday after spending more than a week in the Middle East and Europe.

"I do think that's entirely conditions-based. It's hard to anticipate where we may be six months from now, or a year from now, or a year and a half from now," he said in the interview, which was published on Saturday.

Obama has been a strong advocate of a 16-month timetable for withdrawal, while McCain has maintained that conditions on the ground must dictate plans for withdrawal.

In a statement issued Saturday, McCain's campaign said they welcomed Obama's shift to an "entirely conditions-based" withdrawal from Iraq.

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Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
July 27th, 2008
12:45 PM ET
6 years ago

Scenes from the trail: Obama at UNITY '08

ALT TEXT

Sen. Barack Obama talks with CNN's Suzanne Malveaux and TIME magazine's Romesh Ratnesar. Photo credit: Ted Pio Roda/CNN

(CNN) – Sen. Barack Obama on Sunday addressed the UNITY: Journalists of Color conference in Chicago, Illinois.

The forum was the Democratic presidential nominee’s first public appearance since he returned from his overseas trip to the Middle East and Europe.

UNITY: Journalists of Color, Inc. is a coalition of the Asian American Journalists Association, the National Association of Black Journalists, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and the Native American Journalists Association.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
July 27th, 2008
09:23 AM ET
6 years ago

Watch the next president on CNN’s 'Late Edition'

Check out Barack Obama and John McCain on 'Late Edition' Sunday.
Check out Barack Obama and John McCain on 'Late Edition' Sunday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Both Barack Obama and John McCain will appear on CNN’s "Late Edition" this morning - McCain at 11 a.m. and Obama at noon.

Host Wolf Blitzer spoke with the Republican candidate on Friday, and CNN is covering Sen. Obama’s speech at the UNITY: Journalists of Color conference in Chicago, Illinois.

Each interview will be followed by analysis from the best political team on television.

And if you miss the morning airing, be sure to tune in at 7 p.m. ET for a special “Late Edition: The Next President” which will show highlights of both candidates’ appearances.

You won’t want to miss it.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain