(CNN) - First Lady Laura Bush and Cindy McCain addressed the Republican National Convention Monday evening, delivering abbreviated remarks due to Hurricane Gustav.
George and I were planning to come to enjoy this convention to have a really good time," Laura Bush said. "And we would have been here tonight speaking, but, of course as we all know, events on the Gulf Coast region have changed the focus of our attention. And our first priority now, today, is to ensure the safety and the well-being of those living in the gulf coast region.
Joining Bush on stage after a video message from four governors of states affected by the storm, Cindy McCain, wife of presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain, urged delegates to help with hurricane relief.
"I would ask that each one of us commit to join together to aid those in need as quickly as possible," she said. "As John has been saying for the last several days, this is a time when we take off our Republican hats and put on our American hats."
ST. PAUL, Minnesota (CNN) – The Democratic convention may have been swarming with celebrities last week, but its Republican counterpart isn't entirely lacking.
A crowd of fawning delegates surrounded actor and longtime Republican Jon Voight as he made his way to a luxury box Monday evening, just after the convention-gaveled to order.
Voight, who stopped to sign several autographs and pose for photographs, told CNN he's supporting McCain because the Arizona senator is a "man of great strength, a man of compassion, and a man of good humor."
"He's got a very clear eye of what's going on, so when we've just heard this recent stuff with Russia, he was so clear in his response, and that's because he knows what he's doing."
ST. PAUL, Minnesota (CNN) - National Republican Committee Chairman Mike Duncan gaveled his party's 2008 presidential convention to order Monday afternoon, starting a scaled-back day of events as Hurricane Gustav washed ashore on the Gulf Coast.
Duncan told the party's delegates the session would be an abbreviated one, and appealed for delegates to help with hurricane relief in the coming days.
It remains unclear if the party will resume a full convention schedule on Tuesday.
Watch gavel-to-gavel coverage on CNN.com/live
ST. PAUL, Minnesota (CNN) — Roughly nine weeks before Election Day, a new CNN poll of polls shows Barack Obama holding a five point lead over John McCain. Only four days after Obama’s acceptance speech and three days after McCain’s pick of Sarah Palin as his running mate, Obama is now ahead of McCain, 49 to 44 percent.
CNN’s previous poll of polls, released August 24, showed Obama leading McCain by four points, 46 to 42 percent.
“Any bounce Obama might have received out of his party’s convention appears to have largely negated by McCain’s surprise selection of Gov. Palin as his running mate,” said CNN Political Editor Mark Preston. “This race has been close all along, and is unlikely to change.”
The three polls included in CNN’s latest national survey average were conducted by CBS, CNN/Opinion Research Corporation, and Gallup. They were each conducted from August 29 to 31. The poll of polls does not have a margin of error.
ST. PAUL, Minnesota (CNN) - Hours after presumptive Republican VP nominee Sarah Palin revealed her daughter Bristol was pregnant, senior McCain adviser Doug Holtz-Eakin rebuked a reporter who asked him whether there was a “sense of panic over the love child issue” within the campaign.
“All kidding aside – a little respect. I mean ‘love child' issue?” he responded. “I mean, this is a young woman. She is 17 years old, and I believe that treating it with a little bit of respect is appropriate. This is the governor’s daughter. It is their issue. It is something that we believe should be treated with a lot of respect.
“This is clearly something that we have a lot of concern about: the future of this young lady. She’s a wonderful woman. From the campaign’s perspective, we have an outstanding candidate who is a governor and she has a family. She loves that family, and this is their business.”
He would not tell reporters at a Christian Science Monitor lunch Monday whether he knew about the news before the statement was released. “It doesn’t matter when I became aware,” adding that the Palins’ statement “speaks for itself.”
(CNN) - Top McCain adviser Steve Schmidt said Monday that newly-minted Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin informed John McCain of her daughter's pregnancy in one of their "private conversations" last week.
Watch: Palin's big announcement
McCain aides insist the Arizona Republican already knew about the pregnancy prior to that conversation, having found out earlier during the lengthy vetting process.
"She was very upfront about it," one aide said.
Speaking with reporters, Schmidt also said McCain expected the pregnancy would eventually become public, as did Palin.
"Obviously people would know because she’s going to have a baby that she was pregnant," Schmidt said. "What we want to see happen is the privacy of Governor Palin’s daughter respected. And that’s what Senator McCain wants."
(CNN) – Upwards of 5,000 anti-war protesters marched peacefully outside the site of the Republican National Convention in St. Paul Monday, but some anarchists in the group threw newspaper stands and bus benches into the streets as well as broke storefront windows.
Police dressed in riot gear and some on motorcycles chased them around the city blocks to the amusement of several onlookers.
MONROE, Michigan (CNN) – Barack Obama told reporters firmly that families are off-limits in this campaign, reacting to news that Sarah Palin’s 17-year-old daughter is five months pregnant.
“Let me be as clear as possible,” said Obama, “I think people’s families are off-limits and people's children are especially off-limits. This shouldn't be part of our politics. It has no relevance to Gov. Palin’s performance as governor, or her potential performance as a vice president.”
Obama said reporters should “back off these kinds of stories” and noted that he was born to an 18 year-old mother.
“How a family deals with issues and teenage children, that shouldn't be the topic of our politics and I hope that anybody who is supporting me understands that’s off-limits.”
The Illinois senator became aggravated when asked about rumors on liberal blogs speculating that Palin’s fifth child – Trig – is actually her daughter Bristol’s. A Reuters report Monday quotes a senior McCain aide saying that Obama’s name is in some of posts, “in a way that certainly juxtaposes themselves against their 'campaign of change,’”
“I am offended by that statement,” Obama shot back, not letting the reporter finish his question. “There is no evidence at all that any of this involved us.”
“We don’t go after people’s families,” Obama said. “We don’t get them involved in the politics. It’s not appropriate and it’s not relevant. Our people were not involved in any way in this and they will not be. And if I ever thought that there was somebody in my campaign that was involved in something like that, they’d be fired.”
(CNN) – Family Research Council President Tony Perkins praised the 17-year-old daughter of Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin Monday for choosing to keep her child.
"Unfortunately, teenage pregnancy has become all too common in today's society regardless of a family's economic or social status. It is problem that we remain committed to reducing through encouraging young people to practice abstinence," Perkins, a powerful figure in the evangelical community, said in the statement.
"Fortunately, Bristol is following her mother and father's example of choosing life in the midst of a difficult situation. We are committed to praying for Bristol and her husband to be and the entire Palin family as they walk through a very private matter in the eyes of the public," Perkins wrote.
Family Research Council is an organization that promotes social conservative views.
ST. PAUL, Minnesota (CNN) - A senior adviser to the McCain campaign confirmed Monday that Todd Palin, husband to Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, was arrested for driving while intoxicated in 1984.
"Yes, 24 years ago he had a DWI," senior McCain adviser Steve Schmidt told reporters in St. Paul.
Schmidt was asked if he was worried about the news, and replied, “I was not.”
The story was first reported by David Brody, a CNN contributor and Christian Broadcasting Network News Senior National Correspondent.